Today the sun sets on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. We will remember that the USA led the field in total number of medals. We may forget that the IOC went overbudget by 5 billion dollars. Participants from around the world covered the globe from Albania to Uzbekistan. The winter olympics got off to a tough start with the death of a luge competitor on the opening day. The days continued without snow for the first four days of competition which caused serious setbacks for the games. Bobsledders traveling at light speed were no match for the slow pace of the curlers. There were stories of insurmountable achievements, endurance, controversy and love. And so, on to the Summer Olympics 2012 in London.
Archive for February, 2010
It seems wrong to share photos of Purim given the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile, just outside of Santigao, Saturday at 3:43 AM. But I can’t help but want to share the poem I wrote this AM:
with Jew appeal.
Don your costume to be seen
This ain’t ordinary Halloween.
Back to the devastation and the second largest earthquake ever recorded (the first was to this very country in 1960 when then strongest EQ of 9.1 hit). This earthquake is said to have affected nearly a million people and triggered tsunami warnings to Hawaii and the California coast.
There isn’t a week that passes without someone requesting prayers. Either by email, phone or in person, someone is always mentioning that so and so is in need my prayers. Today, I am finding myself reflecting on just how often I have responded, “I will pray…” for her or him or them. And then what happens? I don’t. Nothing happens. Empty promises.
Two weeks into Lent and it has hit me, prayer requests are a cry for help, or an opportunity to enter into communion with others or a call to action.
Maybe it is because it is Friday and I could really go for a burger and that tuna sandwich is leaving me asking, “where’s the beef?” At any rate today, is the first day of the rest of my prayer life.
When I am asked, I will enter a name prayerfully in my little book of prayers. You can count on it.
I am tired of everyone trying to make a statistic out of me. Last year began an uphill battle with statistics. In June 2009 I was laid off. This was a new experience for me that I actually welcomed, until I found myself facing the first frightening stat: unemployment reached double digits and an all time high and I was there to share in the misery with a whole lot of company.
At the end of 2009 I landed a job. With that position I became part statistic number two: with unemployment still hanging high, men and women were returning to the workforce and were underemployed at alarmingly high rates. And, of course, that rang true for me when my job, great that it is, was paying 60 percent less than my previous employer.
Just the other day I was hit with another statistic. According to the Current Employment Statistics (CES: payroll survey), it was reported that there was a loss of 20,000 payroll jobs in January, but the household survey showed an increase in the employment level of 541,000. The new phenomenon is part time employment status. People, like myself are accepting part time work as unemployment dries up to earn income.
I am not retired, nor am I currently facing the challenges of raising kids or grand-kids. I am not caring for elderly relatives, a houseful of pets or a yard full of needy plants.
Then why is it that I find myself constantly fighting distractions?
Why is being disciplined very difficult? I am not overwhelmed, overactive nor over-committed. As a matter of fact, I have a reasonably balanced life right now. But distraction is the devil of my discipline.
I do enjoy shutting out the world occasionally which can take many forms: hiding in front of the television (Modern Family, AI or late night news), being stationary by the computer (blogging, social networking or connecting with friends beyond borders), or it just may be that book which is a very attractive alternative, luring me… more so than making myself presentable to the world and staying connected to the community.
Projects pile up, excuses are everywhere and distractions knock on my door every day.
But vitality, creativity, connections need to be nurtured. So what’s someone of my personality type to do?
It has been 14 years since this earthly place lost the inspirational priest, author and healer. But the words of Henri Nouwen live on today through his society, his more than three dozen books and his work among God’s special children. I recently read a Nouwen Lenten gift. He calls upon our hearts to ponder Jesus’ words, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).
Do you have a public and private self? Do you make a distinction between who you are in the privacy of your home and when you go “public”?
Henri shares with us that during Lent when you are making every effort to live a spiritual life should realize that your most personal self is the most universal; while the most hidden self is your most public persona; and the “most solitary is the most communal”.
What better time to acknowledge that our inner lives are lives we share with others? What better time to give the gift of your inner most self to others?
Sometimes nothing you can say or add is necessary. I encourage you to take a moment or two and read Pam Fickenscher’s Lenten essay entitled “Don’t Fear the Thief”. Her piece is located on the Journey with Jesus site.
Good reading, God Bless!
First Sunday in Lent… we are reminded that “Our Catholic identity” is not political, social, cultural or geographical. Catholicism is determined and set by the common initiation into our faith through Baptism that creates us as God’s people. Our Confirmation seals the grace of Baptism, and while partaking in the Eucharist we deepen our communion as the Body of Christ.
At 8AM PST I watched Tiger Woods apologize on national television to his wife, children, mother, fans, supporters, sponsors, colleagues, and the media. He took responsibility for his poor decisions, his immoral choices and said that only by a changed behavior would he be able to restore the faith others had in him for so many years.
His public act of contrition has given rise to much blather and controversy about the honesty and integrity of Tiger’s confession.
Each day our words and actions are perceived and interpreted by others. Whether or not one’s heart is pure, no one can assume to know someone’s intentions.