Showing posts from April, 2007

The blessings of discomfort

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that you may work for justice, equality, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out in solidarity. May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things that others may tell you cannot be done. And may almighty God bless you all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. -Father Donal, San Francisco, April 29, 2007

The Gift

Today, I was given a gift. My photographer stopped by, to drop off a book of pictures from the ordination. It wasn't a chronological rendition of the ordination, nor was it a liturgical following of the ceremony, more of an impressionistic view of a holy and gnostic event. Since ordination, I'd felt kind of unfocused. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the experience at the time, and I'd had my friends and family in to visit, but since the event, it was like that was that, and they'd left, and it was done. Now what? I thanked him for the book, because I was quite touched that he'd put this much work into it. However, I'm not that visually inclined. I started absentmindedly flipping through it, my mind filled with worldly concerns, figuring I'd take a look at it, then put it on a bookshelf with my other picture books, a curio to be brought out once in a while for visitors who couldn't be at the ceremony. However, from the first page, worldly c

Looking back

Purposes: This blog is going to be an attempt to record some of my thoughts and experiences as I pursue ordination in the Apostolic Johannite Church. AJC is a Gnostic Church, focusing on the Christian tradition. I might also post things here of a general gnostic theme. I posted the above on July 15, 2005. Now, almost 2 years later, I've been ordained. I've had more experiences with gnostic thought and divine reality than I'd even considered at that point. I've begun the process of divorce. I've moved, I've changed jobs, I've considered a new career. Strange, how far I've come. What I posted on back then, what I post on now. I'll keep reviewing. It's good to look back, sometimes, while you're resting.

On this day of killings

Lord, remember not only the men of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Remember rather the fruits we have brought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have bourne be their forgiveness. Source: Found on a scrap of paper at the liberation of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in Germany My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims, students, and teachers at Virginia Tech, and their families. That includes the shooter, and his family. I wish I could do more, I wish more could have been done.
I am trying to post from Google Docs. Let's see if it works.

Random thoughts on Ordination

Ritual has an important place in society. It is often the recognition of work well done, of efforts proposed and successes achieved. Awards, medals, dinners, prizes, promotions, all of these have their own little rituals. Religious rituals should reflect the common human experience, and six of the seven do: Baptism for Birth, Confirmation for Adulthood, Marriage for the formation of a family, Reconciliation for the acknowledgement of wrongdoing and attempting to make amends, Extreme Unction for the final transition, either debilitating sickness or death, and the Eucharist as a spiritual reflection of the meals that sustain us physically. Holy Orders is the only sacrament that is not in the common human experience. In some ways it's simply the recognition of a job that certain individuals are already doing. It's one of the sacraments that few people will experience, for the harvest is great, but the workers are few. And yet, it is a very communal of the sacraments, at le