The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy. Continue reading “The Lenten Blessing — A Franciscan Benediction …”

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A Little Of This Mystery Each Day …

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
Albert Einstein (memoirs of William Miller – Life magazine, May 2, 1955)

Remembering Winter: The Season in Silence

Ice wine, as every drinker knows, is sweetness made from stress. That’s not news, or not exactly. All good wine takes its essential sugar from the stress of its circumstances: pinot noir, the grape of the cold country of Champagne, gets flabby and soupy as the climate warms. But ice wine is extreme sweetness made from extraordinary stress. Continue reading “A Little Of This Mystery Each Day …”

Welcome Home …

I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
— Mary Oliver from Upstream

Welcome Home

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life. Continue reading “Welcome Home …”

Hope: Better Days Ahead …

All night my heart makes its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing and just waiting, as I too wait (and when have I ever been disappointed?) for redbird to sing.
— Mary Oliver from A Thousand Mornings

We Look With Uncertainty

We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes…
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love. Continue reading “Hope: Better Days Ahead …”

A Prayer of Hope For the New Year …

God as this new year dawns,
Let us see the newness you are birthing.
May we not be blinded by darkness,
Or paralyzed by the fear.
That consumes our world
May we remember:
Out of winter’s night you bring forth light,
Out of winter’s death new seeds emerge. Continue reading “A Prayer of Hope For the New Year …”

God Is Everywhere (Advent Meditation) …

To look at the last great self-portraits of Rembrandt or to read Pascal or hear Bach’s B-minor Mass is to know beyond the need for further evidence that if God is anywhere, he is with them, as he is also with the man behind the meat counter, the woman who scrubs floors at Roosevelt Memorial, the high-school math teacher who explains fractions to the bewildered child. And the step from “God with them” to Emmanuel, “God with us,” may not be as great as it seems. What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us and our own snowbound, snowblind longing for him. Continue reading “God Is Everywhere (Advent Meditation) …”

2017 Advent Daily Meditations …

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.
— David Whyte from House of Belonging (Winter of Listening)

Continue reading “2017 Advent Daily Meditations …”

17 Statements of Gratitude …

  1. Thank you, God for the times You have said “no.” They have helped me depend on You so much more.
  2. Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds me that You know what’s best for me, even when my opinion differs from Yours.
  3. Thank You, Lord, for the things you have withheld from me. You have protected me from what I may never realize.
  4. Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented me from going where You would rather not have me go.
  5. Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You’ve allowed in my life. It has helped me more closely relate to Your sufferings on my behalf.
  6. Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in my life. Those times have forced me to lean in closer to You.
  7. Thank you, God, for the uncertainties I’ve experienced. They have deepened my trust in You.
  8. Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for me when I didn’t even know I needed a rescue.
  9. Thank You, Lord, for the losses I have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are my greatest gain.
  10. Thank You, God, for the tears I have shed. They have kept my heart soft and mold-able.
  11. Thank You, God, for the times I haven’t been able to control my circumstances. They have reminded me that You are sovereign and on the throne.
  12. Thank You, God, for those people in my life whom You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth keeps my heart longing for heaven.
  13. Thank You, God, that I have an inheritance in the heavenly places…something that this world can never steal from me and I could never selfishly squander.
  14. Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give me: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on my behalf.
  15. Thank You, God, for the righteousness You credited toward me, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a righteousness I could never earn or attain on my own.
  16. Thank You, Father, that You know me, You hear me, and You see my tears. Remind me through difficult times that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good.
  17. And thank You, Lord, not only for my eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford every day of my life as You save me from myself, my foolishness, my own limited insights, and my frailties in light of Your power and — Cindy McMenamin

Continue reading “17 Statements of Gratitude …”

World Weary …

God breathes through us so completely, so gently, we hardly feel it, yet it is our everything.
John Coltrane

Weary

World-weary?
Perhaps what wearies you
is not the world
but your own mind.
It’s time to make
a pilgrimage
from the furrow
in your brow
to the temple
in your chest.

Continue reading “World Weary …”