Friday, September 30, 2016

Home of Prayer

"But a religious house, no matter what's going on there in terms of people's personalities, is first and foremost a house of prayer. Those in it spend hours in prayer. The layers of all those years of prayer do something to the spirit of the building itself. They are houses where details because every work, no matter how small, is a prayer. Where every task of living is preformed mindful of the God from whom all things come."  
Bishop Edmond Lee Browning, A Year of Days, September 30     
From the beginning of my time with SpiritCare, I have had a sense of being in a monastery when I am in some skilled nursing and assisted living communities.  Even in the chaos that is often present, there are those, both staff and residents, who pray, and pray often.  I believe these prayers matter.  They open the gate for the Holy to come and simply be with us.  These prayers help us all be in the world differently; that is more lovingly, more compassionately, and more trusting of God and one another.  I find myself asking more and more, "Why would we not want to age in a house of prayer?"         
In that light, I want to re-share a piece I wrote in March of 2008.  For those of you who have journeyed with me from the beginning of my ministry, you may start to see some repetition as I sort through my writings. On October 15, I will celebrate my 9th year with SpiritCare.  I do not see this sorting process as simply looking back, but rather a condensing of how I believe God has called me.  The frail and the vulnerable have taught me much.  I am grateful, and my commitment to be a monastic presence in these communities continues to deepen. What I wrote on March 3, 2008 still rings deeply true for me today. I am grateful. 
A couple of weeks ago a woman made a comment to me about my writing.  She said she really liked it but she expressed some surprise.  “You write about very ordinary things.”   It is true that I write about what I see and hear as I make my way in my daily life.  Yet, I am not sure I understand what the word ordinary means.  Maybe I try to celebrate just how extraordinary the ordinary is.  If we truly believe that life is sacred, surely the ordinary should just glisten for us as the precious jewel that it is. 
I have recently come across a quote by Ronald Rolheiser in the book, Small Surrenders by Emile Griffin: Certain vocations…offer a perfect setting for living a contemplative life.  They provide a desert for reflection, a real monastery.   I think I understand some of the simplicity and honesty that is implied in Rolhieser’s statement for I experience it in my work, particularly when I visit skilled nursing facilities.  There, much falls away.  Possessions have been passed on to others.  Friends and family often are not physically present.  There are no luxurious appointments to reassure oneself of one’s position in society.  Mobility is, at best, at a minimum.  Even that most reassuring statement, “Well, at least I have my health,” is a mantra that no longer rings true.   

Yet, it is there, at the end of these long life journeys, where we experience the vast frontier of God opening up before us.  While I do not climb physical mountains or sail the Pacific Ocean, I journey with others as they make their way through days and nights of longing, terror, sorrow, and yes, joy.   As we cross these valleys and mountains, and make our way across sometimes stormy seas, I have the sense of God guiding and calling us to the border where we all will eventually slip from this physical life.  My role is not to help people die, but to help people live, regardless of whether they remain here for the next three years, or the next five minutes.  The timing I must leave to God.  Nonetheless, the more I journey, the more convinced I am that life, not death, is eternal.    
            The image of working in a monastery is wonderfully reassuring for me.  It reminds me that I serve the eternal love and light of Christ within us all – that which can never be extinguished, not in this life and most assuredly not in the next.  It is that precious jewel that glistens within our extraordinarily ordinary lives. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Embracing the And

In Christ, there is no such dynamic as either/or.  Despite our fondness for imposing burdensome ultimatums on one another, God always gives us the both/and.  "And" is open-ended and on going. "And" is the frontier that is God's love which is both known and yet unknown.  God's embrace knows no limits.  In 1 Corinthians 13:7, the  Apostle Paul wrote, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."  Often that has felt both burdensome and impossible to me. That is because I forget that that we do not bear things alone. I forget about the yoke that is light.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Life of Our Life

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! 
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance from the river of your delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life, 
in your light we see light.   
Psalm 36:7-9  
I will be with two of favorite communities today. Little Brown Church in Sunol this morning and First Church in Redwood City at 5:00.  Wherever you find yourself today, take a moment to know God's love is for all to receive and share.  That fountain does not run dry.     

