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Religion

  • There are lots of ways to lose one’s voice

    I was merrily browsing my inbox when the title of an article stopped me in my computer tracks. The Awaken Call Editors presented an interview with Kevin Hancock, “an award-winning author, public speaker, and CEO of Hancock Lumber, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious businesses” who spoke these words: “There are lots of ways to lose your voice in this world.”

  • Simply show up ... and discover holiness

    The Sunday within the octave of Christmas, in the Roman Catholic tradition, is designated as Holy Family Sunday. It emerges annually between Christmas Day and the feast of the Epiphany. Although the designation indicates memory of the unique Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, it is as well a celebration of the universal family of God. This commemoration rejoices in the reality of our human connectedness, no matter how we declare our denomination or designation or lack thereof.

  • Christmas presence is a surprising gift all year long

    We are deep into Christmas countdown. Everything around us screams, “We have only a few days in which to accomplish all we had planned to do.” Such a short time remains for all the unexpected or forgotten obligations. The pace quickens as the stores are depleted even of their shopworn choices. Jingling bells jangle the nerves. Comments are heard all around that “this Christmas stuff gets old fast!”

  • Being a prophet in one’s own country is possible

    Life is filled with wonderful surprises. Not too long ago, Hubby Dear and I were treated to a brief but spectacular encounter, the unexpected delight of sharing lunch with a “long-lost” friend. The delight was more than doubled by the inclusion of two women we had never met. An instantaneous connection became our universal joy.

  • Morning has broken, and my heart joyfully sings with it
  • To live in the land of absolutes is to miss the grace of imperfection

    Recently, I read a stunning commentary on the ways in which we humans miss the grace of imperfection. Grace, you say, with a quizzical look and a raised eyebrow? How can imperfection be a grace? There is one, very powerful, way in which we discover the gift that emerges from our recognition of human imperfection in ourselves as well as in others. This is to know, in the words of Richard Rohr, “Imperfection is the pattern that draws forth the Divine Mercy.”

  • To receive thanks is to be at the portal of giving thanks

    November rolls around with its annual invitation to give thanks for the multiple harvests of goodness in our lives. For some, perhaps for many, the wagon of gratitude overflows. There is so much goodness, so much bountifulness, in their lives because benevolence is never overlooked. Grace abounds in every nook and cranny.

  • We can’t be filled until we’re emptied

    I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I’m not a techie. That’s both a disclosure and a caveat. The story is rather circular, but then so was my experience. So, here goes.

    The tale begins with mistaken judgment. I have a Kindle I rarely use. Thus it fills quickly with emails I’ve already received, noted, deleted or given response via my computer. The Kindle has long been marked as being a decision I made too rapidly and without complete information. It’s too small to be used as a doorstop and too big an admission to deny.

  • Goodness can be found in the same ol’ stuff

    Ask someone about their life on any particular day and perhaps receive this response: “It’s the same ol’, same ol’.” One might perceive a sense of boredom or negativity or lack of adventure and excitement to provide uplift. At the same time, there is goodness to be found in the ritual of routine. Knowing what to expect hones the ability to deal with the unexpected. It’s a paradox, to be sure, but it is also a reality.

  • Gone is the haze from my clouded eyes

    It’s over! It’s done! No more drops to dread or plastic patches to wear. No more closed eyes until the bell rings to end five minutes of patient sightlessness. I can sing along with Johnny Nash … well, in a strained, off-key mimicry of the singer and in a paraphrased poetic rendition:

    I can see clearly now, the cataracts are gone,

    I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

    It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.