Monastic Skete- Daily Living A Hermit Lifestyle of Meditation
I am retired now, a full-time writer. I still actively do retreats. I love the works of Thomas Merton and my new book, "Spiritual Journaling -God's Whispers in Daily Living" is available on Kindle and Amazon. http://amzn.to/qQz6Ng
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Waiting for Soup to Boil
Saturday, April 29, 2006
See What Happens
"We are called to a simple trust in God. We go about our day and 'see
what happens.' We pray for those we see or speak to or think of...may
they each have a blessing that they need. What will He lead us to?
What simple good to be done? Who knows?...a word of kindness...an act of
help or assistance...a smile...a joke shared...bread broken and given
away...a new friend...an old friend visited or called...a question to be
answered...... How pleased He must be when we come to the new day with
openness...See what happens.....!!!
Thanks Don Brennan Warren MI---thanks for this word of blessing and
All who read this what is the greatest blessing you have received
Friday, April 28, 2006
I always enjoy a quite Friday Night. I have listened to the Braves lose,
talked to the Canary Islands with 2 watts of power with my ham radio,
read 2 Corinthians 4, walked Cuddles, wrote in my moleskine, read 43
folders, ate too much Louisana hot sauce, read some from
SundayScribblings, and prepared for bed.
I will sleep later tomorrow, go to the Main Street Festival, and see
what else happens.
Peace and Good Will
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Henri Nouwen on Writing
Writing to Save the Day
Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to
concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to
clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our
experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to
store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for
others who might read what we write.
Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day
can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we
have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then
writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.
The Meaning of Suffering
Several persons asked me about this message yesterday in Chapel who were unable to attend. The basic outline comes from 2 Corinthians chapter 1. The Apostle Paul shares with people in Corinth the WHY'S of SUFFERING.
1. We suffer so that we can comfort others. ("Who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Cor.1:4) -- Example occurs when we go through a tragedy then when others go through the SAME THING we can help them.
2. Suffering produces in us "patient endurance." (2 Cor.1:6)
3. Suffering occurs in our lives so that we may RELY on God for help. "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life......But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God." (2 Cor.1:8-9)
4. Suffering occurs that we be humble enough to ask our friends to pray for us. "As you HELP US by your prayers." (2 Cor.1:11)
5. Suffering in our lives produces answers to prayer and we should GIVE THANKS to God for the prayers answered in response to the prayers of many. "Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." (2 Cor.1:11)
The next time you go through difficult times, read 2 Corinthians 1 and remember "there is a purpose for our suffering."
Bro. Dan ......with thanksgiving for these sacred halls where God's mercy is evident in the trials and sufferings of those who walk them.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
When You Can't Pray
PRAYER WHEN YOU CAN'T PRAY...................Comes to all of us...a time when we know we need to speak to God and the words are not coming. Then, perhaps, He is asking us for a silent trust...wordless waiting...silence that is
patient ...intention that reaches up to God. I know a person with ALS...when I pray for him, I cup my hands together and visualize that I am putting him and all his needs in the wounded hands of Christ. Sometimes, I will look at my list of people to pray for and say: Lord, You know each one better than I...I entrust each to
You...design a special unique grace for each one today. Love that is deep often does not find words to express it...only presence with the beloved...don brennan
In my praying sometimes I do not do very well. Maybe I become too consumed about myself, or my emotional energy goes in the wrong direction, or I simply do not know what to say, or pray. Sure I have my daily prayer list and to go over it often brings much pain; the abused wife, the deaths of loved ones, the illnesses that so
often afflict friends and relatives, and the hopelessness carried by so many. It is often too overwhelming to me. So how do I respond? At such times I put a small pillow on the floor, turn my chair around and pray over and over, "'Lord, have mercy on me !" Sounds selfish doesn't it? But, at least it is real. I don't know what to feel, or say, or do. Maybe God can help me.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CAN'T PRAY?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Thoughts for a Tuesday Night
1. Keep Our Eyes Open
2. A man's heart reflects a man.
3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.
4. God only directs us one step at a time.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Saturday, April 22, 2006
An odd night. Janet has gone to south Georgia for a wedding. M and M
have gone to a Caribbean Island. I am alone with 2 cats and a dog.
Probably the first time in years. How do you spend your aloneness? I
spend it watching the movie ROUND MIDNIGHT with Dexter Gordon. The 52
inch tv is visiting dor another 6 weeks and I watch the dvd on a big
screen quite a difference. The music is beautiful. PEACE.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
It has been difficult blogging in the last week. We have had illness in our house among other things. Busy. busy, busy. Makes one think of GRATITUDE !!!
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." (Melodie Beattie)
QUESTION: HOW DO WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE?
