Retreat

QuietI just returned from a wonderful retreat at Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT, a place that I have long wanted to visit. A number of years ago, I did visit Litchfield a few times, but I have not been there in a long time, nor had I been to this place.

In the on-going embarrassment-of-riches department known as my life, (thank you God)  I was asked to help facilitate this retreat, which was being presented by a team. What a joy to be able to say yes.

For almost 48 hours I did not listen to a radio, watch a television, look at a computer screen, see or hear any news. What I did do was receive the grace to be able to fully sink into a real place of peace – a true retreat.

There were 18 retreatants, and 6 of us on the retreat team. My portion was near the very beginning so I really got to participate and relax with everyone else. The topic of the retreat was prayer, with different forms presented. There were no shortage of both aha and ahhhh moments. This diverse group of women was a joy to get to know; I arrived knowing only one of them and I left feeling my heart touched by many. God shows up in everyone, giving new meaning to the Catholic idea of “here comes everybody.”

LabWisdomDawnWe had a good amount of free time and I walked the labyrinth more than once. This morning I arose, heading out there shortly after sunrise. Oh, how I loved walking with the sun peeking over the hills and trees in the morning quiet, barefoot in the wet grass.

Returning around noon, I made two more turns, quietly praying the Jesus prayer at first, then making up a short prayer of my own. The space between heaven and earth seemed little more than a diaphanous veil at that point. Many prayer intentions and thoughts of friends and loved ones were alive in my heart during these two days.

Today I drove home in silence, relishing the quiet and peace. Now to find ways to continue to nurture this gift, one I have been actively trying to cultivate in the garden of my heart this summer. I am so thankful for the gift of retreat.

What would the world look like if we all had time for retreat, or at least some respite from every day living? Very different, I suppose. Very different.

A lot of words about the lack of peace

images“Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!”* and he kissed him. Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” So says Jesus in Matthew 26:49.

In John 14:27 Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

Yes, I understand the need and the right to self-defense, but honestly, I do not totally understand it. Jesus was pretty much, table-turning not withstanding, the original passive resistance protester. He did not raise a finger against anyone, other than those tables.

Whether it is the once-petty-now-out-of-control political divisions that are everywhere in the US, the crisis war between Israel and Hamas, the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, allegedly by rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine, and so much more, the world seems to be a mess.

Compare this to situations Continue reading

Happy Anniversary to the BCA!

10330278_670390603034584_2679992228669539590_nThis coming Friday at 6:30pm all are invited to the 30th Anniversary of the Black Catholic Apostolate here in Albany! Gathering at St. Joan of Arc at 76 Menands Road in Menands, one and all are welcome to celebrate the joy!

There will be a Vigil Service with the Choir, followed by an address offered by Cardinal Peter Turkson. Cardinal Turkson, a native of Ghana, is the President for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Following his address, refreshments will be served. The suggested donation is $35.

A special anniversary mass will be celebrated on Sunday, July 20, at 10:15am. Once again – all are welcome! Come share the joy!

 

I’m still here…

10466769_10203299197814406_618249123_nDear Readers, I have not abandoned my blog, but it does appear that way, doesn’t it? This summer has kept me busy in all sorts of good ways. Deciding to opt for more more prayer, family and friends time, sleep, time outdoors, reading, gardening, sneaking in some Netflix , even more family and friends time. I’ve also been working on some side projects that have taken my time. Plus we had 3 high school graduations in our extended family, including our own daughter, and her high school graduation as well. It is no  wonder that this poor blog has temporarily fallen into disuse.

My hope is that you are enjoying these days as well and not really noticing that I’m not here much right now. I will return and I hope that you will also! How has your summer been? Vacations? Books? Gardening? Movies? Let me know in the comments!

Peace to all.

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Wheeee! Some thoughts on the Trinity

PlaylandParkway 136x93When I was a little girl, my father, loved to take us to a local amusement park,  Playland. This old fashioned park was shown to the world in the Tom Hanks movie, Big. I can easily recall the excitement of seeing the Playland Parkway sign, letting us know that we were almost there! Wheeee! Let the fun begin!

When I was about 11 years old we headed there one day, to meet up with another family who had a daughter about my age. She wanted to go on a ride that terrified me. And no – I had never been on it, but just the thought of it sent me reeling! It was called the Round Up at that time.  It iis the one where you stand up and hold on, but when the ride gets going, centrifugal force holds you in place. My dad liked this ride, but I would never go on it with him. However, not wanting to act like a baby in front of another kid, I Continue reading

Living Under the Influence – a book review

404618_LARGEA phrase often overheard – for good or ill – at a bar is, “I’ll have another.” Yes, have another drink, you’ll loosen up and feel good.

Or will you? Perhaps you will end up, “under the influence” and that is not necessarily so good.

Years ago I heard Richard Rohr speak about the notion that alcohol was called “spirits,” something that I had not thought of before that moment. But we consume “spirits” or alcohol, to get a little buzz and feel good, and we begin to fall “under the influence.”

In his latest book, “Under the Influence of Jesus,” (Loyola Press, 176 pp, $15.95)  the wise and prolific Joe Paprocki sets forth a vision. The subtitle of the book says it all – “The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ.” Forget how we feel if we have a few drinks, how do we feel after we experience Jesus? Continue reading

Pentecost! What God has done for us

182522278_640I have so many thoughts about Pentecost that it is difficult for me to write about it! Hence the lateness of this post. “Come, Holy Spirit!” How I prayed, but many unfinished drafts litter my drafts folder, and no real idea.

About to give up and put the finishing touches on my post for tomorrow, a book review of “Under the Influence of Jesus” (Loyola Press)  by Joe Paprocki, I took a look at Facebook. Right there before my eyes a new post popped up on the Loyola Press page, a video about Pentecost from Joe himself. I stopped to watch and Holy Spirit inspiration came in a mighty wind!

Joe uses the analogy of a tremendous amount of debt amnesty along with the influx needed to start a new business. I’ll post the video so that you can see it for yourself. His use of the phrase “what God has done for us,” got me thinking.

What has God done for us? Continue reading