Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

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All is Right in the World

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I slept in today, UGH! But I did get to my evening class with Sara, my Celtic Christianity class, which I totally enjoyed. Sara’s classes are comfy and warm and cozy that you come in and you sit and allow the feeling to wash over you that “all is well in the world.”

That doesn’t speak of an easy ride mind you, but one of conscious thought and work. I have been reading the course pack and through tonight’s discussion we have learned a few things. That there is more to Celtic life than we may have known. That each reading in the book is set in its place for a reason.

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Imagine standing before a forest, you boys out West can better understand this than I can paint a picture, but Sara used the forest imagery tonight. And I remarked how each reading, if laid upon the one prior paints a picture in successive layers of reading, and information. And the readings tease you to walk into the forest and turn leaves over looking for further clues to the real truth of the Celtic.

We are invited to start exploring the forest for clues to our study for this term. It is not all so easy, and reading about the past – we must use our lenses of hermeneutic suspicion, to read each text and article with a critical eye. I used that term tonight, and Sara giggled to the rest of the class, “oh Jeremy, you are so clever, aren’t you!” I had to explain this strategy with my fellows.

It’s all good…

And my young warrior from the West came to visit! You can check out his blog, The Life of Robert Wesley, he is a very special friend that I have known for some time.  Joy of joys he has decided to continue writing!! YAY!!

On the way home I hit “Came to Believe” in time for the second speaker, just so I had some time to sit with myself and be quiet and listen to another speak about his trials and tribulations about recovery. I just wanted to sit and listen, which is always a good thing to do when possible.

Over all is was a great night. Now I am gonna hit some dinner and chill out…

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A photograph from the Portfolio of Robert Wesley from B.C.


Evolution (Fall Photo Essay #1)

Sunday 9 September 2007
Temp: 18c
Cloudy – Cool
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Today marks the beginning of my Fall Evolution Photography Project. Here you have three shots from my balcony of the trees in the neighborhood and at the bottom, Cabot Square. If you notice on these photos that the trees are starting to “lighten up,” I will be posting this series of photos over the next few months to photo document the seasons changing.

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As you can see – I have updated my blog photos and I will be taking other shots of the neighborhood and my travels around the city. So stay tuned for much more photography in the coming months.


Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!


Radcliffe nervous about baring all on Broadway

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By Michelle Nichols 

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – British actor Daniel Radcliffe hopes to debut on Broadway next year in a reprise of his London role in “Equus,” a performance where he shed not only his clothes but the mantle of Harry Potter.

Radcliffe won rave reviews for his performance as a tortured teenager during an 8-week run of Peter Shaffer’s grueling psychological thriller in London earlier this year, but said the prospect of acting in New York was “terrifying.”

“It will be amazing, but I will be terrified because I was talking to Richard Griffiths about playing New York and he said the most stupid thing you can do is underestimate New York audiences,” said Radcliffe, 18, in an interview with Reuters.

Griffiths, who appeared with Radcliffe in “Equus” in London and played the role of Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies, won a Tony Award in New York in 2006 for his role in “The History Boys.”

While promoting his latest movie, “December Boys,” in New York, Radcliffe — best known for bringing to life author J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard Harry Potter — said “Equus” could open late next year in New York.

“I would be very nervous because I think that (the audiences are) even more discerning than in London,” he said. “But I know we have a good show, it was a good show when we did it in London and hopefully if we do it again it will still be that good. It has to be better.”

Media hype over Radcliffe’s nude scene in the play sparked more than $4 million in advance ticket sales in London.

“Equus” was first produced in London in 1973 to critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for best play in 1975 during a long run on Broadway. It was adapted by Shaffer for a 1977 film starring Richard Burton and Peter Firth, which received three Oscar nominations in 1978.

“December Boys,” Radcliffe’s first major role outside the Harry Potter films, opens in the United States, Britain and Australia this month. The movie tells the tale of four orphans growing up at a Catholic convent in outback Australia.

Radcliffe said he will begin working on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” — the sixth movie in the seven part series — this month and that the project would likely take a minimum of eight or nine months.


Photo Essay #9 Storm Clouds and Color

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The sky was leaden as the sun set behind the dark clouds. It was the colors that attracted my camera. I just had to get the shot, before the light faded.

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Monday August 20

I guess I am supposed to write something coherent after posting all those articles below. A Canadian MP and his partner were wed in the Maritimes (Yay, Eh!) Mexico is getting blown’ away at this hour and the Queen of Mean is dead “ding dong the witch is dead…’

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I’ve been engrossed by my most recent read “The Power and the Glory” Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican. I have to say that if David Yallop has written one true word in his text, if all of what he writes is true, surely, to me, makes me question the life of John Paul II.

