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- Wednesday 4/1719: Will you walk “this week” with me?

(Second grocery trip of the day)

Do you always stop once you find the things on your list? Or, do you even have a list? 🧐

Sometimes a few extra items land in the cart: today that meant watermelon for my eldest grandchild (she will be so excited ☺️) and sausage for my son (he’ll be happy to get sausage balls soon)…little things we do along the way. I learned I feed people. It seems to be a life theme. 😉

This second stop was for the perishable items. I had a busy day, so I split the shopping up to save time in the long run.

My feet carried me many places today: work, grocery store, flea market, tutoring appointment, gas station, more grocery, bank drive through, home. Some unplanned stops along the way, but happy to have the time to take care of the day-to-day essentials and an extra errand or two.

Happy Easter is already on a lot of people’s lips.

It’s nice to hear. I know we are still on the road, and we have Holy Thursday and Good Friday to witness…and Easter vigil on Saturday, but some folks are ready now. It was nice to hear Be blessed ma’am as I left the last grocery store today. I’m glad I don’t take such greetings for granted.

I am glad I live where I can walk in a place and find what I need most days, and even things I didn’t know I needed.

The day-to-day is really more important than we might think. The small interactions when we look someone in the eye, wish them well, or the moment we select a piece of fruit a child will enjoy. Maybe some little chocolate bunnies, too…because you know…those baskets don’t fill themselves.

Wherever you walked today, I hope someone felt blessed by your presence. Or you by theirs.

✌🏻

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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//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 ✌🏻


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Lent//Monday 4/1/2019 Psalm 63 Part I

Today, I invite you to read and meditate on part one (of three sections) of Psalm 63.

It helps me to read it aloud, as we would a poem. Maybe that will help you, too.

Perhaps you might read it as a prayer.

O God, you are my God whom I seek;

for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts

like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary

to see your power and your glory,

For your kindness is a greater good than life;

my lips shall glorify you.

I’m thinking of so many images that are present here: the earth, water, etc. But I am drawn in by the last line:

my lips shall glorify you.

I praise God today for the gift of life. My life. And so many kindnesses I have received…so many.

It is my birthday today, and from the moment I woke up until now, I have been acutely aware of God’s love for me and how that love was manifested through the kindnesses of others.

God uses us for good. Will you let him use you?