God Just Wants us to Love Each Other

Rome 2

On a recent trip to Italy, I was moved by what I saw at the St. Ignatius or Sant’ignazio di Loyola in Rome.  The church is an impressive Baroque style church, but it was the work of Vincenzo Pandolfi (1905-2005) that really moved me.  In the picture above, there is a replica of many churches of many religions in a circle with one central church in the center.   Pandolfi built this wooden monument over the course of 28 years.

“UT UNUM SINT” (“So that they will be one”)

“The artistic work demonstrates all the creative artistic skills and competence of the author; it also constitutes the cradle of the dialogue between religions, imagining the end of all the wars to reach the Universal Peace.”

And you cannot help thinking about Universal Peace and how all of the religions need to be talking with one another.  And when you visit a place like this, to find such a moving installation of hope and peace.  I pray for this every day…..

Shared by Bonny Chopey

Tea with Nana

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I am sure you have one of those pictures that you wished was better.  My Mom has her eyes closed, the photographer left her thumb in the picture, my sister would have rather been in pants, it is a bit blurry, and I wished I weighed a bit less.  And Nana might not be happy up in heaven about the wheelchair shot….

I cannot seem to find another picture of this event, so here it is…

Sometimes we need to settle, as it is one of those days that I do not want to forget, a special birthday celebration with my Nana.  She is no longer with us.

I am not sure what birthday it was, but it was a 90 and something birthday.  We went to a teahouse and enjoyed savory and sweet treats and laughed a lot.  We were a small group and Nana was surrounded by the women in her life who looked up to her, were raised by her, learned to bake with her, took care of her, and just loved her.

Four generations of women from our family at that tea and three in this picture.

My name is Marcelle Elizabeth, I am the sister of Meredith Lynne, I am the daughter of Marcelle Evelyn, the granddaughter of Marcella, the great-granddaughter of Katrina, and so on….

While her life spanned almost 100 years, the legacy of Nana lives on in all she loved from her baking skills, to her love of the theater and opera, her music (I think she loved ABBA best and would have loved to hear her great granddaughters sing along to Fernando), her faith, her fashion sense and her love of travel….

Love you always Nana!

Shared by Marcie Doll

 

 

St. Malo Cathedral

St Malo

In a sacred place
sun shines through windows of stained glass
reflection causes inspiration

This church built centuries ago
bombs of war
rebuilt, standing solid now
pews where others lifted prayers
to Our Heavenly Father
heads bowed with hope

Moments of reflection
rekindle fires
in our being

Lent can do this
if we pause,
be still… pray.

Shared by Lynn Doll

Hope on the Coldest of Days…

Chicago Hotel

It was a bitterly cold winter night when I finished work.  As I cleared my desk, my phone pinged and I cringed.  This new app kept me apprised of all news events – which were never good – and I had no idea how to stifle it.  But this time was different.  The story of a miracle waited for me, “On one of the coldest days in Chicago history, someone put 70 homeless people up in a hotel.”

Finding this hard to believe, I researched the story on my computer.  To my utter amazement, the facts checked out!  I found myself taking a photo of the headline and texting it to 20 of my nearest-and-dearest, all of whom excitedly responded.

This is hope.  At first we’re afraid to believe, but then our hearts open and we are called to share the good news.  May we all find hope on this path to Easter.

Shared by Jessica Scovel

God’s wonderful love being narrated through songs by his children…

Christmas

Understandably, we are in Lent season. However, if there was no birth of our Christ, there would have been no Lent to celebrate. Therefore, I thought this photograph puts us in the right frame of mind of the joy experienced at our Lord’s birth.

This is a family of three children that I encountered playing the steel band as I walked on the along the 14th Street station on a cold day two days before Christmas to catch the L train.  I witnessed the joy and what these children were trying to offer to their spectators. They were playing favorite and popular Christmas carols bringing the message of Christmas. The rhythm, the songs and how they connected to each other drew a large crowd. I could see the joy in the faces of those watching and attempting to sing along. I was slow to move on but I had to in order to catch my train to get home from a long day outdoors.

