Thursday, October 21, 2021

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 movie which I'm pretty sure I remember my parents going to see in the theater (I would have been in kindergarten). I've never seen the movie, but it's an apt title for tomorrow. I have class to teach, two meetings, and appointments with 5 students. My calendar is bleeding green (the color I use to denote work commitments.) If it were Vulcan, it would need Dr. M'Benga.

I front loaded stuff into Wednesday and today, and worked after dinner. I will need the Sabbath this weekend. Maybe I'll watch the movie. Or maybe I'll watch Dune?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

New Book: Prayer

It’s a book! I’m proud to announce that my latest has just launched from Liturgical Press

The book is designed to be used as a point of departure for reflection, either individually or in a group. I wrote it as a retreat, the questions for reflection in the margin mirroring my own reflections as I wrestled with the material.

In addition to the biblical wisdom, there is wisdom from the desert mothers and fathers (Amma Syncletica and Abba Poemen both have their moments and saints and blessed from Augustine to Ignatius of Loyola to Dorothy Day. I sought to pull in a diverse set of voices, women and men from many eras.

I have to thank my delightful editor, Amy Ekeh, whose deft surgery on my too-long manuscript managed to keep the structure intact and who was behind me all the way as we sought illustrations that would be in the budget, but still reflect the diversity of the People of God. Also, no blonde, blue-eyed Jesuses. My favorite image has to be the great doors to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona with the Our Father on them in 50 languages. 

I am grateful, too, to the spiritual directors and soul friends who have walked with me, literally and metaphorically, through the years. 

Autocorrect tried to replace Poemen with  Pokémon. The desert mystics, catch them all?

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Stripping the altar


That sunlit corner is my prayer space, now with a window onto the to heavens. As part of the Great House Renovation Project of 2021(TM), we got  a new roof. And if we were getting a new roof, this was the moment to put a new window in it. Now it needs painting (as do various other spots in the house). So yesterday I stripped the altar. The vase of blessed palms, the bowl of prayer cards, the candles — all were moved to the far corner of the room. And the relic of St. Therese of Lisieux and the roses I leave for her have translated to a small table in the window dormer.

Now that the altar is bare, I can see that it is dusty, the glass votives need cleaning and perhaps the overflowing bowl could use some pruning. I suspect the same could be said of my prayer life, which might benefit from a close look,  a brisk cleaning and a bit of pruning.

It's almost fall break on the college calendar, and my hope is this weekend to be able to put back the altar and perhaps bless the space anew. And then to spend a bit of time laying my prayer life bare.