Accepting the Memories

Last week I meditated on how God has been present in every moment of my life. In order to do this, I took out an old photo album that my mom had given me after I finished high school and left home. I consider myself blessed that Mom put together this album of photos beginning with my birth and continuing through high-school graduation. Mom’s efforts fill about 15 pages of the album, and my entries […]

Savoring the Gifts Like Chocolate Eggs

When we were children, my brother and I used to eagerly await awakening to Easter baskets full of candy, which we soon devoured. As an adult, I have mostly lost my sweet tooth, but I still like the occasional small piece of chocolate. It is a treat to unwrap slowly just one foil-wrapped chocolate egg, savor its taste and texture, and let that be enough. This Easter, I have been praying about all the good […]

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 […]

Holiness, the Beatitudes, and Discernment

Pope Francis has released his latest apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). The title comes from the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel, specifically, Jesus’ exhortation to rejoice when people “insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (5:11) Gaudete et Exsultate is a meditation on the call to holiness in everyday life. (The word holiness appears 87 times.) Francis points to the “saints next door,” […]

Prayer Leads Us Forward in Hope

I found my friend on his knees praying in the hospital chapel. We had received word that a family member of our friend was extremely sick and might not make it through the next day. As I embraced my friend and his tears fell on my shoulder, he told me, “I feel I am having a crisis of faith, because I am in here begging God to save my loved one.” My tears joined his […]

The Light of Grace Is Always Shining

A couple of afternoons a week, I bring my work to a local coffee shop. It gives me a chance to get out of the home office, attack a problem in a different setting, and get a gorgeous view of Lake Washington. Sometimes I put on headphones, drowning out the coffee-shop conversation, but sometimes, I’ll keep my ears open for quirky banter. Like today, when the barista and a customer shared a candid moment, and […]

Resurrection and Reality

I remember the first Easter after my dad died, now 26 years ago. I was not impressed by the Easter story that year, because my loved one remained buried and decaying. I wondered what this resurrection business really was about—just a distant hope of bliss in another world? Why didn’t it touch me more here on earth? Today, we are subjected with round-the-clock news of a civilization in desperate need of resurrection. Thousands of civilian […]

“I Have Seen the Lord!”

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Mary of Magdala visited the tomb of Jesus early in the morning and came back distraught, weeping, with an emotional tale of an empty tomb. Peter and John went racing out to investigate, but what they found was inconclusive. A short time later, Mary was back, radiant as she proclaimed, “I have seen the Lord.” Whenever I read this familiar passage (John 20:1–18), […]

He Walked Beside Me

I was doing a very ordinary task: washing clothes for the Apostles. I was almost done, and the basket was very heavy. “Can I help you with that?” I turned to see who spoke, and a handsome stranger was smiling at me. Rather than speak to him, I simply handed him the basket since my shoulders ached and I was exhausted by the hot sun. Relieved of the burden, I suddenly recalled something Jesus once […]

Praying on Holy Saturday

After the powerful days of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, knowing how to pray on Holy Saturday can feel a bit uncertain. Easter has not yet arrived, and yet the intensity of praying with the Passion has passed. Although surely there are practical things to do in order to get ready for Easter—clothes to press, a meal to prepare—skipping over Holy Saturday never feels quite right to me. At the same time, how to proceed […]

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