What I Learned from Visiting Amish Farms

What I Learned from Visiting Amish Farms

by Marian West          June 21, 2013

The Amish are a simple people.  Quiet, dressed in black & bold "rainbow" colors, no buttons, zippers, or snaps.  No electricity.  No cars.  They live off the land.  They make their own furniture, marmalades, breads, cheese, clothes, homes… everything; yet they are completely dependent on the Creator to provide.  Their speech is simple, their lives are ordered, and their smiles are big.  Their daily life is one of hard work, time together, and always a current of prayer.

Having been raised in Lancaster County, I have seen the Amish my whole life, but only from a distance.  I see them in their horse-drawn buggies and at Central Market when they bring in their produce to sell.  Now, working as a massage therapist at a midwife clinic, I am stepping into their world a bit more closely and learning from their ways. 

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Coming to the Cross ― Alain Kirili at the International Center for a Culture of Compassion

Coming to the Cross ― Alain Kirili at the International Center for a Culture of Compassion

by Sue Song          May 31, 2013

A surprise was waiting for me on my recent visit to the International Center for a Culture of Compassion (ICCC). I was always drawn to the beauty of Matisse’s Chapelle de Vence. I was curious to know what the presenting artist, Alain Kirili, had to say about this beautiful and inspiring chapel. Was it going be an expression of egotistical knowledge of art or something more genuine? Matisse had said he designed La Chapelle to “awaken the desire to be fulfilled in the Eucharist”. What would Alain say?

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Encountering Pope Francis in Rome

Encountering Pope Francis in Rome

by Aaron Peiffer          May 17, 2013

On the Wednesday following Easter I had the privilege of attending the papal audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s square. Much to my surprise I had received a green ticket the previous day at the offices for the Pontifical North American College which gave me access to the seating nearest to the pope at the top of the grand stairs in the shadow of St. Peters. I had been forewarned to not expect orderly queues like back in the states, but I did not fully appreciate the import of his advice until various pilgrim groups began to amass themselves haphazardly around the security entry! Somehow I ended up with a seat about forty feet to the left of Pope Francis and six rows from the front.

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Sentinels of Hope

Sentinels of Hope

by Pia Chedid          May 9, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I went to Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights to attend an evening of prayer for peace in Syria. Gregory Mansour, the Maronite bishop, had invited church members and representatives from the Jewish and Muslim faiths, as well as kids, families, some diplomats, and journalists. The church is full. In between psalms, representatives deliver speeches. They talk about the Syrian people, begging for peace for them. Their need, their thirst is ours. “Somehow I believe we all originate from Syria,” says the Muslim representative before leading us into the Lord’s prayer.

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“Every mile of the race was filled with hope” — A Boston Marathon Runner Remembers.

“Every mile of the race was filled with hope” — A Boston Marathon Runner Remembers.

by Jonathan L. Pinkerton          May 3, 2013

As I boarded the shuttle bus, I realized that I had underestimated the incredible energy and enthusiasm that precedes and surrounds the Boston Marathon. Within a couple hours I was corralled with approximately 27,000 runners, into ‘Athlete’s Village’— a massive pre-race staging area. 96 countries were represented at the 2013 Boston Marathon. I was shoulder-to-shoulder with persons who were incredibly passionate about and committed to the 26.2 mile race. After all, this was more than just a race — it was a historic celebration of our sport, a tribute to the physical and mental endurance of marathoning, and for many runners it was an opportunity to run for an important charitable cause. After five hours of pre-race activities, I finally reached the starting line in Hopkinton, MA.

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From the Hoggar Mountains

From the Hoggar Mountains

by Guillaume de Chateauvieux

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Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” ― Mother Teresa

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