The Gifts I Didn’t Expect

This morning’s daily readings included the story of the man begging by the Beautiful Gate. Peter says to him, “Look at us,” and as the story says, “He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.” Only they had no money. Peter pulled him to his feet and healed him instead. I’ve always…

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When Everything’s Broken…

I’m having one of those days when it’s hard to look at my life and see anything worth writing about. Sure, I carried my 10-year-old on my back through downtown St. Louis, and my arms are sore. So what? What does my life matter, when the news in other parts of the world just seems…

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The Negative Loop From Hell

Life has been feeling pretty overwhelming lately. If I haven’t given out that vibe, just look back at the fluffy blog posts I’ve been publishing, trying to avoid talking about it. I’m not sure why it seems so much harder right now. Really, not all that much has changed. Maybe this is what people mean…

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The Challenge of Achieving Zen When Your Kids Are Wrestling On The Floor

I spent last week hobnobbing with my fellow liturgical composers…which means I got to geek out about hanging out with people I have looked up to since I was old enough to pay attention to the names in the copyright line at the bottom of the hymnal pages. And yes, I am fully aware that…

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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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I’ve Forgotten How To Be Still

When I was in the sixth grade, I wore soft contacts that I had to stick in this boiler thingamabob every night. And every night I would open the lid and unscrew the contact case to make sure my contacts were still in there. Not just once. Again and again, until the case got to…

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New Year, Not Exactly New Adventures

Well, I had all but decided to quit blogging as of January 1st. But I tossed off a quick post about Julianna and—gasp—a whole bunch of people read it. So I’m entering 2017 with a willingness to keep on keeping on, although I think I’m going to be more off-the-cuff than I have been in…

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A Love Letter To My Choir

When Christian and I left our previous parish so I could I start working full-time as liturgy & music director in 2000, it was a tough transition. We had met, fallen in love, gotten engaged and married  within the arms of the music ensemble at Newman, and the idea of leaving for a place where…

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Of Turkey Legs, Dancing Waters, And the Conflict In My Conscience

  I woke up in the middle of the night from a deeply disturbing dream about turkey legs. Not the kind of turkey leg you find on your Thanksgiving turkey, but those big honkers you get at carnivals and Renaissance fairs, deep fried. I’ve never had one, but for some reason the image of people…

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What if Thanksgiving Wasn’t Just One Day?

oes God (or the great nation of America, if you’re not the believing type) want/need our “I’m grateful for” lists on this on one day, only to have us revert to business as usual the following day? Or would the world–and not coincidentally, we–be better off if we showed our gratitude in our actions on Thanksgiving Day and every other day, too?

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