Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.– Rumi
I got to Mt. Irenaeus on time today but the liturgy had already started in the Friars garden as Fr. Dan Riley, OFM was leading those present and the other friars in prayers, blessings and incense. Dan reminded us that we are conjoined and consecrated by all creation and that it all is the Body of Christ. That simple yet powerful reminder is why I make the trek of 30 miles each week for Eucharist. Liturgies at the Mountain are more than typical “McChristianity” that is the norm in much of the world. At Mt. Irenaeus each of us is blessed and reminded of that blessedness each week. Dan’s homily invited us to think of ourselves as co-creators of the Body of Christ. We are invited to a feast at which we are both sacred creator and consumer. There is no one in this creation who is greater or less than another. This intentional hospitality is what draws those who journey each week to Holy Peace Chapel. I am drawn by that not so strange pull that animates my life. What and where it is leading now I don’t know but I have every intention of following.
Today I attended Mass at Mt. Irenaeus as I do most Sundays. And just like most Sundays I was a bit late getting there. Nonetheless introductions were just being made as I entered the chapel. Fr. Lou McCormick, OFM was the celebrant. Fr. Lou’s homily focused on today’s readings and on the difference between uniformity and unity. There is great pressure for uniformity all around us but we are really called to unity. Lou shared about a recent study that examined why people left the church in general. The short answer is that people are really seeking community. There is a tremendous call to community everywhere. It’s not just in churches, but in schools too. Unity and community are really about love and the need of the human heart for precisely that. I drive 30 miles from my home each Sunday because Mt. Irenaeus provides the sense of community I crave. When I’m at the mountain I have a distinct sense that I’m home.
The picture above is one I took earlier today in the chapel at Mt. Irenaeus. After brunch today I took a long walk all the way up to La Posada and spent sometime sitting on a bench listening for that still small voice of the Holy Spirit that I crave. I ended my time at the mountain today sitting in meditation in front of the tabernacle. It was my own very personal adoration of the Eucharist. Adoramus te Dominum, omnes gentes alleluia!
Gosh, it’s been over 5 months since I last wrote! I’ve been busy. Had my first ever major surgery which scared the heck out of me. I made a mountain out of a molehill. I’m grateful to my surgeon who repaired an umbilical hernia. I’m good for another 100,000 miles now. While I was convalescing I read a book which challenged me to meditate at least three minutes twice a day. That challenge has borne great fruit as I’ve been meditating twice each day since January. My daughter suggested I take a Yoga class. I signed up for Hatha Yoga for men at Yogabetsy in nearby Olean, New York. the combination of yoga and mindfulness has been profoundly quieting and has lead me to read all that I can about how both yoga and mindfulness can help relieve our nation and world of stress.
I’ve even added a bell of mindfulness to my iPhone which chimes every fifteen minutes reminding me to “breathe.” It has invited conversation at my work place too and reduced overall stress. I just took a picture this morning which sums up how I feel today and it is inspired by the words of a song we frequently sing at Mt. Irenaeus. Namaste!
“The heavens are telling the glory of God, and all creation is shouting for joy! Come dance in the forest, come play in the fields. And sing, sing to the glory of the Lord!”
I’m glad to see that the last United States troops are leaving Iraq. Many hawks are quick to blame our president for the uncertain end of the mission. That’s unfair and unfortunate because the war never had areal mission to begin with. It was all based on lies and subterfuge. We invaded a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 and we caused tremendous carnage. Between Iraq and Afghanistan we have spent nearly 4 trillion dollars. Imagine what good we could have done here and elsewhere with that capital. This is the season that many of us celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace so it is all the more fitting that our engagement in Iraq is at an end. Thank you to the American forces who served so admirably and at such great cost to themselves. May God bless our troops and their families and grant them a lengthy furlough at home with their loved ones. In the spirit of another great president from Illinois, let us “care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Tonight I’m spending an overnight with our son & lovely daughter-in-law. They’re taking good care of the older generation. It’s my first stay with them since their recent marriage. I’m in the area for the 2011 NYSCATE conference. I had a great day at the conference a great meal at Dinosaur BBQ with friends and fellow Ed techers
Tonight I’m sleeping in a lovely home owned in part by a son I once held in my arms. Life is like that isn’t it. God has been good to me. Thanks to Devin & Mandi for welcoming me into their home.
It’s been 20 years since my first NYSCATE Conference. The changes in that time have been remarkable. I’ve attended a number of sessions and most have been very interesting. Although I’ve seen no presentations on open source per se but I have seen a number of presentations where the applications are on the web and they are PHP served applications and most likely those applications are run on Apache servers. While Google is not open source, it is hosted on open source data centers. Great buzz here about Google Apps for Education. Twitter is huge in Educational Technology circles and it’s yet another open source based application.
The growth of iPads has been phenomenal. Very few attendees carry notebooks or even netboks anymore. Almost everyone has an iPad. Almost everyone has a smart phone and while many conference goers sport iPhones, many more are carrying Android based phones. Interactive white board vendors are more numerous and there must be at least a dozen separate vendors.