How does a fluffy hen express the joy of the Gospel?

QuiltedHen

She pecks patiently

grooms the rooster

fluffs up her feathers

to applaud life…

She sits on eggs

warms the chicks

leads to water

to quench their thirst

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2022
“Does our Church express the joy of the Gospel? Is there a faith in our communities that can attract by the joy it communicates?… God seems to have disappeared from the horizon, and his word no longer seems a compass guiding our lives, our basic decisions, our human and social relationships. Yet we should be clear about one thing. When we consider the ambient culture, and its variety of languages and symbols, we must be careful not to fall prey to pessimism or resentment, passing immediately to negative judgments or a vain nostalgia.”
Pope Francis

Speak with your inner child and allow her to lead the way.

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The tarot card of the day is the Six of Cups.
You may be feeling a bit nostalgic today, as the six of Cups often indicates a longing for simpler times. Childhood memories may come flooding back, and you may find yourself reminiscing about when you were young.

The two children on this card are standing in a flower garden. The castle behind them symbolizes the comfort and safety of home. The children play together peacefully, reminding us that we all have the capacity for innocence and joy. The girl hands the boy a flowerpot, representing the sharing of love and kindness.
You’re experiencing nostalgia, happiness, and a longing for simpler times. You may be feeling a bit sentimental today, but that’s okay. Sometimes, these memories can be a source of strength and comfort. Other times, they just make you smile.
It’s an excellent time to reconnect with your inner child. Let them remind you how to enjoy life and all the simple things. As we grow older, we lose our childlike nature and can become bogged down by the stresses of everyday life. This is a reminder to pause and enjoy the moment.

Reawakening Your Creative Side
Now is the time to rediscover your muse and passion. If you’ve been creatively blocked, the Six of Cups can signify that it’s time to get back to your roots. Take a moment to remember what first sparked your interest.
The pressures of the outside world can often cause us to lose sight of our creative side. We can become so focused on work and responsibilities that we forget to live and have fun.
So whether it’s painting, hiking, or playing music, find an activity that brings you happiness and run with it. It will bring your soul back to life.
A Return to Innocence
You are about to experience a return to innocence. This may be literal, in the form of a new baby or grandchild. Alternatively, it could be a more symbolic rebirth, as you let go of old baggage and allow yourself to see the world with fresh eyes.

This is a time of wonder, hope, and possibilities. You may feel like anything is possible right now. But, just like a child, you are open to everything new. So, take risks and explore the world, don’t be afraid. You may be in awe of what you find.
Think about your childhood dreams, who you wanted to be, and what you wanted to do. This is a time to recommit to those goals and pursue them with the same enthusiasm as you did when you were younger. Surrender to your imagination and let it lead the way.
Generosity and Giving
The Six of Cups indicates a time of generosity and giving. This may manifest as material gifts, but it can also be in the form of your time, energy, or attention.
Whatever form it takes, you are in a position to give freely and without expecting anything in return. You may be called upon to help someone in need or simply feel the urge to perform acts of kindness. Don’t hesitate to give from the heart.
The world needs more love and compassion, so let yours shine through. Giving is its reward, so don’t worry about what you’ll get in return.

Today’s Suggested Action
Someone needs that kindness today; you are the perfect person to give that kindness. So, give a cheerful heart and know that you are making a difference in the world.
Today, embrace your inner child and do something that brings them joy. It could be taking a walk in the park or playing with a pet.
Or, you may want to try something new and explore your creative side. It might be the perfect way to recharge your batteries and change your outlook.
Look back on your past fondly, but don’t dwell on it. It was a part of your path, but it’s not where you’re going now.
Today is a new day, full of possibilities, and your inner child is guiding you to new adventures.
SHARE THIS MESSAGE
MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2022
“Christian joy is about the experience of a peace that remains in our hearts, even when we are pelted by trials and afflictions, for then we know that we are not alone, but accompanied by a God who is not indifferent to our lot. When seas are rough: the storm is always on the surface but the depths remain calm and peaceful. That is also true of Christian joy: it is a free gift, the certainty of knowing that we are loved, sustained and embraced by Christ in every situation in life. Because he is the one who frees us from selfishness and sin, from the sadness of solitude, from inner emptiness and fear, and gives us a new look at life and history…”
Pope Francis

Stay with us Lord when night fades…

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2022
“Stay with us, Lord Jesus, when hope fades and the night of disappointment falls. Stay with us, for with you our journey presses on and from the blind alleys of mistrust the amazement of joy is reborn. Stay with us, Lord, because with you the night of pain turns into the radiant dawn of life. Let us say, in all simplicity: Stay with us, Lord! For if you walk at our side, failure gives way to the hope of new life. Amen.”
Pope Francis

The Round
by Stanley Kunitz
Light splashed this morning

on the shell-pink anemones

swaying on their tall stems;

down blue-spiked veronica

light flowed in rivulets

over the humps of the honeybees;

this morning I saw light kiss

the silk of the roses

in their second flowering,

my late bloomers

flushed with their brandy.

