Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012

It is another beautiful day, and I hope you have a spot to sit in a window and soak up the sun. I hope you can see the blue in the sky and the gold coming into the trees. I hope you have a feeling of gratitude in your soul that lifts you beyond your current burdens.

The North Saskatchewan River curves through our city and out through the parkland, flowing east and north to Hudson Bay. Walking the trail through Louise McKinney Park with my dogs Sunday, I was aware of the diversity of people I met and the pleasure I saw on people‘s faces. The movement of the river, dark and deep and cold, doesn’t speak of the variety of human concern it passes: logging in the mountains, hiking on the passes, industry on the flat land, harvesting downstream, and the footfall of ordinary Sunday afternoon strolls like my own. 

We cherish this lovely river valley, and the river’s journey connects us without our effort or thought. Similarly there is a love that holds us, connects us, and energizes us: I become aware of it in prayer. Somewhere, there is someone praying right this minute. The flow of blessing happens even when you and I are busy at industry, business, kitchen work, sleeping, or gazing out the window at the lovely afternoon.

I do hope the beauty of this season gives you inspiration. I deeply hope the presence of love fills your soul. And I draw hope that this love carries the burdens and heals the rifts in our human journey.

Blessings of light and love as we share the burdens of the journey,

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012

I appreciate recitations. When I find the pace of things heating up, reciting poetry can slow me down. When I get stuck waiting in a grocery line or in heavy traffic, a familiar passage can bring me patience - or at least distract me. One of my favourites is Matthew
11: 28-30.

 ‘Come to me,
  all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
  and I will give you rest.
  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
  for I am gentle and humble in heart,
  and you will find rest for your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

I love the part about rest. What I’ve been thinking about lately, though, is the yoke. Hmm. Oxen are yoked: two oxen, yoked together, pull heavy loads.

Perhaps Jesus is telling us that spiritual rest doesn’t remove the burden. We still live our lives, confronted by circumstances as well as events of our own making. We can draw a breath and rest because we can share our burden. And we, in turn, share his. We are not alone.

We do that for one another in a spiritual community, don’t we? We are given one another to help with our load. And we share burdens we would never know others carry, because of Jesus’ community.

One more thing: a good yoke fits smoothly. Good thing, that, because I know some of your burdens are pretty heavy.

Blessings of companionship as we share the burdens of the journey,

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean