Sunday, February 17, 2019

Blessed the poor

Wonderful homily this weekend when our presider talked about the difference between the Beatitudes in Matthew and the ones in Sunday's gospel from Luke .

As he said, the ones in Matthew are the best known, the "nice" ones--the ones we sang through Sr. Mary David's song at the Gospel today. Then we have the ones in the Luke reading--less known and not even used as a gospel reading unless the pre-Lent Ordinary Time extends beyond five weeks in the cycle. They give us only four "blesseds" and follow them with four complimentary "woes." (Blessed are the poor.......Woe to those who are rich).

These scripture scholars...what depth and interesting reflections they are able to bring to the readings that can too often sail over our heads! Lucky us!

A rare window feeder visitor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Whiling away the days

More suggestions for getting through these cold, snowy winter days: have a friend send you the New York Times annual full fold-out crossword puzzle--mount it on your bathroom door (sorry, no room for a card table), put the clues right beside it, and you're good for 2-3 months of standing and filling in clues---at least at my rate!!

Lots of fun--thanks Joanne!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Wisdom is everywhere.

Our bluebirds winter in their houses in our backyard.
Photo by Jo Clarke

We had a two-day celebratory weekend that included the feast of St. Scholastica (sister of Benedict) and the 2019 Prophet of Peace award. Lots of visitors, prayer and song, good eats and good times. However, it limited the usual weekend "down time" quite a bit. Which got me thinking about one of my favorite Zen proverbs: "After ecstasy, the laundry."

And that led me to an old Zen proverbs and koans book I are some more for your cold February Monday morning meditation!

Relax. Nothing's missing.

Rest and be kind, you don't have to prove anything.

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

If you are unable to find the truth right where you are,
where else do you expect it to be?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

At last

This orchid's story goes something like this: five-six years ago it was a gift to one of our sisters. After the blossoms died off I inherited it, moved it to my office, began to water it once a week (the prescribed tablespoon), talked to it, watched the large dark green leaves live on and on, and went about my life. Two or three years ago I began to see these odd white things growing out of it (roots) and after quite a bit of time, it bloomed. Miracle! The blossoms eventually died off, repeat story.

Here we are again....the long, winding roots began about two months ago, the three buds maybe a month ago. Today the third one opened and I knew it was time to share yet another miracle!

PS A couple years ago I inherited yet another orchid. Water, talk, watch. Nothing....until a month or so ago...the roots are about 1/2 as long as these, no stalk for flowers even showing---yet I continue my vigil! What a hope-filled way to get through a winter.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sweet memories

At lunch today I was mentioning that I hadn't had a chance on Saturday morning to do my weekly watering of the six ferns that hang in our dining room because of community meetings that we had all weekend. But I was worried about them because the air is so dry this time of year and a couple of them looked especially in need of water. So I planned to water them during the half-time of the Super Bowl game!

This declaration lead to questions that brought these answers: a) for about 20 years; b) no, but they all are offshoots of the original two; c) I think they came from Sr. Mary Philip at a jubilee. Then we realized that this was the death anniversary of this lovely and quite unique gal, Sr. Mary Philip Kiehlmeier who entered the community in her 30s (unusual at that time) and lived into her 90s.

Sr. Lenore Shaw, another late bloomer, entered community twice in her 20s, (left both times) and then returned for good 30 years later! Lenore was a true "character" who we remembered this weekend, also, as our Super Bowl pool is always in her honor (she was the first organizer of this annual event).

I can't imagine we'll ever stop missing Mary Philip and Lenore....great women and very special community members.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

(Very) tough trivia

This BBC trivia is so tough I'm going to make it multiple choice for you! Good luck.

What are these?

Old fox deceived
Anodyne necklace
Dirty duck
Deer leap
Old contemptibles

A) The subtitles of Agatha Christie mysteries

B) The clues that unveiled Miss Marple cases

C) Final solutions to Christopher Foyle's dilemmas.

D) Pubs where Richard Jury solves his crimes.

It's hard to think of something to share besides an update on the weather! Yes, we are under the same winter wildness that most of the country seems to be experiencing this week. One of the housebound activities that many of us undertake is reading and that lead me to think about our website's page: "What Sisters/Oblates Read." There are 99 book reviews on it now and I've been thinking about what I'd like to put up for #100. We'll see.

If you, too, are part of the harsh January weather I hope that you and the folks in your area are safe and warm. We have these wonderful overnight centers that open only during the winter months. Primarily sponsored by churches, they offer not only sleeping areas but a variety of other things such as showers, warm clothing, TV, health screenings, etc. Very, very personal and compassionate Christ-like service from Erie's parish communities.

The last of winter berries before a huge flock of cedar waxwings stripped the trees this week.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The day the ruler "died"--enter a yardstick

In a (serious) four seasons climate such as ours you fare much easier and better if you have "hobbies" in the winter months. Whatever they may be doesn't matter. As long as you enjoy them and they pass the time indoors, especially on days of extreme cold and/or snow. The first of those days this season hit us this week: snow, and lots of it, and cold temps, with colder ones predicted later this week. One "comfort" undoubtedly is knowing that we are hardly alone as these winter storms seem to often cut a very wide swatch across the upper half of the country. But the hobbies do help!

One of mine can be seen here--my neighbor and I have taken on the task of providing seeds and overly ripe/uneatable apples to the birds and deer that frequent the pathways down the east side of the Mount, right by our windows. Out we hike faithfully and are rewarded with great sightings.

Another one of mine is measuring the new snow and the snow pack right outside one of our entrances, one fairly protected from extreme winds and drifting. This Saturday was the day that I knew would be coming soon....the ruler I use to measure disappeared into the snow pack Saturday morning! 12+" had accumulated. The ruler was replaced by the yardstick--hopefully to be reversed soon!

I caught one of our newest members taking a short video of the backyard Saturday afternoon, too. Probably to amaze (if not scare to death) her family and friends in the south! Nonetheless, we must always end this type of reflection with this final remark: It IS absolutely beautiful.