“Father . . . Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”

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“Father, Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”
If this were a symphony, this would be the moment between the final note and the first applause. If this were a journey, this would be the first sight of a familiar home. But this is a dying Messiah . . . and this is a sigh of joy.

“Father” The voice is hoarse. The voice that called forth dead Lazarus . . . the voice that taught the 5,000, the voice that pleaded with God at Gethsamane . . . now says
“Father” . . . now the two are one again . . . now the abandoned is found . . . the schism is bridged.

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It Is Finished

Maundy thursday

A young woman sat in the darkness of the Tenebrae service one Good Friday many years ago and watched as the candles were extinguished one by one. There had been many months of struggle as she wrestled with her doubts in faith. Over the past several years she had fallen away from the faith of her childhood. She doubted that the stories of the Bible could be true . . . yet, she was continually drawn to the person of Jesus Christ. Who was this Jesus? Why had he left such a great influence on so many people over the years? How was it that his followers throughout the ages had self-lessly created so many helping organizations around the world? . . . schools, hospitals, social agencies, world hunger relief programs . . . all because of following Jesus.
People like Mother Teresa made a great impression on this woman. These people seemed to really take their faith seriously and lived dedicated lives. Continue reading

Today You Shall Be With Me In Paradise

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I was working as a chaplain at the cancer clinic in my province. One afternoon there was a call for me to make a visit to a young man up on the bone marrow transplant unit. He had just been told he had only a few weeks to live. He wanted to talk to the chaplain.

What does one say in such a situation? Silently I prayed for the right words as I walked to the ward.

It didn’t take long for him to get to the heart of his question: “What’s going to happen to me when I die?” He said: “I’ve done some pretty bad things. I’ve made a mess of my life. Will I go to hell?” Continue reading

It Must Be Spring

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There is a mildness in the air ~
A softness in the soil;
And there is less of weariness
In struggle and in toil.
The sun is somewhat warmer now ~
The sky a brighter blue;
And something seems to tell the heart
That life is fresh and new.
It must be time for spring again ~
And time to look around;
For greener grass and flowers fair
To decorate the ground. Continue reading

My Mom Turned 93 This Week

Mom at 93

My mom turned 93 this week.

She still lives in her own apartment and cooks most of her own meals.
She is adored by the church she faithfully attends, and she offers care to those in need.

Among the many things she continues to do are:
she gathers items for women’s shelters;
she organizes special treats like pizza and hamburger nights for those on her floor;
she calls BINGO every week for the “old folks” in her building. Continue reading

Spring Rain Upon The Ridge

What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone,
in the forest, at night, cherished by this
wonderful, unintelligible,
perfectly innocent speech,
the most comforting speech in the world,
the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges,
and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows.
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks I am going to listen.

~  Thomas Merton

96 Crayons

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There’s still a wonderful thrill from childhood that comes upon me when I open a box of new crayons. The idea that I can create anything I want on a blank piece of paper, and design it in any colors I choose, gives a sense of freedom and empowerment. So one day I went out and bought myself a BIG box of crayons — 96 of them! I started by studying the names of the colors, names such as: sky blue, razzle dazzle rose, sunglow, granny smith apple, tumbleweed, neon carrot, purple mountain’s majesty, bittersweet, tickle me pink, dandelion, and timber wolf. Then I organized them in groups: pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, browns and blacks, blues and greens. This act in itself was a healing moment. Then I began to draw. I began to draw pieces of myself through the form of a sort of mandala. I began with the center of the page and worked my way out, choosing colors that spoke to me about feelings for the day. I drew until the feelings were fully evident — sometimes BOLD and VIVID colors, sometimes soft and gentle. Sometimes in ordered Beauty — some times in scribbled chaos. I did not know ahead of time what would emerge. I just let my right brain guide me to whatever needed to come forth for that day. There was something healing about making the crayon go round & round & round the circle — getting it out of the sub-conscious and into the Light.

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