"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Reflections: Winter Solstice Day + One



The contemplation of nature means that we see all things, persons and moments as signs and sacraments of God. In our spiritual vision we are not only to see each thing in sharp relief, standing out in all the brilliance of its specific being, but we are also to see each thing as transparent: in and through each created thing we are to discern the Creator. Discovering the uniqueness of each thing, we discover also how each points beyond itself to him who made it. So we learn, in Henry Suso's words, to see the inward in the outward: “He who can see the inward in the outward, to him the inward is more inward than to him who can only see the inward in the inward.”
- Bishop Ware, Kallistos, Bishop of Diokleia, The Orthodox Way, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Kindle Edition


Christ Be Our Light



* * * * * * * * *




Winter Solstice:
A Crisis of Growth Amidst the Darkness
by H. Coverston.

Jesuit mystic Teilhard de Chardin observed processes of evolution taking place all around him in a world in which all is moving toward an Omega Point of reunification with the One. For Chardin, writing amidst the horrors of WWI, all events play a role in the evolution of our world. Even dark times like our own were necessary parts of the larger picture.

On this Winter Solstice Day when the darkness holds the northern hemisphere in its deepest grip, it is comforting to consider that even in the midst of our most anguished moments as peoples living in unsettling times, we shall not perish. No evolution can occur without the leaving behind of that which has preceded it, the new creation transcending and leaving behind those aspects of its former self which are no longer viable while transforming and bringing forward those aspects which continue to be useful to the new creation.

This may well be “a crisis of growth” we are experiencing, but even that is “more reason to hope.” For far sighted prophets and their words of hope, I give thanks this Solstice night.

“Whatever disorder we are confronted by, the first thing we must say to ourselves is that we shall not perish. This is not a mortal sickness: it is a crisis of growth. It well may be that the evil has never seemed so deep-rooted nor the symptoms so grave; but, in one sense, is that not precisely one more reason for hope? The height of a peak is a measure of the depths of the abysses it overtops.”
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin




Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Advent Season - Afflicted by Hope




"When God “afflicts us with hope” we become people who look at the world with “a steady, honest, unflinching gaze." We see the world just as it is and yet, because we trust in God’s goodness, we still believe good triumphs over evil. This is the hope that lies at the heart of Advent [which celebrates Jesus' birth into a world of sin]. A hope that doggedly persists despite pain and suffering and deep, deep grief. A hope based on a promise that Jesus will not leave us alone but, instead, comes to us over and over again [in this life as the next]." - Teri Wooten Daily


A Beacon of Light: A City on a Hill Full of Light & Peace



The Risk of Birth
by Madeleine L'Engle

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honor & truth were trampled to scorn--
Yet here did the Savior make His home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn--
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.







The Birth of Jesus
Luke 2:1-15 (NASB)

2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. 2 [b]This was the first census taken while [c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [e]Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [f]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [g]with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the [h]manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

*The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.






Days To Come
Isaiah 2:1-5 (NRSV)*

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!

*The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.






The Hour Unknown
Matthew 24:36-44 (NRSV)*

Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

*The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.







The Downward Slope to Hope & Humanity