A simple word, “grace”.

It carries so much varied meaning.

It was my paternal grandmother’s first name.  It is my first daughter’s middle name.

The dictionary refers to it this way, in part:

elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action; or, 

the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.”

Why do I bring it up today?  There’s been a lot of grace in my life.  I might say in fact, the whole of my life has been marked by grace; then again, that wouldn’t be a surprise, given that I’m a believer and my general attitude toward life.

But…these last few days, I feel like lots of grace has been bestowed on me…like,

at work, some break-through insights on basic operations that help me to keep the train rolling in the right direction…like,

confidence and respect expressed toward me to get the job done…like,

time with my extended family, connecting and understanding their situations, their challenges, their joys…like,

time with my wife that’s been nothing special,  except that it’s felt founded on love, and simple appreciation, and a reminder over and over that it’s a massive, daily blessing that we are together…like,

time with our three kids, soaking up their personalities, their realities, their joy…like,

appreciation shared with old co-workers, love shared, really, and good times, and happiness…like,

gratitude for sage mentors and peer colleagues that together provide foundation and lessons and guidance and insight more valuable than I can put to words…like,

the sense that it’s all going to work out.

It carries much varied meaning, the word “grace”; and my life is full of it.  AMEN.


Ignatius Celebration Week: Prayer for Detachment

I beg of you, my Lord,

to remove anything which separates

me from you, and you from me.

Remove anything that makes me unworthy

of your sight, your control, your reprehension;

of your speech and conversation,

of your benevolence and love.

Cast from me every evil

that stands in the way of my seeing you,

hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;

fearing and being mindful of you;

knowing, trusting, loving, and possessing you;

being conscious of your presence

and, as far as may be, enjoying you.

This is what I ask for myself

and earnestly desire from you. Amen.

—Saint Peter Faber, SJ

From Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits

Society of Jesus

Mission Santa Clara, on the campus of Santa Clara University (SCU). The mission was founded by The Franciscans in 1776; the university (a college to start) was founded by the Jesuits in 1851. I was lucky enough to go to school there.

The Jesuits, members of the Society of Jesus, still run the university today. Those “Jebbee’s”, as my grandfather called them, gave me much of the foundation that still grounds me decades after attending: critical thinking, questioning, studying, being compassionate, trying to help those in need, love of all people, a deep faith in God.

The biggest collection of good people I know were SCU classmates. I’m damn lucky. Damn lucky too (ironic?) to still hear God’s encouragement in many Jesuit prayer and reflections.

1,500 years after Jesus died, his vision and teachings spoke anew to a small group of men, lead by Ignatius of Loyola. Five hundred years later, that Society, now more than 16,000 strong, from all over the world, still teach and inspire.

Thank You Ignatius, Thank You Society of Jesus, Thank You SCU, Thank You Jesus.

Double Check

It’s always better to double check: your homework, the arithmetic in your checkbook ledger, your shopping list, your car lock.

Yesterday I went back twice to check my car door lock, because my work bag was in the back seat, and I wasn’t sure if I’d locked all the doors.

Better safe than sorry. That’s certainly cliche, and for good reason.

It’s true.

Not Always Straight

That’s how life is. We try hard, real hard sometimes, to draw a straight line between where we are and where we want to be. Often times though, things go sideways.

Planned to get to work early, car troubles slow you down.

Intent in eating healthy, the pie called you from the fridge.

Set to finish your report, the math didn’t look right.

Ready to do the presentation, your computer crashed.

And on and on and on. The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes (often?) go awry. We’ve all been there.

Keep going forward. You don’t have to go in a straight line. Just keep going.

Keep Learning (Redux?)

Love this.

Seen at one of our local parks yesterday.

This play structure has been there for years. What a simple, great addition these two modules are.

Understand a bit more about what Braille is, hear the ring of a basic scale (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti), it’s all GOOD.   Might just spark something more.

Keep learning. Opportunities are everywhere.  For little kids.  And everyone, really.