healing

Christmas: Being mindful of mental illness

The Christmas season reminds us to be generous. Folks everywhere, religious or not, stock food pantries, collect warm coats and donate to charities. How about those who struggle with mental illness, which is one in five adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Extra kindness can make a difference. So much mental suffering […]

Thanksgiving 2019: Dealing with hot button issues. Just don’t

(Photo by Suzette Martinez Standring, Houghton’s Pond, Milton, MA) Thanksgiving celebrates togetherness and family feasting, and perhaps, it also calls for restraint. I am not talking about the groaning buffet and ten desserts.  I am talking about not talking about hot button issues. Live for the greater good and show mercy to the poor cook […]

Feed the hungry? There’s an app for that

(Photo of my friend Adriana in 2016) “Feed the hungry” is in every spiritual teaching. Think of food pantries, Meals on Wheels, soup kitchens and casseroles taken to nearby friends and families. Recently, I found a way to send food to those in need who live out of state. Spiritual kindness can be made practical […]

Extreme Forgiveness: Exemplary or Insane?

(Photo by Tom Fox/Reuters) Extreme forgiveness brings harsh criticism in the face of rulings, verdicts and sentences that appear unfair. For loss of life, the right punishment or exact recompense is never reached.  Therefore, how is forgiveness even possible? Texas police officer Amber Guyger entered an apartment she mistook for her own, and shot and […]

Mercedes: When the person praying looks scary

(Photo of All Hallows Roman Catholic Church, my childhood parish. From San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library. http://www.sfpl.org/sfphotos When all the shouting’s done, humble goodness shines forever.  Temporary power and posturing are empty calories that disappear. But quiet strength continues to nourish decades later.  I remember Mercedes, an old woman whose last name I […]