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Archive for February, 2009

When it was evening, . . . .”

So, we come to the “evening” of this week, and of this month.  Neither we nor they need to go away.  We all want something to eat.

And the booklet commentary (below the initial quote) brings us squarely to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which can seem so big, it’s as if we have already sent them away.

#4 Reduce Child Mortality?  — I agree

#5 Improve Maternal Health?  — Yes, of course.

#6 Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases?  — Great idea, I fully endorse it.

But now what?  But now, how?  Well, yes, sure, soon I will tear out the envelope in the back of the booklet, write a check and send it in.  Ping! – one drop in the bucket.  Thank you, ER-D, for all that you do.

What WMDs (weapons of mass development) can we bring to these challenges?  I don’t know, but perhaps we can at least muster the same amount of energy and resources we have put into the other WMDs.  Evolution is possible.

In the meantime, I can still think globally and act locally.  I can make “contributions”: I can read and listen; I can learn; I can tell stories; I can spread the word; I can write a check; I can clean out our garage and take some stuff to the swap shop; I can visit and support  Maine Children’s Cancer Program and the kids and families in that program (remember Brianna Newton, for whose family we prepared some meals last year; remember Molly Field James, our daughter, a 29 year-old Episcopal priest living in Connecticut, who, 16 years ago this coming May, was diagnosed with bone cancer and underwent 13 months of successful treatment at MCCP); I can tell stories; I can spread the word; I can write another check; I can exchange e-mails with and support a young local student, whom I’ve never met, but who just raised several thousand dollars for MCCP, as he dressed up in a penguin suit and took a plunge into the icy water of a local lake.  Each drop matters.

In the meantime, and remembering that life is not confined to the literal, I can ask myself:

#4 —  Has the child within me died?

#5 —  How healthy is my maternal side?

#6 — What areas of “dis-ease” within me do I notice?

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Okay, this one (page 6 of the booklet) has me stumbling a bit at the outset.  When I read a phrase that begins “you also must be . . . ,” I start to resist and get my hackles up.  Someone else’s prescriptions or mandates on being are almost never gratefully received by me.

Then, phrases like “the Son of Man” are a bit alien and baffling to me, not to mention not very PC in today’s gender-sensitive world.  I think I understand the reference, but it sticks in my craw a bit.

Alas, my hangups here may be because I am being too literal.  [I recently had the realization that my therapist back in the 1980s “saved me from a life lost in literalism” — and I believe our culture spends a lot of time lost in literalism, missing the stories for the facts — so maybe I’m having a temporary relapse.  Perhaps I need more fully to enter the story, the metaphor, the simile, and whatever else takes me out of the literal.]

In any event, the commentary below the quote (by Rev. Barbara C. Crafton) does a little Christly duty (“filling randomness with meaning”).  I must here start with the caveat that, for me, the word “Christ” is primarily a reference to the human aspect of being “anointed,” being divine, as I believe we are all anointed, all divine.  Then, the commentary reminds me that divinity, sacredness, is constantly bubbling forth in my life, inside and outside, and I would do well at least to maintain some posture of readiness and receptivity, or else I may miss the chance to be awake in my humble moments, awake to the presence of that divine spark, that sacred mystery that is each moment.

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And the earth keeps turning . . . .

And you know the way to the place where I am going“?   (p.5 of booklet)

Do you?  Do we?  I’m not sure what this means, unless it’s referring to right here, and right now, just as I am, which is a pretty good place to start, on any journey, inward or outward.

The quietness of the Way . . . .”  — there is no need to rustle or move anywhere

“Be still and know that I am,” say I to myself.

The beauty of the Way is that we are on it, right here, right now, just as we are.

We do know the Way.

Here it is, right here, beneath our feet, and in our hearts.

(There really isn’t all that much to say.)

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Ash Wednesday

Hmmmm . . . well, starting is always a bit hard, but the earth moves on, giving us a start; and we can only start from where we are, with Orion moving into the western night sky, with our President having spoken to the Congress, with Mardi Gras over, and with the sun rising again.  Thanks be for daily miracles.

Yes, here we are, on this annual cycle, at the start of another day, at the start of a time we call Lent (etymologically from lenten, and langa-tinaz, referencing long days, spring).  And we can feel the higher, stronger sun, even if the snow and ice are still locked up in solid form.  So, we have some time, some interior time, before the big melt, some reflective time now, now that we are past the deepest part of winter, the part that paralyzes us for a few weeks.  We can relax a bit now, knowing that the sun is rising and the days are lengthening, but it is not yet time to shed our cloaks and romp outside.  So, even as we sit still, in Lent, we can awaken to ourselves, listening to the mystery, to the percolations within.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  p. 4 of the booklet.

I take “prayer” primarily as listening, a time to put things in perspective, to help “distinguish between the important and the merely urgent.”

May we each, this day, be in the gift of some time in a “deserted place,” some listening.

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You have taken up the invitation to blog your Lent away! You will need the Lenten meditation booklet entitled, “Lenten Mediations,” which ought to be available through an usher on Sunday mornings, or through the parish office.

In addition to the booklet, you’ll need to “be in the spirit of prayer” as you follow the meditations throughout Lent.  This is YOUR blog, so while the writer may say things of his or her own thinking, you are invited to respond with your own thoughts.

We hope this blog will start conversations, answer questions, pose more questions, unsettle you from spiritual slumber and enrich your journey to know and to love God.

Add your comments below. Be sure to put them in the category entitled, “2010 Lenten Blog.”

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