#Jim

Another Epiphany

On Epiphany, we attended a wedding. This wedding had a deep, penetrating feel to it.  Most weddings do. But this one was different. This one had lemonade and sweet tea. It had tattoos and vaporizers. Most of the guests shared a bond of accomplishment and a sorrow for those not present. The bride and groom were proclaiming victory over evil. The best man gave a one wedding at a time toast. The judge left quietly out the back door, his judgment not needed anymore. It seems every life has some pain in it, every life challenges. Down deep were all the same. We all need each other. We all need some support. Our epiphany comes with the morning sunrise. It comes with the touch of a loved one. Every day of our glorious life, through the pain, comes a new start. It’s humbling to know that we’re all a part of something much bigger, much deeper than just breathe in and breathe out. Together we can ease the pain and pave a new day.

by Diego

Snow and Peace

The snow didn’t catch us by surprise but the volume and intensity did. The forecast was for snow flurries. By 4:30 in the morning there was over two feet of dreamy, fluffy, white flakes. There was no discriminating on where the snow fell. No one person or object would be denied this blanket of cold that warmed our hearts. It was the morning of Christmas Eve. The wait for Christmas had already begun. We had decided to spend our first Christmas away from home in Mammoth. No plans, no timetable, routine left quietly to rest under a mound of snow. Today we look back at that experience and we remember the magic and peace that it conjured up. It seemed like every new inch of snow had a purpose. A purpose to silence our cell phones. A purpose to quiet our fears, a purpose to wait for the coming of something mysterious, pious, incredible, arriving gently through the air as a prayer and a peace offering. And a promise.

by Diego

Prayer As Leverage

An old philosopher once said, “give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.” This simple sentence holds at its core the concept of moving obstacles many times larger than the mover. Is it not the same as when we pray in silence for each other? Give us a place to pray and we can help change a hurting world. Give us a place to pray and we can be the fulcrums that move the earth towards gratitude. Yet gratitude will not be measured in years or hours or flowers of the earth. It will not be marginalized or set aside for the privileged. It brings no ill will to the light nor does it shine in the darkness. Gratitude cannot be filled to the top or drained to the bottom. It cannot be bought, sold or bartered for. Gratitude stands tall in sickness and it will not die. Every time we pray we create gratitude and move the world. Prayer is a simple concept of moving obstacles many times larger than the mover.

by Diego

At That Moment

It must have been October when Jesus sent out the 72 disciples, in pairs, before him. How daunting to be asked to go out and preach the word, with little instruction or knowledge. The long summer months of heat were behind them and the cold desert nights on the horizon. The one teaching given to them to help answer any doubters was all they really needed. ”For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you should say.”  I decided to go back to work this week after a long career. I retired for a year and contrary to current thought, the adjustment came easy.  I had only worked for two companies prior to retirement so going back to a brand new company rattled my confidence. It was daunting when I was asked to address 160 people after one week on the job. How relevant, even to our present day, are the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

by Diego

Overtures of Autumn

“Rejoice because your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:18

I’m not a biblical scholar, but I’ve always visualized it was autumn when Jesus sent ou.t his first disciples. The message was leave everything behind, bring nothing except the sandals on your feet. Shake off the dust of evil. The end of summer ushers in a new cycle. We once again hear the call of the Holy Spirit, urging us to leave our burdens behind and move forward. Leave the things we don’t need in life like fear and resistance to change.  Stop avoiding problems. Take that adventurous vacation and find peace. Shake the dust off your heart and “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” With the arrival of the fall season, we are given a chance to break free and leave the unnecessary things behind. We can endure the turbulent times of our generation because it’s heaven we’re bound for. It’s where our names are already written. Today’s anxieties will become a speck of dust loosed from our sandals.

by Diego

 

Saint Juan Diego, Witness

The devastation of the last earthquake in Mexico City rages on. It has left death and destruction in its path. I can’t help praying for the awesome protection of God and for another appearance of his Mother Mary. She appeared there in what is now the heart of Mexico City. It was Juan Diego, in the 16th century, who witnessed several appearances of Guadalupe, our Mother Mary. She performed a miracle and uttered these healing words that echo out today, “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” What Juan Diego witnessed, at the hill of Tepeyac, centuries ago, can be witnessed whenever a mother’s care is focused on healing and upholding. Who knows, in Mexico City today, someone is witness to another appearance of our Mother Mary? Right there in the heart of devastation, a mother cares for her children, she keeps her family together, she holds the sick and injured. We pray for another appearance of Guadalupe. Our prayers count. Juan Diego is our witness.

by Diego

Admiring A Simple Life

It was many summers ago. We were getting out of high school and decisions had to be made. Do we go to college or do we find work and go out on our own? A good friend of ours decided to work. He was a tough, self-made man. He was adopted, deaf, had a speech impediment and was balding at the tender age of 18. He moved to Colorado and got a job as a short order cook. The odds were stacked against him but he rose above his disadvantages. I was too young then to know, but I know now a profound admiration. It was years later that we learned of his death. There was a fire in the small kitchen where he worked and because he couldn’t hear, he perished in Colorado. I was too young then to know, but I know now a deep sorrow. The blessing of his life was that he was that he led a Chrisitan life and I believe that even the fires of hell couldn’t keep him from getting to heaven.

by Diego

Little Free Gifts

There’s been a growing trend lately of “Little Free Libraries.” If you have ever taken a bike ride or walk through different neighborhoods you occasionally come across a box in the front of a home stacked with various books that can be borrowed and read. You can either take a book or leave a book for the next person. All of us that like to read benefit. There was recently a story out of a small town in rural northern New York about a family who started a “Little Free Pantry” in the front of their home. You can take food out of it or if you’ve just been fed you can leave some food for the next needy person. All of us that like to eat benefit. What’s next? Perhaps one day we’ll stroll by a home with a “Little Free Blessing” box in the front.  Anyone who needs a blessing can take one from the box. Or, if you’ve just been blessed, you can leave a life-giving blessing for the next person. All of us that need the Holy Spirit benefit.

by Diego