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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Be the Shamash Candle

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of a of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.  - Isaiah 61:1-2a

Gaudete Sunday finds me on the day before the fourth anniversary of Michael's death.

I am reminded as we put away our purple and wear our rose colored vestments that we should REJOICE!

Rejoicing has absolutely nothing to do with being happy.  It has everything to do with remembering from where our strength comes and how we face our trials and tribulations.  If, when we are at our lowest and find ourselves sitting in darkness we need only to look at the light...Hanukkah lights, Christmas lights, Advent wreath lights, and most importantly the Light of Christ.

Christ fills the darkness so completely that it can knock us to our knees.  It can be the flicker in the distance that helps us continue to put one foot in front of the other.  It is the light that dispels the shadows and signifies hope.

Rabbi David Wolf reminds us that the Shamash is the candle that lights the others.  We should each be the Shamash Candle, not only during this season, but every day of our lives.

I ask that you help me be the Shamash Candle.
Help me to dispel the darkness.

Help me to REJOICE!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"You Look Like You Could Use A Boat Ape"

Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are.
- St. Gregory the Great

There was a time going into the Dry Tortugas during a storm that we almost put the boat on a reef.  Boats from all over were seeking shelter in the small harbor.  By the time that we arrived there was limited space.

Michael was driving the boat and I was at the anchor.  We tried at least five times in the driving rain, wind and swells to anchor the boat.  The anchor would not hold.  The winch that lifted the anchor and the anchor chain was broken.  I had to drop and raise the anchor by hand. Each time they got heavier, yet I had to drop it and lift it back up.  We were exhausted from our efforts.  To make me even more disheartened was that we were with a buddy boat that got in earlier and were anchored.  They offered no help.

Just as we were about to give up a large Samoan came aboard and said, "You look like you could use a boat ape."  With those words he took over the anchoring and his friend guided us to a patch of sand that would hold us.  Incredibly after anchoring us they returned with two thermoses.  One held the best coffee I had ever tasted and the other was full of warm soup.  There was warm bread and cookies in another bag.  They then took our daughter over to one of their boats were they had all their kids watching a Disney movie.

Those strangers sheltered us.  They fed us.  If you haven't been to the Dry Tortugas then you may not be aware that there are NO supplies there, not even water!  They shared what they had with us.  They shared with people that they had never met before.  They were our good Samaritans.

As Lent begins tomorrow  I was reminded of these two families and how they acted towards this boat of strangers.  They were better to us than our "friends".  They were willing to sacrifice from their own supplies.  They offered food, comfort and companionship in a harsh environment.

As I sit in the desert far from the ocean I am reminded of what it means to give, to shelter, and to comfort.

O Lord,
I stand before you lost in the mire.
My heart is heavy and I am lost.

Help me to turn my focus from myself
but to others.

Help me to give,
to shelter,
and to comfort.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

If you want Peace...

"If you want for Social Justice."
 St. Paul

Prayer for Peace

Lord make me an instrument of Your Peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may seek
not so much to be consoled as to console; to be
understood as to understand; to be loved as to
love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is
in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is
in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi 

Friday, January 13, 2017


We need silence to be able to touch souls.
-Mother Teresa

When I went to Ireland over Christmas I was fortunate to visit Knock where Our Lady appeared in 1879.  In the apparition were also St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist.  Not a word was spoken by Our Lady.

What was the meaning of her silence?  I do not know.  I do know that when I am silent and can quiet my mind, it is then that God speaks the loudest to me.

Because it was St. Stephen's Day on my visit only one shop was open at the site.  I think there were only 20 people wandering around.  I was able to go to Mass at the site of the apparition and spend my own silent time with Our Lady and Our Lord.  How wonderful it was to not be jostled by thousands of pilgrims or be rushed because of them.  I felt that I had all the time in the world to visit the three Churches and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

There was such a peaceful feeling there.  All my worries and concerns were lifted.  In the silence I heard God's whisper.

Dear Lord,

Help me to remember to be quiet and listen.
To listen not only with my heart, but with my soul.

Let me hear Your whisper in the depths of
my being.

Give me courage to act as You would have me do.