My hermitage complete I returned "home" to Denver on Thursday of this week. I had the opportunity to spend the Fourth with family in the area. We went to a Skysox game (the local triple A baseball team). With a fireworks ban, barbeque and baseball seemed like the next logical way to celebrate American Independence.
The last two days were spent in ministry here in the area. Friday I worked with an organization called Earthlinks. They connect people who are experiencing homelessness with work programs that teach skills and create Earth-friendly products that sustain the people and the planet. They have a wonderful garden and bee hives. From the garden and hives they harvest honey and wax, lavender and other herbs for soaps and lotions, and flowers that are dried, pressed, and used in multiple projects. Some workers sew dog coats and aprons. The variety of tasks is overwhelming. I jarred honey, weeded in the garden, tagged dog coats, picked the lavender buds off of dried plants, organized computer files, and cleaned a pantry. It was great to meet people and chat as I worked.
Yesterday I spent the day at the Catholic Worker House here in Denver. Sister Anna, a Lorretto, has been there for years and gave me a great introduction upon my arrival. From there I was in the hands of Kate, a summer volunteer from Emporia, KS. The two of us cleaned the toybox and spent the bulk of our time dusting and organizing the computer area. I do love a project where I can see results when I am finished. After that, we made breakfast for supper and had a lovely meal with all those who live at the house. With ministry as such a major part of this vocation and this "Yes", it was important to me to include some ministry in my time of preparation. Working with innovative organizations and passionate people also gives me a million ideas to take home and a renewed sense of inspiration and purpose.
Today Jean invited all of the sisters and associates in the Denver area over for mass and dinner. It was great to share scripture, Eucharist, lives, and a meal.
Wednesday I leave Denver already and head to Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, KS for an eight day directed retreat followed by a theology institute with Ilia Delio around evolution and Christology. After so much time of quiet and prayer already, I don't know where God will take me on retreat, but, when sharing that wondering with someone here, she said, "Only deeper."
I'll leave you with three quotes from the book Inheritance. It is the last of the Eragon series. I almost hate finishing a book like that. I feel like I have journeyed with the characters for so long, it is like losing a friend. Anyway, even my fiction novels have made for good prayer. The following quotes may not be so relevant to where I am today, but have been good reflection pieces on other parts of my journey:
"The only control she had over the situation was self-control."
"It is an overactive imagination that turns [people] into cowards..."
"...teach them not to fear. Fear is good in small amounts, but when it is a constant, pounding companion, it cuts away at who are you are and makes it hard to do what you know is right."
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share this week. But, I will include a few links at the bottom here in case you are interested in looking more deeply at any of the things I've mentioned.
As always, have a wonderful week. Glad to share the journey with you.
Catholic Worker Movement
Manna House of Prayer