Quiet Water

Gazing at a pond of calm water instantly gives me a sense of peace and well-being. It reminds me of the blessings of contemplative prayer. There is quiet goodness in gazing at the Peace that is Christ. If you look closely at the picture above, you will see the beginnings of a fountain near the center of the pond. That too reminds me of Christ:

“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:14b)

Eyes Not His

This week I stopped at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in Southern New Mexico. The mission was originally established by the Franciscans in 1887, and the current church was built in 1920. It rises on a hill half way up and set against the backdrop of the Sacramento Mountains. I love the icon of Christ above the altar and the depiction of the Last Supper on the altar, both with images that represent the Mescalero Apache Nation. The images remind me of some lines from another one of my favorite poems:

"...Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces."

From “As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Open and Closed

The blossoms on our ice plant, like those on many other plants, open to the sun and close when the sun passes. As human beings, we are so like that. We open to warmth and light and close in on ourselves when we don’t feel it from others. We are the light of the world, Christ said. How can I be warmth and light to someone today? How can I help someone blossom and grow today?