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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 | 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, 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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On Groaning

Posted by on 12:54 am in Blog | Comments Off on On Groaning

On Groaning

Round Tones It’s almost onomatopoeia: sounding like its meaning. Like the word, buzz. OW— on the way to an OU-ch. It always strikes me when words contradict themselves. Take the word, rock: As a noun it means something that is absolutely stationary. As a verb it means to be in movement. Radical movement. Movement with sharp edges. So, back to groaning. That can be agony. Or joy. Or so I’m told. It’s fun to see what groaning is not. Supposedly. It’s not howling like a wolf. Although that has wonderfully round tones,...

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Letting Go

Posted by on 5:02 pm in Blog, Healing | Comments Off on Letting Go

Letting Go

(by Scott Cairns) More than a hundred years ago, a chronically afflicted Emily Dickinson observed something of pain’s curious effects and aftermath.  “After great pain,” she wrote, ” a formal feeling comes.”  Her poem continues: The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs— The still Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’ And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’? The Feet, mechanical, go round— Of Ground, or Air, or Ought— A Wooden way Regardless grown, A Quartz contentment, like a stone— This is...

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On Being Alone

Posted by on 10:52 pm in Blog, Visions | Comments Off on On Being Alone

On Being Alone

Facing This begins with Jesus. He comes upon a man born deaf. And he separates him from the other people. Jesus takes the man where they can be alone. So he can spit, and dawdle, and chant incantations. Whatever he feels impelled to do that day. Whatever it was, he wanted to do it alone. For me, there’s alone— and there’s alone. Being alone physically gives me the actual space to bump around, bump up against, climb slippery slopes, and shout into the wind. And this feels good. Really, really good. But then there are those times...

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The Beloved

Posted by on 4:34 pm in Blog, Love | Comments Off on The Beloved

The Beloved

Connection It is the smoothing out of the path that lies before me. It is the complete rearrangement of my structure. It is my being set free. It is my complete capture. It is fullness. It is fulfillment. It is the heart of quietness, and the hand of eternity. It is the movement of life itself; the opening of what seemed to be the end. It is the beginning that occurs every second. It is wonderment and amazement; a child’s first roller-coaster ride. It is the leaf floating on the still water. It is the weaving together of strands that...

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To Restore

Posted by on 3:01 pm in Blog | Comments Off on To Restore

To Restore

Echoes When I think of restoration, I think of destruction. First, something doesn’t need to be restored if it hadn’t been wrecked in the first place. But second, once something is restored, it can be wrecked all over again. Like a child’s building made of blocks. Up it goes. Down it comes. So what is the point of restoration, then? To a child, making infinite buildings after infinite demolitions is the fun of creativity.  Doing it differently the next time.  Doing it better. But a human being isn’t a bucket of blocks,...

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On Seeds

Posted by on 1:45 pm in Blog, Growth | Comments Off on On Seeds

On Seeds

Transformation So, at first it’s easy. Growth. Green. Life. Creation. All sorts of good things. But what happens when something you don’t want comes up in the middle of your garden? Weeds, say. Weeds come from seeds, too, you know. But forget weeds for now.  They are, after all, minor annoyances that you are meant to pull up and destroy. What about a plant that you thought would be good—a plant you committed to taking care of the best you could—but turns out to be a monstrous life form? How many mothers have wept when they have...

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On Emptiness

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On Emptiness

Fullness It strikes me as impossible to write about emptiness. I realize that the prompt I am using here was geared toward photographers.  But, even there, it is impossible to photograph emptiness. Isn’t it? Emptiness—the absence of somethingness. And no matter what space you write about, or draw about, or photograph, there is something always there. God is never absent. There is no such thing as emptiness, unless you are dealing—or trying to deal—with a ketchup bottle that you are desperately trying to get the essential substance out...

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Just A Red-Blooded American Male And Miracle Worker

Posted by on 1:49 pm in Blog, Healing, Miracles | Comments Off on Just A Red-Blooded American Male And Miracle Worker

Just A Red-Blooded American Male And Miracle Worker

(by Patricia Treece) Sixteen-month-old Elizabeth Fanning lies listlessly in her mother’s arms.  Anxiously, drawn-faced Mrs. Fanning coaxes her child to take even a spoonful of the liver soup recommended by doctors.  But although Elizabeth’s swollen belly and twiglike limbs make her look like a starvation victim, the lethargic baby has no interest in food of any kind.  Little Betsy, as her parents call her, has a fatal disease in 1940: the blood cancer known as leukemia.  What makes her case especially tragic is that the illness...

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On Healing

Posted by on 1:34 pm in Blog, Healing | Comments Off on On Healing

On Healing

Light and Dark Perhaps healing is the opposite of brokenness—or breaking, really. Breaking apart—putting the pieces back together is healing, isn’t it? Gluing the pieces back into its whole state.  Or the perceived whole state, anyway. I think we get lost in our understanding of healing when we force our idea of the outcome onto the process. Take a serious illness, for example.  We only see healing as a complete restoration of health into life.  Death, for us, offers no glimmer of hope for healing.  As though death were the opposite of...

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The Autobiography Of A Sea Creature

Posted by on 5:26 pm in Blog, Healing | Comments Off on The Autobiography Of A Sea Creature

The Autobiography Of A Sea Creature

(by Wendy Patrice Williams) Coming Home To My Body Prologue Giraffes surrounded me on the wall, those long necks.  Covered by plastic, they were cold when I touched them.  The smell of alcohol reminded me of the nurse who would dab my arm with a wet cotton ball and prick me with a needle.  Dr. Constad’s voice was warm gravel.  “Look at you,” he said, squatting so his eyes were at equal height with mine.  “You are a miracle.”  Happiness filled up my little body, like air rushing into a green balloon.  “Unbelievable,” he continued.  “I wouldn’t...

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On Brokenness

Posted by on 12:01 am in Blog, Brokenness | Comments Off on On Brokenness

On Brokenness

Look to the Soul What is brokenness except the absence of wholeness? But when you break a whole apart, each piece is, in itself, another whole. Science teaches us that—that no matter how many times you break something apart, you find another whole. So what exactly does that mean in terms of humanity? Because when you take a child out of its family, he might not remain whole in terms of integrity.  But then being part of a whole family that is corrupt might compromise the integrity of any of its parts.  But, again, maybe not. Saints come out...

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