Desert Reflections: The Marks of Love

When St Francis received the stigmata in 1224, he received not only the marks of the cross on his body but, far more importantly, he received the marks of the cross made by love in his heart. Only love, Fr Peter explains, can make pain and suffering meaningful; only love can redeem us. Today’s Readings …

Mitakuye Oyasin

I first encountered the Lakota phrase ‘Mitakuye Oyasin’ as I planned for a vision quest in the summer of 2012. In preparation, I used Sister Marie Therese Archambault’s A Retreat with Black Elk, Living in the Sacred Hoop as my guidebook.  Since that time, we conclude many posts on this website with that sacred phrase, …

The Once Proud Stewards of America

On this day, as we remember the man whose nonviolent activism set a new direction in search of civil rights for all men, women and children, my heart remains heavy when I consider the plight of the people whose land the United States Government stole in the name of greed. They were the stewards of …

December 15, 1890 … a Day to Remember

On this day in 1890, legendary Lakota Indian Chief Sitting Bull was gunned down by Indian Agency Police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. No one remembers. Earlier this year, ‘Standing Rock’ was front page news. Many of you raised your concerned voices. Six months later, most remember few details. I remember, and I remember …

Caesar Joins His Band of Angels

With more good friends in my lifetime than any 10 men deserve, Caesar was my best.  This morning, I freed his spirit from his cancer-riddled body. Unwittingly at the time, I cast his memory into future generations by including him in two of my novels.  When people ask me which of my books I like …

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Some things are not meant to be forgotten.  Fifty-three years ago on this day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”  The letter is one of those things that must remain an important part of human thought. Five years ago, we first posted a piece that speaks to the heart of …

Day Five in Haiti: Nicole’s Place

Late in 2003, Gail Rongen’s daughter Nicole Megaloudis’s name appeared on the list of potential women who would represent Greece in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.  Her dreams went unrealized when she died in a car accident as she returned to the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) campus late one night for an early …