A much needed update and Lent plans

GAH! I have been bad and not updated our site in months. For that, I apologize to you all. We have been very busy, and traveling a lot!

But, yes, we are still here and working on our lenten plans.

Retiree is doing penance in Phoenix, because you know, the cold is not conducive to prayer. hahaha. Anyway, we will see her in a month when she returns from her Chicagoless vacation. Zookeeper is still bussing kids around and taking care of the zillion dogs and cats she owns. I am not sure how How is keeping her lent, but perhaps reading something on Ignatius. Dr. B is busy working, no rest for the weary. Dorothy is somewhere in the country, but we hope to see her back with us at our next fraternity meeting.

Ya’ll, we have a new candidate and she is awesome.

So, if you are interested in checking us out, please email us at doctoranalisa@gmail.com.  You can dip your toe in by coming to our Interfaith dialogue on the second Saturday of each month, Spiritual Journeys. You do not have to be a member of the fraternity or of anything, for that matter. I will be sharing on my experience with the Three Kings. It was amazing!

By the way, what are you doing for Lent?

Feast of the Portiuncula at Mayslake

Cricket and Jerry Aull, members of the OFS Saint Francis, joined the Cabrini Region in today’s feast of La Portiuncula. The theme, Following Francis:
Being the Merciful and Joyful Presence of God.

What follows are notes on the presentations led by Cricket Aull with a little music (amazing voice!) by Jerry Aull. Unfortunately, he had to leave to another engagement:

We are all called to live a life of simplicity, purity, and obedience in the footsteps of Saint Francis.

Simplicity is key. How much do things get in the way of living the merciful presence of God?

Purity. How are we to practice purity, especially interiorly? Detaching ourselves of earthly things to make us more aware of God’s presence.

Obedience. Do we try not to avoid burdensome things? Things that will help us stay humble? Francis and his brothers embraced them with joy because they knew it would draw them closer to Christ.

We make promises to live simply (clearing the path so that God can dwell in us). We make promises to live purely (clearing the path for God’s presence in us). We make promises to live in obedience (so that we embrace that which brings us closer to God).

Jerry–A challenge to cyberfast (advice from Ilia Delio. I, of course, was taking notes and tweeting)! Are we accustomed to doing all the talking when we are in the presence of God? Are we learning to discern the still small voice yearning to guide us?

Cricket continued: The three loves: Love to be emptied of self, love of purity, love of service. What gets in the way of us having a merciful heart? Think of the word “stop”:
S: surrender to God in all He is doing.
T: Trust in God and Turn everything into a reflection of God’s presence in us.
O: Obey? Observe? Offer? Openness? Omnipotence? Outpouring? Other?
P: Prayer with Thanksgiving. Peace. Praise. Presence. Perseverance.

Part II

What gets in the way of our joy? What do we need to do differently? Strive towards the beauty of God. Sufferings, sisters, called them Francis. He bore them joyfully and thanked God for everything. What are three characteristics of Francis that are most appealing and effective in the world? Which ones do we need to work on as followers of Francis? If Francis came to visit your family, what would he appreciate the most?

The story of the small piece of the Eucharist and hearing in her prayer, Am I not fully present in the smallest piece of the Eucharist? Yes. Then be fully present in the smallest things that you do.

Check their website for more details: The Aull’s

“I became the prayer he could not say”….


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Simply Bonaventure: Simply Insightful



“We are all on a journey of some sort, and while most of us are aware of being in a spiritual journey, it is a question of how many of us consider the goal of our journey.”


It took me many months to read this text but this is not Ilia Delio’s fault. The book is profound and clear. It offers a comprehensive overview of Bonaventure’s writings, thoughts, and life in addition to excerpts from his works. I found the reflection questions at the end of each chapter very helpful. A quick look at Amazon shows that a second edition is available (2013) with a much needed updated bibliography. 


Book Review: Lectio Divina: The Medieval Experience of Reading


This is one feature of this blog that I hope to have at least once a month. I hope you enjoy it.

Lectio Divina: The Medieval Experience of Reading, by Duncan Robertson, gets four taus from me!

