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We hear about the Good Samaritan, a foreigner whose charity put a scholar of the law and a priest to shame. He tells about a man who upon discovering a field that contained a hidden treasure, sold everything he had in order to purchase it. And we hear about the Father who celebrated the return of a prodigal son despite the way the son had treated him. These were not simply stories to entertain the crowds. They are a blueprint for how we are to live, a blueprint which Jesus validated through his own life and death.

Jesus reached out to the blind man whom his disciples were trying to silence. He made it a practice to heal the least and the lowest, to comfort the afflicted and to include the marginalized. And this in a culture where the Jews were severely oppressed by Rome. All this brings us back to the question of the two-sided coin.

When St. Ignatius of Loyola developed his rules for discernment, one of the steps he put forth was to imagine that you are advising someone else about a decision because it is much easier to tell others what to do. Perhaps this is why Jesus regularly rebuked the religious leaders of his day. As a spiritual writer and educator, I find it much easier to break open the Word of God than to follow it, which is why I keep close by me the lament of St. Paul who feared that after preaching to others, he might be lost.

Unless those of us who have been blessed with faith are willing to listen to both sides of the coin, we become empty gongs and clanging cymbals or as Sr. As we look around our world today, it is imperative not only to speak, but to listen to both sides, to ponder in silent prayer and then attend to what God is asking, not of someone else but of me.

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Jesus never promised us a perfect world; he promised to be with us and he called us to be a light to the world. In fact, the edifice was impossible to miss — its color and contour standing in sharp contrast to the white stone structures that surround it on the National Mall. Like the people whose history it represents, the long-overdue tribute highlights diversity and memorializes a people upon whose backs much of our country was built and prospered. From the slaves who helped build the White House to the workers in the field, from artists and athletes to professionals and blue collar workers, we are a rich blend of races whose past bears the scars that ignorance, greed, and self-righteousness have inflicted on those who appear different from us.

And so it is with a mixture of sadness and pride that our new national museum acknowledges a race which has risen from the ashes of slavery, yet continues to bear the burdens imposed by generations of prejudice and racial discrimination. It will shake us out of familiar narratives. One of suffering and delight. One of fear but also of hope. It would seem that the words Jesus spoke to his disciples during his last discourse conjure up very different feelings in the lives of African Americans, whose heritage is one of slavery more tthan it does for those of us whose ancestry and skin tone provide us with a birthright to freedom.

Admitting past mistakes and listening to the pain of those whom we have hurt is important. Therefore, as Americans we grow when we allow ourselves to learn from the very people we once enslaved. A perusal of Black Folk Religion in America offers valuable insights. Having been treated as subhuman by slave traders even before they arrived on American soil, African Americans had lost any reason for joy in this world. As a result, they set their sights on the joy that would be theirs in the next life.

Knowingly and perhaps unknowingly, American slaves integrated the religion of their masters into their own culture, and quite naturally identified with the displaced children of Israel who longed for a messiah.

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Historians note that Southern slaves saw slavery as the triumph of evil. But by the grace of God, their passive submission to an earthly master was accompanied by an interior knowing that they had another Master, one whom no earthly master could beat into submission. Courtesy to an earthly master was not so much a sign of submission as it was an act of humility for which the Heavenly Master would reward them. Their longing for a better life gave voice to songs of deliverance, a cry to which the Emancipation Proclamation must have seemed like an answer to prayer straight from the Psalms that reassured them that God hears the cry of the poor and is close to the broken hearted.

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have all been freed from the bondage of sin, but it is up to us, as individuals and as a society, to break the chains that continue to enslave and divide us. And so it happened that strains of their music and prayers moved a Southern white family to offer them a humble wooden structure that became the First Baptist Church in America. How appropriate that the bell that rang during the dedication of the museum could be traced to those early worshippers, reminding us that we are one nation under God.

As we look at our country today and the divisive rhetoric that seems to bring out the worst in people, we are called to make a difference, to change the world. But change begins with each person who in the end will be held accountable to God for his or her decision to grow or not to grow. Even in a semi-retirement mode, it seems there is often more to do than I have time for and so I am learning to be selective.

After a summer of hosting family who were visiting from various parts of the country, and with deadlines looming and multiple talks waiting to be written, I did something that might seem a bit irresponsible. I booked a flight to St. Paul, Minnesota for a week long retreat. As it turned out it was exactly what I needed.

