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Religion

  • Tune in and find beauty where others just find noise

     Maybe it was the sound of the wind chimes hanging from the rafters of our tiny entryway that inspired me. It could have been a story that went viral, the one about a Texas teen who had been cruelly bullied. She wasn’t physically injured. It was worse. She was tricked into thinking she had been nominated as a contestant for class queen. The joke was turned around when her friends surprised her – and the bullies – by relinquishing the honor and offering the crown to her.

  • Twenty questions that offer a lasting legacy

     Perhaps anticipated entry into the fifth month since my daughter’s death has elicited my renewed intrigue with the idea of legacies. It might also have been triggered by the work of a college classmate who is living with a dire prognosis of a life being seriously shortened by cancer. She wants to gift her family with memories, her remembrances of life, as a way to enhance their own.

  • Seeing with the eyes of the crucified

     Typically, my mornings begin with a cup of coffee and my devotional, “Give Us This Day,” followed by a trek to the computer to receive my electronic spiritual boost from the Center for Action and Contemplation, Father Richard Rohr’s site. His daily words seem always to be just what I need to read, hear, and heed. They were particularly spot on a week or so ago.

  • The ‘selfie’ craze is here ... to stay?

     Unless one lived in a hermitage or cave without television or newspapers, “selfie” is not a foreign word. What is strange is its creeping infallibility. Part of the modern vocabulary, selfie has become much more than a description of a cellphone snapshot verifying one’s presence at a monumental site. It is more than simple proof of one’s existence at a particular location or with a special person. Selfies can be fun, taken lightly. They can also be frighteningly indicative of a certain egoism.

  • ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of God’s hands’ (Psalm 19:2)

     I have noted and admired the practice, especially in the South, of folks beginning their day by reading and praying their devotionals. It may be equally true elsewhere, but my experience was heightened by what I saw and heard here. For that matter, what I continue to see and hear when I am with “church people” from all walks of life.

  • Find the ghost of Tom Joad everywhere
  • Enter the world of a whispering God

     I am not a whisperer. Nothing about me is silent. I am a loud Italian with laughter as my trademark. In fact, someone once commented upon a dress I wore while on duty at the hospital, saying, “You won’t blend while you’re wearing that dress.” Not knowing whether that was to be taken as a compliment or not, I responded, quite accurately I think, “I have never blended ... not once in my whole life.”

  • Bullying breathes and breeds disaster
  • The invention of wings takes us to unexpected skies

     The day was hot and humid. Summer had taken hold with a vengeance calling for relaxation and re-creation. It also evoked a need to spend time with neighbors we dearly love. Dinner together would be nice, I thought. H.D. was assigned the delight of inviting them. Between preparations, in fact even during it, I was entranced by Sue Monk Kidd’s newest novel, “The Invention of Wings.” I knew I’d be talking to our friends about it, especially since they and we are avid readers.

  • Strangers in a foreign land become friends

    Every once in a while, Hubby Dear and I opt to attend a church service for the Latino community. Neither of us speak nor read Spanish, so it is both an adventure and a challenge to be participants, not just visitors. It is also a tremendous learning experience.

    We listen for words similar to our own native language or ones that are ring more familiarly with other languages we know or have studied. We follow along with prayers in the rite, whispering them as an English accompaniment to the variety of Spanish accents ringing around us.