come to me, and i will fill your heart

FullSizeRender(6)Well, after a few weeks of browsing and prayers of gratitude to the devil (um, amazon) who tempts me with his two day shipping, I have finally selected our Lenten Readalong book: From Ash to Water: Meditations on Lent.

I chose this book because it walks us through the forty day lenten journey, with readings that actually follow the lectionary.  So . . . Nothing extra to read!  That’s always a plus for me.  You’ll learn more about the meaning of Lent and you’ll be invited to reflect on the daily readings and respond with meditation and prayer.  Another plus: No huge projects or scary probing psychological inquiries designed to speed you along on the path to sainthood.  Just quiet reflection.  The author is Fr. Luis Granados, and his writing is straightforward and accessible rather than lofty or philosophical, and his commentary draws us closer to the sacred mysteries of the Paschal Story as it unfolds during Lent.  My hope is that this book will enrich your understanding of the liturgical season and connect you in meaningful ways to the poetry and beautiful celebrations of Lent.  A few minutes each day may not only nourish your spirit but deepen your prayer life.

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So, this is your official invitation to my Lent Party! Order your copy of From Ash to Water and begin by reading the introduction to prepare for Ash Wednesday.  I will keep a reading journal over at The Province of Joy and invite you to come follow me there.  Read my reflections as time allows, and of course, I always welcome two or three (or more) to gather with me!  I so appreciate your comments or even just a quick click of the “like” button because they let me know you are there.  -rebecca.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you. I thirst for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you–that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I thirst for you. You must never doubt my mercy, my acceptance of you, my desire to forgive you, my longing to bless you and live my life in you. I thirst for you. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I thirst for you. Open to me, come to me, thirst for me, give me your life–and I will prove to you how important you are to my Heart.

~ Blessed Teresa Calcutta “I thirst,”  From Ash to Water “THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT ‘The Samaritan Woman: Our Desire'” 

 

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lenten readalong update

Choosing a book for a readalong is no easy task, especially when one discovers she’d rather read novels than hefty theological tomes.  After visiting three bookshops hoping to hold the Rolheiser in my hand, I finally found it and decided it just weighed too much — in more ways than one.  Rolheiser is out for sure, but I do look forward to reading excerpts.

I’m still intrigued by Fr. James Martin’s Jesus but worry that may not be the best choice for a “retreat” type book, either.  He’s got another book called Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, which again would be perfect if it were shorter or more snippety.  I sense most want a little reflection and not a lot of heavy chapter-length prose, even if it leads us to joy and laughter.

Traveling Your Road to Joy is another promising read I’ve ordered and should have in hand for more thorough browsing tomorrow.  This is a short 8 session Merton study, and I think it could be a great book to lead us into Pope Francis’s The Joy of the GospelWith session titles like “Living Joyfully in the Present Moment” and “A Joy that Tastes God,” brief reflections upon scripture and passages from Merton’s writings, and I presume some reflection questions for contemplative dialogue, this could be an interesting perfect read for my Lent Party!  The jury is out until I see the entire book.

Others have expressed an interest in the Lent and Easter Wisdom books for Merton and St. Therese, so either of these could be the ticket.

Do you still have some thoughts or a comment about the book(s) you like to read during Lent?  You can email me directly through the contact page or leave a comment to this post.


If you’re looking for a novel to read during Lent, may I recommend these?  I’ve read Gilead and have had Death Comes for the Archbishop on my TBR shelf for almost a year.  Dying to read it!

         

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poem for sharing: questions about angels

Former poet laureate Billy Collins is in my area on a book tour, and his $30/ticket reading at our local university is sold out!  Since I also had a very strange vision yesterday that had to do with angels and am still trying to process it and wondering whether I have officially evolved into my kooky paranormal new age post-Catholic first stepmother, here is one of Collins’ poems for sharing:


 

Questions About Angels

By Billy Collins

Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God’s body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mailman and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about
the little dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

Billy Collins, “Questions About Angels” from Questions about Angels. Copyright © 1991 by Billy Collins. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press, www.pitt.edu/~press/.

Source: Questions about Angels: Poems (1991) via The Poetry Foundation

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