Showing posts from March, 2016

Alleluia for Life

The rising sun behind one shoulder, the lingering moon above the other. A death in the community on Holy Thursday, Easter Resurrection. A conversation about all we can do, and how little we can control. A sweaty morning run, In the chilly Erie air.
The call for me during this Triduum and Easter has been to not just accept things as they are, but even more, to embrace them. But, for me, that is often times a difficult thing to do. My mind tries to wrap itself around the paradoxes of life when the best I can do with those paradoxes is live into them. A poem that recently came my way reminds me of this. (Funny by Anna Kamienska)

What's it like to be a human  the bird asked
I myself don't know it's being held prisoner by your skin  while reaching infinity  being a captive of your scrap of time  while touching eternity  being hopelessly uncertain  and helplessly hopeful being a needle of frost  and a handful of heat  breathing in the air  and choking wordlessly  it's being on fire  with …


We offer the grain, We offer the grapes, Broken only to become Whole, Beautiful in their brokenness because we watch them become the Body and the Blood, Made whole by our Savior, Nourishment for our bodies, our blood.
And do you really think There is nothing else broken On this fragile earth That doesn’t want to be offered, To be beautiful, To be Whole?

Let us walk in the holy presence. Alleluia!
(via Google Images)

I Do?!

It's that time of year again.

As we prepare to enter into the Triduum, we are asked to consider the reality of our faith. Not that this isn't what we are called to daily, but during these liturgies the tenets of our Christian faith come to forefront as we are asked to stand and say "I do" to some pretty big stuff.

Do you believe in God?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
Do you believe in the forgiveness of sin?
Do you believe in the communion of saints?

We know that we will stand and say "I do" to these questions on Saturday night or Sunday morning, but what we do not know is how we will be called to live out these beliefs in the year ahead. The Paschal Mystery does not just end on Easter Sunday!

It is so easy to say that we believe what we do, but do we truly comprehend how bold it is to say it? Do we honestly comprehend the enormity? We watch yet another terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. We read about a presidential cand…

Holy Hospitality

This weekend I welcomed in a dear, sweet friend.
This week the community will welcome in many for Holy Week.
This Holy Week may we welcome in the Paschal mystery to our hearts.

As my friend and I took a windy, wonderful walk along the peninsula on Saturday, we spotted some surprise, unexpected hospitality on the sand. Check it out (from many angles)!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Total Freedom

I spent some time earlier today trying to figure out what I wanted to write in this entry. Then, I was laying in bed (after finishing a Netflix cooking show, of course) and I realized: You never wrote on the blog today, Val.

So, my mind starting going again deciding what to write. I had about twenty different ideas pass through my head, and then I realized: You can write about whatever you want, Val. So, I decided I would just write about something completely unrelated to any of my ideas.


On Tuesday night, we were watching as the new champion began his second day on the show. It was very close to Final Jeopardy. The contestant had a little over $19,000, and he landed on the Daily Double. How much did he wager? Well, $19,000, of course.

I was appalled. How could he possibly do such a stupid thing?

But as I think about it some more, how wonderful that he wagered $19,000! And maybe he was just being greedy, but maybe not. Maybe it didn't matter to him if he lost everything b…

An Entry When Writing Even A Single Accompanying Word Would Be Superfluous

Let us walk in the holy presence.


I thought it might be nice to take a break from all my reflections to tell you about another part of my life...


Now, let me begin by telling you how confused I used to make my students when I told them I didn't have a television at my house. Of course, I have no idea how many televisions live in my current home, though it would be an interesting fact to research.

Besides the news, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!, my TV viewing is confined to Netflix, and mostly cooking shows at that. Two weeks ago I came across a Netflix original called, Cooked. Given everything I just wrote, you can tell that this show was right up my alley.

In the series, based on a book by the same name, Michael Pollan (also the author), explores four different elements of cooking: fire, water, air, and earth. And, he highlights four different people who are cooking well with those elements. (Side note: In the earth episode, the showcased person happens to be a Benedictine nun with a Ph.D. in microbiology m…

The Fountain of Youth

I try to consider all of life a teacher, but if I haven't gotten the point across yet, children hold a special place in the classroom of my world.

Sometimes I don't know what I want to write on the blog, but eventually an idea comes together. On Friday, I read a few lines about kids in a book I am reading. I have had some great encounters with kids at daycare, and then I went to a running list of ideas that I keep for the blog, and one entry I saw was this poem. (You Should Avoid Young Children by Claire Keyes)

Because they fill their diapers
with reliable ease, sitting on your lap
or spread out on your best mattress.
Guilt is as foreign to them as vichyssoise.

Because they spread sticky fingers
over the piano keys, looking for you
to hoist them onto your lap. They slam
the ivories for the racket they can make.
Re-think your nap.

Because they are blank slates
on which so much waits to be written,
their eyes opened wide to take everything in,
including the lines around your eyes,
the pouches…

Dynamic Duos, continued

Don't you love it when you are reading some words, and then you open up another set of words only to find that not only are the ideas complementary, but they also speak to the very thing on which you are reflecting?

On my retreat this past weekend, it happened. Here is the duo:

From The Universe is a Green Dragon (as Thomas explains how relationships and interactions form new entities):
"This [conversation] reveals our cultural bias for analysis - the dynamic is as real in the life of the seas as it is in the realm of elementary particles. Each realm has its own integrity; the ocean can not be reduced to elementary particles. If you decompose the ocean into elementary particles, the ocean disappears."

From John Polkinghorne:
"Science treats the world as an object, something you could put to the test, pull apart, and find out what it’s made of. And, of course, that’s a very interesting thing to do, and you learn some important things that way. But we know that there ar…