A curious gladness shook me.

So I have shut the doors of my house,

so I have trudged downstairs to my cell,

so I am sitting in semi-dark

hunched over my desk

with nothing for a view

to tempt me

but a bloated compost heap,

steamy old stinkpile,

under my window;

and I pick my notebook up

and I start to read aloud

and still-wet words I scribbled

on the blotted page:

“Light splashed…

“I can scarcely wait till tomorrow

when a new life begins for me

as it does each day,

as it does each day.


“The Round” by Stanley Kunitz, from The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz. © W.W. Norton, 2000. Reprinted with permission.

“In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov

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God named me in His temple

at Baptism

after my father wifed my mother

when I took my vows and gave them to Christ

when I met my x-priest and we married

had 2 glorious children

and now they have another Britain man as stepfather.

He’s a Smitty too!

jp

all rights

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022
“When confronted with failure in life, nothing could be worse than fleeing in order to avoid it. It is a temptation that comes from the enemy, who threatens our spiritual journey and that of the Church, for he wants us to think that all our failures are now irreversible. He wants to paralyze us with grief and remorse, to convince us that nothing else can be done, that it is hopeless to try to find a way to start over… There is but one path, a sole way: it is the way of Jesus, the way that is Jesus. Let us believe that Jesus draws near to us on our journey. Let us go out to meet him.”
Pope Francis

And what do we do with frailty and weaknesses?

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Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
by Jack Prelutsky
Be glad your nose is on your face,not pasted on some other place,for if it were where it is not,you might dislike your nose a lot.Imagine if your precious nosewere sandwiched in between your toes,that clearly would not be a treat,for you’d be forced to smell your feet.Your nose would be a source of dreadwere it attached atop your head,it soon would drive you to despair,forever tickled by your hair.Within your ear, your nose would bean absolute catastrophe,for when you were obliged to sneeze,your brain would rattle from the breeze.Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,remains between your eyes and chin,not pasted on some other place—be glad your nose is on your face!
“Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky, from Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face: And Other Poems: Some of the Best of Jack Prelutsky. © Harper Collins, 2008.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2022
“On the path of life and faith, as we seek to achieve the dreams, plans, hopes and expectations deep in our hearts, we also come up against our own frailties and weaknesses; we experience setbacks and disappointments, and often we can remain imprisoned by a paralyzing sense of failure. Yet the Gospel tells us that at those very moments we are not alone, for the Lord comes to meet us and stands at our side. He accompanies us on our way with the discretion of a gentle fellow-traveller who wants to open our eyes and make our hearts once more burn within us. Whenever our failures lead to an encounter with the Lord, life and hope are reborn and we are able to be reconciled: with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and with God.”

the Lord wants us to be artisans of a new history, weavers of hope, builders of the future, peacemakers…

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Marvin Bell said, “Much of our lives involves the word ‘no.’ In school we are mostly told, ‘Don’t do it this way. Do it that way.’ But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.”

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022
“Often we measure our lives on the basis of our income, our type of career, our degree of success and how others perceive us. Yet these are not life-giving criteria. The real question is: am I giving life? Am I ushering into history a new and renewed love that was not there before? Am I proclaiming the Gospel in my neighbourhood? Am I freely serving others, the way those who preceded me did for me? What am I doing for our Church, our city, our society? Brothers and sisters, it is easy to criticize, but the Lord does not want us to be mere critics of the system… Rather, he wants us to be artisans of a new history, weavers of hope, builders of the future, peacemakers.”
Pope Francis

We are marked by both love and shadow…and by the love that we did or did not receive.

Pope Francis

caricatures_of_family

TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2022
“Each of us can recognize ourselves for who and what we are, marked by both light and shadows, and by the love that we did or did not receive. This is the mystery of human life: we are all someone’s children, begotten and shaped by another, but as we become adults, we too are called to give life, to be a father, mother or grandparent to someone else. Thinking about the people we are today, what do we want to do with ourselves?… We received so much from the hands of those who preceded us. What do we, in turn, want to bequeath to those who come after us? “Rose water”, that is a diluted faith, or a living faith?… Let us not forget that the life-giving sap travels from the roots to the branches, to the leaves, to the flowers, and then to the fruit of the tree.”
Pope Francis

The Father called us, saved us with kindness, bent down and fed us… and we will come to Him trembling like birds, like doves from the land of Assyria.

