Showing posts from February, 2016

My Favorite Line That I Read While Retreating This Weekend...

...from the book, The Universe Is A Green Dragon:

Youth: What is our fullest destiny?
Thomas: To become love in human form.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Dynamic Duos

This weekend I will retreat for some silence and solitude as I mark the halfway point of my postulancy. Silence and solitude are a wonderfully powerful combination, so it got me thinking about other combinations in my life that I particularly enjoy. For me, the sum is greater than the two parts in each of these pairings, or sum > part + part, for all you fellow mathletes out there. While you will read many edible combinations on the list, all are nourishing in some way. I invite you to reflect on your own, too!

Hamburgers (underdone) and french fries (overdone)Prayer and poetryChocolate and pretzelsV-neck shirts and jeansBikes and open roadsDisney World and time with my sisterIce cream and ice cream conesIce cream and hot fudgeGreen and blueStained glass and sunlightPajamas and Saturday morningsFederal holidays and MondaysCoffee and half&halfOceans and sunrisesSummer and beachesRivers and walking pathsGraph paper and pencilsBob Dylan and his harmonicaLong conversations and frien…

Transfigure Me

This weekend our community received the gift of two very good reflections on the Transfiguration, one during our Saturday night vigil and the other during the homily this morning. Last night we were asked if we dare to reveal our divinity. This morning we were asked to consider if we could allow our Lenten experience to be guided a bit more by God and a little less by ourselves.

This afternoon I continued to reflect on the Transfiguration surrounded by a semi-frozen lake. My mountaintop took the form of this welcoming log.

My prophets were two stones I found that had been one at some point, but now just fit together like two adjoining puzzle pieces. I held them in both hands. I imagined Jesus right behind us the whole time. God was revealed to us all in the form of brief glimpses of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day.

In my little Transfiguration moment, the stones represented two prophets in my own life who call me to new life and a greater recognition of the all-embracing Love that…

Season's Greetings (or, how community will get me through winter)

As many of you know, winter ranks seventh on my list of favorite seasons.

The darkness and the cold create a certain bitterness for me, making me rather impatient waiting for spring to bloom and light and warmth to return.

So, half a year ago I packed my bags and moved to Erie, a city that perennially ranks on the list of snowiest U.S. cities.


What was I thinking?

Well, as you also know, it turns out that I moved to Erie to enter the Benedictine community here. And one responsibility we all share is wo-manning the front desk each day.

Tonight, as I took my turn, I was greeted by two sisters offering me a sign of winter joy after we received another few inches of white today.

Then, when another sister saw Frosty, she brought a little "snowy ground" to add to the wintery scene. (Which also served to catch the melting snow!)

All of this served to put a smile on my face. Now, I may not like winter, but I like knowing that community makes it a little brighter.
Let us walk i…

Marinating in Relationship

Most weeknights I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, though I am still used to Jeopardy coming on first as it does on good ol' 6ABC at home.

The other night there was a question referring to a cooking technique with an "ocean word" origin. I had never connected the "mar" in "marinate" with the ocean before. I thought the answer was brine for "briny;" I wonder if the judges would have accepted my answer.

A few days after that I was on my daily walk when I met a new friend who was relaxing on a log.

Now, we didn't exchange names or share any details about our lives, but we did accompany each other for a few moments on this chilly afternoon. I did wonder if someone had boiled Mr. Lobby's tail (*name invented since undisclosed*), or just how he ended up the way he did.

When I got home, I showed my next-door neighbor the picture. She figured he had to have been placed there since Lake Erie is fresh water, but I can still imagine that he…

Entering In

I found this blessing from Jan Richardson yesterday. Blessings on you all, not only today, but throughout the next forty, too.

Blessing the Dust A Blessing for Ash Wednesday
All those days you felt like dust, like dirt, as if all you had to do was turn your face toward the wind and be scattered to the four corners
or swept away by the smallest breath as insubstantial—
did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust?
This is the day we freely say we are scorched.
This is the hour we are marked by what has made it through the burning.
This is the moment we ask for the blessing that lives within the ancient ashes, that makes its home inside the soil of this sacred earth.
So let us be marked not for sorrow. And let us be marked not for shame. Let us be marked not for false humility or for thinking we are less than we are
but for claiming what God can do within the dust, within the dirt, within the stuff of which the world is made and the stars that blaze in our bones and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear.
—Jan Richards…


I am currently reading A Tree Full of Angels by Macrina Wiederkehr for my formation reading.

In the chapter I just finished, she uses a loaf of bread as a metaphor of life. The moments, the people, the thoughts, and all the rest are the crumbs that make up each unique loaf. Macrina writes about some of the crumbs in her loaf: love of trees, silence, sorrow, people, and a few others. The one that resonates most with me, though, follows:

Sitting at someone's feet
At someone's feet has not been my favorite place to hang out. As I grow older, however, I have such a yearning to sit at the feet of one who is wise. I long for wisdom, and I've discovered that I can't get wisdom from books. Wisdom comes from listening to life. If you find someone who has lived life fully and is still full of life, you have found a treasure. Learn from him or her. Lean on her heart as John leaned on Jesus at the Last Supper. Sit at his feet as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. It is not only at the t…

A Comforting Thought

In our room at SBC, we recently welcomed two new children. Both are adjusting to being away from their parents for the first time, which isn't the easiest adjustment to make.

So, I have been spending a lot of time holding crying children these past few days.

But, there are other children in the room who also need to be held sometimes, so I have to put one down to hold another.

My arms cannot manage more than one child at a time.

But, God's can. God's arm are big enough to hold our entire crying world.

What a comforting thought.

Let us walk in the holy presence.