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Christ Church Cathedral

Sunday Sundries … Ordination Day

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Courtesy: Teddy Bear – Sigmaspy on Flickr

It was a festive day today. Hubby and I had appointments at the beauty parlor to get our hair done earlier this afternoon. I have to say that our girl does good hair. Hubby was pleased with my haircut.

I did a bit off odd shopping for the main event today which was the ordination of my mentor and best friend Donald. The years of work, teaching, studying, a stint in the deaconate and today’s final ordination into the Anglican Priesthood.

It was good that I left a little early, because the church was packed by the time I had arrived. But I snagged a seat – in the same – reserved row – where Donald was sitting. It was high church with pomp and circumstance.

As usual the music was heavenly.

We congratulate the following ordinates:

Mr. Alain Brosseau

Mrs. Adrienne Clements

Mr. Lorne Eason

Mr. Nicolas Pang

Mr. Brian Perron

Mr. Robert Callender

and the Reverend Dr. Donald Luc Boisvert

It was a privilege to be part of one of the biggest days in their lives and to share today with a sanctuary full of people was amazing.

The photos came out pretty good seeing I wasn’t seated front and center, but more off to the left hand side of the sanctuary.

It was a good day.

More to come, stay tuned …


Ordination of Donald Luc Boisvert Christ Church Cathedral Montreal September 8, 2013

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Saturday Easter Vigil …

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Yes, that is a McDonald’s across the street from the Cathedral, as the building sits on Ste Catherine’s Street downtown. I took these shots on a vigil some time ago, because there is snow on the ground in the series. Blessedly, there was no snow, but it was chilly outside, and the flame was very big.

It was a glorious night. Many followers attended the service which ran two hours from start to finish. Tonight we hear the five great readings from Scripture from Genesis, a reading from St. John Chrysostom, Exodus, Homily on the Passover by Melito of Sardis, and once again from Exodus, and ending in the Gospel of Mark.

My friend and fellow Deacon Donald was there serving at the mass, he is to be ordained a priest this fall 2013.

From the darkness of the church, the paschal candle is carried into the church where it is proclaimed “Lumen Chrisi” Light of Christ. And we then light our candles one from another and candle light shines as the readings were done, and finally in a flurry of bells and organ and choir sing … Alleluia He is Risen.

A good night was had by all.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and we shall gather at 6:15 for the tradition meeting for the month at St. Leon’s.


Going Here and There …

Courtesy: Sneakerfreakin

The day began with sunshine and I had things to do today. Last night a friend told me that one of our women from my home group was speaking this evening at 5 o’clock shadows. I left the house early because I had to make some stops along the way to the Metro and I needed tickets for my Opus card.

I got to the platform and there was a train in the station, I forgot to look and see which direction the train was traveling, as I got to the bottom of the stairs to the platform the train pulled away. It was then I noticed that I ran down the wrong set of stairs, and almost got on the wrong train. I plotted back up to the mezzanine and got on the right platform for a train going out of downtown.

I arrived at Shadows a bit early – so I hung out in the park across the street, because the neighbors bitch and moan if we gather out front on the sidewalk. This particular church is bordered by residential housing, therefore bystanders are frowned upon.

The gang showed up about a quarter to five, along with our woman who was speaking. Most of our women in our nuclear group all belong to an email notification list and a gratitude list. When one speaks, they email the whole list and the girls all go to that particular meeting to support the speaker.

Our woman got up there and told her story. We were all so proud of her. Sometimes a simple story is all that is needed to get the message across. And she did that. The meeting was full, I noticed that people of the same cloth sit together either on one side of the room or the other. One group of women who seem to travel together and go to the same meetings together were all on one side of the room.

And all of my women that I travel with, sat on my side of the room. Groupies one and all. I was traveling after the meeting to a second function at the Cathedral with started at 7:30. I got lucky that one of our women was going right to the Bay to go shopping, and the Cathedral sits right next door to the Bay.

I had more than an hour to kill before my second event, so I went window shopping in the underground city. In the Downtown Core there are tunnels and food courts below several shopping malls interconnected within the McGill Metro stop and the tunnels also lead back to the Orange line under Place Ville Marie.

