Archive | September 2012

Words have the power to cut and they have the power to heal. . .as this wonderful post (to me a meditation) says. I have read somewhere that you are what you speak, just as others tell us that we are what we eat. And another, choose your words wisely and serve them with tenderness because one day you may have to eat them.

I pray many blessings on those who read these wise words!

Sandy O

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A Thousand Words

Last night, the wife, my little 9 year old daughter and I watched the movie, “A Thousand Words.” I was taken by the movie’s ‘zen’ appeal and of course ‘Eddie Murphy’s’ comic charm. Even my lil girl laughed and loved the movie that was charming and filled with a wonderful message of, “the power of words.”

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After stretching the truth on a deal with a spiritual guru, literary agent Jack McCall finds a Bodhi tree on his property. Its appearance holds a valuable lesson on the consequences of every word we speak.

Eddie Murphy is Jack McCall, a fast-talking literary agent, who can close any deal, any time, any way. He has set his sights on New Age guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis) for his own selfish purposes.

But Dr. Sinja is on to him, and Jack’s life comes unglued after a magical Bodhi tree mysteriously appears…

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I am reblogging this glorious post from Zendictive. Stop. Read. Enjoy. Slow down.

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In our busy, hustle and bustled busy lives we tend to forget to stop and smell the roses. To stop for a moment and live in the NOW! “To live in a painting,” is what I call the moment where I remember to look up and see the clouds in all their glory for this day. To look around and absorb my surroundings and where I stand in the ‘living picture’ of life. When I catch myself walking fast paced towards a place and I stop and slow my steps to live in every foot step and be in the now, not the …’what I am racing to.’

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A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was…

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Seeking Hope – Sept. 13, 2012 – written for Off The Wall

Today’s post was written by a friend I only recently met.  His name is Paul Volkman and  he writes articles for his Holy Name Society and for something called Off The Wall.  What Paul refers to today is so poignant and something I think we can all relate to.  The bulk of this article talks about hope and what he learned from his father.  He also talks of all the “possessions” we accumulate. . .who can’t relate to this??? 

Thanks to Paul  for this article. . .

My sister reminded me recently that when my father came to this country from Germany at the age of 30, he carried with him one suitcase. She then made a comment I’ll never forget. She said he stated, “How did I ever accumulate all these possessions.”

But really, when you think of it, can’t we all fill his shoes? We live in a country where things are more of a god to us than God himself. The majority of my dad’s things were books for research from his earlier days here in our country. One would often see him sitting at his desk reviewing notes he had made after jotting down facts. In addition, he would follow the latest happenings around the world and write to “all” the senators and representatives including the president of our United States. His concerns were many.

I admired my father because he did so with the inclination of hope, wanting to learn the language, and second, get a good education so he could establish himself and give of his learned talents to contribute to the growth of a company or industry.

I believe he never would have set foot on our soil, had he not had one thing in mind – hope. Everything he did, his many accomplishments, and even beginning a family, stemmed from that one word. That is my subject for today.

Everything we have in life is based pretty much around being introduced to an idea, thinking about it and then deciding how we are going to follow through.

To give an example, a visitor may come into my kitchen, and I may offer him a glass of cold ice water. He may turn down my offer and request bottled water instead. Now he may request to be further fed, and that is his hope that I may oblige. As you see, he had something in mind before he carried out his acts – to give and be given, both acts of hope.

Many people who buy from home networks, such as HSN and QVC, use that purchase as a way of fulfillment. To them, it’s a way to look forward to the products’ arrival. Hoping to know when it will be sent out on a particular day, knowing how long it will be in transit and actually waiting for the delivery company to drop off the packages all falls under one category – hope. For some people, this is how our possessions add up and we have more than we know what to do with.

Then there is the old expression of “Keeping Up with the Jones,” phrasing that became all too familiar in my growing up years. I know many folks of the younger generation who may not be knowledgeable as to these five words. Let’s say you live next door to Mr. and Mrs. Tarnished Silver. They reside in a three story modern house with beautiful landscaping, an asphalt driveway, air conditioning, and all the modern conveniences some people feel they must have to survive in this life.

Next door live the Bristle brothers, who we’ll call Harry and “Stubb.” They have a nice house, don’t have their yard groomed to perfection, but nevertheless nice in appearance. On top of that, their means are not as great as the Silver’s, so they can only afford so much. But here again, in order to look good, they feel they have to make as many investments as possible so they will fit right in to their neighbor’s luxurious living style. So many people have their minds set on “status seeking” even though they have to cut corners to do so.

