April 28, 2009
A Pilgrim's Walk
Dos Colores Double Rainbow near Centerton AR
I am exhausted but feeling like life has changed again. For the past few days, I have been on a long awaited spiritual journey called "Walk To Emmaus
" This is a four day intensive... I dont want to call it a retreat because it more closely reminds me of the team building weekends that I have been on. I found much of it fascinating, and at times baffling, and I was glad that I was able to go and participate. I had long heard of it, but didnt know how one went about going. Only this year did they post in the church paper that you could talk to someone about going. You need a sponsor to put your name forward and I knew that each chapter held a walk just a few times a year, so it is a sort of honor I guess to be asked, but truly it is a call to service within the church, and the Walk is a way to equip you for that service.
I have included the link above that has information on the background of The Walk and will not go into the background of the Emmaus movement here. That would be a long winded post that would not be fruitful. There seems to be a lot of controversy on the net about if this community is a cult, a secret society or something that is divisive in the church. If it is any of these things in the church you belong to then someone has been remiss about how they have acted or spoken with regards to it. This is not a club for Christian Over Achievers, or a way to get around being a part of a regular community of faith. Just because you go on a Walk doesn't mean you are any more a Believer than everyone else, or that there is something wrong with you if you don't want to go on a Walk. This is not for everyone. The intensity of the experience can be hard for some people. The closeness of the community and lack of "alone" time was hard for me. However, that being said, I was glad to have had the company of three ladies from my church that I have been wanting to get to know better, and our Pastor, the only man in attendance in this group.( Imagine for a moment guys, being alone with and involved with about 36 women, (he was the only one leaving the site at night to go home and sleep) for four full days) As I was to see, this sort of thing is something he loves to do, having been a participant in his walk in the early days with one of the founders of this movement here in the US.
Walk 64 gathering on the porch of Parker House, Mt Sequoiya Fayetteville AR
My concerns were the lack of privacy, the fact that the body mechanics that give me my great voice also lends itself to the worst snoring you can possibly imagine. I have been asked to sleep in my car on one retreat and to just up and leave at another. The retreats I have been on up at Little Portion, I have been asked to request a single room and if this is not available to not force someone to endure this affliction with me, out of Christian charity, and to withdraw from the retreat. It looked like I was going to have to share a room, but at the last minute there was a cancellation and I was accommodated.
My Luxurious Nest, my solo room I was so grateful to have this bit of privacy to process all that was hitting me at once... and the bed was comfortable too. There was a communal bath just across the way which was nice too
There are some things they do that are hard to understand at first. First they want you to allow you sponsor to drive you to and from the site. This is so you dont have to be concerned with transportation, they even carry your luggage, get you settled into your room at the site etc. The sponsor has taken care of the financial arrangements as well. Everything is provided to you. You are told that if you have a need or a desire they will do her best too accomodate. It was warm this weekend and the A/C wasnt up to the task, so that need was presented and fans appered. Another lady said that she wished she had brought a six pack of her brand of soda. Bottles of it appered on the snack tables for all to enjoy.
You are asked to leave your personal concerns behind at home, to facilitate this you are asked to not use your cel phone and to leave it and all electronics at home. This was very hard for many people most especially for a young mother who left her fifteen month old alone with her daddy for the first time. They were fine. I was given another dispensation as I was driving myself(I was supposed to be in FT Smith at an interview that day but it was canceled. I didnt change my plans, and used the time to run a lot of errands and get a lot of things done.) I also was allowed to keep my cel but to not have it on during the weekend. The purpose is so you can focus on the things we were learning and not be concerned about time or the pressures of daily living. I find at night that the clock is a comfort. I was told it was ok if I needed to look at the time but keep the thing off and hidden.
The content of the course work is a series of fifteen talks given over the three day period. They are given by Ordained Clergy, or a non ordained lay speaker and vary as to how much theological content they contain... They dovetail into each other, as they are somewhat scripted... A personal story that ties into the theme, a introduction and a statement if you are a clergy person or a Lay speaker, and then you give the talk. After the talk there is group discussion around a table that you have been assigned to, with a leader and assistant to help and focus things. A secretary writes a summary that is a synopsis of the discussion. This position changes with every talk as the participants rotate positions arond the , with only the leader staying in her place. Then there is a time where you create a "Artistic Impression" of the subject. This can be singing a well known song, or making one up. Some choose a literal artistic approach and create posters, collages and other crafts. Skits are written, poems are crafted and read. On the second and third evenings, each group presents its summaries and art in turn. With four tables and five presentations for each it makes for a full evenings entertainment, while reinforcing the lessons of the day.
