Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Yesterday in Mallorca, a sweet lady presented this purple orchid in my name to my father. IMG_20170429_112105 On the card it says “For my Poppy with love from your delicate flower”… I am so touched by this kind gesture.

Here are a few photos of my father:

I will miss him forever and a day. Please pray for our family.

Peace and Grace,


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My father sent me this letter explaining the annual visit of the three wise stargazing kings in Mallorca, and I want to share it with my readers because it’s such a beautiful and meaningful tradition:

On the afternoon of January 5 a page comes riding through the village on a horse and picks up the childrens’ requests from the Town Hall, scattering candies along the street.

That night the 3 kings arrive.
In Deya they came down from three different mountainsides to join up on the main road on their donkeys. They wear the capes and crowns… and they go in the parade with flares and torches and drums up the winding hill to the church. There they sit on the altar on their crowns and call out the names of children who have gifts waiting for them.

In Puerto Soller the kings come in on three lighted boats. And then they parade to the square by the main church.

In Palma they also arrive by ship. I don’t know where they come from here in Valldemossa, but the parade down to the San Bartomeo church below here.
Here are some pictures:

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I wish you all a blessed Christmastide and Peace on Earth in the coming year.


Olive Twist




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I know an elder who used to tell me that thoughts are like birds that fly over your head.  You have no control over them, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair.  I always liked that analogy, and I seem to have more birds fly over than I can handle.  They come when I least expect them, sometimes in flocks and sometimes one at a time. So I just write about them.  Today this silly little bird flew over and reminded me about the nondenominational cookies.

English: Plateful of Christmas CookiesWhen I was employed at a bank some time ago, I had co-workers of many different beliefs. One of them did not believe in celebrating holidays.  So another young lady from a Baptist church came in one day with fancy home-baked Christmas cookies to give to everyone.  When she approached the woman who didn’t celebrate such occasions, she set the little plate of cookies down politely in her window.  She said with a smile “I know you don’t celebrate Christmas, but these cookies are nondenominational.”  The two women smiled and spoke politely to each other  and I enjoyed watching the meekness and affection between them.

I wish more people had that recipe and baked those nondenominational cookies.  They look prettier on the plate because they are not all the same kind. They taste better because they are seasoned to perfection, they are softer, and they don’t bite back.


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My father sent me these lovely neules from Mallorca for Christmas!




20141216_164038They are paper cuts made by nuns there during holiday season, and they are not only decorative but practical. They are hung in the cathedrals in Spain to help illiterate people keep track of the seasons and festivals during the year. They look like snowflakes hanging from the chandeliers and the slightest breeze makes them float and twirl.

20141217_113806I will always treasure them.

Peace be with you,

Sister Olive


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English: Logo for Esso

I know it seems a bit trivial, but there are so many things that contribute to the quality of our lives, and make things more personal and human. Gradually it seems that we are slipping into total anonymity. We are becoming faceless and heartless.

I was thinking of the days when even the gas station attendant made you feel like you were somebody.  You would drive to the Esso station with the sign that said “Put a tiger in your tank” and pull  up to the pump and roll down your window.  A man in an orange uniform with a tiger badge on his chest would walk up to your window with a smile on his face, and ask “May I help you?”  You’d tell him how much gas you needed and while your gas was pumping, he would ask you to pop open your hood.  He would check your oil with the dipstick and if it was low he would ask if you wanted him to add some for you.  After that, he’d squirt washer fluid all over your windows and clean them with a rag and squeegee.  It was really swell.

It was helpful for women with their cars full of children and elderly people who didn’t feel like climbing out to pump their gas.  It was even fun for the young girls who just wanted to flirt with the attendant.

I wish we could go back to some of these old concepts so that people wouldn’t feel so lonely and unimportant in life.

Manila petrol station, Philippines

Peace and Grace,

Sister Olive


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English: "The Little Match Girl"For most of my life, I have felt like The Little Match Girl waiting for an angel to come and rescue her from the streets, or Cinderella scrubbing the floors while her stepsisters dress up for the ball.  But something is changing since I visited my illustrious father in Spain.

I feel like Alice upon returning home from Wonderland to tell her adventures, or the little girl who first noticed The Leaf from Heaven, or The Ugly Duckling finding out about her swan-hood. My soul is transforming from that of a poor little gypsy to a noblewoman, because I’m connected to something special.

There’s no wealth or fame in this story, just a sense of treading closer to the Earth, rather than feeling like a ghost who passes by and reaches out with invisible fingers.

Peace & Grace,

“Sister Olive”

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“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” 

English: Independence Day fireworks, San Diego.Today is Independence Day in America, and while we are enjoying fireworks today in this country, many people abroad are taking shelter from our scary fireworks going off in their neighborhoods. And our young soldiers are making firecrackers in other countries and wishing they could come home and enjoy their families.

I understand that there are countries and people intent on destroying our way of life.  But it seems to me that we don’t need their help because we are self-destructing.  The young man who slew so many students at Columbine High School was asked in a class to write a paper about his best friend. So he wrote that his best friend was a gun.

My best friend was never a gun, because I have always had fleshy friends. I have never even admired a gun.  Passing through Wal-Mart, I’ve never paused to look at a pistol or a rifle and thought “that could come in handy” or “wouldn’t that look pretty sitting on top of my dresser?”  And I am about as neurotic as they come, but I’ve survived without a loaded companion quite well so far.

Last month, a teenage fellow that always served my coffee at McDonald’s was shot dead.  He had beautiful spiked bleached blonde hair and a rosy face and bright smile.  Why did he have to die?  Because someone collected guns for his friends to play war games with, and one of them was fired straight into his heart.

I love my freedoms because I can say the things I want to say and do the things I want to do.  But I am honest enough to recognize that even though we don’t have evil dictators, I live in one of the most violent nations in the world with the most heavily armed civilian population. This country was founded on hostility. I find it hypocritical that while we exalt the glories of freedom, we are so eager to destroy anyone who disagrees with our point of view. We have fought the British, slaughtered the Native Americans, captured and sold slaves from Africa, and fought our own brothers in the Civil War.  Sometimes I think we will never stop fighting.

Everywhere you go, hostility is staring you down.  From the cashier in the grocery store to the car honking and driving you off the road and even in our own families, people don’t seem very gentle and kind.  I have made plenty of stupid mistakes, but I have never intentionally hurt any human or creature (except for a few insects). Hostility makes me feel lousy.

Well, isn’t it the same everywhere you go?  No, it isn’t.  I just came back from Spain, and it’s not the same way there.  You may not believe this, but I don’t recall one unkind or rude word (in English, Spanish, or body language) from anyone during the three weeks I was there.  The people I met were gentle and gracious.

People laugh about America’s love of guns in Spain, and no one wants to have a weapon. They would rather have a loaf of bread, a glass of wine, and thou. They think it’s silly to own a gun, so it’s completely a non-issue.  The government doesn’t need to rule on it, because nobody cares. My father says this is the European view on such things.

So why do Americans care so much about weapons? Did we play too many games of “Cowboys ‘n Indians” as a kid, or watch too many episodes of “Have Gun Will Travel“?

I am especially frustrated with Christians who forget that Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “Blessed are the meek.” There is no double-meaning in those sayings. Christ was always non-violent.  Gandhi understood it better than most Christians I know.

When will we ever learn?  Heaven is not draped with the American flag, and Jesus loves our enemies too.


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