Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The dead in our midst

Journal Entry: The dead in our midst

As I walked along the crashing shoreline of Lake Michigan, I had to step around hundreds upon hundreds of dead silvery fish. They were cast from the water already dead. I felt sad looking at them and I searched for one that could be thrown back . . . saved . . . but there were none. Some of their bodies had been scavenged and their eyes had been picked out by the seagulls. Some were half-buried, headfirst and sticking out of the ground. Others, almost entirely buried; scarcely visible beneath the sand. And some were families with babies still clinging to their mothers’ bellies. I searched, hoping I could find one that I could save.

I asked Jesus . . . “Why are these fish, these symbols of you, dead; cast from the water, left to rot on the shore?”

Jesus replied . . . “There are many dead among you. The only fish you can save is yourself. “

“How can I save myself, Jesus?”

“Come back in, swim against the tides current. It is not easy. You will pass many dead, on
their way out. Baptize yourself in Christ’s water.”

So, I walked into the chilly waters.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just another blurb about a loser

Huh ????? What the F--K is a blog ??????? That's what he wrote as his one and only blog on a popular website - a page on the site which I just recently learned he had (along with the motive he had behind it).

Now, being that we had been a couple for over a year, and being that I am a writer and I myself blog, one would think he would know what the f--k a blog is. (One would also think he would be honest and open with me, as I have been with him, and share the fact that he has a personal web page.) But, obviously, he did not care that much to learn what was really going on in my life and with my writing. He did not care that much, enough about us to be open and giving, honest and sharing.

I learned about his world . . . about the custom bike building business, the Biker Build-offs, the Easy Rider tours. I even took the Motor Cycle Safety course, passed and earned my cycle endorsement. Hooray for me - I have always wanted to accomplish that!

I am that way. I love to explore new things, expand my world of knowledge, and learn new skills. I am like a chameleon; so much so that I sometimes lose myself in the process. Well, not anymore. The lessons I have learned this time around have brought me a new-found clarity . . . and a fear of fire.

So, without much more said, and without giving him anymore of my precious time, I will end it there. I did end it there.

I just needed to vent for a moment before I could write anything of real meaning and substance.

Today I start fresh - on this Sunday in December – my Birth month.

He burned me . . . so it is only appropriate that I leave him in the smoke of my burnout!