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From the moment the plane left the runway, my attention shifted from doing to simply being. With my lap top at home, the temptation to write one more talk or answer a few e-mails was a non-negotiable. I needed this trip to be a vacation with God, and so it was. By way of preparation, I brought with me a book I had gotten years ago.

It features four Russian icons, including two that occupy a privileged place in our home office, which also serves as my prayer room. Over the years I have come to know by heart almost every detail of these images and yet they continue to move me. Coincidence or providential? I have long been captivated by the mysterious beauty of icons. Unlike the religious paintings by Renaissance artists, whose intent was to inspire devotion, icons invite us to look beyond the physical image.

Their beauty lies not in the attractiveness of the person they represent, but in their ability to draw those who gaze upon them into the mysteries they contain. If it all sounds a bit ominous, I would invite you to spend time praying with these works of art. Hopefully, you too will discover they possess a language all their own, one that speaks to the soul, where the heart of God speaks to the heart of the one who is praying. The use of color is carefully chosen to reveal mysteries hidden within each prayerful stroke of the brush.

The eyes, which typically seem to gaze inward, invite seers to discover the divine within their own soul. Hands, which often appear disproportionally large, cause us to seek and linger with their larger-than-life meaning. To this day many of the greatest works remain anonymous.


More than works of art, icons are prayers that have been gifted to the world for the edification of those who have eyes to see. While Mary is central in the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir, her attention is totally and exclusively for the child in her arms. Holding him close, she is consumed by the breath of God for whom she has become the Christ bearer.

Rather than contradict her virginity, her motherhood completes it. The more I pray over these two icons, the more it seems that one completes the other. The small opening on the front of the altar beneath the chalice represents the narrow gate through which we must enter and while Christ is the way, it is Mary who continually points us to Christ. Perhaps this is why it is difficult for me to ponder the icon of the Trinity without reflecting on the Virgin of Vladimir.

Having prayed over these icons for almost a week, I returned home ready to embrace the tasks at hand, but in a slower and more intentional manner. As a result, I continue to be drawn into the mysteries these sacred icons reveal, each one inviting me to dwell in the house of the Lord, which after all is not a physical place, but a way of being with God-with-us.

Amid the dog days of summer, students seem to miraculously muster a fresh outlook, despite the tempered enthusiasm of older students who deem grumbling to be more socially acceptable—that is until they are college bound. And so it happens that every September students, along with parents, become willing participants in the annual ritual of assessing wardrobes in light of growth spurts, purchasing school supplies and gradually adjusting bedtime schedules.

To be sure, nothing quite compares with the aura of excitement that surrounds new beginnings when it comes to reigniting dreams that may have fallen short of the imagined goal during the past school year. Whether the quest be in pursuit of honor roll status or admission to a varsity sports team, hope for students once again springs eternal. By way of an antidote for this gut-wrenching malady, students can take comfort in the fact that admittance to a higher grade level makes them a dubious one year older and, as parents hope, one year wiser.

The truth of this reality seems to be built not only into nature, but into the very core of human existence. And so I would suggest that we never outgrow the need for new beginnings. Some new beginnings are by choice, others may be forced upon us by life circumstances, but regardless of the reason, timing is also a factor. In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For me this poem speaks to the God factor that often goes unnoticed until we look back and see how all the dots of our life have been connected by grace. From early childhood to adulthood, we have been formed and sometimes deformed by the circumstances of our life, and yet nothing is outside the heart of God.

Often when it seems we are floundering and adrift among a sea of uncertainties, God is forming us, preparing us to take the next step in faith because today, unlike yesterday, we are ready to begin again. This applies not only to our mental and emotional readiness, but to our spiritual readiness as well. However, for new beginnings to be truly effective, it is important to pause and reflect on the reason we feel the nudge to begin again. More often than not it comes when that inner voice we call a conscience suggests we should be living a more God-centered life.

This is where I find the Sacrament of Reconciliation is of great value. Sadly, it is perhaps the most undervalued sacrament for many Catholics and for a myriad of reasons, some valid and others not so much. From a human perspective, a certain type of discomfort is natural whenever we have to admit our failures.

I admit there are times when the old-butterflies-in-the-stomach syndrome returns when I think about confessing my sins. But then the grace of the sacrament takes over and I am able to leave feeling renewed as once again I understand that God has been waiting for me to emerge, a better version of my former self, one that relies more fully on the mercy of God than on my own lack of resolve. Therefore, it seems a good time to remember that the time is ripe for us to wander into those out-of-the-way-places of our heart where new beginnings are forever forming. Thankfully we have the perfect reason to begin again because now is the season.

