Walking in the Holy Presence by Valerie Luckey

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Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

Simultaneous Life In the Time of COVID-19

Mon, 2020-04-06 14:43

When I was teaching fourth grade another teacher would come to my classroom to help during math. She would work with a smaller group of students, as well as help the children learn their times tables using all the tricks she had gathered in her 40-plus-year teaching career.
Sometimes she would have the kids stand side-by-side and give them a multiplication fact. Often times they would answer at the same time. The entire class would respond, "Simultaneous." Not only were they slowly putting the facts into their memory bank, but they were also learning a REALLY big word, by fourth-grade standards.
I always think of that when I think of the word "simultaneous." And I am thinking of the word often these days because there is so much simultaneous joy and fear tugging at me all the time.
And it's for all the reasons you might imagine...
On Friday night we gathered at a social distance to enjoy Quarantine Follies, a monastery talent show. Some people who live outside the monastery joined in via Zoom as we began with a "letter" from Heaven that Ed Sullivan wrote to us reminding us of Sisters '66. Sisters '66 was a performance from that same year which we used to financially support the building of our new motherhouse. (Enjoy the performance on his show below!) (And yes, we did end our evening this past Friday with a wonderful repeat of Kumbaya.) 
The evening included musical talent, poetry reading, a lesson in statistics, some puns, Donald Duck impressions, hula-hooping, as well as a drumming rendition of Love Will Keep Us Together. It was simply pure delight to gather that way and to be able to find joy and laughter in some lighter shared moments during this pandemic.
And yet, there is this pandemic, and there are the very real statistics always in front of us. And there is the total uncertainty surrounding just about everything. It's hard to trust those oft-used gospel words, "Do not be afraid" in these moments because fear is a natural response to feeling uncertain and out of control.
I find myself vacillating so quickly between the two, or feeling them simultaneously, and it's more than a bit uncomfortable. Mary Oliver writes about it well:
We shake with joy, we shake with grief.What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.

There are no answers for how to deal with this abundance of emotions playing out inside, but there is breathing and there is staying in the present moment and there is gratitude for daffodils blooming and for all those working tirelessly to respond.
Let us walk in the holy presence.

The Questions We Ask

Mon, 2020-03-30 16:38
"You have to write this down, Val."

I was talking to a friend on the phone this morning...about...what else...Covid-19.

We were talking about the complexity of upholding one another while the entire global community is in pain. When we speak of community, we often speak of the gift of the strong upholding the weak, the joyful uplifting the sorrowful, the healthy caring for the unhealthy and how that all balances out over time as we each experience our own highs and lows.

But, right now, in this moment, that isn't so easy. Everyone is hurting for one reason or another in the unique ways this affects us all. There is a communal heaviness across the world, and one of the hardest parts is that we do not know when it will end. How long will we have to carry ourselves in this incredibly vulnerable way?

Sure, we can joke about how introverts are grateful for all this solitude or that the Brits love not giving hugs for a while, but we know, deep down, that this reality is deeper than any of that.

There are no answers; there are questions; there is an uncomfortable attempt at patience; there is hope.

"Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." --Rilke

Let us walk in the holy presence.
masks that my friend sewed

What's It Like in a Monastery During These Days of COVID-19?

Tue, 2020-03-24 14:44
As many of us have been spending more time on the phone, or FaceTime, or Zoom, or whatever way we connect with technology, people have been asking what it's like in the monastery during these days of necessary distancing. We don't have any guests or visitors right now; nearly all of us usually going out to ministry are staying home; we are seeking new ways to support one another.

Yes, things are different...but they are still very monastic.

So, I decided to take a few photos illustrating some of the ways we are adapting here at Mount Saint Benedict.

1. A large, gridded white board hangs outside our community room with a variety of activities offered, creating a new kind of horarium.

2. Last night was the first (with hopefully more to come) folk concert during dinner time...fun sing-a-longs! Thanks, Marilyn!

3. Waste cans outside each bathroom so that you don't touch the doors with your clean hands and can throw away the paper towel afterward instead.

3. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes...everywhere!

4. You can see that the tray holder is down on one side of the line. We are serving meals to one another so that there are fewer people touching the serving utensils. "The members should serve one another." (RB 35:1)

5. A variety of light viewing options. Today is Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

6. And no names in the guest wing. I don't know if this has ever happened (outside of community meetings) since I entered the monastery.

So, yes, as everyone across the globe acclimates to a new way of being for who-knows-how-long, this a brief glimpse of some acclimating here.

Be safe and healthy.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

The Rhythm of the Days

Fri, 2020-03-20 09:00
Well, words are certainly hard to find these days. We have only just begun this new time of indefinites and uncertainties.

And, like the rest of you, anxiety is hard to control right now.

Although the psalms can be hard to pray right now, as we prayed psalm 79 this morning...

Throughout Jerusalem
they have poured out blood like water.
No one is left to bury the dead.
[...]
How long will this endure?
[...]
May your compassion enfold us;
we are in the depths of distress.
[...]
We, your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give you thanks forever.

...they still are my greatest comfort. The routine of the Liturgy of the Hours is comfort.


I helped to sort through some books yesterday and was reminded of Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB's book, Seven Sacred Pauses. In it, she offers reflections and antiphons to pray the seven traditional prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours. Here are a few from the book...


The Night Watch (Midnight through Dawn)
"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely in the Unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'" (Minnie Haskins)

The darker the night, the lovelier the dawn she carries in her womb. (Dom Helder Camara)

They also serve who only stand and wait. (John Milton)

For God alone my soul waits in silence. (Psalm 62:1)

The Awakening Hour (Dawn)
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love;
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door. (Emily Dickinson)

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn. (Henry David Thoreau)

Bathed in morning light, pray that the lantern of your life move gently this day into all those places where light is needed. (Macrina Wiederkehr)

The Blessing Hour (Midmorning)
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes. (Etty Hillesum)

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor. 3:16)

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know--the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. (Albert Schweitzer)

The Hour of Illumination (Midday)
Only in embracing all can we become the arms of God. (Coleman Barks)

Commit your way to the Holy One. Trust and God will act. Integrity will rise like the sun, bright as the noonday will be your healing. (Psalm 37:5-6, paraphrased)

To become [human] means to have no support and no power, save the enthusiasm and commitment of one's own heart. (Johannes Metz)

The Wisdom Hour (Midafternoon)
Sustain me as you have promised that I may live; disappoint me not in my hope. (Psalm 119:116--NAB)

Death belongs to life just as night belongs to day, as darkness belongs to light, as shadows belong to substance...death belongs to life. (Rabbi Alvin Fine)

Who knows what is beyond the known? And if you think that any day the secret of light might come, would you now keep the house of your mind ready? Would you now cleanse your study of all that is cheap, or trivial? (Mary Oliver)

The Twilight Hour (Evening)
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. (Psalm 43:3)

O [God], support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, [God], in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last; through Jesus Christ. (John Henry Newman)

A soul flare is what happens when someone shines [his or her] light no matter what it is. In a song, a smile, or a well-made soup; they send out a flare of light that inspires others to shine their own. Soul flares make this world better. (Annie O'Shaughnessy)

The Great Silence (Night)
I yearn to be held in the great hands of your heart--oh let them take me now. Into them I place these fragments, my life, and you, God--spend them however you want. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

The more faithfully you listen to the voice within your, the better you hear what is sounding outside of you. (Dag Hammarskjold)

O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)


As we continue to walk through these days, marking our hours with whatever sacred strength we can find, let us pray for one another.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Those Early Days...

Mon, 2020-03-09 17:09
Between yesterday and today, we have been given "the gift." It's those early days that remind us that spring, the sun, and green life really do exist.



I capitalized on this beautiful, 50-degree-and-sunny-day yesterday and went for a little hike around Shades Beach, totally delighted to even sweat just a little bit!

It is an exciting time of year, indeed!
Yesterday we also celebrated International Women's Day. What better poet to read than Marge Piercy?