We have read through Liberation Theology, Solidarity, England and Ireland and Scotland  and even Medjugorje, in what is now Bosnia. When I was a young person, in my home parish, we were visited by the priests of the parish church where the young people were receiving messages and visions of the Blessed Mother. I even had a rosary that was said to have been touched by the Blessed Mother herself. Now a relic of that extreme to have been touched by the Blessed Mother, to me, carried sanctified power of the Blessed Mother and of God.

Last night I was lying in bed reading when I came across this paragraph:

“Karol Wojtyla’s lifelong Marian obsession may have clouded his judgment on the events of Medjugorje. Since 1981 the Vatican has defended its inaction over the alleged apparitions by saying that it awaits pronouncement from the local bishop. The opinion of Bishop Pavao Zanic of Mostar that the apparitions were ‘hysterical hallucinations’ was confirmed in 1982 when he established a diocesan commission to investigate further.”

I’ve never heard this debunking of a Marian Apparition. If one is to take at face value,  everything that David Yallop has written, as fact and certain truth, I must say that he shakes the base of a lot of my base faith beliefs. Much of the read through the latest 227 pages of the book, do not paint John Paul II in very good light. I just wonder how much of this writing is truth and fact and how much is speculation and inference?

This text is hock full of data with places, names and insinuations that John Paul I was murdered because of his move to clean up the ‘church’ and its cover up of the Vatican Bank Fiasco and the involvement of the Italian Mafia and the hierarchy of the church at its highest level.

This text is, so far in my opinion, an indictment of all things sacred and profane during the life of John Paul II. David has gone to great length to inform his readers just how many issues faced the late pontiff, how the world saw him, and what really happened behind the scenes of the “Rock Star Pope.” We know of the double speak, and the issues that John Paul II championed all over the world. David tells us in the text some very damning statistics of the Catholic Church.

“Father Andrew Greeley found in several polls, the following information:

  • In 2002 Zogby poll indicated that Father Greeley might soon need to add the United States to those who are ‘no longer Catholic’
  • 54% in favor of married priests
  • 53% thought there should be women priests
  • 61% approved of artificial birth control
  • 83% though it was morally wrong to discriminate against homosexuals and on abortion nearly a third disagreed that is was always morally wrong.

In contradiction to those figures, in the same poll no fewer than 90% thought the Pope was doing a good job worldwide in his leadership of the church.

In Australia – between 1971 and 2006, Catholic weddings in a church had declined by over 50%, from 9,784 to 4,075. In the United States the number of priests more than doubled to 58,000 between 1930 and 1965. Since then the number has fallen to 45,000 and continues to slip away. By 2020, on present trends, there will be less than 31,000 and more than half of those priests will be over seventy. In 1965, one percent of US parishes were without a priest. By 2002, 15% – 3,000 parishes – lacked a priest. In that same period seminarians declined by ninety percent.

The same grim picture repeated itself in the figures for Catholic nuns and members of religious orders. Almost half of the Catholic high schools have closed in the past forty years. Weekly attendance at mass hovers between 31 to 35%. Annulment figures have soared from 338 to 501,00. Wherever one looks the story is the same yet the US Catholic Church still proclaimed that within the same period, 1965 to 2002, the number of Catholics within the country had risen by 20 million.

The MYTH of a hugely increased membership is perpetuated not only within the USA but globally. The Church’s definition of a Roman Catholic – a baptized person – flies in the face of the fact that hundreds of millions of notional Catholics subsequently reject the Church’s teachings on a huge range of issues and by doing so, notwithstanding what is written on the baptismal certificates, cease to be Roman Catholics. A non-practising Roman Catholic is an ex-Roman Catholic, or in Vatican-speak a lapsed Roman Catholic.”  (Statistic, text pages 205-207, David Yallop).

I don’t disagree with much of David’s writing about the late Pontiff. I know of many of the historical stories that he more than plentifully enlightened. In my study of Papal History, and namely of the late Pontiff, John Paul II, I reserve my scholarly right to look at this text with as David Tracy writes, hermeneutic suspicion.

“All interpreters of religion, whether believers or nonbelievers, can employ something like the theologians sixth sense that to interpret religion at all demands being willing to put at risk one’s present self understanding in order to converse with the claim to attention of the religious classic.

Hermeneutically, I am clearly not bound to either accept or reject and religious claims prior to the conversation itself. But if I would understand that claim, I am bound to struggle critically with the fact that its claim to truth is part of its meaning. To understand the religious classic at all, I cannot ultimately avoid its provocations to my present notions of what constitutes truth.” (D. Tracy, Plurality and Ambiguity, pg. 98)

More to come …


Rare dead star found near Earth

From: BBC News Online

Neutron star artwork, Image: Casey Reed/Penn State

Neutron stars form when massive stars exhaust their fuel

Astronomers have spotted a space oddity in Earth’s neighbourhood – a dead star with some unusual characteristics. The object, known as a neutron star, was studied using space telescopes and ground-based observatories.

