Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Listen and attend with the ear of your heart - St. Benedict

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.
When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.
-John Fox


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The commonplace miracle:
that so many common miracles take place.

The usual miracles:
invisible dogs barking
in the dead of night.

One of many miracles:
a small and airy cloud
is able to upstage the massive moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder is reflected in the water
and is reversed from left to right
and grows from crown to root
and never hits bottom
though the water isn't deep.

A run-of-the-mill miracle:
winds mild to moderate
turning gusty in storms.

A miracle in the first place:
cows will be cows.

Next but not least:
just this cherry orchard
from just this cherry pit.

A miracle minus top hat and tails:
fluttering white doves.

A miracle (what else can you call it):
the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.
and will set tonight at one past eight.

A miracle that's lost on us:
the hand actually has fewer than six fingers
but still it's got more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the inescapable earth.

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:
the unthinkable
can be thought.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Praying for family (Day of Prayer and Fasting for Syria)

I gathered prayers all week, rising early to offer my holy hour of prayer and fasting as the people of the world unite today for peace, though in truth the prayer for peace has been companioning me through these days. Why wait...
My own heart overwhelmed with the immensity of need, I found myself placing the need constantly before the Lord, only held out my hands and offered one word - Syria - to the Father's heart.
This morning, though, I read through those gathered prayers.  I prayed them slowly and with full intention in early morning darkness. I thought of all the others who were joining me in prayer unseen this morning...some in the comforts of their homes, some in churches, but also in shelters and on streets, in temples and especially those living in the midst of the terror we are praying to end.  When I got to the last, a litany of Mary of Nazareth, my heart broke wide open.  The myth of separation was again torn apart... those written prayers did their work, words I never would have thought of on my own pointed the way and I did follow. 
The power of prayer is not just to change circumstances...the very act of praying changes us!  May the example of Mary's humanity and the full humanity of her Son Jesus bring us all home to the oh so very human FAMILY of GOD...

Friday, September 6, 2013

God bless Fr Sheahan. Gifted with 2 loaves of gorgeous homemade Irish bread he kindly shared. Perfect ending to the day and saved a bit for morning too!