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The Forward Day by Day Archives

We've published links to the last few weeks' Forward Day by Day Meditations below. You can search for past meditations (from June 2012 and later), and filter them by keyword if you wish, using the search form.

Please note: Some of our archived meditations are currently unavailable. We are working on the problem and expect to have the Archives page fully operational again soon.

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  • SUNDAY, January 22      Epiphany 3

    Poor Zebedee. He’s at work mending his fishing nets with his sons when Jesus walks along the lake and invites James and John to follow him. Matthew says James and John left their father immediately.

    I can only imagine what Zebedee must have thought: “Wait a minute, J....

  • SATURDAY, January 21

    Addicts are good people who are sick, trying to get well. Like Legion in Mark’s Gospel, they are chained to a way of life that destroys body and soul. They hide in the shadows for fear of being caught doing unspeakable things that leave them feeling guilty and ashamed. Only another fix can subdue ....
  • FRIDAY, January 20

    Many years ago, I attended summer school at St. Anne’s College at Oxford in England. Even though I was on a strict student budget, I was determined to travel and made as many side trips as possible. I wanted to go to Paris, and the trip included a crossing of the English Channel. After boarding th....
  • THURSDAY, January 19

    My husband and I have a botanist friend. Every spring he gives us a tomato plant. Each summer we compete for crazy prizes with other folks who receive a plant to see who can grow the biggest one and which plant produces the most or largest tomatoes. It’s fun when we are successful but frustrating ....
  • WEDNESDAY, January 18      Confession of Saint Peter, Apostle

    Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” And just like a Facebook quiz, the answers pop up. You’re John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But Peter gets it right: “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.”

    No computer prog....

  • TUESDAY, January 17

    “She’s gone out of her mind.” This news was delivered to me by my dad. For many years, my mother had suffered from agoraphobia and severe anxiety. She was very different from the mothers of my friends. My mother had a car but couldn’t drive it anywhere. She struggled to attend meetings or ch....
  • MONDAY, January 16

    In sixth grade, I received an autograph book. The more popular you were, the more names you collected. Within a week, I had a respectable number of autographs. While there was a social pecking order in our class, a few of the popular girls had signed my book. As a smart girl, I was thrilled. Later I....
  • SUNDAY, January 15      Epiphany 2

    As a parish priest, I almost always ask others, “What do you need?” While this isn’t a bad question, a better question might be the one Jesus asks: “What are you looking for?” What we need is often so easily fulfilled—a ride, a few dollars to tide us over until payday. But what we are lo....
  • SATURDAY, January 14

    Though we may be loathe to admit it, most of us are like the Pharisees, pleased and comfortable with our rules, routines, and rituals—even when some of the things we cling to make absolutely no sense. We hang onto old habits as if our lives depend on exacting obedience.

  • FRIDAY, January 13

    I recently befriended a woman released from prison. We met one day when she needed a ride to a pharmacy to pick up a money order. When we got to the drugstore, she needed a picture ID. No problem, I’d run her home to pick it up.

    Home turned out to be a tent in a yard. A....

  • THURSDAY, January 12

    Parents responded to the polio epidemic in the 1950s by not allowing their children to go swimming or even play with other children. I knew it was a serious disease—I had seen pictures of President Roosevelt in his wheelchair. But on a hot summer day, I could be found pouting because I wasn’t al....
  • WEDNESDAY, January 11

    Our younger son was a very sick baby. In spite of doting, anxious parents, he experienced failure to thrive. I was frantic.

    Our pediatrician was perplexed and finally sent us to a specialist at a metropolitan children’s hospital. Our first visit found us in a waiting ro....

  • TUESDAY, January 10

    Our congregation had gotten small, really small—like an average Sunday attendance of ten. Everyone wanted new members, so we brainstormed as a group, developed a strategic plan, and got to work. Our plan seemed good, but we weren’t seeing any results.

    In our lesson fr....

  • MONDAY, January 9

    It’s January, and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions. Mine generally involve eating less and exercising more. But it seems I’m continually tempted by the sweet treats at meetings and the array of delicious potluck offerings at our Wednesday night suppers.

    I....

  • SUNDAY, January 8      The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

    Growing up, I recall many intense discussions about when a girl should tell her boyfriend, “I love you.” Too soon in the relationship and a good girl might look “fast,” but not too late, or the magic moment could be lost.

    As an adult, I find this question of timin....

  • SATURDAY, January 7

    I took an etiquette class as a teenager. We learned how to set a proper table utilizing the silver, china, and glassware. We knew exactly where to place a bread and butter plate and how to fold the linen napkins.

    The most important thing we learned was that a good hostess....

  • FRIDAY, January 6      The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

    I have a lot of life experiences that ought to help guide my decisions; however, I still yearn for a sign to provide direction for my life. After all, God provided the wise men with a star to guide them to the baby Jesus. It seems only fair that I should get a little direction too.

  • THURSDAY, January 5

    The concern came from an active and committed parishioner: I serve as a lector and attend Bible study. I pray for others, make retreats, and seek spiritual direction, but I never receive the things I pray for. For all I do, you would think God would answer my prayers.

  • WEDNESDAY, January 4

    Confronted by God during the scene at the burning bush, Moses reacts to the idea of dealing with Pharaoh in fear, not from false humility. After all, Moses is a wanted murderer who prefers to keep a low profile, tending sheep for his father-in-law. But God directs him to bring the Israelites out of ....
  • TUESDAY, January 3

    When people enter the parish where I work, they often say, “I can feel the presence of God here.” The church is 162 years old, with walls varnished by prayer and a floor bathed by baptisms and flowered with wedding petals and funeral lilies. Thousands of outstretched hands have received the Body....

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