Wake up, Beloved!

First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112722.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,we embark once again on an age-old journey — the path through Advent to Christmas. It is a spiritual journey about which we must be intentional because there are so many cultural distractions to waylay us from the path.

Beloved Isaiah, beautiful poet and prophet, stands along the sideline rallying us:

In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!


Isaiah is telling us that it is time to get moving – moving deeper into our relationship with God. 

Like the “House of Jacob”, winding through a long journey, we may forget where we are really going in our lives. We are not going to material, social, or political success. We are not traveling life’s roads in order to end up at a cushy retirement.

Our lives are about moving deeper and deeper into the heart of God — that’s all. If we are not doing that by engaging the grace of our everyday lives, then we are missing the whole point!


Paul trusts that we understand this. He says, “You know the time … wake up!”

You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light…


I have a sleepy friend who loves to linger in her blankets in the morning. When we need to be up and “at ‘em”, I can sound a lot like Paul. “Look at the time!”, “We don’t want to be late!”, “Throw off those blankets of night!”

Friends, the Church gives us the gift of Advent so that we will not be late for the ultimate “God-Party” which is our life’s glorious destination. The potential to reach this “destination” is offered us, not only in some future parousia, but in each moment of our existence by our choice for grace.


In our Gospel, Jesus reiterates the profound importance of our wakeful awareness of God’s Presence in our lives.

For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. 
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.


So, let the journey begin! Begin today to receive every moment as an invitation to God’s house — God’s heart. Whether the moment comes in darkness or light, joy or sorrow, God is in it – calling.

May this Advent bless each of us
with deeper understanding of
God’s Love incarnate in our lives.


Poetry: Advent Calendar – Rowan Williams

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

Music: wake – TuneCore

Face to Face

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 26, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112622.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we come to the end of our readings from Revelation.  ( I can hear a few of you muttering, “Thank goodness!”) They have been challenging, to say the least.

The passage from Luke’s Gospel today is just as confronting.  God is serious about wanting our complete love!


Our prayer over these past few days has led us to deeper understanding of a challenging truth: life as we know it will be transformed and we will be judged at the transformation.

But hopefully our reflections have also assured us that the Master and Judge of Life is the same merciful God who forgave and healed the sinful and suffering.

By our faithfulness to this merciful God, we will be redeemed. Revelation puts it this way:

The servants of God
will look upon God’s face,
and God’s name
will be on their foreheads.


When a person is filled with goodness (or evil), we often say it is “written all over her face”.  So it is with those who love and long for God and for God’s peaceable kingdom.

God will recognize us at the judgment because our hope and desire for God are written all over our face. And God’s love for us will be written all over that Divine Countenance as we see it clearly for the first time! And once more, as Catherine McAuley might say, “Oh what a joy, even to think of it!”


Poetry: In Memoriam A.H.H. – Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was the Poet Laureate of England during much of Queen Victoria’s reign. A number of phrases from Tennyson’s work have become commonplace in the English language, including “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (“In Memoriam A.H.H.”), “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”, “Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die”, “My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure”, “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”, “Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers”, and “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”. He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Below is the first section of the poem. It is a requiem for the poet’s beloved Cambridge friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly, aged 22. It contains some of Tennyson’s most accomplished lyrical work, and is an unusually sustained exercise in lyric verse. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest poems of the 19th century. (Wikipedia)

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
   Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
   By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
   Thou madest Life in man and brute;
   Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,
   The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
   Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Our little systems have their day;
   They have their day and cease to be:
   They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
   For knowledge is of things we see
   And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Let knowledge grow from more to more,
   But more of reverence in us dwell;
   That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,

But vaster. We are fools and slight;
   We mock thee when we do not fear:
   But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.

Forgive what seem'd my sin in me;
   What seem'd my worth since I began;
   For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

Forgive my grief for one removed,
   Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
   I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
   Confusions of a wasted youth;
   Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.

If you would like to read the entire poem, follow this link:

https://poets.org/poem/memoriam-h-h


Music: The Face of God – Karen Drucker

Stay with the Journey

Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 25, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112522.cfm


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 84, a praise and pilgrimage hymn. 

It is a perfect prayer for us if we have any small sense of alienation, loss, or confusion in our own pilgrimage.

And, honestly, who doesn’t!?

