Some words or phrases are just plain fun to say. They delight the mouth and please the ear. At times the consonants and vowels shape the facial muscles into a friendly mien. For a pleasant countenance, try these words: delightful, supreme, ebony, alleluia. Here are some fun words to say aloud: circuitous, slithering, diplomatic, soothing,…

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Although my eyes are nondescript, my driver’s license claims they’re “blue.”  Actually the color could be a blob of green, brown, and blue paint. The license is just a guess. Other parts of me are quite descriptive. My fingers are short and stolid—nothing to look at but great for playing forte on the final chord.…

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I had the privilege of seeing several monuments in D.C. at night. One of the most impressive was that of Martin Luther King, Jr. Our eyes locked, and I was reminded of Michelangelo’s imperative to his statue of David—“Speak!” The Stone of Hope, as the monument is called, represents the breakthrough in civil rights, as…

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Leaders who could have continued inspiring our country to greatness lie buried, along with their potential for inspiration in the hearts and minds of their fellow Americans. In this time of division within parties, at this time when political rhetoric has deteriorated to mudslinging, we have forgotten John F. Kennedy’s words: “Let us not seek…

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My wish is that the next President of the United States would require every Congressperson and every member of his or her cabinet to spend a week touring our nation’s capital. They would be required to read every quotation at the memorials and monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. They would need…

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Walking up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial, I felt that I was approaching moral greatness in a man who claimed “I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my best each and every day.”  That daily best included not punishing the South after the Civil War. That daily best included integrity…

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[Sister Valerie recently returned from a five-day trip to Washington, D.C. Over the next few days you will read of her impressions.] I recently had perfect weather in D.C., something which, I understand, is rather unusual. The cherry blossoms bunched in brown piles along the curbs, but tulips and flowering trees made the walks from…

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This morning at the Mass at which the elementary school was present the kindergarten teacher received her “Second Holy Communion.” She had been received into the Church five days before at the Easter Vigil. From my vantage point on the piano bench I noticed her approach to receive the Body of Christ. Unlike past school…

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When I awoke, I looked at the clock. 3:16. With a sleepy smile at the reminder that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” I went back to sleep, still exhausted from the rigors of a liturgist during Holy Week. Now in the morning when my mind focuses on the Son’s…

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“I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”  (Isaiah 42:6b-7) Imagine God reading Isaiah 42:1-7 to you to remind you that you were formed…

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