There was a bit of free time. I took one break as a time to walk around the grounds of the Conference Center. Its a beautiful location that was given to the Methodist Church early in the last century. Located on the summit of Mount Sequoya, it overlooks the city of Fayetteville. From the front porch of our dorm the night lights were beautiful. Many of the buildings are 75 plus years old, adding character and charm to the facility. The spaces were cozy and rustic, and for life long Methodist from the region this is a place full of happy memories, of summer camps and conferences, even family vacations! Our Pastor uses the available rooms here for occasional working retreats since it is only thirty miles from our city. The kitchen is working 7 days a week so you can call ahead and they will prepare you a meal. He brings a stack of books and turns his phone off and relaxes for a few quiet days. I am sure he is not alone in this escape. Other denominations in the area use the dorms and kitchens as well. There was even a group from the local Embroiderers Guild of America holding a stitching retreat there, and a local man walking about that had come up to rest and work on his comedy routine before a fund raising comedy competition linked to the local Race for the Cure that was also held this weekend in Fayetteville.
There is a chapel service morning and evening, rather than give away any more about what goes on there,Im going to leave it at that. I have had many such experiences gone to a lot of retreat sorts of things but this was a most unique experience. Im withholding information not because its a BIG secret but the organization asks that you keep the secret because it allows the next "pilgrim" to have a fresh experience. I understand that and respect that.
Some of the "surprise" elements were very touching and amazing. From the constant flow of food (more eating opportunities than a cruise boat, I kid you not...) to hand made gifts from strangers. From the care of the supporting staff to learning that literally 100s of people have been and were praying for you, serving you and caring for you, some for months prior to you arrival. Of the 36 to 40 people in closest contact with each other in the conference itself, only 17 of us were "pilgrims" on our first "Walk". It was astounding to me and yes it does overwhelm.
There is a point in the process that is very dramatic and for many if not most people quite emotional. I found myself quite detached and more observant. I was praying for the others there that were having deep moments...even what I call "burning bush" experiences where you come face to face with God as you understand Him. Was it that I find such emotionalism excessive, not really... I think I am just so drained out right now. I know that there might have been some hesitancy to even allow me on the Walk, because my life is so chaotic right now. I found some of the images created by light and darkness disturbing, it the same way that a burning cross has a beauty and a horror about it for what it connotates... The burning light shining in the daarkness or the evils of the KKK and Hitler's spectacals of light and darkness... very dramatic...
For I am not a new pilgrim on this journey...as are so many who have not had burning bush experiences. I am not groping for a candle lit path to a new and greater truth... I have already found that Truth on a deserted beach 21 years ago
, and while I have had other watershed moments with God this past event so long ago was the biggie for me... Not that I cant stand a fresh touch from God now and again...
I had inner messages that I interpreted in one way, my Pastor another. My new therapist, who is wonderful at this, turned the ideas upside down in a radical interpratation that was very insightful, and caused me to look at this weekends events quite differently. That while I thought that maybe I am currently too broken for God to use, that the "usefullness" quotent is actually at its highest now. That the losses of my life to me signaled failure, lack of community, and of a lack of Agape love towards others, she said those "others" I am so concerned about, used and hurt me and that while it hurts, God is sweeping all of that away just as sure as a wildfire burns off the brush so new trees can grow tall.That what I thought was a heart turned to stone that needs to be broken and removed is actually a bedrock of faith worthy of building skyscrapers on...That in suffering and adversity, the faithful witness shines out of the broken places, like light throught the Luminarias or the rainbow sunlight through the broken glass of a stained glass window.
I have most importantly gained a Community of friends that I can turn to. The next step is "Fourth Day", and "Group Reunions" Where you meet in small groups of 3 to 8 for mutual encouragement and accountability. I am fairly sure that we will have to start a group like this for ourselves, because so many of the groups around here meet during the day. It is a beginning of a new phase in my life, that no matter what happens I will always have this time to treasure
De Colores (the colors)
De Colores ( the colors)
The diamond will sparkle
when brought to the light
De colores, and so must all love
be of every bright color
To make my heart cry
Radiant Light over the valley the view from the outdoor chapel Fayetteville AR
Labels: Catholic, Emmaus, Faith
April 26, 2009
1st Peter 1:2-13~ Great and Precious Promises
The Little Chapel of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. Little Portion Monestery Berryville AR
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
I think it right, as long as I am in this body,to stir you up by way of reminder,
since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.