Even in the best of times, life can be a twist! And in “pandemic” times, politically charged times, economically shaky times??? Never a better time to say, “God help us!”


But Psalm 84 orients us. It announces what the journey is really about … the desire to find a resting place in God. Once we realize that, the road slowly straightens with the power of faith.

In Psalm 84, the pilgrim’s heart, hungry for God, sets out on the spiritual journey.

My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.

There can be a deep trust in our journeying heart because “even the sparrow” finds a home in God’s tender care.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!


The secret, though, is constancy.:

  • We pilgrims must stay with the essence of our journey – the deep desire for God. 
  • We must listen to scripture’s “directions” about where God dwells – with the poor, humble, and merciful. 
  • We must not let the flashy road signs of the “Me Culture” distract us.



“The Narcissism Epidemic,” 
by psychologists Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell 
studies the increase of narcissism or “me-ism” in our culture. 
Here’s an excerpt:

Although these seem like a random collection of current trends, all are rooted in a single underlying shift in the American psychology: the relentless rise of narcissism in our culture. Not only are there more narcissists than ever, but non-narcissistic people are seduced by the increasing emphasis on material wealth, physical appearance, celebrity worship, and attention seeking. Standards have shifted, sucking otherwise humble people into the vortex of granite countertops, tricked-out MySpace pages, and plastic surgery. A popular dance track repeats the words “money, success, fame, glamour” over and over, declaring that all other values have “either been discredited or destroyed.”


Let’s pray today for “staying power”. We have been given the grace to seek God in our lives. Let’s dwell in that seeking, moving from strength to strength in any twists life tosses in front of us.

Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed are we whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.


Poetry: The Journey – Tagore

The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; 
and the flowers were all merry by the roadside;
and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds
while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.

We sang no glad songs nor played;
we went not to the village for barter;
we spoke not a word nor smiled;
we lingered not on the way.

We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.
The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade. 
Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon.

The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree, 
and I laid myself down by the water
and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.

My companions laughed at me in scorn;
they held their heads high and hurried on;
they never looked back nor rested;
they vanished in the distant blue haze.
They crossed many meadows and hills,
and passed through strange, far-away countries.

All honor to you, heroic host of the interminable path!
Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise, 
but found no response in me.

I gave myself up for lost
in the depth of a glad humiliation
—in the shadow of a dim delight.

The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom 
slowly spread over my heart.
I forgot for what I had traveled,
and I surrendered my mind without struggle 
to the maze of shadows and songs.

At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, 
I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile. 
How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome, 
and the struggle to reach thee was hard!


Music: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place – Jesuit Music

Faithful Forever

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 23, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112322.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,  our Responsorial Verse captures the essence of all the readings:

Rev 2_10JPG

It’s one of those scripture passages that makes one want to say, “Oh, really? Is that all?” 

Because, you know, it’s a pretty tall order to remain faithful until death. Sometimes it’s a real pinch to remain faithful for a week! 


Remember that exercise bike you bought in January 2020? Yeah, that one with your yoga pants, umbrella, and assorted tote bags hanging on it.

Or what about that South Beach diet book you’re using to prop open the closet door? How did all that faithfulness work out?

So, given our very human condition, what is the “faithfulness” these readings enjoin?

I believe it is not a faithfulness that never fails.

Rather, it tries. When it does fail, it believes in and seeks forgiveness. It trusts, even in its weakness. It is grateful, abiding, and loving. It is not afraid to begin again and again, because our faithfulness depends on God’s mercy not our strength.


When we were young nuns making our final vows, this phrase was part of our commitment: 

“… and to persevere, until death …” 

One of our wise leaders, Mother Bernard, told us, “Don’t pray for final perseverance. Pray to be worthy of it.”


I think we become worthy of perseverance by that trusting faithfulness which turns again and again into Mercy’s waiting, understanding arms. It is a faithfulness that fully believes these words from the Book of Lamentations:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
so great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3: 22-23

Poetry: What God Hath Promised – Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) was born in Vineland, NJ. Incapacitated by severe arthritis, she started composing religious poetry, and became “a renowned writer across the Christian world.” Her popular poems include He Giveth More Grace and Christmas Carols, which were published in Christian Endeavour World and Sunday School Times. (Wikipedia)

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.


