Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eternal Triptych

"Lord, the Eternal Triptych - Creator, Child, and Spirit -
Keep us steadfast in your holy mystery;
give us strength to breathe in the truth
and to embrace what we can barely comprehend:
That you love us, that you are with us,
and because of Jesus your grace is draped upon us all."

This is a segment taken from Christine's
"Prayers of the People"
written for St. Paul's in Port Townsend, WA.
A triptych is a work of art that is divided into 3 sections that are hinged together.
The Divine relationship is exquisitely rich in triptych beauty and mystery,
as are Christine's words.

art by Dana Ball

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Good God Is

"In the end what matters is not how good we are but how good God is.
Not how much we love Him but how much He loves us.
And God loves us whoever we are,
whatever we’ve done or failed to do,
whatever we believe or can’t."

- Desmond Tutu

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fighting Fleas!

Fighting Fleas
"We have to fight them daily, like fleas,
those many small worries about the morrow,
for they sap our energies….
The things that have to be done must be done,
and for the rest we must not allow ourselves
to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries,
so many motions of no confidence in God.
Ultimately, we have just one moral duty:
to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves,
more and more peace, and reflect it towards others.
And the more peace there is in us,
the more peace there will also be in our troubled world."

- Etty Hillesum

I was reading through Inward/Outward and this quote
reminded me how I so easily become infested
with those petty fears and worries that Etty described.
Let us pray for one another's reclamation from
that which saps our energies.
(And read as much of Etty Hillesum as possible!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"If one feels the need of something grand,
something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God,
one need not go far to find it.
I think that I see something deeper, more infinite,
more eternal than the ocean
in the expression in the eyes of a little baby
when it wakes in the morning, and coos or laughs
because it sees the sun shining on its cradle."
- Vincent Van Gogh

baby fredrick @ 11 weeks
proud ruler of Chris & Faith

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Growing Old Prayer

I do not want to be old before my time. I do not want to be an early retiree
or to fail to give all my energy to your service in my remaining years,
but I cannot deny the decades gone and the limited years ahead.
I feel more fragile, more vulnerable.

In my youth, there were so many days, months, yes years that seemed to lie ahead
that I fooled myself with illusions of immortality. Now I know the years are numbered,
and I sense in a new way that each day is a gift not to be presumed but to be cherished.

My relationship with you has always sustained me, directed me, and given me hope,
but too often I have neglected it, presumed it was there, and failed to nourish it.

Even my commitment to ministry seemed too often a product of compulsion
rather than zeal, of a desire to be esteemed rather than a desire to serve.

But this is less a time for regrets and self-criticisms
and more a time for gratitude and renewed commitments.

This is a time to deepen my relationship with you
and to be more attentive to your presence in my everyday life.

This is a time to be with you Lord,
and to invite you to be with me.

This is a time to surrender my life into your hands
and to discover that my name is written on the palm of your hand.

This is a time to tend to my deepest desires so that I can discover your desires for me.

This is a time to think about home and where my heart is and to unearth my treasure.

This is a time for abiding in you and noticing how you abide in me.

This is a time for harvesting and a time for planting new seeds
in the sure hope that you will give them growth.

Jesus, you said to Peter: ‘When you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt
and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go’
John 21:18).

Lord, be with me as I grow old. Lead me, guide me
and draw me ever closer to your heart for only there will I find peace
and the assurance of life eternal. Amen.

Gerald M. Fagin, SJ is Associate Professor of Theology and Spirituality at the
Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University, New Orleans. He has been involved
in the ministry of spiritual direction for thirty years and, for the past twenty years,
he has co-directed an internship in spiritual direction at the New Orleans Archdiocesan
Spirituality Center. This prayer was taken from his article “The Spiritual Exercises
and the Later Years” The Way, 43/1 (January 2004), p.78-79.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

got context?

In a small pond, a frog, squatting on a lily pad,
listened attentively
as an angel described the glories of heaven.
At the end of the discourse
the frog asked,"Is it something like mud?"
- Anonymous

photo from here

Monday, September 20, 2010

the joy of swerving

"If you stop to be kind,
you must swerve often
from your path."
-Mary Webb

Saturday, September 18, 2010

seek the kernel

"For money you can have everything it is said.
No, that is not true.
You can buy food, but not appetite;
medicine, but not health;
soft beds, but not sleep;
knowledge but not intelligence;
glitter, but not comfort;
fun, but not pleasure;
acquaintances, but not friendship;
servants, but not faithfulness;
grey hair, but not honor;
quiet days, but not peace.
The shell of all things you can get for money.
But not the kernel.
That cannot be had for money."

-Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924)

snitched from

Thursday, September 16, 2010

love me? love my friends!

Found this quote on this blog today..
It seems that accepting Jesus is actually a "package deal"...

“Some tell us that following Jesus is a simple matter of inviting him into our hearts.
But when we do that, Jesus always asks, “May I bring my friends?”
And when we look at them, we see that they are not the kind of company we like to keep.
The friends of Jesus are the outcasts, the marginalized, the poor, the homeless, the rejected
— the lepers of life.
We hesitate and ask, “Jesus, must we really have them too?”
Jesus replies, “Love me, love my friends!”
- Peter Storey

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"It is far more useful to be aware
of a single shortcoming in ourselves
than it is to be aware
of a thousand in somebody else.
For when the fault is our own,
we are in a position to correct it."
- The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

stones and love

Today's reading from Acts 19 tells of those who came from Antioch and Iconium, who influenced the crowds to stone Paul. And when they were done, (ie. pretty sure they had killed him) they dragged him out of the city. Imagine the frenzy, the intenisty of their fear and rage. Don't mess with our beliefs buddy!

But then the disciples showed up, surrounded him and behold! He got up and headed for the nearest bed and breakfast for much needed rest and then....what? Oh, he didn't head for the B & B? He went back into the city? What kind of crazy fool goes back into the place where people tried to kill him? Oh yeah, Jesus. And you, and me.

I have to believe that there was divine power in the disciples surrounding Paul as he lay dead on the ground. Just goes to show - grace and love abound in those who surround us with their love...thank God for them today and may you be given the strength to rise up and continue to love....even those you don't really want to love today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Caim Prayers

Sometimes it's difficult to find the right words to pray for someone.
Caim prayers, which means encircling, are helpful.
You can change the words within the parentheses.
See yourself and those you are praying for encircled as you say one of these.

Circle (name), Lord.
Keep (comfort) near
and (discouragement) afar.
Keep (peace) within
and (turmoil) out.
Circle (name), Lord.
Keep protection near
and danger afar.

Circle (name), Lord.
keep hope within,
keep despair without.

Circle (name), Lord,.
keep peace within
and anxiety without.

The eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit
shield (name) on every side.

from Celtic Daily Prayer
prayers and readings from the Northumbria Society
p. 297-298

Friday, September 3, 2010

got popcorn?

"Life is like arriving late for a movie,
having to figure out what was going on
without bothering everybody with a lot of questions,
and then being unexpectedly called away
before you find out how it ends."

Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oakerhater's Path

Today is the feast of David Pendleton Oakerhater
who was first known as the fierce Cheyenne warrior, "Making Medicine."
He fought against the US government in disputes over Indian land rights in
Oklahoma but was captured in 1875 and sent to prison in Florida.
There he learned English, taught art and converted to Christianity.

After completing his studies he was ordained as a Deacon in 1881 and returned to Oklahoma, where he founded Whirlwind Mission
and served amongst his people until he died in 1931.

There's a great quote by Joseph Campbell that starts with this line,
"If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step,
you know it's not your path."
I imagine that when Making Medicine was a young boy
he would never have imagined the path God set before him.
So go ahead and make your plans, but don't be surprised
when you end up in places beyond your wildest imagination!

This art is by David Pendleton Oakerhater. Isn't it wonderful?