Tuesday, August 30, 2011

got guilt?

"Guilt, as experienced in Western culture,
is connected with hopelessness and discouragement
and is past-oriented.
Genuine remorse, however, is a healthy state of mind -
it is future-oriented,
connected with hope, and causes us to act, to change." 
- The Dalai Lama
the choice is ours to make

Monday, August 29, 2011

more or less

"As I grow to understand life less and less,
I learn to live it more and more."
- Jules Renard
photo from here

Friday, August 26, 2011

a celtic blessing

May the blessing of
the Gatherer of Hope
the Bringer of Springtime
the Brightener of Seasons
be upon you as you set forth today.
Laughter of the running hours be yours.
Lightness and joy be yours.
And may the blessing of the Triune God
protect you and guide you.
-Celtic Blessing

Thursday, August 25, 2011

shine in our darkness

"Shining God,
even the darkness is not dark to you.
Shine in our darkness, light of our lives.
When we walk in the gray gloom of confusion,
when pain drains all the color out of life,
when we are paralyzed by the darkness of fear,
shine in our darkness.
When we know that others are walking in the darkness,
give us courage to be light for them."
from The Pattern of our Days -
Worship in the Celtic Tradtion
from the Iona Community, p. 99
photo from here

Monday, August 22, 2011

meeting point

"The soul is the meeting point
of the inner and outer worlds
...where they overlap."
- Novalis
what might that mean?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bernard and the Breast Milk

Tis the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux- a well known 12th century French abbot.
Bernard was known for many things - his strong views on Mary, his building of 163 monasteries, and his development of the Second Crusade.
But you just can't stop looking at that picture can you?
Yep, that's Mary squirting breast milk into Bernard's infected eye,
which miraculously cured it. 
And to this day mums still use breast milk to combat "pink eye"
though I doubt they use this same technique. 
You gotta hand it to Mary though - great aim! 
Here are a couple of quotes to take your mind off the picture...really, stop looking at it!
"We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place for those who love us.
 and my favorite -
 "Qui me amat, amat et canem meam."
 Who loves me, loves my dog!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

love needs to breathe

"A man raised a baby swan in a glass jar,
but as the bird grew it became stuck in the jar.
The man was caught now, for the only way
to free the thing was to break the jar,
killing the swan."
- Zen saying
 What have I placed in jars?
Where am I caught?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"Integrity is the ability to listen
to a place inside oneself
that doesn't change,
even though the life that carries it
may change."
-Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man

Monday, August 15, 2011

This about sums it up...

"Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it." 
Mary Oliver
 stolen from the always amazing Phil @ Blue Eyed Ennis

Sunday, August 14, 2011

History Maker

You know that saying, "Well behaved women rarely make history"..?
Well, in today's gospel from Matthew 15 we hear the voice
of the desperate Canaanite woman
who pleaded with Jesus to cure her demon-possessed daughter.
Thanks to her bold response to his initial denial to help,
"Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs
that fall from their masters' table,"
she made history by having her story included for us to hear,
and she enlarged Jesus' view of who was included. 
"Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."

Friday, August 12, 2011

stop trying

"The experience of 'I choose' in contrast to 'I should'
promotes action so totally different in sensation & outcome
that one can no longer fool oneself
into thinking that 'trying' is doing. 
- Judith Brown
 Why Yoda?
 (Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. -Yoda)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My favorite blessing

"Live without fear; your Creator has made you holy,
has always protected you, and loves you as a mother.
Go in peace to follow the good road
and may God's blessing be with you always. 

Happy Feast Day, St. Clare of Assisi! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

running on water

The following is a response that I received
to my last post on Matthew's Gospel
from a dear yet crazy friend, Gene Holly+...Enjoy!

Who was the 3rd  man in history to walk on water?
      The 1st  one was Jesus..
      The  2nd  was the  apostle, Peter.
      Then there was this guy, Ralph...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crazy Fools!

Today's gospel reading from Matthew describes the time when the disciples headed out across the sea so Jesus could have some "alone time" when suddenly, a huge storm rolled in and completely freaked them out. (ok, the scriptures don't tell us that but it makes for a better story. And who's to say they weren't?) ANYway, I picture the whitecaps buffeting their boat similar to those huge waves that hit the fishing vessels on that Discovery channel show, "Deadliest Catch." Very scary! This went on for hours and you know at least one of the disciples was yelling, "We're all gonna die!" And to make matters even weirder, early in the morning they saw a ghost coming towards them on top of the water (and according to the scriptures that DID freak them out!)
But lo and behold, the ghost turned out to be Jesus who told them to calm down. Which brings up the question: Why was he walking on the water? Did anyone ever ask Jesus that? Was this something he did often? Or just during storms? Did he not realize the effect this would have on his disciples?

So, Look at them all huddled in the boat below. They really should have gone out in a bigger boat, though I must say that when I'm fearing imminent death I really do like someone else to cling to. Come to think of it, that picture reminds me of church - a community moving forward or as in this case, being tossed to and fro. And there are some really grumpy faces in that boat. What's up with that?

Of course only one disciple was bold enough to ask Jesus to tell him to jump out of the boat to try the water walking. Yep, it was Peter. And yes I know it showed his great faith to take that first step across the water towards Jesus. But don't you think the rest of them were grabbing onto him and calling him a crazy fool? Maybe that's the point. Jesus wants us all to be crazy fools...taking risks....attempting the seemingly impossible...and when we sink (and indeed we will) God will be there, pulling us out of our fears and doubts if we stop looking at the water long enough to notice that we are not alone...that we are never alone...we are always in the presence of God....and that we need one another. really. we do...even when we don't get along...after all, we are the body of Christ. and that's a big deal.

So...go do something impossible...I dare ya.

Art work by James B. Janknegt.  Learn more about his amazing art here

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor Near & Far

I received not one but two letters today (one was certified) from the CC&R Compliance Committee where our rental is located telling me that a regulation had been violated - Section 3.4.11 in particular - a garbage can and a BBQ were investigated and documented as being on the garage side of the dwelling.

I have 10 days to deal with this issue before I will be fined. Whatever happened to someone knocking on the door to ask the tenants to move the items? Or calling the owners?

Where does this situation fit in light of those suffering from famine in Somalia, or in light of those who have lost jobs and face foreclosure, and what about our collective fear surrounding the global economic crisis? We have little influence over all that.

Perhaps keeping trash cans and BBQ's in their proper places gives us a feeling of having control over something. Right now I need to harness my reaction to something so minor. Think I'll ponder the words on that colorful sign at the top of this post and say some prayers for all my neighbors - near and far.

Friday, August 5, 2011

offer a space

"We cannot change the world by a new plan, project or idea.
We cannot even change other people
by our convictions, stories, advice & proposals,
but we can offer a space where people are encouraged to disarm themselves,
lay aside their occupations and preoccupations and listen with attention & care
to the voices speaking in their own center." - Henry Nouwen

This is an excellent definition of spiritual direction,
and it's true, we can all offer a space to listen to one another.

photo of the fountain in my backyard

Monday, August 1, 2011


What if the question is not
why I am so infrequently the person I really want to be, but
why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?
Oriah Mountain Dreamer