I went to Indigo to look at books that I could not afford to buy, at this time. I spent almost an hour looking at books and reading from them. Some of the books were about the late Pontiff John Paul II, and the other book of interest was by Mother Teresa. I am always on the lookout for further writings on the theme of “I Thirst.” The story about Jesus on the cross during his crucifixion and his words to Mary of “I Thirst.” It is a meditation and the tattoo I have on my upper right arm.

On my way out of the underground city, the skies opened up and it poured cats and dogs for a bit. We all got wet.

I arrived at the Cathedral office early and Donald was there but we were locked out of the tower until the priest who was co-chairing the event this evening arrived to open the doors and ready the conference room.

I’m not quite sure why I was there for this reading/discussion event. I shared very little but I did a lot of listening. Most of the discussion was above my head and came from left field. It was lively discussion nonetheless. It was just a couple of hours to spend with my mentor and spiritual director and some new faces from the Cathedral.

We broke around 9:30 and I came home via the Metro.

It was a fruitful day. Good times, good people, good meetings.


The Ordination of Donald Boisvert

The Ordination to the Deaconate
And Priesthood
of the Diocese of Montreal
June 3 2012
Christ Church Cathedral
Montreal

Donald Luc Boisvert
Rev. Robert Camara
Rev. Rhonda Waters

It was a beautiful day for an ordination. Donald Boisvert to the Deaconate, The Rev. Robert Camara to the Priesthood, and Rev. Rhonda Waters, also to the Priesthood. The Cathedral was packed. The choir was heavenly.

And there was controversy, a letter had been submitted to the proceedings calling for Donald and Robert Not to be ordained today because they are both gay and in same sex marriages.

However, our Bishop Barry, having put thoughtful prayer to this petition, decided against it and performed the ordinations to the swelling jubilation of the people inside the cathedral.

It was a beautiful service. My camera phone was very handy. I was like damn, I forgot my camera, and then remembered that my phone had a camera… DOH !!! So here are a few shots.


Exsultet …

Tonight took us to Christ Church Cathedral for the Great Easter Vigil Celebration. The weather cooperated and the sun was shining and the clouds had gone, although it was quite breezy outside, once the fire was lit – it burned furiously and they could not keep the tapers lit in order to light the Paschal Candles.

In the end all the candles were lit and carried into the darkened church for the service to begin.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,

that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Deacon: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!

This is the night
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night
when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father,
in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

(For it is fed by the melting wax,
which the mother bee brought forth
to make this precious candle.)

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music to begin the Easter Vigil Mass, and here at the Cathedral it is sung in English and French, alternating from one to the other. The entire service was bilingual tonight. And thanks to my French education – this year I was a little more literate and mt reading and singing skills are much better.

There were three baptisms and several confirmations this year it was beautiful. Lot of singing by the choir. I love heavenly music. I was able to join my mentor Donald for the service. He was free tonight for service, tomorrow he has two services to participate in at St. Matthias in Westmount.

A good night was had by all …

Jesus has Risen, He is Risen indeed …


Maundy Thursday

The Triduum has begun. It was a quiet day, hubby was out all evening for class and a get together with friends, which left me home alone for the balance of the night. So I watched a little tv, farted around on Facebook, and got myself ready for church.

Since it is only 3 stops up from home, I made it in time. Little did I know that our celebrant tonight is newly ordained. A young woman who I have seen before the Reverend Karla Holmes. She is a fresh new face to the ministry at Christ Church Cathedral. I quite enjoyed her. The Rev Joyce was there con celebrating and Donald Boisvert, my academic adviser and friend was there as well, and what a treat, he was preaching tonight.

Tonight’s service was interesting. The washing of the feet, which I participated in, I missed this service last year. As always, the music was GLORIOUS. If you’ve never heard our Cathedral Choir, you should come to the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night. It starts at 7:30. It will be glorious.

The choir outdid itself tonight. The music was just amazing. The range and talent in the group is just beautiful. They were seated under the cupola directly behind the altar, which only lends to sonorous music. They have such great harmony, and add to that the singing from the congregation. I quite fancy myself a singer. I hit all the notes tonight in song. I really do love singing. My spirit soars when I sing in church. Tonight’s hymns were beautiful.

