Why do we pray? And how does it work? I’m not sure that these questions can be easily answered, or if they are even the right questions to ask. Not that I know what the “right” questions are. Given recent events, and after seeing the Facebook page of a non-religious friend, I did post the second question on Facebook, and was surprised to find over 50 replies in the comments! They came from a wildly diverse group of people, and not only from church-goers. The long, thoughtful thread that emerged moved me deeply.
Would any of the replies have satisfied the original question on my other friend’s page in the first place? Probably not, and for more multiple reasons. This goes back to my point about if “how does prayer work?” even being the appropriate question.
It hardly seems real that in a little over one year from now, Sue and I will be boarding a plane to begin our Camino Santiago. Such a thing would not be possible without the outpouring of support received from so many of you. And how I thank you for that on-going support – not simply material support, for which I am deeply grateful, but for the tremendous friendship, love, encouragement, prayer and more that comes to me every day from so many. There truly are no words.
If I know you, I have your email. To those of you generous ones who I do not know… please leave a comment here, or simply send me your email at festinalente07 at gmail. To all of you who who donated, if I don’t have your snail mail address, and if you are willing, please also send my way so that I can (eventually) send a handwritten thank you. You may not feel that it is necessary, but I would like to do so!
When I launched my camino campaign, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly did not expect it go take off. As I have said before, I was nervous – and I felt awkward. My expectation level was low, so I figured if nothing happened, so be it. So many people have responded, and continue to respond, with tremendous generosity, both materially and in friendship, love, prayer, as well. It is overwhelming, but it is primarily awe inspiring and I am overflowing with gratitude that is beyond words. Thank you all so much. My heart and my prayers for all of you who have supported me in whatever ways you can!
Since I did not have any expectations, rather unusual for a super-controlling person like myself (those who know me well and personally can attest to this! 🙂 ) the entire experience has shifted how I view my Camino de Santiago. Suddenly what felt like a dream, has more reality to it. The thought of going had a Brigadoon-like Continue reading →
Although it may be hard to believe, Lent begins in less than three weeks, on Ash Wednesday, February 18. For many of us, Lent offers us the time to re-orient ourselves through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As we walk with Jesus in the desert, we are given gifts which may appear heavy and burdensome, as we are confronted with the weight of our own sin. That said, we are also given the gift of change and transformation, ultimately dying and rising with Christ our Lord.
Long before Lent begins, I am on the lookout for prayer resources to use during that season. This year, I have before me, three books, each one offering different gifts of prayer that you may Continue reading →
For the past twenty-five years, whenever I have faced a difficult trial, or feel uneasiness in my faith, I return to the same “touchstone” memory. It was the day when a change of health taught me to cherish small moments, and write daily prayers of gratitude. It began with the day I focused on the present rather than fear the future.
On a cold January day with a brilliant blue sky I was roasting a turkey and frosting a cake for my husband’s birthday. The baby was napping and four-year-old Tommy was upstairs with his new friend, Glenn. Lego music of clinking, dumping, and swishing blended with giggles. I remember checking the clock when the garage door opened. I was not expecting to see my husband Jack until dinner.
“Why are you home so early?” I asked. Jack mumbled, grabbed some Tylenol, and Continue reading →
The other day I posted about New Year’s Resolutions – or lack of them. If you read the post then you know that they have never been my thing – and that I have been prompted by the Spirit to ask the question #whynot? Why not try something new or different, something that has been long desired – or recently imagined – and see what happens? Most change, as we know, comes slowly. Many times one small change can bring forth more sweeping ones over time.
One thing that seems to come up for a lot of people is the desire to pray; either to begin a regular prayer practice, or to deepen an existing one. Speaking as the world’s most undisciplined person, I can tell you that the only consistent practice in my life is Continue reading →