Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Morning at the Coast

Another day at the Coast. Today the sky was overcast when I went down to the beach. Yesterday was sunnier; the previous day was glorious with light. Such subtle yet powerful differences in three days!

According to the tide chart, I was there with two hours until high tide. ~ I thought I had time for a quick walk on the beach Ha! When I reached the beach, the rising water left about 10 feet of sand ~~ and it was still rising. I decided to take some pictures and climb the hill back to the house.

How many times in our lives do we set out thinking we have time enough..... for our children, for our dreams, for travel, for .... (fill in the blank), only to find that something has changed? Our children have grown. Our dreams have deflated. Our longings and passions have dissipated. Or that we are no longer the person we once were. Sometimes Nature and natural forces, like the tide, intervene. We need to recognize what we can change and what we can't and move on from there.

What can you change in your life to make it align with who you want to be in 2014? What is out of your control? How will you deal with that out of control part?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Crashing Waves

Walking the beach today at low tide, I saw more roiling water and more crashing waves than I experienced when the tide was high. I took this picture of a wave crashing against a small rock outcropping not far from shore. The spray was wild and the waves were powerful.

Afterwards, I thought about the power of the water. It rocks back and forth. It raises and lowers with the tide. It curls and slams into anything in its path.

How does that relate to my life? Sometimes the forces flowing around me crash like the force of the water against the rock. I feel solid, planted in one spot, yet all of this force moves me and keeps me focused. Is it important to move? Is it significant to face the forces of nature within and without? How does a crashing wave fit as a metaphor for your life right now?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feast of the Holy Innocents

During the joy-filled Christmas season, there is one day that is filled with a heaviness and grief. That day is today ~ the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The gospel reading for today contains the following section:
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:A voice was heard in Ramah,sobbing and loud lamentation;Rachel weeping for her children,and she would not be consoled,since they were no more.
 This day and this Scripture passage is often used by Catholics and other Christians to "prove" God's abhorrence of abortion. I have difficulty with that interpretation. These particular "holy innocents" were born, living and breathing. They were murdered because a king was angry. It was not a considered action, it was a rash one. Also, this slaughter occurred because he had the power to do it.

When a woman determines that she is going to have an abortion, it's a singular decision regarding a fetus that is growing within her body. It's not about power or rage. It's about what she needs to do for the best possible future.

What is a more appropriate comparison are the children who die due to malnutrition or as a result of war. Focusing on healing the rifts that cause the deaths of the children who are already living and breathing would be a more significant use of resources by Christians. I hope they find it in their hearts to make the shift.

What do you think? How would you help mitigate the deaths of innocent living children?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice Helleborus

It may be the Winter Solstice here, but my Helleborus is trying to bloom. Despite freezing rain. Despite below freezing temperatures. Despite early morning frost. They look so delicate, so fragile, so beautiful. I'm amazed at how hardy they truly are!

This is so true of us humans as well! We blossom in our own time. Despite pain. Despite failures. Despite grief. All the things we often believe will destroy us or stop us or prevent us from going on. We may appear delicate or down-trodden or desolate, but we find a connection with the deep-rootedness of our souls.

Winter Solstice brings the longest night.... and then the Light Returns! The reason for our blossoming, for our breaking forth from the Earth Mother and reaching for the Stars.

What do you wish for as we begin to emerge into the coming light? What keeps you blossoming? What lights your way from the depths?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pope Francis and Women's Ordination

Erin Saiz Hanna in an article in the NY Times:
In the document [Evangelii Gaudium], [Pope] Francis states, “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general.”
Where Francis misses the mark is suggesting that women are seeking ordination simply as means to gain power. While women’s decision making and leadership is certainly vital, the fact of the matter is women are called by God to serve alongside their brother priests. For a pope who seems so in tune with the marginalized, how does he not see that women are weeping and yearning for justice in the church? How can his sense of social justice not extend to the women of the church and their capacity for ordained ministry?

I find the language of Pope Francis fascinating: " can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general." That sounds like something he should be considering as a reason for not keeping the priesthood a 'boy's club'. Certainly a worldwide organization of men who have protected others in that fraternity from prosecution ~ or even exposure ~ as sexual abusers (using their power to gain what they wanted), it would seem the addition of the balance of genders would be welcome. There is a lot of flowery language around why women's ordination cannot even be discussed, yet I have heard no substance to the edict. It's like a parent saying to a child, "Because I'm the parent, that's why." That's an exercise of power that offers no explanation, no availability and no recourse. It's also the very statement that begins the child down the path of rebellion.

How do you feel when someone tells you 'no' without supporting reason or evidence? What do you think women called to priesthood should do?