H2

Silence is bright now

No need for other light here

To beloved He gives

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H1

Where is life in this?

It waits like lenten people

For the gift to come

February 26, 2019

Dear Felicity,
This has been a very good day, different than I imagined. My host here, a friend from seminary days in Brighton, generously gave his day off to introduce me –
to breakfast at Bob’s Diner;
to Hildene, the home of Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln and to generations of their family until 1975 (!);
to the Pearce glass-blowing center;
and to the depth of Quechee Gorge.
Upon return to Weston, I went up to the Priory for quiet prayer, only myself there with Jesus in a silent and darkening chapel.
So it has been a day of nourishment in good food and good conversation. It has been a day reminding me of the importance of the past, both personal and communal. It has been a day of celebration of human creativity and of the ever-astounding work of God in creation. And it has been a day framed by quietly sitting in the Presence.
That’s a good day.
A young man of this area visited Weston Priory for the first time in his life. Just for 10 or 15 minutes. As he left he remarked, “This is a healing place.” A gorgeous and genuine insight. True, because Jesus is there. And Jesus is there both because of his ongoing desire to be with his people and because of the invitation to come and remain given by the monks. Given how? By their prayer together. By their song. By their living the wonder, grace, and burden of community. And by their own faithfulness. Their own commitment to remain. (That commitment is of the community. The group remains and prays and learns and loves. Individuals, as valuable and unique as they are, for myriad reasons come and go). That commitment is the church. That staying together with Jesus is the center.
And all that makes this a place of healing.
Thank God for good days!
At Weston Priory
Hildene

At Hildene

Thank you, Lord, for this one.

February 25, 2019

Dear Felicity,

On this cold and extraordinarily windy day I got over to Little Sisters of the Poor to visit with my Mom. We went together to the daily Mass at 11 am, on the balcony above the chapel at her third floor. We sat side-by-side on a bench and she held my hand throughout. Occasionally she would raise questions really loudly because of her very poor hearing, and I would lean in and whisper into her ear.

Twice into the silence she spoke this fragment of prayer, “…and the wisdom to know the difference.” After a split second I recognized it and later she prayed it again, the same part of the prayer, “…and the wisdom to know the difference.”

She had asked me earlier if Nonie, her sister, my aunt and godmother, was dead. I answered yes and Mom wanted to know how long now, “Sixteen years next month.” Mom was shocked by the distance in time. When I mentioned her prayer to her, she then said, “That was Nonie’s prayer.” And it was. Through her struggle. Through her years along the path of the 12 Steps.

A simple beautiful moment, somehow bringing more together than I can explain.

The Serenity Prayer song

Mom looking at family memories in her brother Peter’s house in Birmingham, England in November 2012