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Emptiness and fullness at first seem complete opposites. But in the spiritual life they are not. In the spiritual life we find the fulfillment of our deepest desires by becoming empty for God.

We must empty the cups of our lives completely to be able to receive the fullness of life from God. Jesus lived this on the cross. The moment of complete emptiness and complete fullness become the same. When he had given all away to his Abba, his dear Father, he cried out, “It is fulfilled” (John 19:30). He who was lifted up on the cross was also lifted into the resurrection. He who had emptied and humbled himself was raised up and “given the name above all other names” (see Philippians 2:7-9). Let us keep listening to Jesus’ question: “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20:22).

Not only is it Mother’s Day, but it is also my Mother’s 86th birthday!

In Retrospect


for Elsie R. Jones


Remember how the wind

held yellow leaves in airy fingers?


The last leaf,

in high branches, clung to the tree.


We walked through full sun,

deepening shadows,


wondering how we kept our footings

while acorns snapped


beneath our feet. Remember

the contumacious violets in brown


grass? Pretending the rain was

early snow, we chose the long way home


and sang off-key.


first published in Domicile


Happy Birthday, Mummy!