Friday, December 31, 2010

Turning the Page from 2010 to 2011

My feeling about the arrival of a new year has changed and, yes, grown over time. Now that I am in my 40s, I find myself less anxious about it and more reflective about it.

I used to think of New Year's as a fixed defined moment in which we together pass from one year to another, a moment full of possibility but also full of anxiety. Then I realized that the movement from 11:59 p.m. December 31 to 12:00 midnight January 1 happens on a rolling basis until the 24 time zones find themselves in the new year. With that realization, I have come to recognize the midnight moment as a moment within the many moments of natural transition that exist over the course of a lifetime. It is our construction of time and the time-counting labels we use that mark the moment of New Year.

With that new found point of view, the end of one year and the arrival of a new one is not a catastrophic moment but rather a moment filled with opportunity. The most obvious opportunity is to reflect, give thanks, praise, bless, and renew.

The opportunity to renew brings us to the age-old notion of "New Year's resolutions." Yes, I am sure that we all have our experience with resolutions made, resolutions broken, and resolutions repeated every year hoping for success.

These past few days I have been thinking quite a lot about resolutions, not as a ritual but as opportunity. The new year's moment offers a meaningful invitation to renewal and this blog post by Sister Anne Flanagan, fsp offers a healthy view on the New Year's resolution presented by Blessed Fr. James Alberione, ssp. Supplementing that "resolution framework" is this article by Fr. Jim Martin, sj offering 12 guideposts for daily living (lessons he wishes he learned at age 25 now that he turned 50).
  • For 2011, I am going to strive to integrate Fr. Alberione's model with Fr. Jim's 12 guideposts for living. The outcome? Hopefully together with a renewed and peaceful spirit will yield a Lisa who is more fully Lisa as God intends her to be.

    We shall see... In the meantime, as the waters of time come to wash away the final hours of 2010 and the dawn rises on 2011, I wish you peace, health, contentment, and all that is good.

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    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Christmas 2010

    Love Came Down at Christmas...

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    Monday, December 13, 2010

    RIP, Cousin Danny

    Daniel M. Corkery
    May 9, 1948 – December 11, 2010
    In memory of my cousin, some of his own words of testimony: “I like to follow in the steps Jesus had laid out in the bible. His main mission was to tell others, about his Father named Jehovah and his plan for mankind here on earth. Jesus' directions on how to pray, I said this prayer many times in my life, but did not fully understand its meaning. Today with a clear understanding of his prayer, I now do the things he wanted us to do.”

    Danny, daily I prayed that you’d get the miracle my Dad didn’t get. In the end, God deemed it was time to call you home to Himself. I am sorry we did not have more face-to-face, voice-to-voice time to share, but I am so grateful that we reconnected electronically and had the grace of sharing faith, testimony, and our family connection. Now, my cousin, you can experience an eternal fishing trip with the greatest Fisher of All, Jesus Christ, your God and your All, and together with the family members who live eternally you can enjoy the eternal banquet (or BBQ) of God’s unconditional love.

    Rest in peace, and keep an eye on us! And please, give all our loved ones you see on the other side a big hug and lots of love from me.

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    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Casual Comfort Cooking

    Busy Saturday! Up early, cleaned the shower, ran a few shopping errands, went to the Post Office, picked up the paper, came back home, put in some laundry, and have been cooking ever since. A busy night tonight, so I figured it would be good to get a head start on cooking. Plus the weather seemed right for cooking creativity! Today's recipes are turning out pretty good so far.

    I've made three culinary innovations today.

    First, for lunch, I quickly prepped what I am calling a December Pasta Lunch. Organic whole wheat fusilli with pan sauteed grape tomatoes, spinach, red and green peppers, basil, garlic, olive oil, and smoked mozzarella, very lightly salted and moderately peppered. Serve it up in a ceramic bowl and the tomatoes gently burst on each first bite.

    Second, I pre-prepared supper: The filling for Asian chicken lettuce wraps. These are inspired by P.F. Chang's (way too high in sodium) lettuce wraps. Sauteed ground chicken in olive oil and garlic with mixed asian vegetables (including water chestnuts). Seasoned with a pinch of salt, several shakes of pepper, a couple of dashes of poultry seasoning, and 4 tablespoons of WF Thai Peanut Sauce/Marinade. When I thought of this recipe, I believed I still had some WF Korean Sesame Marinade, but as it turns out, that was already gone. In any case, yummy! As an alternate to consuming this cooked mixture in a lettuce wrap, you could serve it in a half of baked/roasted green pepper. I took a taste and have to say it turned out quite fine.

    The third dish, which I plan to serve for lunch tomorrow, is something that for now I am calling Honey Mustard-Paprika Chicken and Scallopped Yams. The aromas wafing through the house while this one dish wonder bakes are soothing in a most wintery way.