Saturday, September 24, 2016


A few days ago, I received an email announcing that someone very dear to a community was in the final stages of her life.  I believe she is her 80s.  The email was brief, but did state a couple of the reasons why she was so respected and loved.  I met her a few years ago, but certainly could not claim to know her. Nonetheless, a sense of gratitude welled within me for her presence. The email was simply signed, "In Silence." I felt a collective, respectful surrender to the inevitable mystery that awaits us all.    
To my daily rule I have added bowing. I bow to the Christ I sense in others. I bow to the eternal Mystery that holds us all.  

May we all have a peaceful death. If we can lightly hold to this idea, I think we can know peace in this life today.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rest Home

"When Jesus invites us into the rest of his easy yoke, he is not saying that we can take it easy while he does all the work. Rest is not a couch where we kick back in front of the TV, glad to be home for the holidays. Rather, it is the place where we learn the rhythms of the work we made for from the One who made us. Rest is coming home to the way of life that fits, learning to inhabit the story of God's people and practice the craft of life with God wherever we are."  
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Wisdom of Stability, page 61.  
I do not hear the phrase "rest home" used much anymore, and I miss that comforting phrase. Yet, there are communities where I do get a sense of purposeful rest - of letting people be who they are today, in the bodies they have today, but not abandoning hope that life can be meaningful at all stages of our lives.  As I ponder this, I realize that I do not think I have ever seen a picture of Jesus where he has wrinkles.  Now, we know know Jesus spent a lot of time outdoors, and while he was certainly not European American, his dark skin must have shown the signs of one who did not live a sheltered life. His ministry as we know it began in his 30s which in his time was not all that young.  Lifespans were much shorter, and for many, including an itinerant preacher and healer, unpredictable. I think we have skewed our thinking of Jesus, Mary, and the disciples and made them perpetually young.   
Of course, we all have our own interpretations of Jesus and Mary and hopefully these interpretations stir us into being more loving in this world, regardless of the images we hold dear.  However, it may be time to let them be  wise elders, not just those in perpetual youthful bloom. Jesus may be more of a model for aging than we realize.  The gentle yoke is for all stages of life.  When I  think of someone who is drawing close to the end of his lifespan saying, "Let the little children come to me," I hear it with even greater tenderness.  I have an image of a sage, slightly bent, definitely wrinkled, gathering the children in and offering them protection them from the heat and passions of the day, much like a venerable old tree. The invitation and the journey is for all.  May we all find rest in this embrace.    

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.  

Matthew 19:14-15​

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Opus Dei

Including the phrase "honor responsibilities" in my personal rule has helped me to hold my responsibilities lightly, but certainly not carelessly. This became apparent yesterday.  If I am traveling to the peninsula or further into Santa Clara county, I always check the traffic before I go. Yesterday I noted that there were two accidents on 880 south.   I was just about to get into my car when it suddenly became clear to me that I would not be able to get to my destination on time, and sitting in traffic worrying about that seemed not the way to honor my ministry, nor was not the way I wanted to spend either my birthday or The International Day of Prayer.  I got out of the car, called all concerned and made arrangements to come the following week.  Suddenly I had a wide open day. 

I knew I needed to run one errand in Oakland, and I did that.  At that point, I was at a crossroad.  I could go further into Oakland and go to Sagrada, a locally owned shop of books, candles, crosses, and other beautiful things to enliven one's spirit.  However, I decided to keep things even more local, and I opted to return to San Leandro.  

