Charlottesville 

What happened in Charlottesville was evil. Pure and simple. The same evil my father fought in WWII, now come home to America, complete with swastikas, seig heils (including “heil Trump”) and chants of “JEWS won’t replace us”, and, in the end, murder. The KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, spewing their hate, were out in full force. 

This is not a partisan issue. It is not about who you voted for in November 2016. It is about good versus evil, love versus hatred, and every American who believes that we are all, each one of us, created in the image of God, must have the courage to speak out against the dehumanizing tactics and beliefs of the evil that had arisen in our midst. 

God’s laughter

 God’s laughter emanating from the sky

LAUGHTER CAME FROM EVERY BRICK

Just these two words He spoke
changed my life,

“Enjoy Me.”

What a burden I thought I was to carry–
a crucifix, as did He.

Love once said to me, “I know a song,
would you like to hear it?”

And laughter came from every brick in the street
and from every pore
in the sky.

After a night of prayer, He
changed my life when
He sang,

“Enjoy me.”
(St. Teresa of Avila, 16th century mystic, saint, and Doctor of the Church)

friday eight: hymns

Courtesy of my friends over at RevGalBlogPals, here is today’s Friday Five:

Friday Five: Favorites Old and New

You know how sometimes you just want to have a hymn sing?

Well, today is that day.

Share with the group five favorite hymns or praise songs or songs that bring you close to the Spirit (that’s a pretty wide net!) and why they are special to you.

Bonus if you can share Youtube videos or audio files of one or two or more.

Well, okay, here are my efforts. It will take the workings of the Holy Spirit for me to manage the media aspect of this…

1. Prayer of St. Francis

2. Ave Maria, by Schubert. Not really a sing-along, but the ultimate Catholic hymn.

3. Be Not Afraid. I’ve sung this in the shower, in the hospital, at my dad’s funeral. It comforts me whenever I feel scared and alone, or sad and grieving.

4.  Hymn Tune Thaxted/O God Beyond All Praising. Bittersweet. My wedding processional, and my beloved friend Emilie’s funeral processional.

5. Holy God We Praise They Name. Every time I sing this, I go straight back to childhood, sitting between my parents at Incarnation Church during mass. Classic.

I can’t stop at five, though. so this will be my Friday Eight!

6. For All the Saints. Another classic. I choose this one for my mom’s funeral, appropriately enough, I still think.

7. All Creatures of Our God and King. Based on the poetry of St. Francis of Assisi. (Recessional at mom’s funeral. She loved St. Francis!)

8. And, of course, my Grandma’ Resch’s favorite: How Great Thou Art.

 

spiritual? relgious? both? none?

St. Peter's Basilica at Early Morning
St. Peter’s Basilica at Early Morning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been all over the internet–and my theological journals too–recently, that a large percentage of so-called Millennialsdon’t identify with any religion at all, and the new classification assigned by pollsters is “none.”  This makes me, a Gen-Xer, very curious. I have to admit that as a “Cradle Catholic” and product of Catholic schools the concept is quite foreign to me.

I do understand being disillusioned with the Catholic Church, especially over gender issues and the ongoing sex scandals. But for me, the closest I came to leaving was talking to a friend about becoming an Episcopalian, an inquiry I abandoned once Pope Francis was elected (I really love him). Although I am not a perfect Catholic (the phrase “Cafeteria Catholic” fits in certain ways–but then it does for most Catholics on either side of the spectrum) I can’t imagine believing in God and not being part of a faith community, despite the flaws inherent in any institution run by imperfect human beings. And for me, I’ve always found the dichotomy between spirituality and religion a false one; after all, any study of the great mystics and spiritual leaders throughout history shows that many, if not most, belonged to a church community.

But I want to hear about your experiences, too. What do you consider yourself, faith-wise? I regret using labels for such a huge part of our human experience, but for now it will have to do. Do you reject all organized religion, and if so, why? Do you consider yourself a spiritual person, or do you want nothing to do with any of it (in which case it is highly unlikely you are reading my blog, but one never knows)? Please, I invite you to share your story. I promise I won’t proselytize or preach. I just want to understand better.

6 Helpful Prayers to Know

I had to add these prayers to my blog. I know I am not the only one who struggles with depression, and these prayers are simply beautiful. There is even a prayer for those contemplating suicide–by Mother Theresa, of all people. I’m not sure why, I just never thought she would understand the depths of despair depression can lead to. But judging by her prayer, she did.

Therese J. Borchard

225px-MotherTeresa_090.jpg
With all the uncertainty that’s going on in my life, I’m trying to cling to prayer as much as I can, to continually ask God to guide me in a direction that best promotes His peace in this world. Ironically, as I looked for prayers to say in the morning, a friend sent me the beautiful gift book, “At Prayer with Mother Teresa,” a collection of reflections and meditations by Mother Teresa and her favorite saints, theologians, or fellow believers, complied by Eileen Egan. Among the beautiful passages are these six prayers that I dog-eared in the book:

 

Prayer for Enlightenment by Mother Teresa

Come, O Blessed Spirit Knowledge and Light, and grant that I may perceive the Will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever…

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HAPPY PEOPLE

I couldn’t resist re-blogging this one, because it confirms my belief, in numbers 3 and 5: Two keys to living a more joyful life are gratitude and helping others (even if it’s just in a small way). How can I give in to my natural pessimism when I’m busy being grateful for all that God has given me? And as for helping others, well, I think anyone who had done any volunteering, or been there for a friend, will agree with me that no thanks are necessary. I’ve always gotten far more in return than I have ever given.

 

According to Paula Davis, there are “10 Things Happy People Do Differently”. If you care to become a happy person for the year to come, here is what you should be aiming at!

HAPPYYYY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. They build strong social connections
2. They engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle
3. They practice gratitude
4. They have an optimistic view in life
5. They know it’s good to do good
6. They know that materialism is not everything
7. They develop healthy coping strategies
8. Their primary goal is their health
9. They care to cultivate their spirituality
10. They have a goal that they strive to accomplish

Being a happy person bring you better life, longer life, and healthier life… What is important for you?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-davislaack/happiness-tips_b_2325700.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

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grace everywhere

Earth
Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Grace is everywhere, even in our darkest moments, when we feel unloved, alone, and unwanted. I’ve been there, through the pain of PTSD and major depression, the loss of both of my parents, whom I loved dearly, and the agony of infertility. And somehow, just when I’m on the verge of giving up all hope, that I have found God in my heart. I have found God in the deepest, darkest night, patiently waiting for me to notice.  And I have discovered God the most in the mundane, every day things. St. Theresa of Avila once talked about finding God in “the pots and pans.” I figure that if God is found in washing the dishes, then God must be lurking  everywhere, if we only have the heart to see!

That’s what this blog is about. My spiritual journey, discoveries of grace in the most ordinary places, my encounters with God on the bus, in Church, in my hospital room. It is about realizing that the little things really do matter.

 

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