A prayer for world leaders


Divine One

You see us, you hear us

I come to you now with pain in my heart

So many of our leaders are failing us

Please, Divine One, help them make good decisions

With the health of all people in mind

Divine One, there are so many unknowns

We have never been in a situation like this

Please, grant us your gifts of wisdom and faith

Help our leaders now, and help us too

Grant us courage to speak out when we should

And serenity to accept that which cannot be changed

Divine One, guide us now

Still the fear and panicking

Grant us your calm

Let hope rise, amid all turmoil

Help us remember

You are near

You are always near

Help us turn to you

With open hearts and outstretched hands

Grant us humility

Speak your words of peace into our hearts

And help us reflect your peace into the world

The Gifts of Silence


Sweet silence, come

Come fill me with your peace and calm

In a world of noise and confusion

I choose silence

The quiet beckons me

And I come

To be cradled

Comforted

Consoled

In a world gone mad with greed

In a world so indifferent

To the weak and marginalized

Silence comes

To restore

Rejuvenate

And rebuild

Souls that thirst

For justice and equality

Come, please, come

Fill up our senses with the wisdom of quiet moments

Spent in prayer

And silence

From Twelve to One


And peace on earth goodwill to all

Once again, I am writing about Christmas, but this is about something that really bothers me. I was raised Catholic, and maybe that’s partly why I have always thought of Christmas as a season and not just one day. The Christmas tree went up on the 24th of December and was not taken down until after Olde Christmas Day on the 6th of January. When I was a child Christmas meant going to church, visiting my grandparents, and spending time with family and friends. When I was very little there was a lot of excitement surrounding gifts and anticipating what Santa might bring, but as I grew older, and especially after I had children of my own, I grew to appreciate the beauty of Christmastime. And not just the scrumptious food and merry-making, but the deeper, long-lasting values of selfless giving; of the importance of goodwill, faith, peace and love. The charitable impulses often lost in the daily grind are more on display at Christmas than at any other time of year. Thankfully that still seems to be the case today.

Yet, in this more secular world are we losing out on some of these values? A young person I worked with seemed aghast when I said I might wear my Christmas sweater to work on the 27th – I had been telling an employee who was not there last year about how chilly the place is after being closed a few days and how she should wear something warm. My Christmas sweater is very warm. At any rate, my young co-worker was surprised at the idea of my wearing it after Christmas day. It led me to wondering once again about how fast-paced life has become and how the season of Christmas seems to grow shorter and shorter year after year. It saddens me. Have the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ been shortened to only one?

What does Christmas mean to you? Is it only one day out of the year, or like myself, do you see it as more than that? I think, more than ever, we need that spirit of goodwill; of peace on earth. And we need to have more than just one day to celebrate it.

Searching for meaning


It was a strange dream in many ways. I dreamed Caitlin was receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, which is strange because she was not raised Catholic. Confirmation is a sacrament in which the person is asked to confirm promises made by the parent at baptism. In essence the person is asked if they want to be a member of the church; to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Of course, dreams are never straight forward, and least of all this one.

In the dream I was supposed to prepare Caitlin to receive the sacrament. I also had to give a sermon, or a talk about the sacrament and its meaning at her confirmation ceremony. It was a dream about faith, spirituality, and about family and forgiveness.

Caitlin’s father, my brother, Chris, was killed when a drunk driver crashed into his van as he was headed home from work two years ago. In my dream several family members were interrupting my speech to talk about Chris, not to dishonor the proceedings but because many are still grieving and healing.

The name, Christopher, my mother often told us, means Christ-bearer. That also came up in my dream. As the dream progressed Bob Marley’s tune, Redemption kept playing. So, what was the message I was being given? Confirm the Christ Bearer? Confirm Christ? Forgiveness? Redemption? Family?

There’s a lot to tease out of this dream. It is the 23rd of December and Christmas is approaching. But the dream was not about Christmas per se, even though it is the day we celebrate the birth of the Saviour. But Christmas does put a lot of emphasis on family with the Holy Family taking front and centre, or at least it does in most Catholic households.

I am searching for meaning – not just of my dream, but of life itself; of spirituality and what divine love means to me.

May this Christmas bring peace to us all and to our world that is in dire need of peace and love and all things good.

Remembering Christmases past and wishing you all the best of the season


Merry Christmas!

I haven’t been feeling my best for weeks now. But, despite that I am looking forward to Christmas. It can be a bit crazy, even depressing at times, but I truly love this time of year. People seem more caring and empathetic than at any other time. When I was a child our family would drive to the church for midnight mass. We lived in rural Newfoundland, on the west coast of the island. Life was so simple then – or maybe it’s because I was a child and it seems simpler looking back. I remember the moon shining on the bay we drove along and my father remarking on how calm the water was. I remember singing Christmas carols and I remember my parents sitting waiting for all of us to get up Christmas morning. The tree never went up before Christmas Eve and in the morning it all seemed so magical. There were never a lot of gifts, but we appreciated the few things we received.

