Monday, September 19, 2016

Nostalgic Cruise

I wasn't sure I would have another day this season as beautiful and calm as this one, so I went for another solitary boat ride.  It proved better than I expected.  God showed up.  I became very nostalgic.  The memory of these little hills rising up out of the Lake got me through my last year in the seminary.  So many other fond memories of people and times kept coming up.  The sun finally coaxed me home.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Crime Story

A great blue heron tiptoeing along the shore takes a detour over our late summer makeshift walkway.
Jesus' story of the crafty manager apparently gave problems to the early church.  There are already a couple of interpretations even within gospel (Luke 16:8-13.)  Jesus praises the criminal manager, but what he applauds is not his crime but the consistency and initiative with which he takes care of himself and his future.  Jesus wants his disciples to show the same consistency and initiative in our relationship with God.  His story encourages us to use our minds and imaginations, indeed all our passion, to put the Divine at the center of our lives. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Using Money

One of several interpretations of the story of the crafty steward (Luke 16:1-13) says that, while wealth can seduce us away from God, it is possible to use it in a good way. We convert wealth into heavenly riches by sharing it with others, especially the needy.  Just as the steward made friends with the debtors by reducing their debt, Jesus tells us "use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Divine Hunter

Love is a hunter who keeps putting beauty in our way to catch our hearts.

Friday, September 9, 2016


This was one small impatience plant in the spring.  It can't wait to make even more flowers.
God is unearned Love, impatient Love, Love who is always making the first move, enticing us with Beauty. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Hound of Heaven

I fled Him down the nights and down the days;
I fled him down the arches of the years....
Now that voice is round me
like a bursting sea:
"All which your child's mistake
 Fancies as lost, I have stored for you at home.
 Rise, clasp my hand,
 and come."

Love, whom we sometimes call "God," doesn't just look for us like lost sheep or coins or wait for us to come back home.  Like Francis Thomson's bloodhound, Love searches us out and catches us up with sunrises like this morning's Beauty.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Something Beautiful

"Together we can do something beautiful for God."

Mother Teresa will be canonized this Sunday.  Her work for the poor and dying is world famous.  Even in squalor she could speak the words above.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day

The Knights of Labor began to organize workers in the second half of the 19th century.  Their president Terence Powderly was Catholic as was two-thirds of the membership.  In September, 1882, they staged the first "Labor Day" parade in New York City.  In 1894 President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a national holiday.
The objective of the labor movement was the general welfare of all working people.  Labor unions are responsible for most of the state and national labor laws, including child labor, working conditions, working hours and schedules (in Australia the holiday is called Eight-Hour-Day,) minimum wages, retirement plans and health care benefits.
Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore went to Rome in 1886 to express his support for the Knights of Labor.  Pope Leo XIII in 1891 published the encyclical "Concerning New Things."  Not at all a liberal thinker he was wise enough to recognize that the abuses of workers demanded that the church take a position.  Two of his main points were the right of workers to a living wage and their right to organize to protect their interests.