Monday, July 30, 2012


“The word ‘authority’ comes from the Latin ‘augere’ (to grow). All authority, whether it be civil, paternal, religious or community is intended to help people grow towards greater freedom, justice and truth. Often, however, it is used for honor, power, privilege and positive self-image of those who exercise it. By stooping down to wash the disciples’ feet, Jesus calls us all to exercise authority humbly, as a service …
By washing his disciples’ feet, however, Jesus is calling them not just to be good shepherds but to exercise authority at the heart of community in a totally new way, a way that is humanly incomprehensible and impossible. It is just as new and just as impossible as his invitation to forgive seventy-times-seven-times, to love enemies and to do good to those who hate us, to give our clothes to those who ask for them, to be constantly gentle and non-violent. It is just as amazing as when he identified himself with the poor and the outcast. ‘In my kingdom, the greatest must become the smallest.’

Jesus asks his disciples to exercise authority like a child or a servant, where they are vulnerable and open to others. Can this authority ‘from below,’ where, out of love, we place ourselves lower than others, still be called authority? Is it not rather love and communion? It is like the authority a child has over a mother, or a friend over a friend, or a wife over husband or vice versa. They are there for one another, at each other’s service. They listen to one another and are never too busy to be disturbed by the other. They live inside one another. Their joy is in giving to each other and being in communion one with another.”
—Jean Vanier

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feast Day of Thomas a Kempis

“A book has but one voice, but it does not instruct everyone alike.” ― Thomas à Kempis

Thomas à Kempis lived from 1380–1471. He was an Augustinian monk and writer. Thomas Hemerken was born in Kempen, near Düsseldorf, Germany. At thirteen he left his home to study in Deventer under Florent Radewijns, who had been an early disciple of Gerhard Groote, founder of the movement called devotio moderna, or New Devotion, and of the Brethren of the Common Life in Windesheim.

In 1399 Thomas entered the Augustinian monastery of Mount St. Agnes (Agnietenberg) where his brother Jan had just been elected prior. After making his religious vows in 1408, Thomas was ordained a priest in 1413. He was elected subprior of the community in 1425. His primary duty was teacher of novices. In this capacity he produced the four treatises that became Imitation of Christ. Except for a three-year period when the entire monastic community went into voluntary exile, Thomas spent the rest of his life at Mount St. Agnes.
Thomas is best known for Imitation of Christ, a book for which he does not always get authorial credit, since the earliest manuscripts are anonymous. While complete unanimity does not exist, most scholars today consider Thomas the author. Imitation of Christ, probably written between 1420 and 1427, is, next to the Bible, the most popular of Christian classics, appealing to Protestants as well as Catholics. ...

Since Imitation of Christ was originally written for novices, Thomas used simple, direct language to convey his practical advice. Showing a keen understanding of human nature and deep insight into psychology, he shares the spiritual truths he has gleaned from praying the scripture (there are almost seven hundred biblical citations and allusions), the Devotio Moderna, the writings of the church fathers, and the lives of the saints.

Thomas wisely connects Christian ideas with a Christian lifestyle, joining theory and practice. The book has become and remained a classic because of this practical interpretation of scripture and theology. Due to its richness and depth, it is best read slowly, repeatedly, and meditatively.

Information from The Upper Room

A must read...

From time to time you run across a posting that just says so much...and this is one of those. Not written by me...but most definitely something I will read more than once!

"I think Mary would not shy away from naming the darkness and despair of an event like Friday’s massacre.  She was familiar with darkness after all– Luke tells us that it is from Mary Magdalen that Jesus cast out 7 demons.  Then having been freed from her demons she followed Jesus and as the text tells us, even supported the ministry from her own pocketbook. And at the end it was Mary Magdalen who did not deny Jesus nor betray Jesus nor high tale it out when things got rough but she with just a couple other faithful women stood at the cross.  And after Jesus died, it was Mary who came to his tomb, as we are told, while it was still dark.

My Bishop Allan Bjornberg once said that the Greatest spiritual practice isn’t yoga or praying the hours or living in intentional poverty although these are all beautiful in their own way.  The greatest spiritual practice is just showing up.

And in some ways Mary Magdalen is like, the patron saint of just showing up."

The rest is here: Sarcastic Lutheran

Monday, July 23, 2012


In honor of the 2012 Olympics beginning this Friday...mesmerized as I watched on TV, it was a sight to behold...for those few moments, she was perfect!

Sorry it's grainy in places...

A response....

I have not responded to the tragedy in Colorado. It weighs heavy on us all...

