Tracing bird images

Tracing the Image

A favorite thing for me to do on a rainy day when I was young was to trace images from books. My family had a small collection of treasured books in our home, and my favorite to trace from was a large edition of photographed birds of the world. Laying…

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From the outdoor Stations of the Cross, Station 9 Jesus Falls the Third Time

Facing a Future I Did Not Choose

How many of you have felt as if God did not get the memo regarding your preferred future? Starting at an early age, many of us dream, rationalize and strategize about the course our life should take to reach the ultimate goal of happiness, peace and fulfillment. Understandably those dreams…

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Monastic Community gathered for the Liturgy of the Hours

The Work of God

The woman sat straight in her chair in the ICU waiting room, flanked by her two adult daughters. Her hair was in a grey bun. She wore no makeup or jewelry, only a homemade gingham dress. Her appearance sharply contrasted the smartly-suited medical specialist who came in to speak to…

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seashell turtle

Random Moments

Anyone who has spent much time in a monastery knows that random objects appear in random places at the oddest moments. It makes one ask, “Is this on the way to somewhere else? Was it forgotten? Who left this here? Will they remember where they left it?” A coffee mug…

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White azalea bush beginning to bloom for Easter

Easter Grief

As I sit down to write, we are well into Holy Week. By the time you read it, we will have celebrated the joy of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus on Easter Sunday. This year, the 19th anniversary of my dad’s death falls on Easter. When I hear his…

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Jesus is Laid in the Tomb painting by Rembrandt c.1635

Expectations, Great and Otherwise

“What did you expect,” my friend asked me as I collapsed onto the sofa, the clutch of books and papers I had been carrying released into a jumbled heap beside me. I had once again said ‘yes’ one too many times. This friend who knew me well chided me, kindly…

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Crabapple tree in full bloom

My Profession Tree

Each year I am amazed and awed at the beauty of the flowering crabapple tree located at the south end of the main monastery building. At this time of the year it is full of so many fuchsia-colored buds and blossoms. It has prospered well in its current location, but…

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God Changed My Mind

Thomas Merton said, ‘The will of God is not a “fate” to which we must submit, but a creative act in our life that produces something absolutely new.’ I grew up with nuns, but I never wanted to be one until God changed my mind. Like most people, growing up,…

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Laetare Sunday entrance antiphon

Laetare Sunday

Laetare Sunday, always the Fourth Sunday in Lent, is coming up soon. This name comes from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon for the Mass on this day, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem!” (Is 66:10-11). Similar to its counterpart in Advent known as Gaudete Sunday, Laetare Sunday comes midway through the…

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Hawthorn blossom

Supplies for the Journey: Part 12

In my previous blogs on Supplies on the Journey, I covered openness, courage, faith, hope, trust, attentiveness, reflectiveness, wakefulness, wonder, awe, gratefulness, perseverance, self-image, self-esteem, compassion, and forgiveness as helpful provisions along our spiritual journey. The last supply for our pilgrimage is humility. I am sure you can add other…

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