Labels: John Michael Talbot, Little Portion, Scenic Arkansas, scripture
April 23, 2009
The Land Of The Springtime
A moment in time captured by my mother on a photo slide, then brought to life by her cousin Phillip Stack in pastels...one of my most treasured possessions
Oh yes, for this child of the desert, it was like I had stepped off of the airplane and into a dream. The blue-green sea water,and the pink sand beaches... yes pink from the shells that were crushed by the pounding waves. The bright blue sky turned golden in the evenings and billowing clouds brought blessed rain twice a day, The flowers and the green trees. The smell of fruits and the rustle of sugar cane leaves as the sea breezes blew... every day was nothing less than a miracle. I loved every aspect of my time there my life there in Majuagua, Learning Spanish, giving the missionary's children their school lessons, the evangelistic tent meetings we gave every Saturday night. Sometimes I strapped my accordion on and rode horseback to get to the little farming villages up in the hills, through the jungle, as there was no roadway, just a muddy dirt track. Oh, how they loved to sing the Christian songs... We lived in a house with a thatch roof on a farm... yes that is where the picture came from. My cousin Phillip drew it with pastels from a slide I took out the back door, of the drainage canal and the lovely palm trees. It was as much like heaven as I could dream of... Terra de la Primavera, the Land of the Springtime...
My mother never tired of talking about her time in Cuba as a missionary. Those years abroad shaped her and became the defining moments of her life. She said that she embraced the missionary call fully as a result of the death of the five missionaries that were killed during a first contact with a savagely primitive people, the Waodoni, once called the Acua, of Central Ecuador. The story was well told in the 2005 film "The End of the Spear
" My hero and hers, Elisabeth Elliot, endured the loss of her beloved husband, and the seemingly wasteful end of a life's work there. Yes she and her daughter Valerie, and the sister of the pilot, Nate Saint, Rachel went and lived among these people and made an attempt to evangelize them, but they would tell you that the effort has had mixed success. I think that many of the young people that offered their lives up to the Call to fill the place of those martyrs might feel that way. I know my mother did as well.
I also think that mother found healing and purpose in the venture abroad. I do know that she had one romantic interest that didn't pan out. He has gone on to do very well for himself, as a pastor writer and professor at DTS. I dont know that time heals all wounds but her life would have been very different had different choices been made.
Cuba of the 1950's was a place in transition. Like so many countries in Latin America even now, its government was in the hands of a political dictatorship run by a strongman and his thugs at the behest of our own government here in the US. American business interests, along with organized crime flourished. Havana was fast becoming a hot spot in many ways both good and bad... The people finding themselves in the newly rising middle class lived well in the city, with those that were wealthy living very well.
In the countryside there was poverty but farmers owned there own land, earned a modest living. Their children received an elementary education at the village school. It was a typical Latin American country.
When Castro lead his armies south to north, his goal was not to become a satellite of the Soviet empire, it was to free the island of the foreign interests that control ed the islands food production, and to rid it of the Organized Crime bosses that were extorting large sums of money from people that were struggling. He was a Marxist, a socialist, and had ties to Che Guevara and the whole thing, but our history is slanted due to the events of the cold war. We interfered in Cuba's destiny from the day we wrested her from Spanish control. Like Porto Rico
I am no scholar about this subject I only know what I have been told by Americans that lived there prior to the revolution, and Cuban nationals I have met who lived there before and escaped after Castor overthrew the established government. I will not justify in any way what Castro has done... Even he would tell you... better yet I can repeat a story I was told years ago by Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST ministries, an organization that was founded to assist the Underground/Oppressed church. He was a former journalist, who exposed the genocide in Uganda under Idi Amin to the world in 1978. Dan's credentials gave him access to El Presidente Castro, who invited him to Havana to discuss the revolution, the ending of the Cold War, Cuba's future and the future of the Church... True to form Dan brought the conversation to God and the Eternal Destiny of every person. He asked Mr. Castro about his early faith in God, and begged him to return to God, that he forgives and accepts everyone. They were driving south to Santiago, and there was a long silence. Castro sighed and thanked Dan for his concern and then said that "God and Jesus and His Holy Mother could never forgive him for the evil he had done..." Then he turned and there were tears running down his face. Grief or guilt remorse or repentance...we will never know
Castro had no hidden communist agenda. But he was a Marxist socialist. He nationalized the industries that were at one time control ed by foreign interests. He kicked the mafia out and those that were in bed with them. This angered American businessmen. The collectivisation of agriculture looked too much like Communism and no one in the US government would assist in any of these dealing. When Mr Kruschev and his henchmen came a calling, Cuba couldn't say no. And its been a marriage made in hell ever since. We slapped an embargo on the island, The USSR imported missiles, bombers and battalions along with the food and medical supplies.