Music: Great Is Thy Faithfulness – Westminster Abbey

This is probably not the most perfect rendition of this beautiful hymn, but I just love seeing all these various people singing their praise. Imagine all of the stories and histories of faith woven through this worshipping congregation — and each one of them grateful for God’s faithfulness. As Catherine McAuley would say, “Oh what a joy even to think of it!”

The Winepress

Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
November 22, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112222.cfm

Rev 14_19 furyJPG

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we are struck, once again, with Revelation’s images of the end time!

  • a crowned Christ wielding a sharp sickle
  • angels commanding the final harvest of the earth

and perhaps the most powerful

  • the earth’s vintage thrown into the great winepress of God’s fury!

This author could write! We can almost imagine the scene, filmed with all the pyro-technics of today’s computer age.

But besides the amazing imagery,
what does the passage say to our hearts?

In Biblical symbolism, the winepress almost always stands for judgment. The passage reminds us that we all will be judged.  The divine winepress will compress the sinful gaps that plague our human existence.  In the end time, there will be no “other” — no judgmental spaces separating us from one another.  We will all be one, like wine mingled.

We will be judged on how we lived that oneness in this life, on where we have stood in the worldly gap between the:

  • rich and poor
  • well and sick
  • citizen and refugee
  • abled and disabled
  • powerful and vulnerable

The questions for us as we pray today amy be these:

  • Do we live in ignorance or indifference to those who suffer on the other side of the human scale?
  • Have we been impervious to the imbalances of justice and charity in this world?
  • And how do we respond?

The passage suggests that we do some weeding of our spiritual gardens before the harvest of our souls. The intention of this fiery writer is to tell us that we still have a little time to do so.

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Poetry: Barnfloor and Winepress – Gerard Manley Hopkins

And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?
out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? 
2 Kings VI: 27

Thou that on sin's wages starvest, 
Behold we have the joy in harvest: 
For us was gather'd the first fruits, 
For us was lifted from the roots, 
Sheaved in cruel bands, bruised sore, 
Scourged upon the threshing-floor; 
Where the upper mill-stone roof'd His head, 
At morn we found the heavenly Bread, 
And, on a thousand altars laid, 
Christ our Sacrifice is made! 
Thou whose dry plot for moisture gapes, 
We shout with them that tread the grapes: 
For us the Vine was fenced with thorn, 
Five ways the precious branches torn; 
Terrible fruit was on the tree
In the acre of Gethsemane; 
For us by Calvary's distress
The wine was racked from the press; 
Now in our altar-vessels stored
Is the sweet Vintage of our Lord.
In Joseph's garden they threw by 
The riv'n Vine, leafless, lifeless, dry: 
On Easter morn the Tree was forth, 
In forty days reach'd heaven from earth; 
Soon the whole world is overspread; 
Ye weary, come into the shade.
The field where He has planted us
Shall shake her fruit as Libanus, 
When He has sheaved us in His sheaf, 
When He has made us bear his leaf. - 
We scarcely call that banquet food, 
But even our Saviour's and our blood, 
We are so grafted on His wood. 

Music:  The Day Is Surely Drawing Near – written by the prolific 16th century Lutheran hymnist Bartholomaüs Ringwaldt. This piece is a majestic instrumental rendering, but if you would like to see the words, they are below. 

1 The day is surely drawing near
When Jesus, God’s anointed,
In all His power shall appear
As judge whom God appointed.
Then fright shall banish idle mirth,
And flames on flames shall ravage earth
As Scripture long has warned us.

2 The final trumpet then shall sound
And all the earth be shaken,
And all who rest beneath the ground
Shall from their sleep awaken.
But all who live will in that hour,
By God’s almighty, boundless pow’r,
Be changed at His commanding.

3 The books are opened then to all,
A record truly telling
What each has done, both great and small,
When he on earth was dwelling,
And ev’ry heart be clearly seen,
And all be known as they have been
In thoughts and words and actions.

4 Then woe to those who scorned the Lord
And sought but carnal pleasures,
Who here despised His precious Word
And loved their earthly treasures!
With shame and trembling they will stand
And at the judge’s stern command
To Satan be delivered.

