Today is the first Sunday of Advent. May we all focus on the true principles of Advent: peace, hope, love, and joy. Many Advent blessings to all. Melody
Last week I attended a wonderfully informative seminar about end-of-life care as hosted by Hospice Austin and others. The seminar was designed to help facilitate conversations about the endings we want for our lives. Written materials were shared, including a document entitled Your Conversation Starter Kit. The resources are very helpful, and a comment was made that there are phone applications for storing signed Advance Care Directives on mobile phones. For more information, go to: The Conversation Project.
Last month I read a sad but wonderfully uplifting and poignant story in The Washington Post about a mom who was dying. This particular mom wrote letters to her four children to be read throughout their lives, long after her death. As we all know, talking about death and grief and loss is challenging. Articles like these help, I believe. Maybe it will speak to you as it did to me. I commend the author of the story, and most especially this amazing mom.
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