I was on a plane last week, flying from Florida to Indiana. I’d spent the weekend with my girlfriends at a friend’s parents’ condo in a gated community with pristine landscaping, hot tubs, swimming pools, palm trees and evergreens, all of which have their own charm. But I didn’t realize how much I craved a more spontaneous landscape until our plane descended on the Midwest, and I could see the rivers had not been excavated and redirected where man wanted them to go. Acres of deciduous trees broke up the squares of farmland, where from the sky, I could trace the hairpins made in the dirt by tractor wheels. Why the fly-over state? Thank God, this is the State I fly-to. - Betty Duffy
Loving those most in need, those who's wounds are open and bleeding isn't easy. But now, when I look in the mirror of my own soul I see wounds open and bleeding too. There is no they and us, it is us - you and me. Jesus unites us and died for us. He came for the sick. I am sick. He came to heal all. Thank God. Every day a mom in our home reminds me that her difficulty, her anger, her loneliness, her fear is also mine… Let us try to love like Jesus today. - Christopher Bell of "Good Counsel Homes"
It is funny that many today (and I speak specifically of those seeking 'community') want natural foods, but seek an unnatural community. For true community is based on the family and then the extended family, created by the intermarriage of local families who share faith and geographic and ethnic culture who remain in the community to make it grow. If I want a Catholic community in Bethune, SC of like-minded folks, it will happen if my children stay in (or return to) Bethune with their families and bring their talents to bear in this community-and their children do the same. - Jim of Bethune Catholic
According as you form a closer friendship with spiritual men, you will enjoy more happiness in the Lord. - St. Ignatius of Loyola
There have been times in my life when I thought good looks might open the doors to fame, privilege, and possibly even Heaven. I’m not the best-looking bird in the blogosphere, but I’m also pretty certain I’m not a dog, and in my younger years I thought this meant something. Almost every organization offered a leadership conference when I was growing up. I went to them all, being good looking as I was, I had responsibilities...I still, years later, struggle with new reincarnations of the same old problem. Me: I’m SPECIAL! God: Everybody’s special...I love beautiful people. I’m attracted to beautiful people. I think beautiful people should go to Church. But as a friend once told me, “Anyone who’s thin enough and has a good dermatologist can be beautiful.” And though it should have been obvious to me years ago, it still sometimes surprises me: Christianity is not about divine privilege, but rather, Divine Sacrifice. It's for the soul who’s willing to make itself small, to be nameless, faceless, a servant, a victim. “You duped me, Lord.” Such is the price of eternal life. I think I want it. - Betty Duffy
I read Apologia Pro Vita Sua as a young(er) man, having picked it up in a theological bookstore under the impression that this fellow was the fellow from Philadelphia whose canonization had made a bit of buzz some years before. A happy fault on my part, though I suspect each fellow would claim the other was the greater. - Tom of Disputations
[Powers] spends a lot of time outdoors, walking in the woods, befriending his neighbors, generally observing the world around him. His description of his life, and his dislike of contemporary American consumer culture however felt increasingly like a criticism of my own lifestyle. It was hard not to be resentful. Why do I feel that way when reading these books about people making radical changes in their lives? Then I came to the chapter titled “Humility”. In it, Powers describes how his ego got bigger as he reduced his carbon footprint and became “more enlightened”. He finally realized the trap:”the fiction of the ego is replaced by an even heavier fiction; that of being a Jedi, a spiritual warrior, an enlightened being–and therefore better than those miserable people who are not.” People can build egos while conquering them. It was this chapter that made me realize why I felt so resentful. Yet, he recognized that he was falling into the trap and this saved the book for me. Powers was able to reach even someone as cynical as me. It’s a thought-provoking book for sure, one I hope many will read and find themselves wondering about their own motives on a daily basis. -blogger at "Bookdwarf" reviewing "Twelve by Twelve"
We are signs, whether we like it or not...What we can choose, individually and communally, is what we are a sign of. Am I a sign of God's love for the world? Of His power to transform lives, and even to bring us into His own eternal life? Or am I a sign of His indifference, irrelevance, or even hatred? Am I a sign that God is just another god, Whose followers do as the pagans do?... We are to strive to become perfect, not out of fear of damnation, but because anything less than perfection is a false sign of our Lord and Savior. Or, as Jesus said of the man born blind, so that the works of God might be made visible through us. - Tom of Disputations
Sister Ruth Burrows says the holy thoughts and set prayers can hide our real thoughts, and God wants the real thoughts, He wants us as we are, even or especially if we're 'at sixes and sevens.'" - Dylan of "dark speech upon the harp"