ANSWER: TO CELEBRATE LIFE, NOTHING ELSE.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU PARTICIPATED IN A CELEBRATION BECAUSE OF SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE?
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Chapel - Abbey of Gethsemani
Monday, April 10, 2006
Centennial Park Nashville -April
"God is a consuming Fire. He alone can refine us like gold, and separate
us from the slag and dross of our selfish individualities to fuse us
into this wholeness of perfect unity that will reflect His own Triune
Seeds of Contemplation, p.72
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Monica Weis in Vancouver in July for Merton Course
Monica Weis returns to Vancouver the first week in July to offer a course on Thomas Merton, which kicks off a series of events that week to celebrate the opening of
the Thomas Merton Reading Room in the H. R. MacMillan Theological Library at Vancouver School of Theology. Monica is a superb teacher who has given public talks for the Thomas Merton
Society of Canada in Vancouver and co-led our pilgrimage program France in 2002. Don't miss this opportunity to explore Merton's life and thought with Monica!
DirectorThomas Merton Society of Canada
Finding the Sky Within You: Thomas Merton, Man of Prayer and Contemporary Issues
Dr. Monica Weis Vancouver School of Theology, Chalmers Institute, Vancouver, BC
July 3 - 7, 8:30 -11:30 am
Basing discussions on Merton's autobiography, Seven Storey Mountain, Ishi Means Man, selected letters, poems, and journal entries, you will encounter Thomas Merton--monk and writer--his struggles, his commitment to silence and solitude, and his prophetic vision for social justice. Special attention will be given to Merton's support for the rights of indigenous people and his love of nature.
Monica Weis, SSJ, is professor of and the director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, whose most recent publication is Thomas Merton's Gethsemani: of Paradise.
Information/Registration: 604-822-9563 or email email@example.com or see www.vst.edu.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Twenty Memoriable Things I have done in my life
1. Worked for a circus one day.
2. Got married.
3. I was an engineer on the rocket that sent a man to the moon
4. The first funeral I preached was for a man who committed suicide
5. I was in the stadium the night Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record of 714 home runs.
6. Went on cruises to Greece, Alaska, and the Caribbean
7. I played a trumpet solo in my senior year in high school.
8. I paid my way through college by working for the Alabama Power Company in the summers.
9. I found Robert Frost grave by accident.
10. I bought my wives engagement ring from money I had saved from my paper route.
11. My first car was a rambler. The wheel fell off on the way home.
12. I have talked to people in over 120 countries on my ham radio.
13. I once preached a sermon titled, “Ships that Never Sailed.”
14. I love jazz music. Hearing Mel Torme live was memorable.
15. Ridgecrest North Carolina and Glorietta New Mexico were my favorite places to go in the summer.
16. My favorite restaurants are Patti’s in Grand Junction, Ky. and High Falls Restaurant in High Falls, Georgia.
17. Getting locked out of my room in a monastery when I had very few clothes on is something I shall never forget. Talk about embarrassment.
18. Remembering people who have touched my life: Dr. Leo Garrett, Dr. Paul Turner, Glenn Hinson, Merton, Father Carlos, Wayne Burns, and many others.
19. Watching a sunrise with prayers and help from God.
20. Days walking the sacred hallways of A hospital daily.
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE THINGS?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Aidan Our New Cat named after the Saint
Monday, April 03, 2006
Wilfredo Pascual - Secret Gospels, Sacred Sites
I love Wilfredo Pascual's blog. It is the work of an artistic genius. Check it out !
Mary Phipps Memorial
Mary's Daughter Mimi is in my Sunday School Class. Having an opportunity to meet her mother before she died was a blessing to me. This tribute by her son and son-in-law is a wonderful testimony to a Christian Lady.
Mary Frances Bailey was born in Waxahachie, Texas, on October 19, 1918 and was raised in Dallas except for a short time in Oklahoma City. Waxahachie was the ancestral home of her heart throughout her life because on her mother’s side her great grandparents bought farmland there. Her parents were introduced to each other on the square in Waxahachie. Many generations of the family rest in the Waxahachie cemetery where she will be buried today next to her husband.
She grew up in Oak Cliff as a middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. As a child she was always reading things like the Tarzan books, the Oz books, and magazines, so that it became a habit of her life. She eventually read hundreds of books on English history, the American civil war, all of Isak Dinesen, all of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Amy Carmical, C. S. Lewis, the Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier, the Christian anthropologist Arthur Custance, and all the Scottish and English divines from Lancelot Andrews and Samuel Rutherford to Andrew Bonar. How often she spoke to others about what she had "just read."
She not only read countless Bible commentaries, but always loved fiction writers like Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Dick Frances, and Jan Karon. Books shelved three deep, stacked in the heater closet, books read and reread, dog-eared, underlined and annotated, books cherished, Bibles read into disintegration—that was the mark and essence of Mary, a true original.
