Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Holy Family & Theotokos

My Companions, pray with me:

Lord, thank you for all the blessings you provide for our families and for the example of the Holy Family. Help us to grow in wisdom, grace, and age.
In our own way, we desire to bring Christ to our world and seek the prayerful aid of your Mother, Mary.
Please guide us so our families may be holy also. Help us to forgive ourselves and others who harm us. We can only do this because we experience your unconditional love.

Companion EventsBirthdays: Jeff King (12/24), Lindsey (Ross) Cueva (12/27)

Keeping In-touch: We experienced some struggles last week: someone vandalized our friend's Nativity Scene (see earlier post) and we were stuck in I-70 traffic for 7 ½ hours returning from Copper Mountain (a 2 hour trip). But our California and Iowa Kids all arrived in Colorado safely. I played golf and tennis early in the week and froze at the end of the week. Gotta love Colorado weather. We enjoyed early Christmas Mass and a quiet dinner with the Gulmantovicz's in Pine, CO

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: I can't help but wonder how life might have been different if I had grown-up in the Holy Family. I would probably have been the black sheep! Even Joseph, Mary, and Jesus would have been challenged by my shenanigans. We have all received both blessings and challenges by, with, and from our families. Let's focus on the blessings and grow toward holiness. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Christmas Opportunity

As I was out-and-about and on my way home yesterday my friends, Connie and Alan, called. They described a sad situation: “Someone vandalized our nativity scene last night. We found the stable and fence in the park across the street, but we cannot find the silhouette of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph anywhere. Please save your pattern so we may replace it next year. We have returned the empty stable by the floodlight as a sign.”
“I will call you back and see what I could do.” I replied. I drove home telling myself, “I needed to make this decoration complete.”
My father, Ed Lay, who died this March (age 92) back in Illinois made nativity scenes for a hobby.  He cut-out and painted 10 to 12 of these Christmas, lawn decorations each year. His work may be found from Florida and South Carolina to Las Vegas and California. This hobby brought him joy; primarily, wanted to “keep Christ in Christmas.” 
Once when Dad visited us in Broomfield, we constructed one of these nativity scenes for Connie and Alan. Since then I’ve made a few of these and given them to companions. I delight when I view these displayed at the holiday season. I reflect on the Incarnation and on the love my dad shared.
“Why would someone desiccate so simple a sign of love, joy, and peace?”

I quickly gathered my tools and a piece of plywood from the garage. In the frigid driveway I cut-out a replacement part. I took it to Connie and Alan to paint and restore their little proclamation of good will.
We have an opportunity to grant Dad his wish: to keep Christ in Christmas. We have an opportunity to forgive and to pray for those who have failed to love themselves and others. May they see the Light.

May all of you find peace, and joy, and love this Christmas Season in whatever holidays you celebrate.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Advent & Christmas

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, help us to open our hearts like Mary: "Let it be done according to your will." Please take away our fear and our worry and help us to live by the divine grace that you have placed in our hearts. Forgive us for failing to live in your love and for not passing that on to others.
     Please touch and heal all the people on our prayer lists. Thank you for all the gifts you give us constantly.
     May all who have gone before us live in your perpetual light.

Companion EventsBirthdays: Pope Francis (12/17), Theresa Lynn (Tessa) Lay (12/18),  Lily Koman (12/20), Chuck Olson (12/21), Judi (Lay) Cole 12/22), Julie (Lay) Schnitzer (12/22)Anniversary: Christy & Josh Parise (12/17/2004). In memoriam: Pat Dolan (12/22/2012).

Keeping In-touch: We continue to live "the high life": playing tennis, going to parties, meeting with companions for prayer and support, and looking forward to celebrating with Kids and Grand-kids. The arrivals will begin on Wednesday... We wish a wonderful, blessed Christmas to all of our Companions-in-Prayer.

The Readings: Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Readings: Christmas

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: When I use may imagination to try to experience the fear and the blessings of Mary when the Angel addressed her I both quiver and rejoice. When I imagine Joseph waking after the Angel reassured him of Mary's sanctity and his mission I'm excited about the opportunities I have to participate in the Wonderful World.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Third Sunday of Advent

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, help us to respond to your call like St. John the Baptist did. May we take time in our desert places to come to know your loving kindness. Then accompany us as we point to Jesus in our thoughts and actions.
We ask you to bless and comfort all the people on our prayer list and all those who have requested that we pray for them.
Help us to know your love which allows us to seek your forgiveness for alienating you and others in our thoughts and words.

Companion EventsBirthdays: Whitney Ross (12/10), Isabel Grace Parise (12/12), Lina Hettermann (12/13), Danielle Lay (12/16). Anniversary: Katie and Nick Johnson (12/11). In memoriam: Dorothy Anne Seese  (12/11/2015), Curt (Donna Farrell's son 12/16/2002).