The Sabbath of Mutual Respect, excerpt

In the natural year come two thanksgivings,
the harvest of summer and the harvest of fall,
two times when we eat and drink and remember our dead
under the golden basin of the moon of plenty

Abundance, Habondia, food for the winter,
too much now and survival later. After
the plant bears, it dies into seed.
The blowing grasses nourish us, wheat
and corn and rye, millet and rice, oat
and barley and buckwheat, all the serviceable
grasses of the pasture that the cow grazes,
the lamb, the horse, the goat: the grasses
that quicken into meat and milk and cheese,
the humble necessary mute vegetable bees,
the armies of the grasses waving their
golden banners of ripe seed.
               The sensual
round fruit that gleams with the sun
stored in its sweetness
          The succulent
ephemera of the summer garden, bloodwarm
tomatoes, tender small squash, crisp
beans, the milky corn, the red peppers
exploding like cherry bombs in the mouth

We praise abundance by eating of it,
reveling in choice on a table set with roses
and lilies and phlox, zucchini and lettuce
and eggplant before the long winter
of root crops.
     Fertility and choice:
every row dug in spring means weeks
of labor. Plant too much and the seedlings
choke in weeds as the warm rain soaks them.
The goddess of abundance Habondia is also
the spirit of labor and choice.
                    In another
life, dear sister, I too would bear six fat
children. In another life, my sister, I too
would love another woman and raise one child
together as if that pushed from both our wombs.
In another life, sister, I too would dwell
solitary and splendid as a lighthouse on the rocks
or be born to mate for life like the faithful goose.
Praise all our choices. Praise any woman
who chooses, and make safe her choice.

Habondia, Artemis, Cybele, Demeter, Ishtar,
Aphrodite, Au Set, Hecate, Themis, Lilith,
Thea, Gaia, Bridgit, The Great Grandmother of Us
All, Yemanja, Cerridwen, Freya, Corn Maiden,
Mawu, Amaterasu, Maires, Nut, Spider-Woman,
Neith, Au Zit, Hathor, Inanna, Shin Moo,
Diti, Arinna, Anath, Tiamat, Astoreth:
the names flesh out our histories, our choices,
our passions and what we will never embody
but pass by with respect. When I consecrate
my body in the temple of our history,
when I pledge myself to remain empty
and clear for the voices coming through
I do not choose for you to lessen your choice.

[...]

Praise our choices, sisters, for each doorway
open to us was taken by squads of fighting
women who paid years of trouble and struggle,
who paid their wombs, their sleep, their lives
that we might walk through these gates upright.
Doorways are sacred to women for we
are the doorways of life and we must choose
what comes in and what goes out. Freedom
is our real abundance.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Snow and Savory Smells are in the Air

Wed, 2020-03-04 10:10
Even though the snow has melted the past few days, we had a streak of chilly, snowy, icy weather at the end of last week. The lake was quite the sight!



But, I have been doing quite a bit of cooking to keep me warm. I cooked my first meal at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen last week. Lasagna for 200! Plus, homemade bread. What a delight to see everyone enjoying the meal!



And then, on Sunday, it was another evening of Mindful Eating—Bread for the World edition. We enjoyed our recently deceased Sister Irene’s famous dill bread, with a few mindful changes (some whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose), feasted on naan with chicken (or chickpea for vegetarians) curry, and snacked on cinnamon sugar tortillas with our canned peaches from our September meal for dessert. All along with some education on anti-inflammatory foods from our nurse and nutritionist, it was another wonderful gathering.
 

That’s how I am getting through the winter months—food!
Let us walk in the holy presence.

In Honor of Valentine's Day...

Fri, 2020-02-14 10:44
Here are three things currently on my "love list."
1. This photo that Jen, a postulant in our community, took of a snowy tree in our back yard.

