An everyday pilgrim contemplative stories and reflections by esther hizsa gas 10 8 schlauchadapter


A few weeks ago Fred and I had a Groupon for a restaurant in the Vancouver’s West End. We arrived an hour early so we could go for a walk. I thought we’d stroll along English Bay, look out on the ocean, the ships in the harbour, and the Lions and the other snow-capped north shore mountains. electric zap sound effect free But Fred wanted to “poke, and sniff, and smell” as he says, down Davie Street. So we did.

Our route took us past two churches. The doors of St. Paul’s Anglican were open, and there was a labyrinth inside. Central Presbyterian didn’t look like a church at all. The original building had been demolished and a high-rise apartment tower was built in its place. The church uses the ground floor for their gatherings and outreach ministries and the floors above provide affordable housing for seniors.

We passed a community garden, folks walking their dogs, and others dressed up and in a hurry. I smelled pizza, marijuana, and earth, freshly dug from a huge hole in the ground—no doubt for the foundation of yet another high-rise. I heard a First Nations man shouting for a long time but couldn’t follow what he was saying or to whom. No one seemed to be listening.

“Alfred lives around here somewhere,” I said to Fred. Alfred DePew is another spiritual director and writer I know. I was still savouring the book he just published, Odalisque, a novel about Thérèse, an orphan, artist, and prostitute living in Quebec City after WWII. I loved how Alfred was able to see the beauty and sacredness of her life and tell her story.

A section of a side street was converted into Jim Deva Plaza. Chairs and tables were set out near a bright pink and blue megaphone , four metres in diameter. The inscription inside invited those who have had no voice to find theirs and use it. Once again I felt moved. God sees the suffering of those who are marginalized. Grace has spilled onto the streets. For God knows, many are too hurt, too angry, or too afraid to enter a church. So God paints rainbow flags, arranges chairs, and inclines an ear to them. v gas station And God inclines churches, writers and spiritual directors to listen to their stories and welcome them into the kingdom.

Life as usual will be interrupted to prepare my heart and home to celebrate Christmas. How do I feel about that? I don’t usually like interruptions, especially when I have so much to do. But a funny thing happens sometimes when I’m interrupted and happens more and more as I age. My attention is turned to something else, and I forget what I was doing. I find myself enjoying what interrupted me.

Disappointment. Yes, I hear you, I feel you. You show up, first as frustration, then as judgment, and then you finally come out of hiding. When you do, I realize I had expected more from someone or something than was possible. You often show up with your cousin Interruption; the way I wanted life to play out got interrupted by life as it is.

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s presence fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.

I hadn’t heard that declaration in a while and felt a resistance rise up in my chest when she said it. Yet she was relaxed and animated as she talked about her new freedom. In a situation in which she could have easily criticized or dismissed someone for their actions, she was liberated to accept them as they were and love them anyway. Choosing to love wasn’t a duty. She simply made a choice to see this person through grace-filled eyes.

Meanwhile, on the personal front, I addressed what had caused the flare-up of bursitis in my shoulder. The pain was gone, but I still hadn’t done the strengthening exercises my body needs to prevent it from coming back. electric utility companies charge customers for I keep imagining Blanche Bickerson from the 1940’s radio show with that tone in her voice. “You say it, but you won’t do it.”

I’m offered a ride home from the Lunch Club. “It’s okay. I need the exercise,” I say and open my umbrella. On the short walk home, I think again about loving myself for God’s sake. I hold the idea that “myself” includes my body. When I say I have a body, it sounds like something I own rather than something I am. Yet if I say, “I am a body,” what happens to “me” when I die? I’m not just my body. gas house eggs But I can’t live without it on this earth.

Recently my daughter, Heidi, and I went to the Italian Cultural Centre’s art gallery to see the exhibit, Women’s Work: Reflections upon the History of Women in Textile, which is on display until Dec 30. The exhibition examines the role of women throughout history. The curator, Angela Clarke, told us how the exhibit came about. Clarke selected sixteen significant Italian works of art that either deal with themes pertaining to women or were created by women. Then it was the task of sixteen of the leading female professional fibre artists in British Columbia to utilize these paintings as a starting point for their own explorations on the history of women. Artworks such as Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa, emphasize women’s historic roles as mystic and spiritual teachers; the Ravenna Mosaics with Theodora, demonstrate women’s capacity to rule behind the throne. Finally, paintings such as Perugino’s Marriage of the Virgin look at the historic institution of marriage and women’s traditional role within it. The artwork was simply amazing.

My spiritual director invited me to bring these questions to God. I closed my eyes and imaged myself again as a bird held tenderly in Jesus’ hands. But this time, instead of being snuggled into his chest, I was lifted up to his face. He was looking into my eyes and smiling. I heard what he was thinking: Don’t worry about taking someone else’s place, I can give them what they need in a thousand different ways.