    I am glad that I take the time to cook and expand my culinary creativity from time to time. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and paprika are a few of the seasonal tools I make use of at this time of year. What aromas and flavors comfort you at this time of year?

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    Wednesday, December 08, 2010

    Quiet Love: A Tribute to the Immaculate Conception of Mary

    Quiet Love
    (reprinted from December 8, 2010 post)

    Woman wrapped in silence
    resting in the cold night
    waiting for the sun to rise
    and a new day to bring new life.
    Woman unknown,
    under stars light years away --
    under the star destined to shine over all the ages.

    Waiting woman wrapped in mystery
    carrying within her womb the child God,
    child unwanted --
    by earthly gods
    of gilt and gold
    of power and prestige
    of weapons and war

    Woman wrapped in wisdom, sophia,
    transparent soul filled with grace,
    waiting in the darkness of night
    to bring forth ‘Sophia’ Son of light
    in whom there is no darkness --
    no east or west,
    incarnate – neither male nor female -- the Christ
    the same yesterday, today and forever.

    Courageous woman called blessed
    from generation to generation.
    Gentle woman in whom no sin is found
    woman priest of God brings forth the lamb of God
    who takes away the sins of the world—enduring love,
    healing love.

    Venite adoremus!

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    + Rest in peace ...

    The world lost a giant today.
    She gained her fame not by authoring a book or achieving great feats.
    She achieved her fame by her integrity, courage, and honesty.
    She did not choose a life lived in public, but she lived it there nonetheless.
    She did not choose the limelight, but when it caught her up she stayed true to herself.
    Elizabeth Edwards died as she lived:
    True to her God, her family, her self.
    She never wavered in fulfilling her destiny
    and when faced with the cruel truth
    of spousal betrayal and the uncertainty of a diagnosis of cancer
    she went on, putting one foot forward and then the next,
    marking out the path that was hers alone, the path that belonged to no other.
    Her journey was hers, but it was not unfamiliar to many.
    Yet a person made public, she continued to live the privacy of her life,
    opening the door to the story of her self when she wanted and how she wanted.
    Today the flickering flame of her candle extinguished
    as she passed from this world into the next.
    Now the third chapter of her life begins
    in a place where she is whole and free.
    The imprint of her life well-lived
    will linger long
    upon all of us who were drawn to her
    and inspired by her.

    The world lost a giant today.
    Her example is more than we can capture in words,
    more than we can chronicle in a text.

    Rest in peace, Elizabeth.
    May the choirs of angels sing you awake
    in the glory of a God who loves you
    unconditionally and faithfully.

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    Thursday, December 02, 2010

    Martyrs of El Salvador, Still Pray For Us!

    This is a reprinted excerpt of my December 2nd post from two years ago. My thoughts still ring true.

    December 2, 1980... [Thirty years ago] armed masked men, on orders of the Salvadoran military officials who had been trained at the "School of the Americas" on the U.S. Army base at Fort Benning (Columbus, GA), raped and murdered Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Missioner Jean Donovan, missionaries who lived and worked among the Salvadoran people, side by side, in response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through their lives and their deaths, they willingly and knowingly and unreservedly accepted "the same fate of the poor" (this is the title of a biography of Ita Ford published by Orbis Books).

    There is an entire generation or two that has no personal knowledge of that fateful night on a dark road traveling from the San Salvador Airport to Chalatenango. Yet the legacy of these women's lives and the truth about their deaths and the promise of hope that lives on because of who they remain continues to inspire and motivate because even though twenty-eight y[thirty years -- three decades have] passed still each year countless numbers of us pause deliberately to remember them, to remember Archbishop Romero, to remember the tens of thousands disappeared and murdered, and the 100,000s of displaced.


    As we celebrate the lives of these women, let us also give thanks in particular for the witness and courage of the Ford, Clark, Kazel, and Donovan families and the Maryknoll and Ursuline communities and especially for the multiple ways in which Bill in particular challenged us in the same way he challenged himself to walk the walk. Bill, may you rest in peace and in the embrace of our most loving God may you enjoy seeing Ita once again face-to-face! And may your spirit, along with Maura, Ita, Dorothy, and Jean, remain with us in our struggles for peace and justice always reminding us to never forget the people of El Salvador who still today need our "accompanimiento."

    For the complete December 2, 2008 post, click here .

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    World AIDS Day

    Today I remember all whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS, those infected, those affected, those who give care, those who work for a cure, those who provide service, those who live, those who've died, those who love.

    In a special way, I remember ...

    • Patrick
    • George
    • Raul
    • Arthur
    • David
    • Michael
    • Vinnie
    • Frankie
    • Ryan

    ... and the list goes on ...

    Your lives were not lived in vain and your deaths were not in vain. You left your marks upon this world and upon my heart and the hearts of others who love(d) you.

    To those who live with HIV today, stay strong, stay focused, stay well, and live life to the fullest.

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