Of laptops and Lent

"If people have to give up meat on Fridays in Lent, do vegetarians have to give up veggies?" "Do I have to give up things for Lent that I really love, like funny cat videos on YouTube?" We receive many questions like these at A Nun's Life Ministry as Lent approaches. People are eager to learn new ways to deepen their spirituality through the age-old practices of fasting as well as prayer and almsgiving, the three pillars of Lent.

The sacrament of charity

The food pantry where I serve is a former Catholic church. Some years ago, volunteers came in, removed the pews and replaced them with shelves that hold the groceries we give away. The heavenly food of the Eucharist, once received here, has been exchanged for an earthly fare: rice, beans, fresh veggies and fruit, milk, meat, and other good stuff. Now, many — often broken and desperate — who reflect Christ's body, form community as they wait in the exact place formerly reserved for the blessed sacrament.

The cedars of Nerinx

As I walk the woods and enjoy the autumn beauty of the elm and maple trees, I especially admire the sturdy evergreen cedars, the "pioneer trees" that begin growing first. Here at Cedars of Peace, they simply stand, their green boughs a contrast to the other trees of the forest.