Real power

We are invited to follow Jesus to the Cross every day of our lives, but no more so than on this day, Good Friday.

EDIT MDTP Good Friday notre dame fireJesus death on the Cross was an exercise of what appeared to be power on the part of the Romans, but instead was an expression of fear. Mary DeTurris Poust, in her book of Lenten reflections, Not By Bread Alone from Liturgical Press offered a powerful thought for this day, and I leave that with you for your prayer and contemplation. Once again the Cross at Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire provides us with inspiration and hope.  This is an image how real power resurrects, even in the midst of the worst death.

What will we die to today? Our ego? Our hubris? Our fears that puff us up or tamp us down? Our distractions or addictions? Whatever it is, we in one way or another have prayed to be transformed by Christ during our Lenten journey in the desert with him. How willing are we in the end to be transformed? Are we willing to trust the small turns of transformation of each Lent and each day of our life as we die to the lure of some overnight event, such as winning the lottery or suddenly no longer wanting to take a drink? Or are we still hoping for something that will externally change our lives? All the while Jesus continues to beckon from within.

Transformed or not, we are all called to remember that in our daily lives and exercises of power and our use of, or response to fear of the power around us. In God is the strongest power, the power that saves into eternity. We must remember that, especially today.

Many people object to the symbol of the crucifixion, many Christians even. But without crucifixion there can be no resurrection. One is entirely dependent upon the other, they cannot be separated, although it is the Cross that triumphs. If we are left uncomfortable by the Cross, maybe it is time to die to our literalism and to be born in the hope of the Cross. God does not choose to punish us cruelly. We all do a bang up job of doing that to one another and ourselves. God invites us to eternal life. That is real power. Are we ready?

New thing

EDITIsaiahLilacBud copyHaving attended a 4pm liturgy on Saturday, I heard a good homily, but I was left wanting. After hearing a young woman proclaim the First Reading from Isaiah with such gift and passion, and then to hear another woman proclaim the Second Reading with similar style, I felt so hungry – starved actually – to hear a woman’s preaching voice.

For the record, and to the chagrin of many, I do not support the women’s ordination movement as it exists today. Sorry, that’s another story for another day perhaps. Those of you who actually know me know that this is how I feel, what I believe, others – you will have to take my word for it and maybe I will go into it another time.

Anyway, these women’s proclaiming voices snapped me into a kind of openness and attention that left me vulnerable. Thankfully the homily was OK. The kind of homily an old friend might have described by saying Continue reading

Bread and desert living during Lent

downloadAs is often the case, my desire to blog is confronted with the reality of daily life – result, no time for blogging. Work has been busy, I have been dealing with a sick cat, and also working on some other projects. Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That said, I have a few minutes today and I’m wondering about how your Lent is going? What are you reading? Have you altered your prayer life? Many of us have obsessed over what to give up or take on, or both, but too much obsessing means a focus on the self and not God. Essentially giving up or taking on should be about creating more space to encounter God.

For the first time in a long time I am at peace with how that is unfolding this Lent. Various things had occurred that had my typical prayer practices disturbed, resulting in limited prayer. I was not at peace with that and have struggled for some time to find a new rhythm. Lent has provided me with a way to do that. Also, I am spending time each morning reading some wonderful texts, beginning with Give Us This Day. In full disclosure Continue reading

Lent Resource Reviews

7056_ImportantUpdateIMPORTANT UPDATE… please take note!
It has come to my attention that even though Amazon is offering Not By Bread Alone. The page for the book says that it is out of stock, will ship later – but they are NOT selling the book. Please go to the Liturgical Press website to order!

That got me thinking, what if that is also the case for Sacred Space for Lent? It also shows as out of stock. Anyway, that can be ordered via the Loyola Press website.

If you visit the Ave Maria Press website you will find Sacred Reading for Lent and the Living Gospel.

And how could I have forgotten two important resources? I did! One is absolutely free – go to the USCCB Daily Readings page to sign up for an email of each day’s Scriptures. Video reflections are also offered and can be found here.

Last but not least, I highly recommend a subscription to Give Us This Day. Yes I have a bias, I do write for them, but before that day ever dawned, I was a charter subscriber. Go have a look at their subscription page, you can even request a free sample.

 

Lent-631x295While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

In no particular order, I present to you:

While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

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In no particular order, I present to you: Continue reading

There Will Be Kale

kale-for-sale_3Lots of people post recipes; I am generally not among them. I may have put one or two Facebook, but not many. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, I truly love to cook, but I am not a food blogger, despite the name of the blog!

If you want a Catholic blog with good recipes, you can go read Not Strictly Spiritual by my friend Mary DeTurris Poust. Her Foodie Friday posts are great. There is a direct line between Mary’s vegetarian recipes and my own desire to eat less meat. (This reminds me that Mary and I are in a months long process of trying to have dinner together. It is ironic that despite living less than 20 miles from one another, we do not get to each other too often.)

GreenGoddess2Today I made kale slaw. That’s right – kale slaw, not cole slaw. I found the recipe at the Daily Bites blog, which has a lot of great recipes for you to try.  That is their picture and I hope that they don’t mind me sharing it with you here.

Kale-for-help-with-AlzheimersI changed some of the ingredients in the recipe, mostly because I did not have everything that was called for. I did one thing that increased the fat in the recipe, but so be it. And my changes were not without challenge… I liked this, but there is room for improvement. That said – it was great, very yummy and filling, and so good for you.

Here is my amended recipe. I thought it was a little sweet; I might use Greek yogurt next time to see if it will be more tart- and I will use less honey. This recipe was bountiful and extremely delicious. Give it a try, using the original from Daily Bites, or try your own modifications. Asterisks indicate where I made changes to their recipe.

For the salad:

  • 6 cups chopped kale*
  • 2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion*
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • Handful of sprouts
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • Handful of golden raisins

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 medium ripe avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard*
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the kale, broccoli, scallions, and carrot. Reserve the sprouts and pumpkin seeds for garnish.
  • Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard. Puree until smooth. The dressing will be thick, with the consistency of mayonnaise. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish plates of the salad with the sprouts and pumpkin seeds.

Let me add one more thing – how did I even find The Daily Bites blog to begin with? Through a link that Mary’s husband Dennis had on his Facebook page. I’m not sure if his link was to Daily Bites or not, but I did find my way there. Yet another gift of community.

Now I’m off to sort out that dinner with Mary!