holy leisure…my favorite topic!

Prairie_Messenger_Header_Op

Summer weather has FINALLY arrived here on the prairies, and we’re soaking it all in! My latest Prairie Messenger column is about the necessity of leisure in our lives. We all need time to step away, reflect, and re-create. Enough of the work….let’s play!

Restorative rest welcomes reflection time. It gives you permission to sit and do nothing. Letting the waves lap at your feet with your face hungrily leaning toward blue skies and sunshine isn’t laziness. It’s revitalizing. Taking a meditative stroll, without checking heart rates and pace times, is as beneficial for your soul health as power walking is for your cardio health….READ MORE

more joy, please!

Prairie_Messenger_Header_Op

I continue to be amazed and in awe of the writing process. Sometimes you just “hit the zone”. Time stands still as you enter into this wondrous world of words. Sentences pour out. There is utter joy in re-arranging phrases until all flows….seemingly effortlessly. Of course, there are days when creativity takes a hike and you dig fruitlessly for an idea – any idea!

And, sometimes, you forget having written a specific piece and wonder where it came from. Your own writing becomes a challenging mirror, forcing you to either eat your words or accept the meager wisdom you are trying to offer. I had this feeling with my latest column for the Prairie Messenger. I wrote a column on joy when joy was absent.

Joy is perhaps the most underused and under-appreciated tool at our disposal for the new evangelization. Faith presented as a source of joy, not as a burdensome obligation, plants seeds of desire to believe ever more deeply. Memories of past joys help us to grasp onto hope in the midst of darkness, believing that eventually all will be well once more. Joy glories in the love of God and others and effortlessly draws others into that love…..read more.

P.S. I dare you to look at the photo of Pope Francis and not smile! 🙂

 

we have a pastor pope!

Prairie_Messenger_Header_Op

I’m still relishing the first days of the new papacy. My hopes were not high as the conclave approached. The top contenders seemed to be more of the same old, same old. I SO wanted to have the WOW factor with a new pope. And, the WOW factor we got!

Many spoke of the need for a pope who would be a true pastor. I did not realize how much we needed this until Pope Francis stepped out on the papal balcony. Each day, proof of his true pastor’s heart makes head-lines around the world. Tomorrow, he will be celebrating the traditional Holy Thursday mass with the foot washing at the chapel of the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors (IPM) in Rome. It will be a simple mass, with no live coverage. Not turning the gesture into a photo op makes it even more genuine.

My catholic dialogue column in this week’s issue of the Prairie Messenger has little to say that hasn’t already been said about Pope Francis, but here it is…

Humble gestures of pastor pope a welcome change