A Violent Summer

In the fading light of evening my son is speaking of butterflies.  We had just read the old favorite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I am admiring the outline of light as it touches his face. He is summarizing in his soft voice: “First, there’s an egg, then a caterpillar comes. Then it eats and [...]

Preparing for Pilgrimage

I'm gearing up for my semi-annual pilgrimage to Italy. We'll be visiting Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Florence, Monteriggioni, Lucca, and Vernazza. Itineraries are set, flights and hotels booked, bags are packed, and, true to form, I'm preparing myself mentally for every possible thing that could go wrong. First off, there's an awful heatwave in Italy that [...]

True Joy

This Lenten season is designed to prepare our souls to experience fully the joy of Easter. I can't think of anyone better to introduce us to this counter-cultural, counter-intuitive fullness of joy than the Poverello, the little Poor One, St. Francis of Assisi. Here's St. Francis on finding True Joy: One day at Saint Mary's, [...]

Love in the Ruins

A cold and wet rain has fallen on Kansas City for two days. I sit outside my usual go-to church for confession and read that the pastor has just had a kidney transplant, please pray for him. I consider going home. After all, I tried, it's cold and rainy and I'm tired. Moreover, I had [...]

The Holy Ache of Advent

"The lovely old carols played and replayed till their effect is like a dentist's drill or a jackhammer, the bathetic banalities of the pulpit and the chilling commercialism of almost everything else, people spending money they can't afford on presents you neither need nor want, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," the plastic tree, the cornball creche, [...]

Wounds & Wolves

Driving a long a narrow stretch of Kansas highway last spring, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the sunset, the narrow crescent of the moon hanging in a blue-orange sky and the emerging stars and planets. Below them however, I noticed the telltale signs of another prison: concrete boxes with narrow slits of windows [...]

See, Judge, Act: The Pastoral Circle and Separation of Families at the Border — Jennifer Owens-Jofré

An excellent compilation of resources on how to become informed, judge and act to stop the separation of families at the border. See, Judge, Act: The Pastoral Circle and Separation of Families at the Border — Jennifer Owens-Jofré — Read on http://www.jenniferowensjofre.com/blog/2018/6/16/see-judge-act-the-pastoral-circle-and-separation-of-families-at-the-border

For Gramps

Dear Gramps, We’ve had a lot of great conversations over the years, I remember chatting with you in my old truck about your time in Washington DC and Chicago. You seemed so mythical back then, an eternal patriarch that had seen and done it all. When I followed in your footsteps and went to Chicago, [...]

The Terrible Mercy of God

I went for a walk the other day. It started beautifully. Two hawks spiraled in the sky: flirting, fighting, or fleeing. A neighbor stood precariously on a rooftop washing a window, asking her husband for help. "Open the blinds, it will help me visually," she says. By the end of the walk my dog was [...]

The Resurrection is Everywhere

In the face of violence, obscene politicking, and all our seemingly insurmountable divisions, I propose no solutions. It is all above my pay grade. I cannot think a way out of any these disasters. In the face of a world gone mad, for now, I can only be silent. I can only try to see with clear [...]

The beauty of blood sucking things

Perpetually ruining that wonderful time of evening when the baby is sleeping and a cold cocktail rests in my hand is the thought, "I wonder what happens if a stray bullet flies through the nursery window?" My heart races, chest gets heavy. A midnight creak must be a burglar or serial killer downstairs who specializes in families. Or maybe it's mouse, [...]