65 and Retiring

Reflections on Goodbyes and Pachangas It’s the unsaid “goodbyes” that hurt most. We moved and people disappeared from my world when we started over in a new town, a new church, a new school. Yet, the disappeared haunt my memory in the vague forms and incomplete sketches imagined by my younger self. My music teacher,…

The Prayer of Trust

In preparation for a talk on prayer for catechetical leaders in our diocese, I visited the adoration chapel at the parish where I work. I brought a journal full of notes from a recent retreat along with my favorite spiritual book with sound advice about prayer. I leafed through these, but instead of focusing, my…

Lifelong Married Love

I was 19 and he was 22 when on Monday, February 16, 1976 he drove me to Phoenix for a Bill Gaither Concert. Three friends from his church rode in the backseat of his parents’ car for the 100 mile trip. The front seat was our own private world. At the concert , his friend…

Thoughts on Flying to Chicago

The high in Phoenix today predicted to be 70°. Perfectly beautiful sunny weather. In a few days I’ll board a plane for Chicago where 6° the forecasted high. The lows are in the negative teens. I’ve never been to Chicago in the winter, but I am packing layers and layers of warmth. It still amazes…

Friends

    We’ve been running (jogging) more than a year now, my friend and I. Mostly three days a week and 30 minutes at a time. My friend is more fit, ten years younger, and a lot faster than I. When we started, I ran my speed and she ran hers. But somewhere along the…

Grasping after Beauty

  How elusive all the most beautiful experiences of life are! When we try to capture them, to possess them, to grasp them to ourselves we cannot. Maybe that’s why we take so many photos and share them with friends whom we hope will have eyes to see. I have been gifted with countless moments…

Vice and Virtue

This morning I was jolted by this paragraph from Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, also known as Father Simeon, who is a Cistercian monk in Rome: “As long as man is trying to impress God with his own heroics, the heavens will remain shut. When will we understand that God wants nothing at all from us, not even…

Thoughts on Sacred Silence

Silence is so much more than zipping our mouths shut, or ceasing to make noise. I may refuse to speak to someone because I am too angry for words. Or I may mute my voice for fear of being rejected when I tell the truth. Perhaps I just need time to sort out all the…

Leisure

    For years my idea of leisure was skewed. Perhaps I confused it with idleness. The image of a vacation on a tropical beach sipping a cold drink and enjoying the view had lodged itself in my brain as a vacation ideal. Having recently returned from one of the best vacations of my life,…

Our Restless Heart

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” This famous quote from St. Augustine of Hippo has long intrigued me. My soul has found rest in God again and again, yet stirs anew with discontent. Today I noticed for the first time the…