Our Saints and Thin Places

Today is All Saints’ Day, a time we especially remember those who have gone before us, as we do on so many ordinary days as well. Today I am thinking profoundly of my mother-in-law who died recently after a wonderfully long life of nearly 100 years. I am also thinking of a nephew, who died way too soon at age 52. And I am thinking of so many others, including my own parents. How I miss them all!!

Author and minister Jan Richardson writes about thin places, where earth and heaven meet. May we all have many, many thin places in our lives on All Saints’ Day and every day.

Blessings,

Melody

Advertisements

Walking with all

Back in 2015, my husband and I were privileged to walk part of the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage for people of all ages and backgrounds.  In 2016, I returned to walk the final part of the Camino with strangers who became fast friends.  The experience was simply magnificent and life changing.  Today one of the pilgrims, now a dear friend with whom I walked in 2016, sent me this posting.  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to pass it along.

Blessings to all,

Melody

Spirit of the Camino

Live in the moment

Welcome each new day – its pleasures and its challenges

Make others feel welcome

Share

Feel the spirit of those who have gone before you

Imagine those who will follow you

Appreciate those who walk with you today

Labor Day weekend: Thoughts, hopes and prayers

These past few weeks I’ve been visiting cathedrals, and other interesting sites, in Spain and Portugal. The cathedrals, most especially, combine the Moorish and Spanish influences in such unique and historical ways. Now that I am back in the United States, I am hoping and praying even more fervently that all people and cultures of our world can come together and live in peaceful, loving ways. God expects that of us. In particular, on this Labor Day weekend in our young country, I am praying that our work will have true meaning and value, and that all workers in our world will be treated fairly and with respect and dignity.

Giving up on these hopes and expectations is simply not an option. Melody

185 Empty Chairs … Remembering

Recently a dear friend told me about a memorial in one of the most beautiful and special places in the world, Christchurch, New Zealand, called 185 Empty Chairs. Hearing about this memorial was new for me. The memorial artfully, vividly and poignantly remembers and honors the 185 people who died in the February 2011 earthquake. The memorial is literally 185 chairs painted white, each unique to each victim. Hearing about this special place spoke to me for so many reasons. Perhaps you would want to see the Facebook posting for the memorial which I had not seen before.

And the following poem said so much. May we always, always remember those who go before us, and who hopefully we will see again.

Blessings, Melody

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.

Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.

There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.

It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.

Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.

John O’Donohue

A New Year/An Advent Beginning

As we begin the 2015 New Year, I am reminded of many wonderful Advent thoughts from internationally-recognized author and speaker, Paula D’Arcy. who wrote Gift of the Red Bird, Sacred Threshold, When People Grieve, and many others. In December 2014 Paula led an on-line retreat entitled Advent: A Pilgrimage of Anticipation.

Here is one particular quote from Paula’s book entitled Advent: A Time of Hope. Perhaps it will be helpful to you as you begin the New Year.

Many New Year blessings, Melody

From Paula D’Arcy:

…”Are you ready to know the reaches of your own heart and the power that lies within? Are you willing to look past what’s occurring on the surface? Are you willing to know deeper love? Sixty minutes is long enough to decide to relate to life differently. It’s long enough to lend yourself to the emergency of something great. It’s long enough to realize that in spite of the beauty of the Christmas story, it will remain a story unless I change the way I relate to my life. Otherwise, I will continue to lead a hurried, harried life and never embody the stillness and fierce love that made itself known in Bethlehem. It will all be words. Nothing changes until the human heart recognizes its own power.”

Perhaps the Camino Walks You …

Just recently my husband and I returned from a spiritual walk on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. To say that the five-day, 66-mile trek was moving (literally and figuratively), wonderful, spiritual, calming, hard, funny, beautiful, and surprising (among many other adjectives) would be a huge understatement. One of the books that inspired us along the way, among many, is Joyce Rupp’s Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from The Camino. -And our tour guide company representatives from Spanish Steps were wonderful.

As I’ve heard many people say, perhaps the Camino walks you. If you are a searching soul, check it out.

Melody