But this one, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, seems to lack some key characteristics found in other neutron stars.

Details of the study, by a team of American and Canadian researchers, will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

If confirmed, it would be only the eighth known “isolated neutron star” – meaning a neutron star that does not have an associated supernova remnant, binary companion, or radio pulsations.

Either Calvera is an unusual example of a known type of neutron star, or it is some new type of neutron star, the first of its kind

Robert Rutledge, McGill University

The object has been nicknamed Calvera, after the villain in the 1960s western film The Magnificent Seven.

“The seven previously known isolated neutron stars are known collectively as The Magnificent Seven within the community,” said co-author Derek Fox, of Pennsylvania State University, US.

“So the name Calvera is a bit of an inside joke on our part.”

The authors estimate that the object is 250 to 1,000 light-years away. This would make Calvera one of the closest neutron stars to Earth – and possibly the closest.

Neutron stars are one of the possible end points for a star. They are created when stars with masses greater than four to eight times those of our Sun exhaust their nuclear fuel, and undergo a supernova explosion.

This explosion blows off the outer layers of the star, forming a supernova remnant. The central region of the star collapses under gravity, causing protons and electrons to combine to form neutrons – hence the name “neutron star”.

Data search

Robert Rutledge of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, originally noticed the object.

He compared a catalogue of 18,000 X-ray sources from the German-American Rosat satellite, which operated from 1990 to 1999, with catalogues of objects that appeared in visible light, infrared light, and radio waves.

Artist's impression of Swift, Nasa

Swift was launched to observe gamma-ray bursts

Professor Rutledge realized that a Rosat source, known as 1RXS J141256.0+792204, did not appear to have a counterpart at any other wavelength.

The group aimed Nasa’s Swift satellite at the object in August 2006. Swift’s X-ray telescope showed that the source was still there, and was emitting about the same amount of X-ray energy as it had during the Rosat era.

The Swift observations enabled the group to pinpoint the object’s position more accurately, and showed that it was not associated with any known astronomical object.

The researchers followed up with the 8.1m Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii and a short observation by Nasa’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Unusual properties

Exactly what type of neutron star Calvera is remains a mystery. According to Dr Rutledge, there are no widely accepted alternative theories to explain objects such as this that are bright in X-rays and faint in visible light.

“Either Calvera is an unusual example of a known type of neutron star, or it is some new type of neutron star, the first of its kind,” said Dr Rutledge.

Calvera’s location high above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy is also a mystery. The researchers believe the object is the remnant of a star that lived in our galaxy’s starry disc before exploding as a supernova.

In order to reach its current position, it had to wander some distance out of the disc.


Report: J.K. Rowling writing crime novel

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By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press Writer 

LONDON – J.K. Rowling has been spotted at cafes in Scotland working on a detective novel, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

The Sunday Times newspaper quoted Ian Rankin, a fellow author and neighbor of Rowling’s, as saying the creator of the “Harry Potter” books is turning to crime fiction.

“My wife spotted her writing her Edinburgh criminal detective novel,” the newspaper, which was available late Saturday, quoted Rankin as telling a reporter at an Edinburgh literary festival.

“It is great that she has not abandoned writing or Edinburgh cafes,” said Rankin, who is known for his own police novels set in the historic Scottish city.

Rowling famously wrote initial drafts of the Potter story in the Scottish city’s cafes. Back then, she was a struggling single mother who wrote in cafes to save on the heating bill at home.

Now she’s Britain’s richest woman — worth $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine — and her seven Potter books have sold more than 335 million copies worldwide.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Rowling said she believed she was unlikely to repeat the success of the Potter series, but confirmed she had plans to work on new books.

“I’ll do exactly what I did with Harry — I’ll write what I really want to write,” Rowling said.

The office of Rowling’s literary agent, Christopher Little, was not immediately available to comment late Saturday.


Finding the Perfect Church…

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I have asked this question of some of the ministers that write for our sphere. For many years I have searched for the “Perfect Church.” Growing up in a predominantly white, middle class neighborhood gave rise to attending church with my friends. And that served me very well for most of my young adult life.

Labels had not been applied to us in this period of our lives so we were free to worship wherever we chose to. And in most cases our parents followed along, because the church was not only a religious landmark, but also housed Youth Ministry that everyone was part of for several years through high school and junior college and even for myself, Seminary.

After leaving seminary with a bad taste in my mouth for Catholicism, and Church, I walked away from God and his church. I thought that I had been slighted by clergy and I was pushed against the “choose us or get out” wall. It took me many years dealing with the truth to walk back into church.

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This was always my childhood home, the Church I called home. It was the place that God and I communed. And after my leaving seminary – this was the church that I returned to many years later, as a weary, AIDS suffering sinner. I was sick, and I had been away, and I met a man who changed my life when I saw him say mass in this space with his crutches and MS. I vowed never again to complain about things in my life. And I have kept that word so many years later.

