Monday, November 29, 2004

Welcome to Michigan--Mongolian BBQ

We made the trip fine yesterday. A total of 559 miles in 9 and a half

Janet's brother Alan and his wife, Jan, with their 2 kids, Madison and
Reid rolled out the red carpet for us.

This morning we went to Saint Thomas A Becket Catholic Church in Canton,
Michigan. We really enjoyed the service and were greeted by the priest's
bulldog Winston.

Tonight we went to Northfield, Michigan, and ate at the Mongolian
What a treat!!! Never have I eaten as succulent a meal.
Scallops, shrimp, bbq beef, all stir-fried, and an excellent salad were
only part of the treat. See enclosed href=>pictures.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Need Your Prayers

Tomorrow, Saturday Morning, Janet (wife) and I leave for Michigan. Janet will be in a headache clinic/hospital for 3 weeks. I plan on staying a week and hope to return then. PLEASE PRAY that God will direct the Doctors and that she will receive comfort from these awful headaches that have almost incapacitated her. Thanks.

I do not know if I can blog from Michigan. I will take my trusty Sidekick2 and see what happens. So, it might be a while before you hear from me again.

Troubles in River City

Have been having computer problems. Not sending blogs when needed. Acting funny. Not displaying pictures. Not being able to get e-mail. You know how it goes. Say a prayer for my computer.

UNTIL !!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thomas Merton Quote and Updated Photographs for Abbey of Gethsemani

"I do not have clear answers to current questions. I do have questions, and, as a matter of fact, I think a man is known better by his questions than by his answers. To make known one's questions is, no doubt, to come out in the open oneself. I am not in the market for the ready-made and wholesale answers so easily volunteered by the public and I question nothing so much as the viability of public and popular answers, including some of those which claim to be most progressive."

(Introduction to Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander)


I have added some new photographs to the Abbey Photo site, including a picture of Merton's Grave, and a series of photographs by Wayne Burns and Lily Lewin. Please check out Abbeyphoto.html



((Editorial Note: Furman Bisher’s column is something I have enjoyed for years on thanksgiving. This year, however, it will cost $29.95 to sign up to get it on the internet. If anyone is in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day, I would appreciate it if you would cut out a copy of his column and bring it to me. That would be appreciated.))

For Furman Bisher, columist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who taught me to be thankful with his yearly Thanksgiving Column.

For Parents who, though both are deceased, loved me and believed in me.

For my relatives in Georgia.

For a brother, who is a constant reminder of the joyful times we had growing up.

For a family that loves to laugh, tell stories, and cares for each other.

For my Sunday School class, who in spite of a tough year for all of us, continues to be supportive in all of our trials and tribulations.

For the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series so that I don’t have to hear about the Babe Ruth Curse anymore.

For wolf wolf, beep beep, and ding-a-ling, each who each day smiles and speeds along lives trails with gusto and caring.

For the warm glow of a fireplace.

For chicken livers and oysters and tobasco sauce.

For a car that starts on cold mornings.

For the hospital employees who invite me for a free meal.

For the smiles that pass me every day.

For the many blessings that touch my life daily.

I am thankful for journeys that challenge me with new dawnings and awakenings.

I am thankful for a delicate bark that often awakens me each morning and a warm bed shared with another.

I am thankful for a place to work and share my faith with others.

I am thankful for the approval of the insurance company this week so my wife can go to a hospital in Michigan for the next 3 weeks, hopefully to get rid of the headaches that have made her life so difficult.

For skilled surgeons, nurses, and others who care for patients daily.

For PC (who can read my mind—scarey), for RC (who reminds me of the sunshine), for GM (who is always dancin !), for Deb (who could make a man on death row laugh), for JH (who reminds me of laughter and caring), for RD (a man who saved my life), for SD (who adds joy to my lunch each day), for LB (who is daring enough to eat with me in strange places), and for Dave, who makes great coffee and prays for me.

For Melinda, my lovely daughter, and her new husband, Mike, both of whom make us happy each day.

For monasteries, and monks, and statues, and rain, and snow, and warmth.

And for Prissy and Angel, who can hardly wait until we wake up.

And for Janet, who makes my life worth living.

And, I am thankful for you –my friends—that stand by me and give me joy each day.

And for God, who has given me purpose and joy.


Dan Phillips
Chaplain, Centennial Medical Center
Nashville, TN 37067

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Going to Michigan -- Answered Prayer

I sent the following letter to my boss this morning:

My wife, Janet, has bad headaches. She has had a constant headache for over 10 years. She has been to everyone imaginable, including the best headache Doctor's in Nashville. In recent weeks they have gotten progressively worse, a rating of a 9 on a scale of 10. She is having a difficult time functioning at this point.

