It’s the feast of St. Mary Magdalene and I am going to share one of my very favorite poems in the world. It’s by Marie Howe and called Magdalene—The Seven Devils. But beware, if you read it, it’ll move like an arrow through your heart, starting with the very first line: “The first was that I was very busy.” Most of the rest of the demons described are ones that I’ve been haunted by as well, but especially that first.
Maybe this picture is already familiar to you. I shared it at the beginning of this year. It’s the creation of my 10 year old nephew Rique Ray who lives in Guam, capturing his experience of what life during Covid has been like for him as a child. When I first saw it, I was immediately intrigued by the way the boxes kept getting smaller and smaller till color began to squirt out of the characters. The characters’ true colors??
Guess who just wrapped up their U.S. Senior Sneakers tour? Yup, that would be me.
Twenty-four hours from now I depart ATL for the final leg of what my friend Rhonda has affectionately labeled my “Senior Sneakers Tour.” There really haven’t been many sneakers involved (other than my own), but there has been a wide array of seniors. It was my Covid promise to myself: As soon as I was fully vaccinated, I wanted to make a special effort to immediately go and visit significant seniors in my life who I worried I might not get to see again when the pandemic struck. I’ve spent time with my dad in St.
People often tell me that their favorite part of Redeeming Administration is the saint stories that end each chapter. Sometimes knowing the trials that others have gone through make our own feel a bit more manageable. Or, at the very least, we know that we have companions in the vast communion of saints who can sympathize with whatever bizarre stuff we encounter. This coming week, we mark the feast of the little-known saintly administrator, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, who I talk about in chapter 8 of the book.
Depending on how you look at it, this posting is either one day late or two days early. But either way, it never hurts at this time of year to sit for a bit with the mystery of the Ascension. I’ve been pondering it a good deal of late because I am preaching for the Sinsinawa Dominican community on Sunday, and in preparation realized that I don’t think I’ve ever really understood this feast and why it has meant so much to Christians from the earliest centuries of the Church.
The parable of the True Vine is one of my favorites in all of scripture. I had no particular connection with it growing up, but then re-discovered it around the age of thirty in my training as a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd movement and have turned it over in my heart ever since. I sign up to preach on it almost every year during the Easter season and have given probably 30 talks on the passage. What’s different about meditating on it anew during 2021?
Lots of us have not just a personal social media presence, but a more public one. We manage our parish or school website or Facebook page or Instagram account. Which means, we deal with comments. Some from people we know. Some from people we don’t. Some appreciative. Some critical. Some adding value and insight. Some, well….
The week leading up to Holy Week this year was… well, hard. I’m in the middle of facilitating a couple of messy conversations right now that sometimes don’t feel particularly “redeemable”. And if you’ve read any of my stuff, you know how much I like everything to be “redeemable”! There was a moment last Wednesday when I thought I might pull out every last strand of hair on my head. I called a colleague who happens to be bald and who reminded me that hair is a good thing and that I should try to keep mine. He talked me into a better place simply by reminding me I was not alo
Earlier this month, I had the good fortune of working on another event with colleagues at the Wexner Foundation—an organization that provides leadership development within the Jewish community. For the first time I learned about the tradition of Bedikat Chametz which many Jewish families around the globe will mark this Thursday night, March 25th as a way of preparing for Passover. (Thanks Ruthie W!) Reading up more about this tradition helped me to think of Holy Week this year in a new way. Curious to find out more? I talk a bit more about what I discovered