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At Home on the Farm: One Family's Spiritual Quest View Comments
By Carol Ann Morrow

(Left to right) Clare, Kyle, Clare, Eli and Cyndi Kramer, along with dogs Bella and Lulu, return to the family’s home after harvesting tomatoes.

GENESIS ORGANIC FARM’s precise location isn’t available by satellite today, farmer and author Kyle Kramer is pleased to report. Incredulous, I consult MapQuest. Beyond the interstate, its directions always hedge — “If you reach ... , you’ve gone too far.” Two state roads and three county roads later, I have avoided going “too far,” though some might wonder if the Kramers have by planting themselves in rural
southern Indiana and committing themselves to the complexities of living simply.

Kyle and Cyndi Kramer live with their three small children — 8-year-old twins Eva and Clare and 5-year-old Eli — in a home Kyle built largely by himself. They use solar power, a cistern and firewood they harvest from their woods. The Kramers grind their own grains, buying them in bulk.

Kyle later jokes that their wedding gifts included a grain mill and other practicalities seldom found on bridal registries! Their cozy home is furnished with substantial pieces that Kyle has crafted, complemented with hand-me-downs. Their home is airy and pleasant, even on a mid-August afternoon. Their dogs, Bella and Lulu, bark at me without menace. I sniff the promise of both bread and soup.

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Carol Ann Morrow, former St. Anthony Messenger staff member, is committed to staying put in Union, Ky., with her husband. Together, they are regenerating their small plot in the global village.

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Elizabeth of Portugal: Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom. 
<p>He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.</p> American Catholic Blog In the name of the Father, use my mind to bring you honor, and of the Son, fill my heart to spread your word, and of the Holy Spirit, strengthen me to carry you out to all the world. Amen.

The Gospel of John the Gospel of Relationship

 
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