A White Christian Wrestles With Race

In my Catholic elementary school, there were three minorities, all Hispanic. I lived in the country, and my neighbors were white. All of them. My teachers emphasized repeatedly and strongly that skin color was irrelevant in the eyes of God. I remember singing “What Color is God’s Skin?” (this version) in music class. But as I’ve…

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When My Life Is Good, But So Many Others’ Lives…Aren’t.

I dreamed last night that I met Pope Francis. Well, not so much met as happened to be standing right there when he blew by, laughing and carrying, of all things, a part of a broken toilet that needed to be thrown away. I was supposed to be meeting up with a friend from grad…

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Mercy (or the lack of it) on the road to the White House

My title today probably evokes an instant reaction. Everyone is well aware of the nosedive in common courtesy—a baseline standard for treating others with mercy—shown by the candidates in this presidential election. And lest you think I’m aiming this only at one side of the Great Political Divide, let me say that I have only watched…

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A Word With No Meaning?

I once attended a workshop on writing liturgical texts in which the presenter challenged us to take out all the church-y words and see if anything of substance remained. “Mercy” is one of those words. A throwaway word, overused into gibberish. At least, it has been for me. So when I heard about an extraordinary jubilee year…

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Syrian refugees: A Christian’s Responsibility

Friday afternoon, Nicholas sulked and glowered and procrastinated and found a dozen ways to avoid having to–gasp–clean the bathroom sinks. At last I snapped at him to think about the children who were crossing the sea in an inner tube in November and sleeping in the woods because it was too dangerous for them to…

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