Archive for November, 2007
John Irving wrote a book titled A Prayer for Owen Meany and in it Owen states: “I have felt that yuletide is a special hell for those families who have suffered any loss or who must admit to any imperfection; the so-called spirit of giving can be as greedy as receiving – Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who’s not home.”
I prefer to focus on the gala, the decorating, the cooking, special gifts, the donations etc., however this year I have been made so keenly aware of the displaced in our world. The millions of people living in exile without their customs, their ethnic foods, family, friends, homes and all they have lost.
How do we celebrate when so many cannot? This is how I am moving into December this year…………….where is it my place to help? I am signing petitions, mailing to my congressman etc……..I am also collecting canned foods, toiletries and the like for our homeless shelters here in town.
I am not giving up my cherished Christmas rituals, I am adding to them to include us all.No comments
I know I have sent this before, it bears repeating:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
- Saint Theresa’s Prayer
I wasn’t in the best of moods this morning, probably part of that cycle of ups and downs, highs and lows, the rhythm of life as we breathe in and breathe out we expand and contract……………opened up the email bag and found this sweet, sweet movie………..changed me in a matter of seconds.
Thanksgiving is for every day, when I forget I will watch this movie again.
The Parade is about to begin and I’m deeply entrenched in the kitchen for one of my favorite meals of the year. Feelings of warmth, happiness and fulfillment envelope me.
I’m also in the flow of sharing. To that end, I contacted a few local charities yesterday and asked what they needed in the form of donations. Food was big on the list, especially canned food. But also, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Walmart has been donating clothing so they really don’t need clothes.
I’m taking donations to be dropped off mid-December. If you feel inclined to donate bring your things to Morning Star and I will deliver them all.
I leave you with a prayer from Joyce Rupp:
Faithful God, you have lavished us with love. Keep us ever mindful that you keep your promises. On our difficult days help us to remember that you are a refuge for those who need shelter, a comfort for those who feel empty and poor in spirit. On our joyful days fill us with a deep sense of thanksgiving as we experience your everlasting love. Help us to share your graciousness with all those who need a touch of generous love. AmenNo comments
Thank you. Your responses were very meaningful to me at my home address and here on the blog. I’ve opted to keep writing but it may not be Mon-Fri.
I’m in a wave of thoughtful energies these days, riding high and swooping low. It’s the season for that for me. I love the celebrations, the anticipations, the gift giving/receiving, the reconnecting and letting people know that you love them. But I do not like cold, finger freezing weather without sun. Well, maybe once or twice a year, but not months of it. So I move into winter with a push-pull kind of energy. I guess it’s like everything else; good/bad; hot/cold; yin/yang; black/white.
I am also in a space of not too sure what is happening in the world and wondering how that all is going to affect me personally. As I reach out more and more to alleviate suffering through organizations like Kiva.org, Amnesty and Heifer.org and others, the global community seems to be sitting in my lap and I hunger to offer more assistance to the people starving, dying, without hope etc.
We are a global community, and if we are not focused on that we may not make the transition into a loving and peaceful community, the community of World Peace. I have often preached about making your own corner of the world as free from poverty, disease, prejudiced etc. as enough. I don’t think it is anymore. I think all of us need to reach out to alleviate the suffering now, not next year, but now.
I’m contacting local charities today, The Micah House, Francis etc. to see what they need- I know they need food. If any of you are interested we might start collecting some things at Morning Star. It’s a start, or even a re-start, as The Dailies, re-thought.No comments
I’m re-thinking The Dailies. So, taking a break for awhile. Tell me if you are interestedin them staying around or not…… thanks, Sue
Just hit the no comments at bottom to reply
I received this email and it bothered me so I wanted to share it with all of you and see what your opinions are about it. Sue
In early December a movie is being released that will be geared toward
children. It stars Nicole Kidman and it’s title is “The Golden Compass”.
It is based on a trilogy of books written by a well known atheist who openly
admits his hatred of God. He is from Britain and not as well known here in
the U.S. This is NOT a rumor. Check out snopes.com and type in the name
of the movie for more info. Long story short, the movie ends with the children
killing God. Is your heart beating fast? Should be.
Please send this to as many people as you can think of. The atheist
message is very subtle in this movie (unlike the book) but it is still
there and parents who are unaware of the hidden message might
unknowingly send their children to this movie…or even take them there
Please call our local movie theater’s and voice
your opinion that this type of movie is unwanted in our town!!! If they
know they can’t make money off of it, they will not show it. Thanks for
your help and let’s pray that God will not allow this movie to influence
the minds of impressionable children.
