The Most Interesting Woman in the World

samaritan womanBy Rose Marie Berger. Continuing series on badass biblical women.

Have you seen the Dos Equis commercials starring actor Jonathan Goldsmith as “the most interesting man in the world”? “People hang on his every word,” the narrator intones, “even the prepositions.” Though the ad is clever and funny, the “Stay thirsty, my friends” tagline makes clear that what’s being sold is unquenchable thirst.

Contrast this with the Samaritan woman Jesus meets at the well. What’s on offer in John 4 is “living water.” But obtaining it requires a more daring leap than the short-term gains of “Interesting Man’s” carpe diem philosophy.

Who is the Samaritan woman with whom Jesus holds his longest discussion in the gospels? First, let’s clarify what she is not. She is not a whore, nor promiscuous. She’s not spiritually dead or “hopelessly carnal,” as some male interpreters have claimed. Continue reading “The Most Interesting Woman in the World”

Laudato Z’ine & Vati-Cats

3810_001“Bienvenidos al Laudato Z’ine,” say the Vati-Cats. Welcome!

If you are here, then you are one of a select group to have heard about the Laudato Z’ine project, a kitchen-table experiment to spread the word about Pope Francis’ circular letter to the world (or encyclical) about climate change and integral ecology.

This started as a fun weekend project and has continued to grow.

Here are the pdfs for you to make your own Laudato Z’ine at home (page 1 and page 2 on 11 x 17 inch paper).
LaudatoZine_page 1 and LaudatoZine_page2.

Click here, if you want to read the original and complete Laudato Si’: On Caring for our Common Home.
Continue reading “Laudato Z’ine & Vati-Cats”

A Psalm for Probating an Estate

roseRose Marie Berger, a Catholic peace activist and poet, is a senior associate editor at Sojourners magazine.

Note: Our outgoing interns led worship this week at Sojourners. They invited us to write a psalm to share. I had just returned from D.C. Probate Court where I filed the final papers for my friend and co-worker Elizabeth Palmberg’s estate. Zab died on June 23, 2014. This is the psalm that came out.

for Zab Palmberg

O God, Thou art Creator and Destroyer.
You exhale and we are made to live;

You inhale and we are returned to You.
You plant us like a seed
Continue reading “A Psalm for Probating an Estate”


touchTouch, however, is always ‘touchy.’ It crosses boundaries. In U.S. culture, we have a presumption against touch. ‘Look, but don’t touch’ describes behavior toward objects, but is also used to describe relations between people…. Jesus … allowed himself to be touched by the bleeding woman who reached him through the crowd and the woman anointer at Bethany. He received Judas’ ambiguous kiss and the violent soldiers’ blows. After his death women touched him, washed him, rubbed oil into his skin, and wrapped his body in linens. Even resurrected Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Touch me and see. No ghost has flesh and bones like this. — Rose Marie Berger

Pope Francis: What is your Capacity to Cry?

Positioning by Rose Berger

oakRose Berger is an award-winning religion journalist, author, public speaker, poet, and Catholic who specializes in writing about spirituality and art, social justice, war and peace.


I didn’t count the rings
on the oak we took down

—crane and all—but think
there must have been a hundred

or more. I’d rather,
I’m sure, count the hairs

on your head
or finger the span

of your spine, my hand
on your smooth skin,

until we are old enough
to have limbs

that can no longer bear
the weight of a high wind

or surprise snow. Continue reading “Positioning by Rose Berger”