novenas & prayers & things

I feel like I have made repeated reference to this conversation I had a couple of months ago. It was via text message and with the co-worker-turned-friend who has become my prayer partner. Around January, she and I realized that there was some greater message that we were missing. It all came together in that aforementioned conversation.

I don’t think, though, that I have talked about what happened the next day. When I walked into her classroom, she had novenas in her hand. Printed from the internet.

I haven’t prayed a novena since I was 14. I remember the last time clearly. We lived in walking distance from a church so I actually prayed it in the church every day for nine days. My mom would walk with me. I don’t know what she did, but I would kneel in the front of the church and cry as I prayed.

The other thing I haven’t done since I was 14 is pray the rosary. My whole family used to pray it together after dinner. I’ve only prayed it since at funerals.

The unfortunate thing is that both of these things, particularly the St. Jude novena, are associated with negative memories in my mind.

In the past few months, I have learned to combine the two with my Ignatian practice of the examination of consciousness–yea, like to be alive. When I started that seven years ago, I would spend five minutes doing it. A few months ago, it was about 30 minutes.

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“I Prayed for the Sun Just for You”

I have had, in my lifetime, the blessing of some amazing mentors. People who were actually assigned to me to help me learn to teach but became wonderful support systems, sources of information, and really good friends.

One of these beautiful people–from 3 jobs ago–called me up a couple of weeks ago and invited me to lunch. I finally had the opportunity to meet her on Wednesday afternoon. It was gloomy and overcast as I got ready in the morning, and I was a little disappointed in the gray clouds because she had promised lunch in the marina.

I made my way to her home, and she invited me in. We always talked about work when we were working so it was an amazing glimpse into the life of a 72-year-old woman (sorry for putting that out there!) who has done so much, loved so much, served so much.

She showed me her pictures–of family and her travels. Of flowers. Of caves. Of waterfalls.

At one point, I told her something I’ve always known but was solidified in this visit: “You are an amazing, amazing woman, and I hope you teach for twenty more years.” She laughed.

She took me out to lunch, and we sat in the brilliant sunshine.

“When I woke up this morning,” she said, “I prayed for sun for you.”

And I had to  hug her. What a powerful thing to do for someone.

So, I think that’s going to be my new commitment: Every morning, I going to choose one of the amazing people in my life, and I’m going to pray for sun just for them.

current, simple truths

Since last Saturday night, I have battled (yes, outright battled) a series of one infection and 2 viruses. I finished a 7-day stint with antibiotics for the infection yesterday. And proceeded to mostly lose my voice (as the 3rd part of my fun).

I almost shed a tear seeing Curtis Granderson in a Yankees uniform.

I came up with 89 different ways to cure the common cold. I think the 89th–baseball, Smartwater, and Jack Kerouac–was the winner….

I still can’t really talk. Continue reading

on faith

I read something today that I have thought a lot about. It was a discussion on the concept of “stuckness.” The gist of the discussion was that only when we are stuck are we able to see what is really causing us to feel that way. That made me think about a lot of things. In some ways, I feel “stuck” right now. In other ways, I feel very free. So, it’s interesting. And it made me think that perhaps the aspects of my life that make me feel stuck are what are freeing me in other areas.

I watched “Religulous” with a friend tonight. Bill Maher was exceptionally bitter in the film, but I kind of expected it and was able to laugh. It’s strange because all it really did is made me more firm in my beliefs. My friend’s husband said something very interesting and that was that Maher was wrong about one very important thing. Maher says in the film that he doesn’t think than anyone possesses the ability to understand or know something that he does not. My friend’s husband said something that I agree with. He said that through meditation and prayer and practice some people do have deeper understandings and deeper feelings toward things and people. That simply set me on my way home with the thought that my meditation practices certainly need to be strengthened.

And the last thing. I was driving home with the windows down to feel the cool air. I have always held that deep breathing is a prayer so that was very nice. I looked up and saw the moon. It’s a pretty clear night so I could see the craters, and I remembered the first time I really genuinely looked at the moon. I don’t remember how old I was, but my family was on a camping trip. My father and I were sitting by the campfire when all of a sudden he told me to look up at the moon. I did, and I remember the words he said to me: “There’s no way you can look at that moon and tell me there is not a God.”

And I couldn’t then. And I couldn’t now.