  • Jesus Calls Us
  • Ubi Caritas
  • Tantum Ergo

There were a couple others, from the missal that I was looking at. If you are in Montreal and want to join us Saturday night, leave a message here. The Christ Church Cathedral sits above Place Cathedral at the McGill Metro, and the service once again starts at 7:30. Get there early to get good seats. We usually have a good crowd for the Vigil Mass.

It’s after 4 am so I am off to bed.

More to come, stay tuned.


He is Risen …

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John 20:11-18

But Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Tonight’s service was glorious and wonderful. The choir sang and the music rose to the heavens. It was a most moving service. Everybody was moved to tears listening to the Exsultet… The blessed fire moved throughout the Cathedral from one side to the other. During the service my friend Donald was received into the Anglican Church. His husband and I watching from our pew, I got a little misty eyed – it was just so beautiful. After the service Donald said to me that I would be next. And maybe so ….

And now I am home watching The Ten Commandments. Pharoah’s chariots are being swallowed by the sea, and you know what comes next… wandering the desert and the bestowment of the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Let us pray:

“The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever; And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always.”

AMEN…

It has been a day full of holy excitement. I will see you all tomorrow.


Rejoice, Heavenly Powers !

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Found on Fr. Simon’s Blog

Tonight around the world, Christian Churches will be lit with the first fire as the ministers of Christ sing the words of the Exsultet. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of liturgical music that has ever been written. And so tonight as we gather at Christ Church Cathedral we will hear this sung by a most gifted choir, it is the culmination of the last 40 days of Lent and brings with it the hope of the risen Christ, as we celebrate with you this night…

We have travelled through Lent, have Holy Week almost upon us, and now start to face (with some trepidation) the high point of the year for me and for most priests. I believe that it is the culmination of the Church’s year and should be the high point for all Christians – the annual proclamation of the Resurrection in the Exsultet.

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav’ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.

This is night,
when Christians ev’rywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.


Preparations …

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Russell at An Inch at a time…

Geesus… I hate when that happens… I got up early today because tonight is the BIG service at the Cathedral and I didn’t have anything to wear, that fit or was nice enough [read: more formal] than what was in my closet. So I set off for the mall. The one thing I really needed to get was a card for Donald.

I went to Zellers to find a nice shirt that [fit] and I found a funky tie to go with it so now I will look somewhat formal with a shirt and tie instead of looking all frumpy and studentish. The shirt is a beautiful burgundy button down with the tie to match. I think it looks good. I broke out the old iron and did my best Susie Homemaker to it.

I stopped in at McDonalds and had me some dinner because it will be a long night tonight, and one doesn’t want the old engine rumbling halfway through the service. I also wanted to get that card which I forgot and only remembered it when I sat here to write… I hate when that happens.

Last night I was all by myself and I watched a lot of National Geographic and their specials on the Bible and the History of Jesus, and one show in particular last night talked about the writers of the Bible. Very interesting. There was one, two hour presentation on Jesus and his life and death, which I found intriguing.

There was a scientist who broke down the crucifixion and he has the only lab in the world that is totally dedicated to research on the crucifixion. He also broke down the weight of the cross and the cross weighed something considerable and his test person could not carry the cross the total 1/4 mile that Jesus dragged his cross. It was said that Jesus didn’t die of asphyxiation but of cardiac arrest. They had studied this type of death in the lab and concluded that the way he was crucified – the nails, the wood and the style lent to a new hypothesis which I found interesting.

We are almost at 6 p.m. and I need to boogie… So enjoy your night, go to church and celebrate the Holiest night of the Christian Calendar…

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This is the First reading of the night – The Creation Story

Genesis 1:1-33

Genesis 1

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.


Christ Church Cathedral Easter Vigil Photography

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The Choir Loft at the Vigil Service

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A darkened Church awaiting the Easter Candle

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Lighting the Holy Fire Outside the Cathedral

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The Altar after the Easter Dressing

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I am posting these photographs for Louise who is in Florida till the end of the month. These photographs are from last years Easter Vigil service.

This year will be exciting because my friend and Academic Adviser Donald will be received into the Anglican Church and he will begin his discernment into Holy Orders. A process, which Rev. Joyce explained to me takes a couple of years and maybe some specialized schooling at Seminary.