"In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares."   A. Lincoln

It goes without saying our thoughts and prayers are with you all...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I was recently reading one of Kathy Reich's "Temperance Brennan" novels. I love to watch "Bones" on TV, knew she was the creator of the character so I thought I'd see whether reading was better than watching. I chose to read "Cross Bones" which goes to Israel, deals with archeology, skeletons, ossuary's "possibly" containing the bones of Jesus' get the picture. It was pretty good, but I like the show better. I think I may relate to the Tempe character in the show (but that's another discussion).

Bottom line it was a good, light read...and 99% fiction. But it got me thinking. Although I am an avid history buff and love it whenever new "Biblical" material comes to light, I don't base my faith on it. According to
Heb 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." If I must have scientific proof, it's not faith. Don't take this to mean I'm anti-science...I'm not. But we have entered an age where the extraordinary discoveries of science are often times out of step with our moral ability to deal with them.

I will continue to read fiction, I will continue to watch with a wary eye all the new developments in scientific areas, and I will continue to be thrilled with new discoveries brought to light from ancient times...but I will always view them through the prism of my faith.

"Science is a great thing, we all know. But science cut free of the moorings of morality and respect for human life is a destructive force that will lead to our demise as a species." W.T. Huston

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Look at Rembrandt

and van Gogh.

They trusted their vocations and did not allow anyone to lead them astray. With true Dutch stubbornness, they followed their vocations from the moment they recognized them. They didn't bend over backward to please their friends or enemies. Both ended their lives in poverty, but both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people. Think of these two men and trust that you too have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully."
                                                                                          Henri Nouwen

Monday, July 16, 2012


Except for my husband, everyone who knows me today thinks me to be an extrovert. I can approach most anyone and start a conversation. I can speak in front of 5, or 50, or 500, it makes no matter. But it wasn't always so...

Due to the circumstances of my nature and childhood, I was an excruciatingly shy child and teenager. Not only could I NOT speak in front of people, I spent most of my time trying to be invisible. It was so much easier if nobody noticed me. Looking back, I had no idea how worthless I thought I was. Isn't it funny how much easier it is to believe someone who says bad things about you?

God was not happy with me...but He didn't give up on me either. I say He wasn't happy, that's probably not an accurate statement, I'm sure I broke His heart...everyday. He had created me, loved me, held me, comforted me and yet I doubted Him. It's all part of the thinking...why would the Creator of the Universe even cast an eye toward me?

It took a long time for me to get to this point, but God is nothing if not patient. He put me with a husband and a family who wouldn't let me think less of myself than they did.

He does have a way of giving us exactly what we need, when we need it, if we but let Him. Are you standing in His way? I was.

In the end I understood that it wasn't me that was worthless, it was my attitude toward me. I cannot possibly conceive what my worth is to Him, but that doesn't matter. He knows and I'm so glad ...

Speaking words of hate

in the name of Christ? How does one reconcile that? The circumstances of the death are sad enough and I will never understand WBC but I do love the response of Texas A&M students and alumni...

Texas A&M alum Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale was killed on June 28 during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C. Tisdale was killed by another soldier who then shot himself.
In the days following the soldier's death, word spread that Westboro Baptist Church members were planning to protest Tisdale's funeral.
Ryan Slezia, a former Texas A&M student, heard of the group's plans and hatched a plot to foil their efforts. He called upon fellow students on a Facebook event page he created: "In response to their signs of hate, we will wear maroon. In response to their mob anger, we will form a line, arm in arm. This is a silent vigil. A manifestation of our solidarity."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Excellent Article...

Indulgence is often closely trailed by its chubby sidekick, overindulgence. While the concept of overindulgence is probably all too familiar to anyone who’s ever attended a Thanksgiving dinner, the word “underindulgence” doesn’t exist. (Type it into, and you’ll be asked, “Did you mean counter intelligence?”) But research shows that underindulgence — indulging a little less than you usually do — holds one key to getting more happiness for your money. 

Read the rest here...


“The Church will become small, and will to a great extent have to start over again. But after a time of testing, an internalized and simplified Church will radiate great power and influence; for the population of an entirely planned and controlled world are going to be inexpressibly lonely . . . and they will then discover the little community of believers as something quite new. As a hope that is there for them, as the answer they have secretly always been asking for.”
God and the World Pope Benedict XVI

He says more on the subject, but this started me thinking...if this is the future of the Catholic Church, what is the future of other denomintations? Although we may approach it from different places, we are all the Church of Jesus Christ...will we survive? Sure, the churches are considered out-of-step by the mainstream. And we are all-too-human, flawed, messy, clumsy, and yes, unpopular. But we struggle on in the Name of One who is all-Just and all-Merciful. He will guide...

Are there enough true and faithful hearts to face the coming crisis?