Her neurologist has requested to send her to the Michigan Head and Pain Neurological Clinic. We are still struggling with our insurance company over this one (and have been for several weeks), but we should know today (hopefully) if it will be approved. If it is approved it means she will go to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and be in the hospital for 3 weeks.

My plans are at best tenative now for time I will need to take off. My basic plan is to take this Thursday off for Thanksgiving, work Friday, and if she does go in the hospital next week--or the week after-- I will drive her to Michigan and stay with her for the first week. I will then fly home and go back and drive her home.

She has a brother near her in Michigan and they will be a help during this period of uncertainty.

As I know further details I will let you know.

THIS AFTERNOON WE RECEIVED APPROVAL FOR HER TO GO FOR the time needed. To my blogging friends I would appreciate your prayers for healing during this time. It has been a difficult period for our lives and we certainly feel "the approval for her to go is a direct answer to prayer." Thanks in advance for your prayers. Hopefully the Sidekick 2 will work in Michigan and I can still blog.

Firewood and Beer Bottles

Don Tassiah told me yesterday that he once had a revival on a beach in Florida. He asked each person who came to bring a beer bottle. Over 3000 beer bottles were collected, taking 4 city dump trucks to carry them off. Larnell Harris sang and 2000 people were saved.

I am reading Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Merton. In it he tells something interesting:

"I write this in the woodshed, surrounded by the charred, sweet-smelling wood of smashed-up whiskey barrels: not ours, naturally. Kegs given to the monks to break up for firewood."

What do we do with the trash in our lives?

Thomas Merton Thought of the Day

"If you seek His glory before everything else, you will know that the best way to console another man is to show him how to love God. There is no true peace in anything else."

( NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, page 255 )

How can I show another how to love God?

Thanks Wayne

Monday, November 22, 2004

Christian Cookies the Jesus Way

God's CAKE

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this", or "Why did God have to do this to me".

Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong...

she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

"Yuck" says her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?"

"Gross, Mom!"

"Would you like some flour then?

Or maybe baking soda?"

"Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies:

"Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.

But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way.

Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times.

But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!

We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you.

He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.

He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

If you like this, send this on to the people you really care about. I did.

I hope your day is a "piece of cake!"

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Joy In the Morning - Psalm 30

Weeping may remain for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and
clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not
be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

What do monks do for fun?

After taking Prissy to Miss Anne's for a trimming, I stopped by a local truckstop for gas. I met Glenn Johnson at the next pump, along with his wife and 1931 Ford. The pictures tell the story:

More pictures

Friday, November 19, 2004

Thomas Merton - Rain and the Rhinocerous

One of my favorite Merton moments was when at the International Thomas Merton Society meeting in Mobile, Alabama, we studied Merton's Rain and the Rhinocerous. There was a great talk by Dr. Anthony Padovono about Merton's essay on Rain and the Rhinocerous. Well, now I have found part of the essay on the web. It is one of the greatest things that Merton wrote. So check out Rain and the Rhinocerous and after you have read that read the Padovano essay. What a treat !!

A Longing for Travel

I began as a travel writer. My book Four Corners-A Literary Excursion Across America use to be a top 5 percent of the web book in the early days of the web. It was written during a time when I was leading religious conferences in the United States, Hawaii, and Canada.

Then I started The Web Surfer Travel Journal, another of my continuing exploits. My main site, Dan's Place, lists all of these adventerous moments in my life.

Two years ago we went to Greece, Turkey, and Austria. Though I made hundreds of pictures I have never put them on the web. That is the tragedy of it all. Somehow my interest has waned. The travel stories have lingered in a deep recess of my being and I often dream of Athens, of Ephesus, and of Patmos, but the stories don't come. Or, I don't take the time.

But, like I say, from time to time the memories linger. So, if you want a thrill why not check out Four Corners or the Web Surfer Travel Journal?

A Prayer

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness
Give me again the joy of your help
Create in me a pure heart
Renew the spirt of fervour within me.

Amen (From Psalm 51)

Bill Clinton Library


I saw Hank Aaron today and he acknowledged me.  The speaches from Carter, Bush, Bush and Clinton were great. Glad we came. Stood out in the rain. Bought poncho's at WalMart.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, and Bill Clinton - 24 hours of exciting email

A blog often leads to exciting email. But nothing like the last 24 hours.


