They Are ALL Our Own

This was a day of blessed, evident love, spiritual pleading and mutual anxiety for my dear family.  God was so good to us in blessing our dear Oliver with a successful open heart surgery. Thank you all for your prayers and generous thoughts.

Reflecting on all of this later in the day, this prayer poem came to me.

I share it for those who might wish to consider it in their own prayer


Oh, how we love our children,
Daughters, sons,
Grans, great-grands and God’s.
They bring us life, renewed,
And joy unparalleled.

They promise us that God
Is still about the work
Of hopeful Creation.

These dear children,
They are a promise,
A hope, a joy, a gift
A treasure that reminds us
Of God’s innocent and
Loving eyes.

How we must reverence them,
Our own, and those far
From our own, because,
Oh, my dear sisters, brothers,
They are all our own.

181228-bixby-border-tease_b4yvg2
Jakelin Caal Maquin and Felipe Gómez Alonzo died in federal custody after they fled to the US from Guatemala.

A Mother’s Prayer


A Prayer for My Son

Heritage of Faith

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 16, 2019

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, our reading from Acts tells of Paul’s preaching in the synagogue at Antioch. Paul, himself steeped in the love and practice of his Jewish faith, comes before more faithful Jews to invite them to a transformed faith in Jesus, the Messiah they had been awaiting. That was no easy assignment!

Ps89_2_family of God

But Paul, learned and erudite, traces the entire hereditary line of the Jewish faith, through the House of David, and leading to Jesus Christ. It’s a rich and beautiful homily that redefines the meaning and reach of God’s Family.

In our Gospel, Jesus too describes what it means to belong to God’s family. He says that whoever receives him, and lovingly serves like him, is one with him and with the Father.

These readings give the inspiration to consider and pray on many points. Perhaps these three may be helpful:

Through what human means and heritage has our faith been handed down to us? Who are the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and godparents of our cherished faith? Let’s pray with them today and remember their loving example.


What family of faith has been gifted to us through our community, church and graced friendships over our lifetime? Who are these with whom we share the DNA of our spirit, who have bolstered our faith throughout the journey? Let us pray in gratitude for the gift of these people in our life.


What about us? For whom are we a “faith family”? How do we give the gift of faith, love and service in that family?


Music: I Knew My Father Knew – Sally deFord and James Loynes

Happy Easter

The Gift and Practice of Family

Easter

A blessed and happy Easter and passover to all of you!

Easter and Passover, because they are feasts of life, are family celebrations. It is a time to reconnect and gather with those who share our life story, with the tribe we were born into.

Each Pasch, we join our family with a renewed heart, setting aside any small or large fractures of the intervening year.

Easter Rosemarie
Dear Friends at a Long-Ago Easter

This freshness of spirit may be symbolized in a brand new Easter outfit or the spring cleaning of the house.

When I was young, Easter bonnets we’re still the thing, and maybe a new pair of Mary Janes. My little brother wore his first bow tie at Easter, although he wasn’t too happy about it as I recall. 🤗

Though we may have missed their deeper meaning, the house abounded in symbols of the Resurrection: jubilantly-dyed eggs, little chocolate bunnies, rainbowed jelly beans in a sea of papery grass, and elegant lilies.

 

Most importantly, the family shared a meal, often built of contributed elements from each participant. We waited expectantly for Aunt Peg’s pineapple filling and Mom’s chocolate pie. On occasion, Uncle Joe contributed a wondrous ham that had “fallen off the truck” as he made his rounds in North Philly. ( I learned only later in life that a few of our delicious meals were centered on heisted ham.)

This Easter and Passover offer us an invitation to reconnect with our families which we have been given either by nature or by grace. Not all families are bound by blood. They are are tied through the heart by mutual love, hope, vision, surmounted suffering, shared experience, and a host of other fragments that we shape into life’s mosaic.

Our families are the people we have laughed and cried with, the people we turn to when we’re afraid. They’re the ones who pray for us, look out for us, and yell (softly) at us when we are really stupid. They’re the ones who, no matter how long since we have spoken, we pick up a conversation right in the middle. They’re the ones who bring us flowers, ricotta pie, and a rotisserie chicken when we feel punk.  They are beyond blood and genes.

May we reach out in renewed love and appreciation to those who have been “family” to us. May we be grateful and generous with those who look to us for life. May the gift and practice of family rise up in us this Easter morning!

Music: Couldn’t Resist

The Holy Family

December 30, 2018

Feast of the Holy Family

Holy Family

Click here for Readings

Today, in Mercy, our prayer is turned to the Holy Family, that unique configuration of love which nurtured the developing life of Jesus. Can you imagine how tenderly the Father shaped this triad, this nesting place of love for God’s own Word?

We look to the Holy Family so that we might be strengthened in the virtues that will help us build our own families: sacrificial love, reverence, courage, unfailing support, committed presence, shared faith, gentle honesty, unconditional acceptance.

“Family” is the primordial place where we learn who we are. The lessons it teaches us about ourselves – for better or worse — remain with us forever. 

Not everyone is blessed by their family. Family can ground us in confidence or undermine us with self-doubt. It can free us from fear or cripple us with reservation. It can release either possibility or perpetual hesitation within us.

Some families are so dysfunctional that we spend the rest of our lives trying to recover from them. But some, like the Holy Family, allow God’s dream to be nurtured in us and to spread to new families, both of blood and spirit.

The challenge today is to thank God for whatever type of family bore us. Lessons can be learned from both lights and shadows. Let us spend time this morning looking  at our own families with love, gratitude, forgiveness, understanding. Where there are wounds to be healed, let us face them. Where there are belated thanks to be offered, let us give them. Where there are negligence and oversights to confess, let us use them as bridges to a new devotion.

For some, it may seem too late to heal or bless our family. Time may have swallowed some of our possibilities. But it is never too late to deepen relationships through prayer, both for and to our ancestors.

May this feast strengthen us for the families who need us today.

Music: God Bless My Family ~ Anne Hampton Calloway

GOD BLESS MY FAMILY
Words and music – By Ann Hampton Callaway

1. It’s Christmas time
Outside the snow is falling
Like a million stars
Like a million dreams
All dressed up in white
I’m writing Christmas cards
A joy that’s tinged with sadness
As I think of friends
Some are here and some are gone
But our love goes on and on
Like the snow tonight

CHORUS
And oh, what a family
My life has given me
From the corners of the earth
To the reaches of the sky
We touch eternally
And though my heart aches ev’ry day
This Christmas I will find a way
To let each face I’ve ever loved
Shine out in me
God bless my family

2. As years go by
The carols we sang as children
Gather memories
What was just a song
Now feels like a pray’r
Welcoming us home
To fathers, mothers
Sisters, brothers ev’rywhere
Some we’ve lost and some we’ve found
As love circles us around
In the songs we share

CHORUS

So fly, angels of my heart
We’ll never be apart
Tonight I say a pray’r
For loved ones ev’rywhere

CHORUS/CODA

You’re a part of my family
That life has given me
From the corners of the earth
To the reaches of the sky

We touch eternally
And though my heart aches ev’ryday
This Christmas I will find a way
To let each face I’ve ever loved

Shine out in me
God bless my family
You’ll always live in me
God bless my family