In the spirit of beginning again, I wish to correct an error in my last column. Often referred to as the Father of Western Monasticism, St. Benedict had a keen appreciation for the importance of both work and prayer, a rhythm which he held sacred not only for monks, but for all Christians. Amid a cultural tendency to regard monetary compensation as a barometer to measure the worth of a particular form of labor, we may be at risk of losing sight of the sacredness of work itself. Like any person of prayer, Benedict understood that prayer is essential if we are to view the work of our hands as holy.

The injunction that our first parents would earn their bread by the sweat of their brow is evident throughout Scripture. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were herdsmen and farmers. Eventually, the Israelites became craftsmen and artisans, putting their skills to use when building the temple, but the work of human hands reached a new dignity when God became man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who made his living as a carpenter.

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When God pitched his tent among us, he entered into our human nature, not as one who dons a costume that he can slip in and out of, but as one who like Adam would earn his living by the sweat of his brow. In so doing, the New Adam took what was once perceived as a punishment and made it forever holy. Work is about more than simply providing ourselves with a means of livelihood. Through the work of our hands, we enter into the communal dimension that is at the very core of who we are as people of the Covenant, a covenant with God and with one another.

Therefore, it can rightly be said that nothing we do is done in isolation. The bread we eat depends upon the supplier, the baker and the farmer not to mention the one who transported the bread to the grocery store where we purchased it. There is nothing that we can touch with our hands that does not have its genesis outside of us. Even our body exists because God through the procreative action of our parents brought us into being.

In fact, everything we have is an act of labor either by us or through an act of God who after six days rested from His labor. From the beginning, the Creator who called us into being commanded that we observe a day of rest, not for the sake of the law, but for our own well-being. It is with this understanding that we are able to baptize and bless all that we do, thereby, transforming the ordinary into something sacred. And so it was that St. According to Benedict, dealing with tools, handling money, managing property all had to do with God when done well and for the honor and glory of God.

And so it was with saints through the ages. Work was not an exclusion of prayer, but a continuation of prayer. Teresa of Avila was known to have told her nuns that God can be found just as surely among the pots and pans as in the chapel. Today amid a growing disparity among wage owners, Christians are once again reminded that all work is holy and all who labor deserve a just wage.

Ever mindful that every human talent is a gift from God, we are called to rise above artificial distinctions that award inflated compensations to a few while many work two and three jobs just to put food on the table. As we gather to pray this Labor Day weekend, may the words of St. Benedict inspire us not only to pray, but to work for a more just distribution of goods so that all may find not only a means of support in their work, but a way to praise and give honor and glory to God.

According to the tale, Jakof was a widower who was left with three young children to raise: year-old Anna, Nikolai who was 7 and 6-year-old Maiya. Jakof loved his children, but being a poor peasant had little to offer them by way of material possessions. He worked long hours just to put food on the table, and so much of the care for the younger children fell to Anna. One day Anna learned of a dance that was to be held in the village and she longed for a new dress to wear for the occasion. But her pleas for one were in vain. The next day, Anna could scarcely hide her tears as she went about the task of fixing breakfast for her sister and brother.

To make matters worse, Maiya spilled her milk, and when Anna scolded her, Nikolai yelled at Anna for making their little sister cry. Hurt and angry, Anna ran out of the house sobbing. Eventually she found herself in the little church around the corner from where they lived where she fell on her knees and wept. As she looked at the statue of the Virgin Mary, dressed in a beautiful garment with a royal crown on her head, she prayed.

My life here is so difficult. No one cares about me and ever since my mother died, I feel so alone. Suddenly, Anna felt herself being transported through the air, and she became one with the statue. As she looked down at her beautiful dress, she wanted to touch it, but could not. Her arms had become as fixed as the statue. And so it was that she remained there for most of the day.

Late in the afternoon, she watched her little brother Nikolai come into the church. I know she works hard to take care of us and I will be kind to her if only you bring her back to us. She told Mary that Anna had run out of the house all because she had spilled her milk. She told Mary that if only her sister would come back, she would be more careful and not act like such a baby. Anna wanted to gather them up, kiss her little sister, and smooth her ruffled hair, but once again, her arms would not move.

