Monday, March 31, 2008

Make Love Visible

"To love is to speak, think, and act
according to the spiritual knowledge
that we are infinitely loved by God
and called to make that love visible in the world."

-Henri Nouwen (that's him in the photo)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Do Not Doubt but Believe

I just love it when I discover a new place to visit in the land of blogs and this one, Painted Prayerbook by Jan L. Richardson is so worth the visit ( picture below is one of her many works of art. Do you have any idea what it is? Well, today's gospel was from the book of John wherein the fearful disciples have locked themselves into a room when Jesus suddenly walks through the wall and says "Peace be with you!"....WILD! Thomas was not with them at the time (did he go out for milk?) but when he returned & heard what had happened his response was pretty much "no way!", "I've gotta see it to believe it"...

A week later, Jesus pops back in and says the same thing "Peace be with you". He then tells Thomas to put his finger in His wounds so he can truly see and feel for himself...EVEN WILDER! So who knows if Thomas did what he was told? I doubt it (no pun intended)....but we know that his fears are laid to rest in his reply, "My Lord and My God!"...

© Jan L. Richardson

"Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom." --George Iles

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rita Pita

Just returned from visitng Roshane and her family in Snohomish. here are some pictures.....sorry about the studio's name smack in the middle of the pictures...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Resurrection of Spring

The Sap Is Rising

Dorothy Day

It is surely an exercise of faith for us to see Christ in each other. But it is through such exercise that we grow and the joy of our vocation assures us we are on the right path. Certainly, it is easier to believe now that the sun warms us, and we know that buds will appear on the trees in the wasteland across the street, that life will spring out of the dull clods of that littered park across the way.

There are wars and rumors of war, poverty and plague, hunger and pain. Still, the sap is rising, again there is the resurrection of spring, and God's continuing promise to us that He is with us always, with His comfort and joy, if we will only ask.

Source: unknown

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I had to seek the Physician
because of the pain this world
caused me.

I could not believe what happened when I got there -
I found my

Before I left, he said,
"Up for a little homework yet?"
"Okay," I replied.
"Well then, try thanking all the people
who have caused
you pain.

They helped you
come to

Love Poems from God - D. Ladinsky, p. 229

Now What?

"What if the resurrection is not about the appearances of Jesus alone but also about what those appearances pointed to, what they asked? And it is finally what we do with them that matters - make them into superstitions or use them as stepping stones to new life. We have to practice resurrection." Nora Gallagher

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good News

"In a world where carpenters are resurrected, everything is possible."
Eleanor in The Lion in Winter

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Living Sign of the Resurrection

To the ancients,
the honey or bumble bee
was a living sign of the resurrection:
hidden from sight during three wintry months,
she appeared each Spring
to herald the arriving warmth with her buzzing
and to create sweet tasting honey in the hive.
In the early Christian Easter Eve liturgy,
honey was mixed with milk
and then given as a drink to the newly-baptized
who had entered, through baptism,
into the promised land of God,
"flowing with milk and honey."

May the Easter feast, Spring's warmth,
and a hope nurtured in faith
conspire to bring you unexpected sweetness
in the Great Fifty Days of Easter.

Anonymous (thanks to Elisabeth Rotchford-Haight)

Holy Saturday/ Easter Vigil

A big shout out to all the bees who have so willingly supplied the wax for tonight's Paschal Candle. Here is the prayer from tonight's service:
Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in His victory over death.

Let us pray.

O God, through your Son you have bestowed upon your people the brightness of your light: Sanctify this new fire, and grant that in this Paschal feast we may so burn with heavenly desire that with pure minds we may attain to the festival of the everlasting light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amem.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

In January I was reading the "Real Live Preacher" blog - which is owned and operated by Gordon Atkinson, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio. He traveled to the Dominican Republic to help set up a water filtration system with Edge Outreach, for a local hospital. While there he visited an orphanage where he met Stephanie, an 11 year old girl with a severe disability, who colored this picture and gave it to him. Gordon wrote an amazing piece that i'd invite you to read on his website about what he should/could or would do with this piece of art (scrolldown to entry 3). After all, he and his team had brought balloons and coloring books as gifts for these children who had so little (or so he thought) and this child's offering of the gift back to him truly undid him.

What does it mean to give like that child who had nothing to give and what does it mean to receive as someone who seemingly has everything? And how does that relate to the ultimate gift that Jesus gave to us? So this coloring of this Good Friday scene, created by Stephanie, which was a gift to Gordon, is now my gift and yours too - for we are all connected because of the Cross of Christ.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy or Holy Thursday

What does that mean? Maundy is from the Latin word "mandatum" which means "commandment" and is from the gospel of John - "a new commandment i give you, that you love one another, as I have loved you". So we have the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of those He loved. I've come across several pictures of foot washing that bring forth various emotions - this one shows gentleness in the hands that lovingly caress the feet of a disciple. We don't see their faces so we can't tell if the one on the receiving end is feeling awkward, or uncomfortable.

But this one by Ford Madox Brown (1852-56) "Jesus Washing Peter's Feet" is definitely more realistic. Peter has given his arguments - "You will never wash my feet!" and Jesus has replied "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me". And look at everyone else around the table. there are looks of anxiety, curiosity, concern, and surprise & the man on the left is unbuckling his sandal, eager to be next. Could that be Judas? i see what looks like a bag of money next to him on the table? what do you see?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday of Holy Week

Rodney Dangerfield (and if you remember him you are old!) would have spoken of today as one that gets "no respect"......for Wednesday of Holy Week falls between Palm Sunday and the Triduum (Evening of Maundy Thursday through the evening of Easter Sunday).....but it is not just any old day. It is a Day of Reconciliation & aren't we all in desperate need of healing and forgiveness? So this is the day to reflect on our need for a Savior.

