Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sun Within

I heard a weather report that it is supposed to rain and snow tomorrow and the next day. No accumulation, really. Just the cold dampness that seeps into your bones as you watch the precipitation fall. I was hoping we were done with this kind of weather. It makes me feel weary and sad. It's hard to be positive when the weather beats up on you.

But recently I found a piece of sun to keep inside when the weather is bad outside. I was walking around a very special place, when I felt the warmth of the sun on my back. The ocean was in front of me and the birds were playing in the waves, calling and laughing to each other. The sound of the sea, the warmth of the sun, the blue of the sky, I was at peace for just a few minutes. It was there that I found a piece of the Son, too. That peace that passes all understanding was right there with me. So I'm trying to carry it around to spread it around. I see some people who look like they could use a little ray of sun or Son. So I try to share it with them. I'm not sure they all appreciate the effort, but I make the effort anyway. You never know when that sun may come back around and warm you up on a dreary, wintry March day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rain and Lent

Somehow or other, Lent seems a somber time. I'm not saying that there isn't reason for this. If you read all the historical accounts of Lent and it's formation, you'd know that we actually have it pretty good during Lent in this century. It's a time of reflection and personal introspection.

It's raining today and usually during rainy days I'm in work, concentrating on the things I have to do there. But today by quirky chance I am home and futzing with things around the house. I found myself filling the time instead of taking time for that reflection and introspection that we need to do from time to time. And so I stopped amidst the vacuuming and washing of clothes, plopped myself down on the couch and reflected. Of course, when you want to take the time to do that, you can never actually do it. Your mind races as to what you were supposed to be serenely thinking about, or it races ahead to what you will do when you are done reflecting. And then you wonder how long you should be stopped. And is that "enough" time. Because we are so used to working on a schedule, we figure the scheduling of communicating with God should be a finite thing as well. I'll think about God for 15 minutes on Thursday--that kind of thing. The problem with that of course is that come the 15 minutes you've set aside you're so preoccupied with what you wanted to communicate to the Almighty, you've forgotten that this kind of communion can be a two-way street and you've left no time for the Lord to talk to you in that still small voice of his. And so you're allotted time is fraught with worry about the things you need to "get in" without thinking about the possibilities of what you might "get out" of this time.

Recently I was away from home. My companions and I went to an outdoor garden one day. Within the garden there was a labyrinth. It was in a beautiful park-like setting, very peaceful and serene. About 20 feet away from the labyrinth was a sign which instructed those who were walking this peaceful, serene maze not to molest or feed the alligator. Now, I don't know about you, but while trying to concentrate on the maze I was walking, contemplate communion with God AND worry about whether an alligator would suddenly find itself inclined to climb the small bank and sun itself nearby, it was not the contemplative experience I would have hoped it to be.

However, on this same time away, I was privileged to go to the beach. The sun was warm, the same for the sand and the waves were gentle and passive. I looked out to the horizon and there, bobbing restfully was a pelican. I do not know why I love these birds so much, but their presence to me has always happened at a time when I needed to be reminded of God's wondrous gifts to me. And there it was. The moment was better than the labyrinth. God was with me (and yes, I know simultaneously he is with me always and was with my companions). But God was there with me in the sun and the sea and the pelican. And it was an affirmation that will last through Lent and whatever rainy, contemplative or stormy days are ahead.

God is with us.