Later as the sun began to fade from the sky, the door of the church opened once again and this time it was her father who entered. He was carrying a box and as he knelt before the statue of Mary, he thanked her for giving him extra hours of work so that he could buy Anna a new dress. With that he promised to quit smoking so that he could afford to buy Anna a pair of shoes to go with her new dress. Then he slipped out of the church. In an instant, Anna was back in the pew from where she had been transported earlier in the day.

Once again she could move her arms and legs, but this time, there were no tears. Her heart danced with joy as she thanked Mary for giving her such a wonderful family. Anna raced home where she saw her father, Nikolai and Maiya as Mary saw them, and then she knew that she was indeed a queen and this was her heaven on earth.

Like with every good story, numerous lessons can be gleaned from this folktale. We might begin by placing ourselves in the role of each of the characters, and reflect on who best represents who we are. And finally, does my yearning for heaven above, keep me from seeing the heaven that is mine right here on earth? And so we pray: Mary, Queen of heaven pray for us that we may better appreciate our role here in this time and in this place.

I had been told to expect it, but that it was not a gift. The sender was affiliated with a Catholic publishing house and had asked me to read it and offer a professional opinion about the merits of their condensing the work and publishing it as a formation tool. I was happy to oblige, especially since I was not the only one who was asked to weigh in with an opinion. Asking for input from a variety of professionals is common practice among publishers before they commit to purchasing copyrights to a piece of work.

Even magazine articles are reviewed by several editors prior to purchasing a submission, and with good reason. Despite standard guidelines and objective criteria that are used to evaluate a manuscript or article, one cannot discount the presence of personal limitations or biases regarding any given topic.

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Rather than a sign of weakness, seeking the opinion of others is a sign of strength, and speaks to the value of collaboration. When we listen to others, not only is our understanding deepened, but our vision is expanded. However, this is not the same as being swayed by every thought and theory that is espoused or perpetuated by our culture, but about the process of gathering and evaluating information, followed by prayerful discernment. Every day we are bombarded by messages from the media, politicians, activist groups and organizations, all claiming to advance the best interests of society and the world.

Therefore, as Christians who claim God as our first and most important authority, discernment is an important part of spiritual growth, and should be approached intellectually, collaboratively and prayerfully. On an intellectual level, the role of education should be obvious, but is it? In order to grow spiritually, more is required than a ten minute homily at Sunday Mass. With the world and national issues becoming more complex, unless we make an effort to deepen our understanding of Scripture and Church teachings, it is easy to fall prey to a culture that is becoming increasingly more secular.

So why should it be any different in an area as important as our faith life? Taking a lesson from publishing houses, we do well to consult people in the field when it comes to matters of faith, and it has never been easier. The availability of CDs and videos on spiritual topics, many offered in conjunction with parish adult education programs, provide Catholics with important tools for spiritual growth. Catholic magazines and newspapers are another faith formation tool that provide insight and guidance regarding current affairs morality. And, subscriptions to Catholic periodicals make wonderful gifts to give and receive.

Book clubs can be a fun and enlightening way to grow in faith, while learning and being inspired by others—which speaks to the collaborative element of learning. When I listen to what others have to say about a story or from a particular author, my own understanding is broadened. As I listen to the faith sharing of fellow sojourners in small groups, I am often in awe of the many ways God is working in the lives of ordinary people, and in turn my own faith is enhanced. When it comes to inspiration, we can find no better source than the inspired Word of God. And so we do well to ask: Do I make an effort to read Scripture every day?

But it is not enough to simply read a passage — which is why I discourage sandwiching God into your day. Make a date with God, and regard as sacred the time you spend with the greatest Teacher ever. Read the words slowly and thoughtfully, allowing them to sink into the fabric of your soul. You may wish to read a passage two, even three times, as the words move slowly from your head to your heart.

Mindful that I was to offer an opinion, I approached it as an intellectual activity and found it offered nothing new. I was disappointed. Realizing my mistake, I began reading with my heart, thoughtfully and prayerfully and came away with a whole new appreciation for the reign of God present and working in our world, just as it was when Jesus traveled the roads of Galilee.

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present here and now—a willing teacher, instructing us in the ways of God. And when we listen, we are rewarded, often in surprising ways. Hidden graces that seem to come out of nowhere are revealed, sometimes when we least expect them, but more often when we need them most. It was the photograph of a blood-stained running shoe belonging to one of the doctors in the hospital emergency room the night the mass shooting occurred in Orlando.

