Showing posts from August, 2014

God's Love Stories: Inspiration and Reflections on Current Issues

The links collected since last month's link up are many and varied. So much so, that I've divided them into two groups, although it's kind of a fine line. Inspiration: I recently reviewed Micha Boyett's book "found". Here's her beautiful guest post at A Holy Experience : The 1 Unlikely Secret to Hold Onto When You're Sad Seeking God Beyond God by Kristen at Wordgazer's Words , and sort of on the same subject, Rachel Marie Stone at Religious News Service on Inclusive Language for God does not Equal Heresy . Those Orphan Moments , a guest post by Paul Buggy at God in All Things Jennifer Dukes Lee reminding me of when I lost a treasured ring with her reflection entitled  If You're Feeling a Little Lost and Unseen Walk Across That Water by Jan Richardson Leaving the Monastery (and Taking it With Me) by Matthew Wright at Contemplative Journal Reflections on current issues: There's No Such Thing as Passive Aggressive Peace

I am NOT the Canaanite Woman (Blogging the Lectionary)

I wasn’t going to blog the lectionary this week. I declared to my husband last night that it was too hard and I couldn’t find a handle on it. We talked about the events in Ferguson and the first line came. The story is found in this week's gospel, Matthew: 15:21-28 . I am NOT the Canaanite woman although I roar with approbation when she made Jesus see her humanity. I am NOT the Canaanite woman with my skin the color of privilege. I do not comprehend  the depth of her pain. In the face of it, I do not know what I can do. I am NOT the Canaanite woman who broke centuries of animosity between two nations between two genders between two faiths who broke ALL the rules to save her daughter. I am NOT the Canaanite woman but I am Jesus (in this story), and I am sorry I ignored you and I am sorry your pain wasn’t as important as mine and I want you to know I am with you now, ask and you shall receive. You are not alone.

When You're At Loose Ends

Towards the end of my retreat, I started feeling antsy, at loose ends, that perhaps I had done all I could do for this retreat and I still had two nights left. Of course, I was wrong. I picked up a couple of books and started reading them and put them back down again. I picked up a "Henri Nouwen Reader" (not the correct title) and within pages came across this quote: "When we are not afraid to enter into our own center and to concentrate on the stirrings of our own soul, we come to  know that being alive means being loved. this experience tells us that we can love only because we are born out of love, that we can give only because our life is a gift, and that we can make others free only because we are set free by God whose heart is greater than ours." - (Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer ) I read that and realized my loose ends meant I was dodging the gift of acknowledging the presence of God, of sitting with Jesus, like I would with a loved one, close togeth

Blogging the Lectionary: Let's Walk on Water

This Sunday's gospel reading (Matthew 14:22-33) is the familiar story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter jumping out of the boat to join him, getting freaked out and Jesus rescues him. Since I started to blog the lectionary, I've been reading a lot of commentaries and they almost all focus on Peter (in one way or another) or even the disciples in the boat, but not Jesus. The miracle of walking on water seems to be off limits. Is it because the divinity shines too bright? My bible study group recently finished a Mark study written by Marcus Borg . His focus was how Jesus illustrates the Way and how He calls us to follow in that Way. It's probably a huge mistake to take the theme of one Gospel and apply it to another, but why not? somewhere between Carpenteria and Ventura If we are called to follow the Way and use Jesus' actions and words as examples, what does this passage tell us? What does Jesus say and do here? First, that solitary pr

in everything (poem)

in everything remember to breathe remember God. all, all is holy. be earthed in God, rooted and recall God's love, God is love, God is present with me. breathe in love, transform cells into compassion. breathe out and begin. this is for any task, at work or at home. an act of love is in everything. (Written while on retreat, using a prompt from Christine Valters-Paintner's "The Artist's Rule")

Lamentations for today

Tisha B’Av is the day in the Jewish calendar when Jews remember the day the First and Second Temple fell (655 years apart, the same day). It has become the day that the deaths resulting from pogroms and Crusades and the Holocaust are remembered.  To observe this day, many Jews read the Book of Lamentations, among other things.  I pondered this on the way home yesterday, read the entire Book of Lamentations and cried. Yes, cried. Between pondering and reading, here’s my take of what Lamentations might be written today (quotes are from the original Lamentations): “My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out on the ground…” Anxiety twists a hard knot in my chest, for we’ve lost our center, spinning out to the polarized fringes, convinced we’re right and the Other is dead wrong, and needs to pay for it, so we use word-daggers to shame, steel to silence. God, aren’t you disgusted with us yet? We deny You are Love, we fai


After having seen recommendations for Micha Boyett’s “found: a story of questions, grace & everyday prayer” on various blogs, I checked it out and put it on my wish list. I wasn’t quite sure as it seemed to be another new mother in search of God story. As someone who doesn’t have children, nor never will, new motherhood non-fiction isn’t exactly something that grabs me. (This is putting it mildly. The original rant went more like: "why are all these books about motherhood?!”) However, my Mum saw it on my wish list and sent it to me and I’m glad she did. You see, while she equates motherhood with the rhythm of a monk’s life, I quickly realized that all I had to do was replace “new baby” with “full time job” and it was then I could fully enter into her writing. So much so that I finished it in one day while on retreat — and that’s with three naps throughout the day. Her book got me thinking about rebalancing my life: not letting work consume, not falling back

Blogging the Lectionary: Come to the Water

During this season there are two "tracks" for the lectionary. One journeys through Genesis and the stories of the matriarchs and patriarchs, the other delves into the writings of the prophets. My church is on track one, Feasting On The Word is using track two. Today, I'm following the latter because it's Isaiah 55:1-5. "Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters..." It's my favorite hymn in the Catholic hymnal, especially now that I've figured out the descant. It speaks of God consoling those whose basic needs of water and bread, sustenance, is not being met.  Especially, but not only, the defenseless. Even those of us who spend money "on what does not satisfy" need food, water to survive. And we need God to survive, if we would but only listen. Listening means sitting with, engaging with, being in relationship with. It's an intimate relationship, not at all like the voice over that calls: "Attention shop