Category Archives: Spirituality

On Veterans Day

I just left the following comment over on this post:

You’re damn right I’m going to honor our veterans; they are people like my husband, my grandfather AND grandmother, my two uncles, and many of my friends. They stepped up to the plate and made sacrifices that I and many others were either too chicken to do or simply not able to do.

I gave my US Army veteran husband a huge hug on Veterans Day and we had a nice talk about the fall of the Berlin Wall, the anniversary of which was on 9 November. Because my husband was in Germany (Bamberg – just 30 km outside the Czech border) just a few years before the Wall came down, he feels like he had something of a hand in bringing down those forces that had erected the Wall to begin with. We can’t say that nary a shot was fired during the Cold War, because plenty of our troops died (mostly Special Ops guys, that sort of thing), but it was a far calmer scene than WWII or Korea or Vietnam.

And let’s not forget that our troops are not just a bunch of “paid thugs” who are good for nothing more than shooting people. Many of the US Army Corps of Engineers are up in the American Northeast right now, among the many first responders who are trying to get things back to normal after Hurricane Sandy ripped through several states and left God only knows how many people without power, without running water, in flooded homes (IF their homes are still standing at all), etc.

Let’s also not forget things like Toys for Tots, a charitable event/foundation that the US Marines do every year near the holidays.

One thing I have noticed about UUs that I feel I need to speak out very strongly about is this mocking of our troops. That does nothing to help their morale, and they are standing between us and the barbarians at the gate, whatever form those barbarians may take.

So for your freedom to put them down and talk trash about them, my husband says, “You’re welcome.”

This nonsense really makes me hugely angry.

You want to know why veterans are heroes? Here’s why:

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

Not everyone can say that.

Guess what happens the US Marines who guard our embassies, when said embassies are attacked? THEY DIE. They die for civilian politicians. If anything, it’s the politicians (with their inclination to lie and bs the entire populace to win an election) who are NOT the heroes. It’s the people serving them.

Further comment: Joe and I tried to get a Veterans Day event going at First Unitarian. Only a very few people were interested in this, and since we left, I bet there has not been another Veterans Day observation whatsoever. And on Memorial Day weekend, which is the American weekend to remember those who FELL in warfare, protecting and defending our Constitutional rights, they have a chili cookoff. Is that really any way to remember those who were killed in action?

Maybe it’s better we’re not there any more. We’re not wanted. People like us, with our views, are not wanted. I keep thinking “oh no, they’re supposed to be open to people with all kinds of views, including us” but that’s just not the case, apparently.

I am so very tempted to go back to being pagan.

Celtic Contemplative Eucharist

My head is absolutely spinning – that’s some great Communion wine!

“Jesus looked at him and loved him.” That line makes all the difference in the world. Fr. Rob zeroed in on that line for his homily. Somehow, I knew he would do that. Sitting in my car before the service, reading this passage in my little Bible, something told me this line was the hinge of the entire thing.

He loved him.

Everything falls into place from that. 😉

Just A Note

I am gradually removing, from my Facebook page, all connections I had to pagan organizations like the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Wild Hunt blog, The Troth, Covenant of the Goddess, WRCF, etc etc etc.

Why would I do this?

Because I just don’t think there’s any real need to “be pagan” and still be – inspired by some (but not all) ideas that come out of pagan spirituality.

I’m not a perfect Christian – not by a long shot. I’m not one to sit here and moralize about things and say to pagans “you’re going to burn in hell because you’re worshipping false Gods.” That’s not my way.

But I have found that Christian spirituality can address, and quite well, a lot of the things one finds in pagan spirituality. If one finds inspiration in the natural world, there’s plenty of room for that sort of thing in a Christian walk. Just look at St. Francis – he’s, like, totally the original tree-hugging hippie. Hah!

Ancestor veneration? All Saints Day.

