Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mater Dolorosa

Just returned from a trip to Southern California where I visited
 Mater Dolorosa in Sierra Madre 
with Anita, my best friend from high school. 
Our school made an annual trip to the beautiful grounds
of this  peaceful retreat center, which  includes a walkable Stations of the Cross
and the Seven Sorrows of Mary. 

The photo below is of yours truly taking a photo of a quote
from St. Paul of the Cross that was on a glossy surfaced pillar.

"Nourish yourself with God's Holy Will.
Drink of the Chalice of Jesus.
Close your eyes and do not seek to know
what it will contain.
It is enough to know that Jesus offers it."

St. Paul of the Cross
Mater Dolorosa

Saturday, March 17, 2012

the wise men vs.the leprechaun

Well, Happy Saint Patrick's Day.
I spent the morning facilitating a workshop on creating Celtic Blessings
and came home feeling completely blessed. 
Until of course, I heard the commotion coming from the guest bathroom.
It seems the wisemen are having "issues" with the leprechaun.

ME:  What is all the noise about?
Wiseman #1:  We want to issue a formal complaint.
ME:  About what?
Wiseman #2:  This gigantic green man you've put on our shelf.
ME:  The leprechaun?
Wiseman #3:  Yes. The leprechaun.
ME:  What seems to be the problem?
Wiseman #2:  His smirk.
ME:  Leprechauns are known for being full of mischief.
That's just his mischievous look.
Wiseman #1:  No!  He's taunting us.
Wiseman #2:  Yes, he keeps bragging about his gold.
Wiseman #3:  And we are sure it's stolen.  Call the police!
ME:  Hold on.  Calm down.  You wee fellas get riled so easily!
Wiseman#1:  He says that he will steal our gifts while we're sleeping.
ME:  Um. Knowing how much you dislike my bringing up your
immovable arms....
Wiseman #2:  We'll make an exception this one time.
ME:  Well look at his arm.  It too is permanently attached to his gold.
Wiseman #1, #2, #3:   SILENCE

ME:  Do you realize that if a human captures a leprechaun he has to
give them 3 wishes in order to regain his freedom? 
Looks to me like this could be your lucky day!
 Here's your chance to get your arms unglued!

The wisemen moved to the corner to  put their heads together to confer for several minutes.
Wiseman #2:  We've made a decision.
Wiseman #3:  Yes, We're at peace with the permanent position of our arms.
Wiseman #1:  And so we are pooling our 3 wishes.
ME:  So tell the leprechaun what you want!
Wiseman #2:  We want YOU  to remove him.
ME:  And why would I do that?
Wiseman #2:  Because we have evidence of your
fraternizing with the enemy.
ME:  What are you talking about?
Wiseman #1:  Look at this photo.  You are one of them!
ME:  OMG!  Where did you find that ancient picture? 
Wiseman #3:  Never you mind!  Please remove him
or we'll post this for all the world to know your true identity!
ME: Oh all right.  But you need to know that I'm not a
real Leprechaun.  I just play one to annoy my children.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

invisible geography

Here are 2 stanzas from John O’Donohue’s “Morning Offering”
from “To Bless the Space Between Us” p. 9

“May my mind come alive today
to the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.”

photo taken on the road to the Pololu Valley
on the big island of Hawaii

Monday, March 12, 2012

forgiveness blessing

I’m giving a Celtic Blessing Workshop this Saturday
and my mind is filled with blessings.
So over the next several days I’m going to share blessings
 from the master, John O’Donohue.
What I love about blessings is that they are a continual calling forth,
 wrapped in warmth.
Here’s part of one we could all hear over and over.
“May all that is unforgiven in you be released.”
To Bless the Space Between Us, p.97
art work: abundance
by Melanie Weidner

Saturday, March 10, 2012

call back every judgment

"Whenever a judgment or evaluation
Arises within you,
Whether positive or negative,
Add the three words: '. . . just like me.'
You can go ahead and judge another as lazy,
But be inclusive with it:
He is so lazy, just like me.
She is arrogant, just like me.
They are incompetent,
She is unreliable,
He is angry,
Just like me.

Call back positive judgments in the same way:

The Dalai Lama is so wise, just like me.
She is so compassionate,
He is so strong,
Just like me.

In this way, call back every judgment to yourself
And realize that there is no other out there:
It is all you."

— Arjuna Ardagh

Friday, March 9, 2012

the love of the faithful creator...

"The love of the faithful Creator,
The peace of the wounded Healer,
The joy of the challenging Spirit,
The hope of the Three in One
surround and encourage you
today, tonight, and forever."

The Pattern of our Days
edited by Kathy Galloway
p. 158

photo from here

Thursday, March 8, 2012

revision as spiritual practice

“If a teacher told me to revise,
I thought that meant my writing was a broken-down car
that needed to go to the repair shop. I felt insulted.
I didn't realize the teacher was saying,
'Make it shine. It's worth it.'
Now I see revision as a beautiful word of hope.
It's a new vision of something.
It means you don't have to be perfect the first time.
What a relief!” Naomi Shihab Nye, writer

Today’s quote is from Wisdom Commons – a wonderful source.
What drew me to this photo (which is by Chris Goldberg on flickr)
is that it is of a classic car on the side of the road in Cuba.
This is a '58 Buick worth repairing –
and a good reminder that the creative process is worth the work that it elicits from us. 
For a first/second/third draft of a poem, story, or sermon is a jewel that is just waiting to be mined.
Revision is a great spiritual practice!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012



“You may wish to change your life,
you may be in therapy or religion,
but your new vision remains merely talk
until it enters the practice of your day.”
-John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

photo of beachfront in Kona,
where I pondered new visions
and the changes needed
for them to come to fruition

Thursday, March 1, 2012

church boats

"Most church boats don't like to be rocked;
they prefer to lie at anchor rather than go places in stormy seas.
But that's because we Christians view the church as the object of our love
instead of the subject and instrument of God's.
Faith cannot be passive, it has to go forth -
to assault the conscience, excite the imagination.
Faith fans the flames of creativity altogether as much
as it banks the fires of sin."  - William Sloane Coffin

see Aidan Hart's icons here