2. This quote from Margaret Gonsalves in a Global Sisters Report article that describes consecrated life:Embodied consecrated living is a constantly evolving nomadic community, a band of inspiring seers and cosmic dancers having paradoxical celebrations of creation's goodness; embodying profound brokenness, structural injustice and suffering of humans and creation; marching valiantly and consistently; radiating the expansive wisdom of being one cosmic community.
3. And this poster from the New York Times of all the women in the 116th Congress hanging in our library.

Feelin' the love. Happy Valentine's Day!
Let us walk in the holy presence.

Working on the Single-Hearted Love of God

Mon, 2020-02-10 10:24
Perhaps these thoughts connect with some of my thoughts on stability, which I offered after returning from spending a week at the border last month.

I have been reading Ilia Delio's memoir, Birth of a Dancing Star, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. Her ability to articulate God as cosmic, divine Love is beautiful and inspiring. Here, she is writing about how this all fits within the lens of religious life:

Religious life is a perpetual fitness center for the soul or a "training center of love." The pursuit of holiness is learning to integrate the threads of our many loves into the single-hearted love of God. "You truly exist where you love," Bonaventure wrote, "not merely where you live." Where we grow in love is where we find our true being because it is where we find our freedom; and where we find our freedom is where we grow into our true identity in God.

"Religious" life is a life tethered to God and should be a life of growth in freedom and thus growth in courageous love, a life bountiful in love and thus the most daring life possible.

There are so many things I love about these words. They provide another example of what stability can do for one's heart. When we do the inner work to ground ourselves solely in God, uniquely as that might look in an individual's life, we can become free to live "courageous" and "daring" lives rooted in the gospel message of Love.

And yes, one must stay perpetually fit in exercising her spiritual life, but isn't the feeling of being truly free to love as one's best, fullest self worth it? Even if not vowed to religious life?

How can a monastery become the local Y for the spiritual life of its community?

Let us walk in the holy presence.

the gift of sunshine on a winter day, but don't be fooled...
the photo on the left was last week, the right was yesterday!

The Latest in "From Scratch"

Tue, 2020-02-04 12:54
I don't hide the fact that I am a "foodie." I really, really like really, really delicious food. So, my most recent request was to learn to make homemade enchiladas from scratch.

This past weekend, my friend and I made two different salsas, red used to dip the tortillas and green used to top the finished product. She had already made the homemade tortillas before I got there. We mashed up the boiled potatoes as filling.

The assembly line went something like this: dip the tortillas in the red salsa, fry them up in oil, fill them with potatoes, roll the tortillas. Much messier than it sounds!

Then, we topped them with sliced cabbage, tomato, sour cream, and salsa. Olé!


What a delicious undertaking!

Let us walk in the holy presence.


Mornings at BlackwaterMary Oliver
For years, every morning, I drankfrom Blackwater Pond.it was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged mefrom the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say isthe past is the past,and the present is what your life is,and you are capableof choosing what that will be,darling citizen.
So come to the pondor the river of your imaginationor the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.And liveyour life.

The Gift of Groundedness

Mon, 2020-01-27 15:23
When I was novice we spent time studying and reflecting upon each of the three monastic vows: obedience, conversion of life, and stability.

When asked which I thought would pose the greatest struggle for me, I said stability. Not that I thought obedience and conversion would be easy, but given my generation's generalized love of being non-committal and fear of making decisions, it felt like saying "Yes" to one group, one place, and one way of being was an overall daunting idea.

Stability is not just about choosing one monastery, or place, to pitch my tent; it's about stability of heart, and not wanting to flee the first moment something goes wrong. This, as someone who likes things neat and tidy, posed a bigger problem in my brain.

About two and a half years into living these monastic vows, I gained a new perspective on the beauty of what stability can be when lived authentically.

While at the Texas/Mexico border at the beginning of the month, we were sitting around the dinner table one evening. Around that table sat Sr. Ursula (a Benedictine from Boerne, TX who runs the ministry where we worked), my Benedictine sister from Erie with whom I was traveling, a Honduran mother and her two sons living in the home who were awaiting their court hearings for asylum, a 20-year woman from Honduras in the same situation, the friend of one of the sons, and a Methodist couple from Texas who were in the area doing volunteer work.

