Monday, December 22, 2014

#Ask #AdventWord

a picture I took of our convent puppies when I lived in Haiti

Pet me?

more Haiti fauna... mourning dove babies being fed by mama dove

mama sparrow feeding baby
Manresa Retreat House, Bloomfield, MI

Penny, Duxbury

People, look east! #Beautify #AdventWord

1. People, look east. The time is near 
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

4. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Words and Music: Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965), 1928

#Peace #EpiscopalAdvent

Snowy Egret, Cohasset, MA

Cloud Reflections, Duxbury, MA

Evening Light over Lake Michigan, Manistee, MI

More #AdventWord #EpiscopalAdvent fauna

OK, you all, I'm a little behind in my #AdventWord and #EpiscopalAdvent postings.  Let me catch up partially here.

Green Heron, Daniel Webster Audubon, Marshfield

Mama fox and kit behind the convent

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#Become #AdventWord

#Rejoice #EpiscopalAdvent

Sr. Winifred, SSM
Louisburg Square (1999?)
 an older picture, but one I just love

Sr. Winifred died just before I came to community. This was the first picture I saw of her, the one they put on the cover of our Quarterly article about her. It's from the 1990's, so it's much older, but I love it. I still love it. And when I heard that the word for yesterday was "rejoice," I immediately thought of this photo. I hear she was characterized by joy.  That is who a Sister ought to be, who I'd like to be, who I hope to grow into being.  How perfect to discover in the background a Christmas wreath - I hadn't remembered that.  Joy is a gift, the infallible sign of the presence of God. It's also something we need to be open to receiving. God willing and me cooperating, I'll be open to receiving this gift this Christmas - and today, right here, right now. Emmanuel, God with us - what more reason do we need?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#Light #Stir #EpiscopalAdvent

#AdventWord #Expand your heart

I am glad to recognize that when we love God our heart expands, and we can give incomparably more tender love to those who are dear to us than when our love is selfish and barren.

- Therese of Lisieux


The Christian life can be described as life in Christ. What that means is that each of us is invited to live our life out of his power. To live our lives, in other words, in union with him who is the source of
all power, of all energy, and to do so by being as fully open to his reality as we can be in this life. The way of meditation is simply the way of being open to the consciousness of Jesus, to his consciousness.

It is this openness to the consciousness of Jesus that leads each of us to the complete realisation of our potential, of our capacity for development, for expansion of heart and mind. And it is even more than that, because through our union with Christ we are connected, not just with the source of our own being, but we are connected to the source of all being, and all beings.

- John Main, OSB

Saturday, December 13, 2014

#Beloved #EpiscopalAdvent

As a big brother cares for his baby sister... 

#AdventWord #Risk saying YES

  Take the risk of saying YES to God

Luke 1:26-38 - The Birth of Jesus Foretold

 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Friday, December 12, 2014

#Baptize #EpiscopalAdvent

a river of living water... "and everything will live where the river goes."

Ezekiel 47:1-11 - Water Flowing from the Temple

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate that faces towards the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

Going on eastwards with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed.He said to me, ‘Mortal, have you seen this?’

Then he led me back along the bank of the river. As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on one side and on the other.He said to me, ‘This water flows towards the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’

#Act #AdventWord


Isaiah 61.4:

They shall build up the ancient ruins,
   they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
   the devastations of many generations. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#Breathe #AdventWord

in me, breath of God...

The spirit of God has made me,
   and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 
Job 33:4

#Prepare the way #EpiscopalAdvent

the way - Every valley shall be lifted up...The uneven ground shall become level.

40Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God. 
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins. 

3 A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain. 
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

#Proclaim #EpiscopalAdvent


Jeremiah 31.2-12

2 Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
   found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest, 
3   the Lord appeared to him* from far away.*
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
   O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take* your tambourines,
   and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. 
5 Again you shall plant vineyards
   on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
   and shall enjoy the fruit. 
6 For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
   in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
   to the Lord our God.’ 

7 For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
   and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
   ‘Save, O Lord, your people,
   the remnant of Israel.’ 
8 See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
   and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
   those with child and those in labour, together;
   a great company, they shall return here. 
9 With weeping they shall come,
   and with consolations* I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
   in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
   and Ephraim is my firstborn. 

10 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’ 
11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
   and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
   and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
   and they shall never languish again.

Sleepers, #WakeUp! #AdventWord

"Sleepers, wake!" A voice astounds us...

Zion hears the watchman singing; 
her heart with joyful hope is spring,
she wakes and hurries through the night.
- The Hymnal 1982 #62

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#Encourage #AdventWord

 Therefore  one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing (1 Thess. 5:11). 

1 Thessalonians 5:9-25

For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Beloved, pray for us.

#Prophet #EpiscopalAdvent

John the Baptist - Baptism of Our Lord
Cathedrale Sainte Trinite, Port-au-Prince (pre-earthquake)
(See for more)

Among those born of women
there arose none greater than John the Baptist
who prepared the way of the Lord in the wilderness.

A man was sent by God
whose name was John,
who prepared the way of the Lord in the wilderness.

(translation via Choral Public Domain Library)

Cristóbal de Morales (1500 - 1553) - Inter Natos

Inter natos mulierum
non surrexit maior Iohanne Baptista
qui viam Domini praeparavit in heremo.

Fuit homo missus a Deo
cui nomen erat Iohannes,
qui viam Domini praeparavit in heremo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

#Messenger #EpiscopalAdvent

Gracious God, help us not to shoot the  

#Respond #AdventWord

Song Sparrow
Duxbury, MA

You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
     you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
     O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.
- Psalm 30:12-13

Sunday, December 7, 2014

#ShowUp #AdventWord

Showing up is the first step to living.

"Spiritual discipline has more to do with a posture of attentive learning rather than a posture of retentive fixation on some form or formula. I think showing up is a very important spiritual discipline."
– Br. Curtis Almquist
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

#Repentance #EpiscopalAdvent

The Proclamation of John the Baptist (Mark 1:1-8)
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,   who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:   “Prepare the way of the Lord,   make his paths straight” ’,

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

Taptap, Haiti

Second Sunday of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.