Keeping In-touch: Despite our warm temperatures, we have begun to enter the Advent/Christmas spirit. The decorating nears completion, baking continues, and shopping takes place mostly online. We're watching Hallmark Christmas Movies and doing some church service, and have attended a Christmas concert. Most of our football teams are playing for their pride; we begun to enjoy college basketball. I made a new friend from Kenya and may be able to help him to develop online courses for his college.

The Readings: Third Sunday of Advent

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: 
When I reflect on John the Baptist, in our Gospel Reading for Sunday, I think of how he took the time he needed to know his passion as a prophet. He went to "a lonely place"/the desert. And in that place he called us to repent.
This Advent I'm taking time to think of my addictions and how they obstruct my my attention to the voice of God within me that calls for truth, beauty, compassion...wholeness. I hope we will all celebrate this Advent with a renewed consciousness of God's awesome love! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, we hear the call of John the Baptist: "Prepare the way for the Lord." Help us to quiet our egos and come to know the deepest desire of our hearts that you have given us. Then we will serve you, each other, and all your wonderful creation. We will make the path straight.
     Please comfort our companions who struggle with health issues, especially Lindsay (recovering from pneumonia), Richard (recovering from back surgery), and Jack (radiation treatments). And shine your perpetual light on those who have recently died: Franklin and Mary Ellen. Remember all those on the prayer lists of this blog.
   May we glorify you this Advent by more fully recognizing your Holy Spirit alive within us as you share your life in the incarnation: you call us to live as your sons and daughters.

Companion Events: Birthdays: Caleb Foresman (12/3), Kathy DePriest (12/3),  In memoriam: Edward T. Oakes, SJ (12/6/2013), Gail Audino (12/6/2015), Ed Hogan (12/9/1999)

Keeping In-touch: We have begun to decorate and bake for the Advent/Christmas Seasons. Our balmy late fall temperatures allowed me to comfortably do some outdoor decorating and cut and paint Nativity Scenes; so I've reflected on and notice the absence of my father. I met with an old colleague who passed through town. And had some time for reading: Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr & Forgiving Others, Forgiving Ourselves by Isenhart and Spangle.

The Readings: Second Sunday of Advent

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: 
The challenge in our readings for the Second Sunday of Advent for me is a reflection on God's Will. Too often I have thought of God's Will as a program book that I must seek to find and understand my role. But I have begun to realize that the Lord has planted within me the deepest desire of my soul. When I strip away my selfish, ego desires and begin to know what I really want out of life, I acknowledge God's love for me and my desire to love God and all God's creation. This discernment has a dynamism, a zest for life!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mary Ellen Foresman (8/6/1951 - 11/26/2017)

Mary Foresman, age 66, of Centennial, CO passed away peacefully on Sunday November 26, 2017 at 11:20am at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Mary was born August 6, 1951 in Columbus, OH. On August 21, 1971 she married Maurice Foresman in Macomb, Illinois, at St. Paul Catholic Church.

Mary earned her degree in Art Education from Western Illinois University in 1973. She worked as a special education teacher after her graduation. Mary's life long dream was to become a mom. God gifted her with three children to whom she was very devoted. Mary poured herself into her family and her children. She always found ways to share her love of art with her children and grandchildren. Not only was Mary a mother to Ellie, Eddie and Andrew but also to many others. Her tender concern and frequent acts of service blessed many. Everyone who knew Mary will remember her contagious and playful laughter. Mary loved to laugh and laughed often. Mary was a master gardener and her flowerbeds were vibrant, colorful and beautiful. Mary also had a deep connection with children and animals. Family dogs were special to her and she had a knack for training them to do fun tricks. In her final years, Mary relished each moment she spent with her grandchildren. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Mary is survived by her husband, Maurice Foresman, daughter Ellie Chamblee (Erick) of Canton, Ohio, two sons, Eddie (Hayley) of Denver, Colorado, Andrew of Denver, CO, brother David Yost (Paula) of Osage Beach, Missouri, 8 grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews .

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, and grandparents.

Franklin P. Medford, III (11/7/1937 - 11/19/2017)

Franklin P. Medford, III entered eternal rest on Sunday, November 19, 2017. He passed peacefully and was surrounded by his family, friends, and pastor.

Professor Medford, a graduate of Union Theological Seminary and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, served the faculty and students at Regis University for over thirty-two years. He was the Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts and retired on November 7, 2017 – his eightieth birthday.

Franklin embodied cura personalis and was beloved across the University. He was an inspiring leader, an innovative scholar, and a caring teacher. He leaves behind many friends who were touched by his kindness and joie de vivre as well as a liberal arts curriculum marked by his commitment to invite students to explore the intricacies of the human condition through the prism of the best scholarship.

Franklin will be profoundly missed, but his legacy of academic excellence and kindness will live on through the lives of all who knew him. We are grateful for the gift of journeying alongside him in this life.

Franklin is survived by Anne Breckenridge, his partner in life; three children, Renay Hannon, Franklin Medford IV, Robin White; and four grandchildren, Sierra, Caligh, Tayler, and Tyler.