It was certainly the most diverse table at which I had even eaten. I sat there, sort of stunned. Because Ursula has been planted in this community for over twenty years, she has place to welcome and to extend hospitality in a unique, loving, and Christ-like way, which she would not be able to do otherwise.

Being rooted where you are, in humility and in heart, makes such a difference in being able to offer yourself to others. If you are not constantly scrambling to figure out where you are yourself or where you want to go next, it can help you to become a peaceful presence in the world.

A beautiful vow, it is—that stability.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

A home being built out of pallets in Mexico

A Week at the Texas/Mexico Border

Sun, 2020-01-19 13:58
As I prepared to travel to the Texas/Mexico border for a week, quite a few people asked me about my expectations and hopes. I didn’t have much to say because I really didn’t know exactly what I had said “Yes” to doing. I didn’t know how many migrants we’d meet with harsher immigration policies in place; I didn’t know what the home looked like where I’d be staying; I’d never been in Texas before; I didn’t know if we’d cross over to Mexico; on and on the list of unknowns went.
The landscape at the Boerne monastery
Usually a laundry list of unknowns is extremely uncomfortable for me. But, as we made it through our three flights that ended in San Antonio, Julian of Norwich must have been with me. I truly felt, “All shall be well.”
Maybe it was that we were met with the usual Benedictine hospitality when the prioress from the Boerne community came to pick us up from the airport and then took us out for a meal. Maybe it was that the community of sisters welcomed us so warmly at the monastery, with a curiosity about us and joy to be with us. Maybe it was the 3-hour car ride to the border the next morning with two sisters from the community. All was well.
As you leave San Antonio and get closer and closer to Eagle Pass, the border city where we stayed, it gets flatter and flatter. You can try to imagine people fleeing from their homes and their countries into this unknown land, full of fear, questions, and full of so much more emotion. I could never, though, imagine the extent of the realities that would cause someone, or some family, to risk so much—me being from a safe place with so much privilege.
The view near the border
When we arrived at Sr. Ursula’s home, the Benedictine sister who lives and ministers there, we were immediately greeted by someone whose reality is the former. A mother and her two sons, who fled Honduras because of violence, live with Ursula while waiting a court date, while her husband lives in prison as he awaits his own. And while we immediately clicked with this mother who could not have been too much older than myself, I sat there in conversation wondering so much about her truth, her experience, and her future. Her two sons each have a truth of their own as they begin acclimating to a new school system, a new language, and a new culture. And for as much as we conversed, again, these are realities we could never fully appreciate or grasp.
Our day-to-day schedule was a new monastic rhythm for us. Later mornings meant later evenings; we weren’t living on our own schedule anymore. Perhaps the 8 o’clock dinners were the hardest part for me! I am usually in my pajamas by then, or close! We spent our days helping Ursula arrange donations, organize her food pantry, make beds for people staying over, unload trailers with items to give away—many tasks you might imagine. Then we would usually head across the border and into Piedras Negras, the Mexican city on the other side of the Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande, or Rio Bravo
When you cross the bridge, you see the river, called the Rio Bravo in Spanish, that migrants must cross to make it to Texas, and it doesn’t look too wide, or too dangerous. But then you find out that the water can be 10-13’ feet deep, and you hear the stories of people dying while swimming; you understand how it gets its Spanish name.
In Mexico, Sr. Ursula has an entire other ministry, one that spans helping in any way she can at a boys’ and a girls’ orphanage, a home for migrants, a home for people with disabilities, two soup kitchens, and other ministry work. It is an amazing network of people doing good, and Ursula helps to facilitate and sustain the work at these places. It was true gift to encounter these people who have significantly less still reaching out their hands in service to others. It was humbling.
At the girls’ orphanage
After the first day or two of living a different schedule, not doing things at the exact time we said we would, lingering and talking to others much longer than we would here, I found myself in one of those spiritual sticky situations where I had to quickly let go of my idea of how things would be done; I had to give up my desire to control and learn to simply be with Ursula in her ministry, helping her in any way I could. After that wake-up call, I found myself sinking into the experiences that followed with much greater joy and gratitude and much less anxiety. Of course, I didn’t know what to expect going into this week of my life, but I certainly took myself, and all my spiritual baggage, with me!
It’s hard to describe how much my time at the border meant to me, and having returned only a few days ago, it is something that is still very much unfolding and will continue. It surprised me how drastic the change felt coming back home to the Mount and back to work; there was definite new perspective—for which I am quite grateful. I know I have much more to say, especially about the beautiful monastic spirit that is Sr. Ursula (and, of course, about all the wonderful food! Olé!), but this is a start as I begin to embrace a new truth of my own that now includes having had this deeply meaningful and moving experience.
Let us walk in the holy presence.