The Easter Vigil Service is the Holiest of Holy nights on the Christian Calendar. The choir is just amazing and the cathedral will be packed with all the people coming for the holiday.

It is also the night that Cecile B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments air on television. A four hour extravaganza…


Funk …

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Cue up some music: Sea 89.5 Worldwide.com…

So I have been in a funk for a few days. Kind of feels like a little depression I don’t know if I am working stages once again without knowing it.

It seems that I am suffering from an acute case of Applied Human Sciences student funk. The more one studies the topic of interpersonal relationships the more one changes because of what one is learning in the class. My mind races and all the baggage of the past few months is creeping up on me now. And I don’t have an outlet for all that insanity since I stopped going to meetings. That’s another problem in itself that I will explore further down.

I’ve been feeling the loss of people in my life in an acute way. And it bothers me still, and I am powerless over people, places and things. A few weeks ago one of my friends sucked me into working on our final paper for New Testament studies and it was going really well, we have been busting our asses over sources and writing the paper itself. And after our last jam session my friend started writing a final draft that I was included in working on, choosing our words carefully and writing a solid work. And then he went radio silent when I asked him to email me a copy of the first pages of the paper.

What happened was this: A few days later (last Thursday) he said to me after class that (with his arm around my shoulder) all buddy buddy and so told me that he did not feel right sharing what we had worked on together and to save face I nodded my head in assent not to throw him off because I’ve been cultivating this relationship very closely over the last year … and now he’s come to the point of push me – pull me .

After the fact I was really bent over this. I was a little resentful and angry. I chose not to attend the conference on Friday because I was in response mode and I did not trust my emotions. Yeah so he used me to get to a certain point and then dropped me like a bad habit once again. At least that is how I am processing this event. It is not sitting well with me at all.

I have a rough draft of the paper (on paper) that I was writing out as he was typing into his laptop and I can write the paper by myself – I have the same information that he does so why am I fretting over this like this? Because I am feeling bent over being treated this way. I imgined that once we started that we would take this to the very end together. I guess I was wrong.

Friday morning I got up out of bed and was sitting here checking my mail and hubby was sitting on the sofa and he blurted out that he was going to his parents over Easter and ………. I could have the house to myself (cue the internal conversation – I was not invited to go). It’s not I was expecting him to include me in his plans – but once again I am sitting here like saying what the fuck??? Does nobody care about my feelings? Or is this a big test from God to see just how I am going to react to these goings on. I know that my going to Ottawa would be “touchy” since there is bad blood between me and his brother – but it would have gone over better for me had he asked a question instead of making a blank statement of intent. Am I being too touchy here? He knows that I enjoy having time to myself when he goes to Ottawa, I’ve just got family on the brain right now. And the fact that I have none is rearing its ugly head right now in advance of the upcoming holiday…

This is another example of Applied Human science funk…

So I wrote the good Rev. Canon Joyce the other night looking to see if she was available and she’s been very busy working and now she’s leaving for a pastor’s retreat until Wednesday but she can see me after then. I need to get the parish schedule for the Holy Week events at the Cathedral. Since I will be home alone I don’t have to worry about hubby – because I will be going to church over the weekend. Once again, this year, I will be celebrating Easter alone. I am used to this now, one day someone will notice this little fact and it will change but until then so be it.

Meetings – I have been away from meetings for a month now and it is starting to affect me emotionally. Not having that weekly contact with people is starting to make me a little crazy. I know it is about time for me to start looking for someplace else to go to meetings – but I am weary about putting myself out there once again – I just don’t see the value in investing in another group after all the heartache that I have been through since December. I just don’t know if I can do this right now. But I know I have to because the longer I stay away the more crazy in my head I am going to get.

Not having contact with anyone is making me a lot crazy in the head. All the people I used to talk to on a regular basis are absent from my life and that leaves me sitting in the middle of the room all by myself. I converse with hubby when I need to – but it seems that all of my friends I relied on once are all gone from my life. There has been a dynamic change in my social life and it is starting to make me crazy and bitter. People are going to do what they do whether I like it or not and all of them forget that there are two people in this dynamic and not just once, and it seems that people do not pay attention to the collateral damage they create by doing what they did. And this goes for all the stories listed above.