5 My Savior paid the debt I owe
And for my sin was smitten;
Within the Book of Life I know
My name has now been written.
I will not doubt, for I am free,
And Satan cannot threaten me;
There is no condemnation!

6 May Christ our intercessor be
And through His blood and merit
Read from His book that we are free
With all who life inherit.
Then we shall see Him face to face,
With all His saints in that blest place
Which He has purchased for us. 

7 O Jesus Christ, do not delay,
But hasten our salvation;
We often tremble on our way
In fear and tribulation.
O hear and grant our fervent plea;
Come, mighty judge, and make us free
From death and ev’ry evil.

Time Passes

Memorial of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 21, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112122.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our first reading from Revelation describes what has come to be known in modern culture as “the Rapture”. It’s a concept probably more popularized by modern fiction than by our devotion to scripture.

Rev 4_1 rapture

Maybe you are one of the  60 million readers of the “Left Behind” books by Jenkins and LaHaye. This popular series captures our fascination with “the end times”. 

The writer of Revelation is doing the same thing. This highly imaginative ancient author – adept at symbols, allegory, and poetry – writes to awake and engage us in our own salvation.

Whether or not his visions predict facts is not the point. The point is that there will come an end time to every life. When it comes to us, we want to have already become God’s familiar and beloved friend.

A second point is that this world, as we know it, is passing. We should not make our heart’s investment here. Our lasting treasure lies in God’s realm which, while present here, is often rendered invisible by our human hungers and distractions.

Revelation enjoins us to wake up, see beyond the visible, and live a life worthy of eternity. 

How? The true and simple answer is in today’s Gospel:

“When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasure
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

This blessed widow, even in her impoverished circumstances, understood where her true treasure lay. She was already counted among the sainted  “hundred and forty-four thousand”.


Poetry: The Rapture – Mary Oliver

All summer
I wandered the fields
that were thickening 
every morning, 
every rainfall, 
with weeds and blossoms, 
with the long loops
of the shimmering, and the extravagant-
pale as flames they rose
and fell back, 
replete and beautiful-
that was all there was-
and I too
once or twice, at least, 
felt myself rising, 
my boots
touching suddenly the tops of the weeds, 
the blue and silky air-
listen, 
passion did it, 
called me forth, 
addled me, 
stripped me clean
then covered me with the cloth of happiness-
I think there is no other prize, 
only rapture the gleaming, 
rapture the illogical the weightless-
whether it be for the perfect shapeliness
of something you love-
like an old German song-
or of someone-
or the dark floss of the earth itself, 
heavy and electric.
At the edge of sweet sanity open 
such wild, blind wings. 

Music: When I read these apocalyptic passages, I like to imagine the scene by listening to compatible music. One of my favorite accompaniments is Richard Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries. Just imagine Jesus riding into our lives on these exalted melodies!

Love’s Crown

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Sunday, November 20, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112022.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast was established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI by his encyclical Quas Primas. The Pope was acutely aware of the secularization of society and culture. He wanted this feast and devotion to bring people a deep awareness that Christ is the center of all Creation.

The images, language and metaphors surrounding the feast are ones that spoke to the people in the early 20th century. They may ring differently to us. Concepts of king”, “empire”, “dominion”, “subjection” tend to engender negative connotations for many of us. But our readings today can direct us to a deeper understanding of the characteristics Pius sought to highlight, ones that may speak more clearly to us in our time.


Our first reading from Samuel presents the anointing of David as King of Israel. Anointed by those who were “his own bone and flesh”, David prefigured the Incarnate Christ who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, took our flesh to redeem us.


Col1_15 image

The magnificent passage from Colossians offers exultant praise to the Creator for 

…delivering us from the power of darkness
and transferring us to the kingdom of the beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption …


And our Gospel gives us our precious Jesus on the Cross, teaching us the paradoxical truth of what his “Kingdom” really means – not oppressive dominion, but rather a sacrificial love that gives everything for the life of the beloved.

van eyck
Van Eyck’s painting of Christ King and his follower Petrus Christus’s Christ Suffering (15th C.)

Many cannot recognize such “kingship”. They cannot see the holy power within Christ’s sacrifice. They are, as Pius XI recognized for his time, blinded by a secularized culture and a dispirited life.