Dear Dan,

I found your site about a year ago when I was looking for information about Thomas Merton on the web. I've been following your blog for the past few months but have not taken the time to write you until now.

The recent post on your blog detailing another's introduction to the works of Thomas Merton made me sit up and realize that I had never written you to tell you of my story.

First, a bit of back story is needed. I work for a cleaning company, and occasionally we stray from the standard 9-5 businesses and clean some very interesting places. One of which just happened to be a Carmelite retreat center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I had the pleasure of cleaning this large, old building for a couple of years before it was closed and put up for sale (the people who bought it were a nearby family who wanted to keep it as holy as possible,
using it as a home and perhaps one day turning it into a bed and breakfast (instead of the other bidder, who wanted to tear down the chapel portion of it and turn it into a resort).

Anyhow, during the last days of this great building, myself and a friend were called in to clean out everything from the rooms and surrounding property. Most of what was left after the priest and staff moved out was the average clutter you'd expect from an age old religious retreat. A lot of it (sadly) went into the dumpster, but some things were interesting enough for me to take home (which the head of the retreat said we could, should anything strike our fancy). In one of the upper bedrooms, left behind by either the priest or a staff member, was a tattered old copy of The Sign Of Jonas by Thomas Merton. I thought the book looked interesting so I took it home but never really got around to reading it (I've since read many of his books).

So that's my Thomas Merton story. And I should give you my thanks as well, for inspiring me to look further into myself and find my own true nature of Christ that lurks just beyond the surface. And thank you for your own wisdom, which I find on your blog. It helps many I'm sure, but it at least helps me to take a moment and contemplate a little deeper on manythings about life. Your work is noble and your words are true. I thank you for sharing them with the rest of us.

Wishing you all the best,
David. M. Lemoine


Good morning,

I'm a journalist in France and need an information about Jack Kerouac. Is it true that he was in Big Sur in the Summer 1960 ? Is it correct to say that after his novel "Big Sur" he only published books that have been refused by editors before he was famous ?

Thank you,

All the best,

Francisca Matteoli.

And of course I have a Jack Kerouac webpage.


And a note from my brother Ronald and his wife.

On a whim yesterday, Jimmie and I decided to come to Little Rock for the Clinton Library Dedication. WE have seen Sam Donelson, John Kerry, Geraldo Rivera, and Chris Tucker. We hear that Jlo and Brad Pitt are hear too. We saw the Band U2 in concert and saw the largest fireworks show ever in Arkansas. We are having the best time. WE got a room for $47 at the Days Inn in Jacksonville, AR which is 14 miles from Little Rock. Having a great time. It is fun to be here. A lot of young people are here.

Just like your Hank Aaron 715 attendance, it is just fun to be there.

Love Ronald

Editor's Note: Another fun time was when Janet and I were visiting Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1990. We didn't realize it, but when we got there it was the 45th anniversary of the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Army band was there, some general who was with him at Malta, several famous journalists and former governors of Georgia. We sat on the 3rd or 4th row from the front. We thought we were dignitaries too hi.

There is nothing quite like email. Ha!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Beau died

Beau was my inilaws dog, part chow and part lab. Solid black. Large.
Rarely barked. 6 years old. A sweetie. He I will miss him

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Online Retreat


Session 1

I need time for a retreat. Of course, we all need time for a retreat sometimes. A day of recollection it is called in the monastic tradition. My retreat today will be broken up for coffee, lunch, and for work. But, the emphasis is on “a day with God.” A time to probe my life, to ponder implications of it, along with a day of continuous prayer, a time for the Holy Spirit to lead me.

(Note: The best website for understanding this is the Sacred Space Online Retreat. Perhaps that will he helpful to you.)

God’s Presence

A verse I often use is found in Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.” What a wonderful starting point. Be still Dan. Let your spirit be quiet. Drown out the clamor and call of the day with God’s presence near. Listen for his voice. Be thankful to God ! Leave the clutter behind.


Listen to God. Take note of my thoughts and concerns. What am I feeling? Where am I now in my life?

I have been in a funk (a low depressed mood) lately. Struggling over getting medical help for Janet (wife), helping people through several difficult deaths at the hospital, keeping up with the Tres Dias retreat (just finished), the wedding, living through another Presidential election, and really needing a vacation. And it has been a year since I was diagnosed with Prostate cancer—another milestone.

A beginning thought: I am in the presence of the Lord.

A Healing Prayer from the Celtic Prayer Book

At every moment of our existence
you are present to us, Father.
In gentle compassion.
Help us to be present to one another
so that our presence may be a strength
that heals the wounds of time
and gives hope that is for all persons
through Jesus, our Lord and Brother.
Weston Priory, Vermont


I go to the cafeteria and eat 2 eggs and cheese plus Texas Toast and water. While eating I am aware of the Presence of God. I continue my praying that God be with me this day.

