Monday, November 23, 2009

This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.' Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence. Rumi

Thanksgiving

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be ...

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord —

To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us — and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

President George Washington
Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

Monday, October 26, 2009

gratitude


Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense

of the crowded kindnesses of God

in your daily life

~Alexander Maclaren

Saturday, October 24, 2009

faith



"To study different religions need not imply infidelity to one's own faith, but rather it may be enlarged by seeing how other people have sought for reality and have been enriched by their search."

Knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding to tolerance of people with different viewpoints. In this light I began my exploration, and to reveal my discovery before I talk about the journey, I found that there is, indeed, but one God, one God who is worshiped by thousands of different names, but one God. The most powerfully positive statements about religion have always been nonsectarian and have always led to the same conclusion — worship God in whatever way you may, but worship God.

As the historian Arnold Toynbee said, "The true purpose of a higher religion is to radiate the spiritual counsels and truths that are its essence into as many souls as it can reach, in order that each of these souls may be enabled thereby to fulfill the true end of man. Man's true end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prayer

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;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
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. Amen

—Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fireflies
And these are my vices:
impatience, bad temper, wine,
the more than occasional cigarette,
an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,
a hunger that isn't hunger
but something like fear, a staunching of dread
and a taste for bitter gossip
of those who've wronged me-for bitterness-
and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart
to children whose names I don't even know
and driving too fast and not being Buddhist
enough to let insects live in my house
or those cute little toylike mice
whose soft grey bodies in sticky traps
I carry, lifeless, out to the trash
and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book
to a human being, and humming
and living inside my head
and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt
at twilight across the lawn
and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,
to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering
onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.
Cecilia Woloch, from Carpathia. © BOA Editions, Ltd.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our true home is in the present moment.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.
Peace is all around us--in the world and in nature--and within us--in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.
Thich Nhat Hanh




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

large families

Last night Beka came home from her class at UCF and shared her very uncomfortable experience in "the real world" of being politically correct,

The discussion centered on the news that the Dugger family was expecting their 19th (?) child in the coming months. "How irresponsible can people be to have that many children? The gene pool begins to run dry and those poor children will turn out to be complete idiots, morons, unable to function in today's world." Okay, I am paraphrasing a bit here but not far off the mark. The argument for limiting family size went along the lines of large families being a burden on society, financially and the impact they have on the enviornment. We tend to take up a lot of space, we tend to use up a lot of natural resources, we breathe a whole lot of precious air, we have nothing to offer this planet...just because there are so many of us???? Go figure. Now if we actually marched into that classroom, the whole bunch of us and gave them our credentials they might come away with a far different perspective on large families. We are a group of remarkable individuals. I am not blowing my own horn here. I will follow in line behind my family here. They are successful, hard working, community minded, fully functional, responsible toward out precious enviornment, healthy, making a living without relying on the government to support them, paying their own way through school, having served in the military to protect the safety of those who throw out these insults and accusations, and the list could go on and on. We have never asked the powers that be to pay for our children's education, we have fully funded their schooling from our own homeschool through the university setting.

I do not write this to blow my horn or ask for accolades from my readers- I write this to say that we are ordinary people, raising ordinary children, who become hard working, ordinary adults who may do some extra-ordinary things with their lives, but who ask for no praise, just respect for who they are: people created in the image of God. Just like all those who have such strong opinions of large families. We know many large families and they are living in much the same way as we live. They are independent and hard working. They live simply and quietly, doing the work that is set before them. They are easy to be around as they are content with the bare essentials of this life. They get along well with most everyone they encounter and are able to flex with changing circumstances.

As I write these words I realize that we are very rich in the supernatural meaning of riches. You cannot compare apples and oranges, so you cannot try to reason with those who measure success by this world's standards. The riches that we possess are hidden from the visible world of big homes and fancy cars. They are the treasures of relationship, sacrifice, service, contentment, faith, hope in all that is worthwhile and beautiful, and a connectedness that cannot be bought but can only be...can only BE.

Beka was so very wise in her restraint last night. She felt the climate was too hostile to try to defend her position. It has given us a lot to think and talk about. She wants to present her position in writing- in a project required by the professor. She will have time to make her thoughts and opinions clear and share them in a respectful and gentle tone. That will be the best way to handle this in the public arena but here, I may express my strong feelings and not hold back. I will not win the war of public opinion and do not care to. My mission is to care for those who have been entrusted into my care. I do an inadequate job of that but I do my best. The Lord will sort it all out in the end and I entrust all of this into His care.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

here is a challenge...


I have committed myself to joy....
We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves.
In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy."
- Richard Rohr

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A gift...

The dear sisters in Heart of Mary gave me a sweet thank you gift for serving on the board last year. I was amazed when I opened it to find a lovely little statue of Mary holding Jesus and then a necklace and prayer card of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Especially amazing is that I had just filled out a Secret Sister form and stated that I love all things Mary and that Our Lady of Guadalupe is my favorite!! How amazing is that? I have a special fondness for her as I grew up right next door to Guadalupe, a little town just outside of Santa Maria. I really believe that Mary has been watching over me all these years and that those early stirrings in my heart to become a Catholic had a lot to do with her intercession. So I will wear this beautiful necklace with a humble heart and gratitude for those dear friends and for our Lady, herself, who has been so near to me all of these years.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A year ago...


I have hesitated to post this picture. Life is not always picture perfect and neither is death. One year ago I spent the last few days of my dad's life at his bedside. As difficult as it was for him to communicate with us, he did his best to mouth the words, "I love you", and gave us his bravest and best smiles. He held on for as long as he could but his body was too tired and he passed into the wonderful world beyond us here. How thankful I am for being able to see him, touch him, and love him before he slipped away. He was a remarkable man and continues to live on in my heart and the memories I hold so dear will never slip away. I will always love my Daddy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great Quotes


1. "Well done is better than well said."
Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790)

2. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on."
Winston Churchill
(1874-1965)

3. "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa
(1910-1997)

4. "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
George Washington
(1732-1799)

5. "The time is always right to do what is right."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968)

6. "All the adversity I've had in my life, has strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
Walt Disney
(1901-1966)

7. "Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today."
Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865)

8. "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."
Vince Lombardi
(1913-1970)

9. "It is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884-1962)

10. "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
Dwight Eisenhower
(1890-1969)

11. "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Nelson Mandela
(1918 - )

12. "We must become the change we wish to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

(1869-1948)

13. "The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart."
Helen Keller
(1880-1968)

14. "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
Henry Ford
(1863-1947)

15. "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music."
Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004)