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Showing posts from December, 2014

Christmas Light

Although I grew up in a dysfunctional family system, my parents usually managed to make Christmas special. I remember falling asleep to Christmas music from vinyl records playing on our stereo Hi-Fi. Two particular records were played over and over. One had all the famous artists of the day, Rosemary Clooney, Burl Ives, Robert Goulet, Christy Minstrels, and others,  singing songs like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Suzy Snow Flake and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. The other album was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing traditional Christmas songs. 
The music filled the house, softly serenading my brothers and me. My bedroom glowed from the lights on the Christmas tree as the twinkling colors filtered through the small house. My mother would stay up late at night baking cookies and fruit breads. The house was filled with the aroma of Christmas spices. As I drifted off to sleep, all of my senses were soothed with the comfort of home, family, love, and the expectations of Christmas mo…

Mary, strong and sure

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Many years ago I received this book, “Meditations on Mary”,  by Kathleen Norris. Norris was a popular author at the time, influencing many of us with her books on life and faith. This book is filled with beautiful photographs of famous painting and sculptures of Mary. In the book, Norris offers meditations on the basic Christian teachings about Mary: as the Virgin, the Annunciation - when the angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her of God’s favor toward her, and the pending birth of Jesus to which Mary responded with beautiful poetic words that have become known as the Magnificat. Norris writes about the Incarnation, of Mary as the one who birthed God into the world in human flesh. The Greek Orthodox tradition calls Mary - Theotokos - God Bearer. Other meditations in the book include thoughts on the Assumption - when Mary ascended into heaven; the presentation of Jesus at the Temple; and thoughts on the Virgin. 
Other traditional descriptions of Mary include: the greatest of all Chri…

Awake, Aware, and Wild-eyed

A reflection on Mark 1:1-8 for Advent 2B
The Shoshone are a diverse tribe of indigenous people who inhabited parts of California, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho and Utah. One particular Shoshone tribe lived in  the mountainous  region of what is now southeastern Idaho and northern Utah. A peaceful people, this traveling tribe of hunters and gatherers, found themselves struggling for food and land as European settlers moved into the region. In 1862 one settler discovered a horse missing and accused a Shoshone boy of stealing it. The boy was convicted of the crime and hung. The Shoshone retaliated by killing a couple of the settler’s relatives. Anxiety escalated among the settlers who requested that the US government intervene. Col. Patrick Connor with an army of 200 volunteers from California was hired to intervene. 
Before sunrise on Jan. 29, 1863 Col. Connor and his volunteer army waged an attack on the Shoshone tribe as they slept in the homes near Bear Creek, just a few miles north of Pres…