Monday, June 24, 2024

The "daily" is not so daily...

 Yes, the daily is still with us, but it is not so daily now. It is unique and marvelous. 

Of course we still get up in the morning, attend Morning Prayer, breakfast, get off to work, come home, attend to other responsiblities at the monastery, attend Evening Prayer, go to dinner, and end the day with whatever activities are on for that evening.

But, this week the daily has taken on a special "movement" in the spring/summer "symphony"...the calla lilies have bloomed.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Beauty is everywhere

Beauty is everywhere, which I'm sure is no news to you!

This week I found it in our gardens (thank you to my friend, Charlotte)


and along a seam between the grass and one of our asphalt roads.

I hope you're having enough of a combination of sunshine and rain to make your grounds beautiful, too. Our guests, and there are quite the number in the summer, enjoy our land so much. And we enjoy meeting them, too! 

Monday, June 10, 2024



If you read the last post you know that we were on retreat last week and I can "report" that it was a very fine week. The weather cooperated so there were lots of opportunitites to be outdoors. 

I did, however, do a 180 the second day. I decided to change the book I was reading. I went to Ilia Delio's The Emergent Christ which is quite the challenge, but full of great "food for thought."

The first chapter attempts to get readers on the same page as she: understanding the latest science and theology of evolution/the universe, especially from a spiritual perspective. I taught high school physics for 20-some years and I admit that it was a stretch for me to stay with the vocabulary, both theologically and from the quantum world. From chapter 2 on it got simplier and she, probably on purpose, repeats in various ways, her message, using different examples and any good teacher does, trying to find THE way that each student will understand a concept.

The final chapter on God is her culmination of the ideas and how the concept of god fits in. Very fine.

If you try it, don't be discouraged....take it in small bites and when you get spinning, stop and take a break! It'll be better the next time you pick it up.

Monday, June 3, 2024

June retreat

 Retreat week brings more time with nature as we all walk around the grounds and down to Glinodo and the lake much more than usual.

This scene we will not see, however, as the photo was taken10 days ago or so and since then they have grown and grown and changed and changed and are now gone! What a fun time watching them, half-hidden at the bottom of a bush in one of our gardens. 

During retreat this year I've decided to go back and re-read a book from one of my favorite writers, Cistercian Michael Casey from Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia. He is a retreat leader and lecturer all over the world, on spirituality, especially monastic life, and has even been to our place. 

Here is an excerpt from his book, Stranger to the City, that I'll be browsing through this week.

"Visitors occasionally remark on the sacredness that pervades a monastsery, how it evokes in them a spiritual awareness that is normally latent. In the different ambiance conversions occur, not because of anything that was said or heard, but simply because in stepping outside their familiar world, they are confronted with a different side of themselves. Like travelers in a foreign country they find themselves responding to events in a way that would surprise those who know them at home. For many today, especially those who are unchurched or impatient with institutionalized religion, a monastery can become thier spiritual home."

Monday, May 27, 2024

Who's on first?----21st century style

Once upon a time I was part of a duo that presented Abbott and Costello's famous "Who's on First" skit. Recently I came upon this latest rendition of it....and laughed and laughed. Thought you'd enjoy it, too.


If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamout sketch, "Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this.

Costello calls to buy a computer from Abbott.

 ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.

COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.

COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO : OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows!

OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers.

What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?

 (A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"...

Sunday, May 19, 2024

#1 is truly #1


According to our local Sunday newspaper, which carries the USAToday top books for the week list, the number # 1 book this week is Kristin Hannah's The Women, which happens to be sitting here right in my room! I feel so "with it."

So this just had to be my blog this weekend for a couple reasons: 1) Yes, it really is terrific and I'd say deserves to be #1; 2) From 1964-75 I was quite oblivious of the Vietnam War as I was in high school, college, the novitiate and my first years teaching...all of those took all my time and interest---sad to say; 3) However, the stories and experiences portrayed in this excellent historical fiction novel were familiar to me from another angle: the TV show MASH set in the Korean War in the early 1950s. At least the major characters who are army surgical nurses/doctors and in war time were protrayed very much as Hawkeye and Hot Lips.

I'm just getting to the returning home part and I can tell that will be the really hard section as the anti-war attitudes in the USA were so strong and seemingly rampant throughout the country by that time. One major piece in the book that was totally new to me was the recurring statement by many characters that, "There were no women in Vietnam." This is startling to the army nurses, of course, but maybe it was a true PR stance of the military then???

Anyway, the book is great and, if by any chance you missed a lot of this war, too, you might learn a lot that never sifted down before your news program viewing days or the openness of journalism that exists now....we hope.

Monday, May 13, 2024


This week, the liturgical week leading up to Pentecost next Sunday, we are singing "spirit" songs all week at both prayer times. They are uplifting, hope-filled and fun to sing.

Uplifting in a different way, this summer I've decided to go all out in attracting hummingbirds. I've put three up in our inner courtyard, see above. One on a shepherd's hook and two on the hall windows. There are plenty of bushes and a large tree nearby to escape to and "guard" their territory.

A fourth one is on my bedroom window.  So we'll see how this quartet does as the spring/summer move on.