Monday, December 31, 2012

Proverbial Wisdom

The Gate of the Year

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied,
‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’   m. l. harkins

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chekhov and his wife, Olga “Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.” Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Little Birds

For those of you who visit here just to hear this sweet song...
here it is, on it's own, just for you...
Need to find a new gadget for playing tunes as the old one closed shop!
But not's Christmas!


Old friends meeting for lunch, we’ve shared our lives for decades now, weaving in and out of our days.  There have been broad gaps of time, yet whenever we come together time falls away.

We were laughing, shaking our heads, crying too as we shared these many days.
Ended up sharing memories.  They were tracing our years through the growing up of my family.

How they helped me sew Jessica’s dress for her first big school dance/date.  Hung the curtains in the kitchen of our new house together. They remembered Conor’s heartbreak when his cousins ruined his Lego creations during one Christmas at our house.   Recalled Katie’s young sense of injustice and humor when she’d come over after school and tell all.  Wondered at the miracle of Kyla, watching her grow into such a delightful and confident girl.  They have carried these along with me, and much more besides. 
We were all married young, and lasting love has been our common grace.  Shared laughs over our humble beginnings, tiny first homes and the things we did without so happily, young romance still fresh in our minds, wondering when all this gray arrived.

Yes, we’ve shared a good road.  We nod, and our banter falls silent.  I wonder what they were thinking.  I was suddenly lost in remembering…
He’d sold our car, taken his wife, grieving over child-loss, to spend the summer traveling Europe, and back home, no money in our pockets, we had only a bicycle and he rode me on the handlebars to morning mass.  I was so full of love, so proud to be loved by him for all the world to see, like the queen of an impetuous parade.  I felt my own beauty that day when we stopped there, in the back of St. Mary’s.  He kissed the palm of my hand even as I still felt the handlebars hard imprint on the back of my legs.  Just put his love right there, in the palm of my hand, quick as that.

We ordered dessert to share, and why not.  Held our spoons ready to dive in.  It was delicious. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

While We All Sup Sorrow with the Poor

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor.
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears,
Oh! Hard times, come again no more.
'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door.
Oh Hard times, come again no more

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door.
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh! hard times, come again no more.
'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
'Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore,
'Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave -
Oh! Hard times, come again no more.

'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days have you lingered around my cabin door.
Oh Hard times, come again no more
Oh! Hard times

For the families and loved ones lost in the Newtown Tragedy

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gaudete - Walking the Glad Road

9 year olds hear everything...
but where their fine-tuned ears will take them only the Lord knows.
Last night we were discussing our retirement while she did her homework. 
And as I pull into the parking lot at school this morning, she asks,
"So...when you retire, THEN will you be a nun???" 

It appears I am having a long novitiate!
But don't I know it!

Reminded me of years ago when Jessica introduced me at her high school on career day...She said it was hard to describe what I do...
"My mom, she said, is like a nun without a habit!"

Habit-Clothed, arrayed, invested, denoting a particular calling or rank.
From Latin habitus condition, character, from hab─ôre to have, hold, and give.
Any regularly repeated behaviour that becomes intuitive, requiring little or no thought and is learned rather than innate.

The Feast of the Incarnation -Christmas- brings me back to the crib of Christ, and the poor manger of my own heart.  Yet in my poverty I find Him there and I am full of hope and yes, joy...that I can learn to be what I see, Christ...and learn to do what I know is true and so live the mystery of the Word become flesh. 

Christmas teaches me this habit is not gained by achievement or great spiritual works, but by the fleshy real experience of Love incarnate.  Practical theology!  Incarnation is not past-tense but continuation. Here my novitiate continues - to learn a life of love. What a glad road!

One day, God willing, I will retire, and hope that I wear a habit of grace in body, soul and spirit.
Then, perhaps, I will be a nun, which originally was nonna, an endearing term for an old woman!
Sounds like Grandma to me...Love it!!!

Walk this way

Why do we love and admire kingdom people like Mary and Joseph, and then not imitate their faith journeys, their courage, their non-reassurance by the religious system? These were two laypeople who totally trusted their inner experience of God and who followed it to Bethlehem and beyond. Mary and Joseph walked in courage and blind faith that their own experience was true—with no one to reassure them they were right. Their only safety net was God’s love and mercy, a safety net they must have tried out many times, or else they would never have been able to fall into it so gracefully.
Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, pp. 66-68

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

Putting up the tree, baby Jesus is nestled in the branches first - in the 'heart' of it all, the tree evergreen like God's faithfulness...the wood of the tree which formed a manger...a boat...the cross. And so we surround and adorn with lights for the Light of the World, with happy memories framed in glitter and paste celebrating the blessings we have so enjoyed. St Nicholas' abound - reminding us to be generous to the poor, to serve God with joy. Angels are scattered about, with Kyla's latest rendition on top, to proclaim the good news! There are stars to guide and hearts to follow the way of Love incarnate. Pearls are draped that remind us of the pearl of great price. I find so much reflection there this year...Come to me Jesus, be born more deeply in the poor manger of my heart...