Showing posts from August, 2009

Fertile Ground

We spent the weekend up at the Lakehouse again, and the time spent there never fails to amaze me. Always something knew to see, always a different variation on a theme - be it sunlight or mist or rain - and we never grow tired of that music. Standing on the dock and just looking is a contemplative gaze, and has the power to pull the child out of every heart. The webs were incredible this time, like I've never seen them; dripping with jewels from the all day mist that never seemed to lift on Saturday. I spied an otter for the first time, sifting her way along the coast searching for those funny freshwater mussels. A great blue heron landed by the water's edge and got us all up early to see it. Steve and Ray set sail in the boat at a scandalously early hour and were rewarded with a fly by Bald Eagle, 20 feet over their heads! Wolf spiders that had everybody staring. The two snakes that were too shy to show themselves on the rocks. Goldfinches undulating overhead, more often heard …

This Week's Mission Moment - August 24, 2009

Bad times make good people, as mountainous pressures make diamonds or as fire tempers steel. - Dr. Peter Kreeft

A Sacred Space - Mary Immaculate Center

From the fall of 1996 to the spring of 1997, I had the absolute grace of spending a year on retreat, high on a hill of over 400 acres of field and forest overlooking the Lehigh Valley. Along with my class and other seminarians from NJ and NY, we were invited "into the deep" of our walk with God; an unprecedented opportunity for silence and reflection, and the time to probe into the mysterious call to priesthood. It was called the "Spirituality Year" and was part of the seminary formation for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It was a defining year for me, and helped so much in my discernment of God's will for my life. Looking back now as a husband and father, I can see how the moments of quiet and prayer that called me into the seminary in 1993, were now preparing me for the unexpected turn away from a call to priesthood. Men come and go in this discernment, and in my mind it is always a win/win situation. You ask the question head on, you "taste and see,&qu…

This Week's Mission Moment

The simple sense of wonder at the shapes of things, and at their exuberant independence of our intellectual standards and our trivial definitions, is the basis of spirituality. - G.K. Chesterton

Peace Out

"Maintain a spirit of peace and you will save a thousand souls." - St. SeraphimWe just finished a week's vacation in Maine with the family "from the north" - my dad, brother, wife, and two little ones. My brother Sean manages a summer camp "up they'ah" and he took us all on a little pleasure cruise last night. We slipped over the glassy surface of Washington Pond, just as the sun was tipping his hat to the day on the western rim of the world, in a pontoon boat. It was recently "kitted out" with new carpet and new cooshy seats, each equipped with a snazzy drink holder. In essence, it's like taking your living room out for a drive (or float I should say).Our little guy is just 11 months old now (we can't believe it), and Sean and Amy's little ones are each under 5. Needless to say, the down time for us adults is few and far between. It comes in dribs and drabs, like scattered coins that we're quick to pick up. Last night…

Beauty as Teacher

I've had this article in my treasury of killer quotes from Pope John Paul II for a couple of years now. It shares his thoughts on Beauty and its connection to Truth. In the words of the Lucky Charms mascot, they are magically delicious! Magic in that they break the spell of modern reductionism with the counter-spell of wonder and awe, and the sacramental vision that sees not just dead matter, but the Divine Heart that shapes and holds it in existence. Chew slowly, and take these gems with you on your vacation! These thoughts came from a letter of the Pope's delivered by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state at the time, to the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples. The event was organized by the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation. The original article can be found here. The weeklong event is attracting hundreds of thousands of people to 131 meetings and conferences, 23 performances and 16 artistic exhibitions on the theme "The Feeling of Things: Co…

Get On

Oh this is a poor poor translation of the gift of the man Dave Wilcox and his music.... but behold, through the scratchy, smooshed up digitization of YouTube.... pure gold. I'm using this song for the retreat this weekend in Connecticut. The lyrics are key for so many of us, torn between the war of heart and mind... ...right now I only wish I knew Where all of this is leading to I'm working up the courage As I stand here with your hand in mine And I'm running out of time And my heart says, C'mon let's go And my mind's saying, I don't know And the train is at the station But I'm lost in contemplation And this ticket's only good for just so long I can think about it 'til that train is gone Or just get on

I Love This Nun

I'm sure you've had times in your life when you stumbled onto something great, something refreshing, amazing, ennobling, uplifting; something even today you keep going back to for solace or inspiration.... and you don't even remember how you found it in the first place. One of those treasures for me is Alba's Pizza in Browns Mills, NJ. Just kidding. It's the poems of Jessica Powers, aka Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit. Give yourself a coffee break and soak your weary soul in this one. This is what it's all about! This is why we are here, why we exist! Our souls like mirrors are made to reflect the One, the Only, the Love that shaped the universe. Here's my objective for the day.... reflection, reflection, reflection.... Enjoy... The Pool of God There was nothing in the Virgin’s soul
 that belonged to the Virgin –
 no word, no thought, no image, no intent.
 She was a pure, transparent pool reflecting
 God, only God.
 She held His burnished day; she held His …

The Riddle at Twisted Mystics

A couple of years ago, my wife and I were driving from some place to some place else when Five for Fighting's"The Riddle" came on the radio. "Have you heard this one?" she asked. "I don't think so..." Then she smiled, "You're gonna love it." She was right.... Read the rest at the Twisted Mystics Blog