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Religion

  • A Second Look: What does it mean to receive and deliver good news?

    My story began in March, some details have already been described, but much more has occurred since then.

    It had been a difficult week for me. I had tripped, falling over a small stool that was hiding in plain sight. The immediacy of the pain signaled something not-so-good had occurred. Sure enough, it had. Thankfully, it was not a fracture. It was simply a sprain.

    Did I just type those words? Simply? Not by a long shot. The persistent ache took over my life. I was not a gracious receiver of the good news. I was an announcer of the diminishment of my life.

  • Weaving sunshine out of the falling rain

    As I perused the articles I had sent as copy to the Beacon these past few weeks, I noted that pain had been of primary interest.

    Here we are, in the wonderful springtime of the year, and I am still focused on pain. Sounds pretty pitiful, doesn’t it? Yet, there must be a reasoned cause for this reality, other than awful self-absorption and clinging to a “Poor Ole Me” attitude.

  • To serve is to ask how may I help?

    While I was playing with my new toy, an iPad, I discovered a marvelous treat — the capability of watching past episodes of “New Amsterdam.”

    That may seem silly to many folks. I suspect my children and grandchildren will be smiling as they mutter “Duh! This is news?”

  • Where is God when hellfire threatens utter destruction?

    “Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness,” James Thurber.

  • What does it mean to call a week holy?

    It hardly seems possible that the 40 days of Lent have brought us to the final seven days of solemnity observed in a variety of ways as Holy Week.

    For some, this may not be marked with a drastic change of schedule. Schools are yet in session. Supermarkets and other venues still have some chocolate bunnies or marshmallow Peeps for sale. Easter bonnets no longer hold popularity but department stores continue to stock spring frocks and footwear to mark this time of year.

  • A Second Look: To love means to wait on a hill of hope: a parable of life

    “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”— Dan Millman

    The sounds of shouting and arguing were deafening. It wasn’t the first time those angry noises had resounded in the house. No matter whose stories had been told about loving and sharing and brotherliness, no matter how often the virtues of peacefulness and understanding were described, the two siblings were filled with hostility.

  • A Second Look: Slight stroke of consciousness can radically change one’s perspective

    It happened long ago. In a way it was also in a land far away. Yet memories resurrect its presence and I am newly enlivened in the process.

    I was 20 years old and nearing graduation from college when my mother expressed a desire long held in her heart. She wanted a portrait of me at the age of 21. Why this was her hope and dream, I did not know, nor ever will. It was only necessary for me to understand the import for her.

  • A Second Look: Believing in a Cosmic God or a Cozy God makes all the difference

    It was early one morning when I picked up a reflection to read as a way to start my day with calm meditation. I was unprepared for the surprising gift I received in these words offered by Richard Rohr: “You are a child of God, and always will be, even when you don’t believe it.”

  • God practices tough love

    Perhaps one of the most precious, yet one of the most misunderstood, perceptions of divinity is most apparent in our human desire for God to do everything for us at all times. We call God, Abba, because we want a Daddy God whose aim is to make our lives perfect without requiring our participation or effort.

    We pray to God, begging a plaintive “Please…please…won’t you do this or that?” We call it intercessory prayer or asking prayer and it is good for us to plea for ourselves and others.

  • Come, everything’s ready — and there’s still room

    Based on the Gospel reading about the feast prepared for guests who declined the invitation with a variety of excuses and explanations, the women of Slovenia have prepared a challenging message for the 2019 World Day of Prayer. They gave it the title, “Come, Everything is Ready.”