On this Feast of the Assumption, I give you some art, music and poetry on the subject. There are many great works of art to choose from on this theme, but I chose Titian’s “Assumption,” because I had the great privilege of seeing this painting up close when in Venice. It was even more beautiful in person. Continue reading “The Feast of the Assumption”
Last Sunday was the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, one of the Luminous Mysteries, when Jesus (accompanied by Peter, James, and John) goes to a mountain to pray. There, Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah (two famous in the Old Testament for communicating with God high on a mountain top) and becomes transfigured, shining with resplendent light. Continue reading “The Mountain, The Whisper, and the Water”
Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? -Proverbs 30:4
It’s the first week in August, prime beach season here on Long Island, leading me to contemplate the pull of the ocean on the spirit, and how it can feel like the tides of one’s soul often come to simultaneous rest and rejuvenation when in the presence of the ocean, that untamed aqueous beast of beauty. Continue reading “Tied to the Ocean”
Lectionary Reading 1: Ex 33:7-11; 34: 5B-9, 28
In the first reading for today from Exodus, we read of the time Moses spent in “the meeting tent,” outside his camp. When Moses entered the tent “a cloud of smoke would come down and stand at the entrance of the tent” while the Lord and Moses spoke. “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out of the tent.” Continue reading “Not Wanting to Leave: Staying in the Tent”
A touching moment in today’s news: the Medal of Honor award was given to one James C. McCloughan, a former army medic who saved the lives of ten members of his platoon in Vietnam and risked his life in “acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty.” At one point he ran 100 meters through heavy fire to carry an injured person to safety. With complete disregard for personal safety, he kept rescuing soldiers even after he himself was wounded. It was recounted that while he was carrying his comrades in arms to safety, McCloughan prayed. He promised God that if it was God’s will for him to live through that trial, the first thing he would do as soon as he was able, was to tell his father that he loved him, a promise he fulfilled again and again throughout the rest of his father’s life. Continue reading “To Give and Not Count the Cost: St. Ignatius and the Good Soldier”
Pope Francis recently admitted, “I have felt used by fake friends.” According to him, people he has only met once or twice have come out of the woodwork, falsely claiming close alliances with him, for self-serving reasons. Have you ever felt used by someone?
Continue reading “True Friendship”
September 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Most of all this day is a reminder that sorrow, however deep, can offer great and noble purpose, even beauty, if transformed into compassion and resolve.
In W.B. Yeats’ poem, “The Cloak, The Boat and The Shoes,” the speaker asks,
‘What do you make so fair and bright?’
‘I make the cloak of Sorrow:
O lovely to see in all men’s sight
Shall be the cloak of Sorrow,
In all men’s sight.’
Continue reading “Our Lady of Sorrows”
This blog is named for that which sustains in the wilderness. There are many readings themed around heaven-sent food. Continue reading “Give Us This Day”
Earlier this summer, Desert Bread paid homage to the birth of St. John the Baptist. Today’s post honors his passion.
There is no work of art depicting John the Baptist that is more compelling than today’s featured art by Caravaggio, and Peter Gabriel’s “Washing of the Water” is a profoundly fitting song for today’s theme.
The featured poem is one of my favorites that I have ever written and it imagines how Salome, whose dark request sentenced the Baptist to death, might have been transformed by John’s death the way others were transformed by his life. Continue reading “The Passion of St. John the Baptist”
What is true hospitality? Cooking, cleaning, and serving are important, but most important is listening: making a guest feel heard.
Today is the feast of St. Martha, who labored while her sister listened to Christ. How often we relate to Martha! And yet Christ guides Martha, summoning her to choose “the better part,” as Mary did. Continue reading “True Hospitality”
Today is a national holiday that many people simply haven’t heard of – Parent’s Day (also, International Children’s Day!)
Held on the fourth Sunday of every July, Parent’s Day’s roots are an outgrowth of Korean Confucianism, where respect for one’s elders is a cherished ideal.
My recent article published by Motherly describes some fun ways to celebrate Parent’s Day, and the parental journey — a pilgrimage that truly can be a great act of faith. Continue reading “National Parent’s Day”
Today is the feast of St. James, Apostle. One of the “Sons of Thunder,” along with St. John, this son of Zebedee is the patron saint of Spain.
St. James’ remains are interred at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The pilgrimage by foot or bicycle to Santiago de Compostela is known as “the way”. A symbol of St. James is the scallop shell, and this has also become a symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Continue reading “Walking the Way Wherever We Are”