Extraordinary Moments in Ordinary Time

I watched the five-year-old children in swimsuits step gingerly up to the font. Climbing the two stairs up seemed pretty easy, but every one of them waited before taking two steps down. What was their hesitation? Every eye in the packed church was focused on the font as the four children waited their turns. Excitement was building among the assembly, as if each of us was willing the children to step forward. We held a […]

Renewed at Easter

A few years ago on retreat, I mentioned to my director that I wanted to rekindle some of the fire that I associated with the faith of my youth. I had driven to a monastery out in the country, a couple hours’ drive from where I grew up, for my first retreat as an adult. I was there on an invitation the abbot had extended to me more than ten years earlier. Better late than […]

Ignatius and the Sacraments

The Spiritual Exercises are not just a listing of meditations separated into four “weeks.” They are much more than that. They are a work of art that has inspired thousands, if not millions, of Christians throughout the last five centuries. And while Ignatius offers them as a model of prayer and discernment, the Exercises also model how one lives the sacramental life in the Church. Since Ignatius was very much a part of the Catholic […]

God in the Messiness

The other Sunday I had the pleasure of witnessing a Baptism at Mass. It’s one of my favorite sacraments, because it joyfully welcomes a new member into our Christian community. This Baptism, however, did not seem like the most sacred moment. The baby, about a year and a half old, was crying and squirming. She wouldn’t let her parents and godparents make the Sign of the Cross on her forehead. She barely let the priest […]