Community with and around the dying

In 1994, Timothy died of AIDS at age 27. For some reason, now, 16 years later, I find myself thinking of him often. He was a profoundly gifted young church organist and recitalist. He and I worked together for 6 years-as organist and music director, respectively. We spent a lot of time together in the last months of his life. It was during that time, long before I ever thought of becoming a Benedictine Oblate, that I began to understand community. Sometimes illness is a good teacher in that area. The following is an account of a particularly memorable afternoon. I offer it with a prayer that someone else might find hope in illness, and a new awareness of community with those who share in their day to day living…and dying. Continue Reading

Many Kinds of Snow, Many Kinds of Silence

There are so many kinds of stillness, like many kinds of snow.

Listening to the wind buffet the awnings; appreciating the way the snow makes the air more illuminated (even at night).  I like the scent of evaporating snow–somewhere between moist and dry — and am glad that Illinois is having a taste of what winters are like further north (though the snow is nowhere near as high).  And I am aware of something vaguely uncomfortable that has nothing to do with the snowy atmosphere without, but the quality of silence I’m sensing at the moment. Continue Reading