agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Holy Week: Thursday 4/18/19-Will you walk “this week” with me?

(Night adoration at St. Edward’s Catholic Church)

Holy Thursday night.

The 95% full moon looking a lot like the Eucharist.

Will you watch and wait with me?

Tonight I’m remembering that Eucharist means Thanksgiving.

That my father would work a night shift but still attend night adoration before Easter.

That this was my mother’s favorite religious day.

That…

at the beginning of Lent I did not know I would want to sit a quiet hour in a silent church late on Holy Thursday night. But I did. Sometimes we don’t need to plan every action.

Be open to your own personal call. Listen. Act when you are ready.

When faith is your goal, you will not go wrong.

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Holy Week 2019, Monday: Will You Walk “This Week” with Me?

(Me, before an evening class. Hope, Arkansas.)

At the beginning of this day, I had an idea. Then Notre Dame came falling down in flames, and really…well, fill in the blank…because if you’re alive on this planet, you surely know this structure is iconic. A terrible day to mark down in history, truly. And somehow, it seems to be worse that this happened as we begin Holy Week in the Christian world.

But, as I went about my day and continued to ponder what I want to do that is meaningful this week, my first idea still stands.

Let’s walk together. This Holy Week. Will you join me? Walk anywhere, post a picture if you’re so moved, or just join in anonymously. That’s good, too. 🙏🏼

Walk with me, knowing we know nothing. We know nothing about what is around the bend. We walk. We write a line about it. We live and learn. We listen.

We all saw that play out in flashing fire today.

But before I knew what I know now, what was beyond my immediate control, I walked.

I started early, and was greeted by not one, but four cardinals on the rocky road near my house. This sighting truly lifted my heart, and at that moment, I did not know that half a world away, Notre Dame was engulfed in flames.

I returned to the house, saw the news, and of course my heart fell.

“…but the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” kept ringing in my ears, and the voices of the Parisian people lifted in unison as their cathedral burned…their joining as one voice moved me to remember that the human spirit cannot be touched. We can always fly. Always.

Just like those morning birds…

Then, as I was leaving for work, my older dog was barking nonstop, warning me of an unexpected visitor. Huge snake. The symbolism is not lost on me.

Everywhere, some kind of turmoil. Daily.

So, lots was on my mind as I arrived at my next stop. More symbolism: Hope is where I work on Mondays. And tonight, I walked there, too.

I walked a short paved path that I always think I will, but never do. But today was different. I walked and prayed for Parisians, for firefighters, for travelers. For those who hoped to visit a beautiful place of worship, and for those who won’t get to see that dream come true…not in the way they hoped.

And I realized yet again, we are all here for only a minute, then we are gone. Nothing is sure except our spirits.

So, I’m walking into this week with no preconceived ideas. Just walking and listening to what might need to be said. Will you join me?

Let’s see where we might walk tomorrow…


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Palm Sunday 4/14/2019

A simple palm.

It’s not an object I think about much, but when this day rolls around each year, I have vivid and specific memories:

the man walking away in New Mexico last year, his back pocket filled with them…

the time several years ago my daughter quietly fashioned crosses out of them in the back pew of a church, to the delight of several people around her…

the reverent way my mom made sure every crucifix in the house was adorned with them…

…and today, my two granddaughters waving them at me as they greeted me at Mass. I was thinking I might hear en guard at any moment, but the novelty wore off quickly.

Small moments that last in the mind’s eye.

The realization that the small moments carry the sweetest stories.

There were successive small sweet moments at Mass today:

A slow hymn played and Emma began whimpering. She feels the music. She and her sister always have. This truth gives me insight into the kind of people they will grow to be…caring, aware, attuned.

Sofia spotted her beloved “Aunt Betty” on the way to communion and stopped to let her know. To greet her, smile at her, visibly be thrilled to see her. Then, tears when we were back in our seats…that last few minutes until she could see her again feeling like an eternity.

To love, to feel love like that. That.

Emma, age 2 1/2, leading me by the hand to light a candle. Waving to Jesus on the way, holding the long match and patiently (as possible…she’s 2) waiting for the flicker to become a flame. Sofia, 3 1/2, arrives just in time to assist.

Lots to think about on this day. It’s a day of anniversaries as well. My own life re-started thanks to skilled doctors and blood donors 28 years ago. I’ve witnessed an extra lifetime of small moments that I said thank you for again today. And… because life is this two sided coin… a life taken 7 years ago: my best friend lost to me and so many who loved her because a drunk made a terrible choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive.

