AMDG

amdgToday is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. There are so many fine Ignatian websites and resources, that if you are not familiar with St. Ignatius or the Jesuits, you can easily learn more. That Pope Francis is himself a Jesuit, has created a lot more awareness of the order in general.

Ignatius has been close to me for so long, longer than I imagined. He was trailing me, an agent of God, but for many years I was oblivious . Now I smile as I think of the many times our paths have crossed over the years. I think of God weaving the fabric of life, strands coming together to create patterns and pieces that will later become a clearer image.

Speaking of pieces that become Continue reading

Padre A’plas

stanley-rother-picFr. Stanley Rother was born and raised in a German-American community in Okarche, Oklahoma, but ended up as a missionary priest in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Speaking almost no Spanish, and absolutely no Tz’utujil, the language of the local people, Fr. Stan arrived and immersed himself in his new community. This immersion transformed both him and those he served with love. Padre A’plas, meaning Padre Francis, as he became known, worked together under many difficult circumstances in the pursuit of justice and dignity.

516nNayXAiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_On this day in 1981, he was martyred – shot in his own residence. While I had heard of Fr. Rother before (I know a priest who was in seminary with him),  I was not very familiar with his life and witness. Recently I had the privilege of reading an unpublished galley of biography of Fr. Rother. That book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, will be Continue reading

Ultreya!

ultreia-1Hi, I have not been around, although many posts are in draft mode. And then there are the book reviews that got “lost” under drifts of snow and blasts of cold during the winter, the ones that had me seeking refuge on my sofa. Where exactly have I been since the warmer days came along? Well – I’ve been walking and walking and walking. And then I walk some more. Yes, me. Really!

From early on,  I was a big walker. Having grown up in a place with a downtown and sidewalks, and then having lived near and worked in NYC, I always walked a lot. Then I moved here, started grad school at night and a new career during the day. Walking was the short distance between house and attached garage, parking lot and office, and so forth. Grad school ended in 2013, but somehow I could not get my walking – or exercising in any form – groove back, except for when on vacation.

walkinarelaxedmannerlrgSo what’s up now? The summer after graduation, I read Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. Long ago dreams of making a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, specifically the Camino Francés were reawakened. Now that dream is becoming reality scheduled for September 2016, a date chosen about one year ago when my friend and fellow pilgrim Sue and I decided to try to follow up on this seemingly impossible dream.

This is truly a quixotic quest. Am I really going to Continue reading

Laudato Si’ you soon!

PopeQuote0615-e1434644573760Yesterday I spent far too much time reading *about* Laudato Si, and not enough time reading Laudato Si. Add to that, many feelings and emotions about the Charleston church shooting, the fire at the church of the Loaves and Fishes, and about a million other things.

I’ll be making my way through the encyclical and I will offer some thoughts and reflections about the document and what I think it means to all of us. Here are a few initial thoughts….

1. We have to explore all parts of the encyclical, and not just the parts that appeal to us. Notice I say explore – meaning opening our hearts and minds and not reacting immediately. (Although what great temptation!) For example, that a Muslim mystic is referenced (Footnote 159, Paragraph 233) is as important as what is found in paragraph 120, regarding abortion.

2. Unbridled capitalism is as bad as communism.

3. That everyone is likely to find something that they disagree with in the encyclical tells me that God is truly present and as challenging as ever.

4. We all basically need to drastically revise how we live. How likely is this? Yeah, that likely.

5. Reread #1 above.

6. Keep breathing. Go deep. Ask more questions rather than give more answers.

Laudato si you soon! I’ll be back with more.

Justify my hate…

pray-for-your-enemiesFrom the Gospel today, and continuing into tomorrow…

“You have heard that it was said,‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Your hatred is not the problem, OUR hatred is.

Your hatred is not the problem, OUR hatred is.

We shoot one another.
We have no respect for the environment.
We often have no respect for Pope Francis.
We might have had no respect for Pope Benedict XVI either, and he was environmentally inclined as well.
We often don’t pay people enough to live.
We have no tolerance for one another.
We are vitriolic towards one another.
We feel entitled to our “things,” because we “earned” them.
We put people to death.
We bomb children.
We starve people.

How are we doing? Do we justify our own hate?

Loving Lilacs – A guest post by Linda Berkery

f100_7341-1Loving Lilacs – by Linda Berkery

When you think of the Adirondack Mountains and the majestic Lake George, “lilacs” is not the first word that comes to mind. And yet there they were—crazy lilacs—nature’s own wild landscaping overlooking the lake. Who might have planted these old fashioned bushes so many years ago? I wondered. How wonderful that they remain on the fringe!

An unexpected gift from my daughter brought us to the Adirondack Mountains in May for a few days of quiet rest. My husband settled in with his pencils and sketch book to draw the gorgeous landscape, while I Continue reading

Remain in My Love, a reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter

13746Have you ever heard someone say, “I used to go to church, but I’m not welcome now.”? These words, and variations of them, may be spoken in anger, sadness, resignation, but most always in hurt. Hearing them breaks my heart.

What church doesn’t welcome/like God’s people? God’s longing is to draw everyone in relationship with God, as members of the mystical Body of Christ in the world. All three of today’s readings orient us towards God’s invitation to all people, offered in love, and made manifest through our own participation and action.

image002First we hear about Cornelius, a Roman citizen, who prostrates himself before Peter. Without hesitation, Peter tells him to get up, reminding Cornelius that he too is human, not divine. We are all human, and Jesus – who is divinity enfleshed, came to draw us into deeper relationship with God through one another. Peter tells Cornelius that God shows no partiality, and that every nation that “fears him and acts uprightly” is “acceptable” to Him. At this point, the Holy Spirit “fell upon all who were listening to the word.” Such an event is shocking to the “circumcised” who were amazed by God’s generosity and welcome to those they considered outsiders.

This makes me wonder why God’s generous welcome remains Continue reading