Expect the Unexpected

Christmas can be bittersweet. We’re filled with hope, with memories, but the older we get the more the hope mixes with disappointment and disillusionment, the happy memories with grief for people we’ve lost to death, to distance, to disagreements. Sometimes the sounds of the season strike us as...

The Great Feast

As the fall and winter holidays roll around each year, I’m struck by the layers of memory that lie between the simplest things. My local nephew always hosts our Thanksgiving meal and each year we add new twists that soon become part of our tradition (here’s hoping that the emergency trip to buy a...

Remember the Date

In his apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis says, “the believer is ‘one who remembers.’” And one of the ways we remember the important markers in our faith journey is by recalling significant dates—holy days, saints’ days, Christmas, Easter. The pope...

The Minimalism Game

At the end of August, a friend challenged me to play the Minimalism Game for a month. I clicked on the link and discovered that for each day of the month, I would need to get rid of that number of things: one on Sept 1, two on Sept 2 and so on. My knee-jerk response was, “I can’t possibly do...

Called to Joy

Joy, like love, is often a decision, an act of the will, rather than a spontaneous emotion. St. Francis knew this when he told his companion, Brother Leo, that perfect joy would be not reacting to violent rejection by the gatekeeper at his own friary. Pope Francis knew this when he wrote his apostolic...

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