Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
As I grew up the focus of our church turned from "giving up" something to "adding" something - such as devotional reading, volunteering or reconciling with someone. Whatever we decide to do (or not do) it must be done with humbleness of heart- as we become more reflective, and more aware of what holds us back from loving God and others.
I've asked several people what they are doing as a Lenten discipline this year and here are some of their answers: One is giving up computer games as they have become a way of disengaging with reality, another is giving up Facebook as it has taken the place of spending time with her family. I noticed a co-worker walking upstairs at a slow pace. I asked why she was doing this and she responded that this was her Lenten spiritual practice that reminds her to slow down. I love that one. I'm still pondering what mine will be.
And yet many people I've talked to are feeling that they are already living in a Lenten experience as they join the unemployed, the foreclosed, and the hungry. For them the thought of "giving up" something seems absurd - after all, they have already lost so much. As I see the fear (False Expectations Accepted as Reality) that is affecting us all in this economic crisis, I have to fight the desire to grasp too tightly to that which cannot give life. So wherever we stand at this moment, may God shower each of us during this Lenten season, with that Divine transforming love that never fails. For though we may stumble in our attempt at giving up or adding on, God will never stop loving us.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
And as each person stepped forward this morning to receive the sign of the ashes on their foreheads, Elizabeth+ repeated the words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." I was sitting in the last pew and after hearing her repeat this phrase close to 40 times, I began to let it permeate my being and slowly started letting my defenses down. I am starting an another inward journey towards repentance. What will that look like? I have no idea. But because I am already so weary I think I might be less inclined to protect myself from whatever it is that God wants me to see.
And so the season of Lent begins. Here is a photo I took this morning of the back of Elizabeth's+ Lenten chasuble (an outer vestment resembling a poncho) as she greeted those leaving the service. It's batiky (sp?) and burlapy (sp?).....which make it very sackclothy (?) and Lenty (?)....
Monday, February 23, 2009
I took the following from the Oscar website:
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Saturday, February 21, 2009
My dear friend Karen Noble sent this my way this morning - she finds it amusing to send me things that make those of us who have had the good fortune to have been born in the Emerald Isle or at least can boast of some Irish ancestry look a "tad off center". According my my husband, this is not a difficult task. Anyway, this is a funny video...Have a good Saturday.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"In truth, the institutional church (and a good many other human institutions) is dead. Such life as we see may not be evidence of reformation but of resurrection, for which only God may be thanked. If we are to survive these times, we must let go both of our fear of failure and of our zeal for success.
We must rest confident not in our institutions, but in our God...Our task, as John reminds us, it to abide - to abide in God's love, to place our confidence and make our dwelling not in institutions but in God. As Martin Luther boldly affirmed, we and the institutions we fashion are only wayfarers in time. Only in God are we truly at home." p. 40
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
by all means jump out of the way.
But spend some time in meditation too.
Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you'll be ready
to handle the truck you didn't see."
Anyone else feeling like they've been hit by a truck?
name the film
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I am giving myself the best Valentine's gift I can think of by being kind to myself. I am very tired. The funeral went well & I am looking forward to returning home tomorrow. I do believe a nice piece of chocolate is in order.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My husband and I are heading for California in the morning to attend my dad's funeral on Thursday. Thank you for all the kind words and prayers.
Also, my daughter is sitting here with me & she wanted me to tell you that she has banned me from ever entering "Control Panel" again. It seems in my attempt to "fix" my font sizes I inadvertently :) changed every font size in every window. Not cool. I'm hoping that when I return all will be back to normal - at least on my computer.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I feel a sense of relief for my dad and yet I know my mother is in such pain. And though the ground beneath me feels a bit unsteady at the moment, I know that the work of grief must begin. My mind isn't working too well but my heart holds all the stories & the memories. It will continue to hold these securely until I am ready to retrieve them at some point.
Dad was alone when he died which doesn't surprise me - I don't think he could have let go with his wife in the room. My dad is now in the fullness of God's light and love where he will be forever. But I think he might have stopped first at the Royal Opera House in London to cheer along with my sister when Eric won.
I love you dad.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I am so thrilled that Eric's extraordinary talent & hard work should be honored by a nomination for such a prestigious award and I do hope he wins but this post is a shout out to my sister (sorry Eric) for she is the one who encouraged him to not stay in L.A. to watch the proceedings via satellite but to make this once-in-a- lifetime trip. As Roma reminded her husband, the point of the film is that you only have so many days to spend here on this planet and you should try to make the most of each and every one of them!
So here's a little story of what happened on Wednesday. After booking the last 2 seats available on Friday night's flight to London, Roma asked Eric to get their passports out of the safe as they started the packing process. He came downstairs with a sick look on his face as he relayed the news that her passport had expired 2 weeks ago! Roma freaked out (well of course she did! who wouldn't?) and reached for her laptop on which she Googled "24 hour passports." (I would never have even thought of such a thing. I would have just thrown myself across the bed and wailed in despair.)
After several calls she connected with a company in Washington D.C. that said that yes, they could make this happen. So she downloaded their forms, filled them out, headed for the CVS pharmacy to get new passport photos taken (which she says make her look like a late stage crack addict) and headed for the airport with her expired passport, packet of forms, and unflattering photos to place on an 11pm cargo delivery flight.
Early on Thursday morning, she heard from the company that her forms had arrived in D.C. and everything looked good. It would take a few hours to process & they would inform her what flight her passport would arrive on. Roma went about her busy day, making arrangements for where her children would be staying, making sure the pugs were cared for and all those other last minute details that mothers deal with.
It was after midnight (Friday) when she logged onto Facebook to say she had just returned from picking up her new passport from LAX and was indeed going to London!!! WOW! and YIPPEE! Talk about tenacity! (Eric took this picture after they boarded the plane)....
May this experience grace them both with delicious stories and marvelous memories to share with those they love so dearly.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Death is an exercise in 'enough is enough.' Death points to newness of life, for those who stay behind as well as for those who go. What death ends, in other words, it also begins. Painfully, perhaps. Fearfully, often. But never without new challenge, new gift, new opportunity. It's when we shutter up the windows of our souls and hide behind yesterday that tomorrow never comes, no matter how long we live." Joan Chittister
In Search of Belief, p. 126-12. photo from here
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I read the following listed in the Crime Report
under "Disturbances/ Suspicious."
"Someone in reporting party's bed,
possible mental situation".
I think we all know the particulars of this incident, don't we?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Really? If that's the case then the disgruntled parishioners who left their congregations over the 'hymns on the organ vs. praise music on the guitar' argument are going to be TRULY bummed out.
The caption of this picture is "Barrel Organ Festival"...does that crowd looked pumped up to you? And another thing, will we all be required to wear those bowler hats in eternity? Surely not! And where are the monkeys?
Monday, February 2, 2009
This is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus when parents were required to present their child at the Temple on the 40th day. Here, Jesus is recognized as the Messiah by Simeon and Anna.
Looking at this artwork I like to think that Jesus is comforting his mother after her hearing Simeon tell her that a sword would pierce her heart.
Artwork: Mother and Child Reading the Word - Michael D. O'Brien
Sunday, February 1, 2009
"It means I have my own inner life, God replied." - J. Rubenis
I'm fond of the idea of the Holy Trinity sharing an apartment together, perhaps in New York City. On sunny winter afternoons they take a leisurely stroll around Central Park, sometimes stopping to feed the ducks, all the while marveling at their glorious creation.