In Solidarity with Jesus and His Mission

Stations of the Cross @ Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

  • Water in the Desert

    And so it goes…life on this planet is not possible without water. Same goes for external life. Baptism IS necessary for salvation. Water events, both in scarcity and abundance, require action and an enormous amount of reflection. It’s ironic that water is also reflective by nature and thus demands our attention; much like the human… Read more

  • Marriage Blessed and Ordained by God Alone

    We find ourselves, as Godly people of faith, enmeshed in another social upheaval regarding marriage.  First, the Bible and church tradition has consistently defined marriage, Holy Matrimony, as between a man and a women. Why? Because man and woman were created for each other.    Societies since the beginning of time have adopted roles for… Read more

  • Giving (and Receiving) Every Day…Not Just Tuesday

    I write today on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Designated a ‘Giving Tuesday’ that began a decade ago to raise awareness of the need to enact radical generosity in the hearts and souls of people. This movement has grown to become global in scope, while remaining locally focused. If you are like me, your inbox and… Read more

  • God’s Provisions for Our Time in the Wilderness

    Reflection on Mark 1:9-15 In this Gospel passage, Mark tells the story of Jesus’ Baptism and immediate departure into the desert wilderness where Jesus will reside and be tempted by Satan. Jesus was led into the wilderness by the very Spirit of God, to a place where death was a very real possibility. He is… Read more

  • Transforming the Continuum of Care

    Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 10 months…the global pandemic has resulted in inequitable panic, concern, and impulsive reactions among government officials and the ‘health care’ community. The reactions and fear have not been unfounded. Millions worldwide have been impacted and many have died as a direct result of the… Read more

  • Christ The King

    We don’t often talk of kings much anymore in the US. After all we have been involved with this experiment called a democracy for a couple of centuries. In this form of government, there are no kings and are extensive guards and laws to prevent even our elected folks from acting like a king. So… Read more

Laura’s Plant

With all the ‘remembering’ of 9-11-01, I find that I grow weary and sometimes forget what it is I am supposed to remember.  All the getting older jokes aside…it really un-nerves me.  John Patton, in his book Pastoral Care in Context, talks about ‘re-membering’ people and events back into your life – not to make sense of them but to rest and converse with them from time to time.  While the images of the burning towers or the jumpers conjure up fear and tears – sometimes remembering the other, more positive realities of an event or a personal loss can be freeing and rejuvenating to the spirit.

This is where Laura’s plant come in.  Briefly, Laura (one of our our youth) in a congregation I ministered with in Illinois, died in a tragic car accident along a familiar country road – she was 16.  Following the funeral, her Mom presented us with one of the plants from the plethora of live plants and ceramic angels showered on the family in their loss.  That was 2002 and the plant – a vigorous house plant is still with us (if you knew how many times we’ve moved – it is also a symbol of resilience).  It is a daily symbol of life, of regeneration and demonstrates to us the hope and deep connection that still thrives in the hearts of those of us who remain, while our loved ones are fully embraced by God as they rest.

This concrete, real, living ‘thing’ is our conduit for ‘re-membering’ Laura and her family into our lives.  Sometimes leaves fall off and and at times we have cut out dead branches, but overall the plant that grows well, green and healthy.  Lately, however, there is a section that needs to be pruned back.  I don’t know why I think that is does – probably my propensity to make things look fitting for the place (our living room) in which they reside.  For the past several months, this ‘side’ of the plant has grown outward more than the rat of the plant and it looks out of place, un-kept and is not symmetrical – not sure but it might tip the whole plant and stand over by the weight.

Regardless of the gravity or appearance issues…I can’t seem to find the gumption, the courage, the guts to prune it.  So, Laura’s plant is intact.  In my head I keep hearing the Beatles song – Let it Be!  My heart listens and I walk past the plant every day and let it be.  It’s mission, after all, is to embody a memory, reveal its own beauty and give me pause to remember.  Perhaps in all the struggles of life – the joy and the sorrow – the tragic events and corporate grief – Laura’s plant is a reminder that we should never prune things to make our current reality more appealing or balanced than God and the events of life themselves intend for it to be.  Thanks Laura for giving me another lesson in life and how to better cope with the events that shape it.

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