Advent: the season of the woman

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

As we begin Advent, I would like to share an excerpt from a newly published collection of Advent meditations by Mother Mary Clare PCC:

I am quite confident all of us have a deep sense of expectation, joy, and wonderment that Advent is about to begin.  We look at the different facets of this season, turning it like a jewel in our hands.  Certainly it is a season for children.  It is a season of the child, the joy of the Child who came to give joy to the world.  It is a season, certainly, of the family, of the community.  Family life was solidly established in a lowly, humble, poor place, with three persons who loved utterly and were utterly given–even the CHild, from the first moment, because he was divine.  It is a season of great tenderness, and a season of hush. It is a season for everyone. …

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Hang on to Hope

Originally posted on Barnstorming:


aleaf2As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his…

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This is absolutely fascinating and an excellent and true image of how God is with us.

Kintsugi: Gold Repair of Ceramic Faults



In 1999 I traveled to Japan to participate in several exhibitions hosted by my dear friend Mr. Shiho Kanzaki.  I arrived with gifts for all the many people that were required to make this amazing opportunity a reality for me.

After I arrived and was unpacking, I discovered that 4 of the side-fired cups that I’d brought as gifts had been broken by the baggage-handling process.  Without a thought I dumped them into the waste basket in my room.  Sometime later that week, someone came to my room and took out the trash.

After a remarkable 6 weeks in Shigaraki, two exhibitions, travel,  fine food, new friends…my visit came to an end.

As often happens there were some “parting gifts” given by me to my hosts; and some gifts were given to me by my hosts.  Among the parting gifts I received, I discovered the 4 cups….but they were all reassembled and mended with silver.


I was rather astonished, as I’d thought that putting them in the waste basket was the last I’d ever see of them. Mr. Kanzaki laughed, as he noticed my incredulity, and said:  “Now, even better than when you brought them!”  Remarkable:  gifting back to me, the cups I’d brought as gifts…only now more valuable than they originally were.


The Japanese have a long tradition of repairing pots with gold; it’s called “kintsugi” or “kintsukuroi”.  Curtis Benzele tells it this way:  “The story of Kintsugi may have begun in the late 15th century, when the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China to be fixed.  It returned held together with ugly metal staples, launching Japanese craftsmen on a quest for a new form of repair that could make a broken piece look as good as new, or better.  Japanese collectors developed such a taste for kintsugi that some were accused of deliberately breaking prized ceramics, just to have them mended in gold.

We may be sure of this.

“So when we prayed and have a multitude of distractions like troublesome flies, as long as they displease us and we do what lies in our power to turn from them faithfully, our prayer doesn’t stop being good and acceptable to God.  We may be sure of this.”  (St. Jane Frances de Chantal)

Spirituality of events

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday from the archives

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

In a talk I gave at WTH on Mary, the Witness to Hope, I shared about learning how to live our lives with an attentiveness to the “spirituality of events.”  This basically means asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the events that happen to us in our days, to help us to learn what God is trying to teach us through all that comes our way.  God wants to teach us how to look at the events in our lives with His eyes, with the eyes of faith. Yesterday’s meditation in Magnificat reminded me of that:

“The circumstances through which God has us pass are an essential and not a secondary factor of . . . the mission to which he calls us.  If Christianity is the announcement of the fact that that Mystery has become flesh in a man, the circumstance in which one takes…

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The greater love of God

“God looks with greater love at a soul which returns to him through humility than at a faithful soul which is well pleased in its virtues.”  (St. Mary of Crucified Jesus)