Oh Lord, the beauty, the solace, the gratitude, the birds.

What is that bird with the loud, two-note liquid trill who sings just at dawn?

I have ordered a standing bird feeder with four arms and mean to set it up outside my front patio. So here I will have an increasingly plant-bedecked private little space where I can sit on the glider, muse and give thanks.

I returned home to Tucson to a house that had been re-painted, which was nice, but all my hummingbird feeders had been taken down, my plants, many in heavy, hard-to-move pots had been moved, and a good third of them had died for lack of water.

All this seemed hideous and egregious at the time, and it’s also all been remedied.

I did a bunch of work on the yards, front, back, and side ramada, which helped—but I also needed just to putter, to case the joint, to re-ground, to re-integrate. To suffer a flurry of puncture wounds, to get stuck with thorns and spines, to re-fill my bird bath and bird feeders. To re-stock my larder, to bask in the light, to be bathed in birdsong.

That is one thing I missed beyond belief—constant birdsong. The dawn and vesper choruses.  

A friend’s wife is going to give me a bunch of cuttings, and I’ll divide the Santa Rita cactus—the bottom of it has never been right, and is now cracked, and brown—the soil’s not quite right—so I can make three or four plants out of it, and it grows fairly quickly.

Meanwhile–what is God’s will for me?

I am praying for the grace to grow in love, bit by bit, day by day.

A priest friend reports that he’s made an addendum to the Litany of Humility: “From the desire to know whether and how I’m being transformed–deliver me, Jesus.”

I think that is brilliant.


  1. Elizabeth Ann Dreier says: Reply

    Amen to all of this!

  2. Yes! Too much”prayer time” put into asking where am I going- need more “lead me, Lord, lest I be led “

  3. What’s God Will for me?
    Dive into the 36 volumes of the book of Heaven – by Luisa Picaretta
    Learn about the Divine Will

  4. Teresa Kleber says: Reply

    I am glad you are home and you are safe. I can’t imagine the change between England and southern Arizona. The news is hideous and heart-breaking. It is comforting to hear about your cacti.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Yes, Teresa, the news is heartbreaking….the Mystical Body is hemorrhaging…prayer, trying to purify our hearts, the Sacraments become ever more essential. So good to know that we are trudging the path together! Autumn blessings to you…

  5. Anonymous says: Reply

    I had never seen the litany of humility. Thank you for introducing it to me.

  6. HEATHER KING says: Reply

    Thanks everybody…re God’s will, I think the knowledge of God’s will for me on any given day lies deep within. For me it has never been found in any book, however otherwise useful books may be…I always know that His will for me is to stay sober and help another alcoholic, to love God with my whole mind, my whole heart, etc, and to try to love my neighbor as myself. But how to carry that out, and the work, inner and outer that I need to do each day, the actions I need to take, how to order that particular day, are matters I bring to morning prayer…My day was different in an Irish village where I knew virtually nobody and that was in effect cloistered than it is in Tucson, where I am part of many communities and fellowships…While I’m aiming to love God and my fellows with my whole heart, there are decisions to be made about work assignments, travel, how much of my time and energy I can give without stretching too far so that I become exhausted and surly…I have a new spiritual director, which is a huge grace, and then all gets worked out minute by minute, for me anyway, again in prayer…

    The Litany of Humility is great as it so radically and quickly reveals to me, just in case I had an ulterior motive like being thanked, noticed, loved, acknowledged, becoming popular, advancing spiritually in a way that will make me pleasing to myself and gain the admiration of my felllows, etc, that the motive is ill-advised and that my efforts in any “self-aggrandizing” direction will invariably be smashed….There is kind of a stifled laugh/sob at the heart of the Litany, too…Of course we want to be loved, and that is human and beautiful. But if that is our primary aim…not so beautiful.

  7. Thank you as always Heather for your own Litany of Struggling Authenticity. It is what I rejoice in hearing even as the “sob caught in the back of my throat” (your words during a post in Ireland) burns for this broken world.
    Graces and peace,
    Molly W


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