I am aware of what is going on in my head a bit more because this is the process we are working on in Applied Human Sciences and I understand where I sit in the grand scheme of things. So I am going to talk to my prof on Monday after the class to sort myself out.

I am thinking about the future and what I am going to do after I finish this certificate and I investigated applying to McGill for a Masters of Divinity degree in the Fall and that is going to cost me $100.00 and secondly I am applying to Concordia for my MA in Theology which is another $100.00 in administration and application fees. I know that I can get into the MA program here at Concordia but I am not sure I can get into McGill with the GPA I had at the completion of my BA a few years ago.Everything costs money and there are no guarantees except in staying where I am.

Decisions – Decisions – Decisions…

So that’s where I have been over the last few days…


God does not 'Ordain' illness …

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Tuesday has come and gone. A good day was had by all. I attempted to get Ms. Nikki out for coffee after work and she turned me down … It was not a good day for her. Oh well, her loss…

I started the day with service at the Cathedral and the Eucharist. I went for Louise, I went for Joyce, then I went for me. Our sermon today comes from the Gospel of Matthew in the 13th chapter verses 31-32:

The Parables of the Mustard Seed

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

You never know when a seed will be planted in the heart of someone you come into contact with. Joyce referenced the youth of the parish, and that they may come with all their stuff to “church” but at least we have planted seeds in them. And once the seeds are sown in the garden, we must take care of that garden so that those seeds one day may sprout.

After service I had class and we talked more about the Apostle Paul and his letters to the Corinthians (1 st and 2nd Corinthians). Did you know that the order of the books do not represent the order the letters were written??? That there are lost letters that do not appear in the canon, and are called the lost letters. but one can infer from the letters here where the order lies.

1st Corinthians was written  in 54 and 55 of the common era.
2nd Corinthians was written after 55 of the common era.

1. Paul’s first visit to Corinth ( 2 Cor 1:19)
2. Paul’s FIRST letter ( 1 Cor 5:9 )
3. The Corinthians wrote a letter to Paul ( 1 Cor 7:1 )
4. Paul’s SECOND letter ( 1 Cor 16:15-17 )

1st Corinthians is the Second Letter – (Paul’s Second Letter)

5. Paul’s SECOND visit to Corinth (2Cor 2:1-4, 2:5-11, 13:2)
6. Arrival of the Super Apostles (2 Cor 11:4-23)
7. Paul’s THIRD letter (Embodied in 2 Cor 10-13)
This is a fragment of the third letter…
8. Paul’s FOURTH letter (Embodied in 2 Cor 1:9)

2nd Corinthians is the FOURTH letter, 1 Cor is the SECOND letter. Second Corinthians is 3 kinds of letters pieced together.

This was a good lecture and sent us all scurrying out of the hall to ponder what we just heard from Prof. Gagne. It was a good time.

I came home for an hour to fart around, after being double layered to get to class I changed out of and back into my clothes over an hours time. UGH!!! I set off for the diner making stops to get cookies and supplies – which left me 40 minutes of down time at the diner to read. I did not get the entire hour today. I was just too busy…

I went to do set up and make coffee and by the time I got the coffee on and the tables set for the business meeting people started coming for the business meeting so it was one thing after another. We had a good meeting. The Topic for today’s meeting was Step Three … and quoting from the 12 and 12:

“The more we become willing to depend on a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are.”

This is where my story really begins

One of the people who came to the meeting tonight spoke early on in the meeting. He said that he didn’t call god – GOD. But He believes that there is something greater than himself. He is having trouble with God right now because the woman he is married to, is dying of Cancer and he is trying to come to terms with her dying, and the fact that there is disease, but where is God amid the sick suffering he is witness to…

Step Three dictates that: (We) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. No matter which way you slice it, one way or another, you find God in recovery. HE is there all the time, patiently waiting for us to come around. God is a jealous God and he wants the best for us, and he wants us to be with him. (This thought comes from Henri Nouwen – The Only Necessary Thing ).

God does not push us in any way, shape or form, but gently He speaks to us through spirit, or by way of action of someone close to us. Or maybe through someone we see during our day.

