Finding forgiveness is bloody business

I cut my finger last Tuesday. No, I mean, I really cut my finger. Four stitches worth.

I had sharpened the little knife I like to use for cutting vegetables and I was really proud of its new razor’s edge. It just floated through all those fresh tomatoes I put into the tava, a wonderful Kosovar dish I had discovered earlier in the summer. I put the tava in the oven and I was ready to go to work on making preserves out of the big basket of peaches we’d gleaned from some friends’ tree. I hurriedly rinsed the knife, reached for the drying towel, looked down just in time to think, “Oops, knife blade is turned downward; it may cut a hole in the cloth.” Continue Reading

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A new postulant and a new life

I’ve been wistfully imagining the symbolic knocking on the monastery door which Jackie Walsh did on September 6th. Once she was allowed into the monastery she started the period called postulancy in view of becoming a Benedictine from Rock Island. I’m so moved that it all started with a ritual of welcoming her in with its strong symbol of a huge, heavy door which opens onto a community of sisters gathered to take her into the chapel. Continue Reading

Hospitality across Party Lines

Where have you seen hospitality practiced amid conversations about presidential candidates?

The activist in me remembers that there is a time to identify with the biblical prophets, especially those like Amos who were angry about exploitation of the poor and shallow, self-centered behavior among leaders. I am among those who protest a misguided war with Iraq, who are disturbed by our current leadership’s indifference to civil liberties, who worry often that we are not spending nearly enough time getting to know peoples and lifeways in other parts of the world. Continue Reading