All posts tagged: madelinelewis

The Single Most Important Thing I Noticed at the Fordham Catholic Imagination Conference

As I mentioned previously in the piece Things I Received at the Fordham Catholic Imagination Conference, at the end of April I was given the opportunity to attend the 2nd Catholic Imagination Conference at Fordham University. The notebook I carried with me from Indiana to New York City was my constant travel companion and confidante. Its pages are scrawled upon generously with every single little tidbit I could scavenge from the weekend. These notes are written in a very particular strain of my handwriting: not in my signature and presentable cursive reserved for thank-you notes, shopping lists, and even most of my lecture notes, but in my slanted, sideways, all-over-the-page chicken scratch that only comes out when I am absolutely desperate to cram ever little morsel of truth onto the page. For those of you who are curious about this conference: I would like nothing more than to sit down with you and show you each page of my notebook, tracing through each and every fascinating thing that I heard and saw. But, in the …

Things I Received at the Fordham Catholic Imagination Conference

At the end of April I was given the opportunity to attend the 2nd Catholic Imagination Conference at Fordham University. This opportunity came at just the right time: with my graduation from Notre Dame just weeks away, and my post-grad plans drawing nearer by the day. In August, I’ll being moving to Oxford, Ohio to begin an M.F.A. in Poetry at Miami University. This means that now, more than ever, I am thinking about what it will mean for me to be a Catholic poet. How I can best nurture my imagination? How I can seek out the intersection between my worship and my writing in practices and habits to learn over these next two years? All the titles of the Fordham conference panels seemed like they had been written especially for me. They ranged from “The Art of Good Writing” and “Making Belief Believable” to “The Catholic Poet in the Secular World.” My deepest regret was that I could not attend multiple panels at once. I received a lot of things during my two-day …

Stretch of the Imagination: Creative Love at Notre Dame Vision

When I returned home from my first week at Notre Dame Vision as a junior in high school, my dad took me to Chik-Fil-A and asked me how the week was, and I proceeded to cry all over my cardboard container of chicken nuggets. I was utterly disappointed in my complete inability to describe with words just how much had taken place in my heart. And I was soon disappointed about how soggy my nuggets were, too. I think it is imperative that anyone reading this piece understands that the task of trying to select combinations of syllables to adequately express the work that unfolds at Vision, and what it means to me, is and has always been absolutely tear-inducing. I attended Vision as a rising junior in high school, and again as a rising senior. When I say, “I attended Vision,” what I essentially mean is: I found myself more aware of a God who loves creatively and eagerly, I found myself loved and listened to creatively by those around me, and I learned …

Stories of Grace: Episode 13

“I think that, if we’re lucky in this life, we’ll get to come across perhaps three or four really really good ponds.” Visit here to listen to Notre Dame senior Madeline Lewis tell the story of finding the grace to sit with things for long whiles. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Read the full text of Madeline’s reflection below. Really good ponds I think that, if we’re lucky in this life, we’ll get to come across perhaps three or four really really good ponds. This story begins with one such pond: a koi pond at Balboa Park in San Diego. This particularly good pond was something that I happened upon while ambling around the park one sunny June afternoon in the company of someone I dearly love. We weren’t alone in thinking it the perfect day to take advantage of such a treasure: there were dog-walkers and stroller-pushers, families and friends, couples old and young. Loveliness seemed to flutter all around …

car driving in fog

Stories of Grace: Episode 9

“I, like basically every human ever, deeply dislike the inability to see the road in front of me. It’s uncomfortable. It’s agitating. It’s really easy to lose hope.” Visit here to listen to Madeline Lewis, a Notre Dame senior, tell a story about fog, bread, and unexpected grace in the uncertainty of waiting. Subscribe to the Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. The full text of Madeline’s reflection is below. In a Fog A few weeks ago, I drove from Indianapolis to South Bend on an early winter morning. I trusted that the highway road I was driving on continued in front of me, but I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see anything that morning: and not because I had forgotten my glasses or had decided to perform the risky feat of driving with  my eyes closed. I couldn’t see anything because the thickest, haziest fog enveloped the fields around me for miles and miles ahead. As I drove my car slowly and steadily …

hands holding coffee cup

Stories of Grace: Episode 4

“As I thought more about that prison pudding cup, I began to realize something important. Me, sobbing in front of that vending machine? That isn’t the whole story.“ Visit here to listen to Notre Dame senior Madeline Lewis tell a story about family, pudding, and learning to see the hidden story of God’s love. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Editor’s note: This is the fourth part of a regular series featuring Notre Dame undergraduate students and others from the university community. In Stories of Grace, listen to others share their encounters with God and his workings in their lives.

Sunset over ocean

Stories of Grace: Episode 1

“Has anyone ever felt just like, a little bit lonely, and had the urge to just see a really big whale?” Visit here to listen to Notre Dame senior Madeline Lewis tell the story of her first summer away from home, a story of finding the grace to look not for what we want, but for what is given. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Editor’s note: This is the first part of a regular series featuring Notre Dame undergraduate students and others from the university community. In Stories of Grace, listen to others share their encounters with God and his workings in their lives.  

Doors of Mercy: Neither Push Nor Pull

I’d like to begin with a list that quickly becomes a confession: the library, a generous amount of independent bookstores, countless tea shops, the corner grocery store, an art museum, my university flat, the chapel, a handful of pubs, a vast variety of European public transit vehicles. This is a non-exhaustive list of places in England with doors that I have not known how to open and have subsequently attempted to open incorrectly, much to my repeated embarrassment. I am studying abroad this semester in Norwich, England, which has meant that the past month has brought its fair share of nuanced cultural differences into my life. This adjustment period has meant that I have often felt substantially less adept at what I would consider to usually be completely basic tasks. Mailing a letter, shopping for groceries, crossing the street, plugging my computer charger into a wall outlet: simple activities that I could once rely completely on my own instincts to accomplish, that now, across the pond, take little moments of extra thought and sometimes even …