My first stop was to get my car washed.  After I paid for the service, I realized that this family owned and operated business is still issuing delightfully old fashioned receipts that are carbon copies of hand written service tickets.  I then went to a local jewelry store to get my watch battery replaced, and learned that the proprietor was a third generation jeweler.  He plans to stay in business until a date in 2024 that  will mark 100 years of the family business.  His children, with his blessing and encouragement, opted to not become jewelers, and when he retires, this long-lived enterprise will close.  I then stopped at our local hospice thrift store and spent a whopping $17 (total) on a cute black and white jacket (lined in teal!), some colorful tiles that are probably destined for the garden, a lovely cup decorated with fancy birds and flowers, and some cards designed by an artist who finds inspiration in the floral patterns found on Ming dynasty vases.  This shop is a marvel of order and tidiness, and the women who volunteer there are quite proud of that. They can get a little fussy, but since they are raising money for our local children's hospice, most of us willingly comply.  
I then walked down the street and had a bowl of my favorite chicken and vegetable pho. I always smile when the waitress advises me that the vegetables will cost an extra $1.50.  One one hand, that is a little expensive for about 30 cents worth of chopped broccoli, bok choy, and carrot, but the vegetables are always impeccably fresh and perfectly cooked.  While I savored my soup, I watched a beautiful young woman enjoy her lunch with a man who was probably her father. I say this because they both had strong large hands. Hers were smooth and youthful; his older and more rugged.  However, as they talked, their gestures often mirrored one another. At another table, two women lunched and tended to a baby in a carriage.  Other people came and went, talked with companions, or checked messages on their phone. I almost always enjoy the lively, but usually not too loud activity level in this restaurant. Feeling quite satisfied and happy, I came home and read.  I later met Tyler at an event he was hosting, and we walked to dinner.  A very satisfying and peace filled birthday. I do thank you all for your warm greetings.       
I have seen opus Dei translated both as divine office and work of God.  Both translations seem appropriate to describe yesterday. The day turned out to be a Sabbath rest for me. The gift of it gave me a sense of gratitude for God and for being able to support my local community. I believe that such support helps bring stability to all of us, and I think that stable communities can help stem what seems to be an ever rising tide of poverty and violence.  In the excellent book, The New Parish, such stability is described as "rooting," a phrase coined by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Wisdom of Stability, Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture. "It happens as you open up and let your place teach you about its shape, geography, history, peoples, cultures, and so on. As you come come to know it you will see the need of it, and its need for you."   
God works in moments of change and interruption. We should treat these moments with respect and curiosity whenever possible; in much the same way we should treat one another.  Such reminders are the gifts of Sabbath. 
The photograph was taken yesterday in Oakland. The quote is from page 136 of The New Parish, How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community  written by Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens, and Dwight J. Friesen.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Psalm 23

I came across this rendition this morning.  There is much here I like.  Today is The International Day of Peace and my birthday.  A good day for me to remember that Jesus walked among the lilies and considered them beautiful.  As are all of you.  Let's give the world a break and spend some time with God today.     

The Lord is my Pace Setter . . . I shall not rush.
 He makes me stop for quiet intervals. 
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
 He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and His guidance is peace.
 Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for His presence is with me. 
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance. 
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
 My cup of joyous energy overflows. 
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
 for I shall walk in the Pace of my Lord and dwell in His house for ever. 

A version of Psalm 23 from Japan, as reprinted in Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit:Reflections, Meditations, Prayers, ed. Kathryn Spink (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1983)--  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Serving Together

As you know, I have been enjoying Esther de Waal's writings, so when I noticed a used paperback copy of The Way of Simplicity, The Cistercian Tradition, I could not help but pick it up. I have not really started reading it, but I cannot help but peruse it.  However, the chapter entitled "Integration" has caused me to pause. It is based of  the relationship of the sisters, Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).  
I confess I have never been able to read the story without wanting both Mary and Jesus to get up and lend Martha a hand in the kitchen. I do recognize that men in Jesus' time did not do that sort of thing, but this story has always created a yearning within me, and maybe that yearning is can be defined as a wanting for wholeness.  Not an either/or but both.  De Waal describes this interplay as "the two orders of love which must coexist together."   She quotes Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx (1110-1167): 
It must be remembered 
that Martha laboured 
and Mary was free from work 
in the same house; 
the same soul in whom Christ is welcomed, 
both lives are led,  
each in its own time, place and order.  
I am reminded of a yoga teacher I once met. At that time she was over 80 and still teaching. She told me that she and her husband spent some time as hospice volunteers.  She was clearly the Martha of the two.  She said she did not have much patience for just sitting and talking, so she would do some cleaning and maybe run errands. It was her husband who just loved to spend the time in conversation. No doubt that together they brought much comfort to the patients they served.       
If the Living Body of Christ is to be served well (or at all), we need Marys, Marthas, Toms, Franks, and all sorts of people who come to serve just as they are.  Some will bring many gifts and some may bring just one or two. Some may come in great need.  If we can avoid thinking that one set of "bringing" is better than another, then the Body of Christ can be served with humility and love and we all can grow.  However, if we think that somehow some gifts are better, more artistic, or more productive, then we start to make idols of ourselves and we lose our sense of gratitude and wonder.  That makes for a poor church, and diminished lives.     
May we remember it is all prayer. Sometimes it is hard to remember that God calls us all, but that is surely one of the great lessons of this life.  We learn to welcome and make room.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saying Yes

