Finding Holy Leisure in Flowering Crabapples

Des Moines Crab Apples

Pope Emeritus Benedict once said, “We live in a society in which it seems that every space, every moment must be ‘filled’ with initiatives, activity, sound; often there is not even time to listen and dialogue … Let us not be afraid to be silent outside and inside ourselves, so that we are able not […]

Are We Consenting to Christian Executions?


“Now Saul was consenting to his execution.” That line from today’s first reading from the Acts of Apostles is bugging me a bit. So much that I’m putting my first thoughts out here for your comments. As the reading goes, we walk alongside Stephen as he implores the people, elders, and scribes to stop rejecting Christianity. The […]

Homily from April 19, 2015: Something to Shout

This image by artist G. Reni shows St. Luke the Evangelist writing the Gospel under Divine inspiration.

“Lord, let your face shine on us.” That’s the cry of David in today’s Responsorial Psalm. Interesting if you think about it. What is the precondition for a face? A body – flesh – which God did not have prior to the Incarnation. Before Jesus, the phrase “the face of God” was just a poetic metaphor for God’s favor or His grace. Then Jesus came along and changed that – and indeed, everything.

Wrestling with God and Myself


What a privilege it was to write a reflection for the My Sisters the Saints book club over at The book, written by Colleen Carroll Campbell, has really touched, comforted, and challenged me. In fact, the night after I finished reading Chapter Two, the chapter I was assigned to write about, I couldn’t sleep. I toss and […]

Blind Instruments

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The first reading from 1 Samuel 3:3-10 from Sunday’s Mass is one of my favorites in all of Scripture, probably because it motivates me to meditate on a question I perpetually wrestle with: Lord, what do you WANT from me, anyway? Speak. Just speak, Lord, and tell me. I’m listening. I often get so frustrated because it’s almost […]

Born Again?

Born Again

Ever been asked that question? I was. Once. And my response tanked. That question and the reaction it provoked in me actually played a role in a “rebirthing” experience of my own. There’s a back story, and I share more about it in my latest post for (find it by clicking here). And the […]

Our 2014 Advent & Christmas Book List

2014 Advent & Christmas Read-Aloud Book List

A few truths about me: I love reading aloud to my kids. It’s my favorite way to “waste time” with them. I could spend all day in a library reading children’s books. Advent is my favorite liturgical season. In my home educator role, I’m learning that I’m energized when I can pick a little from here, […]