November 2013

Dear Friends, We are having a (sort of) rainy day. Can you imagine. Our climate, when it’s normal, does provide winter rains. The only trouble is that it hasn’t been normal for over a dozen  years.      Do pray for the backbone of the Environmental Protection Agency. The proposed Rosemont Mine, which would be an environmental disaster, needs a permission regarding the Clean Water Act, and the EPA has come…

November 4, 2013 Dear Friends, If you remember, last year about this time a large flock of sparrows descended upon us and remained until spring; they are back. They congregate around the tree wells filled with water. They and the ravens get along well. The ravens get along well with the dog too. We have two pecan trees, and the ravens adore pecans. They either pick them off the tree…

The tomatoes have advanced into whatever paradise God has prepared for fruit and vegetables. Esther has dumped the soil from their pots and picked both the green and red remnants of a  happy season. Never have I lived in such close proximity to the life cycle of a tomato. There they were, seven pots of seven plants climbing their stakes right under my very nose outside the window of my…

SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 Dear Friends, The year is winding down toward Advent. More about that later. Yesterday the president fulfilled his office as Mourner in Chief—for the fifth time in a full scale shooting incident. One of the tragedies had been in our beloved Tucson. Yesterday’s was in the DC Navy Yard. Deaths that did not have to be. Hearts that did not have to be broken. Good, hard working…

Dear Friends, our landscape gives us a deal of fun at this time of year. No longer beige and brown, no longer the cheerful austerity of what I think of as "God's bones." but grass and more grass to the extent of our wondering whether Abel can keep up with it and give us defensive space before he has to come to an end of his summer work. [caption id="attachment_54"…

With Fr Robert returned to his monastery, we went off to Mass on Saturday evening, driving through lush green hills and past herds of cattle munching away at the unaccustomed luxury of all this greenery. The monsoon rains, such as they are, have wrought a radical change in our world. You’ve never seen it like this. Well, maybe last year, but you’ve forgotten. Then when we arrive at the church…

We just had a real rainstorm. It lasted five minutes, but what can you expect. It was honest rain and even hail, with a lot of wind. The Monsoons have not yet evaporated. There has been trouble with some type of caterpillar. They ate one whole walnut tree outside the Altar Bread building, and have moved on to the pecan tree in the dog yard. In addition, this is the…

Because of our large windows, the outside comes inside. Because we live in such a marvelous physical manifestation of God, we develop a particular intimacy with the natural world he has given us. Bells have a sacramental quality and relate to the beauty with which we live. They speak out across the glorious western landscape and their melody…

  Here is Cathy with the icon of Eternal Wisdom. there is something infinitely deep about the "writing" of icons, and no one who has dipped ever so slightly into its mystery is left untouched. Cathy has obviously artistic talent, but she had never done icons before coming to  us. The heart stops, and the breath slows when in the presence…

Dear Friends, My favorite tomato from beside the church is gone. Esther picked it and it weighs one and a half pounds. We look forward to tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. They are knobby and funny-looking but they outclass the perfectly round, anemic sort you get in the market, which hardly deserve the name tomato. Father Robert celebrated his eighty-something birthday on the Solemnity of St Bernard. How about that—being…