A week later, Fred and I are on the Sunshine Coast. In the early morning, I zip up my jacket and, with coffee in hand, go outside to pray with my eyes open. Low clouds cling to the hills along the shore. gas stoichiometry calculator I hear a tinkle and three dogs emerge from a sailboat moored at the marina. Then a man gets out and closes the hatch to keep the warm air in. The dogs stretch and scamper up the wharf; the man follows.

The twelfth-century abbot and spiritual writer St. Bernard of Clairvaux explains one way in which this happens. We usually begin, he says, by seeking gratification and fulfilment through our own devices. He calls this “love of self for one’s own sake.” When life teaches that this doesn’t work, we then turn to God, a higher power, and seek the consolations that are given through grace. In Bernard’s words, this is the “love of God for one’s own sake.” Gradually, we find ourselves falling in love not with the consolations of God, but with the God of consolations: the “love of God for God’s sake.” In the atmosphere of this love, Bernard says we finally begin to discover how loveable we ourselves are: “love of self for God’s sake.”

I dreamt I was driving someone else’s car and giving a few friends a ride. We got in and I took off, then traffic slowed down. I applied the brakes but the car didn’t respond as quickly as I expected. We slid into the car in front of us. The impact was not hard, but it was hard enough to cause damage to both cars. Another friend was driving behind us, and he took my passengers where they needed to go. I was left to deal with the accident which wasn’t in my plan for the day. That’s when I woke up.

The day before a directee told me about a dream she’d had. It had profoundly impacted her. This made me pay attention to my dream. The first thing I noticed was that my reaction to the mishap wasn’t catastrophic nor was the outcome. In the past, if I imagined having an accident, I would feel panic and shame, but I was calm in my dream. I did all I could to prevent hitting the car in front of me except anticipating that the car I was driving needed extra time to stop.

The pivotal question was the significance of the car. I thought about my life and what seemed to fit the metaphor. It didn’t take long for me to admit–even though I didn’t want to–that it was my body. It’s not the body I used to have even ten years ago. It needs to be driven differently and, if it isn’t, I will feel the effects and others will too.

Last week a fellow came to the Wednesday Lunch Club. He was sick from sleeping in a moldy sleeping bag and tent. I called Progressive Housing Society to get a number for a local shelter and they told me to call 211, a help hotline. I did and the woman who took my call told me what shelters in our area had space available and emailed me their addresses. gas prices going up june 2016 It would have taken me hours to get the information she had at her fingertips. According to bc211‘s website, it “is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing free information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC.” The website and hotline help BC residents find help when in an emergency or crisis or in need of counseling, financial assistance, housing, employment, medical services, victim services and more. If you’ve contributed to United Way, you’ve supported bc211’s Love Mischief.

Our grandchildren, Hadrian and Hannah, love to play Sardines in the Dark. It’s a version of Hide and Seek. The person who’s “it” hides. When the seekers find the one hiding, they squeeze in beside them until the last person discovers them draped over each other. Playing this at night with the lights out is what makes it so much fun. You’d think that after a few years our grandkids would get bored with the game. Our three bedroom townhouse isn’t very big. But here we were again.

I made Buddha bowls with miso gravy for Scrabble night. A study, published in the journal Science, shows that avoiding meat and dairy is the single most effective way we can help the environment. According to The Guardian, “The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.” My love mischief got two thumbs up from Hadrian’s mom who owns Vegan Yarn and her pal, Karina Inkster, a personal trainer and the author of Vegan Vitality, a plant-based cookbook and active living guide.

I almost said no to co-facilitating Living from the Heart next year because it makes me uncomfortable at times. I’ve told you how it tosses me about. I don’t like feeling anxious that I’ll do something wrong or fearing the sting of messing up. Yet, when I was at the intensive this fall and experienced those feelings again, although they were uncomfortable, I survived. The world didn’t come to an end, and I was able to recognize that whatever “mistakes” I did make could be used–like everything else–for God’s glory.

We shared many things we were grateful for. I can’t remember any challenges that were voiced that I needed to be concerned about. After the video call, I noticed I was tired. The ball of panic had eased, but I could still feel it. hp gas kushaiguda I gave it some space and realized it was shame. Now the uncomfortable feelings that toss me about have a name.

As I held that feeling of shame, I knew I didn’t need to be afraid of them or the situations that trigger it. It’s an irrational reaction tied to past experiences when I felt betrayed by people I trusted. Besides, I know what it’s like when the shoe’s on the other foot and what I’ve said causes someone else to feel ashamed while I feel nothing but love for them.

Yet shame’s spell can be strong. It must be ten years ago now that I ended a friendship because every time I was with a certain person, I felt bad about myself. Despite the fact that no one else who knew the woman had a bad thing to say about her, I was convinced that she was the source of my shame. That’s how real it can feel. It has taken me this long to realize it isn’t true.