News: Noticing Things

I speak from my heart

Approx. read time: 1:45 min. As a writer I understand the literary function of Jesus’ often spoken words: “Amen, I say to you,” or “Truly, I say to you,” or the quaint “Verily, verily, I say to you.” I’ll be honest with you: Never in my life have I used this word verily in a… Read more »

If I were free of vulnerability

Approx. read time: 0:45 min If I lived a life free of vulnerability, I’d never experience … the kindness of strangers the skill of attentiveness the art of the possible the craft of imagination the invitation of trust the hope of grace the blessing of aloneness the sense of discovery the thrill of not knowing… Read more »

Throw open the door of your heart

Read time: 1:20 min. My first book, Touching the Reign of God  (2019) opens with words of the now sainted John Paul II at his inaugural papal Mass in 1978. “Throw open the door of your heart!” he says. I continue: “One person familiar with the Italian language … in which the Holy Father spoke,… Read more »

Write these words. On a postcard. Today.

Approx. read time: 1:30 min. In the early quiet of a recent morning, a thought comes to me. More than a thought: an assignment, really, with a subtle force of urgency: Write these words. On a postcard. Today. And these are the words that arrive:  Dear Secretary Blinken:  The madness of the Russia/Ukraine situation is… Read more »

Live with a good heart

  Approx. read time: 1:45 min. I’m playing with words again. A friend says to me: “I’m struggling with negativity.” My first thought is: Hooray! You’re willing to name what you’re feeling! Negativity is one of the darker emotions—not an enemy come to do battle, but a messenger with something to tell us. So I… Read more »

If bread and wine …

Approx. read time: 2:30 min. For Sunday morning worshipers, the deepest dark days of pandemic threw us off our routine. Well, I think, with churches closed, I suddenly have occasion to sit deeply, at home, with the Eucharistic Prayer. Again and again, a simple line from this ancient prayer draws me into untethered contemplation: And… Read more »

Honestly …

Approx. read time: 1:30 min. Honestly, I don’t understand this crazy world, its smash-and-grab ethos, greed without guardrails; human and creational suffering as the cost (borne by the sufferers) of doing business the way we do. Honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around the daily wash of tragedies—the forces of Nature, the works of human… Read more »

Set your face like flint

Approx. read time: 2:10 min Yesterday my alarm sounds at 11:30 a.m., reminding me to pull away from my work for 20 minutes of exercise before lunch. I drop what I’m doing, lay out my exercise mat, and turn on a current affairs program to carry me through sit-ups, push-ups, and various twists and turns…. Read more »

The fire that impels me to write

Approx. read time: 2:20 min A spiritual wakeup call came to me some years back, when I came across a blunt phrase of 16th-century writer, mystic, and Carmelite reformer Teresa of Avila. “The world is on fire,” she writes, “and this is no time to be concerned with unimportant things.” A spiritual wakeup call indeed,… Read more »

Lamb of God

  Approx. read time: 1:50 min. I awaken at 4:30 a.m., an hour too early to rise. But here I am, awake. I look up through darkness to a ceiling I cannot see. Lamb of God, I begin to pray … Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world … The darkness… Read more »

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