Being Gay, had its issues with Church. But not to the men who led this church forward. I was a part of this church and this is where I would find prayer, support and salvation.

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As I grew into my 30’s I hit several questions in my life about faith, recovery and living with AIDS. I’d like to say that I found all my answers in “church” but that would be false. I was living in an area of town that did not afford me the ability to get to church any more. So I was not attending “church” where I had been for so many years. It was just logistically impossible to get there in time for mass.

During my second recovery, I was seeing a therapist and I had friends who were talking care of me at the time. I was having my visions and spiritual experiences outside the church I may have left the church “physically” but not emotionally and spiritually.

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Faith is like a garden. Each one of us inhabits the garden of our own making. We tend that garden daily. In the morning we walk through misty, dew covered flowers and plants, and as the day wares on the sun tracks across the sky as we sit in that garden. I believe that everyone is born into some kind of spiritual tradition, more than most may speak of but nonetheless, someone puts the seed of faith within us at some point.

If you were like me, you were baptized, first communion ed and confirmed in the Catholic faith. Some were baptized in the baptist faith and others were raised in the faith of their parents or extended families. But we all carry that seed within us.

For many, being Gay and Christian or Being Gay and Catholic was something we battled with because of the politics of the church. Now in my 40’s I can tell you that I will not walk into, better yet worship in a space that does not welcome me fully into communion. I used to compromise my ethics and my politics because I was attached to the Catholic faith by an unbreakable umbilical cord that still exists today.

When I got sick, the priests told me to come to church and I did because they were 21st century men in an archaic world of Catholicism. That lasted as long as it had to to keep my in line with my faith and connected TO my faith. God was in the church, praying with others took place in the church. Mass took place within the church. And I was ok with that way of life.

When I got sober in 2001 I was filled with questions. My faith was strong because I KNEW who God Was and who god Is still. I did not need the physical building to give me what I had created and cultivated internally over many many years of spiritual exploration. You see, faith is not something you feed once a week in a worship service. Faith is not something you partake on any given Sunday.

I was sober a four months when I came to visit Montreal in the Spring of 2002. It was Ash Wednesday when I arrived. I celebrated Easter here and I loved it. This is such a rich religious city. Later I would meet a Jesuit priest who would give me the same puzzle piece he gave all the other boys I later met on the path later on.

This is where it all starts…

I had a reason to come here and I knew after two weeks of being here, that I needed to stay here. I went back to Florida, packed all that I could and I left, never to return. Lies my mother told facilitated my move out of the United States.

I started my journey of faith in the Church Basilica of Notre Dame. It took me weeks to start putting the faith puzzle together. and now six years later, I can tell you that there are still pieces of the puzzle missing.

I had to get used to living in Montreal, Pre-Iraq War. I had to find my place in the greater scheme of things. And that took a long time. I had my citizenship on February 17th 2003, and I was sober 14 months. I decided that I would go back to school. My chosen major in the beginning was Psychology, that quickly changed to Religion.

These were the years that demonstrations were taking place in the streets and Americans were being warned to sew Canadian flags on our backpacks, so as not to acquire the ire of Canadians in Montreal, because protests against the war were daily occurrences. I did that and I participated in those demonstrations. But eventually I would hit several crises points in my life, ONE would be “where do I fit in?” I had to find my place in the community and that took two years upon beginning University. I remember sitting in Donald’s office asking the all important question: “I don’t know where I fit in and I have one foot in the South and one foot in the North – I don’t know where I should be?”

He was always apt to tell me these key words:

“If you find yourself in between and you can’t decide where to go or move, then sit where you are and survey all that you see before you. FEEL your feelings and get in touch with your dis-ease with where you are. Consult your map and ask your questions of the people on the path, then when you are ready, plot your next step, but not before you are sure of your footing.”

I met a man of faith in the Chaplaincy office. I was a man of faith and I was sure in my faith as any other man or woman was. The one difference? I was a sure gay man living with AIDS. I made no excuses and expected no special treatment, just love and acceptance, which I found in Fr. Ray Lafontaine. Still to this day, as a fellow Christian and Catholic priest in my life, he challenges me in my faith to find the answers for myself.
I attended his church at Loyola on Sunday evenings. And that worked for me because there were others like me in the church and we were all accepted.

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That haze of Summer lasted for two years. In that time I started working on my religious beliefs. And I maintained my sobriety by attending meetings in the basements of many of Montreal’s most beautiful churches. When Father Ray was moved to St. Monica’s church and new priestly blood was flushed into the chapel, I met my faith match…

Having been singled out over my marriage to my husband and the vile words shared with me by the existing chaplain of the University, I walked away from Church once and for all. Although when Fr. Ray and Fr. Paul said mass, I would always attend.

