Seek ye first the Kingdom of the Lord— So I was taught, and hastened to obey; I watched the fields and rivers fall away; Above the soaring mountaintops I soared, Through Heaven-vaults alight with sun outpoured On luminescent golden clouds of day; And far below the sparkling oceans lay, And world-waves, washed forever, rolled and roared. [Read more...]
“Oh, Nina, you haven’t signed up yet—can you take one of the,” and Dorrie was turning the clipboard toward me with her usual unhappy smile, “morning slots?”
“Sure. Where is this place?” Cigarette. Cigarette. Cigarette!
“It’s a Planned Parenthood on 17th Street. There’ll be a carpool if you want.” Cigarette, dammit! I signed up for 10 A.M. and headed outside as fast as I could. Open pack, fish out lovely lovely cigarette, between the lips and hunt for the lighter and suck and oh, thank God!
Smoky dark gray chemical taste. Already the stress of the morning was falling back into the past. Oh, brilliant, beautiful. Oh frabjous day.
Then, of course, I realized that I’d really signed up for ten in the morning on a Saturday. [Read more…]
Now is the winter of my discontent To be reformed, transfigured into spring? I cannot seem to hold to anything That by this sudden blossom is not rent. I leave a love behind, unfathomed still; I have a hope before me, waiting yet; And trapped so, where no boundaries are set, I find a faith, an unexpected will. [Read more...]
The purpose of the imagination is to make us more like God. Sounds like something a serpent might say. But it’s not. That really is the purpose of the imagination. To make us more like God. After all, our imagination is a gift from God. It is perhaps one of the greatest gifts God has given us. It not only separates us from the beasts, it allows us to create new worlds of our own. Our imagination gives us a kind of omnipotence. There is almost nothing that we cannot do within the infinity of our minds. The Creator has made us in His own image. That is, he has made us creators. Our creativity is re-creation. And yes, it is recreation as well. It is restorative and rejuvenating. It is a pleasure. It is peace. It is a gift that we have abused, but perhaps even worse, it is a gift we have left unused. [Read more…]
Some years ago, I volunteered at the San Miguel school where for the past ten years the LaSallian Brothers have run a low-cost middle school in the center of Chicago’s most violent area, giving Latino children from low-income families the opportunity to receive a quality education. San Miguel is run out of an ancient parish building, all brick walls and tile floors. Classrooms are cavernous and musty, ripe with the scent of old chalk and cleaning agents. Windows dimmed with years of dust and grit overlook the school’s tiny parking lot, which is framed by a rusty chain-link fence. The dilapidated building sat unused for years until the Brothers moved in, and as time has passed, art classes have brightened it with murals and paintings. One such work of art is a ten-foot image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, painted in vibrant blues, greens, and yellows, watching lovingly over the main stairwell. [Read more…]
As soon as you enter, nothing is the same— A fact, perhaps, you knew before you came Inside. The shape alone, from down the street, Signals some fundamental and complete Transformation from what has come before, In motion by the time you touch the door.
The door—here, too, something seems amiss If known conventions be applied to this. Unlike the tidy portals near and next, Of chrome and glass, exquisitely Windexed, The knotted oak leaves outside witness blind, But those who enter know what they will find.
Ephesians 5:21-33 You stand in black and white, as clear a word As if I saw you printed on a page; The book is closed; the world is now your stage, The prologue-blessing given by a third; The script you know by heart: the truth conferred Upon you by Creation, that great sage (A truth daunted by neither youth nor age), Shown forth, imprinted, never to be blurred. [Read more...]
… Who delights to scatter such masterpieces
over the place where we spend our brief time of exile.
—St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul
So I looked up from The Story of a Soul and
Put Therese and the Child Jesus to sleep.
And felt the quiet wash over my brain.
Everyone on the bus was drowsing in their naps,
Light danced on the leaves caught on the
Movie screen of the bus windshield. [Read more…]
Amy Lemoine Stout
“Anna! Stay with your mother! Stay with your mother!”
The panicked shrill of a woman’s voice outside her window awoke Ms. Anna Braun of 37 Pine Street as if God himself had spoken into her ear. Heart beating wildly, she leaned up against the window. At the corner Anna could see the little girl who shared her name, dressed in a pink jumper, bouncing off of the city bus and skipping along the sidewalk while her mother scrambled to hold her hand. In her raven hair the little girl wore a blue bow that was faded and frayed and with every bounce it was slowly falling out of her sea of curls. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: This article was originally published during Christmas of 2005.
We buried a giant last Easter. John Paul the Great’s death, more than any in recent memory, reminds young Catholics that we stand on the shoulders of spiritual giants, pedestals from which we can view the glory of lives well-lived and imagine the trials and triumphs that await us if we follow their example. They not only remind us of our history, but they point the way forward and give us a glimpse of that eternal Vision in which every tear will be dried and every eye fixed in peace. [Read more…]