True Hospitality

What is true hospitality? Cooking, cleaning, and serving are important, but most important is listening: making a guest feel heard.

Today is the feast of St. Martha, who labored while her sister listened to Christ. How often we relate to Martha! And yet Christ guides Martha, summoning her to choose “the better part,” as Mary did. Continue reading “True Hospitality”

National Parent’s Day

Today is a national holiday that many people simply haven’t heard of – Parent’s Day (also, International Children’s Day!)

Held on the fourth Sunday of every July, Parent’s Day’s roots are an outgrowth of Korean Confucianism, where respect for one’s elders is a cherished ideal.

My recent article published by Motherly describes some fun ways to celebrate Parent’s Day, and the parental journey — a pilgrimage that truly can be a great act of faith. Continue reading “National Parent’s Day”

Walking the Way Wherever We Are

Today is the feast of St. James, Apostle. One of the “Sons of Thunder,” along with St. John, this son of Zebedee is the patron saint of Spain.

St. James’ remains are interred at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The pilgrimage by foot or bicycle to Santiago de Compostela is known as “the way”. A symbol of St. James is the scallop shell, and this has also become a symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Continue reading “Walking the Way Wherever We Are”

The Magdalene

Today is the feast of Mary Magdalene: “Apostle to the Apostles,” as St. Augustine called her. This saint had the courage and loyalty to remain at the foot of the cross and was the first to testify to the resurrection. As she lingered near the tomb, weeping, she heard a voice speak her name. At first, she thought the person who spoke her name was the gardener, then realized it was her beloved “Rabbouni,” or teacher.

How often do we mistakenly view the sacred as something seemingly ordinary? Continue reading “The Magdalene”

Let Us Also Go

The month of July is the home of many saint’s feast days. July 3rd is the feast of St. Thomas, Apostle. Saint Thomas is known for his incredulity, for his statement, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (Jn 20:25)

Today’s song, “Water,” by PJ Harvey sings of walking on water, one of the famous miracles witnessed by the apostles which is the embodiment of faith: to set foot on the sea in the presence of God, confidently taking strides, one’s strong faith defying human reason that one ought to immediately start to sink. Continue reading “Let Us Also Go”

Gardening As Prayer

It’s summer, that time of year that naturally lends itself to leaning over rows of basil and zucchini, weeding beds of colorful annuals, and filling vases with bright blooms pruned from hydrangeas. Gardening is the kind of activity that allows the mind to find peace from its constant darting thoughts as the body takes on a prayerful posture, kneeling over herbs and blossoms. It is a meditative and sensory experience to feel one’s fingers in the cool soil even as the hot sun warms one’s arms and shoulders.

As stray grasses and branches are pulled, and branches pruned, one may physically snip away at the elusive, emotional struggles of life: grief, anxiety, fear, anger: Continue reading “Gardening As Prayer”

Not As Man Sees : She Who Bumps Into Things

The Feast of Kateri Tekakwitha

Today is the Feast of Kateri Tekakwitha, a true American saint. Tekakwitha was a Native American, daughter of a Mohawk chief, a tribe belonging to the Iroquois Confederacy. As a child, she lost both of her parents to smallpox, the same illness that left her with facial scarring and damaged eyesight. “Tekakwitha” translates “she who bumps into things,” and though this phrase could be used to describe any clumsy soul, this name is a reminder of her compromised vision that made it more difficult for her to make her way in the world.

Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism at the age of nineteen and “Kateri” is derived from the French for Catherine, since she took St. Catherine of Siena’s name upon her conversion. Continue reading “Not As Man Sees : She Who Bumps Into Things”