Having studied religion for so many years of my life, and having lived with AIDS for so many years, I knew several things. 1. I knew who God was. 2. I knew who God is not. and 3. I knew who I trusted to support me in my faith journey.

I have been separated from Church for a long time now. It took the invitation of friends to attend a mass said by the Very Reverend Gene Robinson in the Summer of 2006 at Christ Church Cathedral to seriously contemplate a return to Church. In 2003 I was married in the very Catholic Space at Loyal, much to the consternation of Georges Pelletier. We did it just to make a statement of faith, because the entire Loyola community was there to stand with us and profess our faith and love before our families, friends and God himself.

The only time I ever walked into a church, during my time in the field, was with my Great Aunt Georgette, may she rest in peace… I would pray in the mother house chapel with her and I would attend mass there as well. The last time I attended mass in the Mother House Chapel was the day we buried her in August of 2006.

I would never walk into another Catholic Church after her funeral. Although I still maintain a working relationship with men of Catholic faith, I don’t go to mass in the Catholic Church. The other day that marked a change in my Catholic belief system was the day that the Late Pontiff John Paul II died, and I attended mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

You see, while I was studying Religion in university, I was studying my past, making peace with it and learning why things happened the way they did for me, and I was afforded this historical review because of the professors that I studied with for the last four years. I polished my religious skills and I mastered my Christian faith.

I was getting sober in church basements and I was ministering to people in the field. I never walked away from God again. I knew better, and he would always wait for me to find Him. Some of you know about the last five years. Some of you sought me out from the field for spiritual guidance. And I was there for you without question.

I always knew where God resided within me. I knew where to find God, outside myself. I can walk into any church in the city and talk to God. And I can talk to God at any given moment of my day or night, because I have built a temple of God within me.

We are all temples of the spirit of God. Most of us do not know this truth. So I share it with you now. We are all created in the image of God, and therefore we carry the image of God within us. We are walking talking miracles of God’s love and grace. My garden of faith is Eden within me. And I share that garden with anyone who wants to come and walk amongst the flowers. I do not need a building or the perfect church to settle my restless heart.

I’ve spent the last five years searching for God in the sacred churches of Montreal. He was always there where ever I looked for Him. As for the perfect church? You will never find it, because of the true nature of men and women. Humans are imperfect sinners who need to be taught what is right from wrong. And those who come to church already have their preconceived notions of who their God is, and what they will be willing to accept, in the way of Christian teachings, dogma and practice.

So take a church full of imperfect humans and ask them to build for you the perfect church! With all the heads buzzing in the church, each with their notions of church and God, and what do you have? A room full of buzzing heads, who could not agree on what they would call church, and I am sure that their conception will not be what you had in mind either. The perfect church does not and will never exist…

Where did Jesus do his best work? In the field, over dinner in sinners houses. Working with the homeless and the poor and sick. How many times does Jesus step into a church in biblical writing? And what does he say about the ‘church?’ What would he say about all of the terrible incarnations of Church we have today – in the world?

I do believe that God and Jesus weep at the way Christianity is lived out in the millions of lives of people around the globe. We know the scripture, we know the reason yet we can’t see past the noses on our faces and we cannot take the plank out of our own eyes before we try to help another, so what does that say about active Christianity???

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I’ve been in the process of Spiritual direction for some time now, ever since coming to Montreal many years ago. I have sought the advice of many people over the years. And I work with others “in the field” every day…

Where is my “Church?” If I had to give you an address, that would be the Christ Church Cathedral because the bishop has said to the LGBT community that we are just as important to the church as any one else. That he supports us and wants us to participate in community and be active participants in our own faith. I am 40 now, and I have my morals, beliefs and values, and if I choose to leave the Catholic faith based on principle I can do that today, because of the certainty of WHO I am and What my faith means to me, because I am ‘out of communion’ with Benedict’s Church, and I can live with that today.

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But I don’t need a building to worship God. I don’t need the perfect church to teach me God’s word. I don’t need the perfect minister to keep me on the path of Godly living. Why, you ask? Because I can do all these things on my own. I celebrate my Christianity every day through prayer, word and action. I live my faith – therefore it is in front of me every day for all to see. I practice my faith. I talk the talk and I walk the walk, daily…

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This is not a task I ask you to ponder on your own and it is not for the feint of heart either. But in order to build your inner church, you must start with a foundation, a garden. Mark out the space in your heart. Till the soil and plant your seeds. Give them plenty of water and sunlight and then pray over them…

We each have the capability to till our own gardens of faith within us. Because until you have a strong garden of faith within you, will you be able to find a church that will serve you, because without the understanding and cultivation of your own garden, do you remove the judgments within your heart of men and ministry.

If you are looking for the perfect minister of Christ, he will not appear, save Christ himself. We are flawed human beings, and therefore we must understand that and with that knowledge we can better serve the community at large, and if we able to serve the community at large, we can then see God for ourselves where ever we go, and in whatever church we visit.

