We are Catholics, and Catholics of Color, who are exhausted by the continued systemic, institutional, and implicit racism in the United States and at times in our Catholic Church and the effects on the targets of it. We are broken-hearted for our Black brothers and sisters who for years have been ignored, dismissed, and marginalized by our Country. We pray for justice for the victims of racism in all its forms, but especially, lethal, and their families and communities. We stand in solidarity with them as Catholic Christians and as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We believe in the Catholic Church, founded by Christ, and sustained by the Eucharist. We are one body in Christ and therefore we have a responsibility to fight against the demonic force of racism. As such, we invite you to join us in observing a nineteen-day period of prayer and fasting as an act of reparation to God for the sin of racism in all of its forms. From the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, on June 1 through June 19, Juneteenth Day and the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we will pray the Prayer to St. Michael for his protection from spiritual attack, and/ or join our Lady of Sorrows in praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, and will make daily sacrifices appropriate to our own circumstances for this intention. This call to action is based on the words of Joel 2:12-13: “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Believing in the longstanding Catholic concept of making Acts of Reparation, my friends @kariannafrey and @leticiaoadams have written this statement. You can share your own words and/or images using the hashtag #rendyourhearts. You can also participate privately if you prefer.
I believe in collective consciousness, and I believe we are seeing it evolve before our eyes — and have been, for the past 10 years — regarding several civil rights issues but perhaps especially racial disparities. We are seeing the growing pains of humanity as “the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice”(MLK): the awakening, the demand, the chaos, the rage, the division, the noise. I believe we are inching towards wholeness, but it is an ugly, messy, brutal sob of a process to get us there. I know for me personally, I have straight up been taken to school on the Black experience in the past decade. And even still I continue to be taught by Black leaders, and imagine I will be for the rest of my life. We all start somewhere and there is no shame in wherever you are starting, as long as you are sincere, listening, and teachable. Having said that, there is a problematic pattern that I’m noticing of people, leaders, and entire institutions publicly condemning “racism” and leaving it at that. The thing is, that’s not exactly groundbreaking or even noteworthy. The officer who killed George Floyd might have said the same thing. The call, then, is to go beyond merely disavowing racism in theory and begin to dig into the troubling realities of trickier components like racial bias and systematic racism. THIS is where the true work begins. Anyone can write a post saying racism is wrong or that all races bear the image of God. If you’ve done so, awesome. I’m not shaming you. I’m calling all of us to not stop there, because that is not a stopping point that will ever elicit real change. Let’s keep learning, keep being open to correction, keep listening. Because Black Lives Matter. And we are losing them. (I’m turning off comments for this post because I am a mom of a Black boy entering pre-adolescence and my heart is tender right now. Thoughtfulness is always welcome in my DMs, but please take arguments somewhere else. ❤️)
Once upon a time there was a girl who couldn’t find her voice; a girl who valued belonging over becoming; a girl who would yell loudly for the sake of others but keep her lips closed for herself. I am slowly leaving that girl behind—no, not exactly that—I am slowly becoming a woman who can take that girl by the hand and whisper, “come, there is more. there is better.” This is my writing desk, where I process the world and my soul and my soul’s place in the world. Often when I dream at night it’s about writing, not because I’m destined for it but because it’s how I most deeply understand the Divine life within me. I have filled this desk with things that remind me of the sacredness and power of who I am, things that call me forth to use my God-given voice on behalf of my own wholeness and not only for the well-being of others. Unlikely things like snakes and Aloe Vera plants. Books by untamed women like Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, and Mary Oliver. And of course the Blessed Mother, who stretches out her arms, shining like the moon, and whispering—always whispering—“come, there is more. there is better.”
Gentleness with self begets gentleness with others. Self-compassion begets authentic compassion for others. These are not normal times; be abnormally kind to yourself. ❤️ (Yard sign: the home of my neighbor @c.r.studio )
So this is 37. I dig it. 🥳 Wanna help me celebrate my birthday? I’ve created a 7-day devotional based off my book, Embracing Weakness, and I want to give it to ya for free — because I figure we could all use some spiritual hand-holding right now! Hit the link in my profile to have it emailed to you (or buy it for a few bucks on my website if you hate free things 🙃). Thanks for the birthday love! You guys make my life a lot brighter. *oh and if you’re already an email subscriber, look for yours today 🙌🏻*
Just over a year ago I was surrounded by a group of beloved women at the @soul.sanctuary retreat, fingering a rosary in my palm and telling them I needed to find out what it meant FOR ME. I nestled that rosary in the grounds of the Franciscan retreat center—a left prayer planted, fledgling and fuzzy, unsure of what it was really asking other than, well, everything. As far as I know that string of purple beads is still on a rock in Arizona. I didn’t do much with that prayer other than speak it into existence. I left it, curious and foreign, and only thought about it from time to time. But then, almost exactly a year later, the rosary found ME. Lately I circle these beads nearly every day. I still don’t have all the prayers memorized or know what days to use which mysteries. It doesn’t matter. What matters is my prayers have become a circle instead of a line: echoing the depths of a God who has no beginning and no end. Anchoring me in a faith that goes deeper than certainty, deeper than answers, into the unknown where Romance and Mystery and all the Good Wild Things dwell. Encircle me, O Divine Spirit, and I will encircle you. Over and over and over again.
I’ve officially ceased attempting to educate my children entirely. I’m happy to report they’re fine with the arrangement and have moved on to more feral areas of interest. I’ll let you know how the homemade cement and snake traps turn out. 🐾
This baby turned 10 this year; this baby who made me a mother. @spiritualityoftheordinary is asking moms to share when you knew you were a mother, and as someone who became a mother through adoption first, the answer didn’t feel immediately obvious to me. Was it when I first laid eyes on him? No, I was not his mother then. Was it when the Ugandan judge gave me custody? No, I was technically a legal guardian and still fumbling my way through it all. Was it then when the U.S. judge finally declared me his mother months later? No, by then it had already happened. It was those months in between when I became a real mother: the ones when he would wake all night, every night. It was when he would only fall back to sleep if I strapped him to me in the carrier and paced the room—not affording me the luxury of a rocking chair or bed—multiple times a night. It was weeping sheer exhaustion and a back that never stopped aching. It was him looking up at me with those big black eyes that asked, “do you promise?” And the catch in my throat as I, a woman who had never given birth, whispered over and over against the dark, “this is my body, broken for you.” #fridayintroductionsembracingmotherhood