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 [Read More…]

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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, [Read More…]

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Who has the Map?

Journeys—Mary and Joseph’s, the wise men, Jesus’ cousin John, and Jesus himself. In the past few weeks everybody we read about in the Bible is on a journey following a path—and probably prayed to remain watchful on a course laden with misdirection. I was 28 in 1982. This picture was taken while we waited at the [Read More…]

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Fertility God Missing the Mark

He was a dear friend from college and delightfully quirky. He was six foot eight, brilliant, perceptive, with a quick and witty sense of humor, and never disrespectful. He was the gentlest of souls and a devout Catholic of Polish descent. I liked to think he saw me as a little sister. Even though I [Read More…]

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A Virgin’s Fear

The angel appeared and said “Do not be afraid…” Some heavenly being popped up in front of me, I’d need calming down too! These words were spoken to Zechariah in Luke 1:13; and a few months later to Mary, Luke 1:30. Let’s never mind about St. John the Baptist’s father.  Consider only Mary for a [Read More…]

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Swooning Over Oxtail

As a child, my first memory of a soup is Oxtail. Not so much for its flavor—though it is delicious—but for the adventure at my grandmother’s side. In late winter, after Christmas and before Lent, I would often spend a weekend at my maternal grandparents’ house. I delighted in the quietness and solitude that their [Read More…]

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Do Not Snark the Poor

Christmas shopping and the Red Kettles bell ringers of the Salvation Army are calling us with a tinny jangle to help the poor. I nod my head and smile, walking by, not depositing even a penny. I have already given—to another group, at church or the office—earlier. I am annoyed by the once-a-year, in-your-face, give-to-ME-or-look-selfish-in-the-eyes-of-the-anonymous-crowd [Read More…]

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How to Shorten Your Stay in Purgatory

On gloomy winter days I often drive country lanes. This time of year several farms have Christmas decorations up and some even decorate the out-buildings. One such barnyard was filled with a gaggle of kids squealing and running towards an old oak tree. By the looks of it, hide-and-seek had not gone out of fashion [Read More…]

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Silver Tree of Christmases Past

A story, one of the few, of family. It was written a while ago–my week has been hectic–and I pray you will enjoy it again. My grandparents were born in 1896 and 1901. Their families immigrated to Detroit when they were teenagers. She had planned to become a nun, and he had graduated from Michigan State [Read More…]

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Beauty Entering Winter

The snow was yet thin on the lawn, and the gusts of wind kept birds from flight. Even the feeder remained unattended. I watched the squalls swirl past my windows. The cloud breaks to the west allowed the sun’s light to tint the falling snow. Outside the winter-white storm turned a delicate coral. The hermitage [Read More…]

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