Thursday, August 15, 2013
At Mass today, we sang a Spanish hymn that I had never heard before.We have a seminarian with a wonderful voice who is helping with music for the summer and he belted this one out.And the words....
"The body and the blood;we become what we receive."
This line struck me and I thought about the expression, 'we are what we eat.'If that is true, then we also become what we allow to enter our minds and souls.
My family recently had a spirited discussion about religion and things spiritual.After I shared a God moment with the group, one member said that nothing like that has ever happened to him."I've been there,"I thought, "when the spiritual world seems non-existent." In my view, this is the land where I am not praying or reading any inspiring books.Just me, my mind and the "real' world.In this place, my mind is taken afield with thoughts of money,worries,and what the senses put before me.
I recently read a book that expresses this another way.The author,Melvin Morse, writes that ..."when we use our right temporal lobe,we directly perceive a reality unfiltered by input from the five senses.The input from those perceptions fuel intuition...."He claims that this part of the brain is "Where God Lives", which is the title of his book.To him, we have a choice to use that part of the brain that ,when exercised, changes how we view the world ,visible and invisible.
This is the part of the brain that felt and perceived my deceased dog Cooper, laying beside me on a gurney as I awaited a colonoscopy.And noticed a posting on Facebook ,a picture that appeared that day of the same dog ,put there by someone who had taken it five years early,and concluded that there is a Power at work beyond my seeing.
I love this encouragement from Mr. Morse...."Connecting with the Universe is my personal challenge.I do not want to wait until I die to hear God's voice."Amen.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
This summer, my husband and I spent alot of time trudging up mountains and hiking along wooded paths,getting ready for our pilgrimage in September.None of it was easy but I took heart when I saw some others on the path.A man whose stroke has caused him to drag his left foot pitifully behind him when he walks and a woman hiking with a cane.In my view they are special, strong and determined older folks.They inspired me.
And then there was this:we hiked at North Lake in the Catskills with my oldest son and his family.It's a short hike but very steep but the view of the Hudson River Valley and the river itself way in the distance is breath-taking.On the way up to the top, the kids spied a black bear but I didn't see it.They were pretty excited,me,not so much.
On the way down, I looked ahead and saw my son stopped on the trail.He called back that the huge beast was coming up the hill to the trail and would be between us very soon.I felt this might be dangerous, so I blew my very shrill trail whistle and heard the sound of something huge crashing through the woods to my left.I saw the bear's back side which was the size of a small truck and I was terrified.Happily, he was going away from us.
When I turned around there was my son coming up the trail towards.Seeing him was such a relief; my husband and I were not alone with the bear.He later told us that he planned to run at the bear and hit him with his shoulder.I am beyond glad that this didn't have to happen.
When my dear son was two years old, he used to ride his Big Wheel down our drive way into the garage.Over and over, he would crash down at a fast pace with a smile the size of Texas on his face.When he went skiing as a teenager,word came back that he had raced down the course with no poles and that same smile.Twice in the intervening years, I have found myself in a sad situation,once at Edisto and another at St.Augustine. To hear this son's voice saying that he's coming to get me, always made me breathe easier.
The silver haired woman is being wheeled back to her room in 2005,
after minor heart surgery.She is frrightened.At the foot of her bed is a tall,good-looking young man with tears in his eyes and flowers in his hand."Hi Mom," he says,"are you O.K.?"He is her son,her hero.