You might wonder, why bother, since I’ve not posted anything lately. Well, let this be a sign of life, I’ve not lost interest. I just lack the time right now to offer any new posts…things should ease up soon!
Just touching base…I’m still hoping for a bit of a transition with this blog to keep it fresh with more frequent reflections, but it’s not happening as quickly as I had hoped, so please…hang in there with me.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you one of the songs we did at Gesu today (lyrics are below the video.) It’s called “Healing” by Richard Smallwood. The man who was missing a few weeks ago who I mentioned in a previous post…turned out he had died of a massive heart attack and his body was in the city morgue and his car in the impound lot all that time people were searching for him. So once Angelo was found, the healing could begin, and was very much in evidence today at Gesu.
So, during a work break (which turned out to be most of the day, to be perfectly honest), I decided to use Audacity (open-source software) to do some multi-track recording of some music…yes, there is a way for me to play multiple instruments at the same time…hee-hee.
There were some definite “Gesu moments” during our celebration of the Eucharist yesterday. The Spirit was palpable as the choir and congregation combined their voices in spirited renditions of a number of songs.
The congregation was asked to pray and be on the lookout for someone who has been missing for over 10 days, and I for one am very concerned about this man.
But the point of this post is to reflect on one of a number of good points made during the homily. We Christians often talk about “taking up our own crosses” in imitation of Christ. Every trial that comes to us presents us with a choice: will the manner in which we deal with the trial make us “better,” or will it make us “bitter?”
We may know people who seem to be so trapped in a bitterness so profound that they drive people away, and their resulting loneliness only reinforces the bitterness. There are others who seemingly have had way more to endure than we think any one person could ever be asked to take on, and yet they are fully engaged in life, interested in and concerned about others, not preocccupied with themselves and their problems.
It occurs to me that I may not have a choice in many of the hardships that come my way, but I DO have a choice in how I will respond to them. Will my response to the crosses I am invited to carry make me a better person, or will they make me a bitter person? It’s up to me!
On an unrelated note…you may have noticed that my blog entries have become less frequent lately…. Some of the energy to keep this blog current has gone the route of micro-blogging…I probably spend at least 10 minutes a day on Facebook, and while the level of interaction there is not as deep as here on this blog, I believe it may reach more people…so I am torn.
My hopes are to revitalize this blog by adding a few co-authors who are also sisters in my community, and perhaps we can work it out to have some new content here for you several days a week, rather than this hit or miss stuff that happens when I have the time and energy.
So, you are my readers…what do you think about this idea of having more reflections from a few other sisters join my own here on this site?
So, have you ever had the experience of being so stressed out (or angry, or scared, etc.) that you forgot to breathe? Breathing is something I often take for granted – it seems so automatic, I rarely think about it unless I’m having a problem breathing. (Anyone with seasonal allergies or asthma will understand…)
I’ve noticed my stress level starting to creep up a bit with classes on the horizon and a whole bunch of other important work that needs to be done yesterday… so I keep telling myself to breathe…the brain needs oxygen after all.
This got me thinking about prayer…I realize that there times when I am “in the groove” with regular prayer, when it seems effortless to walk through life keenly aware of God’s presence and action in my life and the world. There are other times when I struggle…when it doesn’t come so easily, when it seems like a chore, when I think I don’t have time… Relationship with God is much like human relationships with respect to my response sometimes.
I think the trick is to acknowledge that my energy for this relationship has a natural rhythm, an ebb and flow, and to not beat myself up when it’s more ebb than flow. If I can look at prayer as similar to breathing, then even when it’s not so automatic, I can manage to be open to some “oxygen for the soul” when I most need it.
I’ve been thinking on and off about last Sunday’s Gospel reading, where a lot of Jesus’ followers left him after hearing some teachings they found difficult. When Jesus asked his closest friends if they would be leaving too, Peter said there was nowhere for them to go, that Jesus had the words of everlasting life.
Note that Peter did NOT say, “We don’t WANT to leave.” Imagine if what Peter meant by his response was that he was experiencing a strong urge to “head for the hills,” just like the others who left. Yet, despite the hardships that came with the call to discipleship, he knew in his “gut” that staying was what he “had” to do, even if it was not what he “wanted” to do.
Too often, I think, our consumer culture tells us that we should do whatever we want to do from moment to moment. The result? A fair amount of narcissism and self-seeking, to put it mildly from my perspective. It has been increasingly difficult for people to make good on lifelong commitments, whether this is to a spouse/life partner, religious life, etc. All such commitments carry with them hardships to the individuals involved, and it is difficult sometimes to make the decision to invest oneself in the effort to work through the hardships to come to a deeper and more mature appreciation of the commitment, especially if there is not similar resolve from the spouse/partner/community. With the headwinds of our culture buffeting us from all sides, telling us if something is not going to our satisfaction, we can throw it away and get a new one, it is no wonder that people these days find it difficult to make and be faithful to lifelong commitments.
I pray that as I continue to live my own commitment, I will continue to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus through the hardships yet to come. May it be so for you, as well.
Wondering why the long silence? Well, just take a look at the view out the back door of my friends’ house in western North Carolina to see why turning on the computer was not an especially high priority this past week…
So, I do hope that I’ve not lost too many of my WordPress readers…my blog stats have been plummeting due, I’m sure, to the lack of any new content lately. If you are just finding this blog, welcome, and feel free to participate in our conversations…my intention is to have rich conversation, rather than a series of monologues.
What was I doing in NC? A friend of mine here in the D went with me, and we were blessed by the hospitality of my two friends who are retired physicians and who recently rebuilt a beautiful home on their property near the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We went for walks or hikes every day, some more adventurous than others. I needed a little follow-up medical care from a procedure I had last week, which was provided very graciously by K, who used to be my primary care doc before she retired.
M and I designed a house blessing ritual at the request of our hostesses, but as I told them, the place was already blessed with their presence and great generosity.
I’ll put together a bit of a photo show once I get around to it. In the meantime, it’s time to gear up for the new semester. I have a new course, “Sensors and Actuators” to prepare, and that will take a lot of time, as will my duties as coordinator of our efforts to prepare our 3 undergrad engineering programs for their accreditation visit in Fall 2010.
But I did want to surface briefly just to let you know I’m back and will be doing the best I can to post at least a couple of new reflections every week. As always, if you have a topic you want to discuss and would like to use this blog as a forum for conversation, I’d be delighted to feature you as a “guest blogger.”