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Remember Angelo

Remember Angelo

| Liz Kelly | April 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

On a recent trip to Rome, I stayed, for the first time, in the Jewish quarter. I rented a little apartment not far from Teatro Marcello on a charming, crooked cobblestone street — the kind so characteristic of the Eternal City. Brilliant purple bougainvillea cascaded from terracotta planters set against the lovely earthen hues of the stucco buildings. An accordion player claimed a spot below my window, and in the evening he would mosey from restaurant to restaurant entertaining the tourists who sat down to a bowl of pasta, exhausted with the day’s exploring of so many glorious churches. It was a quintessential Roman holiday.

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A grace ovation

A grace ovation

| Liz Kelly | March 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

As a gift to my brother on the occasion of his ordination years ago, I told him that I would offer up all of my speaking engagements in thanksgiving for his vocation to the priesthood. This seemed an especially fitting and easy gift because I love speaking for groups, and talking about our faith always brings me great joy.

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Getting to forgiveness

Getting to forgiveness

| Liz Kelly | February 20, 2018 | 1 Comment

Some years ago, a woman told a lie about me that caused some serious harm and was tremendously painful to bear. After many months had passed, out of the blue, she sent me an email, something along the lines of, “If I hurt you, I’m sorry.” We’ve all gotten these: the non-apology apology. It was, I thought, cowardly, and did very little to repair the damage that had been done.

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To sink or to dance

To sink or to dance

| Liz Kelly | January 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

My friend — I’ll call her “Veronica” — goes for the spiritual jugular, so to speak. It’s almost as if she avails herself to God and says, “All right, Lord, give me the toughest assignment you’ve got. Spare me no challenge.”

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Breaking into the ordinary

Breaking into the ordinary

| Liz Kelly | December 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

When I was a child, I loved most the wise men of our nativity set for their grandeur and color and elegance, and for the numinous gifts they brought to the Infant King. They were mysterious royalty from a far-off land who somehow possessed secret knowledge of the Savior’s birth, and I was sure their lives were full of intrigue and adventure.

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To ‘listen’ one another

To ‘listen’ one another

| Liz Kelly | November 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

There’s a quote I keep in my office from Douglas Steere, the Quaker, and I read it before every meeting I have, especially with spiritual directees. He writes, “To ‘listen’ another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.”

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Money in his bank

Money in his bank

| Liz Kelly | October 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

My first job out of university was working as a teller in a bank. I was singing a lot on the weekends and working on my writing, but I needed a regular income, too. My mom had suggested I apply at a bank. She thought it might be useful for me to learn a bit more about how money works, and to that end — bless her heart — she was right.

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Yoked, not burdened

Yoked, not burdened

| Liz Kelly | September 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Some years ago I developed this little habit when traveling alone: When boarding an airplane or a train, I would ask the Lord to give me the least desirable seat, the one no one else wanted, next to the crying baby, for example. I cannot count how many times I have been seated next to a young mother traveling with a small child.

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Revealed with fire

Revealed with fire

| Liz Kelly | August 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Bedouins are an exceptionally hardy, hospitable people. I learned this in the Holy Land from my friend Tony, a Catholic archaeologist who grew up in Jerusalem and is presently completing his dissertation on King David, examining his life in the rock and ruins. Tony tells me that he will sometimes employ Bedouins to work on his archaeological digs, especially during the blistering summer months.

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The blessed poor

The blessed poor

| Liz Kelly | July 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Jeremiah is homeless. He is a slight man and slanted to the right. Some days he has a pronounced limp — arthritis in the knee. He’s lost most of his teeth. I first met Jeremiah some time ago on my way into work at my highway exit where he stands and holds a cardboard sign at the stoplight: “Homeless, hungry.” One day I rolled down my window, asked his name and offered him a few dollars that he accepted with a two-tooth grin. He asked my name and we shook hands. He thanked me and blessed me and the light turned green.

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Cultivated by the Master Gardener

Cultivated by the Master Gardener

| June 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

When I first moved into the cozy little house I rent, my yard — especially the backyard — was a bit of a disaster. A double-lot and long-neglected by previous tenants, what green there was was mostly weeds, and there were large, barren spots flooded with mud that bore a striking resemblance to the mud flats of Alaska’s Chugach Sound. (Just think “reeeally muddy.”)

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