Today's gospel story was about Judas (the bad guy) betraying Jesus (the good guy) a child it was easy to villify Judas - the world was so much easier to divide into categories of good/bad, yes/no, etc. but now i see the Judas inside of me......for when i feel betrayed as he must have felt, i too betray. During the Morning Eucharist Elizabeth+ said that "when we are afraid of betrayal we withhold our trust". So true! Well Jesus was betrayed and still He chose to love us to the point of death. What a great Reconciler we have!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday of Holy Week

As we head into the last days of Christ's journey on earth I found this section of a book I'm currently reading (Servanthood - Leadership for the 3rd Millennium by B. Sims) to be one I'm spending some time thinking about - this whole idea of Christ as servant.........thoughts?

"We can't have it both ways. We cannot have a God who is an iron-handed ruler in remote control of the cosmos and, at the same time, a historic incarnation of that God who consistently defines himself as a servant. To those whom He most carefully instructed Jesus posed a question, "For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves' (Luke 22:27). Such passages force us to choose between a God enthroned in the power of imperial privilege and a God "disenthroned" in the more exquisite power of servanthood - unless Jesus is not really God's self-disclosure. If the Christian doctrine of God is to be consistent with the orthodox claim that Jesus is God's incarnation, then the cosmos is ruled by a self-giving Love who chooses to endure crucifixion rather than decree any abridgment of human freedom." p.17

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

How often does St. Patrick's day land in Holy Week? This is the first time in almost 100 years (since 1913) that St. Patrick's Day has not been celebrated on March 17th in the Liturgical Calendar (it happened on the 15th but don't tell the Irish that). It won't be until 2160 that this uncommon occurrence will happen again so thank God we won't be around to see that! So here is my tribute to my homeland...a verse from St. Patrick's breastplate that reminds us that Christ is indeed everywhere!

Christ beside me, Christ before me;
Christ behind me, Christ within me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me;
Christ to right of me, Christ to left of me;
Christ in my lying, my sitting, my rising;
Christ in heart of all who know me,
Christ on tongue of all who meet me,
Christ in eye of all who see me,
Christ in ear of all who hear me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Learn from the past -
don't wear it like a yoke around your neck.
-Cogitor Reticulus

When i think about what it takes to keep my past hurts and pain balanced like those pails on this woman's shoulders i realize what hard work it is to hold on to my woundedness - it's a wonder i can even walk w/o falling over from the weight of it all!......

Out and Back Again....

Every walk is a story, a narrative line leading out from home to a point of crisis, change or insight, and then back to the known and a time of reflection.
- john leax

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

I just finished watching "The View" which I tivo every weekday for the "HotTopics" segment that opens the show. Where else on TV can I watch 4 (or 5 when Barbara Walters is there) women with diverse worldviews discuss politics, religion, and the surrounding culture? The following quote is from my Henri Nouwen "tear-off-a-page-a-day" desk calendar. I don't think there is much listening happening on "The View" and if there was would they be able to keep up their ratings??? I do appreciate what H.N. suggests as listening being a form of "spiritual hospitality"......may we all practice some of that today!

"To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presecence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even dare to be silent with you." -Henri Nouwen

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seeds of Compassion

I just received an email yesterday stating that my friend Teresa G. and I received 2 tickets for the Dalai Lama's visit in Seattle this April! I am so excited! As I perused the Seeds of Compassion website ( I came across an article on the benefits of practicing the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or your friend tells you that only his/her 2008 presidential candidate will save the world from imploding or your husband reminds you for the 3rd time that you need to get all the medical receipts together for your upcoming tax-filing appointment (wow...wonder where that one came from?), you might consider trying the following exercise which I've copied from the above website.

3. Commonalities practice. Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize what you have in common. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. We need food, and shelter, and love. We crave attention, and recognition, and affection, and above all, happiness. Reflect on these commonalities you have with every other human being, and ignore the differences. One of the best exercises comes from a great article from Ode Magazine — it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:
— Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
— Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
— Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
— Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
— Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”

Sunday, March 9, 2008

International Women's Day

"The suppression of women is a sin, not because it is a sin against women, but because it is a sin against creation itself. To suppress half of God's creation in the name of God is a sin against the Holy Spirit for which we have no name."
- J. Chittister, "40 Day Journey", p. 56

I Remembered!

the "weeping" quote is from Joan Chittister's "40 Day Journey with Joan Chittister", 2007, p. 52.

Friday, March 7, 2008


this is the quote i sent out today. 2 people emailed me to ask the author......i'm still trying to figure that out!

"WEEPING, IN FACT, MAY BE the best indicator we have of what life is really all about for us. It may be only when we weep that we can come to know best either ourselves or our worlds. What we weep for measures what we are. What we weep over dictates what others may expect of us in life. It was when Jesus wept over Jerusalem that the die was cast, not for crucifixion, but for the blaze of energy and the boldness of stature that spent everything in him to change what, in the end, though it could not be changed, could not be ignored either. Tears, you see, are more than sadness…
Of all the expressions of human emotion in the lexicon of life, weeping may be the most functional, the most deeply versatile. The tears we weep show us our deepest, neediest, most private selves. Our tears expose us. They lay us bare both to others and to ourselves. What we cry about is what we care about. What we have no tears for hardens our hearts."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Blessing of Solitude

A friend asked me this morning if he could borrow the book Anam Cara by John Donohue and while perusing the pages for places i've marked, I came across this poem...(i was also moved by another line in the book "to be born is to be chosen")..

May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue, page 125

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More Miner...

These are Miner's
little feet,
with his parents' wedding rings
...absolutely delicious!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Miner Coberg

This is Miner Coberg, son of my nephew Michael and his wife Bonnie. I sent this to a friend a few weeks ago who commented, "what eyes of Christ".......