I say to all: Joy for Christmas, Welcome Lent! Another opportunity to step back from our everyday work and chores to take a healthy look at ourselves and embrace God’s true love and grace!

Shared by Agatha Pratt

A Visit to Barcelona with Family

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In the spring of 2016, I visited Barcelona, Spain with members of my family. We stayed at a B&B near La Sagrada Family,* and daily walked by it until it the day of our planned tour. When we finally entered it, we were in awe and with so many others, we reverently took in the magnificence of it. Before stepping out, we came across this art on the floor which depicts the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, the beginning of his journey to the cross.

“And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road.  As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
– Luke 19:36-38

May we like the “whole multitude of disciples” enter into our lent journey with praise and gratitude for all He has done for us.

Blessings,

Sandy Diaz

*La Sagrada Familia is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and he is buried in the crypt. It is anticipated that the building can be completed by 2026—the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

Oh to live gently in the world, to be content and at peace

Cardinal

Hope is like the cardinal in the bramble…..you have to be seeking it, truly looking for it to see it. It is hiding in plain sight. It is small, it is vivid, it is breath-taking. It is mercurial….there for a moment and then it flies away.

Hope is an illumination from the Spirit that we are to take courage and trust that God is with us in the thicket of life, in the human tangle and confusion of our world. Hope and trust in God gives us a place to stand…without it we are lost and stumbling in the dark.Take heart! God is with us and provides the surprising presence of hope to encourage and sustain us.

Keep looking……This morning I rejoiced to see a pair of cardinals foraging for food on the ground under the feeder which the bluejays were zealously guarding. The cardinals accepted the seeds that were dropping from the feeder. They found a way to be fed without fighting and confrontation. Another lesson from the cardinals: They find a way to live  gently and thrive within their world.

Oh to live gently in the world, to be content and at peace.

A REFLECTION FROM HENRI J.M.NOUWEN

The marvelous vision of the peaceable Kingdom, in which all violence has been overcome and all men, women, and children live in loving unity with nature, call for its realization in our day-to-day lives.Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises. Every time we forgive our neighbor, every time we make a child smile, every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens, and work for peace and justice among peoples and nations we are making the vision come true.

We must remind one another constantly of the vision. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find energy to live it out, right where we are. Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision comes true.

Shared by Reverend Joy Kulvicki

It is Good to Rest

 

Mary

 

I pass this sculpture every time I head down to the Labyrinth Room to teach my class. It’s the Flight into Egypt, of course: the Holy Family taking a rest during their escape from a tyrant’s deadly paranoia. Not a pleasure trip.

But look at Mary’s face. Everyone in the family is asleep, heads tucked down — even the donkey! Mary is exhausted, too, but her face is uplifted: serene and even happy, despite the danger she has just escaped and the grueling journey ahead.

They are refugees, Mary and Joseph and their baby. It is so hard to be a refugee.  You are so tired.  It is so good to rest.

Shared by Reverend Barbara Crafton

 

My Lent Starts out a bit Blurry….

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My camera just would not focus and I was really frustrated.  A viscious storm had just passed and I stepped outside of the restaurant that I had taken shelter in to take a few pictures.  Sometimes the most beautiful sunsets appear after the most violent of storms.  Right?

This picture is of a blurry sunset in the French Quarter of New Orleans in February, 2017.  Mardi Gras was a week away and the city was bustling with energy, revelry and a bit of mischief.

The magnificent sunset of pinks and fuchsia are in the background and an old style gas lampost is in the front left.  And for some reason, the branch is in focus.  You can see the outlines of the old buildings, but you just cannot make them out.

This picture really represents me at the beginning of Lent, well most years.  My life is a bit blurry and I need to spend more time focusing on what is important.  And because Lent is a set period towards the cross, I am taken on a journey of self-discovery.

My prayer today is to use this Lenten Season to focus on what is important, those I love and care about, finding my way through the wilderness, be more mindful, and to walk towards the light.  It is my opportunty for spirtual renewal.  

Share by Marcie Doll, the Curator of the Marble Women’s Ministry Blogs and Elder at Marble Collegiate Church

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me via email, doll.marcie@gmail.com