Please pass it on to everyone you know and let our local
theater know how you feel about it. Thanks,
I’ve pasted my reply to this below, Sue
I have not heard of this gentleman or his books but something smacks of fanaticism here. That intense fear rigidly holding onto beliefs that then create fanatics. Just look at the Middle East. The burning of witches in Salem………………The Inquisition. Look at the history of the human race. It has been one of domination and suppression.
Book burnings begin with this type of smear. As far as religions go we didn’t even get the truth of most of it. So many religious powers withheld information and distorted much of what was left in order to control the masses. I’m sure you are aware of this. And how long did it take the Catholic Church to release the documents on Fatima and other appearances of the Holy Mother? They still have not released them. The marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene who church officials decided to make a whore instead of the wife of Jesus, that one has just recently come to Light after 2000 years.
Freedom of belief and choice, that’s what I hold onto. Everyone is entitled to figure out what their life is all about. Perhaps this gentleman had a great disappointment in his life and decided that there couldn’t be a God who would allow such a thing. Who knows? It is different for us all. I believe we all do the best that we can. I also believe that every single one of us is going to get back home to God. Not one of us will be left behind. And we get to take as much time as we need.
But we do have the right to speak what we believe, just as you do. But do not get caught in the trap that you are right. There is no right or wrong, only the choices we make. No judgment, just things. If they work we do them, when they don’t we eventually stop. Each one of us has the right of our beliefs until we change them. There is a great Law in the Universe: for every action there is a reaction-karma. I don’t think any one human being has enough information to understand the whole of infinity or the evolution of each infinite soul.
I probably will not take my grandson to see this movie. I would like to see it for myself though, just to see what all the fuss is about. It seems like this movie has stirred up a lot of fear. Whenever fear is the motivating factor it will draw in anger, hatred, frustration, fanaticism etc.
It is time for us all to love our Shadows into the Light. It is the only way any of us will heal. Not from fear and loathing, but compassion and love.
Well, hit one of my buttons of “us against them”. Just my opinion. Sue1 comment
The cost of giving is receiving.
Either it is a penalty from which you suffer,
Or the happy purchase of a treasure to hold close.
-Course in Miracles
“The transformation of your world will depend on your remembering. The meaning of the word education is not “to put
in,” but “to draw out.” All true education is the drawing out from the student of what is already there. The Master knows
that it is already there and has no need, therefore, to place it there. The Master simply endeavors to cause the student to know
that it is there.”
— Neale Donald WalschNo comments
Only the self-accused condemn.
Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe it to be yours, and therefore meriting “just” attack.
-A Course in MiraclesNo comments
It’s time for hopes/wishes/dreams again…………….wishes that you want to come into reality. Daydream today……….find something wonderful you want………….plant the seed and then get on with your life and let it be a happy transformation into fulfilled dreams. It’s always your choice which direction you want to take.No comments
By putting ego aside and allowing the darkness of the shadow to surface in the psyche, we are able to live in our fullest capacity. Only when the depths of chaos, despair and death are recalled and integrated does the soul emerge into the illumination of understanding and enlightenment.
The archetypal feminine journey taken by the soul through the shadow side of life is often a tortuous descent into darkness, wending through labyrinthine passages that lace a visible exit and are fraught with danger and magical occurrences.
In fact, the soul often needs to be rescued or to bargain for it release. Sometimes guides appear in the form of demons who taunt or seduce. Others come in disguises such as the ugly hag who transforms into a beautiful goddess or bejewelled queen, or the mysterious, dark crone who directs her followers to a wise choice at the crossroads of life.
The goddess of transition has faced her shadows and grown into the power that comes with wisdom, enabling her to lead us into the creativity and spontaneity of an authentic life. -MillerNo comments
The name of the Canaanite goddess, Asherah, means “straight”, a reference to her morality as well as to her manifestation in the form of an unshaped post or a living tree inside her temple. As the mother and nurturer of the gods, she was worshipped in groves of trees, and she was called upon at childbirth and during the planting of crops. Her full name was Lady Asherah of the Sea, although she was also called Elat, meanng “goddess.”
The Old Testament forbade participation in the orgiastic rituals in celebration of Asherah’s powers, despite widespread public worship by such prominent figures as Queen Maacha, her daughter, Queen Jezebel, was killed by Hebrew zealots on the charge of harlotry during a festival of Asherah. -Visions of the Goddess3 comments
I believe there is one pervading energy in the Universe with an infinite amount of manifestations.
I’ve been re-reading Sherrill Miller’s, Visions of the Goddess. It is so rich with information on past cultures who worshiped that energy in honor of the feminine divine.
