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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Photo: Ignatius of Loyola


Spirituality: On Dying

 Even when the cloud is not there, it continues as snow or rain. It is impossible for the cloud to die. It can become rain or ice, but it cannot become nothing. The cloud does not need to have a soul in order to continue. There’s no beginning and no end. I will never die. There will be a dissolution of this body, but that does not mean my death.  I will continue, always.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Photo: Joseph


Poem: “Forgiveness” by: John Greenleaf Whittier

My heart was heavy, for its trust had been
Abused, its kindness answered with a foul wrong;
So, turning gloomily from my fellowmen,
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among
The green mounds of the village burial place;
Where, pondering how all human love and hate
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late,
Wronged and wrong-doer, each with meekened face,
And cold hands folded over a still heart,
Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
Awed for myself, and pitying my race,
Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,
Swept my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

Poem: Mary Oliver from "Whistling Swans"

Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul.
But isn’t the return of spring and how it
springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Photo: Francis Xavier


Prayer: C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices … you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature; either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven … to be the other means madness … and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Spirituality: J. G. Bennett’s "Death and Resurrection"

We do not have within us a principle of stable existence. What we find in ourselves, on the contrary, is a principle of renewal, of return, of being lost and found again. This principle we can only understand if we experience it in ourselves; and we know its taste as the taste of rebirth: whenever we come back from a state of oblivion, of forgetfulness. This happens over and over again, to such an extent that we become accustomed to it and cease to see how important it is – and really how wonderful it is – that we should be able to come back again after having been lost.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Photos: Hats and Leprechauns


Prayer: "Confessions" by Pat Bennett

 God of the liminal places, 

you draw us into the quietness of the desert 

so that we can encounter ourselves… 

But we confess that all too often 

we stubbornly cling to false images 

rather than face the necessity of change. 


You call us into the emptiness of the desert 

so that we can confront our desires… 

But we confess that all too often 

we continue to choose our own comfort 

rather than serving the needs of others. 


You drive us into the dangers of the desert 

so that we can engage with your Kingdom … 

But we confess that all too often 

we prefer the smooth roads of safety 

over the perilous pathways of justice. 


Forgive us, O God, 

wherever we have chosen to be, or do, or dare 

less than you have asked of us; 

and as we walk on in the desert with you 

help us watch and wrestle with these things 

so that we might choose differently in future. 


Pat Bennett, from the download Walking in the Wilderness, a Communion liturgy for the Season of Lent