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What greatness?

With the new school year beginning and concerns for the safety of our children rising, I’ve found myself pondering again that beautiful passage from Mark 9:33-37 that will once again appear as our Sunday Gospel reading in just a couple of weeks from now:

Miriam and Water

Words Like Water

Apparently, I worried a few of you with the poem that I sent out by Marie Howe last month for the feast of Mary Magdalene.  No, I don’t actually suffer from all seven of THOSE particular demons.  I haven’t really given much thought to mosquito faces or aphids.


Mary Magdalene and the Seven Demons

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. 

Rique Ray drawing

Rainbow Memories

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??

Big Sandy airport

Back to the Skies

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.

Ugandan Martyrs

Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe - Companion for the Journey

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.


The Art of Taking Leave

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.