Kaleidoscope Prayer

As I continue on as a spiritual being having a human experience*, my view of prayer, like a kaleidoscope, has slowly shifted, offering me an opportunity to wrestle as well as fresh beauty at different points in my life. Nowadays, I believe that prayer is all around us and all we have to do is tune into it. No words are necessary. Being present to the conversation, the plea, the pain, the beauty is, indeed, the prayer. What view of prayer do you have? For me, engaging in creativity and painting helps me to tend to this presence and flow. How has it shifted over time?

9pm Silence Swells (Holy Thursday)

I continue my focus on the monastic practice of seven daily pauses. Tonight, we pause for Holy Thursday. Last week, we rested at the Twilight Hour (6pm). This week, we break at 9pm, (Compline; the Great Silence). A wonderful book greatly aiding me through this series is Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr. One by one, footsteps fall away, voices once vibrant now faded breath. Conversation, communion, prayer, all sacred imprints of presence, most significant for the awake soul. Now, the table is quiet. You remember, how, at the meal, you placed the small white manna to your lips —…

What Gift Shall I Bring?

What gift shall I bring to you, baby Jesus? Shall I scour and clean for your arrival? Shall I practice a song to lull you to sleep? Shall I work at the stove to make you a meal? Shall I buy you fresh clothes to wrap you warm? Shall I worship loud and long praising your name? Shall I decorate to give you a triumphal entrance? Shall I bring you riches and treasure oh so fine? (Spirit rustles, oh so soft) “No, none of that is needed. Just bring me you.” Me? But, I’m not enough. “Certainly, you are. Your…

The Gift of Good News

Long ago, amid a brutal ruler, governmental systems of oppression, crooked financial systems, religious systems of rules, broken down familial systems, came news of a different sort. It wasn’t news for Christians, for there was no such thing. It wasn’t news for law-abiding Jews; it spread beyond their tribe. It wasn’t news for the rich, much to their dismay. In fact, this news first was told to the lowest of the low… the shepherds, the dregs of society, the disgrace of their families. Yes, it was this very group of outcasts, those tending to their flocks in wily fields among…

Transforming Labels

I remember the first time I met Chris’ cousin, Laura. Chris and I had been dating for about three months and we drove from our tiny college in the Southern tier of Western New York to Brooklyn for his cousin’s bachelor and bachelorette party. This trip marked the first time I would meet Chris’ mom, sister and some of his extended family. I was in la-la-love and meeting his family excited me. We left college on a Friday evening after my involvement in a choir concert celebrating the 1970’s. In full hippie gear, with love and the Age of Aquarius…