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Night of Silence

Cold are the people, winter of life,
We tremble in shadows this cold endless night,
Frozen in the snow like roses sleeping,
Flowers that will echo the sunrise,
Fire of hope is our only warmth,
Weary, its flame will be dying soon.

Voice in the distance, call in the night,
On wind you enfold us, you speak of the night,
Gentle on the ear you whisper softly,
Rumors of a dawn so embracing,
Breathless love awaits darkened souls,
Soon will we know of the morning.

Spirit among us, shine like the star,
Your light that guides shepherds and kings from afar,
Shimmer in the sky so empty, lonely,
Rising in the warmth of your Son's love,
Star unknowing of night and day,
Spirit we wait for your loving Son.

The Servant Song

From Mass at Holy Name Cathedral yesterday-


Will you let me be your servant,
let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
we are travelers on the road;
We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you, speak the words you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;  
When you laugh I'll laugh with you,
I will share your joy and sorrow 'til we've seen this journey through.

Will you let me be your servant,
let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.

To forgive, divine!

Heavenly Father,

Within me is a battle only the strongest fight
my decision is whether to do what is right
my morality is at issue and the center is clear

We're all human and sometimes we do wrong
and I've been holding this grudge within me too long
his mistake was years in the making and was thrown at my feet
ever since then this error I'm refusing to repeat

My defenses are up and barriers set
what I've done wrong is to not forgive and forget

Jesus Christ always forgave and did so at his end
and He'd want me to change, he'd want me to stop
If I won't listen to Him there's no hope for me

So this leaves me fighting myself
my soul vs my spirit and I'm losing control
I stand here before you with honesty and truth
forgiveness is the key and I'm living proof

I might have a new chance to be happy and loved
will I open my mind and heart to your wisdom and word?

Mine eyes have seen the glory

I did something this past weekend I hadn't done in months or maybe even honestly in years.  I found myself wandering the streets of Chicago and I very blindly went into a church and sat down and meditated.  I went to confession.  I said a rosary.  I found myself rejuvenated.  The spirit was flowing within me.  I had set off on that walk by tacit agreement with my new good friend.  After some serious stimulation and, we both decided we needed to pray and get some fresh air.  And it came at just the right time. Spiritually I've been at my lowest lately.  Not even the Taoist theology that I find fascinating and enlightening could save me this time.  I needed to return to my roots.  My very Scottish and Irish Catholic roots. Family, food, faith.  (and for me my father too)

I needed this weekend at home to get my present reconciled with my past.  Going to Mass every day has brought me back to the path I feel I need to be following.  Even if this path doesn't lead me where I want it to it's still led me away from where I am now.  Here.  Depressed.  Heart broken.  Angry.  Who wants to wallow like that indefinitely?  I found more forgiveness for Chris and his unfaithfulness to me for three years.  (I'll continue this thread on the bhanonymous community later)

Life is a journey not to be wasted or missed out on.  Makes me even more excited about my trip to Europe next month.

Reminiscing on 9/11 and spirituality

Written on 9/11--

For me, today being 9/11 brings a lot of questions about spirituality and faith. I was 21 and at UC Berkeley when everything started happening. My hometown of Chicago was starting to panic about the Sears Tower being hit too. (I also had a cousin who worked in the Pentagon who was unhurt but it left our family shaken)  I found myself praying for the terror to end just like others here.  Watching in disbelief as those towers went down taking all those lives with them.  Seeing a part of the Pentagon gone... and all the rest.

People reacting emotionally were retaliating against anyone looking middle eastern. I went to Mass that evening and for several days to help find some kind of peace. It was very healing for me personally to receive comfort and love from everyone in that building, at that specific time. I think my faith was strengthened that day considerably.  I think most Americans rallied around each other in a show of support.  Yet, my my faith would be severely tested in the days and months that followed.
 
As more information starting coming forth as to who was responsible for the attacks even I was feeling anger. (I suppose that's what a lot of Americans felt about their Japanese neighbors after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941) But not once did I feel any ill will towards the family four houses down from my parents who were from Pakistan that I had known for half my life. Their windows had been smashed by bricks thrown by people upset. If they had any real intelligence or tolerance they would know this family was Hindu and not even Muslim. And also, that not all Muslims were responsible for 9/11. 
 
I am a cradle Catholic.  My father is a deacon in the church I grew up in and I did everything the way a good Catholic girl should do: love my father, prayed every night, wore the white dress and veil when I had my first Communion.  You name any kind of Catholic 'cliche' and I lived it all the way through high school. Once I got to California and the liberal bay area, things changed.  I stopped going to Mass completely and found freedom.  When I graduated and returned to Chicago with the intention of going to Northwestern for a Masters I was expected to live at home again with my parents and resume being the good Catholic girl I was.  

Then I started dating Chris.  His family had never attended church.  I knew this because we've known each other since I was 12 and him 14. His sister is my best female friend.  To the horror of my parents I moved in with Chris, stopped going to school to work and support him while was at Northwestern Law School, and generally left the church altogether.  

I thought my faith was what was supposed to get me through the crises' of my life. At age 29 I've had my fair share of trials and tribulations. The most recent being the end of my relationship with the man I thought was 'the one' for me after almost three years.  The entire time we were together I strayed from the church more and more.  I asked him to accompany me several times to Mass or functions but he was resistant to outright refusing.  My father told me I was turning my back on him, my family, and the church by living with Chris.  It's only been since June that I've started going to Mass again regularly.   I was missing something I loved.  The familiar feelings, routine, even the comfort of going to Mass with my family.  All four of my older siblings were married and starting families so I was at the Catholic church a lot with weddings, baptisms, etc.  I realized I missed it.  But not because of any kind of faith, but because of the consistency of the life I had always known.  It was comforting. Since the breakup I have been to extra masses during the week looking for guidance and comfort but haven't been able to find exactly what I'm looking for.  

What am I looking for?  Where will I find it?  Will I find it?  Am I looking hard enough?  Too hard?  I'm questioning almost everything about my faith right now. And there are many people out there who dislike my religious beliefs simply because I'm Catholic. My whole family is. My friends are. Is it time for me to look elsewhere? Should I open my mind to another religion? Can I open my mind to other faiths?  

How is my spirituality changing?  From childhood to college and freedom, to adulthood and relationships, to a major event or trauma?  Is there one type to suit me or many types?

These are the things I'm thinking about right now.
 

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