Bad Seed and Contaminated Food

One of the small pleasures in my day is watching the birds, especially when praying a rosary. Their feeding at the window reminds me of the Bible verse about sparrows (Mt 10:29-31), and I am comforted in knowing God is at least as attentive to me as to his little brown birds.For this reason, I’ve added a platform feeder to the sill outside my oratory window. It hangs near the suet feeder that’s attached to an iron swivel bracket. Positioning the feeders at a second story window has the added … [Read More...]


Courage in the Calling, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

O Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, hear the prayers we offer for our Sisters and Nuns. Let them know clearly the work that You are calling them to do. Grant them every grace to answer Your call with courage, love, and a lasting dedication to Your will. We ask for our Blessed Mother Mary’s intercession on their behalf for perseverance in obedience in the face of trials. Amen.(Image by Ruan Rodrick Beiler, courtesy   … [Read More...]


Portobello and Beans Vegetarian Chili, Meatless Friday

The Garden Society at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan, had many volunteers and a core group of five women. The society began in 2005 and continues to this day. I retired from the group in 2013, leaving it in the competent hands of the dedicated Master Gardener, Ann.The garden society’s goal was (and still is) to build and maintain gardens of prayer and memorial on the 95 acre site. One of the first memorial gardens established in 2006 was the Stella Smythe Ornamental Grass G … [Read More...]


Pro-life, and Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

Our Lady of Guadalupe, we pray that you give strength and perseverance to our priests and deacons as they continue their work for the dignity of life. We pray that your compassion infuses their hearts as they minister to post-abortive parents, and all those sorrowing who have in some way, by their actions or inactions, been involved in the abortion industry.We pray that our priests and deacons find the words to encourage parents of unwanted babies, and guide and support them in bringing that … [Read More...]


Regifting, Nobody Knows

By mid-January we have settled into our usual routines. The Christmas season has ended, the nativity is packed away until the next First Sunday of Advent, most of the pine needles are vacuumed out of the carpet, and the presents have been incorporated in our daily lives.The gifts I received this year were remarkably sweet, and addressed the needs of my soul more so than the clothing or feeding of my body. Well, about those bags of gourmet coffee—they’re good for the soul, aren’t they? … [Read More...]


Naiveté of a New Life, Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

When the decision is made to progress into a new way of life, the associated fear of the unknown can halt our movement. Sometimes we are faced with our own naiveté when we discover that we don’t even know what we don’t know.And though we’ve prayed, and sought advice from those more experienced, only the person, within themselves, can we quell the anxiety and choose to step into the unfamiliar.Let us pray for those beloved women who have discerned a calling to become Sisters and Nuns. Let … [Read More...]


Sweet Corn Chowder and Friday Suppers

For me, this soup is the ultimate in comfort food. It is smooth and creamy, heavy on the carbs and sweetened by the corn. My grandmother also liked it for its ease of preparation—especially on meatless Fridays.When I was a young adult and still residing at my widowed grandmother’s home, we shared busy though rarely hectic lives. Mine was filled with work, college, and the occasional date. She still had a hand in the business owned by her son, which she and her husband began, and went daily to … [Read More...]


Rule of St. Benedict and Prayer for Priests

Today’s reading in the Rule of St. Benedict states for the monastery Abbott:  Let him who know, then, that he who has undertaken the government of souls must prepare himself to render an account of them…he may be sure beyond a doubt that on Judgment Day he will have to give to the Lord an account of all these souls, as well as of his own soul. That, not only for our Abbots but also for our priests, is a demanding—possibly terrifying—responsibility. It is one that few of us would be will … [Read More...]


Prayers and Praise Rose and Fell

Sitting in my oratory, I finished the Salve Regina prayer. I then looked from the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe out the window at a gray winter’s morning. I felt heavy that morning, down, and I didn’t know why. Kissing the blue millefiori rosary in my hand, I returned it to the porcelain dish, and the beads chimed against its sides. I picked up the Liturgy of the Hours from the table and rested the book unopened on my lap next to the long-haired silver cat purring in her sleep.Thoughts dri … [Read More...]


Illuminate, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

God that lights our way, we ask that you hear us as we offer prayers for our Sisters and Nuns. That in their work at the motherhouse or away from their convent, you illumine their choices by the light of the Gospel. In all their dealings with loved ones or strangers, you enlighten their hearts with the light of your love. That in all their decisions shed upon their path the light of your will. We ask all this in Jesus name. Amen. (Adapted from Magnificat, Jan. 2015, p. 167. Image by Dziewul, … [Read More...]