Ganga, the Divine wife of all the celestial gods, is manifested in the waters of the Ganges River. Daughter of the Mountain Mother, Nanda Devi, Ganga was invited from heaven to purify the ashes of sixty thousand sons of the sage Bhagirath so they could reach paradise. Ganga’s most sacred site is Benares, where she baptizes and redeems souls.
This is just one example of thousands and thousands of gods and goddesses throughout earth’s history.
It enriches me to read of the worship peoples from all cultures use to honor the Great One.
In the Navajo tradition, Estsan Atlehi is the Mother of all life. She birthed the earth and all the processes of nature. She teaches her people to walk The Trail of Beauty. In her manifestation as Changing Woman or Asdzaa Nadleehe, she guides the coming-of-age ritual for girls, showing them how to rejuvenate thru the cycles of life from virgin to woman to wisdom keeper.
Realizing that we are attempting to understand the Infinite in all it’s mysterious (to us) ways through the creative beauty of worship in every form you can imagine, creates a sense of unity with all who worship a Divine Source…….no matter how they define that.
I attended/volunteered for the Amnesty International Conference this past weekend on Hope and Justice for All. Wow, now there was an insightful view of what happens when we dishonor each others spiritual path through the belief that they are different than we. I came away with a need to process all this information to find some kind of answer.
Today’s musings come from the belief that if we would truly know God, we need to truly know one another. We need to study other cultures to understand their beliefs, their goodnesses, their family values…..etc.
It is too easy to judge when you don’t have all the information.No comments
Indigenous people wouldn’t let ‘Day of the Dead’ die
Day of the Dead history
Copyright Patrick Murillo
The Arizona Republic
More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.
It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate.
A ritual known today as Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
The ritual is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States, including the Valley.
Celebrations are held each year in Mesa, Chandler, Guadalupe and at Arizona State University. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.
Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls are also placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend, according to Mary J. Adrade, who has written three books on the ritual.
The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth.
The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the monthlong ritual.
Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.
“The pre-Hispanic people honored duality as being dynamic,” said Christina Gonzalez, senior lecturer on Hispanic issues at Arizona State University. “They didn’t separate death from pain, wealth from poverty like they did in Western cultures.”
However, the Spaniards considered the ritual to be sacrilegious. They perceived the indigenous people to be barbaric and pagan.
In their attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to kill the ritual.
But like the old Aztec spirits, the ritual refused to die.
To make the ritual more Christian, the Spaniards moved it so it coincided with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 1 and 2), which is when it is celebrated today.
Previously it fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The goddess, known as “Lady of the Dead,” was believed to have died at birth, Andrade said.
Today, Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico and in certain parts of the United States and Central America.
“It’s celebrated different depending on where you go,” Gonzalez said.
In rural Mexico, people visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. They decorate gravesites with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to adults. They sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite food of their loved ones.
In Guadalupe, the ritual is celebrated much like it is in rural Mexico.
“Here the people spend the day in the cemetery,” said Esther Cota, the parish secretary at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. “The graves are decorated real pretty by the people.”
In Mesa, the ritual has evolved to include other cultures, said Zarco Guerrero, a Mesa artist.
“Last year, we had Native Americans and African-Americans doing their own dances,” he said. “They all want the opportunity to honor their dead.”
In the United States and in Mexico’s larger cities, families build altars in their homes, dedicating them to the dead. They surround these altars with flowers, food and pictures of the deceased. They light candles and place them next to the altar.
“We honor them by transforming the room into an altar,” Guerrero said. “We offer incense, flowers. We play their favorite music, make their favorite food.”
At Guerrero’s house, the altar is not only dedicated to friends and family members who have died, but to others as well.
“We pay homage to the Mexicans killed in auto accidents while being smuggled across the border,” he said. “And more recently, we’ve been honoring the memories of those killed in Columbine.”No comments
I love Autumn and all of it’s harvesting, festivities, celebrations etc. In my family it is also filled with 6 birthdays! Today and tomorrow are very meaningful to me because of my Catholic upbringing this is the time we celebrate the dead. The Saints today and all Soul’s tomorrow. It is a time of reflection and honoring and loving those who are no longer with us. It is a time of remembering all they gave us.
This is not a time of sorrow, rather a time of celebration.
Today I celebrate my Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Brother, Aunts, Uncles, Father, Thundercat, Bat, Paco and all of those who have past on down through the gene pool……….I also honor some of my favorite Saints……….Theresa, Mary, Padre Pio, Kripalu, Francis and so many more.No comments