The moon

Tonight after arriving home and exiting my car I looked up. The night sky was clear and glistened with stars, a quarter moon and at least one aircraft moving slowly with blinky lights from south to north. Tonight is one of those nights that invites us to be still and look not just at the lights but at the space between them. Without those dark spots there would be no contrast for the lovely stars. Even today as I lamented an imagined transgression I failed to be grateful for the dark spots in my life. Without the dark there is no light. Without the dark there is no moon. I’m thankful then that there is this moon that also invites me to a prayerful moment of quiet and in that quiet there is a moment of gratitude for this starlit night in the month of June 2011.

Tonight I am reminded of a Zen story from antiquity and this is but one version of that story.

“The truth and the words are unrelated.  The truth can be compared the to the moon.  And words can be compared to a finger. I can use my finger to point out the moon, but my finger is not the moon, and you don’t need my finger to see the moon, do you?”

Language is merely a tool for pointing out the truth, a means to help us attain enlightenment.  To mistake words for the truth is almost as ridiculous as mistaking a finger for the moon!”

Brother Sun

I’m enjoying the warmth of the sun and enjoying the view of fresh snow and beautiful blues skies after two days of winter storms. There is a peaceful still here this morning and I’ve been basking in it. Friday night we braved the elements and drove to nearby Ellicottville for a cozy dinner at Tips Up Cafe. It’s my favorite restaraunt in E’ville. Yesterday we drove nearly a hundred miles to Canandaigua, New York and the campus of Finger Lakes Community College to watch Pioneer Central girls basketball compete against Honeoye Falls. Pioneer lost in a close game. Our children thought we were crazy to drive through such weather and road conditions and they were right. We were crazy but we made it safely there and back. I like a little adventure now and then. Without it there is no growth and life is always about growth. I wanted to stop at Polimeni’s Restaraunt in Canandaigua and enjoy another good meal with my wife, but we discovered that Polimeni’s was closed last night and had to settle for dinner at Pizza Hut closer to home.

I’ll be leaving for Mt. Irenaeus soon. It’ll be a lovely ride this morning. Next week is Palm Sunday and then Holy Week. One of my favorite nights in the church calendar is coming. The night we used to call Holy Thursday. I hope to celebrate it with the friars again this year. A dish-to-pass supper at Mt. Irenaeus and then Mass followed by benediction. It’s always a blessed and mystical night for me.

Inner Christmas

A visit to Brother David’s website is always a treat and today was no exception. There was an invitation to celebrate inner Christmas. This resonates for me because it’s a sensation I’ve experienced since I was a young boy. Christmas Eve, the Easter Vigil and Holy Thursday night are the most sacred and mystical events of the Church year for me. I still celebrate the twelve days of Christmas in my heart. My mom never took down the Christmas decorations at our home until after the Feast of the Epiphany. I used to spend hours standing or sitting in front of our own nativity set. It was always an invitation to the mystical. I hope you take some time now to visit and enjoy this link to an Inner Christmas.