The best work of the field is done in the most imperfect churches, because most people know that perfection is unattainable. Your Heavenly Father is perfect, so we have every ability to be as perfect as our heavenly father is perfect. But that will take a lifetime to achieve.

In order to find church outside of you, you must first build church within yourself. You must find your definition of God, you must let your faith garden grow. You must be strong in your faith because without strong inner faith, you will not have strong outer faith for community. Without using the gardening tools that God has given you, how can you practice your faith? You must find Sacred Space within yourself, and you must build sacred space for yourself, while you are in the field.

Because, what good would looking for the perfect Church do for you, if you do not have a handle on your own inner faith to begin with??? Build your inner church and invite God to inhabit your sacred space. Get to know this God of your own understanding. There are certain things a Christian must do every day…

 

  • Read Scripture every day
  • You must Pray every day
  • You must Meditate every day
  • You must Actively Practice your Faith every day

Because the simple act of prayer – asking God for those things that weigh heavily on our hearts, must be followed up with a period of silent “Listening” for God’s voice to speak to you. Because sometimes we get the answer… ‘keep praying, not today, NO!’ Cookie cutter Christianity is too easy. You must live your faith actively in community, that is one sure way to find Jesus in the field.

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Start with your garden
Plant it, Till it, and let it grow
Listen to your heart song
and share it with the world
Take off the blinders on your eyes
and see the world in its imperfect state
Find Christ in the field and walk with Him
talk the talk and walk the walk
practice your faith in ACTION
in time your heart will soften
and you will see God
and you will find that

‘Perfect Church’

is but
‘Perfect Union with Christ’

AND

One day
A church will find its way to you

Because you will be ready to serve…


Never rains, but it pours …

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I guess I should write something today. I think I am still in exploration and expectation mode – although I am not expecting anything in particular, it is the right description of where I am mentally.

What do Gay men think about at age 40 and beyond? What changes have come about since my 40th birthday, not so long ago? They say that in your forties that you begin to find yourself and you ‘awaken’ the consciousness within you, you awaken to the person you were meant to be, not necessarily what we have been programmed to be by the world, the media and our families.

I have been on this journey of self discovery for a long time. If you go over to my sidebar you can read all about the past few years and how things have changed, and the quest for life I have been on. I find myself in a very settled position right now. Like I have been rooted to a spot in the universe, I know where that location is in the grand scheme of things.

It is not always about me, for the most part. My hubby gets the main portion of my time and attention, then my boys and the world get the rest. Since I entered the foster parent/mentor program some years ago, taking care of my boys is a full time job.

I always quote Adam Sandler from “Spanglish” when he says to Florr that
“Worrying about your kids is Sanity!”

I was at my home group last night and I shared on this thought, and Step 2 “Came to believe that a Power Greater than Myself could restore me to sanity.” I don’t get crazy in my head like I used to. That ‘Gay Mania’ I used to suffer from as a young man is gone. If I allow myself to get crazy, I would go crazy. My boys keep me on my toes. They keep me honest because how can you father a child, talk the talk, and not walk the walk? Every day I am reminded that if I am to be a good father to my boys, I have to live the messages I am giving them.

There is not enough love in the world. Every day I stop to remind my boys that they are loved. I talk to them at least once a day. It is hard being away from them, the phone and the computer have become the central connections between us. This past weekend I had a few days to myself, so I thought, until the universe spun out a microburst of insanity.

“It never rains but it pours!”

In the middle of the storm is where I prefer to be – able to look out and see the winds blowing around me and able to see the ground I can be the most assistance. And I found that spending time with my boys as I had over the weekend made me the sanest person I have been thus far. Because as the world was shaking them individually, I was there to stand with them and hold them and let them know that “this too shall pass!”

So what do Gay men think about at forty plus? I worry about my boys, I worry about my hubby, [he is Bi-polar] and let me tell you bi-polar is no cake walk, either for me or for him.

After a weekend of pain and tribulation I was laid wasted emotionally and mentally. I had been running on auto pilot all weekend. I stopped just long enough to rest and to pray. Funny, that I did not think about eating all weekend, and I wasn’t very hungry either… I paid that price on Tuesday…

Do not push your body beyond the boundaries it sets for you too far… I have the propensity to push myself into areas that I know I should not go because my body is a finely balanced machine. HIV does that to you. You either learn the system or you pay the price for failing to be able to read your inner signs. When brings me back to balance.

One must balance food, sleep, meditation and activity. Not to mention stay on treatment protocol in dosing ones self. I became out of whack this weekend. Now I am working on resynchronizing my inner systems. This ability is another gift one learns about when living with a disease that everyone knows is terminal at some stage of the game.

Live in the moment, stay in your day and remember your gratitude…

Where is this going, you ask?

