Pink azalea blossoms

A Different Kind of Lent

It is hard for many of us to believe that we are already in the fifth week of Lent and on the threshold of our Holy Week pilgrimage. As we began our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday, we had no idea that our usual Lenten routine would be overshadowed by…

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Agony in the Garden stained glass detail

Thirsting for God

“My soul is thirsting for you, O God, thirsting for you, my God,” was the poignant refrain to Responsorial Psalm 63 sung at the funeral of Our Lady of the Valley teacher, Judi Hobbs, several weeks ago. Judi was a 58 year old new grandmother whom I have known for…

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cemetery crucifix

All Shall Be Made Well

Many people are familiar with the frequently quoted phrase “all shall be well” but do not know the source or context of the quote. The phrase dates back to 14th century Norwich, England. A female anchorite (a permanently enclosed hermit) attached to the church of St. Julian wrote these words…

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Painting of Chapel and Sunken Garden

Shades and Shadows

Some time ago I started taking an art class. We were given a picture and told to look at it to see the various shades and shadows so that we could paint what we saw. The more I looked at the picture the more I noticed the details that previously…

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Sister Madeline

Peace Begins with Me

  I grew up in the decade of the ‘60’s in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a chaotic time of social unrest, deep questioning, a quest for relevancy and meaning. It was a time of violence, civil disobedience, and high idealism. Young people like myself felt a new age was dawning…

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Periwinkles

Different, Yet the Same

In December our community sponsored an Advent day of reflection for which all the women religious serving in the Diocese of Birmingham were invited. During one of the breaks, I found myself in a group of five Sisters I did not know. We shared with one another how each had…

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Sisters sing opening hymn with lighted candles

Feast of the Presentation

This past Sunday, February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church celebrated Jesus, the King of Glory, like us in all things but sin, being presented in his Temple to be a light for all the nations. This feast originated in the 4th century in Jerusalem,…

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From Persecutor to Persecuted

  The liturgical feast of the Conversion of St. Paul is celebrated on January 25th. Originally known as Saul, St. Paul was born in Tarsus about 10 A.D. He was a Roman citizen, a well-educated young man, a tentmaker by trade, a strong-willed individual and a highly-regarded Pharisee rigidly committed…

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Yellow pine

I was a little tired today, which means my mind was a little more prone to wander, including during Mass, so after hearing the Gospel reading from Matthew about the wooden beam and the splinter, my mind wandered off through a forest of trees, wondering from which sort of wood…

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Lighter than air

I spent the past several days attending a conference where I sat at a table listening, thinking, talking, and praying. The table held my papers, my elbows, and occasionally my gaze. It also held the holy conversation – heavy with the weightless fragrance of hope – that flowed across and…

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