Only connect


When I was a kid, my best friend did not believe all the things that I believed.  She belonged to a different faith … and my childhood was all the richer because of it.

I expand on this in my latest article, “Friends of Different Faiths.”  Here’s an excerpt:

These days, as an adult who has been on her own journey out of and then back into Catholicism, I’ve been greatly enriched by interactions with people of other faiths.  My friends these days come from many different belief systems: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, agnosticism.  I don’t choose friends on the basis of their faith, one way or another, but I have found that being around people with different beliefs makes me feel a certain kind of alive. When faith comes up in conversation, there is something to learn from each other.  It’s an opportunity to articulate what we believe and why we believe it – a process that can be just as illuminating for the person explaining her beliefs as for the person listening.   “Only connect,” wrote E. M. Forster in the book Howard’s End, and it’s a mantra that I’ve always instinctively liked.  These conversations are not about trying to convince each other of the truth of what we believe.  They are about creating a bridge of understanding where there was formerly open space, building a thoroughfare along which grace can be given and received.

You can read the whole thing at

P.S.  Still need a Mother’s Day gift?  I know the perfect book!

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