If you are interested in the history of reading, this book is for you.  What this book does is explore the development of lectio divina during the Middle Ages. It is carefully researched (obviously, it is a solid scholarly text so if lots of footnotes are not your thing, this book is not for you) taking you through the culture of reading in the monasteries, where monks “chewed” and “digested” the words of Scripture, savoring each word to the rich literature that it produced. It examines the act of interpretation (should it be literal? when is reading into the allegory too much?) and the act of writing (i.e. writing about Scripture will be conducive to devotion).

Several chapters are devoted to the development of meditation, contemplation, and prayer, as a product of reading carefully the word of God. A whole chapter is dedicated to how the Song of Songs was read, understood (or at least how Bernard, Gregory, and Origen wrestled with its meaning), and written about. The book concludes with how these practices were integrated in the twelfth century.

There is much I appreciate in this book concerning the act of reading. I often encounter a great resistance to read and when reading is done, I find that understanding and interpretation it is superficial and dull.  In his last chapter, Robertson asks: “What does this monastic pedagogy have to do with reading in the modern world?” (231).  Freedom to pause and think more deeply, to explore, to question, to draw closer to God.

Brother John

We mourn the loss of our confrére Deacon John Farrell. Here is the obituary from the Tribune. We will miss him terribly. 


Next Spiritual Journeys Meeting!!!

Spiritual Journeys

Saturday, September 14th

10-11:30 am

 Reflecting on Yom Kippur

    Lessons for all!


Spiritual Journeys and Fraternity Meeting 7/13

On Saturday, July 13th at 10 am, Wellspring will be hosting our monthly Spiritual Journeys and Fraternity Meeting. For the Spiritual Journeys portion of our day, we will be viewing the first part of the DVD “In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: A Model for Peacemaking.” It is the perfect discussion as our Muslim brothers and sisters begin the month of Ramadan this week. If you are interested in attending, simply email doctoranalisa@gmail.com or reply to this post with an email. I will send you the address. Image

Sometimes I snore

I decided to trike my way to our meeting yesterday. It was a gorgeous morning and ever since Bike the Drive, I pretty much feel like I can take some physical challenges on. The trip was an hour long to Portage Park. I had my coffee and led the Spiritual Journeys portion of the day with a meditation on summer, asking us to think about midyear accomplishments and the ways in which we would take care of ourselves during this season. 

Our conversation meandered in the way that I always appreciate. The spirit, I am convinced, is leading the way in spite of me. I wasn’t sure I had presented my thoughts well. I started them off with a poem by Derek Walcott, “A Lesson on a Sunday,” which may not have been an expected inspirational piece for the occasion. Nevertheless, it worked. It works the way it always does. 

Our afternoon formation was dedicated to watching Ilia Delio’s remarks at the Q conference. I was starting to feel the aches and pains on my back. I thought lying on the floor would calm it down. And it did. A little too much.

I started fighting the weight of my eyelids and the heaviness of my breathing. I was concentrating on repeating the key phrases of her talk that said something meaningful to me. Then I felt myself snoring, unable to move from the blissful position of rest I had managed to achieve. Active contemplatives. Contemplative actives. Active. Action. Contemplation. ZZZzzzzzZZZ…

I have sleep apnea. So my snores are a thing of wonder. My wellspring confreres somehow managed to listen to Ilia Delio and discuss and disagree and discuss, ignoring my snores. They are so kind. B said she figured I had an hour to get back home so better get all the rest I could. I protested saying I had heard some of it. D said, SURE, did you see the dog jumping over you back and forth. AWWWW, PD!!!

Now, I have to get my own copy of the Q conference and watch it with my eyes open.


Spiritual Journeys Meeting

We will hold our meeting at 10 am on Saturday, June 8th. Again, if you are interested in attending, please contact us. PD encourages you to attend. He does not bite.

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We have updated some of our links: About Us and Spiritual Journeys. Please check them out. Also, our next Spiritual Journeys is coming up on Saturday. I hope you can join us then. Email us at doctoranalisa@gmail.com (that is blogmistress, yours truly) and we will email you with some details. We will be doing a Lenten reflection and discussion.  Thank you so much for reading us!

We hope your Lent is going well.