Sunday, March 24, 2019

Feasting During Lent

There’s really nothing we can do about the Liturgical calendar...except embrace it.

On March 17th we celebrate St. Patrick. (He is the patron saint of our diocese.)

On March 19th we celebrate St. Joseph.

On March 21st we celebrate St. Benedict.

It makes for an interesting Lent with so many major days interspersed. You feel like you’ve just caught your breath, and then you hear people asking people to read Scripture at Easter Vigil.

True story.

In feeling overwhelmed by the pace the past few weeks, today we heard a nice homily from our presider, reminding us to simply be. A welcome Lenten reminder, indeed.

Here are some reminders from nature “to simply be” that I’ve glimpsed the past few days:

A shamrock that I had to re-root...Happy Feast, St. Patrick!

The sun glistening on Seven-Mile creek:

A wonderful Lake Erie sunset, taken at 8:14pm! (Hoorah for lengthening days!)

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Lingering with Mary

Oh do you have time
     to linger
          for just a little while
               out of your busy

and very important day
     for the goldfinches
          that have gathered
               in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
     to see who can sing
          the highest note,
                or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
     or the most tender?
          their strong, blunt beaks
               drink the air

as they strive
     melodiously
          not for your sake
               and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
     but for sheer delight and gratitude—
          believe us, they say,
               it is a serious thing

just to be alive
    on this fresh morning
          in this broken world.
               I beg of you,

do not walk by
     without pausing
          to attend to this
               rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
     It could mean everything.
          It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
               You must change your life.


Last Thursday a group gathered at The Writing Studio at St. Mary's to celebrate the life of poet Mary Oliver, who died in January. There were readings of Oliver's poems, stories about the ways that she affected lives, and anecdotes about the power of the late poet's words to make us think, reflect, and pay attention.

All in all it was a joyful evening, giving us an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other's company while sharing--a real gift of community. I have been thinking about this poem of Mary Oliver's, Invitation, as I continue to spend extra time with her words following her death.

To be attentive to the simple gift of life, all around all the time, always available to us when we stop. Yes, the world aches, and yes, the world is beautiful all the same. This Lenten season calls me to let go of my own agenda for myself a bit, with its self-created demands for personal growth, and to attend to the "rather ridiculous performances" which bring me out of my self daily--feasts for the heart and soul.

Thank you, Mary, for the reminder. And thank you to those who gathered to celebrate her.

Let us walk in the holy presence.


Monday, March 4, 2019

Patience Obtains All Things

My friends and I spend a lot of time wondering how we can speed along the process of becoming patient people. (Yes, we understand the inherent issue.) We spend a lot of time looking for answers. We spend a lot of time doing things that only come with faith in the Holy Mystery.

Having this poem (The Secret by Denise Levertov) show up in my inbox last week was an answer.

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
poetry.

I who don't know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can't find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
lines

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,
for

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

staring at starlings

In Honor of Valentine's Day...

Here are three things currently on my "love list." 1. This photo that Jen, a postulant in our community, took of a snowy tree...