We have a violence problem

This week much has rightfully been said about gun control and the NRA, and much energy expended in the debate. It is natural in times of tragedy to want to funnel grief into constructive actions. In fact, it may be an important way to survive collective trauma. Researchers find that people who respond to calamities…

Peace is the Way: On not becoming what you resist

Mark 11:20-25. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’…

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and the Undocumented

“Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. She bore a son, and he named him Gershom [alien]; for he said, ‘I have been an alien residing in a foreign land’” (from today’s lectionary reading in Exodus 2:15-22). The Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the…

Even Amidst a Storm

  Chaos makes people anxious. In fact, some people deliberately foment chaos because chaos also creates compliance. The person who created the chaos can offer to put an end to it, and thus to the anxiety, if only the subordinate will fall in line and comply with the chaos-maker’s program. Usually this works only temporarily,…

Stories of Enchantment

I sit with Brother Martin Gonzales, over sixty years a monk and reflecting on the nearness of life’s end. We are at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey on a summer day when the perfume of magnolias stretches across the way and birds sing, as he reiterates words he likes to share: “I don’t care…

Divorce and love and growth

I sit to write about divorce and feel the twist of it in my belly, the prolonged smoldering. For after two and a half years of fighting to get back my marriage—like I’ve fought for nothing else in my life, I acknowledge it was never mine to keep. On the nearly deafening day two and…

Incarnated Values

“In the new humanity which is begotten today, the Word prolongs the unending act of [his/her] own birth.” ~ Pierre Tielhard de Chardin As Christians, we uphold a fully en-fleshed theological worldview. This is not just because incarnation of the Divine is a key part of our spiritual imagination (and by incarnation, I mean divinity…

Memoir of Body and Spirit

{Introduction to Jesus Loves Women: A Memoir of Body and Spirit, 2011} I arrive at Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey just after compline, the last lauds of the day, when the monks chant Psalms by candlelight to the strains of a worn out guitar. It is fifteen minutes past sundown, and the sky falls over…

On climate accords and a cat named Sybil

“Sometimes the best map will not guide you; You can’t see what’s round the bend. Sometimes the road leads through dark places; Sometimes the darkness is your friend.” ~ Bruce Cockburn You could say I am fond of animals; I have loved many as pets and close companions. But never have I loved an animal…