Monthly Archives: June 2009

A Large Lacuna in Old English Scholarship

Unless I am wrong, and it would not be the first time, I do not know that anyone has ever studied, analyzed, and presented the influence on Ælfric of The Rule of St. Benedict. If I am correct in this, … Continue reading

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Let the grass grow.

Right now, the grass in our front yard is high. Yes, it is. I could cut it. I could. But I am choosing instead to focus on my family. Sean is recovering from hip surgery, the kids have things to … Continue reading

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Michael Plekon’s _Hidden Holiness_

I have just finished reading Michael Plekon’s Hidden Holiness (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009). It is an unusually good book because it is both scholarly and useful. In its foreword, the archbishop of Canterbury says: “The patriarch Enoch was … Continue reading

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Picnic by the River

Since Sean couldn’t go far, we had a picnic by the river to celebrate Father’s Day and what a terrific dad he is. We had ham sandwiches with lettuce and mayo and mustard. We had what was left of his … Continue reading

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Counting the Stars (2)

I meant to say yesterday but forgot that this spiritual exercise of “counting the stars” includes (but is not limited to, smile) noticing the problems in my life and the problematic people (so to speak) and being grateful for them, … Continue reading

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Counting the Stars

Today I am going to “count the stars” of my world. I mean I’m going to notice things, pay attention, listen, be. I’m going to give my eyes and ears to the mundane, to the ordinary, to the slip of … Continue reading

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Life is short.

When I dig in the dirt later this morning, I will be thinking of Jacob Edfeldt. He was a student at Shorter. He had two heart transplants in his young life, the second one in 2007. This second new heart … Continue reading

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Driving with Grace

Now, I have gone through various stages in my driving. I have mentally pushed cars outtamyway when they didtakeevertoolong to PULLOFFTHEROADWHENTHEYARETURNINGRIGHTHOWHARDISTHAT?! This mental pushing has often been accompanied by my talking meanly to the driver in the other car, in … Continue reading

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A Powder-Blue Gideon Bible

My mother gave my son, John, a powder-blue small Gideon Bible. It sits here looking very modern for a Gideon-given Scripture. I mean—powder blue! So I start flipping through it and find this verse in Titus: “Speak evil of no … Continue reading

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Everyone Needs a Sharon Kessler

But you can’t have MY Sharon Kessler! Well, she is not “mine,” not really, but Sharon’s words of encouragement certainly make my life more present in God’s love. Surely self-doubt is the writer’s constant companion. Just as surely, a kind … Continue reading

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Spiritual Temper Tantrums

What do we do when things don’t turn out the way we want? I know what my children do. They cry. They complain. When they were younger, they threw tantrums. It might look like this. One minute, I am a … Continue reading

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Surgery and Brother Lawrence

My husband, Sean, had hip surgery today. We got there at 8, he was taken in at 9, surgery started at 11, and it lasted till 3. I had been told it would be forty-five minutes, but his hip needed … Continue reading

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The Fountain Outside My Window

So there is this fountain outside my office window, to my left as I sit and stare at this computer screen. One of the great joys of my life is listening to this fountain. Even when I’m not consciously listening … Continue reading

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Thomas Merton’s Bridges

From Session One, quoting Psalm 119 (from Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton: Discovering the Hidden Ground of Love (volume 4, edited by Jonthan Montaldo and Robert G. Toth, Ave Maria Press, Inc., 2007): It was your hands that … Continue reading

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Waiting on the Lord

That phrase is ubiquitous in religious discussions. Its source is easy to find. Look in the Old Testament books of Psalms and Isaiah for juicy examples. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for … Continue reading

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Contemplative Listening

Last Thursday, I went to a contemplative prayer gathering at St. Mary’s Church in Rome. I was invited by Liesl Bold, its facilitator. The group is studying Thomas Merton, and one of the disciplines that the group practices is contemplative … Continue reading

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Remember Who You Are

Riding down Cave Spring Road yesterday in my gold Honda Accord, my teenager in the backseat, the green landscape of rolling fields and cows and tall trees whipping past our windows on a lovely late spring afternoon, Kate and I … Continue reading

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Busybodying and Striving

Two things I’ve spent my whole life trying to quit are . . . well, lately, too much coffee consumption (cup #6 at 8 a.m. might be a bit much in most people’s vocabularies) and a focus on sweets instead … Continue reading

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Calla Lily

A calla lily is blooming in my little garden. You would think that Middle East peace had been achieved—I am so happy about this white with pink flower. Also, my freesias have kept blooming their hearts out in fragrant reds, … Continue reading

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What, Me Anxious?

I love Alfred E. Newman. He’s kind of like the icon of my soul, the poster boy for my path through life—anxiety. In the 70′s, I was an avid reader of Mad Magazine, and that’s where I met my good … Continue reading

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