Friday, August 30, 2013

Farewell, dear Scout!

"But the wise virgins replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'"
Matthew 25:9
Today's reading is on the ten virgins, meeting the bridegroom with their oil lamps.  Five of the virgins have extra oil for the lamps and the other five do not.  Of course the bridegroom is delayed and those who are ill prepared run out of oil and miss the fun.  I guess I'd like to see the lesson be about the virgins sharing the oil with each other, but, that isn't today's lesson.  The lesson today is to be prepared!  Which reminds me of the Boy Scouts, which reminds me of Vince Aquino, whose memorial vigil is tonight and mass is tomorrow.  Vince was one of the most gifted writers I have ever met.  Yes, he had many gifts, but it was his writing that I personally appreciated the most.  I remember a talk he gave at an Evangelization retreat that touched me as much as any talk I have ever heard (and I have heard many!)  He began with his serious, deep voice.  "If you hear an odd grating sound as I begin this talk, it is because, in choosing me to give this talk, they are scraping of the bottom of the barrel."  He was humorous, but also so deep and sincere in sharing his story of enjoying a popsicle with a hospice patient he visited.  It was such a wonderful example of living the message of Jesus to me and I have never forgotten it.  Now, Vince is on the other side of Easter and we gather to celebrate his memory and life.  Tonight's vigil is at 7:00 at Christ the King and the mass is tomorrow, 10:00 AM, also at Christ the King.  Love, heidi

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So nice to meet you...

"By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them."
Genesis 50:21

One thing I learned about myself while on retreat is that I talk to deer with an Iraqi accent. (Go ahead and read that again if you need to!) Let me explain. I have a client who is from Iraq and is learning English.  Whenever I see her she ever-so-kindly says, "Hallo, Hallo, so nice to meet you!" (no matter how many times I have met her). On retreat, there was a family of deer close by and one day they surprised me. I think I surprised them too!  As they stared at me, wary and afraid, I found myself saying to them, "Hallo, Hallo, so nice to meet you..." I didn't want them to be scared so I talked to them tenderly and gently.  It got me thinking.  I wonder if I tried to talk more gently to other strangers I encountered?  Human strangers, I mean.  What if I talked more kindly and tenderly to everyone? Let's think today about how kindly we talk to those around us.  If we feel we may need to improve, we can take a lesson from a dear Iraqi lady.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Darling God...

"Good morning, my Darling God!"
Gabrielle Bossis, mystic
I read a fascinating book while on retreat called, "Revelations of Women Mystics" by Jose de Vinck.  Women mystics of long ago were featured, as well as fairly recent mystics, such as Gabrielle Bossis, a French woman, who died in 1950. This morning, I went outside to turn the sprinkler on in the backyard.  I was captivated by the beauty of the pre-morning!  I grabbed my coffee and sat out there for awhile, and the first thought I had was "Good morning, my Darling God!"  (thank you , Ms. Bossis!)  It was so completely still out there and warm enough to be comfortable.  The night sky was just breaking up; it looked like a great marble-pattern tie-dye above the earth.  And the quiet!  Did I mention the blissful silence?  Sometimes we can try to orchestrate these moments of peace, but, other times, we must seize them when they happen--when we least expect them!  May your day be full of moments of peace and joy...and let's thank our Darling God! Love, heidi


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Best. Dad. Ever.

"In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you."
Sirach 3:8

I know that today is the feast of St. Monica, patroness of mothers, but today, I need to talk about my father.  It has been thirty years, today, that my dad entered Eternal Life and, while that doesn't seem possible to me, it is true.  One of the reasons it may not seem possible is that I sense his presence with me, so he doesn't feel gone.  Such a gift, that.  I see him in my children, I find myself saying some of the funny things he said, and he is like Jiminy Cricket, standing on my shoulder telling me the right thing to do.  One story:  They were experimenting with personalizing the giving out of communion at St. Pius in the seventies.  They suggested that, as you step up to the Eucharistic Minister, you (quietly) say your first name, so the minister could say, "Body of Christ, Whoever."  I went ahead of my dad and all went well until I was walking back to my seat and I hear this thundering voice booming through the whole church, "Stewart W. Gainan!"  It was like Ted Baxter doing the news on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I wanted to crawl under my pew!  But, that's who he was--flamboyant and funny, always wanted everyone to know who he was!  I miss you Dad...everyday.  I can't believe it's been thirty years!  Thanks, God...for giving me the best dad ever!  Love, heidi

Monday, August 26, 2013

Strong, not droopy!

"So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed."
Hebrews 12:12-13

I chose this passage for Lectio Divina yesterday. During the process, you choose one word in the passage that jumps out at you--that speaks to you.  At first glance I chose the word "drooping," more for the fact that it looks funny in a scripture passage. But I ended up choosing "strengthen," instead.  I wanted to represent what I choose to do, not what I am hoping to avoid.  It's a Monday morning.  School is beginning for many and is just around the corner for others.  Summer life is ending and a new adventure awaits us in autumn.  It's only natural that we may feel our hands droop and our knees buckling into laziness, boredom or even just a lack of zeal for what we do.  I was given some very wise advice over the weekend, that the mundane, the routine, the day-to-day grind is where we meet Jesus.  We don't just meet Jesus in the exciting adventures.  We meet Jesus in the day to day.  So, I encourage you to read and re-read this scripture as you prepare for your last Monday in August, last Monday of summer, actually.  Emphasize the word "strength," for that is what God lovingly gives to us, each and every day!  Love, heidi