Friday, January 21, 2011


Believe it or not, it really is not lunch or dinner time as I sit down to write this entry ... and, no I am not hungry either! It just so happens that I had my first experience of making homemade tamales on New Year's Eve ~ we had a Mexican Fiesta in my local house to celebrate the occasion! So, this morning as I was out walking (finally I am getting back into my walking routine after some leg surgery at the end of November), I started thinking about those tamales and some other similar foods I like ...You got it, the Italian ravioli and then a food I have not had for years, the Russian pirozhky or piroshki (I don't know how to spell it, only how we pronounced it as a kid, per-əsh-΄ke ??). These foods all come from different cultures and are cooked just a bit different, but all three of these have something in common. They are some kind of dough with a meat mixture wrapped up inside and to my tasting, are delicious! During my walk this morning, my thinking of the foods become a reflection on the beautiful diversity in our world and the varied practices of so many wonderful cultures! We do not need to go very deep in the news to find stories of peoples clashing and fighting and disputing because of race or religion. Wouldn't it be extraordinaire if all people could just see & understand that even if we have different outsides (like the tamale/ravioli/piroshki) and different ways of doing something, inside there is a goodness; we are brothers and sisters in/of the same human family! St. Francis knew that and worked to bring unity, bridge the gap, embrace all.
As we celebrate this
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us also pray for unity among all people (...Christian, Muslim, Jew... as well as clashing nations). It all begins with understanding and respecting the beliefs, practices, traditions of the other. How much better and more enriched our lives could be ...
So, back to the tamale making. I learned something new on New Year's Eve - the beautiful Mexican culinary art of making tamales from my friend in community, Sr. Guadalupe! I got to hear and understand a home tradition of hers, we had fun working together and we enjoyed a delicious din
ner at that, to celebrate and welcome in a new year! I present to you the expert tamale maker at work....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Glimmers of HOPE in the New Year...

We are not quite at the two week mark of the new year so I think I can I still wish you a very Happy New Year! Hopefully 2011 has started out in a positive way for you!? Today definitely seems like a good day to post a new entry to this blog. There is just something fun or magical about 1-11-11 to me!
As we move into this new year I share with you the above verse that Sr. Joyce Rupp shared with us. I am an Epiphany kind of person and I love this quote, so I made a little Epiphany greeting with stars surrounding the verse - stars and hope ... some of my favorite things to dwell on. Stars that twinkle their light in the beautiful night sky, stars that kept the shepherds company, stars that guided sailors of old as well as guiding the Magi to the Christ child, stars that are for wishing upon! Then there is hope ... one dictionary definition defines hope as "to cherish a desire with anticipation". Aren't there so many things we hope for in life?, happiness, peace in our world, a job for our relative, good health .... How important it is to keep HOPE alive!
What brings you hope? How can you share it?
Before I sign off here I share with you a picture taken the other morning on a rainy day in Portland.... Rain drops hanging onto pine needles. That is a hope symbol for me! I remember many year ago, I was in a bad state of heart and mind and was out walking in the rain "crashing around"- knocking tree branches that happened to get in my way with my fist, thinking I DID NOT care about anything!! I came to an evergreen branch hanging low and laden with rain. I was getting ready to smash that branch when all of a sudden as if someone grabbed my arm and held it in midair, I stopped! I stopped and noticed how delicate a single raindrop was hanging on the tip of the needle ... and it was beautiful! I remember hearing myself say, "I guess I DO care about something!" That moment, that single raindrop became a hope sign for me and helped to change my attitude around - thank goodness! A lesson learned from nature right in line with the Franciscan spirit! Francis was often discovering things in all of creation ... He also is a great model of a person who desired to grow and change. Today I read in my Franciscan Prayer book ~ "Tireless in pursuit of holy newness, Francis constantly hoped to begin again ...(from the life of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano 1C 103)!
So as we begin this new year, consider Sr. Joyce's insightful words and the example of St. Francis ... in pursuit of holy newness ~ how appropriate as we journey into the months ahead that are full of life and possibilities ... Hope comes in little ways...