In Benedictine life there are three vows:  stability, obedience, and conversatio morum.In the preface to Seeking God, The Way of St. Benedict, Esther de Waal writes, "Above all, he [Benedict] knows that life in must be a never-ending journey. For his life in Christ means life through a succession of opening doors, not a life that is always static and safe. We can translate the vow of conversatio morum as the challenge to continual, on-going conversation, being open to the new, saying yes to following Christ's call to discipleship wherever that may lead."    
A few days ago, I was blessed to be able to take some time to sit and talk with a long-time friend.  She is also an ordained minister, and we share an interest in issues around aging. In our conversation, we found ourselves pondering what it might be like to live in a senior community that is faith-based and centered in prayer.  I really cannot see myself in assisted living.  I am simply not that social. However, I want to use this third part of my life to draw closer to Christ, and that must be done in community.  It is not a solo venture.   
It is my hope and plan to become a Benedictine Oblate novice next month.  I believe this call is a true one that fits into my ministry and church membership. I also believe that regardless of our faith, we are all called to age with fidelity and courage.  I have learned that is often not easy, but we cannot run from ourselves, not for very long anyway.  St. Benedict urged his monks to run towards God- that is to follow their call with passion. I am reminded of some lines from an old spiritual, "There ain't but one train, upon this track. It runs to heaven an' right back."   We truly have no place to go, other than to God.  Let us go with purpose and love.     
Blessings on your journey. I am grateful that we travel together.   
Photograph is a detail from a mural in Hayward, CA.  The hymn that was mentioned is entitled, "Every Time I Feel the Spirit."  

Friday, September 16, 2016


On Monday nights, the Hesed Community in Oakland offers lectio divina.  I wonder why I have stayed away for so long.  This week we meditated on Nan C. Merrill's rendition of Psalm 114.  Such a blessing to hear beautiful readings in community.  That night there was only two of us, but I felt the gentle presence of others coming home.    
Come, all you who have wandered 
far from the path, 
who have separated yourselves 
from Love; 
A banquet is prepared for you 
in the heart's Secret Room. 
There you will find the way home, 
a welcome ever awaits you. 
Even as you acknowledge the times 
you have erred, 
the forgiveness of the Beloved 
will envelop you. 
Call upon the Beloved  
when fear arises, 
when you feel overwhelmed; 
The Eternal Listener will heed 
your cry; 
you will find strength to face 
the shadows. 
Befriend all that is within you, 
discover the Secret Room 
in your heart. 
Then will abundant blessings 
enter your home, and, 
you will welcome the Divine Guest 
who is ever with you. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Alas, I experienced impatience this week.  Yes, even after writing the piece on the value of waiting, one afternoon I found myself unwilling to surrender to waiting. While I want to assure you that I did not yell, scream or storm out during this bout of impatience, its wave did cause the inevitable riptide in my life, and, of course, in the lives of those around me.  It took awhile for the effects to subside.  Cooking supper helped, as did drawing a simple pastel.  Yet, even after taking those steps, the effects of my impatience disturbed my sleep.  The next morning, I still had a sense of unease. That discomfort led me to call the person whose schedule had been disrupted and thus affected mine, and I asked for forgiveness.  We had a good talk, and we even were able to discuss a concern of hers. I am grateful for the nudge to pick up the phone.   
Expectations pave the rocky way for impatience. Impatient people often bring up the story of Jesus overturning the money-changers' tables as a sign that some (i.e. their own) impatience is a good thing.  They are probably right, but we do need to be careful.  As I thought about Jesus, I wondered what he had to say about patience, and my initial perusal in the Gospel did not come up with anything definitive.  However, what he did comment on was judging, and that led me to Matthew 7 where Jesus warns that before we try to take out the speck in our neighbor's eye, we need to tend to the log in our own.  Impatience leads us to believe that we are being let down because our treasured expectations are being thwarted.  When we are impatient, we do not see clearly.  Our ego blinds us. We become competitive.  We want and believe we deserve victory.   
I learned much during this recent bout of impatience, especially how healing reconciliation can be. I am writing this on September 11, and many prayers for peace will be lifted today.  However, peace can be achieved only when we recognize that we are all in this life together. This coming together over common ground is often not easy, but few humans are called to live outside of family, friends, and other communities. It is in these relationships where we find healing, but only if we can make room for one another's struggles as well as our growth. Despite our yearnings for "the perfect" family, school, work, faith, and other communities, we usually come together imperfectly. However, unless a relationship is deeply toxic, we can make some progress in our mutual healing if we make room for one another. That is the gift of the invitation to share communion. I am reminded of a stockbroker I met years ago.  He often would tell me that he was grateful that he "hated" his first wife so much that working long hours became his norm, and he was considered quite successful even if his marriage did not last.   However, it was not long before his arch-nemesis, his wife, was replaced with another: alcohol.  We cannot simply walk away from ourselves and expect to thrive. We need love - both the giving and the receiving.  That is our gift, our practice, and how we are sustained.         