Cuba under this intolerable situation has lived with grit and determination so typical of island folk. they can boast of the highest literacy rate in the hemisphere, with a medical establishment that is one of the best that can be found under the circumstances. The people, even the farming people are well read and well versed in cultural classics. It is a nation waiting to be reborn.
My mother's work was not in vain, for in the wake of the Revolution, people remembered the words of the missionaries, the pastors and the priests, and clung to their faith. In 1998 Pope John Paul II came and spend a week there and led masses that attracted thousands. I believe he hoped that his visit would encourage the US to ease up on restrictions on trade and travel, and the government to release prisoners of conscience, and ease the pressures against religious practice. It had little effect, at least on the surface...who knows what effect it had on people's hearts
Truth is that the Embargo has done little to effect change in the government, it has only hurt the little people, the children and family of expatriate Cubans in America. The lifting of trade and travel restrictions will only improve the living conditions of the people, and the fact is, that meeting real Americans is often the turning point towards liberation from totalitarianism. It certainly shows a reality that is far different from government propoganda and "reality" TV shows...
Cuba may never have the type of government that we think she should have... but I sense with the events of the past weeks that a thaw in relations is in the offing. I have been approached by family members to consider making the journey to retrace my mother's steps. I want to do that with all of my heart. Perhaps one day I too will be enchanted by the Land of the Springtime, and perhaps the long winter of Cuba's isolation from her neighbor to the north will come to an end
Labels: Current Events, Dreams, Family History, Traveling
April 20, 2009
Bon Voyage, My Abigail
My Sweet Girl, Abigal at 3 months
Hokulea: Do you have any misgivings about Abigail coming back home with me? You know her better than I do. she will be alone a lot, I cant help that. I want her to be happy. I was looking at her picture this morning and remebered how she was so unhappy and sad while she was here so I am concerned about it. Maybe I am just being silly. When I am home she will get lots of love and attention, so maybe it wont matter....
Puppy MeeMaw I honestly do not believe it is a good idea for to return. I have worked with the puppy and she is definitely a social flower, only happy around someone or other dogs. I do not believe she is ever going to be OK staying by herself. She just makes herself sick. She does not mind the cage at night if she is with the other dogs but doesn't like it in the house by herself. She definitely doesn't like it during the day time hours. I am so sorry, I know you connected with her in the short time you had her. I would suggest that when you get settled with your job and stuff that we try again and see if you are more over Anabelle and definitely more in control of your time. You know a puppy takes a lot of time and when you just don;t have the time or another person to back you up it is too hard.
I stood before her pictures today and wondered how she was doing, was she better? Would it be right to bring her home... So I emailed today. And this was the answer.
I feel very sad and feel a touch lost about it all. But it is what is best for Abi and for me too. It just wasnt a good fit and deep down I knew that... She already has had some admirers. MeeMaw told me that she will place her with either someone that will be home with her all of the time...she gets a lot of retirees that come from this area, or someone that has another dog already
Annabelle's sister is still available, another lady has pick of the litter and was leaning towards the other pups so if she is still available after next week I will go and see her again. she would be ready to come home mid may when I would be free to spend a few days with her here, then there are babies that will be ready in June... we shall see how things go
I will be sending the pictures Ive taken to MeeMaw, maybe the new family will want them
I have to let go again, this is the right thing, but it hurts just the same
April 19, 2009
Prayer for Forgivness~ A Devotion for Divine Mercy Sunday
Devotional Garden the Shrine at Monte Cassino, St Meinrad, IN
The Prayer for Forgiveness
To You, O God
Fountain of Mercy
I come...a sinner
May You wash away my impurity
O Sun of Justice
give sight to the blind
O Eternal Healer
cure the wounded
O King of Kings
Restore the despoiled,
O Mediator of God and Man
reconcile the sinful
O Good Shepard
lead back the straying
have pity on the wretched
show leniency to the guilty
bestow life upon the dead
reform the impious
and give the balm of grace
to the hard of heart
O merciful God
call back the one who flees
draw back the one who falls
lift up the one who falls
support the one who stands
and accompany the one who walks
Do not forget those who forget You
Do not desert those who desert You
Do not despise those who sin against You
For in sinning,
I have offended You, me God
I have harmed my neighbor
I have not even spared myself injury
I have sinned, O my God
against You, almighty Father
because of my weakness
against You... All knowing Son
because of my ignorance
against You,merciful Holy Spirit
because of my malice.
