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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Holy Beautiful

I stand at the lectern and gently smooth the pages of the open book. Not because the pages are wrinkled, but because I adore the words printed there. God’s word is precious because in it I have found light in the darkness. When I read God’s word, I sit down to a banquet. When my spirit is starved for sustenance I am fed with poetry that reminds me of the beauty of our world and wisdom to direct my way forward. But most of all, I am told how much God loves me. Mass will begin in thirty minutes, and it’s my turn to be the lector reading assigned passages from the Old and New Testament. Although I have practiced this week’s Mass reading at home, I arrive early so I can practice again in the mostly empty church. There are others here, too. Barb, our Sacristan, is preparing the altar. Deacon Chuck is checking notes, Elizabeth, our pianist, and Steve, one of our Cantors, preparing our song worship. Father Joe is in the confessional hearing confessions before Mass. So many dedicated volunt…

Me, myself, and lies

“That filled a void in my relationship with you, thank you.” My brother, responded to my most recent column about my relationship with Mom with this brief comment that warmed my heart. But my column had also opened an uncomfortable box of memories which I’d become very adept at closing off. Like Pandora’s box, I wondered what to do with them once they’d been released. I didn’t like what these memories said about me. Somehow, they managed to cloud out all the good I’d done and replace it with a picture of a self-centered, grasping, young woman who often put her own desires ahead of others. Mom laughed when I described my experience. “Stop the pity party, only you think those things.” Whether this is true, and I believe the truth lies somewhere in between, I realized forgiveness is difficult to give and especially be received, by ourselves. It is as if we see ourselves in a fun house mirror through the unreliable lens of our faulty, one-sided memories. Perhaps that is why God created m…

Some thoughts on mothers and daughters and how to live a life

Adeline and Suzanne Elizabeth
I have never been a mother. But I am a daughter and have observed my mother and I over the course of fifty-five years. As I reflect on our years, most of them spent living together, I have an appreciation of what this relationship has meant in my life. Because surely, this has been my longest relationship, and has had the greatest impact in forming who I have become. Around three this morning, I woke thinking of how four Biblical scenes from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, illustrate the arc of a mother’s life. I tapped a few thoughts in an email to myself and went back to sleep. I sat with these notes this morning, considering what these moments felt like from Mary’s perspective and then imagined similar turning points during my relationship with my mother.What could these passages in Mary’s life teach me about what it means to be a mother, to be a daughter, to live a life in full by surrendering to someone else and to God? When we first meet Ma…