Sunday, November 16, 2014 – St. Patrick Church – YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY

Today I went to the most beautiful Baptism I have ever been to. My 5 month old baby cousin, Joey Lily, was baptized by a priest who was born and raised in Ghana.

He spoke about some traditions of his home land. One of them was the NAMING Ceremony. He explained it in great detail, but in general it is a ceremony where clean water is put on a baby’s tongue. And then something else it put on his/her tongue. The intention or symbolism behind this action is that the baby will always know the purity of the water vs. the non-water liquid. It represents that the baby will know truth from falsehoods or good from bad. It is symbolic of the opposites the child will face all his/her life that will pull in two directions. The belief is that good will always override evil or truth will always over ride falsehoods as long as the baby has had the “taste” of both and knows the difference.

Towards the end of the service the priest told the families and guests that this is a baptism class of 5. He asked that whenever the parents – or any of us – prayed for Joey Lily, that we also pray for the other 4. AND…likewise, when the parents or Christian, Jack, Sophia, and the 4th child prayed for their children, they were to pray for the other 4, including Joey Lily. He asked that whenever we prayed for health or fulfilled dreams for Joey that we were to include the other 4 always and vice versa. He highlighted the fact that the children may never know each other growing up or we may never know the outcomes, but it reassures us all that there are those of us out there praying for each others’ children with a blanket of love and protection. What a beautiful image he set for all of us.

A third thing that made me cry…..along with Denny, Karen, and Uncle Donnie (Grandpa) was when the priest asked the families for permission to hold each child, pray for them, and sing to them in his native tongue. He took each child in his arms, held him/her for about 3-5 minutes while he sang, gave the child back to the parents, and moved to the next child. Then he translated it all to English…..”Jesus loves the children”. Absolutely beautiful and special!

It was by far, one of the most beautiful christenings I have ever been to. I pray for a long, happy, healthy, and beautiful life for Joey Lily, Megan and Marty, their families and the children and families of the other 4 babies in Joey’s Baptism Class.

Sunday, November 9, 2014 – St. Gregory the Great – BLUFFTON, SC

Vinnie and I went to South Carolina to visit Mom and Dad. We had to go to church on Sunday because, quite frankly, any of the masses on Saturday evening would cut into our Happy Hour!

SO….off we went. St. Gregory the Great was beautiful and PACKED!! Plenty of Catholics in that church!

The priest was enjoyable to listen to. He spoke about “The Church”….as a building, and an organization, as a body for our souls. He spoke about our Body as a Temple of the God within us. And then that led to the fact that WE ARE CHRIST that is housed in a human body living in human conditions.

I thought back to the last two priests I listened to over All Souls’ Day weekend. This sermon reinforced the concept of our souls living in a certain time and place and how our bodies “house” Christ for all to see.

Two big thoughts come to mind…. KEY HYPNOSIS and YOGA.

This year has been a year of BODY AND SOUL: MY CHURCH TOUR.

This year I went for hypnosis at The Key Hypnosis with Julie Ann Kibe for weight loss and the hypnotist talked a lot about FORGIVING ourselves for the abuse we have given OUR BODIES. In general, we mistreat our bodies when in reality our bodies are just the vehicle that our souls are using while on this earth. It is a fascinating realization that my soul CHOSE this body to be housed in so that I can bring light to those I interact with in so many ways. Kind of a powerful and cool responsibility for this body!!

In August a friend suggested we try YOGA. Since I decided to be kinder and gentler to myself and my soul I said Yes and we have been holding a small group Yoga session at my house since then. I have loved it….it is relaxing, it is focused, it is forgiving, it is peaceful! What a treat twice a week to myself. Anyway, at the end of each session, the leader completes a prayer she started at the beginning and ends it with NAMASTE….we all bow slightly to her as well and repeat NAMASTE. The translation is……The light within me honors the light within you.

What a beautiful way to greet, and treat the people (who are just souls living a timed life in a vehicle called a body) who we interact with on a daily basis.

I just thought of a Christian song called “Temporary Home” which aligns to this thought beautifully.

Sunday, November 2, 2014 – St. Mary Church – Stamford, CT

Liz and I went to Fr. Falla’s new church. He is so sweet. His sermon was beautiful in that it reminded us that we are surrounded by the love of the souls that have gone before us. AND, it was those souls, who dwelled on this planet in the human condition that helped paved the way for us today and continue to watch over and protect us every day. It fits my believe that we are all connected at a spiritual level and in fact our souls have made commitments to each other to pair up, partner up, and be living examples to each other. I kind of like knowing that the souls that are housed in the bodies I see around me are there to guide me, teach me, and to protect me. Kind of a nice image for me to reflect on!

I once heard a woman speak of the pacts our souls make to live this life together. I like that idea. There are times I meet someone and I feel an instant connection. I feel like we have known each other for a very long time. Or, I may not see someone for years, but when we reconnect it feels like no time has gone by. I like to believe that our souls are connected and linked to each other in a way that goes back in “eternity”.

Fr. Falla was excited to announce his installation to this parish and I wish him such luck and love in his new parish. He is such a nice man….a man who is always the same guy when you see him. He connects to people in a calm and beautiful way. It was nice to be with him this morning!

As I sat there I thought of my friend Else who got married there over 50 years ago. It may still be the only double wedding they ever had there in that beautiful cathedral-like church. She and her husband and her sister and brother-in-law all got married at the same time! VERY COOL!!!
And….of course, Liz and I went out for breakfast! Delicious!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014 – Sacred Heart Parish – Greenwich, CT

On a grey, drizzly night, I decided to head out to Greenwich….kind of at the last minute.

I was glad I did. The church was beautiful – very pretty.
The priest was talking about All Soul’s Day and the notion of TIME vs. TIMELESSNESS. It was a cool concept in linking it to the timelessness of our souls that live in our earthly bodies so directly connected to time. He was very interesting and posed ideas that would make me think about how often our lives are tied to moments of time. We never seem to have enough time, or we have too much time on our hands, or time goes too quickly, or time drags on. These are phrases we often hear, and above all else our time on this earth is limited. In the spiritual sense though, our time is timeless. He ended his service by saying that we can’t imagine timelessness as a concept of eternity. Our minds cannot wrap themselves around “eternity”. We don’t have the mental capacity to comprehend eternity because we live our lives measured in time. A concept manufactured by man.

Time is such an interesting notion to think about.

During the Mass, we sang On Eagles’ Wings. I think it was a tribute to All Soul’s Day. But I have such an issue with that. This song was played at my wedding!! To me, it is a wedding song…a song about living. I have LOVED the image of Vinnie and I being held up in our marriage, our friendship, our relationship, our parenting, etc… the “palm of His hand” and protected by angels.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord
“My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Though thousands fall about you
Near you it shall not come.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.

For to His angels He’s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand…

The phrase I love the most is the following: For to His angels He’s given a command To guard you in all of your ways; Upon their hands they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.

That to me is a beautiful phrase that I love! It is a song of being protected while you LIVE… me anyhow!!