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GUEST POST: Walking With Naomi | Lent Devo 2019, Holy Week

I’m always honored to participate in a Lenten reflection series, and particularly this year when I was invited to write this post.

Leaven in the World

BY LISA HELENE DONOVAN BACALSKI

This is the fourteenth in a series of posts. Today’s reflection is on the book of Ruth.

If Lent is a journey through the desert to the fruitful promise of Easter, then I’d like to ask Naomi for some travel tips. In the book of Ruth, we read that she fled famine with her family and settled in the land of Moab, the longtime enemies of her people. Not only that, her sons married Moabite women after her husband died. Then they themselves died and left her a widow with no grandsons to protect and provide for her.

This was probably not the life Naomi envisioned for herself as a girl in Bethlehem, but her tragedy became the cornerstone of our salvation history. She decides to leave Moab when she hears that the famine has finally ended. Both her daughters-in-law accompany her on…

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Betty Ballantine, who helped popularize modern paperback, dies at 99 – The Washington Post

Who -hasn’t- read a Ballantine or Penguin paperback? I never knew the whole story behind the publisher who brought us “Fahrenheit 451.”

An immigrant from Britain, Betty Ballantine and her husband expanded the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as “The Hobbit” and “Fahrenheit 451.”
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/betty-ballantine-who-helped-popularize-modern-paperback-dies-at-99/2019/02/14/8ef456cc-2fdf-11e9-8ad3-9a5b113ecd3c_story.html

Me and Lindsey Vonn on a Mountaintop

I learned to ski in Are, Sweden where Lindsey Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill, the final race of her skiing career this weekend. She’s tenacious, and I admire her determination and all out performance.

There were no crowds cheering me on as I tumbled down that mountain for the first time. My Swedish guides knew I’d been cross country skiing but seemed unaware that there are no mountains in Illinois. They chose a nice, high, wide mountain with a scenic view to help me remember what they considered the basics. Alas! I’d forgotten how to snowplow. Teaching me how not to fall took the entire afternoon (which is rather short during February that close to the North Pole). But like Lindsay, I kept getting up and was back out on the slopes the next day. After a couple of days on safer trails, I was able to keep up with my friends. Persistence wins, every time!

— Read more about Lindsay here: www.espn.com/olympics/skiing/story/_/id/25964844/lindsey-vonn-wins-bronze-medal-final-race-skiing-career

Read and reflect on “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

A strident reminder of our country’s long argument with itself, this poem hits home after a day that began with Cory Booker’s presidential announcement and ended with Ralph Northam’s apology. His surely upcoming resignation may gratify our anger and disbelief, but we must not pretend it solves anything. Structural racism still plagues our country, a birth wound that never heals because we pretend all that blood, the scraped flesh and unrelenting pain is normal, inevitable, acceptable.

I was shocked when I moved to Virginia and learned that the rebel flag flew over a local city hall until the mid-1990s. Learning how segregation affected every part of life here from the schools to the churches during my own lifetime made me realize that it’s horrid legacy still lives. It compelled me to dedicate time to introspection, education and action.

I’ve always admired Langston Highly and his work inspired me to write poetry. His poems sing with clarity through their imagery, but they are not enough. Words can point us toward our shared dreams, but only hard work will lead us through the darkness to that great, shining land of liberty and justice for all.

‘I Really Hope a Lot of Men Read It’: Sohaila Abdulali on How We Talk About Rape

An important contribution to our national #MeToo conversation

Longreads

Laura Barcella | Longreads | November 2018 | 12 minutes (3,191 words)

In a 2015 documentary called “India’s Daughter,” one of Jyoti Singh Pandey’s rapists, Mukesh Singh, gave a disturbing jail-cell interview in which he placed the blame for his crime squarely on his dead victim. “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he said.

Singh’s quote is despicable, but it neatly summarizes many of the internalized myths that women all over the world walk around with each day: that women have a say in whether we end up brutalized. That we can twist our own fate by making simple choices like staying home at night, or not wearing skirts, or abstaining from drinking. It helps rapists rationalize their actions, and it makes women feel like we retain a semblance of control over what happens…

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In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

Catholic circles are talking a lot these days about evangelization and the new evangelization. Much of this is because of the writings of Pope Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XV and now Pope Francis. Our Church leaders have called us to be aware of how we “preach” […]

via In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

Soundtrack of my life (24/100).

Navigating our faith is requires recognizing that the vibe has many branches…

Leaven in the World

If I were to make a soundtrack featuring all the songs that were significant to me throughout my life, they’d probably notice that there was a gap of time, around 1993-95, where the music I listened to was…interesting.

I’ve mentioned it here on the blog before, but it bears repeating again for anyone who’s just recently started reading along. Even though I’m a cradle Catholic, it wasn’t until I was around 12 or 13 years old that I recognized how deeply loved I was by God, and as a result, embraced my identity as a child of God.

For me, this realization happened in the context of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the early 1990s, when I first experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit (not to be confused with the sacrament of Baptism that typically occurs at infancy in the Catholic Church).

While I became part of…

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