In his posting, the doctor explained that his shoes were new, but as he began treating victims that were brought into the ER, his shoes were soon covered with blood. But rather than throw them away, he decided to hang one of the blood stained shoes in his office as a reminder of that night. But then I learned the reason behind his decision, and I was deeply touched. The physician explained that the shoe would remind him of the many people who came to the hospital to help, some bringing the wounded, many ignoring their own injuries while they cared for those who had more serious wounds.

Although most were strangers until the horrific events of the night began to unfold, the doctor was inspired by their concern for the other and wanted to remember the goodness he witnessed within the context of unbelievable suffering. The lesson is that hidden within the darkest of times are little pieces of light. It is a message that is especially poignant and bears reflection at a time when mass shootings and acts of terrorism have become almost common place.

However, it is not a message to be applied only to events on a national or global stage. Times of darkness invade the life of every human being. As much as we would like to whisk them away or quickly move beyond them, they are fertile ground for transformation. Let me be clear, I am not referring to sin, acts of evil or illness that triggers the dark times in life.

I am talking about the pain and suffering that accompanies such events, bringing us to a crossroads where we can either choose to accept and befriend the darkness as an opportunity for spiritual growth, or curse it. Without periods of darkness, transformation would not happen. When darkness seems to shake the very ground upon which we stand, rather than turning our anger outward, we do well to examine it within the context of prayer, trusting that hidden within every moment of pain and suffering is the Light that cannot be extinguished. When we look closely, we will discover tiny pieces of light shining through, ready to make their way into our heart.

Recognizing such points of light are moments of grace that break through our blindness and allow us to see beyond the sin and pain that unfortunately will always be part of life. But suffering need not remain a negative experience. When we turn to God and open our heart, we will discover that points of light hidden within the darkness become a window for spiritual growth. But when we sit with the unknown and invite the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, we will begin to glimpse rays of light that gradually transform our heart by imbuing it with deepening faith, hope and charity.

When that happens, we begin to realize that hearts of stone, having been broken, are being transformed into human hearts, hearts that were created to reflect the love of God, the God in whose image we have been created. The only heart we have control over is our own, but when darkness assails us, the natural tendency is to want to escape the pain by controlling the situation or changing the hearts or those who are responsible for our pain.

But as Joyce Rupp points out, the path of darkness carries within it a not so gentle nudge pushing us towards interior growth. Therefore, we need to be attentive. We need to look for those little pieces of light, which often come unexpectedly through the concern of family members or a friend. An insight from a homily or a book, offering insight can break through the darkness of an otherwise cloudy day and are pieces of light.

Be assured their presence is no accident. They are gifts from God who is forever calling us to become the person that he created us to be. That light can come to us in many ways and through many people if we take the time to notice. And each time we absorb pieces of his light, we become a little piece of light for those who dwell in darkness.

The United States has long prided itself on its independence and with good reason. The sacrifice and vision of our founding fathers has led not only to declaring our independence from Great Britain, but to forming a Constitution which has set the gold standard for freedom. However, independence is not the same as individualism, something that I fear has escaped the collective mindset of many in our country today. Individualism is inward looking, concerned with individual rights, whereas the spirit of independence that motivated the early colonists was concern for the common good.

It was a collective view versus one motivated by individual gain, for the welfare of all came at great cost to some. Nurturing the common good is at the very heart of the principles upon which our country was founded. The United States of America has a long-standing tradition of welcoming the stranger, to which the inscription on the Statue of Liberty attests. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. They are words every American can be proud of because they echo the compassion of people who knew what it was like to be tired, poor, and oppressed. Obviously the plight of those arriving on our shores was not perfect, nor was it free from difficulty. But what it did offer was hope and through the process of resettlement, our country became a rich melting pot of diversity long before the world became globalized. It is to our credit that hospitality became a cornerstone of democracy, but even more importantly, hospitality is central to Christian discipleship.

Hospitality is a way of overcoming the tension that exists between those who perceive themselves as natives and insiders and those who are looked upon as foreigners and outsiders. Therefore, it is imperative that those of us who are American born remember that unless we are Native-Americans, our ancestors came from distant lands in search of a better life, much like the refuges who are fleeing war and hardship today. And yes, clearly there are also differences. The threat of terrorism is real and our immigration system needs reforming, but the answer to these problems does not lie in hate speech or a spirit of isolationism.