Friday, September 9, 2016

To Wait

I woke from a dream this morning to the word, "wait."  In the dream I am in a rundown apartment.  The light is murky. This one room apartment has almost no furniture, and the paint on the walls is chipped and stained.  However, I am not alone. People are coming in and out. There is a small patio outside, and I go there and sit with others. A  young child comes to me and crawls into my lap. I ask her name, and she replies, "Priscilla." I notice her legs are covered with sores, and I am alarmed.  A woman (I have a sense this woman is not the child's mother) tells me, "Do not worry. She has an allergy."   That is when I woke with the word.  
Waiting is more than just resignation or idleness. Waiting is active.  In Luke 12:35 we hear the instructions, "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit."  Benediction spirituality teaches us that there are two steps to waiting: listening and obedience.  As I previously wrote, even the word obedience is rooted in listening: "obaudiens".  It is not collapsing; it is not wasting time. It is faithfully waiting for the unveiling of the next word and the revelation of the next step.  To rush waiting is to rush birth. That is generally a poor idea.       
 In the foreword to Seeking God by Esther de Waal,  Kathleen Norris wrote of our "ungodly hurry." I know all too well that hurry. It occurs when I rush ahead in a frenzy of action and worry that leads me away from both effectiveness and God.  Such hurrying results in a splintering; I am not in touch with my soul and I lose the sense of God's presence.  Certainly here in the Bay Area, this splintering frenetic hurrying is a plague.    

In the spirit of healing for us all, I  leave you with a beautiful prayer from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ. He was a priest, writer, paleontologist, a thorn in the side of the Catholic church of his time, and so much more.  He was born on May 1, 1881 and died April 10, 1955.  This prayer is found in the beautiful book, Hearts on Fire, Praying with the Jesuits. Both helped get me through seminary.  
Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Moments of great calm, 
Kneeling before an altar 
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God 
To speak; the air a staircase 
For silence; the sun's light
Ringing me, as though I acted 
A great role. And the audiences 
Still; all that close throng 
of spirits waiting, as I, 
For the message.  
Prompt me, God; 
But not yet. When I speak, 
Though it be you who speak 
Through me, something is lost. 
The meaning is in the waiting.   
Kneeling by R.S. Thomas      
Photograph is a detail from a wall mural in Hayward, CA taken on Labor Day, 2016.    

