May 31, 2011 is when I started posting this blog. I did pretty- good for a few years and then life happened and time got away from me. In May of 2014 I recommitted to writing, but again I let life’s circumstance get in the way and I did not follow through. But here I am again with a new commitment.
I am blessed to be 81 years old, in good health with lots of time and energy to do all kinds of activities that fill my life with much joy and satisfaction. I am truly blessed to be alive, growing and changing and loving all aspects of my life.
I’m grateful at this time to be back blogging and pray that my intention to write on a regular basis will be grace filled. I do not make New Year’s resolutions but do my best to set a few intentions. One of my intentions is to write on a regular basis and to post a blog at least once a month or so, give or take a few days or even a week.
I’ve learned a lot being on the planet so long and want to use blogging as a way to share what I’ve learned. I’m also willing to continue to learn, to grow and to change. Along the way I’ve discovered that writing is one way to uncover more about who I am, what I need to change, and what my purpose on earth is for the rest of my life. I hope that what I share here will speak to your hearts and motivate you to discover more about yourselves and in the process help me learn more about me. Please comment or ask questions when ever possible so I can learn from you as well.
What some of you don’t know is that I am a cradle Catholic. I went to St. Bridget’s Catholic School in San Francisco through the 8th grade. I am grateful for the education I received and for the spiritual foundation of the teachings that were embedded in me as a child. By the grace of God I benefitted in many ways. I know that my relationship with God was strongly influenced by the teachings I received at St. Bridget’s, which started me on my path of spirituality.
At about the age of 19 God took me on a spiritual side trip that took me 60 years to complete. From cradle Catholic to no church attendance to being very active in the Presbyterian Church, to no church affiliation, to Overeater’s Anonymous, to CSA. I know today, that I was led to and ordained a minister in this tradition, because God knew I could not be a Catholic Priest. CSA became CSE and I joyfully ministered in this tradition for 20 years. And now I’m back in the Catholic Church!
What’s interesting to me is that in the interfaith community of CSE, through the teachings of Ellen Grace O’Brian, Christianity came alive for me in a new and powerful way. By the grace of God and through the power and commitment of a regular meditation practice I was strongly led to narrow my path. At that time I realized that the place for me to do just that…was in the Catholic Church. In a way I did not have a choice. I yearned to go back to Mass. I believe that Mass like most rituals speaks to a part of us that we do not hear with our ears. I believe that the Mass resonates deep inside us and changes us from the inside out. Being a Catholic is in my DNA and over the years it’s there, deep inside me, that the Mass did its work on me…I did not resist the call to return at all! It was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s been quite an adventure and I would not change any of it.
Today, I still believe there is only one God known by many names. I learned as a young child that God made everything! That being true, I believe that God made all those other religions so that God could be relevant to each individual of each culture in a special way. If you look you will find golden threads of truth to be found through almost all religions.
But today, I resonate strongly with Jesus and the power of His name and His teachings. I am back in the fold of the Catholic Church, attending Mass on a regular basis and participating in a bible study/prayer group. I have a firm commitment to study scripture and to meditate daily.
St Thomas of Canterbury is the parish I attend. I’m honored to be a member of this congregation. This community is an active example of what it means to live the teachings of Jesus Christ. They truly walk the walk.
Once a month we collect clothing and non-perishable groceries for distribution to people in our neighborhood, who need extra help in meeting basic needs. We also do a recycling drive that supports various programs overseas. This current drive is for the Holy Land: It will benefit the scholar-ship programs at Bethlehem University, the only papal university in the Middle East which is doing some fine work with interfaith and ecumenical relations.
We support a woman who’s a nurse at Valley Medical who started a clothing closet of new socks and shoes and underwear for the homeless. We also have several members active in the Kairos Ministry in prisons. This is a wonderful ministry that helps inmates to experience the love of God and quite often this experience is instrumental in changing their lives forever.
St Thomas has an active youth group, and children’s program as well as opportunities for adults to learn and grow together. I’ve only mentioned a few of the programs you’ll find at St Thomas of Canterbury. I volunteer for odd jobs here and there but I know I am not to take on any long-term responsibilities at this time.
Fr. Dave Mercer, is the pastor at St. Thomas and he’s been doing a series of talks to help us better understand not only the teachings of the Catholic Church but some of what goes on that you don’t read in the paper. He’s done three talks so far. Three weeks ago he talked about Pope Francis: what’s changing. The following week he talked about – Scandals: how are we doing? The third talk was about Science/Religion.
I’m enjoyed each talk immensely and learned a lot. However I want to share what I learned about Science and Religion through the eyes of the Catholic Church. In a nutshell we are not to take the bible teachings literally. WOW!!! In fact St Augustine , in his commentary on Genesis (AD. 400): said, “No Christian dare say that the narrative of Genesis must not be taken in the figurative sense. For Saint Paul says in I Corinthians 7:10: “Now all these things that happened to them were symbolic.”
Yes the bible was and is now, inspired by God. However, the bible is full of stories, recalled and written by men for all of us to learn about life. These stories are a teaching tool and we must look beyond the words on the page and search our hearts to hear what God wants to teach us.
The Catholic Church teaches science, Yes!…even evolution, in all it’s schools, high schools, and universities. The Catholic Church and Science work together to help us understand our world. God is behind all that goes on in our world but the church warns us not to be ignorant about the truths that science has uncovered for our benefit. And…the Vatican has scientists in an observatory in Arizona. See the Wikipedia article: “List of Roman Catholic Cleric-Scientist” You’ll be surprised to see this list takes up several pages.
By the grace of God, my being an active, committed Roman Catholic is helping me take my spiritual life to a deeper level. As a result my heart is overflowing with peace, love and joy…the joy of having a personal relationship with Jesus and enjoying this relationship in all aspects of my life. I am learning a lot.
I look forward to hearing from you…comments and questions are welcome.
Remember To Feed Your Soul!!!