That a couple of years ago, I would have blogged all sorts of events from the last couple of days. I mean, a lot has gone on in my life. I finished a great silent retreat where the subject material was on the “mystics.” I am not sure if I enjoyed the presented material most or simply the time and permission to be silent; to take a blanket out onto the beautiful grounds and lie out there under a tree looking up at the sky through a canopy of leaves; to lie there and carry on a quiet conversation with God and to be able to sense things that I needed to hear. The days included a session talking with a spiritual director that also clarified some things for me. And the hospitality in the place was great.
Then the evening with Dave and Annette and a wonderfully excited Kieran at the Cirque de Soleil. What fun. What magic!
Then introduced Jordon and Wendy to the Konga Cafe. On Ave. H and 23rd. Doesn’t look like much but the food and hospitality there is great. Food with a Carribean flavor.
And today, met another friend for lunch. Good talking times. Then home to celebrate a significant birthday with another friend.
So there has a been a lot that could have been blogged in great detail. It seems that these days I have been doing less writing and more doing things with people. Seems that if I am busy being with friends then there is maybe more things to say but less time to talk about it. So, I guess I will spend the time doing and being and enjoying. Maybe deep thoughts will emerge at some point but for now, I am enjoying friends, family and the warm summer weather.
Tomorrow after church I will head up to the lake with two daughters and two grandsons. We are tenting and going to celebrate Canada Day together at the lake.
Reflecting on Teresa of Avila’s writings, The Interior Castle and a quote from someone given to me by one of the spiritual directors here,
“There are places in my heart that I have never been. Lord, sometimes I don’t know myself. I am blessed that you do.”
I get the feeling that there are whole rooms inside me that God wants to open and infuse with his presence. I don’t know what they are or how to go there – yet. I guess if God wants to go there then he knows the door to them. Someone said that these sorts of doors are tricky – they can only be opened from our side, which I think is true to an extent. However, somehow we have to hear God knocking from the other side, I think, before we realize where the door is located. Gradually as I open up those inner places to God I believe that I will understand a whole new level of freedom and be closer to really knowing who I am.
So, here in the silence I have been discovering stuff about me and God. And it is good.
I was introduced to the life and writings of Etty Hillesum today. She did not survive the Holocaust but she did learn to live her short life with God.
On prayer she says, " Half an hour of meditation can set the tone for the whole day but its not so simple. It has to be learnt."
And, " Somewhere deep inside all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go."
I think it is that loneliness that calls us to a relationship with God.
It was a good day. Ad now at the end of a rainy day the sun is out and I will walk a bit and enjoy the peacefulness of the grounds and the trees that always take me closer to God.
For the next week and a bit I will be on vacation. I think it would be right to call this a holiday where the time away can be called holy – although if one looks, the sacred can even be found in days at work. I am going to spend the next week in a retreat house doing a retreat called Praying with the Mystics. I am not sure if the whole retreat is a silent one but I know that at least one day will be spent in silence. And there is a lot of reading and thinking and writing to do to prepare for the final intensive week of the spiritual direction course this summer.
Silence will be good.
I will emerge from the retreat house to go to the Cirque de Soleil show on Wednesday – a Mother’s Day gift from my son and his family. That, too, will be very good. And I will connect with some friends when the retreat is done.
Time with God and time with friends. A holiday can’t get much better than that. I guess some spectacular scenery thrown in would be awesome – but I will have to settle for Saskatoon. Which isn’t bad, just it isn’t necessarily spectacular, at least till God throws a fiery sunset across the sky.
So posting will be very quiet around here over the next week. It’s OK. I don’t know that anything I’ve said here lately has been terribly profound.
I need a break from work. I need time and space and quiet to think and hear God.
This is too common an occurrence. Two guys, doubt they care much about the state of their dental health although they have underlying medical conditions that should make them more prudent, come in with lost fillings. the most common reason for a lost filling is decay around an old filling so that the structure of the tooth around the filling breaks and it falls out. Kind of like saying the windows fell out of the house when the house has rotten timber. New windows won’t fix the problem any more than a new filling plopped into the hole in the tooth. It requires a major overhaul of the tooth most of the time and sometimes the tooth is just too far gone to save.
The other option is me doing what is commonly termed "herodontics" where I try heroically to save a tooth that has hardly a hope in hell to survive.
So, here I go. Wonder what I will attempt this time.
Some events are very special. Yesterday Kimia Lanoie was dedicated to God. A big day for my littlest granddaughter. Kind of special for a Father’s Day since my son is the proud dad.
At times like this my thoughts return to the past; to Eric’s dedication and our idealism at that time as we set out to raise our first child to know God. My memories run over all the years in between then and now. Memories are both funny and serious but all those times remembered are savored and pondered over one more time.
And here we are – a new generation well on its way. Our children beginning to collect their own memories of their children’s lives.
As for Grandma – well I will remember this day. It goes in my collection bag of good times and special memories. I will remember this day as she grows and as those occasions come when she will need to be reminded that she is loved and cared for by her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and by her Heavenly Father.
Seems I used to have a lot more time to reflect on life. I am anxiously awaiting my week of retreat. Only one week to go!
Life still teaches me lessons but I learn them only if I stop and take some time to reflect on their meaning.
Zaka’s response to the delicious taste of the cherry was so much like my own reaction to the new experiences life offers me. God may be offering me the very best that he has for me but it does not look like the familiar fruit, the one that I’ve learned to relish. I take a taste and find only the pit, rejecting the good fruit around it. So I miss out on what God has to offer for the moment. My tastes are too immature and I don’t hear him saying, "Linea, taste the fruit around that hard pit that you just spit out in disgust" I think he has to re-introduce me to those tastes he offers again and again, patiently waiting for my taste buds to mature so that I can appreciate the succulent goodness of what he offers me.