Sunday, August 28, 2005

All About My Trip to Rome

So, many of the readers of this Blog already know that on September 18-26th I will be headed to Rome to take part in a week long Oblate World Congress (

However for those of you who don't. I am a lay affilate (oblate) of a Methodist-Benedictine Monastery called Saint Brigid of Kildare Monastery in Minnesota. I have traveled there every summer for retreats, pray for my brother and sister oblates as well as take part in Spiritual Formation Groups.

Anyway, Benedictine Monasteries around the world were chosen by lottery to send one Oblate Delegate to this special conference in Rome. My monastery was chosen, and then they chose to send me to the conference.

I have my ticket, have started gathering together the supplies I'll need, am having my license renewed with my new address, and am preparing to leave. While I am at the conference, there is also a change that we will be given an audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

I am however, nervous and filled with a bit of trepidation. I have never attempted international travel nor have I ever flown for 14 hours. Also, on my way home I have a 13 hour layover in London... fun huh... except for the fact that it is in the middle of the night. 8:00pm - 9:45am. Can you imagine?

I just keep thinking, I wish I had someone to go along with me... oddly enough, though I have been given an all expense paid trip to Rome... it is scary to attempt on my own.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Beneath the Surface, Something Shines

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void, and empty darkness covered the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters… And God said, let there be light, and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness and he called the light day, and the darkness night. And their was evening and there was morning the first day.

We worship a God of order and light. A God who sees through darkness, through brokenness and despair, a God who creates, and restores.

Have you ever thought about the fact that the goodness of our God is known even in the darkest depths of our oceans. Far beneath the surface, in places where the water is cold and the light never reaches, even there God’s goodness is seen. There are creatures and plants even in the deepest darkest part of the earth that possess the ability to shine and glow with their own rare luminescence. Somewhere beneath the surface of our deepest oceans even there, something shines…

So too are we, mired in the dark cold depths of sin… and yet under the surface, something in who we are shines forward. Beneath the surface of our lives, something shines… the glorious truth that we were created by God, and God considered us worth dying for.