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Saturday, December 24, 2005

"For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" - {Luke 2:8-13} So proclaimed the angels to the shepherds. Now over two thousand years later the proclamation has not lost any power or majesty to any who will listen in faith. The Sandro Botticelli painting helps us to realize the profound immensity of this event. It also invites us to open our hearts to the unseen, or unheard beauty and message of the Kingdom of God. As we worship Him this Christmas may we truly join the angels in proclaiming His glory. May we allow Mary to bring us to know, as we have known Him before, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.
This Christmas may we each draw near to the Christ child and allow Him to touch our hearts to believe, our ears to hear, and our eyes to see Him.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Roses of Guadalupe

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a rich and beautiful account of the visitation of our Blessed Mother to a struggling new believer in a land where the Gospel of her Son was struggling agaisnt the paganism of the native Americans and the cruel greed and politics of a conquering world power. It was a setting with failure written all over it. Not unlike the the Church, Christ's Kingdom today. But for the grace of God.
I find many aspects of the story inspiring. But as a gardener the Castilian Roses are of special interest. For the native American, Juan Diego, to find the roses, in December in Mexico and the for the roses to transform into the image of Our Lady provide a two-fold miracle whose power should not be lost on us today.
Juan Diego found the roses in response to trust and a loving obedience. The blossoms of God's grace bloom wherever fertile hearts are willing to allow the Light of the Gospel to shine. The external seasons, the climate (spiritual, moral) will have as much impact as God's design and faith determine.
One lesson is clear. The beauty of God's grace and love longs to bloom in our hearts, our lives and our times as we but trust and have the courage to follow Him.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Closed for Christmas?

According to Fox New's Brit Hume several "mega churches" are planning on being closed for Christmas day,,2933,177763,00.html . The rationale given by the church leaders is that since Christmas has become so secularized that it doesn't really matter and that this provides staff time to spend with their family on Christmas day.
This is a sad commentary on the focus and health of the American Christian depth of faith and love for Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. IF the primary focus of these "mega church" worship services is entertainment and the gratification of the American appetite for sensory gratification then perhaps it is just as well. I guess it is truly is a lot of work to produce and present some of the weekly media productions and the staff will probably like the day off.
However what about..coming to Him who came for us, to worship and adore Christ Jesus? What about simply listening in faith and love to the Scriptures, or receiving His sacred Body and Blood in the Eucharist? What about worshipping, together, with family, the birthday of our King?
What about Jesus?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christ is coming...Where are we going? struck me today how much is said about the coming of Christ, appropriately enough. Christ is coming, returning in glory, it is a real and powerful promise. Also the truth and beaurty of Christ's first coming, the Incarnation, God, made flesh, born in a stable, in redeeming love for us all. Simply, truthfully powerfully said..God came and is returning...yet it leads me to consider, where are we going?
Are we "going crazy" trying to meet the absurd and impossible demands of the season played out in the glossy advertisements and commercials? Buy this gift and your loved one will forever love you and be happy!!!! HOGWASH!

Are we going to make all the family meet our hopes and expectations and when there any get togethers everyone will be in place with their smiles of harmony?? Probably not. And if our hope is that they will meet our expectations perhaps it is better to thankfully pray for our loved ones and ask God to bless and guide them where He wills for their happiness.

Are we going down memory lane visiting all the "what if's", the "if only that hadn't happened" or "if I had only"...Memories are precious and need to be visited. But to live in the past???

There are many places we can go this Advent season. But if He came for us. Might we not want to go to Him?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dark the Night


Dark the night,
embraced only by the empty ache of loneliness.
Dark the clouds,
with their cold caress of sorrow.

Questions torn from the heart,
borne on the wind,
buffet the soul,
with stinging tears.

Weary and in pain,
stumbling in the dark,
with wounds confounding
his senses.

But, the whisper of dawn is heard..

"I know and understand,
your needs and your hopes,
they are of My design...
Surrender to My arms
know my Holy Love"

Surrendering anew,
Light from dawn beckoned,
In weary hope he saw
that His Love would never die.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bailey & the rain

Bailey, my Golden Retriever is very happy today. Northern California is very rainy. Creeks are flowing, grass is soggy, puddles are prolific. This morning he and I went to the vineyard behind St. Peter's for his mid-morning tinkle break. As I huddled under the umbrella he grinned his way through the rain. Savoring the puddles, eating the green grass, trying to take a sneaking run into the creek he was overjoyed with life, amidst the storm. For good measure he took a good roll on the wet lawn in front of the church. Bailey's only frustration is that when he went inside the office no one would come out to play. In spite of his disappointment his Golden grin was soon replacing the disappointment in his eyes.
It reminded me of the prayer I saw the other day; "Lord make me the person my dog sees in me", even when I won't roll in the wet grass with him.



Holy Jesus, our Lord, Savior, our Love,
As your servants help us to follow You,
In the quest of Your Kingdom of Holy Love.

Help us to look with Your eyes of faith
as we behold You and each other
To listen with your ears of truth,
to Your Word Your call in our lives
To touch and feel with your passion and mercy.

In trusting holy love may we embrace
In and at Your Cross.
Help us to cast aside the fears,
To reject the doubts of the world that assail our

As servants of Your Holy Love,
may you knit and embrace our spirit and souls,
with the love of Your choosing,
And, as we die to self and this world
In Your Love
may the passion of your Cross unite our lives,
in Your Kingdom of Holy Love.

Help us, as we follow You,
In this quest for Your Kingdom,
To share and proclaim the beauty and joy
Of Your Holiness,
The limitless expressions
Of Your Love,
To all we meet.

Clothed in naked hope,
the quest for love commands.
To love as You love us,
to break through fearfilled lands.


Holy Ascended Lord, teach us to love as you love.
May we see the sorrows of life with Your eyes of hope
and healing.
May we share the joys You bring with humble open
Help us to embrace, with you, all you bring to us,
with that same love and mercy with which You draw us
to yourself.
Lead us Jesus to love as You loved, sharing the
passion of the Cross and the intense boundless joy of
Your resurrection. As we live, as we love, Holy Lord,
make us Your lovers in true word and deed.


to seek, to share, to be open,
to hope, to trust,
to be happy, to give and receive,
to hurt, to heal,
to forgive, and be forgiven,
to succeed, to fail,
for life
for His love.

"Love has no room for fear; rather perfect {mature}
love casts out all fear" I John 4:18


Hearing His call I came,
In fear, in dread,
Knowing myself, unworthy, weak and broken,
Seeing Him, Beautiful in Holiness
and Love.

My sin, my failures,
I sought to hide,
In reason and faulty intellect,
In pride-filled unbelief.

Still he called,
He drew me to Himself,
In His arms, with gentle strength,
He washed and healed,
And I saw,

His hands were scarred,
His side, the wound,
I cried, Why?
He answered, Love
He smiled, I cried,
In Love...

He whispered gently,
Will you trust Me?
Yes I said,
Lifting my head, he looked at me,
Will you love Me?
Yes, I wept.

Drawing me closer,
I felt the pierce, the thrust,
And with the pain
His Love entered.

After resting He spoke again,
Let us go,
Let us love.
Hearing His call,
I will follow...amazed,
In Love.

{Exodus 21:5-6; Romans 12:1-2; I Peter 2:16-17;