Throughout her life she not only read a lot, but she wrote a lot. Starting in 1938 she kept a journal. She wrote down memorable things she read on whatever was handy. For her Sunday school teaching, she wrote her thoughts and quotations on the Bible passage on 5x7 index cards that weighed altogether about 50 lbs. at the time she suffered her stroke on May 10 of 2005. She probably taught every book of the Bible at least once. Not only did she teach, but she loved to hear good Bible teachers like Mrs. W. E. Hawkins, wife of the founder of Radio Revival.
She also talked a lot, but never nonsense and usually listened as much as she talked. Although she loved her Lord the most and time alone with Him, she also loved her family and friends, whom she often referred to as her "own." In fact, in her mind she imagined that many of her family and friends were with her in Nashville, making her feel more at home there. Her intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, and love for people as well as for ideas caused her to be a favorite at the extended care facility where she’s been living. After her recent decline, the workers asked us please not to move her down to a Comfort Care area because they wanted to continue helping us care for her until her death.
Her story as she told it was that as a teenager she was all wrapped up in movie magazines that glorified the likes of Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, and Clara Bow. Her father counseled her in earnest about the importance of the Christian faith, and at 15 she was wonderfully converted. A few years later after her father’s death, she wrote in her journal, "I’m glad I don’t have to think of that dear person as dead and buried, for I know better. ‘Absent from the body, at home with the Lord.’ I don’t imagine anyone was happier than Dad when he looked for the first time on the face of the One who loved him and gave Himself for him. How glad all these years to be like Him. ‘I shall be glad when I wake in Thy likeness.’ I remember hearing Mrs. Roper [her pastor’s wife] say the Lord never took anyone or anything away from us that He didn’t send someone or something to take the vacant place. And so then I asked Him to send someone to help fill the void left by Daddy’s absence. And it was the Lord Himself who did it. For He gave me such good times with Himself through His Word, teaching me to trust Him who never faileth and depend on Him in a way I’d never known before, telling me through the Bible that I had a heavenly Father who would care for me, for He cares for the widows and the fatherless. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Lord. And I’ll be glad when I see Him too, and we all stand together again and sing the song of the redeemed."
After high school Mary attended the Bible Institute of Los Angeles for one year, followed by jobs with Southwestern Life Insurance and the Dallas Morning News. There she met her husband Bill, recently home from the war. She set out deliberately to live as a Christian, to be a good wife and mother and to serve Christ with her life. Mary fell prey to sin like everyone else, but those times drove her to depend on God’s grace. Her consuming passion became the Bible and the Christian life. Her family and friends counted on her to pray for them every day, and she faithfully and joyfully took that business seriously. Now that her life’s work has ended, we know she would want her death to be the occasion for those of us still living to set the same course to follow Christ with our lives since she found such richness and joy in her daily relationship with the Lord.
After Mom’s stroke, she repeatedly instructed us that she wanted the hymn, The Sands of Time are Sinking, to be read at her funeral. She hounded us until we found the words for her. It expresses well the thought she often stated during the difficult days after her strokes that “if this is what the Lord has for me now, it’s ok with me.”
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Twenty Things I Done
Don Brennan often blesses me with his thoughts. This is in response to
20 things I did a couple of days ago. This was inspiring to me. (Dan)
Here they are......Said a prayer of praise before I got out of
bed...Turned on the coffee...Walked for 40 minutes, solitude and
reflection...Carried a dried up Queen Anne's lace and thought of how
each one has a certain beauty before God ...Make a cross of two twigs
and carried it as I said the prayer of Christ on the Cross: "My God, My
God"...Warmed up the bathroom for wife who hates that cold place in the
AM...Tested blood for sugar, not bad since I had a little chocolate cake
day before...Made hot cereal, everything on top of the oatmeal, thought
of the Trappists and their simple fare...Fed the birds, they expect it.
Wife said 'They hear your voice.'...Went to casino, took 50.00 and came
home with 184.00 (That does not happen often)...cleaned floors in
bathrooms, kitchen, stairs...Read paper, prayed for all in such sorrow
and bloodshed...Went to neighbors, laughs shared, brought some cake and
bread pudding to them...Consoled Joan, son dying of throat cancer and
husband in hospital with a clot...Talked with Dave, between jobs and
worried with a real brave front... Had some good laughs with our
mailman, very good guy, admire him very much...Looked at TIME...Looked
through US NEWS and WORLD REPORT...(Aren't you bored yet?)...Washed
up...Did the sugar test again, good, all things considered...Said night
prayer and asked that God send it to every single place where He may be
forgotten...Hopped in bed, warm and grateful for my home...So many
blessings, Lord. Amen. db