Friday, December 9, 2016

St. Juan Diego

Returning Wednesday from a luncheon, as I drove up a short hill I was greeted by this glorious silver freeze with the afternoon sun blazing through the ice.
At the hill of Tepayac in Mexico on this date in 1531, Our Lady began a series of four apparitions to a native-Mexican Juan Diego. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Any Room in Your Heart?

This is the very old iron furnace in my hometown.  It goes back to the beginnings of the town when some iron ore was found in the area.  Several years ago someone got the bright idea of putting life size nativity figures in it.
When we were in Bethlehem we were shown the cave where tradition says Jesus was born.  Luke tells us that the child was laid in a feeding trough for animals because there was no room in the place where people stayed.  Luke emphasizes the poverty and homelessness of Jesus' beginnings.  In the rest of his Gospel he will stress how Jesus loves and cares for those pushed to the edges of society.  Jesus lives in us and wants to use us to reach out to the poor and the marginal of our own time. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rejoice and Bloom

"It ain't much, but what there is is choice."  Those of a certain age might recognize that quote from a movie.  It is appropriate for my very small Christmas cactus, which maybe we could call an Advent cactus.  I like his color better than his two big brothers. 
Isaiah in a glorious expression of new life sings that the desert will rejoice and bloom with abundant flowers (35:1-10.)  I was lucky to be in a southwestern desert when the spring rains transformed the parched land with a carpet of lovely flowers.  No matter how parched we feel or our world seems, abundant new life is Christ's Advent promise.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Grateful Heart

I will make you a new heart,
breathe new spirit into you.
I will remove your heart of stone,
give you back a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26

Two years ago tonight I had my heart attack.  Thanks to God acting in many, many people, I survived.  My good neighbor who drove me to the hospital.  The doctors and nurses at the nearby hospital who worked hard to get me stable enough to send me to another hospital.  The excellent cardiologists and nurses at that hospital where I had triple bypass surgery.  The fine staff at the nearby sub-acute unit where I learned to walk.  The above view which played a large part in gentling me into full health.  Finally, my large family whose generous love and care had as much to do with my recovery as all of the above. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bare Beauty

Sometimes God doesn't seem to be around.  In the Bible we see that sometimes God seems to have abandoned Israel but always God's love and care win out.  This encourages us in our increasingly dark days of Advent to persevere in the hope that God is always lurking around, looking out for us.  St. Paul sort of sums up his difficult Letter to the Romans with this blessing:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in your faith,
  so that in the power of the Holy Spirit you may be rich in faith."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beauty Will Save The World

Such beauty gentles our hearts and draws us into the embrace of Absolute Beauty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hang in there!

We're still waiting, Love,
for that one transcendent
moment, waiting
for you to show us the magic, the secret, the reason
for hanging on.

I woke in the night and couldn't get back to sleep.  I sat in my chair and read some poetry from the large, fine anthology, The Poet's Quest for God, edited by Oliver Brennan and Tom Swift.  I fell asleep repeating the lines above from the end of Kim Goldberg's poem, "Possessed."

(The camera is facing the eastern sky made pink by the setting sun.  The gold in the window and    through the trees is from the setting sun in the western sky behind the camera.)