May 27, 2023

English muffins are excellent meditations on the human soul.  Our memories and emotions and imaginations and minds and hearts contain a plethora of tiny “nooks and crannies” that are just begging to be filled.  Perhaps our inner English muffin has not been properly split and we are stuck in a closed-off state where we feel empty and unfulfilled.  Or, perhaps we have allowed entities other than sweet jellies and honeys to take up residence in these inner rooms.  Whatever the case may be, we can always start afresh and be like Jesus whose constantly expanding “nooks and crannies” house the most precious entity possible, people, like you and me, for whom he has prepared a place (Jn 14:2-3).  Let’s therefore not grow weary of inviting guests into our souls, for it is by their presence that we shall come to know the sweetness of the divine guest who rejoices in a full house (Lk 15:20-24).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica.

May 20, 2023

Have you ever seen one of those Russian doll sets?  When you open the large wooden doll, there is a smaller one inside, and a smaller one inside of that doll, and so on, until you get to the final doll at the center.  I wonder if this is a good analogy for our spiritual lives: while we may play Russian doll with the various things we encounter in this world – unmasking them one layer at a time with our intellectual powers – we ourselves must learn how to be uncovered.  Indeed, our deep dignity is the doll at the center of this drama and our beloved is eager to find us beneath all of our stuff!  Our beloved, however, doesn’t just strip us down but allows us to participate in this process by inviting us through circumstances that, because we are willing to walk through them, slowly peel away our exterior.  The result is the grace of being seen for who we really are, a precious doll in the sight of her maker (Is 62:4-5).  Ave Crux, Spes Unica.

May 13, 2023

It’s funny how our attitudes about things change as we are drawn further and further along the path of life.  I have this friend who is a brilliant intellectual – and a devout secularist.  When we would gather together, thinking that there was some religious deficiency in him that jeopardized his salvation, I would try to steer our conversations in a way that would help him “see the truth.”  How awkward it is for me to admit that!  Many years have now passed, however, and it is obvious to me that he was the one preaching the gospel in our relationship – by his patience, his humility, his respect for me, his willingness to withhold judgment, and his faithfulness to the deeper calling of our friendship.  The next time, therefore, I think I am doing someone a favor by bringing them to Jesus, let me pause for a moment, say a prayer for guidance, and perhaps discover that Jesus is bringing me to them.  Ave Crux, Spes Unica.

“The Same Inside” by Anna Swir

May 6, 2023

Here’s a nifty prayer we can start saying:  Wow.  The sun rises as we emerge from our sleep, wow.  We pull a pan of warm muffins out of the oven at breakfast time, wow.  A single finger on the ignition button starts our car, wow.  A stranger smiles in our direction on the way to work, wow.  Our favorite poem comes to mind in the middle of the day, wow.  We can hear our breath as we climb the stairs into our home, wow.  And the list goes on, wow!  The decision to acknowledge the mystery of life, one small wow moment at a time, in the ordinary circumstances of our daily routines, becomes a way of being, and we become healthy human beings, children of the living God, who are freed from the need to be the center of it all, as we open up in gratitude to the gift of life.  Let’s wow today, let’s wow tomorrow, let’s wow forever, as we walk wowfully together into a future full of hope.  WowAve Crux, Spes Unica. Wow.