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.
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
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
Recently I read an article in the Boston Globe entitled Doctors want to talk about end-of-life care, but often don’t know how, survey finds. Below is a link to the article in case you are interested. This article reaffirms the ongoing need to continue to educate, and talk with, our healthcare professionals about tough situations like end-of-life care and our desires and wishes.
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.