Session 2

I read Luke 12, which is our Sunday School lesson for this coming Sunday.

As I read I become a part of the audience that sat at Jesus feet. I observe how Jesus interacts with the people. I listen to what he says. I try to hear his words for me. What does happen as I read? What moves me or influences me and changes me?

Read Luke 12:1-7

Warning: “Be on Guard.”— Against the Pharisees, yes, but what else? Our time (is it wasted?), in our attitudes (is it just another regurgitation of what we have heard on tv or the radio), and in how we love. (Do we really love those we meet?)

The verse that captures my attention is verse 7. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

How easy it is to forget this. On my bookshelf is a sparrow I got at Capistrano. Every year on February 19th the sparrows return to the monastery where they have been fed for hundreds of years. To be fed we must return to the Father.

What is the Lord saying to me this morning through this passage?

Isn’t he saying, “Dan, the worrying about Janet does not help. I will find a way for her. Relax, Live, Let me in your life.”

I sit quietly and contemplate God’s word to me.
I also read Isaiah 58:9b-14:

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


I go buy coffee at Dave’s Coffee stand. It is always a friendly place. Dave knows everyone and prays for them. He is the “chief prayer” at the hospital. When he was sick recently, everyone missed him.

Wandering away from the stand I see patients walking through the corridors. Most walk slowly with walking canes. Usually a mate walks beside them. Some are lost, unable to find their way among the distant signs, the various elevators, and the nameless crosswalks going somewhere unknown. I feel a sympathy for these, my people, my parishioners. I will pray for some of these and sit beside their mates when they die. It brings much humility to me.

Session 3

I continue my reading in Luke 12. I listen closely as the Do not worry theme continues (12:22-34). Seek his kingdom first and all these things shall be added unto you. Or Your Father knows what you need before you even ask.

It is so easy to say that we do not worry, but really…………..!!!! But the comfort of knowing that he knows my needs even before I express them. That is a wonderful thought.

I have hit a brick wall. Its all over. Amen.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Another Merton Fan

Some 10 years ago I found on an airplane in the seatback a 3X5 paper with verse written by Thomas Merton from a Journal in Solitude.  It spoke to me and I kept it in my wallet until recently.  While browsing the bargain books two weeks ago, I came across the Seven Storey Mountain and purchased the book.  I finished the book yesterday and enjoyed reading it very much. And that's how I became interested in Thomas Merton.(Bill Cords, Mililani, HI)

Saturday, November 13, 2004


In my present funky mindset, I am suddenly envious of my grandparents home. Just coal fireplace and a one 60 watt bulb hanging from the ceiling. To replace the bulb took 2 minutes. For me to replace the bulb now means a whole new fixture, re-wiring, replacing,,,,,,,,you get the idea, right. The result is the same, we have just complexized the world to make it more intolerable think about that.

Beautiful weather

I slept well ! A breakfast of eggs, country sausage, and soghrum syrup, plus coffee. Hopefully, I am in a better mood today. The sun is out, a few leaves cling to the tree limps. I am studying the sunday school lesson-- luke 11.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Exhausted Memories

"To meditate on the life of Jesus should therefore be our chief study."------the truth is I am exhausted, emotionally spent. The falling shattering glass was the straw that broke my back...........with the newly formed widow this week I did pretty well, like bonhoeffer my smile said all was well--it wasn't....the engine was bankrupt, ready to break. ====the woman with the broken back, layed out flat,not knowing how lucky she is not to be a paraphylegic, says "I'm depressed."------really....her depression becomes mine. Without sleep for days. Surrounded by religious stupor--once it was euphoria--but to excess is dares to confront me with my own mortality. ////////be still and know----WAIT-- r-e-s-t........I copy e. E. cummings.......I need the alchemist christy.............I become a loner, hiding from my wife ,,,,, in the other room cold beside the fire, dog in hand, listeningto
frank-s place on xm,,,,,, it is fr-id-ay nite c-o_-ol outside /cloudy --- hoping for restless sleep and new tomorrows--------------30-----

It's One of those days

Trying to change the kitchen light bulbs, the light fixture crashed to the ground.Glass everywhere. Now what? Another glass fixture? How do we keep it

And the insurance will not pay for my wife to go to the hospital to help get her headaches fixed.

Life is like that sometimes.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

What Church Should be Like

Wouldn't it be great to have a church service like this.