Monday, September 5, 2016


The need for security can be such a block in life. It keeps us where we are, yes, but worse it can keep us from discovering where we must be if we are ever to grow into full stature.  
The Radical Christian Life 
Sister Joan Chittister, OSB    
Learning to balance a sense of security with our yearnings for new horizons is one of the biggest challenges of living into the third part of our lives. This puzzlement can stymie us with either inaction or compulsiveness, but it can also be a catalyst if we allow it to lead us to a connection with God. Through that connection, we learn that no matter what, we are always being called forward and deeper into our own lives. We are not running away, but moving towards a vision that is so much more than we realize.  May even a glimpse of that dream be bigger than our fears.     
A few days ago I spent some time with a woman who just turned 70. She is struggling with mobility, partly because of a significant weight gain. She told me that in her last physical therapy appointment, she rose from her wheelchair and stood for five seconds. She then looked around from the pinnacle of her own two feet. 

Heroic is the only word that comes to mind.  It is to such that we are called.  

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Empty Enough To Hear

We stand daily before God with empty hands.  
 Esther de Waal     
To have a rule that one returns to daily, even one as simple as mine, does require obedience. That scary word comes from the Latin word obaudiens, or to listen intently (I must thank Esther de Waal for this knowledge. I seldom remember to ponder the richness of the history of words). Whatever form our prayer takes, there comes the moment when we must surrender to listening.  Not just with our ears, but with our selves.  There are times when I am leading worship and I hear only silence. That is when I know God is a listening presence because it is the same silence I hear at the bedside of one is passing.

The first word of Benedict's prologue to the Rule is listen. 
The invitation is for us all.  

Saturday, September 3, 2016


In the last months of her life, even in a busy skilled nursing community, Gloria embodied quietude.  Her area of a shared skilled nursing room was partitioned off with a curtain, and consisted of a small table and bed.  On her wall, placed where she and her visitors could see it, was a small framed poster that read, "Rejoice always," from Philippians 4. There were a few other items on her bedside table. It was a blessing to worship with her when she was able to join us, and when she could no longer do that, I was grateful to be able to stop by her bed and pray. Yesterday, as I prayed she did not stir. I think she probably passed before the night was over.    
Her roommate, who is anything but silent asked me, "Do you think she hears you?" That, of course, is not important. The irony is that Dianne wants very much to be heard, but I have a very difficult time hearing her. Until I interrupt her, she does not stop talking. The part of her that I think really wants to be heard is not easy to reach. It is like trying to reach an eddy in a rushing torrent. Usually, I get swept up and am carried too far downstream to get there.  

This ministry is a weaving of speaking and singing, serving communion, enjoying easy conversations, listening to and reflecting upon the deeper issues, and praying about it all. The one thing it has never been about is whether or not anyone hears me. The crux is whether or not I am really listening. Just when I think I am, I realize what I am hearing is my grocery list.    
When Pope John Paul II passed, I was struck when I heard that while he left some final instructions to those around him, he had no personal effects to will. Certainly as pope he was not living in poverty, but it does seem wise to practice giving as much away as possible while we can.  When I think of Gloria, I realize she, in the end of her life, left a rich legacy. She gave me a safe harbor where I could be with God.   
Maybe is really is as simple as Jesus said. If we want to be heard we need to talk less. If we want more of God, more of that which we treasure needs to be given away.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Gift of Waiting

We put off so much of life - visiting relatives, writing letters, going back to school, finding a new job.  But one thing stays with us always, present whether pursued or not, and that is the call to the center of ourselves where the God we are seeking is seeking us.  
The Rule of Benedict 
Joan Chittister, O.S.B.    
An unexpected gift of writing my personal rule is that I have been able to let some of my tendency toward procrastination go. I have learned there is a difference between waiting and procrastination. Nature shows us that waiting is full of life and helps us to bear good fruit. Procrastination, however obstructs this rhythm that allows us nurture and then bring forth our gifts, and may even eventually bring harm. Fortunately, we can always learn new ways of being and of waiting.  God never gives up on us. 
Sister Joan will be speaking at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Christ the King Parish, 199 Brandon Road, in Pleasant Hill. Tickets are available  If you do not procrastinate, you can get your ticket for the early bird price of $45.00!     
Many blessings as autumn begins to unfold.