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Posts tagged ‘Sierras’

To Be Alive Today

It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.

– Mary Oliver

There is no more awe inspiring sight to me than Mount Whitney.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Can there be anything more grand than the magnificent mountains?! And we are fortunate in California to have one of the grandest mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevadas. Its grandest and tallest peak is the tallest in the contiguous 48 states, Mt. Whitney, and it rises to 14,505 feet.
Taken from one of the 99 switchbacks on the way to Mt. Whitney. If you look closely you can see two of the switchbacks below. A crooked path, indeed. But what a view from the top!

Taken from one of the 99 switchbacks on the way to Mt. Whitney. If you look closely you can see two of the switchbacks below. A crooked path, indeed. But what a view from the top! Grand!!

Advent
by Sr. Christine Schenk, CSJ
I wait
with quickened hope
for crooked paths
to straighten,
with tough-soul’d
anguish,
while blinded
keepers of the keys
shut out
God’s own.
(If such a thing
were possible.)
I wait,
and will not be
dismayed.
For tiny shoot
of Jesse tree
took root in me
to love
transform,
give sight
set free.
Source: National Catholic Reporter, December 12, 2003 – found on the Education for Justice website.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual Point of View

The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.
– Al Neuharth
Mt. Whitney is definitely not a molehill (at 14,505 feet). But from this perspective at Trail Camp (@12,000 feet), it is difficult to perceive that it really is that tall. And for me, ten years after the backpacking trip, I can no longer recall which peak is which, from the angle I was standing at Trail Camp. It all depends on where you stand, what and how you see.

How like life! It isn’t that I sometimes see “wrong”, but that I need to look from a different angle, or perhaps from the perspective of someone else. It can make all the difference.

From where you stand - from where you sit, how tall does this look to you?

From where you stand – from where you sit, how tall does this look to you?

Living the Moment

bear_river_reservoir_2011_067
Every morning is like a new reincarnation into this world. Let us take it then for what it is and live each moment anew.
– Paul Brunton

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

The beauty of the Sierras that  John Muir loved . . . at Lake Tahoe.

The beauty of the Sierras that John Muir loved . . . at Lake Tahoe.

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and gives strength to body and soul alike.
– John Muir

How Can We Contain God?

King Solomon, who built a great temple to “hold” God, knew that God could not be contained there.

Where are the places we try to contain and constrain God?

No matter how wonderful and perfect they may seem to be to us, it would do us well to remember, in the words of a song by Jesse Manibusan, “God Is Bigger”.

Who can contain God?

Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole community of Israel, and stretching forth his hands toward heaven, he said,”Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below, you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart.

Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built! Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant utter before you this day. May your eyes watch night and day over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored, may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place. Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.”

1 Kings:8:22-23, 27-30

Why Is It So Difficult for Us to Believe?

Today’s reading in the 3rd Thursday of Advent is from Isaiah 54

So God has sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says our God, who has mercy on you.

This snowy, seemingly immovable, granite mountain is in Yosemite.

We can believe that the mountains can’t be moved, but we have difficulty believing that God’s love would never leave us.
Let our Advent task be to find our hope in the love of God toward us, stronger and more faithful than anything we know.