Michael Spencer - A Manifesto

I had never heard of Michael Spencer before today but am impressed with the following article. I have been through the same process, from Avery Willis, to Rick Warren. This is an article worth reading about the emerging church and other great religious efforts.

The Cab Ride

A great story WORTH READING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated".

"Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?" "It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to
a hospice".

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you
like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now." We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.

They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door..

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held
onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said.

"Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then
driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more
important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in
what others may consider a small one.


You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send it to ten
people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more
compassionate by sending it on.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. Every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I sit alone by a woman who has just got the news her husband has just
died. There is no worst feeling. I stay with her until her soon arrives.
He is 28. the same age as my daughter. They were married 38 year. My
wife and I have been married 37 years.

This after a long two days arguing with an insurance company that will
not pay for needed medical attention for my family, leaving me without
way for help. Lots of anger. And death, and sorrow. It could be me.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Gorgeous Day

It is an absolutely marvelous beautiful day in Tennessee. See the pictures I made at Centennial Park during a lunch walk.

One Person Can Make a Difference

Last night, at our church, we fed 12-15 homeless persons. This morning in the Tennessean is an article by Frank Boehm titled, "Yes, one person can make a difference," and his article is about Teenie Buchel, who when she dies, wants, instead of flowers, for money to go to the homeless.

Boehm in his article tells of reading his prayer book which says, "Each of us is a shattered urn, grass that must wither, a flower that will fade, a shadow moving on, a cloud passing by, a particle of dust floating on the wind, a dream forgotten."
But he goes on to say how each of us can make a difference. Are we making a difference?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Monastic Chair

I recently published a picture of a chair at the Abbey of Gethsemani. Now, Alan Creech, has published a picture of his twin brother -- the other chair.

Emerging Church Wind and Fire

Andrew Jones gives interesting information regarding an international prayer conference next August, 2005, in Scotland.

The Tres Dias weekend was great. There is nothing I attend that has the power of changing lives like one of these weekends. People become real, take off their masks, and really pray. Neat !!!

Saw many old friends and some new ones, including people not previously in this ministry. Makes it nice.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Tres Dias Weekend

I am involved in a Tres Dias Weekend, an offshoot of Cursillo. I will be sleeping on a bunk and spending time in prayer for the brothers.

On Pilgrimage -- Jennifer Lash

My favorite book for the past few months has been On Pilgrimage by Jennifer Lash.

Setting out on a spiritual pilgrimage after discovering she has cancer, she walks through France and Spain until she comes to Sandiego de Compostelo, the place where the Apostle James had ministered.The depth of her writing has captured me and the sense of religious awareness as she travels from monastery to monastery, or religious site to religious site. A GREAT BOOK!!!

By the way, does anyone know the name of her son who was nominated for an Academy Award? Kudoes to the first person who answers correctly.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My Yahoo- How to Add Monastic Skete

My Yahoo has been a real hit recently, especially since RSS feeds can be added. Because of the RSS feeds it is easy to add Monastic Skete to your MY YAHOO. On the right side of this page, near the bottom part, you will see a My Yahoo sign. Click on that and hit add and Monastic Skete becomes a part of your daily MY YAHOO listing. Who will be the first to do so?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Chair in the Meditation Garden

I have not slept well lately, mostly turning over and over and moving from room to room, one sofa or bed after another.

I can't totally pinpoint the reason. Maybe because workload has been horrific, or the preparation for the Tres Dias weekend, or the election (glad its over), or illness in the family. A sense of total dis-ease.

To try to counteract the feeling, I have changed my screen saver and added a chair to my computer screen. Everytime I turn on the computer I see this chair from the Abbey of Gethsemani.

The chair sits in the meditation garden. It is firm, not fancy or comfortable. But everytime I see it I think of meditation and the Lord. That is of comfort to me. What do you look at for spiritual comfort?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Prayers of Brother Denis

In his book, downtown monks, Albert Holtz describes Brother Denis, who died in in 1990 at the age of 80. These are the words he uses to describe him:

An early riser, he would have coffee ready by 5:00 a.m. Then, after watering his plants, which were everywhere, he would sit in church before morning prayer, presenting to the Lord the long list of people he had promised to pray for. If something was lost, he would promise prayers to St. Anthony and would smile with delight upon learning that the Saint had come through once again."

How long is your prayer list? And mine?

Monday, November 01, 2004


"Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith, is the price of love."


This was from the Connor Hunley website. Connor, a 9 year old boy, went home to be with the Lord today, ALL SAINT'S DAY.