Thus have i offended You
most high Trinity
Woe to me, a pitiful soul
and how diverse
are the sins I have committed
I abandoned You, Lord
I question Your goodness
by yeailding to evil cravings
and weskening myself with harmful fears
By such things
I prefered to lose You
rather than abandonwhat I desired
to offend You
rather than face
what ought not to be feared
O my God
how much harm have I done
by wowrd and deed
and by sinning secretly,
openly and defiantly
out of my weakness, I beg You
not to pay heed to my iniquity
but rather to Your immense goodness.
and I beg you mercifully to pardon
what I have done
sorrow for my past actions
and precaution in the future
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Labels: Catholic, IN, Poem, scripture
April 13, 2009
A Life Well Lived
Flowering trees taken off the Upper patio of the First United Methodist Church Bella Vista AR
Its Holy Thursday and I have enjoyed listening to the services on EWTN. They are showing the evening service from Rome, presided over by the Pope... in the church of St John Lateran
, I think my favorite of the churches in Rome that I have seen photos of, very beautiful
I am also engaging in a personal ritual. Every year or so, this time its about 13 months, I finish one personal journal and start a new one. This will occur in the next few weeks and I wanted to have the new one selected and ready.
This process usually means my digging in my cedar chest formally known as my "hope" chest, but after two failed marriages there is not much hope there. I have my journals stored in it now to protect them from humidity and the elements. There are 40 completed journals beginning from 1978 till now. Some are in better condition than others, the cheap paper caused the inks to fade, others are as bright as the day I penned the words... thousands of hours of prayers, reflections and narrative... my life bound up in ink, paper and cloth...with insertions of clippings photos and little bits of life. For example... I found a mat clipped from Annabelle's coat a week after her death, the lump of silky hair missed the waste basket. From trash to treasure... I kissed the tiny bit of my beloved and placed it between the pages of my current journal where I noted her untimely passing and my torrent of grief...
I also found a very good photo of my mother that I didnt know that I still had that fell from the pages of one of my journals... I have so few from those last few years of her life. This was taken before Parkinson's hardened her face into a twisted scowl.She was happily riding on a friends borrowed Rascal scooter, Dreaming of her own I think. She was to cannive her way into ownership of a Rascal, just when she could no longer manage it. she took it out and lost control of it and rant the thing off the sidewalk and tumbled her out of it... The Bellflower police brought her home and the nursing home took the keys away from her... Sadly the scooter languished on a uncovered patio, while the payments racked up. These ads on TV for the "scooter store" that tease seinors into buying something they cant afford are criminal. The thing promised freedom that she couldnt afford and couldnt manage. I shed a few tears for the frustration and pain she endured in those last years... it wasnt easy for her...
When I look at my journals, which is not often really, I can spend hours reliving the past in them. I am amazed at what I write about and what I dont write about. The pages of prayers and reflections on Biblical studies in the Hosanna years of 1988 to 1996, and how my writing abruptly changed... How all of my life in Hawaii spanned only four volumes, how thankful I am that I blogged and took all of the pictures otherwise it would all seem like a dream
I said a lot about my mis adventures while married to the Engineer, but nothing specific enough to use in my Magesterial Annulment. Too bad as I really need some help here.
But I think what made me the saddest was the pages and pages of rage directed at Woody and our relationship, and the pages of tear stained missive of how lost I have been over the years, spiritually since the Calvary Chapel debacle. In counseling this past week Susan, my new therapist, and I touched on how the "Offense" that we receive from another Believer or another can be a vehicle for the enemy of our souls to impede our growth as persons and as children of God. I know this to be true.
