We had a pumpkin for Halloween, and when the season was over, we cooked, mashed and froze the pumpkin for future desserts. As I was cooking pumpkin custard this morning, I thought about our global community and how we support one another. I thought of the local farmers who raised the chickens and milked the cows so that I could have eggs and milk. I thought of the workers in a warmer southern country who harvested the cane for my sugar, and the people far off on an Eastern continent who provided the spices to make the custard smell and taste so good. My simple dessert depended upon all of these people, in all of these lands. I could not have had custard without them. As I enjoy my special treat today, I think of my global community where life has been turned upside down by a virus that is affecting each and every one of us. I am grateful for you, every one of you. May we all work together to defeat this deadly virus. May you be blessed with good health. And may we all remember our global community.
Yesterday as I sat at our dining room table gazing across the pond, I had an experience very similar to something our daughter wrote in her e-mail to us today:
This morning I had to get up early to go get a mammogram (just a routine screening), and as I was grumpily walking to the clinic, the birds were all singing away, and I was like “How can you be singing?! Don’t you know that we are dealing with the coronavirus?!” And then I realized what a nitwit I was. Nothing like birds singing to help you see the long view.
During Lent this year it is easy for us to get caught up in all of the late winter darkness, the seriousness of this pandemic, which has now reached South Bend, the divisiveness of political fighting, the daily news that beats us down. Yes, we need to pay attention and do what we are capable of doing to prevent illness, to heal the pain, to comfort and care for one another. However, in doing so we must not forget to experience God’s good creation, to see the beauty, to observe the little things, and to stand in awe of the mystery before us. The song of the bird is one of hope, of springtime arriving soon, of the light overcoming the darkness.
This Lent, O God,
enlighten my mind so as to know your Word,
let me see and appreciate beauty, mystery and diversity that is around me,
let me hear the voice of the poor,
fill my heart with compassion,
let me wrap my arms around others with love,
move my legs where you want me to go
as I journey with your people towards Easter sunrise.
The following poem touched me this season:
The gate is open
dare we enter
the snow looks heavy, deep,
the woods, dark, deeper still
the Star we’re told,
is somewhere beyond
on the other side of fear,
The gate is open
dare we enter
—-Sister Peronne Marie Thibert
Would not this world be a wonderful, awesome place,
if we made real the words of the Prophet Isaiah?
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more...
Come let us walk in the light of our God!
Christ is risen. Alleluia!
Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia!
May we move out of darkness and chaos
into the light and new life.
In joy and hope,
A Blessed Easter to all.
Allen and Sue is a novel-length story written in collaboration with my husband, John, as an extension of our ministry. It is our hope that this story will be of interest to those who have experienced PTSD, suffered domestic violence, struggled to find help in community, mistakenly believed that sex and salvation are incompatible, searched for the right neighborhood in which to raise children, or wondered where the Church was when you needed it. The story is also for those who would provide pastoral ministry to the wounded. Genesis teaches us that it is not good to be alone and that two will become one flesh. We believe that the message of Genesis applies to all of us, all of us; no one is excluded.
There is no fee for downloading or even printing the story, if you choose. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two with no money in their purse, so we ask for no payment. If you like the story pass it on. That is all the payment we need.
Read Allen and Sue
These weeks, days and hours
have been filled with xenophobia, hatred and violence.
Christ have mercy on us.
To God’s People at Tree of Life Synagogue,
and to the people of Pittsburgh,
We are with you in your pain.
Peace be with you.
May you be spiritually blessed during the Triduum:
Holy Thursday Eucharist, a day of remembrance, a meal of thanksgiving, and washing of the feet as symbol of service.
Good Friday, a day of sacrifice, of making holy; a cross, symbol of compassion and goodness, arms outstretched to embrace us all in God’s love.
Holy Saturday, welcoming people into the Body of Christ through the waters of baptism.
Easter Sunday, rejoicing in the Risen Christ. New Life!
Christ has risen. Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!
May God shower many blessings upon you in the New Year 2018!