Sunday, May 19, 2024



Kelly Latimore Icon

"You have made us together, you have made us one and many, you have placed me here in the midst as witness, as awareness, and as joy. Here I am. In me the world is present and you are present. I am a link in the chain of light and of presence. You have made me a kind of center, but a center that is nowhere. And yet I am 'here,' … 'here' under these trees, not others. The prayers of your friends and my own prayers have somehow been answered, and I am here … My being here is a response you have asked of me, to something I have not clearly heard. But I have responded, and I am content …."

- Thomas Merton, Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Good Shepherd’s commitments to us

Photo (by me) from the Basilica of Sts. Cosmos and Damian, Roma

HT to John Predmore SJ for the following:

I would like to talk about God’s care for this family, but in the words of a priest from the Archdiocese of Boston. Fr. Ron Coyne reflected upon his experience of God and summed up God’s commitments to us in ten points. I simply want to read them to you, and it is spoken as if God is personally speaking them to us. 


1.     I love you unconditionally. You can’t earn that love, and you can’t lose that love. 


2.    I accompany each of you on your life journey, and I am aware of the pain and joy in your life. I share your pain and I celebrate your joy.


3.    There is no limit to my forgiveness. If you are open to the need to transform your life, you will experience and understand that forgiveness.


4.    You live in my presence now and you will live in my presence after you die.


5.    I would never bring about the destruction of the world. If tragedy happens, life will go on.


6.    No organized religion has captured me. I will continue to avail myself to the world, and your knowledge of me in this lifetime will never be complete.


7.    Evil has nothing to do with my plans. It is a part of life that offers us choices. Good will always outlast evil in the world. 


8.    I give you all of creation to accompany you on your journey of life. Creation is as sacred to me as your life is. You are to care for each other. Creation is here to enhance your life, and you are the stewards of creation.


9.    You will know if a religion is being true to my covenant if it unites humanity. If it is divisive, it does not know me.


10.  The poor, the disadvantaged, and those with the least opportunities among you are sacred to me, and your response to their story is indicative to how well you know me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


have a high view of instrumental music as a potential spiritual gift for the listener and the musician alike.… A jazz quartet can utter things in the presence of God that mere words fail to say. A saxophone can lament on behalf of those who feel helpless. A piano may offer intercessions for those who are in need. A string bass can affirm the firm foundation of faith. Drums and cymbals may call pilgrims to break into joy.  

Poet Ron Seitz has spoken about how, as a young man, he befriended writer and theologian Thomas Merton…. Seitz tells of the night he went with Merton to a jazz club in Louisville. As the group began to play, Merton leaned over to whisper, “They’re going to start talking to each other now. Listen.” Then he moved closer to the bandstand to get a better look. Later, returning with his eyes wide, he said to Seitz, “Now that’s praying. That’s some kind of prayer! The new liturgy. Really, I’m not kidding.”

William G. Carter, Thriving on a Riff: Jazz and the Spiritual Life (Minneapolis, MN: Broadleaf Books, 2024), 102.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Palm Sunday

 Image: "The Mystical Boat", by Odilon Redon

On Palm Sunday we reach the quayside. 

A great ship is fretting at the moorings, sail unfurling in the bright sunshine; a beautiful ship with the line and grace of a bird.

A cry goes out from it: 'All on board!' and eager hands reach out to help us onto the deck; the hands of those who have made the journey before us and whose home is in the land to which we are invited.

This great ship of Holy Week will carry us surely, strongly, into the Passion of Christ. On the prow is blazoned the name 'Love's Victory’.

All we have to do now is board the ship and allow it to take us all the way. We have nothing else to do but let it take us.

We have not to do the navigating ourselves, we have not to labour with the oars, we have not to see where we are going or what distance we are covering: all that is being done for us.

We have only to say, 'Let it be done. Give me all you want to give. Be my Saviour, be my God.' Let us then board the ship full of humble gratitude and trust.

'But I have not got to the quayside even. It seems to me I have wasted Lent wrapped up in myself.’ Never mind.

Here you are, brought by the community of the Church. Get on board. Don't waste further time in useless lamentations which give no joy to God.

Get on board. 

The moorings are cast, the sails billow in the breeze, and we are carried off deep into the mystery of Jesus.

— Ruth Burrows

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Amounting to Nothing, Brother Paul


Brother Paul Quenon, Photo by Rhonda J. Miller

Sorry monk that I am, I never amounted to nothing.

Somebody must have laid a curse on me and said, 

‘You'll never amount to nothing,’ 

which was my life ambition. 

But I'm still too much of something.

So this is, you know, 

there's a kind of undercurrent of a mystical tradition there. 

That is especially like in Zen Buddhism, 

where you just lose the, you know, 

slough off the ego and these false outer selves 

that we contrive for ourselves 

to get along and society, 

or to get ahead in the world. 

And amounting to nothing is, you know, 

the ultimate degree of humility is to, you know, 

be so free of myself, 

that God can fill the self. 

From: Aged in KY


  Kelly Latimore Icon "You have made us together, you have made us one and many, you have placed me here in the midst as witness, as aw...