Tag Archives: liturgical year

Fortitude, a Gift of the Holy Spirit

I celebrated Pentecost Sunday this morning with my sisters at liturgy in our community chapel. On my way out, I picked a card from a basket at the exit. Each card was labeled with one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I got Fortitude.

My sister housemate gave me a knowing look. The perfect gift at this time.

I realized this morning that I have not written on this blog since March! So much has happened in these months.

We held our Chapter of Elections in April where I was elected to the new Leadership Team of my community. My current term in leadership ends June 30. I start this community ministry with a whole new group of sisters the next day on July 1. A new chapter in my adventure at the corner of Susan and St. Joseph. I need strength and courage for these next adventures.

Most of my loved ones have been vaccinated and life is slowly moving to a new normal here in the US, even as the virus rages in other parts of the globe. Here at home some are still denying the reality of the virus and need for vaccines. Vaccine equity is an issue, particularly in less affluent communities and nations. We need strength for the journey and courage for what lies ahead.

The guilty verdict in the trial of George Floyd’s killer allowed many to finally breathe (I wrote about this last month on Global Sisters Report). And yet there is so much work ahead for all of us to address the sin of racism and our own complicity. We need strength and courage for the long haul.

The crisis in the fraught relationship between the Israeli and Palestinian people has once again been brought to the attention of the world. It is a complex and multi layered reality affecting human lives and livelihoods. We need strength and courage as an international community to commit our attention, resources and creativity to help find a path forward to peace through justice.

In the northern hemisphere, as spring bursts into summer we are tired. We are ready for a break. We have all been through so much this past year, even longer. Change and challenge seem to be the constants.

I for one am grateful and ready to draw upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the journey ahead: especially wisdom, understanding, counsel, and FORTITUDE. A little knowledge, piety, and fear of the lord wouldn’t hurt either.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


How We Live Matters – Second Sunday of Advent

Prepare_the_WayAs I was praying this morning with the readings for this second Sunday of Advent, the thought that came to me was this … how we live matters.

“A voice cries out: in the desert prepare the way of the LORD,” (Isaiah 40:30) … In the literal and figurative deserts of our world today, when does my voice cry out? When I see mouths parched by thirst or children hungry, am I moved to cry out and act for justice? Do I proclaim God’s love and witness to that love in action? What about closer to home? How am I present and a sign of hope to people living through the desert moments of their lives?

“Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.” (Psalm 85) … Is this true in my own heart? Is this how I witness to God’s transformative love in my life? Does the truth of the Incarnation manifest itself in my interactions with my brothers and sisters, both those I am related to by blood and those I am related to in the heart and mind of God?

” … what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God … Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” (2 Peter 3: 11,14) … We wait in joyful hope, but we live in the present moment. If God’s reign is to come, do I live as if I really believe that it begins with me, here, now? Do I live my life each day, do I develop healthy habits of the heart which are reflective of my hope in God’s reign of justice and peace for all?

“A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'” (Mark 1: 2-3)  …. In the end, the message it seems is that how we live matters. God can make straight lines out of crooked ways, as the saying goes, but so too can I, in my own life, relationships, habits, and commitments.

I’m not a scripture scholar, nor am I a practiced preacher. But when I pray with these readings this second Sunday of Advent, I find myself reflecting on the ways that God’s love is (or isn’t) reflected in my daily life. If how we live matters, how am I living? And as I prepare for the celebration of the remarkable reality of God being with us, what difference does that make in my life and in my heart? How am I preparing room and making way?

Paradox of Waiting

We wait
in joyful hope.
Sometime anxious
for what might come.
Sometimes not sure of
what will be.
Sometimes not sure
we can let go.
But we are ready for
hoping for
new life, renewed love, and …

We wait for what is to come
but we already have so much.
Our hearts yearn to grow.
Our hands reach out to touch.
Our feet stand on the same ground
upon which others have walked
the walk of hope.

We wait
we long
we stretch
towards the One
who is


A bit apocalyptic, but sound advice

homer_simpson_end_is_nearToday is the last day of the church year. Advent, believe it or not, starts tomorrow!  The liturgical readings the past few weeks have been, well, a bit apocalyptic, and focused on the end times. A case in point is today’s Gospel (Luke 21.34-36).

“Jesus spoke to his disciples about the end which is to come. He said, ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’”

Is the end of the world coming tomorrow?  Most likely not. Yet it is funny how sometimes we act as if the littlest things are the end of the world, like missing out on a black Friday sale, yet treat life-diminishing realities like embedded structural racism and enduring poverty lightly, if at all.

But Jesus tells us … be alert. Be present in the here and now. Resist the death-dealing and life-diminishing realities.  Live as if you believe … in love, in goodness, in life. We choose so much in our lives, so what would happen of we chose to live them fully as if today is the only day we have, while still believing in the promise of tomorrow?

Those are my hope filled apocalyptic thoughts for this last day of the liturgical year.