Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

My best regards to all for a new year of 2010 filled with blessings and deep inner peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

My Christmas celebration began at 8:30 pm with Mass and Christmas carols.
this Christmas is a special one for me, since I am in a Catholic Christian community made up of religious priests, sisters and brothers. It is a unique experience that I find at once enriching and very human. Before Mass many of us watched the movie "The Nativity story." Even though I have seen this film several times since it was released in 2006, I am still moved by the portrayals of Joseph and Mary, and the three Wise Men.
If you have a chance to own the DVD or rent it, I recommend it as wholesome family entertainment as well as a source of meditation.
My best regards to all for a truly blessed Christmas day and Christmas season. As the priest said in tonight's homily, "God wanted to be with us, to speak with us by sending his son Jesus....the way He chose to come was in simplicity, poverty and love."
I know I have much to learn each time I contemplate this great mystery. Little babies invite us to gather them into our arms just by their littleness. Jesus wants us to do the same with him: to take him close to our hearts and love him and let ourselves be loved by him.
Enjoy these days of Christmas. Each day is a gift from God. I intend to live each day well in appreciation for this gift of life.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Countdown

My best regards to all my readers for a lovely preparation for Jesus' birthday on Friday. I know some readers are getting lots of snow as I write this. Where I am in Ontario, snow is not expected until Christmas Day. However at this time of winter, winds and clouds can change rapidly.
On Friday I received a little reminder from the Lord that my life is in his hands. During morning Mass I felt my heart begin to race. When it did not slow down after an hour, I went to our nurse who drove me to the local hospital's emergency center. It was a busy day in the E.R. Since mine was a cardiac problem, I was wheeled by a formidable lineup of gurneys with accident victims and people who looked much worse than I did. I just closed my and began to breathe more deeply to calm myself as much as I could. When the nurse put an oxygen tube on my face, and an intravenous in my left arm some o f the seriousness of this event began to penetrate. The doctor told me my heart had an "electrical" problem. If an injection did not work, it would have to be shocked back into rhythm. The injection did not work, so I was given an anesthetic and the paddles were placed on me. I reflected that I had seen the procedure on many a TV show, but this was to be the real thing. After all, I have only one heart, so it needed some attention! I was home by 2:45 in the afternoon. I have gone "cold turkey" from a daily caffeine jolt in the morning to no caffeine. My medications have been changed and added to. How life can change within minutes.
I am grateful that our nursing staff is so concerned, and all those with whom I live are also very considerate and caring.
Jesus came to share this same human condition--to raise it up and sanctify it. The little prayer our founder was so wont to pray came back to me: "By myself I can do nothing. but, with God I can do all things. To God the honor and glory. To me, the eternal reward." I realize now more than ever that each day is a gift, and that's why it is called "the present."
May each of you have a blessed and truly Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Wolf Within

Advent moves along as we light the third candle on the Advent wreath. The color pink or rose signifies the words from St. Paul, "Rejoice. I say it again, rejoice!" When skies are gray and snow or drizzle is falling, it's comforting to be reminded to rejoice, be cheerful. Christ is coming liturgically on Christmas Day. How do I prepare for Christ's arrival? Yesterday's preacher gave an example of how to prepare by narrating a story with native American roots. A young boy asks his grandfather, "How am I supposed to be a good person?" The grandfather replied: "Each of us have two wolves within us. One is the wolf of kindness, compassion, love and mercy. The other wolf is that of anger, jealousy, rage, laziness, and cruelty. What kind of a person you will be depends on which wolf you will feed." Just as a wounded dog or wolf can lick his sores and seem to brood on what hurts, so can we humans curl up in self pity and feed the sneaky angry wolf.
I was reminded of this when I spoke to one of my sisters on the phone yesterday. At 4:55 PM I could hear her cocker spaniel barking and her cat meowing loudly. Her pets never forget that 5:00 PM is their supper time. My sister had to close our conversation to quiet her four legged companions.
When its time to have our meals, why not ask, "Which wolf am I feeding?"