Be Still and Shovel

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Restless and awake through the night, in bed under layers of quilts, I listed to the sleeping dog’s whimpering barks. The cat had realized that the dog’s sleep and my wakefulness was an opportunity for undisturbed cuddles. She chortled softly as she walked around the foot of the bed. She placed her front paws on [Read More...]

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Intimacy of a Name

She was a full-bodied woman and reminded me of Oprah, as Sophia, in the Color Purple. Her one eye watered and drooped much the same as that character. Her walk was a shambling gait of exhaustion. Her niece had brought her shopping for clothes. The three of us exchanged niceties among the racks of plus-size [Read More...]

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Snow and Falling

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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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Rubbish with Attitude

I find November to be a transitional month—not quite past autumn and not yet winter. Skies are often filled with heavy dark-gray clouds that suddenly open into glorious sunlight, illuminating yellow leaves. The business of outdoor activities is ending, and the bustle of holiday celebrations is waiting to begin. This is the month when nature [Read More...]

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The Fruit of Celibate Love

I’m still praying with the question from Lisa Hendy, of Catholicmom.com, about Conscious Celibacy and “saying yes to love.”  In a previous post I addressed being single and how celibacy is neither the object nor theme of my singleness—though love is. This question from Lisa about love’s expression and, I realized, inherent reception, stirred up [Read More...]

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Blooms of Mary’s Sword

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I remember as a child the sweet fragrance and stunning colors of the species Iris germanica, commonly known as bearded iris or Mary’s Sword. I can still recall my first encounter with them. Walking home from kindergarten, I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, inhaled a wave of fragrance, and, sniffing the air, followed my [Read More...]

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Celibate Free for All

I find it fascinating that the central question to being single is focused on the genital expression of love, and lack there of—celibacy.  Celibacy is neither the object nor theme of my singleness—though love is. To make a decision to be celibate implies sex is something to be surrendered, a giving up to God. I [Read More...]

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Vibrancy and Dormancy

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I’d driven to an area where Sandhill Cranes often stop to rest during their winter migration. Not too far away was an open and dry fen dressed in its autumn blonde and gold. At its lowest point a small brook meanders past poplars, scrubby shrubs, and wild grasses. This little tributary turns into a full [Read More...]

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Increments of Evil

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I wrote about how both God and Satan work incrementally. Not so long ago I came upon this quote in the book, Song of the Sparrow by Murray Bodo, OFM: We drift away from God so easily; not fast but easily. And before we know it, we are far downstream from God trying desperately to break our [Read More...]

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Feeling of Skin

It was an early autumn morning at the retreat center and I was walking through the back meadow in the pre-dawn light. Even with the hood of my bright-blue—Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious—sweatshirt scrunched up around my neck, I felt a slight chill and shivered; my pant legs and shoes were wet from the morning dew. [Read More...]

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