The two situations are linked. Now that I have been apart form Woody for the better part of a year I have really been able to move forward away from both issues and see real healing in my life. The proof is the forgiveness I have been able to freely give to other "offenders" like Linda the gal from Birmingham, or even the Vet that cared for Annabelle and maybe didnt do all that he could have. I see a peace that I have not had as far as the past goes that I didnt have a year ago.
Looking backwards is a useful tool if you have an objective means to do so. My journals provide that. True, they are subjective because it is only my view of events but I try to be as true to myself as I can be
As I was going through the chest I found the huge stack of letters that I have saved over the years, Certainly not every letter that I have ever received, If I did that I would have a pile big enough to fill my garage floor to ceiling! No these were letters from old boyfriends and old cards and things... A lot could go with no regrets and I re read some of them and had a laugh and tossed the rest unread. The bundle halved I retied the ribbons and stowed the much smaller pile away
Some times I need to dig through some of this for perspective. I have had a good life. And its only maybe half over God willing. I want to be more present in the moment... More intentional about caring for others and for myself...less concerned about the past mis steps and those things I cannot control and lastly more trusting in the God Who Sees me, Who knows me and all that I am. All that I have and all that I am is from Him. I need to learn to believe that He is for my good and that the rest of my life will be just as well lived as the first half was
Abigail playing with her pink doggie... I miss the little mutt let
Labels: Annabelle, Church, Faith, Family History, Marriage, Personal Growth, Woody
April 12, 2009
Mark 16:1-8~ The Rest Of The Story
The Risen Christ.... The altar of St Francis of Rome Church Clifton District Loiusville KY
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.
And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.
And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.
“But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Pastor David made a good point this morning, this passage ends so abruptly it makes you wonder why Mark hardly finished the sentence of verse 8... Was he arrested by soliders, or left to go off with Barnabas or Paul?... Others have tried to finish the tale, we know that Mark didnt write the final verses of the book that bears his name, the add on is a rough fit.
Was it deliberate, this omission of the marvelous? After all The Roman mind to whom this Gospel is directed was accustomed to tales of miracles wrought by the pantheon of gods goddesses and demi-gods but, none of them ever claimed to reclaim a departed spirit and replace it into a body abandoned in death... a three day old body at that. This is not found in any myth or legend...could it even be true?...
Perhaps Mark wanted to make sure that his readers kept reading... that the new followers of The Way, as Jesus' teachings were called then, kept following. We will never know. We can see that these tales did circulate as Paul relates in first Conrinthians 15
and there was disbelief
What we do know is this, that Mark recorded the story and we have it today. The next step we need to take is the same step that those that visited the empty tomb on the first Easter morning needed to make... The step of faith to believe that Jesus was and is all that he said that he was and is. If this is true then we need to tell someone about it, just as Mark and those others did after seeing the miracle of the Ressurection
That is the Rest of the Story
Labels: Faith, Louisville, scripture
April 11, 2009
Humility and the Father's Love
Image of Our Lord on His Cross. The Shrine of Monte Cassino, St. Meinrad INWhy did my Father give you power over me
Because he wanted me to get very close to you
to show you the depths of his love for you
not the distant love of a God
who sits on a throne in his heaven
and looks down on you on the earth
but the love of a Father
who longs to help you
to carry your burdens
to comfort and heal you
to give you every good gift
He wants to come to your homes
and to sit with you at your meals
as one of the family
He wants to walk with you
as a beloved friend
He could not do that himself
and so he sent me
His only Son
to make His love known to you
I could take on your weakness
and then act out my Father's name
which is Love
Can you truly imagine the love of God
Can you understand the depth
of your Father's love for you?
The Father sent me to
show you His love
and to act it out among you
to give you an example to copy
I am the image of your unseen Father
In my life
and particularly in my passion
I showed you the depths
to which love must be prepared to go
There is no room for fear in love
no room for shame
Love offers everything
and expects no return
You cannot bear the unveiled love of God
It falls like fire upon you
and you are consumed and burnt up in its heat
you are not ready yet to be refined
and purified by the naked flame
of your Father's love for you
and so it has to be filtered
mediated to you through my flesh
"Fifteen Mysteries in the Life of Jesus"
St Paul Press
Labels: Catholic, Faith, IN, Poem
April 10, 2009
Take Up Your Cross
Statue Jesus meets His mother while carrying His Cross The stations of the cross at St Elizabeth of Hungary Church Eureka Springs AR
Take Up Your CrossI could only manage
One step at a time
I did not see
the Grand Design
I could only summon my strength
to take the next step
to carry the cross piece
on my shoulders
until I could carry it
and they made Simon help me
I was obedient to those
who led me to Calvary
and I did nothing to protest
against their injustice and cruelty
Who recognized their Lord and their God in me?