I shared my take on this topic – quick and simple. I drank, I got sick, doctors told me I was gonna die, I got sober, I may not have known it then, but in practice, I turned my will over to the care of God as I understood him. I had to trust that my team was taking care of me and that God, in his wisdom would do his part. He did…

And I lived … 15 years Lived !!!

I may have gone on for 5 minutes talking about the movement of God in our specific meeting space, because God visits us at Tuesday Beginners. You come long enough, and you watch people getting sober, eventually someone has a spiritual experience in a meeting, or an old timer will come to the meeting one week and become the fount of all spiritual wisdom, as happened today.

God moves in mysterious ways… Step three comes, you don’t need to rush it. I enjoy watching people “Get” step three and when it finally hits, it is like a tidal wave of God moving about the room.

Having worked my share of Pastoral Ministry cases in hospice and having worked a fair share of cancer related deaths in my 41 years of life, I had something to say to our friend who was having issues with God.

“GOD DOES NOT ORDAIN ILLNESS”

It rolled off my tongue like wisdom gleaned from the tree of knowledge itself. I just knew this had to be Godly counsel. I was sure of it from the moment the thought came to my mind. We sat and talked about presence. We spoke about the fact that adversity and illness gives us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves. When (another) is sick, or when we get sick,  we have a choice. We can be a victim, or we can be a victor. I had to come to this realization on my own too…

Illness purifies us before God. It is the fire that tempers the steel. Illness asks of us to find the spiritual path. I am 100% convinced that even if the prognosis is bleak, for either party, if you get spirituality, then the road will be easier, even to death.

Sometimes all we can do is be present for someone who is sick. Sometimes we are powerless to stop the ravages of illness. People get sick, some survive, some stay sick, and some die … What ever hand we are dealt, there is a lesson to learn about ourselves. The lesson may be very simple. Maybe to let go. And maybe the lesson comes quick, for many it comes slowly, as we realize that in certain illness cases, illness will go as illness goes. And for many, death is the end of suffering.

It is what WE do between Now and Then

What spiritual fire must we walk through? What is the specific lesson that we are supposed to learn amid the suffering of another human being, or even ourselves? Each lesson is person specific. I may be a seer. I may be an adequate listener. And I am getting better at communicating. I know that in the moment while I sat there with this man, who was clearly shaken, I was just present. He uttered the word “Pity” and I asked him about compassion? I asked him about being present to his wife. There is a lesson in there somewhere for him. I told him he wasn’t alone.

The spiritual path is different for every person in sobriety. Some come to sobriety with their baggage. Some come to sobriety because of prestige, Some come to sobriety because they are facing dire straits, then some come to sobriety out of a sense of desperation. They’ve been given a gift of desperation. Each person comes to the room from a different path, and no two paths are the same. But they lead down the same 12 stairs into the basement of St. Leon’s Church… (yes there are 12 stairs into the basement)

One never knows when God is going to show up. I believed He came for that man tonight, through the ministry of another sober alcoholic with a bent towards Pastoral Ministry. This is how the night was ordained…

We broke the room for the second meeting as Rick was taking his 19 year cake tonight, and once again Ms. Nancy baked another award winning Chocolate Cake. It was festive. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back.

We heard tonight that Sylvia, a 20 year member of AA in Montreal has passed away. She was a fixture in Montreal sober circles. Her funeral is Saturday at St. Monica’s Church where my spiritual director is Pastor. We will all go to celebrate her life. You wanna see sobriety in action, attend the funeral of a long time sober member of AA. I have seen this kind of emotion once before, when I first got sober. They used my Big Book on the Altar when John Mack died many years ago. That was a blessing for me. but I digress…

Vivian was the speaker tonight. She has been sober for over 20 years. She shared her story. It was part of her story that took me over the edge. Her son, Chris, is a hemophiliac and contracted HIV and Hep C in a blood transfusion. Some years ago. What she said next took my breath away.

She said my doctors name and she shared a story about the day Chris decided to seek treatment for HIV, and he went to the clinic. They had study drugs for him to take and they needed his approval to get him on the meds. He sat with the doctor and he explained the route for him, and he took a few moments, and said yes to the study. but not first pondering the thought, “what would mom do???”

