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That one thing…

Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “…only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” At Sky Farm, I would set the meditation timer on my phone, then just sit. Or kneel. But what then? During the first few days, these silences were […]

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A trip to Sky Farm Hermitage

All I do is find my thread, you know. ….—Father Dunstan, the monk who inherited Sky Farm Last week I had the chance to spend five nights at Sky Farm. Deep solitude. Deep silence. By deep silence, what I actually mean is the wind in the oaks, the California quail yelling chi-CA-go!, chi-CA-go!, the wild turkeys […]

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What’s *that* doing here?

I’ve been walking outdoor labyrinths lately—I love doing this! I’ve experienced these labyrinths as enclosed, safe containers that hold me and all that’s growing in me… …spaces that honor interior privacy, thanks to the custom of silence and the narrowness of the path… …sources of nonlinear reverses and surprises that take me close to the […]

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God breathing

Psalm 33:6, ICEL God speaks: the heavens are made; God breathes: the stars shine. About 10,000 galaxies appear in the Hubble ultra-deep-field image. A detail is shown to the left, and the full image is at the bottom of this post. It’s a real picture, not an artist’s rendition, and some of the galaxies in […]

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Strong the love embracing us

Praise! Give glory to God! Nations, peoples, give glory! Strong the love embracing us. Faithful the Lord for ever. (Ps. 117, ICEL) The ICEL Psalter, published in 1994 “for study and comment,” bears the imprimatur, a declaration from the Catholic church that a book is free of moral and doctrinal error. The imprimatur was revoked in 1998, […]

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The soul mirror

Psalm 69:18, ICEL Face me, I am desperate. The first time I walked the outdoor labyrinth at Mercy Center Burlingame was the first time I walked any labyrinth. I had no expectations. Right away, the path led me close to the center, which surprised me. Here so soon? But the path kept going, so I kept going. […]

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The inner round table

Psalm 51:6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. In the metaphor of the inner round table, I gather whatever is true inside me around the central and organizing Truth. That central and organizing Truth is like the steady flame of a candle. In gathering the parts […]

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A non-anxious presence

I was recently in western Michigan at a retreat, and I spent time with Lake Michigan—a living being, a new and subtle friend. The sun on the water, the rocks, the rain, the waves that were loud one day and quiet the next. A lake that curls like the ocean, yet smells like plain water. During […]

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The snare

Ps. 124:7b …the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. I imagine that when snared animals are set free, if their wounds are not mortal, they bolt into the forest as fast as they can go. Hurt, but free. Once in a while these injured creatures (the ones inside of me, anyway) come shyly […]

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Noveliferous

A long story came into my head, and for a year I wrote it down. And then I stopped. My perfectionism had tied me on a short leash, and I finally went around the pole enough times that the slack was gone. What unwound me was a writing instructor whose message is “just keep writing.” You don’t have […]

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