So, a Palm Sunday candle is flickering in a century old church tonight with prayers of thanksgiving for a life spared and prayers of not knowing what words to say when a life is taken, so a tiny flame takes the place of the words.

I don’t have to have the words. Like two little girls remind me, my feelings are enough.

Sometimes, like the people in the Gospel narrative today, we are witnesses. Seeing all the things. Storing them in our hearts. Knowing that we each have a role to play on and off the page.

We enter Holy Week today…a week that I hope to continue some Lenten promises, spend some extra time in silence, and reflect on a lot of things. And hopefully, learn from the small moments and little children that the smallest acts of love and presence still matter the most.


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Friday’s Five –April 12, 2019

It wasn’t all good, dear readers. I don’t want to leave the impression here that everything is hunky-dory every day. 😜

Because you know…life. 😳

HOWEVER, I can generally find at a bare minimum five good things from the previous few days to share here. And, I did! Here they are:

people to encourage and pray for; someone needs your prayers;

red clover swaying on roadsides—I really must stop and get a picture ASAP;

drive-thru with a special sale price for what I actually planned to eat;

a hairdresser who knows without description what to do–even though said hairdresser sees hundreds of people—she still remembers;

Little hands placing little seeds in little cups and little voices saying I so ess-ited! Me too, loves. Me, too.

However your week went, it is likely there were bumpy places. Maybe they were really bad. I’m sorry if they were. Maybe they were just medium bad. Or slightly. But in every day and every circumstance, there is room for a genuine good.

Maybe it’s a hand clasped in yours. Maybe it’s a smile or nod when you really needed it. Maybe it’s a patch of clover on a roadside, or how the moon waits for you to look at it. Keep looking.

🌟


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Lent//Monday 4/8/2019 Walking in Wonder

Only people who understand synchronicity will understand this post fully.

I do not understand how or why things happen the way they do, but I know when I am walking on a path that is right. I recognize it within the pages of this book…

Bits of paint and coffee stains on the outside. Inside, almost every page I’ve read so far has an underline or note I’ve written. I decided tonight it’s destined for the re-read pile, and I’m not even halfway in.

Not because it’s hard reading. It’s easy. It’s beautiful. Poetic. Deep, but deep like a comforting blanket or warm sunshine on your back that you feel is just right. The kind of book you dole out to yourself in pieces because you want it to last.

When I chose this book at the beginning of Lent, I did not know William Stafford’s words would greet me here…or Wendell Berry’s…or sweet Saint Therese. And who knows who else because the surprises keep coming. But as I say: synchronicity.

Tonight, I read a section on landscape. Without any mention of it in the text, I was in my beloved New Mexico. I felt transported by John O’Donohue ‘s words. Maybe if you read it, the words will take you to a different landscape, a place that is your place of knowing.

O’Donohue writes:

“…there is no repetition in a landscape. Every stone, every tree, every field is a different place. When your eye begins to become attentive to this panorama of differentiation, then you realize what a privilege it is to actually be here.”

Walk in wonder.


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Lent//Wednesday 4/3/2019 Psalm 63, Part 3

…But they shall be destroyed who seek my life,

they shall go into the depths of the earth;

They shall be delivered over to the sword,

and shall be the prey of jackals.

The king, however, shall rejoice in God;

everyone who swears by him shall glory,

but the mouths of those who speak falsely shall be stopped.

This ends Psalm 63. The theme of longing for God and being in a wilderness situation might resonate with some readers.

Throughout this Psalm we see a praise of and rejoicing in our Creator.

He is all powerful, and He meets every need. Regardless of any person or circumstance we know might not be good for us, when we keep our eye on God and His goodness, we will prevail.

By this stage of Lent, we might realize the humans we are. Good intentions might be all we have to show for our Lenten plans. But, guess what?

God sees the intention. And He smiles.

So, keep trying –whatever you are doing for Him this season– keep trying. The end result is not as important as the longing to do something good for our Creator.


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Lent//Tuesday 4-2-19 Psalm 63, Part 2

Thus will I bless you while I live;

lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.

As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,

and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.

I will remember you upon my couch,

and through the night-watches I will meditate on you:

That you are my help,

and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.

My soul clings fast to you;

your right hand upholds me…

Today I am remembering that night-watches are common to all people. Night can represent wilderness, loneliness, suffering, anguish.

Remember you are never alone. Within your soul, there is power to overcome any trial.

As I reread this part of Psalm 63, I remember my mother’s words to me: “Just say ‘Jesus help me ‘ and see how good you will feel.”

His name IS a blessing. He listens when we call.

Peace on your Lenten pilgrimage ✌🏻