First Day Out of Prison: A Modern-Day Parable on Coming Out of the Pandemic and Into Lent

Published Feb 17, 2021 in Blogs, Lent, Spirituality ~ Approx 4 mins

“This whole year has felt like a Lenten penance in the desert, so I’m not thinking about what to give up. Instead, I enter this season replaying images of that day with Javier.” Christopher Alt, SJ, recounts the story of his friend’s first day out of prison and considers what lessons it has for us as we see promises of the end of the pandemic and move into Lent.

Rend My Heart, O’God, the Opportunity of an Open Door

Published Feb 10, 2021 in Blogs, Spirituality ~ Approx 4 mins

The prophet Joel extolls the people of God to rend their hearts and not their garments to be touched and broken and changed at a deeper level than what is visible, a profound, inner conversion, one of the heart. And God will find us in the most beautiful ways. All we have to do is open the door. Find out what happens when I open a door and start seeing Christ on the other side.

Sometimes I Pray for the Grace of Being Less Productive

Published Jan 27, 2021 in Blogs, Spirituality ~ Approx 3 mins

For the first time during my break, I was able to concentrate on something. I began sketching a chubby leg, two hands hovering above a halo. This was the infant Jesus that would become the object of my prayer over the Christmas season. What I created also became my prayer, a prayer to be less active and more present.

I Am a Mere Disciple and This Is How I Know

Published Jan 13, 2021 in Blogs, Spirituality ~ Approx 1min

What is discipleship? What is mere discipleship? The opening line of my newest poem, “Mere Discipleship,” says that “mere discipleship sheds easy excuses, burns hot and bright,” and that line is just the beginning of unpacking a process of following Christ. Are you a disciple? Are you a mere disciple? How do you know? Pray with me in today’s reflection and discover how I uncover that I am a mere disciple.

About Family Therapy, the Christmas Creche, and Being Molded Deeply Into God’s Divine Embrace

Published Dec 30, 2020 in Blogs, Spirituality ~ Approx 4 mins

Imagine it’s Christmas morning again. You reach into your stocking and pull out a hefty lump of clay with directions attached. You’re to make clay figures of the most important people in your life and arrange them in a way that represents each person’s personality and role in the group dynamic. What does the scene reveal? Christopher Alt reflects on a family therapy technique, the Nativity, and allowing ourselves to be molded more deeply into God’s divine embrace.

What 7th Graders Taught Me About Prayer

Published Dec 16, 2020 in Blogs, Spirituality ~ Approx 4 mins

I might be exhausted from the pandemic, or frustrated that I can’t control a math class, or anxious about the election, but that all pales in comparison to everyone I’m praying for. What my students have taught me, though, is that behind this faux-humility is my false belief that I can probably resolve my exhaustion or frustration or anxiety by myself. My students have taught me so much about prayer. Read and reflect with me about wisdom that can arise from seventh graders.