This past weekend I was privileged to attend the 2018 Austin, Texas Pride Interfaith Celebration sponsored by the Pride Interfaith Partnership. This very special and life-affirming event was hosted by Shalom Austin and held at the Jewish Community Center. What a wonderful way to kick off Pride Week!!
Below is a part of the Rainbow Candle Ceremony which particularly touched me. Perhaps it will speak to you as well.
Pride blessings to all, Melody
‘We are the love that dares to speak its name, all our names, clear and without fear.
We are the love that celebrates.
We give thanks for all who came before us, our ancestors and elders in spirit, and all who move and march and rock and roll with us now.’
A dear friend of mine recently sent me a posting on Love by the renowned author and priest, Henri Nouwen. It resonated with me, and continues to be on my mind, especially on this July 4th Eve. My hope and prayer is that all political leaders around the world will make decisions based on love, tolerance, support for diversity, and compassion. Certainly we need that in our country, especially as we celebrate freedom and the many men, women and families that have sacrificed in so many ways for our country. My thinking is that only love will ultimately bring our troops home.
Perhaps you will enjoy the Nouwen piece which is also posted below.
May your 4th of July, and beyond, be full of love.
from Henri Nouwen:
Without the love of our parents, sisters, brothers, spouses, lovers, and friends, we cannot live. Without love we die. Still, for many people this love comes in a very broken and limited way. It can be tainted by power plays, jealousy, resentment, vindictiveness, and even abuse. No human love is the perfect love our hearts desire, and sometimes human love is so imperfect that we can hardly recognise it as love.
In order not to be destroyed by the wounds inflicted by that imperfect human love, we must trust that the source of all love is God’s unlimited, unconditional, perfect love, and that this love is not far away from us but is the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling within us.
New Year’s blessings to all. Just recently I was reminded of a wonderful Eskimo proverb that I read many years ago, and which spoke to me again at the start of this New Year. Perhaps this proverb will speak to you in this New Year of hopeful rebirth, honest and meaningful transactions, and much-needed system changes that ultimately reduce injustices in our world.
May you find many New Beginnings and Heavenly Openings in 2018 and beyond. Melody
“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven
where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us
to let us know they are happy.“
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,
Spirit of the Camino
Live in the moment
Welcome each new day – its pleasures and its challenges
Make others feel welcome
Feel the spirit of those who have gone before you
Imagine those who will follow you
Appreciate those who walk with you today
As we start the 2017 New Year, here is a prayer from today’s church bulletin that resonated with me. Happy New Year!! Melody
God of Time and Space, you are not bound by calendars, day timers, and watches; teach us to not be bound by them either.
God of the stars, the heavens, the planets and their orbits, you sent a star to guide the Magi on their journey to the Christ Child. Send your star to guide us on journeys of faith.
May your word still speak to us today. May your son still be the light in our worlds of darkness.
And just as the Magi brought gifts to the Christ Child, may we bring our gifts to the Christ Child again.
On this All Saint’s Sunday, I am remembering so many people in my own life who are saints to me: my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, father-in-law, nephew, dear friends, and the list goes on. Were they perfect individuals? Certainly not. Were they extremely special in my own life? Absolutely. Collectively and individually they helped embody Christian values that continue to shape my own world. They left a legacy on my life. And they are sorely missed. Hopefully some day we will all be together again. Melody
Awhile back I read the following writing by Rachel M. Srubas from Oblation: Meditations on St. Benedict’s Rule. Since it spoke to me, I thought I’d pass it along. Melody
I know you’re there
ever receptive to my prayer.
Not you but I am the busy one
with the crowded calendar,
inclined to fit you in mainly when
I have a cancellation, as though
your mercy were a last priority,
a rare luxury.
My preoccupied hours and days
go by, and I relegate you to a corner of my mind
until I feel free to grant you full attention.
But I have no fullness to offer.
I give you a hollow stare and feel I’ve become
a passing acquaintance of my Creator.
I speak a few stiff sentences,
then lapse into embarrassed silence.
There — if I dare to linger in the discomfort —
dwells the potential for the prayer I need,
an honest encounter between my hectic heart
and your uncomplicated patience.
I face you for the thousandth time and find
I’m a beginner,
a sinner not in some spectacular act of evil,
but in a collection of petty forgettings
that summon my repentance
in remembrance of you.
Gradually, a miracle flows into me, a stilling
and filling of my anxious, empty self.
Now calmed, now capable of reverence,
I pour my awareness into you,
only to receive much more than I give:
the prayer I pray, the very life I live.