Thursday, September 18, 2008


I played tennis today with my old boss. What a joy to be on the court again and to hit a tennis ball. I felt such joy despite the fatigue my body felt. The joy came from Christ who gave me the ability and history to be in that place, in that time with that person.

How can I be anything but joyful when such a gift is given. The gift was simply an opportunity to have fun, get a workout and use a talent.

I think for the first time my tennis truly became prayerful experience. I have prayed while playing before but never has tennis been prayer. The simple awareness of the body which I have been so graciously given to be able to flex and move. The time actually helped with the pain I have been feeling.

Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I went to the fair yesterday with my family. It reminded me of when I worked at the fair during college. To help raise money for our tennis program all possible team members needed to work at the fair helping out on the various rides. I remember how people looked at us who were working the fair.

The feeling is that we were losers for working at the fair and something must have gone wrong in our lives to have us working there.

This year as I looked at the fair workers I was mindful of the Little Sisters of Jesus who intentionally work at the fair as a way to show Christ' love to the people who work at the fair for a living. What a choice, or rather, what a calling to renounce all other possibilities and find oneself always at the fair.

The Little Sisters must be humble because their mission is not know by those who look down on them for being mere "fair workers". Their audience is Christ alone and it is for him that they work and strive.

Their crown and riches are the lives that are changed as the Holy Spirit works through them to minister to those who society looks down on.

I am inspired by their hiddenness, humility and love for the poor. They are obedient to Christ's calling to preach good news to the poor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


1 John 3:18
"Little children, let us love, not in word or speech,but in truth and action."

To love someone truly is to see them as Christ sees them. To love in truth is to see our neighbor in Christ, as Christ and for Christ. For they are handiworks of His and no matter how ugly, mean, poor, different, rude and just plain annoying they may seem on the surface, at their core is the person who was created in the image of God. At their core is the person for whom Christ suffered, died and was raised to forgive and redeem.

It is hard to see people in this light since we are so used to seeing ourselves and each other only on the surface. We lose touch with what is going on deeper. Our time in silence and solitude helps us to cut through the fog and to see ourselves and each other with clarity.

This clarity is a clarity of love and when we see people as Christ coming to us and recognize they are His beloved, then our love cannot remain idle, we must move out in love.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Saying From the Desert

One of the monks, called Serapion, sold his book of the Gospels and gave the money to those who were hungry, saying: I have sold the book which told me to sell all that I had and give to the poor.

Living the Gospel is the gospel...We are called to living and not simply reading.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mirrors of Your Interior Life

Noted author and dog behaviourist Cesar Millan states in his book "Be The Pack Leader" that a dog mirrors our interior life. With the limited experience I have with my dogs I tend to believe him.

As humans we use a lot of masks and deception to manage our image and to hide how we feel. In many ways it is a survival tact we learn early on in life to be able to withstand peer pressure. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately dogs sees right through all of that.

I know the other day when I took the dogs for a walk I was angry and while I stopped and talked with some neighbors my dogs did not behave well, they sensed my anger even though I was hiding it from my neighbors. What a gift to have a mirror!

If a person is deeply peaceful and calm then the animals around them will sense it. The less we have to hide and the more grounded we are in divine love the more relaxed our animals should be. I think of Francis of Assisi and the way he was able to "talk" to birds and wolves. This makes so much sense to me now because the animals would have been able to sense at an intuitive level the shift in his being through his contemplation and prayer.

I like having two mirrors in my house, they will help me grow. What a gift of divine grace.

Prayer Spaces

In my first congregation I used an old classroom for my prayer space and I went there regularly. It was not a great looking space but it fit the bill. One of our members found out about my using the old classroom and he made it look a lot nicer and much more user friendly. I found that I could drop into a prayerful space more quickly there then any other space indoors.

We have a new prayer chapel in my current congregation and it is very nice. I have only been in there a handful of times and while it is nice it it harder for me to drop into a prayerful space there.

I think that the more we use a space for prayer the easier it is to drop into a prayerful presence. I also believe that it is not only us praying in the space but others too. I think that a place that is prayed in a lot becomes what some call a "thin space". A "thin space" is a place where the difference between heaven and earth is very thin. Another way to understand a thin space would be a place where the kingdom of heaven is more obvious.

My hope is that the new prayer chapel will become a thin space.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Desert Fathers

"Abbot Macarius said: If, wishing to correct another, you are moved to anger, you gratify your own passion. Do on lose yourself in order to save another."

I find this a wonderful challenge and very life giving as a parent.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


It has been awhile since I have written and I have missed it. Lately I have been mulling over a lot of stuff and it is hard at times to put into writing.

I came across this quote and it is powerful

" To be able to preserve a very contemplative life, while making myself available to all in everything, so as to be able to offer Jesus to all"
--Charles de Foucald

This seems to sum up for me so much of what is stirring in the background in my soul. To be be contemplative yet also available for the sake of Christ is a beautiful vision. I am deeply captured by the vision and spirituality of de Foucald.