Tuesday, October 25, 2005
They have arrived. LAST TUESDAY just touched down in
Monday, October 24, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
I'm grateful to NEXT WAVE for taking up my article 'Eucharistic Revelations' to publish on their e-zine this month under the 'Spirituality' section. This was the first article I wrote in December 2004. It's been a great encouragement to continue developing my word-smith capabilities. If you haven't visited the site and commented on the article, you can do so here. Warning: no flattery - just say it like it is!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I've been reading a bit on Contemplative practices and thinking more about 'becoming'. One memory I have from my time at Willow Creek was a comment someone once made, "God is infinitely more concerned about who you're becoming than what you're doing". That has stayed with me and helped me focus many times on what the essence of discipleship really is. The image includes a few elements that help me contemplate: an inspired text, good flavourful coffee, blank pages for making my mark, an empty chair (for the Lord) and what you can't pick up from the picture - good music. What type of space have you created this week?
Monday, October 17, 2005
Here's an image I've been working on for some time that was just released on the Dreamers of the Day website. It illustrates (in my mind) the inter-relationship between Art, Faith & Culture. Art is in a strategic position to be a bridge of communication between the Church and the wider culture. It's a means of keeping dialogue open between these two collective groups, one informing the other. The cannons represent the tension and general suspicion between the Church and culture. The flame and the dove represent the Lord of Creation's active participation in this on-going process of revelation. If you're interested in exploring the relationship between Art, Faith & Culture visit the Dreamers site. More will be revealed about the icon in time to come. Blessings!
Saturday, October 15, 2005
I'm in Dublin this weekend on the second of fourteen weekends (a two year commitment) with the Irish Jesuits at Manresa House. I've begun a diploma course in the ancient practice of Spiritual Direction. That's not usually the favoured title, but generally the working one. Many people prefer spiritual accompaniment or even Soul Friendship ('Anam Cara' in Irish). The Jesuits seem to have a reputation for this 'art' of walking with others in their journey toward Christ and helping them discern how the Lord is speaking to them. The central focus in all of this is a personal relationship/friendship with Jesus. They also seem to be respected as highly educated people (some study for 14 years to become ordained) who engage with culture in order to be a catalyst for Christ in the world. I like all of it. The Irish Jesuits have founded a web site called Sacred Space which is an opportunity for individuals to spend 15 minutes a day with the Lord reflecting on their lives and the Scriptures. I have been enriched through it often and so have others - as many as hits to the site since 1999.
I am already really enjoying the experience of being here. My one prayer going into this has been 'God please challenge me to grow in my relationship with you through this course'. I am already sensing that occurring. I am one of three Protestants in a group of 24 and the only one in our smaller group of 12. I count myself privileged to be on such a high learning curve about all things Catholic, but I do feel somewhat of an outsider because of a slightly different vocabulary and different practices. At any rate, I know I will grow through this course and I look forward to being better equipped at the end of it to carry out my passion, "to help people have a better understanding of and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ".
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Ok, ok . . apologies for the cheesey reference to MWS. It just happened. Anywho . . . tomorrow morning I head to Longford, Co. Longford for our third and final Anois Leaders' training event at which there may only be four or five. Oh well, we'll go informal! That's one of the beautiful things about the Irish . . very little pretense and low expectations (for some things)! It's always been and always will be about relationships! Tomorrow afternoon following the training I'm driving to the end of the earth - a little town in west Co. Mayo called Aughagower (Awk-a-gower). I'll be meeting with our Diocesan Youth Officer there to look ahead for how he might develop effective youth ministry there. Belfast then home again Tuesday evening. Christy and Aidan are sick - prayers welcome. Peace.
This morning I took Neve over to our neighborhood McDonalds'. Yes, I know, I could have done better - but she loves it - especially their balloons. We have tried to make this a Daddy - Daughter tradition on Saturday mornings but my travelling schedule doesn't always allow for it. I was just reminded this morning how WONDERFUL our times there are. I am amazed at the rate my daughter is growing - not just physically, but in personality, understanding, knowledge, etc. It is so humbling to know that God has entrusted these 'little people' to us to care for and nurture. I grateful beyond words for my kids, both Neve and Aidan (he smiled a few times in a row today!). Neve and I had a great time this morning just eating, looking into eachothers' eyes, exchanging few words and smiling at one another! I love her so much. Just look at that face!
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I'm off again . . . I really hope I have a wife and kids to come back to when this month is over. I'm heading to Dublin for the night. I'll be meeting with our speaker (or 'messenger' as I now like to call them) for our annual Republic of Ireland youth weekend called Anois. His name is Rev. Ian Cruicshank - don't let the 'Rev.' throw you. He rides around on a motorbike and has talked about wearing a Hawaiian clergy shirt with his 'dog collar' (white band around neck). He's very passionate, dynamic and action-oriented. We're really excited to have him for this year's weekend. I'll be back tomorrow for a few days before leaving again on Sunday for the centre and west of Ireland! I think I need a personal helicopter . . .
Here's the key: Green house - where we currently live in N. Ireland / Red house - where we hope to move to in Co. Tipperary in January '06 / Yellow asterix - places I'll be making stops for work or play / Red line - my route on the way (note: houses not shown to scale).