This is very fascinating – a must read 🙂
Third Week of Advent – Love
Love is Love is Love is Love …….
The quote that I chose for this past Sunday’s bulletin came from Thomas Merton’s book Seasons of Celebration. In prejudice and hate, Advent offers LOVE – the perfect love of God in surrender, a way to love one another, a yearning to love His church.
This has been a challenging week for me on multiple levels and Merton’s invitation to love continues to speak to my heart and guide me through this season of Advent. Perhaps this is a word you need to hear as well, dear reader. It is offered to you with love.
Merton and Peace
Peace to All
Based upon some conversations I have been a part of this week, these words from Thomas Merton from his book No Man Is an Island spoke to my heart. The God of peace is never glorified in violence.
In these times of local AND worldwide challenges, I believe my brother Thomas would agree with another prophet, John Lennon: All we are saying is give peace a chance. May we indeed work to give peace chance ♥️
Dear reader, this is my fervent prayer for you and for me. In the words of St Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
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Let’s Keep Christmas in Our Hearts All Year Long
Sharing a poignant message that came my way…
Subject: Christmas Poem
T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN DISORDER,
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Advent One – 28 November 2021
Blessings in this Advent Season
Today’s meditation moment for the lord first Sunday in Advent is a quote from Thomas Merton: In despair Advent offers HOPE – the hope of a revitalised faith and church, the hope of respect and love for God’s creation that is complete in the hope that Christ brings. My focus in today’s sermon was the fact that Jesus invites us to look for the kingdom in the present. In the midst of challenging times; we are called to look not to the past or to the future. We are called to build the kingdom of God in the here and now… in the present. The below quote further illuminates his thoughts on the Advent presence of Christ in our lives.
…the Church in preparing us for the birth of a “great prophet,” a Savior and a King of Peace, has more in mind…
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Silence, Solitude, and Peace
My hope that is that all who follow the Thanksgiving Holiday had an awesome time with family or friends. Blessings to all.
In the delightful time with friends who are family this past Thanksgiving weekend, I felt my soul nourished. I also craved the time to simply Be Still in the midst of the beauty of God’s creation. The words below from Thomas Merton’s third journal speak to the blessing of that solitude with friends and simply by being still in the midst of it all.
Silence and solitude and peace. Even if everything else is noise, I can be silent within my own house.—November 2, 1959— A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life — The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960
Signs of Life and Hope: A Reflection
Blessings and Prayers
The past thirty-six hours have been tremendously difficult for us. You don’t realize how much a wee puppy impacts your life until she is gone. Pixie’s physical body is gone but she is so present with us in memories and in our hearts.
Looking for signs of life when you are walking through the Valley of the Shadows can be a challenge (can you say massive understatement?!). Beginning in January of this year we have said good-bye to Denise’s close friend Joyce, her Dad, her former mother-in-law and our close friend Betty, and now Pixie. We buried and held hands of so many who were dying in Florida and Colorado as a part of my calling as a pastor. Denise was with my Mom when she died and we were with her Mom who waited until the family was getting some…
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RIP Sweet Pixie #lovelovelovelovelove
Tonight is difficult for Denise and for me. Our hearts are broken. We keep looking for Pixie… especially when popcorn is around. She made us laugh, she gave more love and joy to our lives than you can imagine… especially for a puppy who only weighed 4.5 pounds. She crossed the rainbow bridge this morning. She knew how much we loved her and that love surrounded her as she took her last breath.
In honor of our beloved Pixie, I offer this quote from Thomas Merton’s book, Love and Living: Love is not just something that happens to you: it is a certain special way of living and being alive. Thank you Pixie for loving us and for being such a wonderful blessing to us.
Remembering Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton
Happy Birthday Dorothy Day
Today is Dorothy Day’s birthday. She was born on this day in 1897 in Brooklyn Heights, New York. She and Thomas Merton were both lifted up, along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Abraham Lincoln were lifted up by Pope Francis in his address to the US Congress on September 24, 2015. Calling them “four representatives of the American people,” Pope Francis lauded Day, King, Lincoln and Merton for using their dreams of justice, equal rights, liberty and peace to make America a better place.
Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day were not only contemporaries in the realm of social justice work, they exchanged letters with each other which can be found in the volume of his letters The Hidden…
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Working for Peace – A Reflection
Blessings to all
I had a discussion with a friend about the relevance today of Thomas Merton’s writings during the era of Civil Rights, the Anti-War and Anti-Nuclear peacemaking movements. It is often quite a jolt to me how often Merton speaks to my heart about issues and concerns of my own heart. The following words from volume four of his journals spoke to me today.
It is shocking that so many are convinced that the Communists are about to invade or destroy America: “Christians” who think the only remedy is to destroy them first. Who thinks seriously of disarming? For whom is it more than a pious wish, beyond the bounds of practicality? I need patience to listen, to learn, to try to understand, and courage to take all the consequences and be really faithful. This alone is a full-time job. I dread it, but it must be done, and I don’t…
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