Funny, this AA

You never know when God is going to speak to you directly. Over the last seven years – I have tested every drug that came through that clinic that was eventually given to patients across the board. As a test patient, you never know what kind of work you are doing in testing HIV medication. You never know the depth of investment we make in doing this for the greater good.

I gave the beginners chip out at the meeting. It was then that I spoke to her and I said to her, that my name is Jeremy and I am a test patient at the General and that all the drugs your son now has – went through me before he ever got them. In essence, I helped save a life. It was a God moment.

Chris is alive because men like me tested those medications to make sure that they worked first. I can’t explain the gravity of a moment like this one.

Many other patients are alive at the clinic for the work we have done for them over the last seven years. This was the first time I met a parent of a patient from the clinic that is alive because of something I did right in sobriety.

She sobbed uncontrollably. It was an amazing moment. this is confirmation that my Higher Power works in mysterious ways, and rewards us at specific moments in sobriety to show us that when we turn it over and step aside and let God be God, God will be God and He will do the heavy lifting for us, if we just Let Go and Let God…


7 Years …

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Tomorrow is the big day, well, today really… I am writing this before going off to bed. By the Grace of God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I haven’t had a drink in seven years.

We will start the day with mass at the Cathedral and then Louise is taking me out for lunch we are going to RUBEN’S Smoked Meat Bistro Downtown. YAY. For some fantabulous Chicken Caesar Salad YUMM!!

Then it will be off for coffee and set up. Hoping lots of people come for the meeting. I, of course, will be chairing… Stools and Bottles this week…

Service was good. The imagery of the Good Shepherd is always a cool reading from Matthew. If a Shepherd has 100 sheep and one goes missing will he not leave the 99 sheep on the mountain and go off and find the lost one?

We went to Ruben’s for lunch, which was super excellent. I had the French Dip, Louise had chopped chicken liver and a salad. The waiter only got 10% of his tip because he ignored us the entire time we sat at our table.

Although Owen came to visit us, he works there. Good to see new comers.

I got a Willow Creek angel from Louise. Very Kewl…

Almost time to get going… It is snowing like MAD outside. And it’s cold too.


Gratitude…

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Last night after I finished my day and all that I had to do, I settled in to read an article on “Empathy” for class this evening. After a long day, the emotional weight of what happened yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks, as you have well read below on the blog.

I spoke to Trish this morning about what I had written and she wrote me a great email so she set me up for my day today. Louise called me as well to check on me. She was going to see Rev Canon Joyce, a little bit before my appointment with her at 3:30. I got myself showered and dressed to make my appointment at the Cathedral Place. It was good to sit down and talk and be listened to. I talked and talked. We are going to embark on a set schedule of spiritual direction over the coming weeks, as I need it so that I have someone to listen to me. Then she asked me what I did for joy? I had no answer for her. She asked me after all I did every day working with people and listening, what did I do for myself? I had no answer for her.

I live by the seat of my pants, usually. I like it, living in the moment, letting what will be come as it will. I know that everything begins and ends with prayer. I KNOW that. Sometimes I want a different answer. I go to school, that is for me. I work with my kids and that is fulfilling. I have my day of recovery and my friends. And that brings me comfort. It is something I do every week, like ritual. It is part of my existence. I write on this blog. I give back to my community here and in this city. I guess that brings me joy.

I live very simply. My marriage rocks. I like my life. I do all this work, and we got a good laugh out of this, I told Joyce that I live by this motto “Find Your Passion – DO IT – Money will follow.” Well, I am still waiting for the money to start following.

After my appointment I set off for Loyola for my evening class, which was great. All of my friends are great people. We had great conversation tonight. One of my classmates, John, is visually impaired and I heard tonight that his eye surgery was bumped up to today, which means he will be out for two to three weeks, so all of you can say a prayer for John and his family.

I also read today that ADAM, has hit a pothole in his recovery from cancer treatment. Go and read his moms latest entry and keep him in your prayers.

It was a good day. Today’s entry is brought to you by the letter “A”!!! I would like to thank all of you who called, emailed and prayed for me today. I am blessed and so are you. Especially Trish and Louise…

That’s all for tonight…


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