Dear friends, 

As Jean went off to take her Dad to the doctor, I moved outside to water the garden, which had not been watered for several days while we were down at the ocean getting some much needed rest. 

It is remarkable how the ocean restores us! Jean’s Dad is doing very well: sometimes he breaks into tears grieving his bride of 72 years, sometimes he says we were so blessed having so many years together with such good health and so many people to love us. Continue to keep us all in your prayers. 

Let me take you on my garden meditation. The first direction I walked in my watering is down toward our labyrinth. As I approached the labyrinth, I noticed that many weeds had grown up at the entrance and so I set to pulling out the weeds at the entrance area. (How am I doing pulling up the weeds in my life: times when I am impatient or times when I feel defensive or times when I judge others too quickly or too harshly?) I watered around the labyrinth, the shrubs and the flowers, those that came up, those that did not and those that I hope will still bloom. I got the inspiration: I should walk the labyrinth for Jean, when she left, she was worried what her day would hold. So I walked the twists and turns of life, sending her good energy and her Dad and her sister.  I thought of all of you as I walked—the memory of you brought joy to my heart—I pictured and prayed for you as I walked. I thought: we are partners on the labyrinth of life! No one of us can make it alone—together, great things are possible. As I walked, the Martha part of me wanted to pull up the weeds and twigs along the path. I resisted the temptation to be useful and just let myself be... and walk... and pray. 

As I picked up my hose to continue watering, there was kink in the hose and no water was coming out, so I walked back the two hundred feet of hose line and found the kink. I watered the flowers nearby and far away. Another kink cut off the water supply. Sometimes kinks are near me and sometimes they are way back near the water supply. I thought of Jesus saying, “I will plant within you fountains of living water.” And remembered the Samaritan woman desiring this living water so she would not have to go the watering hole again. I watered some more and before long another kink appeared. I remembered the bible verse, first remove the kinks from your own end before you try to remove the kinks from someone else’s end. I continued to water and I saw that the rhododendron that the deer had eaten so thoroughly in the winter had grown back resplendently. I marveled at the wisdom and resiliency of nature and the human spirit. I am reading Diarmuid O’Murchu’s exploration into the origins of the universe/multiverse more than thirteen billion years ago and he talks about the wisdom of energy. I long for more wisdom about the Spirit of Life. 

I keep watering and I notice that the holly bush plowed under by the snow plow is coming back. Will she be able to cross-pollenate with her nearby male counterpart and produce berries? (How do we cross-pollenate with each other and produce berries that nourish us and service that nourishes others?) As I continued to walk back toward the house, there was another kink—not again! How many times must I forgive you? Peter (thinking he was being generous) : Seven times? Jesus, the merciful: No, seventy times seven times. I unkink the kink and keep watering marveling at what is coming up (in the garden and in me,) I hear the plants saying, “I thirst” just as Jesus did, just as I do. And I remember Jean’s Mother’s favorite song “In the garden”: “He walks with me and he talks with me and tells me I am his own and the joy we share, as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” Reminds me of one of my heroines Catherine of Siena’s “All the way to heaven is heaven.” Doesn’t always seem that way when we see journalists being beheaded and children drowning in pools or getting leukemia. And yet our God says, “I will be with you all days.” We are so loved! We are grateful to have each other! We are grateful that you are part of our lives!

As a community, members and guests of The Spirit of Life, find support and hope in the journey through time and body to deepen our spiritual lives, and work together to transcend our limitations and grow in faith. Our liturgies are not “cluttered’ with non-inclusive language and messages that discount the dignity of all people. Rather, we are radically simple in embodying the “good news” of Jesus Christ... “uncluttered” by messages caught in the moral time warp so present in more traditional Catholic liturgies. At the Spirit of life... the call of women to ordained priesthood is affirmed...the sacredness of all loving relationships is honored and celebrated, and as Jesus did, we welcome ALL to the Table!   If you are seeking a Catholic community where you do not need to mentally/silently “insert” inclusive language into your prayer at Mass, or lament that your children are hearing non-loving messages about people whose sexual orientation is other than heterosexual, or feel that your “voice” is not heard.....we invite you to come and experience life in our community. We are an inclusive and interactive community, where everyone has a “voice.”  We are truly a people of “justice & Joy.”

Wishing you joy in the Mystery,

Please keep us in your prayers,

Ron & Jean