Is Christmas ever really over?

My Aunt Thelma, “Auntie,” was a second mother to me, from my birth until her death in May of 2000. She never married and I sometimes wonder if maybe I was part of the reason for her remaining single. Did she somehow see other relationships as disloyal? (I do remember a telephone call when I was three or four when I asked to spend a Friday night with her, as I normally did. She told me that she had a date that night and I seem to remember pouting about it for a time. Did she secretly vow never to let another man interfere with our standing Friday night sleep-over? She never mentioned another conflict and I spent almost every Friday night of my life with her until my teens when I found my own Friday night conflicts. I’m afraid I was not nearly as loyal as she was.) Continue Reading

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The Frail-to-Strong Continuum

I wonder if any of you have reached a place in your lives in which you feel little at all could toss you out of perspective?  At least barring the deterioration of your mind?

It is a silly question, perhaps.  Who among us doesn’t feel as frail in perspective, some days, as we feel strong in spirit on others?

I am thinking of what Nicky wrote about relying on her spiritual toolbox, and how the practice of prayer can coat our lives with resources beyond ourselves–sort of like the ice is right now coating up to an inch thick all the branches and utility lines outside.  Sometimes I too have felt carried by prayer. Continue Reading

Spiritual Toolbox is Helping Me through a Tough Time

By Nicky Gant

I am one of the newest members of this Oblate community and am probably one of the youngest. I joined because I was looking for a community to support my spiritual growth and to surround myself with people who are further on the road then I am. I need guidance and a supportive place to express the part of myself that is seeking closer connection to God, trying to listen for His will in my life. For the same reason, I told Sue I’d contribute to the Oblate blog every few weeks.

In between the time I told her that and now, I received the news that my son Dylan, who is due to be born on 1/11/09 has a condition called duodenal atresia, which is a blockage in his stomach that will require surgery shortly after birth, along with 6-8 weeks recovery in the NICU. His ultrasounds also show ecogenic kidneys, which have a 50% chance of being nothing or could be some kind of kidney disease. He also has increased risks of other birth defects and Downs Syndrome. Continue Reading

Calm: Our Own, Our Ancestors

So often one fruit of prayer seems to be a steady calm, a silence, under everything else.  That “everything else” might not be calm, but something in us can be.

Psalm 1.2-3:  “Happiness comes to those who delight in the Law of YHWH, who meditate on it day and night.  They’re like trees planted by flowing water–they bear fruit in every season, and their leaves never wither; everything they do will prosper.” Continue Reading

Advent Light on Narrow Places

Whether or not there are more than three dimensions–like the sixth dimension I read about recently, hypothesized to be tightly wrapped up and invisible to our senses, but right here with us always–what we can know for certain is that by the time we are ripe into adulthood, we have patterns of perceiving our lives and the world that are very hard to shake–patterns that can obscure life-giving truths for us.

How often have you sensed that most of us recognize wisdom when we see it, but are far still from letting the truth of that wisdom convert us deeply–alter our patterns of perception and action? Continue Reading