As arguments about immigration and other hot-button issues are waged on the floor of Congress and judicated by the Supreme Court, we do well to reflect on the Scripture passage from Jerimiah. As I reflect on this passage, it occurs to me that perhaps what our politicians need is not a recess, but a retreat. Rather than assaulting one another with hateful rhetoric, staging sit-ins or turning their backs on one another, they need time to reflect on the divinely inspired principles upon which our country was founded.

Time and again, I hear politicians say they are doing the will of the people. Perhaps what they need to do is concern themselves with doing the will of God, because only if we love God will we be able to love our neighbor as our self. It is not easy to rise above selfish inclinations that put personal gain above the common good. And so leaders and followers alike need to seek divine wisdom and the strength to overcome the spirit of individualism. The law of God has been written in the hearts of every person, but how can it be discerned unless each person rises up against the false gods of money and power and places the common good above personal gain?

I find it ironic that religion is often used as a scapegoat, and blamed for wars when the opposite is actually true. Religion binds us to the laws of God, calling us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Individualism seeks personal gain at the expense of the laws of God. As a country, we have been richly blessed and so this Fourth of July, may we never confuse the spirit of independence from oppression with independence from God.

May our land continue to welcome strangers, provide for the poor and support life in all its forms from the womb to the tomb, so that we can indeed be a light to the nations. They are for fathers whose children are about to leave or have already left home as young adults, but sooner or later all fathers will be in that position, so her message is worth sharing.

Most people are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar to God. It is a Biblical account that most parents, mothers and fathers alike find difficult. The other account actually happened first, but is less well known and involves Abraham sending his son Ishmael into the desert.

Author Marilynne Robinson makes the point that Abraham was actually called to sacrifice both his sons. Isaac on the altar, and Ishmael by sending him into the wilderness, which would have meant certain death. But as Robinson points out, in both cases, the Lord sent angels to intervene at critical moments to save each child. In the case of Ishmael, the angel pointed to a spring of water that staved off death. While no father today has, nor probably will be called to, send his son into the desert or to offer him to God on an altar of sacrifice, every father eventually finds himself in the situation where he is sending his child and or children into the wilderness, so to speak, and trust in the providence of God.

When fathers have done their best to raise their children according to the faith and equip them with principles and values needed to survive in the world, every parent comes to a time when it is time to let go and entrust their offspring to the providence of God. Sadly there are a good many fathers who neglect, abuse or abandon their children.

And we need only to watch the news to understand that it is not unusual for young adults to be victims of violence, become seriously ill or make poor choices. But as Ms. The three Abrahamic religions claim Abraham as father, and although Christians do not claim him in the same sense as Jews and Muslims do, every father can learn from his implicit trust in God during times of difficulty and strife. The reality is that parents never stop being parents no matter what the age of their children is. But once children reach adulthood, the importance of entrusting them to the care of their heavenly Father through prayer is more important than ever.

But fathers, and mothers for that matter, should never lose sight of the fact that if we, who love our children so imperfectly, want only what is good for them, their heavenly Father desires it even more. John the Baptist entered the desert and even Jesus was sent into the wilderness before he began his public ministry. The wilderness serves as a time of trial, self-examination and discovery.

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No young person experiences the wilderness or responds to it in the same way. It has large, very full, quartered blooms. It is fragrant and disease resistance. It blooms with to petals. It has a strong tea rose fragrance, and a healthy and hardy bush. It is listed as a climbing miniature rose, but needs little support. It will be an upright bush if left to its own. It needs plenty of room to grow. Small blooms of cream and white occur in clusters and literally cover the bush. It has a strong fragrance and blooms in the spring or early summer. Plus — it is thornless! The blooms start out reddish purple, then turn a dark violet and fade to lilac and blue.

Because the blooms are long lasting, all of these shades of color can be seen at the same time. This climber was originally bred by Rudolf Geschwind in Hungry and introduced after his death in It is a stunning purple-red bloom, occurring once in the spring or early summer.

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Photo courtesy of Northland Rosarium My current rose bushes are already overflowing with beautiful blooms — I just love the intoxicating fragrance of roses. They are also growing wonderfully on my tower trellises — if you recall, these older roses were transplanted from my home in East Hampton, New York — they continue to do so well. This garden is looking so gorgeous and colorful this season.

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