Move Over Poinsettia, Rosemary’s Here!

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I’m on a mission to dethrone the poinsettia as the Christmas plant in Catholic homes and churches with the herb Rosemary officinalis. The poinsettia’s association with Christmas began in Mexico in the 1600s. A legend tells of a young girl, too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, was told by an [Read More...]

A Decade of Thank You Notes

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Elizabeth asked…in a couple hundred words or less to tell of the cloud of witnesses by the “testimony of their lives and the sharing of their understanding” that have brought us to our faith today. Seriously!? In 200 words or less? Imagine if you will the seed pod of a milkweed. The pod contains hundreds of [Read More...]

Cleaning and Storing Gardening Tools: Practical Gardening Series

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From early November until Thanksgiving, I’m usually bundled up puttering in unheated garages or pole barns at the retreat center where I volunteer as a gardener. After planting the last of the bulbs I set aside time to get things in order for winter. The final step of shutting down the garden is the cleaning [Read More...]

Seasonal Changes

The black tree limbs are naked of leaves and their outline contrasts against the heavy gray skies. The gardens too are naked and the lawns have turned the dull green of an old wool shirt. Another seasonal change is moving through, and winter is coming. Growing up in the Midwest I learned early about seasons [Read More...]

Peace Lilies

In the Adoration Chapel the lights are low. On the altar the oil candles flicker behind the gold monstrance, making the Blessed Sacrament appear opaque. I am soothed when here, comfortable and comforted. Usually I write when I come before Our Lord. There is a narrow table at the back of the chapel where I [Read More...]

Rummaging for Food

Image by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.

The large fox squirrel is gathering and burying a cache of nuts. Making short raspy barks, his tail twitches furiously. He sprints up and down, and then circles the black walnut tree’s trunk wanting to make sure I know how annoyed he is that I am in his territory. I mimic back his bark and [Read More...]