Thursday, November 29, 2018

To the root of the problem...

"(The angel) cried out in a loud voice, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great...'"
Revelation 18:1

I can't begin to figure out all the symbolism of the Book of Revelation, but this first part of today's reading reminds me of Jesus saying in Luke, "“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!" (Luke 10:13) Jesus is calling out whole cities and communities for the wrong being done within their boundaries. It speaks to me of how we are not just responsible for our own individual deeds, but as a system and as groups, we can be in terrible error. And it sure feels that way in our world now, doesn't it? We, as communities,  states, countries need to be more aware of how our systems are unjust. We can try to put band-aids on the problems, but the problems will still be there if we don't address the issues underneath the problems. Today is the anniversary of the death of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. She was a rascal and an agitator, several times being jailed for her beliefs that the system needs to be changed, all the while providing for the poor at her houses of hospitality.  I feel privileged to be able to volunteer at such a place here in Boise. But it is just scratching the surface of the systemic problem. These dismal readings at the end of our liturgical year are a call to action for all of us. How can our faith lead us into action? Let's think and pray about it as we inch toward Advent...Love, heidi

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Beginner's Mind...

 "You have to learn how imperfect you are. Eastern religions call this 'beginner's mind.' The more mature you grow, the more you discover that you are still a beginner; you still don’t know anything."
Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, July 25, 2016

One of the things I've learned in the last five months since I changed my whole life is this: I don't know much at all. The new work I'm doing at the school is sometimes baffling. I have to ask the first grader how he got the answer to the math problem because I sure can't figure it out! I am new, new, new and it is ever apparent to me. Especially in my volunteer work at the day shelter I am so often over my head I essentially "lose it." I did yesterday and it haunted me all evening until I rested with it in prayer and realized something important. I am learning. I need to ask more questions than making statements. I need the "beginner's mind" that Fr. Rohr talks about and be in a learning mode instead of in a "fix it" mode I used to be in. I was at least able to feign competence in my old career, but here I can't cover up what I don't know as easily! It's right out there. So, even as we grow older and think we may know stuff, we don't know it all and it is easier just to admit that. So here goes...I don't know stuff! I am eager to learn and would like to know more! Please be patient with me while I learn!  Love, heidi

Monday, November 26, 2018

We can all give...

"Jesus said, 'I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest...'"
Luke 21:3

Pray-As-You-Go had a beautiful reflection on this reading today, inviting listeners to imagine one person they have seen giving selflessly through this last month. We were to pray with the image of that person and even imagine Jesus speaking of that person as he did of the poor widow in today's Gospel. It was a lovely time of imaging for me, but what I took away from it is that Jesus sees all of our efforts to live selflessly and with compassion for others. Jesus sees all of the "widows" out there, doing the smallest of giving things--allowing someone ahead of us in line, holding the door open for a stranger, rolling up our sleeves at a soup kitchen. Jesus sees our tiniest act of giving and is so appreciative! Today, as we go about our pre-Advent Monday, let's be especially aware of watching for the selfless acts of charity others are doing all around us. And let that inspire us to give lovingly of ourselves, too. Love, heidi