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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

756 From sad faced saints, O Lord deliver us! Zoom with Sister and Picnic Oh my!

Day 756 Monday April 11, 2022

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) put it well in a prayer, “From sad faced saints, O Lord deliver us!”

Announcement #1

Meet Sister Mary Waskowiak - immigrant advocate working in San Diego Monday, April 11 2022 at 3:30 – 5:30pm Pacific Time

Emmaus is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting this afternoon at 3:30 to hear from Sister of Mercy Mary Waskowiak about her work on the border between San Diego and Tijuana.

Join Zoom Meeting Passcode: 1234

Meeting ID: 519 315 8573 One tap mobile +16699006833,,5193158573# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,5193158573# US (Houston)

Announcement #2: Picnic at Beth's!

Holy Monday Reflection by Brother Toby

We know this is a week for reflecting on violence and destruction. But as we face the trials of our own age, we are just like Jesus of Nazareth, needing a time of rest and quiet.

The book of Isaiah counsels us to find times when we are not crying out, nor shouting nor making our voices heard in the street (Is 42:2). The keynote today is to find quiet —times of silence and peace. True to her blunt-speaking Jewish heritage, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) put it well in a prayer, “From sad faced saints, O Lord deliver us!”

Years ago, during another pandemic, a young woman who knew she had very little time left, was emphatically instructing me on what she wanted me to say at her funeral. For the last few years sickness had controlled her life. It seemed like every day she was losing something. But she was a person who self-identified as a “California Girl” — a term acceptable in those days. She surfed, danced, sang, and led a life that encouraged others to see what was wonderful around her. THAT is how she wanted to be remembered! She had spent the last few years talking to high school students about how to avoid the clutches of a lethal virus, but forget all that at the funeral. Show her as she really is, riding the crest of a wave with blonde hair streaming behind, dancing with the ocean.

This is a good day for considering how we want to be remembered.

We can sit under a tree or hold a little pot with a single sprout coming out that we put in our kitchen window, or simply recall a quiet time. I suspect that Jesus might have done the same thing. Some people focus on him driving the money changers out of the Temple on this day. It's as if he did whatever task he felt he had to do and then withdrew — perhaps to an olive grove.

At my home, I let the blossoming trees guide me to an awareness of the tranquility that nature spreads around us. The trees are symbols of reinvigoration. I sat under the sweet smelling branches of an ancient tree recently and remembered once jotting down some of what had been seen and heard — shadows of honey bees on my paper, blossoms drifting on my shoulders, finches singing, a cat wide-eyed on a limb, a blanket of tiny purple flowers leading from the tree to the chapel. And again I was struck by the buds opening on the bare branches.

It takes courage to respond to a tree’s invitation to join the spiritual dance celebrating new growth. I don’t do it well, but I try. And, as with any prayer or meditation, the doing and the trying are pretty much the same thing.

The poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019) once wrote,

I am so glad to be alive, I am so glad to be loving and loved. Even if I were close to the finish, even if I were at my final breath. . . . If I were a Sufi for sure I would be one of the spinning kind.

In order to open ourselves to whatever is to come as we reflect on what lies ahead in Jesus of Nazareth's journey and what lies ahead for us, it's very important to have this day of silent mindfulness, and to sense the dance of life unfolding around us even when we are under a dark shadow.

Wherever you are, and whatever around you brings a fresh start to mind — will you join in the dance? And if you are able, perhaps plant a few seeds to give nature a helping hand for the future.

- Brother Toby

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