What God would allow Himself to be treated
on such a humiliating and agonizing way?
Do you not see?
Anyone can bow down
before a God of power and majesty;
the gods of all the peoples of the world
do god-like things,
either behaving with power
to crush all opposition
and to reward their friends
with goods and honors
or behaving with great and obvious holiness,
fasting and praying without ceasing.
Satan himself behaves in a way
that many think is truly god-like
But I allowed myself to be treated
like a common criminal
despised and rejected by men,
and nailed to a cross to die.
And I ask you to follow my example
out of love for me
Every other god
is a creation of you imaginations,
yourselves written large in fantasy,
bigger better holier than you are.
But I am not interested
in your following me
for what you can get
by putting yourselves under
my lordship and protection
I want to know your hearts
do you love Me
in whatever disguise I appear to you?
And so I walk the world
in the poor, the rejected
the sick and the oppressed
Do you love me
and recognize me in them?
Take up your cross and follow me,
for only those who lose their lives for my sake
will find them...
Richard Hobbs- 2002
from"Fifteen Mysteries in the Life of Jesus"
Brother of St Paul press
Labels: Catholic, Faith, Poem, Scenic Arkansas
April 09, 2009
Meditation On The Last Discourse~a poem
The Solitary Cross at the Chapel of the Resurection, Little Portion retreat center Eureka Springs ARI go to the Father,
to the deep secret of my heart,
to the place of white lightning
in the morning grass
I will run where peace lives
and apples with wine colored faces
apples that laugh like wine
I come from the Father
from Him who is warm caves
in the nameless hills
from a shoreless sea
and a day of sun
and a raucous wind in the waves
I come always
Coming is who I AM
I go always
Through the clenched muscles
of a hundred mountains
through darkness like dark syrup
that swallows my footprints
and abolishes my shape
But I go to the Father
to the great secret
who leaps on young hills
who pushes the bones of the mountains
out of the sea
And sets the forth
or rose colored ridges
I go to the secret of my heart
I have given away Your Word
and they who received it
are those who sing on the roads of blood
who speak it to the setting sun
who whisper it to the hearth fire
on winter nights
You are He who speaks to me
Who shouts me forth from cool caves
from whose darkness
I tumble into the light
I am Your Daylight
I am the song of your morning
I am the blue of your noon day
buildding castles in the sand
I am the waterfall of air
that goes to sleep
in orchards of plum blossom
I come to You
Mother Mirriam Pollard OCSO
Santa Rita Abbey
Labels: Little Portion
April 08, 2009
I Will Rise~ A Song For Worship
Light of the World Statue of Jesus in the prayer garden of St Elizabeth of Hungary Church Eureka Springs ARThere’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, “it is well”
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
I will rise
There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
I will rise
And I hear the voice of many angels sing, “worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart, “worthy is the Lamb”
Labels: Praise and Worship, Scenic Arkansas
April 05, 2009
John 12:12-36 Enter The Week That Changed History
Hawaiian Palms, Taken near Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
The Triumphal Entry
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,
Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hail to the King of Israel!"
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said:
"Don't be afraid, people of Israel.
Look, your King is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt."
His disciples didn't realize at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered that these Scriptures had come true before their eyes.
Those in the crowd who had seen Jesus call Lazarus back to life were telling others all about it. That was the main reason so many went out to meet him-because they had heard about this mighty miracle. Then the Pharisees said to each other, "We've lost. Look, the whole world has gone after him!"
Jesus Predicts His Death
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, "Sir, we want to meet Jesus." Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.
Jesus replied, "The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone-a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels-a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them. Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, `Father, save me from what lies ahead'? But that is the very reason why I came! Father, bring glory to your name."
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, "I have already brought it glory, and I will do it again." When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
Then Jesus told them, "The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world will be cast out. And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
"Die?" asked the crowd. "We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. Why are you saying the Son of Man will die? Who is this Son of Man you are talking about?"
Jesus replied, "My light will shine out for you just a little while longer. Walk in it while you can, so you will not stumble when the darkness falls. If you walk in the darkness, you cannot see where you are going. Believe in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light." After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.
Labels: Hawaii, scripture