Resolving to Let Go of Some Tar in 2021

This reading from Father Clay started out as a response to Pixar’s movie Soul and then also became a meditation to work through a really unsettling conversation I had this week. And also, I think it’s a good one for New Year’s Resolution season. I’m going to try to do all three here. Soul: TheContinue reading “Resolving to Let Go of Some Tar in 2021”

Christmas Reminder: God is In Us All

For a lot of people, the Christmas season is not the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time of loneliness and isolation and time when feelings of alienation and shame make themselves known. I like this Christmas letter from Father Clay, reminding us that God is in all of us. Merry Christmas. HoweverContinue reading “Christmas Reminder: God is In Us All”

Let Christmas Happen

I watched Father Dennis’s homily on Facebook this weekend. It was so timely for me, as he talked about the difference between making Christmas happen versus letting Christmas happen. He talked about his mother, who had nine kids, many born right around Christmas, always being so pregnant and yet working so hard to make ChristmasContinue reading “Let Christmas Happen”

LOVE Embraces All The Wounded

I’m about halfway through the audio version of Roxanne Gay’s memoir Hunger, in which the activist writes about her relationship with her body, her experience of weighing more than 500 pounds, and the sexual assault that led to her lifetime of overeating. It is a wrenching story that I am experiencing even more intensely becauseContinue reading “LOVE Embraces All The Wounded”

What I Learned from a Babyless Manger

Back in 2018, I was jobless and a new dog owner. So I spent a lot of time walking the neighborhood. My daughter and I would walk half mile laps between Fairview and Cleveland avenues in St. Paul, getting to know houses and people we hadn’t ever noticed before. During Advent, we noticed that oneContinue reading “What I Learned from a Babyless Manger”

Advent: Preparing for What’s Next

My sister and I used to lie to our parents about whether we had gone to church, if we thought we could get away with it. We lived close enough to walk to church, and with so many people and schedules in the house, it was occasionally conceivable that I could have gone to massContinue reading “Advent: Preparing for What’s Next”

Break on Through to the Other Side?

Last week my sixth grader’s homeroom teacher asked the kids to submit a goal for the year – something they wanted to accomplish in school, that was specific, measurable, timebound. All good things. Will’s first stab was to “get all A’s.” A fine, admirable outcome, but an outcome nonetheless – something that he could eitherContinue reading “Break on Through to the Other Side?”

2020’s Death Toll Is Getting To Me

I know two people who died last week, one from Covid, one after a long life and then a period of decline. I didn’t know either well, but both were part our neighborhood. Mike was the head custodian at my kids’ grade school, and John was a one-time neighbor whose daughter still lives next door.Continue reading “2020’s Death Toll Is Getting To Me”

There is No Distinction Between “Us” and “Them” in the Reign of God

It is All Saints’ Day and two days before the election. As I thought about a pre-election day post, some saint helped me flip Father Clay’s third book open to this page, and I decided to go with it. I don’t think it needs much preamble from me. I like this piece because it transcendsContinue reading “There is No Distinction Between “Us” and “Them” in the Reign of God”

Taking the Pressure Off Forgiveness

This week I was helping some other consultants revise social media posts when I saw one about vulnerability from a middle-aged man. Usually a great start. Then, he said he was making himself vulnerable by asking for forgiveness from neighbors who judged him when he left his wife and kids after 17 years of marriage.Continue reading “Taking the Pressure Off Forgiveness”