Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Earlier Pilgrims

Catholic Europeans in America before Puritans:
St. Brendan in the 6th century kept a record of his voyage.
Irish monks in the 7th century left rock writing and a body in Southern W.V.
Norse explorer Leif Erickson in Newfoundland around 1,000 AD.
We thank God for them as well.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Only the Best??

This greeted me when I woke this morning.

Use the talents you possess
for the woods would be very silent
if no bird sang except the best.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


A "talent" at the time of Jesus was the largest unit of currency.  One might weigh 65 pounds, another 88 pounds.  Not exactly pocket change.  One talent might be worth $300,000.
That's all the word "talent" meant until the parable (Matthew 25:14-30) was translated into English.  As people reflected on the meaning of the parable, they began to use the word "talent" to mean a God-given ability.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Risky Business

This fuchsia, dripping with rain, continued to bloom at my back door this autumn  until Saturday when the temperature dipped to 14.
Jesus demands that we use the talents that God has given us even though it involves risk (Matthew 25:14-30.)  We think that we are being modest when we deny our talents.  God gave us a particular set of gifts and expects us to make the most of them.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Davids vs Goliaths

Saturday a flock of these little guys landed in our cove.   They are called Bufflehead and are only about a foot long.  They stop here for a few days twice a year on their way south and north.  This picture is from last year.  The following happened last November.
There were 15 of  them feeding in the shallow water off my shore.  30 Canada geese tried to chase them away and seemed to be winning.  I went for my morning shower.
When I came back every one of the geese was lined up along my shore and along my neighbor's shore.  The buffleheads were a little offshore, facing the geese.  Both were watching a disturbance in the water.  At first it looked like a goose was trying to drown a bufflehead by holding it under the water.  But soon it became clear that the bufflehead was attacking the goose from beneath, which was why the geese were on shore afraid to go back in the water.  The 15 buffleheads gathered in two small groups offshore, keeping the geese lined up along the shore.
After a while the buffleheads backed off a little, allowing the geese to gather cautiously in the water and swim away.  Not long after, about 30 bufflehead joined the original 15 and they all continued feeding off my shore.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Martin of Tours

One winter day in 4th century Gaul Martin, an officer in the Roman army, saw a beggar shivering in cold.  He jumped from his horse, took off his cloak, took out his sword, cut the cloak in half, and wrapped half of it around the beggar.  Wrapping the other half around himself, he rode off.  That night in a dream Martin saw Jesus wrapped in the piece of cloak that he had given to the beggar.  The next morning he decided to be baptized a Christian.
I have several times taken part in Mass in St. Martin's Church in Marigot on St. Martin where this picture is painted on the wall behind the main altar.  Please pray for the people of St. Martin.  The island suffered terrible destruction during the recent hurricane.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Infinite Love

John Duns Scotus, a 12th century theologian, "taught that the Incarnation was not required as payment for sin; it was willed through eternity as an expression of God's love, and hence God's desire for consummated union with creation."  This is from Robert Ellsberg's Blessed Among Us, quoted in Give Us This Day