What is it about Christmas that makes me so nostalgic? As I place ornaments on the tree each one brings back memories of Christmases past and how very blessed and fortunate my life has been. No, it hasn’t been easy and sometimes life seems so unfair – but it is a good life nonetheless.

Wherever you are, and whomever you are sharing Christmas with this year, I hope you feel blessed. I hope joy overwhelms you. I hope you feel the peace and goodwill the season can bring. And above all this, I wish you love. Merry Christmas!

Poppy wearing and future generations


Lest we forget

 

He couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. He was delighted and delightful. He stood in front of my desk both excited and enthralled. “You’re wearing a poppy,” he said. “Why, yes, I am,” I answered him. And I was touched and thoroughly pleased that he was pleased.

I wonder if the coming generations will give much thought to Remembrance Day. I wonder if they will forget. But today I met a young boy that gave me a bit of hope. I wear the poppy to remember them. I hope one day he will too.

Lest we forget!

Warriors and the Red Road


Warriors do not carry rage. Warriors are kind, compassionate, understanding, and wise. Warriors know when to bind the wounds. They know life is never merely black and white, but an innumerable range of colours. Warriors are endlessly patient. Warriors know when to fight and when to retreat. They know they must pick their battles. Warriors make war on injustices and uphold the broken and disinherited. Warriors are gift and blessing. Warriors do not make war but promote peace. True warriors know the path of enlightenment and truth. They know the red road and will lead us, if we have the courage to follow. The red road is the path of honor and respect for oneself, others, and all life forms. Today, my Creator, help me follow the red road.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the red road check this out:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/red-road-warriors-walking-this-sacred-path/12-ethics-of-walking-the-red-road/422956514409102/

On the road to redemption


ROAD 2 ALTERED

On the road to redemption

You may experience pain like –

Like falling on an upturned glass bottle that is broken and jagged,

That gashes deep into your skin and bone

Tearing tendons and ripping away sinew

 

On the road to redemption

You may be rejected, vilified, and tormented

And that will hurt you, rob you of much-needed rest

As your thoughts tumble one after another

Like a cascade of frothing water

And you may feel unable to stop the leak

That drips incessantly and poisons your days

Like a dam full of holes

You may feel like you’re drowning – but you won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may experience loss and grief

A death perhaps, or the tearing away of a life you thought was assured

A change that forces you to re-examine all you once held dear

And leaves you questioning your sanity

And your equilibrium

As your life spins out of control on some kind of crazy tilted axle

Until you barely know which way is up or which is down

 

On the road to redemption

You will be tested, time and time again

Your character will be formed as lessons are learned

As you are baptized in fire –

A fire that you think will consume you – but it won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may be tortured by life, but –

Look for the helpers and they will appear

They will pour sweet balm upon your soul

And plant peace deep within your heart and mind

A peace that leaves you rested and healed

A peace ‘beyond understanding’

On the road to redemption

O Canada


 

Today we celebrate Canada Day. We fly our red and white flag with pride. There is much to celebrate here in this great land. Sadly, there is much to think about as far as improvements yet to be made. While most live in relative comfort there still exists abject poverty in many places, particularly in indigenous communities. Places where there is no running water. Places where the suicide rate remains high. Places where people mourn the deaths of murdered women.  It is a dismal commentary on how Canadian society treats its most vulnerable citizens.

Today is also the day known as Memorial Day in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s newest province, and the place where I was born and raised. It is a day set aside to remember the lost souls of Beaumont Hamel during the First World War. At that point in time the Dominion of Newfoundland was a colony of Great Britain and her soldiers fought under the British flag. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was decimated at the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of battle over eight hundred men answered roll call. Of these only 68 remained the following morning.

So, I am conflicted about this day. It is a day of great pride, yes. But, it is also a day of sober thought and reflection. O, Canada.

LOOKING FOR PEACE


Since that horrible day on the 19th November in 2016 my family have all been looking for peace. Today was the final day of a trial that began a year after my brother was stolen from us by an impaired driver. There have been many hard days, and others where we found comfort in one another and in each of our individual little families. It’s been a brutal journey. I hope we can each finally find a measure of peace now that the trial has finally come to its conclusion. After 18 months of hell we can finally lay our brother to rest and do the best we can to go on with our lives. We will continue to mourn his loss. It was just so senseless and so unnecessary – and that is what has made it all the more difficult to let go. And especially with a criminal trial dragging us back to that day over and over again. It’s been torture to say the least. But, perhaps now we can begin to let go of all the dregs of bitterness, anger, and remorse that has plagued us all. We are looking for peace and I pray we each find it.