Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Book Review - Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary

Have you ever picked up a spiritual book, opened it, and said, "I ought to read this"?  I have; but this is not that book. There was no ought about it. As soon as I started, I didn't want to stop…except that I wanted to write this review on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary so - for that reason only - I took a break.

Even though each part is written by a different person, each part that I've read so far has been equally engaging. As the title indicates, each of many authors takes one word from the Hail Mary to write about. Who would have thought that reading about the word "of" or the word "the", for example, would be inspiring? And yet it is! These are highly accessible, very real, short spiritual essays.

I look forward not only to reading all of it, but also to reading each essay again and again. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to preview this book, and although I thought I was getting to read a book for free, I am now looking forward to buying the paper copy to add to my little library. Thank you to the writers and especially the editor, Sarah Reinhard, for making this book happen. 

You can order the book, which comes out October 16th, here:

or here:

Friday, October 02, 2015

Grant Peace to Our World

As I checked out at Walmart today, I noticed how nicely people were dressed. I often think of the jokes about people at Walmart, and I often wonder if the people who frequent "my" Walmart are just classier. Maybe…

But this afternoon I had a different thought, also. However people who visit Walmart stores across the nation may dress, I think maybe the way we talk about them is part of what's wrong with our country.  Why do we have so many shootings? I wonder if it might be because we make fun of the way people are dressed at Walmart. Of course I'm exaggerating …at least a little. (And yes, I have probably made fun of the way someone has dressed at some time in my life. I'm not pointing fingers or, if I am, I am pointing back at myself, too.).

But let's think about it for a minute.  Across the airwaves go many angry thoughts every day, every hour, every minute, about all the awful people in the world who don't measure up to someone else's standards. It might be the way someone dresses or it might be the way someone lets their child 'misbehave' in public. It might be about the ultra liberals or the ultra conservatives, the republicans or the democrats, or whatever race or creed or group of people we think is "taking the world down".  

I'm not talking about discussing issues…and so, maybe this doesn't apply to you or me at all today. But I know there have been times in my life when I have been guilty.

What happens, I wonder, when an angry person, or a person who is in a particularly vulnerable position in his or her life, runs across so many angry thoughts? How do they feel when they are – at least at that moment in time – in the target group that some people are angry at, or throwing stones at?  Does it lift them up or tear them down? Does it give them peace? Does it contribute to peace in our world, in our nation, in our community?

Dear Lord, help us - help me - to look at others with your love. Help us to see people as individuals and to find the good in each person, created in your love, redeemed by your love. Help us to foster peace in the hearts of those around us, whether they are meeting us in our physical world or the internet world. We are so desperately in need of your help. Bless us all and grant peace to our troubled world. Amen.