Walking While an Eagle Flies Overhead

A friend shared something earlier today from Rebelle Society: Creatively Maladjusted’s blog titled Joseph Campbell, on the Art of Being Alive.  I’ve written about Joseph Campbell here before and often think about things he’s taught me over the years.  As we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, these particular words stand out for me…

“It reminds me of Isaiah‘s biblical poetry:

“{You} will find new strength. {You} will soar high on wings like eagles. {You} will run and not grow weary. {You} will walk and not faint.”

But between soar and soaring, Joseph advises: “Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

And you’ll be home, no matter where you are.

And it’ll be a new day, everyday.”

Today, I took Max out to a beautiful ridge above the Bow River and above our city…the Chinook winds were breathing new life into the landscape after such an extremely cold period accompanied by plenty of snow.   From the outset of our hike, a bald eagle flew overhead.  I was in awe of the power of its wings in such a strong wind and equally amazed that he stuck with us for the duration of our walk, hanging on the air and then diving, reaching up and then hovering, over and over again.  What a blessing to be able to make such observations for an hour-long walk and to be swept up into the awe of ‘being alive’.  What an amazing thing to have such a mighty and regal bird seem to look into my eyes for a sustained period of time, sometimes from as close as ten feet away.

This experience brings new meaning to the words

“{You} will find new strength. {You} will soar high on wings like eagles. {You} will run and not grow weary. {You} will walk and not faint.”

 

Sixteen years ago, today, a young student of mine passed away.  It seems like yesterday.  Where have those sixteen years gone?  Today, walking in those hills, I felt as though I was given a little taste of heaven; joy in me…joy above me…joy beneath my feet…joy in my heart and in my head.  All that I saw or experienced was glory-filled.  It is such a privilege to encounter the divine in the places and people who surround us.  It is a privilege to be a part of this journey.  I am grateful…for Jarrett…for Mom…for those who have graced and grace my life each day.  I am blessed.

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Gaudete Sunday: Light the Advent Candle Three

Pink! Joy! Hope!  Out of the pain, suffering, challenge of every day life…out of all of the faults of humanity…I find hope and wish for peace for all!

This, from catholicculture.org

“Rejoice: the Lord is nigh.” As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni (“Come”) of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: “Come, Lord Jesus,” the last words of the New Testament.

Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, “Rejoice”. Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath.

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Joy to the World!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God (Phil 4:4-6).

Gaudete Sunday draws to a close…the third Sunday of our Advent journey.  This weekend was sprinkled with moments of ‘magic’ and I felt such happiness, so it makes perfect sense to me that in fact, we are encouraged to ‘rejoice’ for all of those moments and more!

On Friday evening my daughter Erin and I attended Cayley’s DJD dance performance.  It was so full of life and feeling.  I experienced the energy bursting out of the performers’ bodies as they covered the floor again and again, with extraordinary movement combinations.

Saturday morning, we headed out to browse the second-hand shops and stopped for breakfast at Diner Deluxe on Edmonton Trail where I enjoyed a good cup of coffee and Eggs Benedict with salmon.  I love to hear my daughters’ laughter…it fills me up with this amazing sense of connection.  I’m grateful that this weekend I have had opportunity to hear their laughter.  Next to the Diner Deluxe is the Urban Bakery where I picked up a beautiful loaf of apple rosemary flax sourdough to enjoy with Sunday’s family dinner, a homemade batch of ham and bean soup, prepared by my cousin Margy.  Now, the Urban Bakery is definitely on my list of places to pick up wonderful baking of every sort!  I enjoyed throwing frisbee for Max in the back alley when we returned home.  Snow was beginning to fall, the Christmas lights plugged in and the air was not exceedingly cold.  It had been a ‘magical’ day.  Rejoice!

Today the pink candle was lit at St. Albert the Great Parish and we celebrated a beautiful Mass as a community.  Father Jerome’s homily really hit home for me as he described that we are the Advance Guard, making straight the path to our Lord.  I’m afraid that this single sentence doesn’t in any way describe the depth of the message that I took home with me, but I simply want to record that I was both moved and filled with joy as I left Mass today.  I took with me, responsibility.

The snow was coming down hard by the time I headed out to meet friends at Heritage Park for brunch and a hay ride.  Once I was off the roads though and entered into the park, I felt as though I was in another world.  Everything slowed down and it felt remarkably like ‘Christmas’.  It was so good for my heart to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in such a long while…to share good food with them…and to rekindle the Christmas spirit with one another.  The sound of the jingle bells will stay with me throughout this week!  Rejoice!

This evening,  I met up with Mom for our skype-date and I chose to sing Silver Bells as our evening Christmas carol.  Mom joined me on the chorus and I absolutely treasured that!

City sidewalk, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s
A feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you’ll hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

As we gathered around the feast table for family-dinner and shared in our soup, bread and apple crisp, I felt as though the weekend had been a huge gift to me.  I shared in so many warm and wonderful conversations with my dearest friends and family.  This was indeed, a weekend of JOY and REJOICING!  I do not take any of this for granted, but thank God for so many blessings!