This Day, and Probably Also Tomorrow

Sat, 2020-01-11 07:31

We are spending a week in Eagle Pass, TX doing ministry work at the U.S.A./Mexico border. I could not help but share this image of the sky looking westward into Mexico the other night, as well as this Mary Oliver poem that I came across for the first time while here. 
This Day, and Probably Also Tomorrow
Full of thought, regret, hope dashed or not dashed yet,full of memory, pride, and more than enoughof spilled, personal grief,
I begin another page, another poem,
So many notions fill the day! I give themgowns of words, sometimes I give themlittle shoes that rhyme. 
What an elite life!
While somewhere someone is kissing a face that is crying. While somewhere women are walking out, at two in the morning—     many miles to find water. While somewhere a bomb is getting ready to explode. 
Until I return...
Let us walk in the holy presence. 

The Clothing of the Monastery

Sun, 2020-01-05 15:54
I stood at the door of the Emmaus Soup Kitchen the other night alongside one of my sisters. After dinner there, we were both coming home to attend the memory service for our sisters Mary Bernard and Dorothy who died on the same date, twelve hours apart.

We often put out clothing or other items for our guests. That night at the kitchen were many pairs of white socks. My sister told me, “These were Sister Dorothy’s. Our guests like white socks.”


Benedict asks us to regard all goods as “sacred vessels of the altar.” For us it means taking care of our clothing, too. Benedict asks us later in the Rule to return our clothing “at once” to store “in a wardrobe for the poor.”

Thanks for continuing to teach me this way of life that Benedict gifts us, Dorothy!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

The Last Culinary Creation of the Decade!

Tue, 2019-12-31 09:09
My brain and my spirit aren’t really registering that a new decade is upon us, but I am in a celebratory mood nonetheless.

The end of this year (the Winter Solstice, to be exact) brought with it my friend’s 30th birthday. I had tried to get some hints and found out that she wanted a rainbow cake—you know, one of those cakes with six layers, each a different color of the rainbow?!

Well, voilà!
Happy Birthday, Breanna! And Happy New Year (and New Decade) to you all!
Let us continue to walk in the holy presence.




Come, O Radiant Dawn

Sun, 2019-12-22 14:06
Yesterday we prayed to the Radiant Dawn, Oriens, on the Winter Solstice. The truth of our human life is that we are constantly in-between. And yesterday’s celebration of the winter solstice has never made it feel more true.


The heavens welcomed two of our sisters, Mary B and Dorothy, twelve hours apart into the choir of angels, just in time for Christmas. It was a day of waiting in the in-between as we vigiled and prayed.

In the in-between I learned how to make empanadas with my friend who is Argentinian...a joy-filled experience that made me even more excited about the holidays. You can see how my cinching improved from bottom to top!


And the chapel is very much herself in-between as the Advent wreath still enjoys its place as the focal point of our worship, but the Christmas tree has also made its appearance.


And we enjoy what the winter light does for this space, especially as the Solstice brings back the sun.

So, as I reflect on all that it means to be in-between people, I pray for the grace to welcome both life and death, light and darkness, joy and sorrow, harvest and drought, certitude and mystery. May Mary-of-the Bathtub cleanse me of my close-mindedness as I practice saying “Yes” to it all!


Let us walk in the holy presence.