Hosea 11:11

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Neil Waldman

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2022
“Let us ask ourselves: When I start my day, do I throw myself headlong into the things to be done, or do I first seek inspiration in the Word of God? At times we begin the day automatically, we start doing things … like hens. No. We must start the day by first of all looking to the Lord, taking his Word, briefly, but allowing this to be the inspiration for the day. If we leave the house in the morning keeping a word of Jesus in mind, the day will surely acquire a tone marked by that word, which has the power to orient our actions according to the Lord’s wishes.”
Pope Francis

a frenetic rhythm scatters the soul…slowly enter into the dynamic of Jesus…am I in line with Him?

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Tree Poem
by Paul Hostovsky


It wasn’t that he wanted to take his life.

He wanted to take his death

into his own hands. There was

a difference, he knew, though he couldn’t

articulate it. More speculative than suicidal,

more curious than depressed,

more interested than not,

he didn’t want to talk to a therapist.

He wanted to talk to Walt Whitman.

He wanted to talk to his best friend from

kindergarten, who’d moved away

on the cusp of first grade,

and he never

saw him again. He wanted to climb a tree

and sit up there all alone in the top branches

watching it absorb the carbon dioxide.

He had a bit of the tree in him himself.

He had similar aspirations

and spent much of his time in the branching

ramifications in his head. But because his children

would never live it down, he climbed

down from the tree in the car in the garage

every time, and walked back into his life with a few

leaves and twigs still sticking to his head.


“Tree Poem” by Paul Hostovsky from A Little In Love A Lot. © Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2011. Reprinted with permission. 

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2022
“Brothers and sisters, let us take advantage of this vacation time to stop and listen to Jesus. Nowadays it is increasingly difficult to find free time to meditate. For many people the rhythm of work is frenetic and wearisome. Summertime can be valuable also for opening the Gospel and reading it slowly, without haste, a passage each day, a short passage from the Gospel. And this lets us enter into this dynamic of Jesus. Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by those pages, asking ourselves how our life, my life, is going, if it is in line with what Jesus says, or not so much.”
Pope Francis

How great to have my writing feed my father….

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Today is the birthday of Amos Bronson Alcott (1799) (books by this author), born in Wolcott, Connecticut, and also the birthday of his daughter, Louisa May Alcott (1832) (books by this author), born in Germantown, Pennsylvania. The father was a transcendentalist philosopher, abolitionist, and teacher; the daughter was the author of many books, most notably Little Women (1868). Bronson Alcott was full of dreams and schemes, an idealist who founded a commune called Fruitlands and became a vegan before the term even existed. Fruitlands failed miserably, and Alcott got by on loans from others, including his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, but the Alcotts were often without money. At 15, Louisa vowed: “I will do something by and by. Don’t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to help the family; and I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t! […] I’ll make a battering-ram of my head and make my way through this rough-and-tumble world.”
Louisa May Alcott started writing poems and submitting them to periodicals. She also published Hospital Sketches (1863), which was based on her experiences as an Army nurse in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. Her first literary success came with the semi-autobiographical Little Women, and the money she made provided her father with his first taste of financial security. She never favored the domestic, value-laden type of writing that made her famous. What she really loved was writing lurid Gothic romances, a fondness that traced back to her childhood acting out stories with her sisters; she wrote three of the thrillers under the pen name “A.M. Barnard.” Two were published in her lifetime; the third — A Long Fatal Love Chase — was written in 1866, but was rejected as being too sensational. It was finally published in 1995.
Bronson Alcott died on March 4, 1888; a few days earlier, bedridden, he had told his visiting daughter Louisa, “I am going up. Come with me.” She replied, “I wish I could.” As it turned out, she followed him just two days later, dying of a stroke at age 55.
How to feed your father and serve the Lord!


It’s the birthday of newspaper columnist Don Marquis, born in Walnut, Illinois (1878), who created the characters Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the alley cat. Archy was a former free verse poet who “sees life from the underside now.” He wasn’t able to reach the shift key so everything he wrote was in lower case. And Mehitabel was an alley cat with questionable morals who insisted that she was Cleopatra in one of her former lives.
Marquis was a champion of the underdog and not a fan of pretension. His columns were humorous, but had political undertones. His character Archy said once, “a louse i used to know told me that millionaires and bums tasted about alike to him.” And, “what is all this mystery about the sphinx that has troubled so many illustrious men no doubt the very same thoughts she thinks are thought every day by some obscure hen.”
After using Archy and Mehitabel in columns for 10 years, Marquis made books out of their writing, beginning with archy and mehitabel (1927).

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2022
“The word of Jesus is not abstract; it is a teaching that touches and shapes our life, changes it, frees it from the opaqueness of evil, satisfies and infuses it with a joy that does not pass… It must be enlivened by his Spirit. Otherwise, it is reduced to fussing and fretting over many things, it is reduced to sterile activism.”
Pope Francis

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