Speaking of her early stage of faith, writer and retreat leader Paula D’Arcy shared a dream in which the kitchen table of her childhood disappeared. That table symbolized the beautiful security of her early years. It was the heart of her childhood home, where she learned her Baltimore Catechism, mastered every question, and came to […]
Why Is Prayer Such A Struggle?
How I pray is breathe.” -Thomas Merton I grew up with the slogan, “Prayer changes things,” which I believed. I was just wrong about what got changed. I thought it could change my lot, save my soul, rescue people I cared about. I hoped I could change God’s mind. Not surprisingly, that kind of prayer […]
Why Am I My Own Worst Judge?
Some years ago, the Dove soap company created a video. At the time, a woman sent me the link because it seemed a profound demonstration of self-judgment. The video shows a forensic sketch artist, asked to draw a series of women based solely on their descriptions. Seated at a drafting table with his back to […]
In a Stressed-Out World, How Do I Deal With My Anger?
A man is having an enjoyable boat ride down the river. It is dusk. The man looks up to see another boat coming toward him. His first thought is how nice that someone else is out enjoying the river. Then he realizes the boat speeding, in fact it’s coming straight at him. Faster and faster […]
What Is Sin, Really?
Every year on the first Sunday in Lent we listen to the saga of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. It’s an epic story, and every great drama needs a hero with a backstory. In this case, the hero is still wet from his baptism, a moment of initiation where God’s naming and owning is explicit. […]
The Yellow Falling Leaf
Question One: What more did I think I wanted? We don’t think of Ash Wednesday as a time to reflect on happiness. Isn’t it about sackcloth and guilt? But Ash Wednesday is set apart simply as a day to ponder this one fact: We came from dust, and we return to dust. When we accept […]
Just Drop It
Everybody talks about “letting go.” Then why don’t we? In October a delivery truck hit the stone wall at the entrance to our driveway, doing modest damage. For months I’ve been calling the company owner to respond to the repair estimate he requested. Every time I call, the receptionist says Ricky is out, but will […]
Falling Down a Wormhole
I’ve been away for a while. Some of you have asked where I’ve been. The thing is, I’m not sure. I do know that almost exactly one year ago my first grandchild was born, and for a wonderful time Dashiell and his parents lived with us during maternity leave. About the time they moved back […]