Kiss my dust . . . Aaaabubeye

Friday, December 01, 2006

Common Declaration by Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew

Common Declaration by Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Bartholomew I
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
(Ps 117:24)
This fraternal encounter which brings us together, Pope Benedict XVI of Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, is God’s work, and in a certain sense his gift. We give thanks to the Author of all that is good, who allows us once again, in prayer and in dialogue, to express the joy we feel as brothers and to renew our commitment to move towards full communion. This commitment comes from the Lord’s will and from our responsibility as Pastors in the Church of Christ. May our meeting be a sign and an encouragement to us to share the same sentiments and the same attitudes of fraternity, cooperation and communion in charity and truth. The Holy Spirit will help us to prepare the great day of the re-establishment of full unity, whenever and however God wills it. Then we shall truly be able to rejoice and be glad.
1. We have recalled with thankfulness the meetings of our venerable predecessors, blessed by the Lord, who showed the world the urgent need for unity and traced sure paths for attaining it, through dialogue, prayer and the daily life of the Church. Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I went as pilgrims to Jerusalem, to the very place where Jesus Christ died and rose again for the salvation of the world, and they also met again, here in the Phanar and in Rome. They left us a common declaration which retains all its value; it emphasizes that true dialogue in charity must sustain and inspire all relations between individuals and between Churches, that it “must be rooted in a total fidelity to the one Lord Jesus Christ and in mutual respect for their own traditions” (Tomos Agapis, 195). Nor have we forgotten the reciprocal visits of His Holiness Pope John Paul II and His Holiness Dimitrios I. It was during the visit of Pope John Paul II, his first ecumenical visit, that the creation of the Mixed Commission for theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church was announced. This has brought together our Churches in the declared aim of re-establishing full communion.
As far as relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople are concerned, we cannot fail to recall the solemn ecclesial act effacing the memory of the ancient anathemas which for centuries had a negative effect on our Churches. We have not yet drawn from this act all the positive consequences which can flow from it in our progress towards full unity, to which the mixed Commission is called to make an important contribution. We exhort our faithful to take an active part in this process, through prayer and through significant gestures.
2. At the time of the plenary session of the mixed Commission for theological dialogue, which was recently held in Belgrade through the generous hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Church, we expressed our profound joy at the resumption of the theological dialogue. This had been interrupted for several years because of various difficulties, but now the Commission was able to work afresh in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. In treating the topic “Conciliarity and Authority in the Church” at local, regional and universal levels, the Commission undertook a phase of study on the ecclesiological and canonical consequences of the sacramental nature of the Church. This will permit us to address some of the principal questions that are still unresolved. We are committed to offer unceasing support, as in the past, to the work entrusted to this Commission and we accompany its members with our prayers.
3. As Pastors, we have first of all reflected on the mission to proclaim the Gospel in today’s world. This mission, “Go, make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), is today more timely and necessary than ever, even in traditionally Christian countries. Moreover, we cannot ignore the increase of secularization, relativism, even nihilism, especially in the Western world. All this calls for a renewed and powerful proclamation of the Gospel, adapted to the cultures of our time. Our traditions represent for us a patrimony which must be continually shared, proposed, and interpreted anew. This is why we must strengthen our cooperation and our common witness before the world.
4. We have viewed positively the process that has led to the formation of the European Union. Those engaged in this great project shouldnot fail to take into consideration all aspects affecting the inalienable rights of the human person, especially religious freedom, a witness and guarantor of respect for all other freedoms. In every step towards unification, minorities must be protected, with their cultural traditions and the distinguishing features of their religion. In Europe, while remaining open to other religions and to their cultural contributions, we must unite our efforts to preserve Christian roots, traditions and values, to ensure respect for history, and thus to contribute to the European culture of the future and to the quality of human relations at every level. In this context, how could we not evoke the very ancient witnesses and the illustrious Christian heritage of the land in which our meeting is taking place, beginning with what the Acts of the Apostles tells us concerning the figure of Saint Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles? In this land, the Gospel message and the ancient cultural tradition met. This link, which has contributed so much to the Christian heritage that we share, remains timely and will bear more fruit in the future for evangelization and for our unity.
5. Our concern extends to those parts of today’s world where Christians live and to the difficulties they have to face, particularly poverty, wars and terrorism, but equally to various forms of exploitation of the poor, of migrants, women and children. We are called to work together to promote respect for the rights of every human being, created in the image and likeness of God, and to foster economic, social and cultural development. Our theological and ethical traditions can offer a solid basis for a united approach in preaching and action. Above all, we wish to affirm that killing innocent people in God’s name is an offence against him and against human dignity. We must all commit ourselves to the renewed service of humanity and the defence of human life, every human life.
We take profoundly to heart the cause of peace in the Middle East, where our Lord lived, suffered, died and rose again, and where a great multitude of our Christian brethren have lived for centuries. We fervently hope that peace will be re-established in that region, that respectful coexistence will be strengthened between the different peoples that live there, between the Churches and between the different religions found there. To this end, we encourage the establishment of closer relationships between Christians, and of an authentic and honest interreligious dialogue, with a view to combating every form of violence and discrimination.
6. At present, in the face of the great threats to the natural environment, we want to express our concern at the negative consequences for humanity and for the whole of creation which can result from economic and technological progress that does not know its limits. As religious leaders, we consider it one of our duties to encourage and to support all efforts made to protect God’s creation, and to bequeath to future generations a world in which they will be able to live.
7. Finally, our thoughts turn towards all of you, the faithful of our two Churches throughout the world, Bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay men and women engaged in ecclesial service, and all the baptized. In Christ we greet other Christians, assuring them of our prayers and our openness to dialogue and cooperation. In the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, we greet all of you: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 1:2).
At the Phanar, 30 November 2006
Benedict XVI Bartholomew I

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI Arrives at the Phanar

I pray that some understanding and needed changes between the two churches will be gained from this visit:

