Reflections on the Journey

Fear

  I had walked underneath this tree countless times over the years. On every daily neighborhood walk with my trusted four-footed friend. Every Sunday afternoon walk with my husband. Every walk with my daughter, lacrosse stick in hand, ball bouncing.   Never was I even remotely suspicious of the potential danger looming overhead.   Every day last summer I walked beneath these...

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Bags of Filth

  It all began with a dare. A 40-day Lenten dare to put love into action. It was my Ash Wednesday - Valentine's Day challenge to love deeper, truer, better. Could I practice a deeper love for forty days? For one week? For one day? And if I did, what would I learn - about me, about sacrifice, about love?   There is always a cost to doing good, to putting love into action. A cost to...

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When Light Breaks Through the Darkness

  They called it a bomb cyclone; I call it forty-four hours without power. Forty-four winter hours with no heat. No light. And not even cell service.   We were all bracing for the winter nor’easter to rear its ugly head, interrupting our weekend plans with sheets of driving rain. We wondered if we would make it to our daughter’s lacrosse game in northern New York given the storm’s...

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Ashes and Chocolate

  Chocolate and ash. Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. An odd pairing, isn't it? Inconvenient, actually. How do I celebrate Love's Big Day with all the expected pomp of a fancy dinner, fine wine, exquisite desserts, and of course, chocolate, when Valentine's Day happens to fall this day on the Church's Big Day of penitence and abstention, Ash Wednesday?   Could there be a way of...

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Keep Alert for Changing Conditions

  I became an empty nester in the middle of a January snowstorm.   The snow began falling thick shortly after midnight. Plenty of time to turn black asphalt into a sloppy white slippery mess by 9:00am. Despite the thermometer reading 16 degrees and the sky reading more snow to come, my calendar read drive my daughter back to college.   And so, today was the day.  ...

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Come, O Light, Come

  A heavy blanket of darkness envelops our world on this the darkest night of the year. For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, this winter solstice, this stopping of the sun, heralds the end of the disappearance of light and the beginning of its return.   But all we notice is the dark.   Today in Philadelphia, we will turn our faces upward to catch a slim 8 hours...

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