Spring Cleaning Concerns

Not once in my life have I completed spring cleaning. I usually begin well, but I have a rather large house and lots of stuff. And my husband is not so concerned about spring cleaning—he will help if asked but otherwise remains blissfully unaware that anything needs extra cleaning or sorting or consideration of any kind. And yet, every spring I feel the urge to do spring cleaning. Do I enjoy setting myself up for […]

Training Catherine

Catherine is a fairly new volunteer at the thrift store. I have taken her under my wing to train her in the spiritual path of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. She has a natural concern for the poor, so training her is really a matter of letting her absorb the joy of meeting the people who come into the shop. In almost every situation her heart bends toward compassion, and there is little […]

The Triangulation of Desire

The late philosopher René Girard suggested that human desire is “triangular,” meaning that it arises not from any intrinsic value in the object of desire, but rather that we imitate others and experience desire for the same things that they desire. The toddler wanting the toy that another toddler has; the junior executive wanting the same clothes and car that the senior executive has; the lover pining for the same beloved as a rival—these are […]

How to Beat the Fear of Failure

Choose to do what you consider important to do. Do that important thing, and keep doing it. Don’t give up on what is important. Look at the gifts you have been given—name them. Accept those gifts and practice gratitude for them. Learn to cherish the life you are given. Believe what is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Find ways to pass along whatever is good and kind and truthful and lovely. Dare to […]

Jesus Responds to His Sorrow

As Jesus responds to his sorrow, he is expressing to us the best of what it means to be human. There are no miracles here. No sudden healings. No casting out of demons. No parables. Someone coming to the story of Jesus’ Passion for the first time, not knowing anything else of the Gospels, would think that this is just an ordinary person, someone who experienced loneliness, heartache, pain, exhaustion, and ultimately death. He’s no […]

Who Is This Jesus of Nazareth?

Brian Prugh reflects on Titian’s Ecce Homo (“Behold, the man”) in a Dappled Things post that gives much to contemplate this Holy Week. The painting depicts Pilate showing Christ to the crowd. This is his public display, and our chance to confront the question, who is this Jesus of Nazareth? The soldiers have done their best to humiliate him with the crown of thorns, purple sheet and broken-stick scepter. His beard is unkempt, his gaze […]

God Is All About Balance

Char, a widow and grandmother who has assisted in many family medical needs lately, tells me that God is all about balance. “My life has three main themes,” she says. “Family, volunteer work, and fun. I’m closest to God when they are all in balance. I make a to-do list every morning with subtitles: Go, Get, Do, and Call. But before I make the list, I read my devotions. Tucked into my prayer book is […]

Paying Attention

While in Paris, inspirational speaker Daniel Midson-Short learned the importance of paying attention. The lesson came from a silent woman, about whom Midson-Short says: “She knows that the greatest gift that you can give to another person is presence.” Watch the TEDx video below, and think about how you are paying attention to those around you.

Longings in Advent

In December, we often ask children, “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” In Advent the Church poses to us a deeper question: “What are the deep needs and longings of your life, which only God can fill?” Frank Majka, SJ, presents that question to us in a brief reflection on Advent Longings. Are you taking time this season to consider the question? What do you really want for Christmas as a […]

Everyone Experiences God

I can say, with no reservations, that everyone experiences God. We might not all use the same language for the experience. We might not recognize the experience as having anything to do with God. We might not share that experience with others, because it is deeply private or because we’re not sure how to communicate it. But the Divine seeks us, desires us, and waits for the opportunity to meet us. Fortunately for us, God […]

1 2 3 6