My sister Janie’s eulogy
How do you measure a life? By how much money they made? Or how powerful they were? History remembers the rich and powerful, but only their memory, death takes away all that is false from us leaving only the love that we carry with us. I do believe that Janie had a lot of love in her and that is what went with her as she became face to face with God.
Two years ago, when I was visiting family, I was able to spend a good amount of time with Janie. It is fun
When do you stop helping someone?
How much should we help those who come for aid? I believe that it is a serious consideration and each person has to figure that out for themselves. One way to figure it out is to go the easy route. Those in need are there because they are lazy, or, are addicted to either drink, or drugs, and helping them is, in reality, making them worse and codependent. While I do believe that the concept of ‘codependence’ is a reality, yet I also accept as true tha
A beautiful, drizzly, morning
(My first sighting of our box turtle)
After Lauds, and Mass, I was on my way to our refectory, to do one of my duties, morning dishes. It was for me a beautiful morning. It was cloudy and rainy. When the sky is overcast it brings out the green in our grass, bushes, and trees. For me, it almost becomes a dark jade green color. It brings me peace to see rainy weather, and I guess, I love it more than sunshine. As I was walking towards the refectory, I noticed
Pray in trust
Pray using My Mother’s Rosary, even when you feel that your prayer is empty or mechanical, or when you are beset by distractions. The decision to pray pleases My Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of My Mother.
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu:
When Heart Speaks to Heart--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer
Discipline is needed for any endeavor that is given priority in one’s life. For people of all faiths or those who are seeking, for many of them, prayer and medita
Chad, a prisoner I am writing to
Life in a prison is intense, amplified, and I believe that the struggle for those who seek an inner relationship with God is also more intense. If only for the reason that they cannot get away from others. They can go into their cell, in some prisons, yet the noise can be overwhelming, I am told. There is violence, stabbings, and lockdowns. In the winter, from what I have learned, they keep the place cold, and one prisoner I write to says they allow no jac
A death in my extended family
Peggy is a second cousin of mine. I have grown quite close to her over the years. In fact, I am touched that she has always reached out to our side of the family. I do feel a connection with my family of both my mother and my father’s side. However, we moved to Panama in 1958, so the connection has not been all that strong. It is also a large family. I have many cousins as well as nieces and nephews, many that I have not had the privilege of meeting.
Fr. James’s funeral
All the years that I have been here, we have never had such a crowd for a monk’s funeral. It was a touching, and beautiful, experience for the whole community. Our lives are interesting, we go through our lives meeting others on a daily basis. We interact with one another, yet for the most part, it never occurs to us how we have influenced those around us. We do remember those who have touched us deeply.
What we become is made by one choice at a time. There is no su
The Reality of His Presence
“For you I must be everything. Everything! You understand?
Your life is mine…Move out of yourself; I’m living in you.
Do you grasp what I mean? I take up all the room.”
(From the book “He and I”) Author: Gabrielle Bossis
Pauline Press 6 Feb 41
(From the book “He and I”) Author: Gabrielle Bossis
Pauline Press 6 Feb 41
God accommodates us when He speaks. Using language that we can understand, when speaking of the incomprehensible, the ineffab
Waking up, the beginning
AA principles Steps 1-4
(notes for a talk I am giving for a retreat)
1st Step: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
I often wonder how manageable anyone’s life is. How much illusion is at work in our lives? I do believe that we each live in our own universe, have deep inner lives, with an often traumatic past. In this world, anyone who has had no trauma, or little, in their lives, is very rare indeed. A
Alleluia by Leonard Cohen a powerful prayer
The song alleluia by Leonard Cohen is very touching. Today, someone pointed out a video on you-tube for me to see, of a young man singing this song from the balcony of his apartment. He was singing to uplift the spirits of his neighbors. I was deeply touched by the act of kindness, but also the power of the song.
Probably for the first time in my life, when seeing something on the internet, or reading about it in the newspapers, I am finding
The right leader will save us?
While it is true that men and women who get into power through politics are I believe for the most part corrupt. I do not think this is a harsh statement, since I doubt if I were to get into the political sandbox that I would be able to stay honest either. Too many temptations on all levels.
I have always found it funny that every four years we think that we will finally get a leader to get us out of our decades-long slide into chaos. Yet, no matter who gets i
No easy way out
Not all problems can be solved. With some we have to wait and be patient. There is little that we can control, yet we can trust and love. Hard yes, but the easy way often leads to bitterness and despair. Death to self as Christ Jesus means it is in reality an opening to a life that leads to healing for all involved. Yet trust is needed when we don't understand, or when things do fall apart.
