Spring?

07 Feb
February 7, 2012

We’ve been blessed with amazing weather these last few days — today not so much. It seems like life is often that way — we have times where all seems to go well, the sun is shining, the air is soft and we feel energized and ready to take on what ever comes our way. Then our natural need for some quiet time steps in and we find ourselves faced with a cold, cloudy day. We tend to judge the cold and cloudy days as a disappointment, but are they really? Can we learn to stop and attend to the graces and the beauty that may be found when the brightness of the sun is muted?

Evelyn Underhill speaks of mysticism as unity with reality. Today seems like a good day for us to focus on reality and how in touch we are with it.

Blessings,

Carol

New Discoveries

23 Jan
January 23, 2012

I just finished two weeks of residency for my Doctor of Ministry program at WTU in Washington DC. The time was filled with readings, classes, discussions, and enjoying the company of my cohort peers. One of my discoveries during the two weeks was the English woman Evelyn Underhill. I was so impressed by her perspective on interfaith relations, on her understanding that Christianity requires more than just a “social” commitment (meaning casual), and on her personal life of deep prayer lived in the midst of the everyday concerns of life that I decided to write a paper on her works and her life. So over the next few weeks I’m going to share my learnings about Evelyn with you. If you’re a fan of hers I’d love to hear why she is important to you.

Blessings to you, and to me, as we discover the wisdom of Evelyn,

Carol

New Year Greetings

05 Jan
January 5, 2012

2012, remember when that date seemed a life-time away? Well it is here, so now what?

Each new year brings with it the opporutnity for us to take stalk of our lives and to consider not only who we are, but who we wish to become.

Some make resoultions, some take time to reflect, some just celebrate. All is good.

I hope that as we enter this new year that each of us is able to rejoice in what is good — good in the world, in our homes, with our families and friends, at work and school, with our own lives. I hope each of us can take some time to really be present to the moment that is, not the moments that have been or the moments that are yet to be, but just to the moment that is right now.

So, happy 2012! May this be a year of memorable and joyful moments.

Blessings,

Carol

Almost Here

19 Dec
December 19, 2011

The Christmas Season causes mixed feelings for many people. For Christians it is the high festival of the year — the celebration of God loving humanity so much that God became one of us in the person of Jesus. Yet this focus is often lost by the stress of the holiday season: cards, gifts, decorations, food, and the expectation that we should all be happy and joyful — all the time.

For those who are not Christian, or for those who do not believe in God, I imagine that it comes down to a choice — to join in the party, or to hold fast to your deeper belief system and refrain from all the Christmas fuss.

So, I wish all who are Christian a very blessed Christmas a true celebration of the key festival of Christianity. For all those who are not Christian, I wish you a blessed and joy filled new year. As we continue to walk the path of learning and understanding one another’s beliefs let us never go for the lowest common denominator — instead let us remember that our beliefs are diverse, and that is a good thing, it brings richness. Let us respect the deep meanings of the many religious celebrations — even those we do not celebrate, or understand.

Let us make 2012 a year of celebrating richness instead of trying to not offend by being too: Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Muslim….

Happy New Year and happy celebration of all significat religious feasts!

Carol

Advent Waiting

29 Nov
November 29, 2011

We wait all the time. We wait in line, we wait for test results, we wait for planes, we wait at traffic lights, we wait for children to get ready for school, we wait, we wait, and we wait.

Waiting is a fact of life, so the question becomes, how do we wait?

During Advent we are called to wait with purpose, with intent. We are called to open ourselves to new and amazing possiblities.

I invite you to make these weeks of Advent a time of intentional waiting… at the stop lights and every where else you find yourself waiting for the not yet.

Carol

Gratitude Attitude

19 Nov
November 19, 2011

It is once again that time of year, when we turn our attention to thoughts of gratitude. Some of my Facebook friends have a practice of daily gratitude — where each day he or she posts something that happened during the day for which he or she is grateful. Wow! A lot of work, if you ask me, but I can’t help but admire the zeal behind the idea.

A wonderful mental health practice is to end each day by naming five things you accomplished during the day and five things for which you are grateful.

Why is it important to be grateful? Who cares anyway? Well, in the great scheme of things when we can practice a gratitude attitude we tend to be happier, we tend to appreciate the people in our lives more, we are able to let go of those daily frustrations with greater ease… so who cares? We all do! When we practice gratitude we are easier to be around and our positive energy can inspire others.

So whether you post each day on Facebook, or keep a priviate list, or just take a moment each day to appreciate someone or something — let’s make this habit of gratitude, not just a once a year celebration, but an attitude for life.

Blessings as you celebrate gratitude,

Carol

All Saints/All souls

01 Nov
November 1, 2011

I love the feasts of All Saints and All Souls — I love them because it is the time of the year where we intentionally celebrate those who have walked this journey before us. We remember all of the men and women — famous, and not so famous — who strove to follow a path to God.

Elizabeth Johnson borrowing from St. Paul describes the Communion of Saints as the crowd up in the stands cheering us on as we run the race of our faith journey. They are all on our side, they all wish us well, and want us to succeed. We as Catholics, as well as people from almost every major faith tradition, believe that those who have died care about us, are connected to us, and long for our happiness.

So let us celebrate the Saints with a capital “S” and the saints with a lower-case “s” — one and all.

Blessings,

Carol

Fall Meditation

24 Oct
October 24, 2011

As we journey through these beautiful days of Fall, it is important to stop and take pause. Maybe I should say, that we’re somehow drawn to stop and take pause. For some reason Fall is a season that draws us inward, to the source of life. As we notice the leaves changing colors and the light becoming filtered something within us calls us to nest, to slow down, to take a moment to be reflective.

I hope that these glorious days of Fall find you with a bit of time to enjoy and to ponder.

Carol

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

27 Sep
September 27, 2011

Yesterday, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the foundress of the the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, the founders of Marylhurst University.

Marie Rose was not a strong woman, physically; in fact she was ill most of her life and died on her 38th birthday. But during her brief time on earth she touched people deeply.

We remember Mother Rose because she was a woman of passion — passion for God, passion for justice, passion for the needs of the poor and under-served. For me, Mother Rose is a powerful reminder of what happens when we allow ourselves to be transformed by the flame of God’s love. Parents who had been hesitant to allow their daughters to join the newly formed religious community changed their minds after one brief encounter with Mother Rose. Why, I ask? I believe it is because she was so deeply open to God’s love that she radiated God’s presence to those she met. Does this mean that life was easy for her, no. She like the rest of us struggled with misunderstanding, fatigue, obstacles, and injustice — but she had a broad, deep vision which gave her hope, even in the face of despair.

My prayer for all of us, no matter what our faith tradition might be, is that we become alive with the energy of the holy — that we become signs and prophets of God’s peace and justice.

Blessings on your journey,

Carol

08 Sep
September 8, 2011
Prayer is an important part of our ministry at University Ministry.  We’ve received the following prayer requests in the last few days — I invite you to hold these intentions in your heart.

“Please pray for my 2 year old son.  also that I am able to complete fall term positively.  That I can find peace in my relationship with my son’s father.”
“Pray for me, as my future is unclear.  I need a job and a direction.”
“Please pray that my mom’s health improves and that she regains her vision that has suffered as a result of diabetes.  Her name is Gloria.”
“That 9/11/11 will be a day of peace for all peoples.”