Keeping Vigil

Mark Kelly

The image of astronaut Captain Mark Kelly shown by the hospital bedside touched my heart this past week. It is impossible to know what he is really thinking, but very easy to imagine the love, the hope, the tenderness and compassion as he is keeping vigil over his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after the shooting [Read More...]

Too Many Words, Too Much Silence

In these days following the horror of the shootings in Arizona, I have been almost paralyzed: surely there have been too many words, but there has also been too much silence. Too many words in the face of devastation demands our silence: a grieving silence, too deep for words a thoughtful silence, pondering in our [Read More...]

Starry, Starry Night

I have loved Christmas, but more of my life is like the Epiphany story. It is a story that lives with me all year long. The Wise Ones gathered the wisdom available to them. For them it was in the stars. Where I live the stars are not always so readily visible; too many city [Read More...]

One Step Enough

This week between Christmas and New Year has felt extraordinarily gloomy to me….like John Henry Newman’s “circling gloom.” Was it the five straight days of rain that came down in Southern California where it “never” rains? or the pain of the people I know who are suffering so severely with disease, surgery and loss during [Read More...]

A Christmas Amma

Christmas was imprinted in me by my mother. A naturally ebullient and gregarious whirlwind, Marguerite leapt at the chance to express her true self when her world joined her in acknowledging and celebrating the joy and the good news of the coming of Jesus, God-in-person, to human persons and systems. She had permission to sing, [Read More...]

In The Bleak Midwinter

My spirit is longing for you, my God; my spirit is waiting in hope.         -Taize What a time of darkness in the world! Whether I am tracking politics, worlds conflicts, religious strife or life journeys with those  l love, it is bleak and fraught and painful.  “Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone,” [Read More...]

Wilderness Darkness

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near; wait for the Lord, be strong, take heart!        -Taize Community The darkness of Advent has seemed more opaque to me this week as we light the third candle- more illumination, but thicker and heavier fog. A third candle: in some traditions this new one is pink to [Read More...]

Of Lions and Lambs, Apples and Oranges

“Stay with us, O Lord Jesus Christ: Light in our darkness.”   -Taize Community I light the second Advent candle, and as I look at the two candles now alight, I see their differences; they are no longer the same; one is shorter, farther gone, the other just starting out. The prophetic text for the day [Read More...]

Kindle a Flame

“Kindle a flame to lighten the dark, and take all fear away.”  -Iona Community It is the first week of Advent, and I begin by lighting the first purple candle of my Advent wreath. In Advent we watch and wait  for the Light of Christ, but I must start by admitting to the darkness. The [Read More...]

Grace and Gracefulness

‘Tis the season to be grateful. There is some irony that this year, as often happens, Thanksgiving weekend coincides with the First Sunday of Advent:  Thanksgiving with its groaning boards of food, community service projects and gaggles of folk traveling, right before a period of half-light, even starkness, waiting in the semi-dark for the promises [Read More...]