Feminism? First of all, G-d isn’t male OR female; we humans just use that kind of language for G-d out of convenience. I have an excerpt from a book that I’ll have to share here, that goes into the Lord’s Prayer in its original Aramaic, and how it talks about the Divine Parent in a way that isn’t gendered. Second, Christians believe that Yeshuah gave his life for *all* people. Not just men. That is the crucial point. “There is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians. That means, quite simply, that in G-d’s eyes, it’s not about ethnicity or economic class or gender – it’s about one’s identity as a member of the mystical body of Christ. So therefore people of all ethnicities, all classes and all genders become one family. It is a big tent. This way isn’t based in ethnicity or gender or class. It transcends those things. Those earthly categories can shift and change anyway as time passes. This is kind of a Buddhist insight, but they pass. All Things Must Pass. Look to what doesn’t pass away – G-d.

Oooh, easy, I’m gettin’ preachy. Gotta stop that.

Have Christian people, in the past, done some awful things in the name of Christ? Yes, they have. But as St. Paul put it: “We hold a treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding power may be seen to be that of G-d and not ourselves.” What he’s saying there is that it just goes to show how limited and fallible human nature is, and it emphasizes how perfect G-d’s nature is. People are going to do completely stupid shit at times. That’s just being human. The fallibility of the human person does not impugn the core message, however – that G-d loves us madly, more than we can ever comprehend.

And as I have read Diana Butler Bass’s book “A People’s History of Christianity” I have come to see that in the Christian world, things have changed over the last 2K years – and yes, a lot of the change has been for the better. Things have improved. Things aren’t 100% perfect now, and they may never be, but there is that movement towards holiness/wholeness.

So, I just don’t really see the need to maintain contact with those pagan organizations any more. I see no point.

So Thrilled!

I weighed myself this morning – I’m down to 191 pounds/13 stone! I’ve lost 28 pounds/2 stone so far. If this keeps up I’m going to have to buy more new pants, because the ones I just bought are going to start falling off of my arse!

Today is Trinity Sunday. I think I’ll just attend the Celtic contemplative service at All Saints tonight. I’ve already missed all the morning services because I slept late. That’s ok. I really like the Celtic service anyway. It’s very pared down and simple, there’s beautiful Gregorian chant, lots of candles, and a simple homily that I think Fr. Rob delivers off the top of his head. He doesn’t read notes at the pulpit; he walks down to the front row of pews and just speaks to us all right there.

All Saints Church, Winter Park, FL

Such a lovely church. More later.

Well, It’s Official

Today at All Saints Church, Winter Park, I knelt before Bishop Gregory Brewer…

…he laid his hands on my head, pronounced a blessing, anointed my forehead with oil in the form of the cross, and then he slapped my left cheek.

Thus, I was initiated.

I’m Episcopalian.

There is a slightly perverse part of me that thinks “sorry, UUs and Methodists, but it’s your loss, really.” So it is, but that’s not being all that charitable, is it?

But there it is. I’m an Episcopalian.

Rev. Debbie came out to see this; she told me she stood up in the back when I was called to go before the bishop. Standing indicates something like unto vouching for someone. Yay! I had a priest stand for me. I really want to see more of her, as often as I can. I like Rev. Debbie a lot. I really enjoyed being part of St. Joe’s. What a pity it had to close.

I feel like a change really happened today, even more so than when I got married – which is kind of bizarre. I have no idea why this is. Maybe it’s because this confirmation ceremony was actually more elaborate than my wedding. But yes, a change has been effected. Things are very different now…

Here We Go Again

Anne Rice posted this on her FB page:

I’ve seen it again and again. Many Christians do not take responsibility for their religion as a whole. They are too quick to dismiss any unpopular Christian as “not a true Christian.” Protestants don’t think Catholics are true Christians. Some Catholics don’t think Protestants are. By the time you list all the Christians who aren’t true Christians, who is left? —- That’s not enough. I feel Christians should take real honest responsibility for their belief system and what has been done and what is being done in its name. Can you join the Ku Klux Klan and claim your little branch are “good guys” and wouldn’t hurt a fly? Why should you be able to join Christianity and refuse responsibility for all that is done worldwide in its name?

OK and in response, I think I’ll let Father Robert Barron take care of this one:

I just don’t even know where to begin.

The Lord is Risen!

HE is risen indeed! Alelluia!