In Horizons, younger sisters reflect on their lives, ministries, spirituality and the future of religious life.

Trains in heaven: Embracing the mystery

About a week before I professed my final vows, in the summer of 2015, I had a crisis of faith. Staring into the expansive mystery and intensely aware of my human limitations, I felt my spirit stir with anxiety and tension. How could I possibly submit myself to a life centered on God if I am not completely sure what God is? How can I say "yes, forever" if the future feels frightening?

A broken Christmas: God works in darkness

It seems silly that in this season of Advent all I have been able to think of is the Easter Vigil. A vision of darkness lit by the tiniest of candles: I recall in my mind's eye the deacon in my home parish pacing back and forth as he preaches. I must have been about 15 years old, and now, a lifetime away from that moment, his words echo in my ears: God works in darkness.

Promises made in Advent's waiting time

The season of Advent has always been one of my favorites. It is a time to be quiet and to commit more time to listening; a time to revel in the power of simple flames atop purple candles, casting out the darkness; a time to really ponder all the ways God's presence in our midst reveals itself; a time to prepare for the coming of Christ in ways unexpected, beautiful and ordinary.

A time of questions

The past month has been a time of questions. In my ministry as a community organizer, I meet daily with folks who are asking questions about how the recent election will impact them: "Will my family be separated? How can our church provide a safe place for our people? How can my children feel safe in their black bodies?"

Immigrants face a terrifying future under Trump, and Christians must be there

What is an immigrant to do now that Donald Trump has been elected? While well-meaning people encourage us to think positively or wait it out, many among us don't have that luxury. The new administration is poised to directly and significantly alter the lives of certain groups of people. My fellow Guatemalan parishioners are in that group, and they're deeply troubled.

From farm to city and back again: Listening and loving on the margins

Decades ago, as a child growing up in the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa, I would daydream of simpler times, of the days when people were pioneers and steadily establishing their families and homes and building communities upon frontiers. I left the small town in the late 1990s shortly after my high school graduation. I began to develop friendships with people who didn't look like me.

Post-election, it's time to re-member

Our democracy is in need of some intensive tender loving care. As citizens, we have a responsibility to vote according to our informed conscience, but our civic responsibility cannot end there. On a good day, we the people are responsible for establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.