Monday, December 29, 2014

It Could Be...

It could be as simple
as using a good paring knife
and singing, as you peel the apple

from top to bottom, then kissing
your grandson's nose as you drop
the unbroken peel on his head.

It could be checking the herbs
in the outdoor pots, noticing
the basil needs water.

It could be wrapping yourself
in a prayer shawl, fingering your beads,
studying the Bible -- all the better

to empty the space, prepare the ground
for the silence which offers answers
to questions which never cease.

It could be putting on your hat,
your boots and your gloves
and shoveling Mrs. Cohen's walkway

before you drive her to the doctor.
You wish she would talk less,
but you tuck your impatience

into the pocket of your coat,
and it escapes only once.
It could be as simple as blessing

the newspaper as you open it,
praying for the spoiled and lost ones
on all corners of the earth.

It could be as simple as knowing
that prayer is also love-in-action
or even hate in non-action,

that there is only one you
in the entire universe,
that your spark-raising cannot be done
by anyone else, not even by God.
~~Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


So many memories of Christmas Eve...Roger proposed to me right before midnight mass 40 years ago, and then we went in to St Mary's where love incarnate took on new meaning for us both, so eager to center our life on the Way of Christ...and I am remembering years later when Jessica, Conor and Kate surprised us with their own tender and humorous telling of the birth of Jesus that so blessed us as parents...and tonight Kyla will read the Prophet Isaiah, ending with the line "The love of our God will make this happen" and I am again and still learning this Way of Christ...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief.

Blessed are you
in whom
the light lives,
in whom
the brightness blazes—
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith
in stubborn hope
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

– Jan Richardson

Lessons in Light

So, it's been a rough six months (you may have noticed I have been mostly absent from these pages) with losses and heartache of all kinds that could only be held, accompanied.  We have clung to one another and to God, walked, as trusting as we could, helping each other over the rough spots, and carried our hope bundled with a bit of thread...
Now it is Christmas.  My favorite feast - my season of hope.
He surprised us with lights to welcome us home, the whole place a joyful welcome sign.
A week later it was our turn.
We wanted to surprise him with the tree, lit in the window.
But when I plugged it in, only half the branches lit.
In my heart I sighed "not this, not this year" and left the room for a Christmas box thinking we'd have to leave the tree and wait for his help.
As I returned Kyla, in child wonder, exclaimed "Mom, the lights are all on!"
My first thought was to the heavens - Thank you,
When she said to me "Sometimes the Light just moves a little slow!"
Now it is Christmas.  My favorite feast - my season of hope.

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel

Only after I'd written this did I realize 
it is Santa Lucia - the Feast of Lights!  I remember our girls wearing a crown of candles on their head with a mix of delight and terror!  
May you all be crowned with Light.