I don’t know, I just thought I would share with you some observations from the ‘road’ as they are passing by. Balance is the key in all things. Learning what that balance is can take some time, so you must be persistent and thorough.


Harper announces northern deep-sea port, training site

Take THAT Russia !!!!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Friday the government will install two new military facilities in the Arctic to boost Canada’s sovereign claim over the Northwest Passage and signal its long-term commitment to the North.

Resolute Bay is located near the eastern entrance for the Northwest Passage.

Resolute Bay is located near the eastern entrance for the Northwest Passage.
(CBC)

He said the Canadian Forces will build a new army training centre in Resolute Bay and refurbish an existing deepwater port at a former mining site in Nanisivik.

“Canada’s new government understands that the first principle of Arctic sovereignty is: Use it or lose it,” said Harper, who made the announcement in Resolute Bay.

“Today’s announcements tell the world that Canada has a real, growing, long-term presence in the Arctic.”

With a mid-summer temperature of 2 C when Harper spoke, Resolute Bay will be home to a new army training centre for cold-weather fighting that houses up to 100 military personnel.

The training centre will use existing government buildings, which will be refurbished at a cost of $4 million, said a government news release.

Harper, who made the announcement with Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor, also announced an expansion of the Canadian Rangers by 900 members.

The reserve unit of the Canadian Forces patrols remote, isolated and coastal communities. There are roughly 4,100 Canadian Rangers in 165 communities across the country.

Former mine site of deep-sea port

A deep-sea port to be used for military and civilian purposes will be built in Nanisivik, the site of a former lead and zinc mine on northern Baffin Island.

Nanisivik’s existing port already has basic docking platforms and a fuel tank storage facility. Used by the occasional cruise ship and Canadian Coast Guard vessels, the port is near Lancaster Sound, the eastern entrance for the Northwest Passage.

Coast Guard ship Des Groseilliers at the port in Nanisivik.

Coast Guard ship Des Groseilliers at the port in Nanisivik.
(Patricia Bell/CBC)

Ottawa says it will cost an estimated $100 million to refurbish the port site. Construction is slated to begin in 2010, with an end date of 2015.

Heavy equipment operators are busy cleaning up the site of the former mine, which shut down five years ago. It’s contaminated with heavy metals from more than 25 years of operation.

A spokesman for the mine’s owner, Breakwater Resources, said contaminated soil has been removed from the port site.

“We’ve actually removed all the contaminated soil that was associated with the dock cell,” said Murray Markle.

“There was some hydrocarbons there that we excavated last year, there was metal contamination in the soils. We’re in the process of cleaning that up.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is greeted by Arctic Rangers as he arrives in Resolute Bay on Friday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is greeted by Arctic Rangers as he arrives in Resolute Bay on Friday.
(Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Markle said the port is ice-filled in the winter but gets a lot of use in the summer.

“All the big cargo ships use it, there’s 50 feet of water right at port side, so there’s really not much of a limitation there. It is a deep-sea port,” he said.

Denmark sends expedition to Arctic

Harper said both installations will help back up Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage — a claim disputed by numerous countries including the United States, Japan and the entire European Union.

The pressure is on Arctic nations because of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which gives them 10 years after ratification to prove their claims under the largely uncharted polar ice-pack. All but the United States have ratified the treaty.

Fuel tank storage facility at the Nanisivik port.

Fuel tank storage facility at the Nanisivik port.
(Patricia Bell/CBC)

Denmark will send a scientific expedition to the Arctic on the weekend to try to cement its claim on the region. Led by Danish and Russian icebreakers equipped with sonar to map the seabed, the team includes 40 scientists, 10 of them Danish.

“We will be collecting data for a possible [sovereignty] demand,” said expedition leader Christian Marcussen. “It is not our duty to formulate a demand of ownership.”

Earlier this month, Russia sent an icebreaker to the North Pole to conduct scientific experiments and plant a Russian flag on the seabed, a symbolic claim to undiscovered oil and gas supplies, as well as undersea mineral riches.

Earlier this year, Canadian hydrographers were sent to Alert to complete underwater mapping research in support of Canada’s sovereignty claim.

Russia, Canada and Denmark all claim they are physically connected to the Lomonosov Ridge, a 2,000-kilometre underwater mountain range that stretches to an area between northern Ellesmere Island and Greenland from Siberia.

With files from the Canadian Press


What’s on my Bedside Table

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 **********************************

 The Power and the Glory,
Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican by David Yallop.

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This Huge Text is what I am reading. John Paul II ranks a lot higher on my read list than a Monk who sold his Ferrari. I wanted to get this read done before classes commence. So we shall break with Discovering your Destiny for now…

Prayers for John Paul II —

“You brought to many comfort
True shepherd of your flock.
Hallmarks of your wisdom shone
With kindness entwined –
A loving knot.