Today in reading scripture, I was reacquainted with the 23rd Psalm. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have read it, however, this time it really hit home. I don’t have space to write it other than to say it has everything one needs to know through faith, that we really don’t need possessions. Instead, we should adamantly seek God in everything we need and do.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have things that we enjoy. I have this machine, some CDs and of course, my fishing stuff. I have mainly stuff for remodeling as well, boxes of records I have to maintain for the IRS and reference material needed for stories. How long should I keep it?  My take – dispose of it as quickly as possible so it doesn’t pile up. If you have “stuff” and you are unsure what to do with it, put it in a box. If you don’t miss it for two weeks, get rid of it. If you can do this, there is hope for you!

Paul J. Volkmann ~ Written: August 23,2012 ~ (c) 2012

A Little Art House

While we were on retreat this past weekend at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center two of us had some time to explore the little art house that provides an opportunity to explore your creative side and what God may have for you.

This place is awesome.  It is small, but mighty.  There are several rooms ~ one contains a pottery wheel and 2 kilns, one contains all kinds of books on art and artwork, supplies such as paints, crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc.  There is all kinds of paper.  Another room contains a huge sink for washing up brushes and your hands.  There are many pamphlets and booklets about herbs and gardening.

Next is an upstairs room which is a Zen meditation room with a large sand garden complete with rocks and little rakes to design the garden.  There are places to sit and meditate.  A very peaceful atmosphere is contained in this space.

I am truly not an artist in the usual sense.  My art is contained in my words, thus  poetry is my most often used form of expression.  But I decided to put my hands and thoughts to work on an abstract piece of art to express what I was feeling about how the Church and women have evolved over the centuries.

Of course, as I was painting words started coming to me to help describe what I was painting.

My Interpretation of the Movement of the Church

 

From hills of hope

so long ago trod,

to present days of yearning

we stretch our hands and hearts

to heights of new found striving. . .

 

Across the fields of wounded hearts

we found new shoots of grace

amid blue skies that reached below

to grant the wanderers peace.

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To explain this poem and abstract ~ the lower portion of the painting is green; meaning hope in the beginning of the Catholic Church.  As time went on the color turns to brown describing the muddy and muddled condition of the Church in terms of the role of women in the Church.     In the beginning, during the time of Jesus and beyond his Resurrection, there were women who became Deaconesses and disciples of Christ.  It seemed that as the years wore on women were relegated once again to a position of subservience. . .

Even now women and men with vision have been reaching out of the mud and muddled condition.  There rose colorful people looking to reach for God amid the patriarchal system we now live in.  Times are changing, slowly, but changing to return women to a place of true involvement in the Church they love. 

The top of the painting is the love of a Mother who wants us all to continue to love Jesus and work for peace and cooperation in the Church.

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Remember, this is my interpretation of what I feel is happening in the Church.  I don’t think I am alone in this interpretation.  We just continue to pray for recognition and acceptance as women in the Church.

May God continue to bless you and Grace you with joy, peace, and strength for the journey that we will continue to walk until God calls us home.

 

Sandy Ozanich © Sept. 13, 2012

On Retreat With Friends. . .

This past weeked I went on retreat with my two best friends.  We were so in need of a retreat; to get away, to pray, to learn and to re-energize.  I think we accomplished that.

The presenter for the weekend was Edwina Gateley.  Edwina Gateley is a poet, artist, writer, lay missioner and religious educator.  She founded the Voluntary Missionary Movement in her native Britain and Genesis House in Chicago. (Re-written from the back of her book:

In God’s Womb, A Spiritual Memoir ~ Orbis Books

I highly recommend this book to you.  You don’t have to be female to understand what Edwina is talking about.  She goes into her relationship with God and her life choices in relation to what God calls her to do.  For example she goes to Africa as a young woman alone to live with a tribe for 3 nearly years.

Edwina told us the goal of our time together was not to find God, but to recognize the presence of God everywhere.  We do not find God, God finds us.

Edwina is someone who believes the Catholic Church has completely missed what the role of women should be; and it’s not as spectators in the life of the Church.  Edwina would like to see full participation in the Church.  She’s not alone in that thinking.  Personally I would like to see female Deacons, just as we had them in the early Church.

As women, we have a role to play in this world.  We are the mothers, the nurturers, we give birth. . .we must live our lives in Divine expectancy.

We were asked to write something to describe what we feel ~ hence my contribution ~

Amid the dust heap that was my life

Amid the unholy and unclean

Emerged my life-blood and soul

Blessed with broken-ness and light.

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Come forth sweet soul, be my love

Cling to me as I cling to you,

For you are my beloved, I your love ~

Trade your sorrow for light.

For those who would like to know more about Edwina Gateley go to www.edwinagateley.com.   She cannot be contained in one small blog piece. She can really be known through her writings.  You won’t be disappointed.

(The place where we went on retreat is Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center in Villa Maria Pennsylvania  ~ This is one awesome place to get away and restore yourself.

Sandy Ozanich © Sept. 2012