When Mary was told that a sword will pierce her heart, she had to stay with it
I am not a teacher, so when I seek to explain my faith, I do so as far as possible in a gentle manner. I am aware of my limitations. I believe that we all plant seeds in the souls of everyone we meet. These seeds mature either bearing good fruit or bad. We either help others on the way, or hinder them in their pilgrimage through life. So to abide in Christ Jesus, means for me to face that which is within me that imprisons me from the freedom of this true abiding in God’s all embr
Going deeper in and higher up
(Faith, NDE’s, Connection and the life-review)
We are all, truly, in this together. But we have fooled ourselves into a false sense of separation, whether from secularist and deterministic Newtonian science or the competitive dogma spewed to the masses from religious zealots of diverse beliefs that run counter to the original unifying principles in the mystical traditions of all of the great faiths. The fundaments and birthright of this universe are based in
When in heaven I will dance
(Lord give me the eyes to see beauty)
This morning the Abbot gave a talk on beauty. His talks are good and there usually one point that will jump out at me and won’t let go. He talked about seeing others, having the eyes to see what is perhaps hidden behind our walls of protection.
I do believe that what Jesus said about becoming a child is true, yet perhaps another way to look at this is to understand that he understood us and knew that in reality we
Grace and gift giving
(What I learned from my Dad)
In 1983 my mother died at the age of 63. It was not a sudden death. On my home visit in 1982 she told me that she had about a year to live. She was worried however about dad because he kept thinking she would get better. So when mom died it hit my dad pretty hard. A few months after mom died, dad asked if he could come down to the Monastery for an extended stay. Of course the answer was yes and he resided with us I think for abo
A little thought
It is interesting how a little thought will just pop up with no seeming connection to what is going on at the time. I left my room this morning and was walking towards the infirmary, when the thought, or perhaps it was a prayer, came to mind. I said, "Lord it is true isn't it, we really are flowers of the field". I am not the kind of person that likes to have flowers all around me all of the time and I don't feel a desire to have them in my private room either. I tend to l
Loss is a silent companion,
Its cold embrace,
Empty of all that was before
Fits like a black vest,
Forced up to the throat
Clinging in its need to feed.
With no where to go or hide
Since it is in the heart,
The center of life
That the void is felt.
Unrelenting in its lovemaking,
That leads only further down the road of loneliness,
Where all fears are felt to be true,
In a place that is shorn of all color or vibrancy.
To dare love
Yesterday was one of those days. You know how it is………as the hour’s progress things seem to build up, inner tension worsens, and about all that can be done is to simply try to get by without taking it out on someone else. I can get real short with people if my inner reserves get too stretched. I sometimes get a brittle feeling, sort of like dry taffy pulled to the point of tearing in into two pieces. I know it is just part of the cycle, moods change, energy levels vary, but that does not me
I came into work this afternoon and the first person I saw was William, who had that look. It was the look that communicated to me, that perhaps he needed to get out and about for a short while. Even though his short term memory is shot, I think the pressure of being cooped up has a physical component that needs to be addressed. Since it was after lunch; too late to get him a hamburger, I thought it would be a good idea to take him for a ride and get him some ice cream; something he loves jus
The entity lay coiled,
Upon the cold smooth surface,
Colder than any worldly ice,
Blacker than pitch,
Its frozen depth bottomless,
Cold burning like fire
For any enduring it touch.
The creature black as the ice,
Lifted it head
Seeking to find surcease
From the burdening silence
Suffocating like a blanket
That surrounded it.
It tried to scream,
But silence devoured the agony wailed.
Surrounded by a grey fog,
I have had over the years, trouble with Christian hard liner's, in the way that they not only use scriptures, but how they actually treat others in using the Bible in attacking others. I have always found this interesting, since attacking only raises up defenses, and in the end, nothing is accomplished. I suppose the main problem with this approach is that certain scriptures are gathered together, lined up, loaded, and then used as an arsenal to blast others.
Christians aren't the only ones
Dr. George G. Ritchie, a psychiatrist who, as a young man at Camp Barkeley in Texas, "died" for nine minutes during a horrible bout of pneumonia and claimed to have been shown the afterlife by none other than Jesus. You discern. We wrote about him a while back and feel compelled to revisit aspects we could not focus upon back then, for the experience was powerful at many unexplored levels.
When he saw Jesus, wrote Dr. Ritchie, it was a far more masculine power than he expected, not the meek im
He lies peacefully in his bed
Now his permanent home
Where he rules all he surveys
Often entertaining many who drop by
With smiles and laughter
Pointing and non-stop talking happy with the attention
From the many he knew in years long passed
Many come and he welcomes them
Though no one else can see.
Nonetheless the attention that he favors them with,
Patiently listening to what they have to say
Reliving past episodes,
That brings forth tears of joy and sorro