Friday, August 31, 2007

Doubt is our constant companion

In the last week, the news that Mother Teresa had doubts has rather taken over the religious news.

Some folks are crowing, for they see doubt as disbelief. They are not the same, not ever.

Doubt is the constant companion of faith. Susan Brooks
Thistlethwaite said it in a commentary posted in "On Faith" ( and she's absolutely right.

But even in the middle of the greatest doubts, the experience of faith can keep one going. Most of us don't have dark nights of the soul to compare with that of John of the Cross or Teresa of Calcutta, but we do have them. And we also have the moments of faith, strong enough to keep us moving through the times of doubt.

And for both the faith and the doubt, thanks be to God! They are part of what makes us authentically human, made in the image and likeness of God, who doubted too, when he was hung on a cross.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Well. . . .they're pretty puny right now but the basil plants have arrived and are now planted in their pot.

In one of the most graceful moments of my early days in these two parishes, a parishioner asked one Sunday morning if anyone wanted basil. "I do, I do!" was my immediate reply. I thought I was getting some cuttings to dry.

But no! A 12-inch pot arrived with at least 8 plants. And so began a delicious and luxuriant summer. That's my idea of summer indulgence: fresh basil to pair with fresh, home-grown tomatoes.

That's another perk of rural ministry - this year folks are planting tomatoes for me! I know too many carrots can make you orange - what happens with too many tomatoes? Or is there such a thing as too many tomatoes?

My most favorite summer meal: a flat cracker, like a Triscuit or one of those Swedish flatbrot thingies, thin slice of tomato, leaf or two of basil, slice of fresh mozzarella, drizzle of olive oil, twist or two of the pepper grinder. Yummo, as Rachael would say! A plate of those and some iced tea on the porch, in the shade, and even 90degrees can be ok.

Oh, and you should try a bacon, tomato and basil sandwich - replace the lettuce. You can also leave out the bread entirely.

Blog name?

Well, I suppose the first question anyone would ask is "Where in the world did the name of the blog come from?"

For many years I have loved the words and rhythms of the Book of Common Prayer. It was those words, in liturgy, which first attracted me to the Episcopal Church. But the New Zealand Prayer Book has some of the most lovely versions of the traditional and familiar words, I think due to to the rhythms of Maori. And the title to this blog is from the post-communion prayer on page 429:

Father of all, we give you thanks and praise, that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ's body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.

Indeed, we are "well met." Thanks be to God!

(A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa; 1988; published in the US by HarperSanFrancisco)