So many on our planet loved
Your charity of ways.
Your path through life
Showed us well –
How not to fall astray.

Let’s take the teachings from your reign
Let’s not forget the lessons.
Let’s ever remember your inspirations
Came directly from –
Our Father in Heaven.”

Prayer by Susan Kramer


What's on my Bedside Table

308.gif

 **********************************

 The Power and the Glory,
Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II’s Vatican by David Yallop.

kpcrosier07-copy.jpg

This Huge Text is what I am reading. John Paul II ranks a lot higher on my read list than a Monk who sold his Ferrari. I wanted to get this read done before classes commence. So we shall break with Discovering your Destiny for now…

Prayers for John Paul II —

“You brought to many comfort
True shepherd of your flock.
Hallmarks of your wisdom shone
With kindness entwined –
A loving knot.

So many on our planet loved
Your charity of ways.
Your path through life
Showed us well –
How not to fall astray.

Let’s take the teachings from your reign
Let’s not forget the lessons.
Let’s ever remember your inspirations
Came directly from –
Our Father in Heaven.”

Prayer by Susan Kramer


He moves in mysterious ways…

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Have you ever seen God? Would you know what to look for, if you knew for a fact that He would show his face? Do you know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists?

Of all the meetings that I have been going to over the last five and a half years, there is one true location that God seems to make his presence known to people in attendance. That meeting would be Tuesday’s Beginners. St. Leon’s is a hallowed church in Westmount. And the members of our meeting never shy away from the spiritual and better yet, none of our members take for granted the fact that they can talk about God as they would any other subject.

Our meeting has been in existence for over 56 years. Several incarnations later and decades following we have seen people come, and go and come and go and come again… And I can tell you with certainty that I have seen God move throughout the room. There is just a feeling, a visual of light that comes from above (the church) and comes down through the ceiling and rests in the middle of the room.

People are having spiritual experiences, and we see it happen week in and week out. People remark that they feel so safe and comfortable in our room. And we find that slippers come back to us to restart their “journeys” after periods of further alcoholic experimentation. Another woman returned to us after a decade of struggle. Today’s topic was “what do you do to guarantee your sobriety?” Nothing guarantees our sobriety better than intensive work with another alcoholic.

My friend KEN came up from Toronto – one of my readers here at my blog. We met some weeks ago at the memorial service for his brother Craig, at St. James United. I had invited him to a meeting when he came to visit. He came to our meeting today, and what a joyous time we all had. We get visitors from all over the world – come to our meeting, and they all leave with a sense of calm and sober understanding.

The last visitor who came to our meeting and told us that God did not exist and that he was a confirmed Atheist, left that meeting and never returned! ‘Coincidence?’ I think not.

On the way home tonight I was walking with Louise and I told her about my perception of God’s power and light finding its way into the meeting and she said to me, “You aren’t the only one to say that, many people believe that God visits our meeting because we honor Him and we talk about Him and we pray to him unified and believing.

So many people have come through our room, and we are as constant as the North Star. We are a place of safety and love. We are always welcoming and spiritually centered, even when we run insane and crazy, the one true fact is that I believe that tonight, like may nights before, God came, saw and shown his light to those who were there.

A woman who had returned spoke of God to me after the meeting. And I told her “you saw the light, have you!” He was here; he is always here, because we seek him with sincere and humble hearts. We gather in his name, there is not one non-believer in the group. Yet we don’t push religion – or faith. But we speak boldly about a Higher Power, who just happens to be God for many of us.

I have seen him change hearts and heal lives and He has made people well, and sober. He has carried their burdens and held them when they wept. He has blessed so many with good things, and people come to express gratitude for all great things, and we all know that there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. People are put into our paths for specific reasons if you are able to divine those reasons as the need arises.

I see the face of God in the people I serve. I see the Christ in those who struggle and I see the spirit in those who have been renewed and healed. Look out into the trees and see his divine hand in creation, in the fall, see him paint the city in colors as bright as the sun. And in the Winter I wait for the silence, for that one true night when the clouds fall and the hush falls over the city as the first flake of winter snow falls, I rush outside and I welcome the voice of God as he whispers to the city… “I am here…”

I have seen him, and I know his voice…

And if you hear his voice today, Harden not your hearts.

 

 

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Discovering your Destiny … (Cont'd)

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Og Mandino wrote ” I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.”

“Synchronicity is God’s way of remaining anonymous”

“When you do your best and dedicate yourself to excellence the universe supports you and puts wind beneath your wings.”

“Remember, you are not your moods but a force far bigger than them. You are not your psychology but a power wiser than it.”

“When you shift from a compulsion to survive into a heartfelt commitment to serve, your life cannot help but explode into success.”

The Poet David Whyte once observed: “The sould would rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else’s.” Nothing’s more important than having the bravery to live Your life.