Let us pray today with the “justly condemned”, but spiritually enlightened, man in our Gospel who asked his Crucified King,

“Lord Jesus,
remember me
when you come into Kingdom!”


Poetry: As Kingfishers Catch Fire – Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came. 

I say móre: the just man justices; 
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is — 
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men's faces. 

Music: Jesus Remember Me

 Renee Yann, RSM

The Times of Our Lives

Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 19, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111922.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are challenging. 

Revelation, a very complex book of the Bible, uses symbols, prophecies and allegorical references to make its point. There are huge bodies of scholarship written in the attempt to interpret these passages.

Our Gospel has Jesus describing what it will be like in heaven – when our human perceptions will be erased and we will finally be absorbed into God’s understanding.

These are BIG thoughts and my mind, at least, needs some more manageable inspirations for my morning prayer.  So here’s how I prayed with these readings today.

Lit yr flowerJPG

What both passages share are continual references to time – past, present and future. They reference then-time, now-time, and to-be-time. These passages, and others in Scripture like them, talk about time like this:

  • “in the days before” (then time)
  • “in the days after” (to -be time)
  • “in the day of” (now time)

So what is this day, November 19th, for me?
How is God revealing Love to me in this, my time? 

Today is among “the days after” the last memorable thing that happened in my life – maybe a good thing, maybe not so much. In “the days after”, we spend time with a completed event – learning, savoring, or perhaps regretting and recovering. The “days after” are a time to pray for grace and blessing over what cannot be changed.

Today is also among “the days before” the next big events of my life. So my prayer includes a petition for new and continued courage, hope and enthusiasm for life.

And, most importantly, today is “a day of”. I ask God to help me see and receive the graces of this present moment – not to miss them because I am looking only back or forward. Let me look God square in the eye on this day, which is the only place that I can really find the God Who is always Now.


The entire liturgical year is built on this understanding of time. 

  • Advent and Lent are “the days before”, the days of preparation, anticipation, imagining, creating, hoping.
  • The feasts like Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are “the days of”, days of celebrating, loving, being with.
  • The various Octaves are “the days after”, days of remembering, thanking, appreciating, understanding, mourning, forgiving and savoring
lit yr

Where are you today in the times of your life? It may be in a very different place from what is printed on the calendar. The events of our lives create their own personal liturgies.

No matter where that happens to be, let us meet God there with full and open hearts.


Poetry: from Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?


Music: God of All My Days – Casting Crowns

Promises, Promises!

Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 18, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111822.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with our longest Psalm 119. 

This morning, we take one little morsel from its extended string of reflections :


The word “promise” can evoke a range of responses from us. Indeed, they are sweet as the psalmist says. But they can also be elusive, ephemeral, and easily broken. I know I’ve have made a few promises in my lifetime that have fizzled away unfulfilled. Haven’t you?

On the other hand, there are some promises, kept, that have rooted and defined my life. These, made in the bud, have blossomed in a long, tendered fidelity. They have dug the deep roots of trust for the essential relationships of my life with God, beloved neighbor, and all Creation.


Such vital promises can be made and kept when we act in the image of God, the loving and faithful Promise Keeper described in Psalm 119:

Your word, LORD, stands forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
Through all generations your truth endures;
fixed to stand firm like the earth.Psalm 119: 89 – 90


Like the psalmist, we pray:

  • to be imitators of God who is always faithful.
  • to be promise-keepers in response to the trust God has placed in us by the gift of our creation.
  • to meditate on, and understand in our hearts, the divine order of God’s immutable Law of Love

Poetry: Psalm 119 – Christine Robinson

Dear God, The seed of your love is deep within
every molecule of the universe, and it abides through time.
The laws of the cosmos serve your purpose to the end.
If I remember this, I can abide all manner of trouble.
If I delight in this, it gives me life.
I belong to you to my very core.
Holding firm to that knowledge, I can live my life in love.
All things will come to and end.
And in the end all will be One
My mind is filled with your Way
Making me wise like a teacher or an elder.
Mastering my life in your way gives me purpose.
Many times I use it to guide my steps.
My mouth waters and my heart softens to consider your Way.

Music: God Hath Not Promised – Annie Johnson Flint

This charming 19th century hymn captures the faithful spirit of it composer whose life, though beset by suffering, radiated faith and joy. 

Read more about her life here