Pope Benedict XVI Arrives at the Phanar

ISTANBUL, Turkey - After the welcome of Pope Benedict XVI by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope arrived at the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There he was welcomed again by Patriarch Bartholomew at the airport, the Hierarchy of the Throne, clergy and numerous faithful from around the world.
The Pope's arrival to the Phanar was accompanied by the festal ringing of bells and was followed by a Doxology in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. At the end of the service the Ecumenical Patriarch welcomed Pope Benedict XVI, who responded accordingly.
Before advancing to the Hall of the Throne, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict XVI venerated the relics of Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, both former Archbishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and predecessors of Patriarch Bartholomew.
The relics of the two saints were taken to Rome in the 1204 sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It was a request from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Pope John Paul II, who wholeheartedly accepted, that initiated the return of the relics two years ago to their original resting place of the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who was elected in 1991, personally attended the service at the Vatican for the return of the relics in November 2004. At that time, Pope John Paul II formally apologized for the sacking of Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarch also personally attended the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II last year.
Following the welcoming ceremony at the Patriarchate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict XVI met privately to discuss issues regarding Orthodox and Roman Catholic relations, including interreligious dialogue, world peace and mutual understanding.
On Thursday (Nov. 30), Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will preside at the Patriarchal and Synodical Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. George on the occasion of the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, the founder of the Church of Constantinople. This is the annual Thronal feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Pope Benedict XVI will be attending personally with his entourage the Divine Liturgy where an "exchange of the kiss of peace" and the reciting of the Lord's Prayer in Greek will take place. After an exchange of addresses and gifts, the two religious leaders will offer a joint blessing to the numerous faithful present in Greek and and Latin.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My thoughts on Agape

Love is one infinite mass. It flows in and out of each of us encompassing our entire being. It is an not an activity limited to the heart but of the mind and the soul and the flesh, as well.

Love connects us to our source GOD . . . and to each other.

All love is the fundamentally same. The Greeks have several words for love:
the love for ones child - storgyi
the love for a friend - filia
the love for a lover - eros
the love for mankind - agape

It is all the same – it is the intention behind the love that makes it feel differently.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What am I?

Journal Entry: “What am I?”

The lake affects me differently than the ocean . . . especially Lake Michigan. There is an ancient magic in Lake Michigan . . . timelessness . . . a quietly powerful energy that evokes contemplation and inspires creativity. While the ocean calls out from the ends of the Universe, the lake calls out from within my soul. The lake brings me peace and serenity . . . the ocean ignites my fires and passions.

I lay on the white sand with my face towards the sun, and I listen to the water. I rise and walk into the lake, feeling her force push against my body . . . until the water not longer ebbs at my flesh, but passes through me as if I did not exist.

I ask God, “If I am nothing that this water can pass right through me, what am I?” God speaks simultaneously, “You are the water.”

Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Once a Pythia

I've been asked, "What is a Pythia?" A Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's ancient oracle in Delphi (once considered the center point of the Earth). The name comes from Python, the dragon that was slain by Apollo. A believer would make a sacrifice and present a question to a male priest. The male priest would then present the question to the Pythia. The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple. In this sacred chamber the spirit of Apollo overcame the Pythia and inspired the prophecy. Some mythic traditions say the Pythia's trance was induced by vapors from a chasm below the temple or from chewing laurel leaves. According to some stories, the oracle spoke on only one day of the year. Below, is a poem I wrote in honor of the Pythia:
Where Once a Pythia ©

Sacred oracles of Delphi
‘Tis here I’ve heard the answers be.
Amongst the whispers of the oak,
Goddess of earth – I do invoke.

This very spot, two birds traverse:
The center of the Universe.
Holy naval of mother Gaia,
Open up and speak to me.

On this one day of this one year,
When mortals dare speak to God’s ear,
I’ve traveled far within my depth,
For the anointment of thy breath.

Upheaval winds of Typhon’s rage!
Unlocks the door to Python’s cage.
Dormant dragon coiled within,
‘Tis time to wake and shed thy skin.

Armor falls into abyss . . .
I lay here in my nakedness.
Helios burns right through my soul.
Phoenix rises with spirit whole.

Sacred oracles of Delphi,
Where once a Pythia was me,
Apollo spoke the word of Zeus
‘Tis here I come to find my truth.