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Created

Posted by on 6:03 pm in Blog | Comments Off on Created

Created

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9a) I always thought that were I ever to encounter romantic love—in myself for another, in another for me—even if it meant turning my back on God and all his being, I would choose love. Love over God. I am spiritually gifted.  Magnificently so. And I live on Earth. Where other’s rejection of me because of this giftedness is as natural as rain. But my isolation wasn’t only a result of my mysticism.  There were...

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My Life With Bugs

Posted by on 11:52 pm in Blog | Comments Off on My Life With Bugs

My Life With Bugs

The Smallest Creatures And Their Mess I feel like my whole life has been defined by bugs. I suppose I should feel like it has been defined by God. But I don’t. It’s the bugs. They are always there. Even when you don’t want them to be. But, then, why would I ever want them to be there? I grew up on the coast of Maine, a state where its greatest boast is that in the long, long winters THERE ARE NO BUGS. No bugs when I was out cross-country skiing. No bugs when I was out snow-shoeing. No bugs when I was out hiking around. Or...

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On Hope

Posted by on 5:54 pm in Blog, Hope | Comments Off on On Hope

On Hope

The Big Future Hope is that smoothness that helps to ease your thoughts into the future. It might come to us unbidden.  A chance thought that catches our attention. If only…. Or, Perhaps…. It will be there when I get there. Or, maybe he will be there. Or, even, I might get to do it. All possibilities. That open the door in our mind that allows us enter the world that hasn’t been yet. A world of dreams that come to life in our imagination. Dreams of conceivables. Hopes are positive dreams. That promise. Perhaps hope is God’s way of...

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A Place At His Table

Posted by on 5:02 pm in Blog, Grace | Comments Off on A Place At His Table

A Place At His Table

Undeserved Love So the servant came back and reported these things to his master.  Then, in anger, the master of the house told his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.” (Luke 14:21) The uninvited. Perhaps that is what grace is. Or what it feels like. A random gifting. I haven’t eaten anything solid in over three weeks and here you are rounding me up to go feast at a banquet. I have done nothing to deserve it. That is the heart of the story....

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Fire Dance

Posted by on 5:52 pm in Blog, poetry | Comments Off on Fire Dance

Fire Dance

(by Linda Barton) Bhutan, November 2000 The young boy Maybe seven grabbed my hand In the dark Held it tight Tighter than I have ever been held He led me through a small gate We were crushed and I worried for him His size I wondered why me He wanted something from me Not what I had expected But to tell me to Go slow Be careful and watch for my life His body shook and I knew He feared for his I moved slowly He pulled me past the others Another way He ran dragging my feet Over craters and voices After a lifetime He left me dangling like Wilted...

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Sacred Space

Posted by on 5:34 pm in Blog, Holiness | Comments Off on Sacred Space

Sacred Space

Defilement When I first thought about this subject matter I couldn’t really get a hold of it. Isn’t every space that exists a sacred space? Hasn’t God created everything, making it so? And then when I sat down to think about it some more, an image came to me.  And it led me to see what I really believe about sacred spaces. Now right off the bat, there really is a difference between personal sacred spaces and collective ones. I can remember times standing at the top of mountains and looking out and feeling like I was standing...

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When I Am Silent

Posted by on 9:58 pm in Blog | Comments Off on When I Am Silent

When I Am Silent

(by Ziggy Rendler-Bregman) When I am silent it is possible to see particles of dust collide without making a sound, each speck of carbon from the bone of some fallen bird. When I am silent it is possible to hear how song lines flatten the edge of time, my own heartbeat below the bridge, where a stream with its memory of cloud flows into a deeper river. When I am silent it is possible to take the smallest hand and walk the garden wall where memory of fuchsia and blackberry is untangled from the tears of a blue-eyed girl who steps through the...

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Meditation

Posted by on 4:00 pm in Blog | Comments Off on Meditation

Meditation

(by Johanna Courtleigh) I close my eyes to see myself there in the darkness where my heart begins her breathing. I am breath. The give and take of planets and trees. The rise and fall of tides. The painted skies of dawn and sunset. The chrysalis opening. The cocoon giving forth to wing. I sit in the darkness and speak my name. I call myself back. Name myself as though I am the mother. Hold my breath in the quiet of my arms. Cradle and comfort. Body of sorrow. Body of joy. Body of earth and bone, like the clay between fingers, molding itself...

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A Saint

Posted by on 4:08 pm in Blog, Memory | Comments Off on A Saint

A Saint

Ida It’s funny, choosing my own grandmother to be a saint. She was my nemesis as a child.  The person who stood between me and myself.  Who did her best to block any affirmation and acknowledgement coming my way. It is funny because just the writing of the above sentence caused an image to flash through me.  It was of my grandmother as a child herself. Second to the youngest.  Three older sisters, one older brother.  I know from my association with the family that at least one older sister was an astounding kind of person.  Successful...

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Finding God In The Dark Places

Posted by on 1:58 pm in Blog, Poverty | Comments Off on Finding God In The Dark Places

Finding God In The Dark Places

(by Kimberly Childs) I’m finding God in the dark places The old age home with its stench of feces A truck’s shadow concealing an oil-drenched rainbow Shiny supermarket fruit have no flavor Give me an orange persimmon bruised brown The avocado’s rough rind reveals creamy green Things are not what they seem Disaster is a gift wrapped in grief Loss is an addition of great value Look at the one who weeps And see their wealth Beg them to share it with you Still, when pain weights my lap Like a malodorous black cat It’s hard...

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On Sidewalks

Posted by on 4:15 pm in Blog | Comments Off on On Sidewalks

On Sidewalks

Raise Me Up, Lord. I have strong feelings about sidewalks. Having grown up in the country—so country that most of the road I lived on wasn’t paved—in that setting I have no problem with taking a walk with the dogs down the middle of the road.  Or on a leaf-strewn path through the woods. But get me to a place where there are more cars than trees and I get more demanding about what my feet land on when I am outside and getting some fresh air.  Or rain.  Or even snow. One year I was absolutely committed to taking a Biblical Greek class at...

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On Sacrifice

Posted by on 10:55 pm in Blog, Sacrifice | Comments Off on On Sacrifice

On Sacrifice

Turning Inside Out We have an insides.  And we have an outsides.  And, in the usual manner of things, the outsides are what is valued.   The look.  The sound.  The actions. Yes, we manage to say, from time to time, that someone is beautiful on the inside.  But does that comment ever have any real impact on anyone? But we are in ordinary time and ordinary life when we care about our appearance.  Our behavior.  Our life. When we step into being the sacrifice, the insides come out of us. Literally. They are given for that which we are to be...

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My Favorite Place To Pray

Posted by on 11:59 pm in Blog, Prayer | Comments Off on My Favorite Place To Pray

My Favorite Place To Pray

The Body And The Blood When I sat still for a few minutes and wondered where was my favorite place to pray, at first I felt a bit defeated.  I have prayed in all sorts of places.  Fields.  Bus stations. Chapels.  Cathedrals.  Church after church after church.  Walking down the street.  The big stuffed chair in my room. How could I choose a favorite place? But after a few minutes of prayer, ironically enough, I saw before me the small Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration up the road from me a bit.  It is where the reserved sacrament, the...

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On Light

Posted by on 12:09 am in Blog, Light | Comments Off on On Light

On Light

Peering Through As a mystic I feel as though I spend much of my time in the dark.  It is a place that shares more with worlds that exist in cartoons than with what we experience in our world every day.  There is a lot of slipping and sliding around. Silence is crucial.  Knowing how to detect something around you so that you can become still is necessary for survival. In spite of the increased challenge in finding my way around, however, there is a freedom in the unseen world that I don’t enjoy in the seen world.  The limits to where I...

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A Meal

Posted by on 11:47 pm in Blog, Holy Communion | Comments Off on A Meal

A Meal

Intimacy There is a meal that offers us a sacred intimacy with God. And with our neighbors. And with those we have never even met before. How amazing it is that during this season of Lent, we are free to feast with God any time that we wish. We do not have to measure our participation in the meal. We do not have to question what is being served. We are free to accept all that the altar-table offers us. It is a meal with Jesus. And a meal of Jesus. And a meal that graces us with his blessing. We are the ones who are blessed. The Eucharist is...

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On Ashes 2017

Posted by on 5:20 pm in Blog, Forgiveness, Lent | Comments Off on On Ashes 2017

On Ashes 2017

The Echo Of Hate There is something that is left after you have forgiven someone.  And what is left feels like ashes. Soft flakes of what you can pick up after all that emotion has been burnt away. Forgiveness can be very efficient at deleting from your mind and heart and soul that shackle that kept you folding over in pain at the memory of the event. Forgiveness can be the key.  But what is left over when you are free has its own existence. The absence of unforgiveness has its own reality.  Its own life. Like the wind: its there, but at the...

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On Quiet

Posted by on 11:59 pm in Blog, Quiet | Comments Off on On Quiet

On Quiet

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly The Good The Good thing about quiet is the beautiful music that is there.  The swirling tones that enfold you. The Good thing about quiet is how I can hear better what you are thinking and feeling when you aren’t speaking to me.  The quiet has its own voice.  Its own knowledge. Its own approach to life.  It can go inside you to places that you aren’t even aware exist.  The Good thing about quiet is that it is the voice of God.  It is the absolute silence of creation.  Of love.  Of majesty. The Bad...

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Love Deeply

Posted by on 3:12 pm in Blog, Love | Comments Off on Love Deeply

Love Deeply

(by Henri J. Nouwen) Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become...

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Wholeness, Healing, & the OSL

Posted by on 12:25 am in Blog, Healing blog | Comments Off on Wholeness, Healing, & the OSL

Wholeness, Healing, & the OSL

(by A. F. Learmont) OSL stands for The Order of Saint Luke. When healing is mentioned, the first thought is usually the physical state of the body, a particular ailment or affliction; thus concentration of thought is purely on the physical. Man, however, is not wholly a physical being. Basically, he is a spiritual being. He has been created in the likeness and image of God, and God is a Spirit. God formed man out of a living soul. Thus the combination of God’s breath and the body, produced the soul of personality, often referred to as mind;...

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Doubting Miracles, Or A Reason To Believe

Posted by on 4:27 pm in Blog, Healing blog, Miracles, Prayer | Comments Off on Doubting Miracles, Or A Reason To Believe

Doubting Miracles, Or A Reason To Believe

(by Joe Simmons, SJ) This past weekend witnessed the canonization of seven new saints in Rome.  For holy men or women to be recognized as capital-S Saints in the Roman Catholic Church, typically two miracles need to be attributed to their intercession.  Usually these come when someone is healed without an easy medical explanation. Call me the modern skeptic, but I always found this litmus test to be… well… troubling, I guess.  In my mind, the process goes something like this: people petition would-be saints for the miraculous healing of a...

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