Forward, Upward, Inward: A Spiritual Response to Right Now by Rachel Hollander

Brother Francesco, known to the world as Saint Francis of Assisi, left us many sweet and lovely poems and songs. In “The Canticle of the Sun,” he wrote about the gifts of nature. Brother Sun, his light and radiance.  Sister Moon and Stars for their beauty.  Brothers Wind and Air, through fair skies or storms. Sister Water for her humility, purity, and usefulness. Brother Fire, who lights the night, is playful and strong. And Sister Death, whom no one living can escape. And, of course, he included: 

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs. 

Mother Earth. We live on her, we eat what she provides, we use what wondrous supply she shares with us, and….

We are not the kindest of children. We are not always so Grateful for what our Mother so generously lends to us. Because it is a loan. Do not be mistaken. Mother Earth is not a bottomless well of giving. She is a Mother with expectations; a Mother who gives and then wants to see us give back.

These are tough lesson for humans; some humans, anyway. And never before have we been taught that lesson more clearly than right now. Continue reading “Forward, Upward, Inward: A Spiritual Response to Right Now by Rachel Hollander”

Redemptive Forgetfulness by Marcia Mount Shoop

MMS Headshot 2015Have you forgotten yet? Have you forgotten what it felt like to go about your life pre-pandemic?

My brain has switched to a different filter system. If I watch a movie or see an image from the pre-pandemic world, the first thing I notice is that people are standing too close to each other. Or I notice that they are touching each other. People are supposed to be in proximity to each other only in the boxes of Zoom or in the confines of their home or in a hospital where the staff has on protective equipment. That pandemic filter overlays itself onto everything now, even memories.

It’s hard to access the joy of greeting someone with a hug or handshake, because those things are something we must tell our bodies not to do. We have to resist that urge. We have to rewire our impulses. There are tiny threads of shared trauma in it all—how will we ever feel like we can be together again and not be afraid? Continue reading “Redemptive Forgetfulness by Marcia Mount Shoop”

A Time for Reflection by Gina Messina

We are experiencing much grief and fear in this moment. Many of our loved ones have become ill, or passed on. We struggle with theodicy questions; why would God allow such devastation to occur? However, instead of asking why, as our eyes are being opened to the realities of our world, this is a moment that calls for deep reflection.

This Easter was a challenging time for many of us. I could never have imagined that my daughter Sarah and I would end up spending the holiday at home alone — or that we would have hot dogs and tater tots for Easter dinner  (I let Sarah pick – I should have seen that coming!). Although we were physically separated from family, we connected in other ways. I am grateful for the many suggestions on opportunities to remain engaged with each other even though we are not sharing the same physical space. 

Easter is a celebration of Resurrection; it is a time of new beginnings and I can’t think of a more relevant theme for this moment. We’ve been told to stay home, to rethink the ways we live our daily lives, and to do so knowing that our individual actions have life and death consequences. We’ve found that much of what we thought we couldn’t live without is actually insignificant and that our choices do matter beyond our own purview. 

Continue reading “A Time for Reflection by Gina Messina”

A Lovely Self-Imposed Isolation by Deanne Quarrie

Deanne QuarrieWith everyone talking about it – I won’t.  Let’s just say that I am in the “at risk” population and have decided that staying home is my best protection against “it.”

Staying home is what I do most of the time. I am perfectly happy with that.  I live on my computer and in the evenings, I take a break as a “couch potato” and indulge in serial watching! I only have one neighbor who comes over and I am keeping him outside and at a 6-foot distance, as he has no sense and is exposing himself in many ways, even though he too, is high risk.

I have been working for a few years on the creation of a group practice that honors Hekate and occasionally Her companions, in ritual.  In my seminary, I have developed a Master of Divinity degree program with studies based on Her.  All throughout this active work, most has been in researching but also a great deal in writing. I seem to be even more productive in this isolated state. As I am not isolated online, I have been communicating with others and we seem to be “triggering” each other’s creativity. The term “falling down a rabbit hole” has taken on new meaning.  Not only am I falling down my own rabbit holes, I am falling down rabbit holes started by other people! Continue reading “A Lovely Self-Imposed Isolation by Deanne Quarrie”

The Truth Revealed by Coronavirus – It’s All Connected by Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoCoronavirus is revealing many truths to this world – a world grounded in the patriarchal consciousness of domination and separation for millennia. Though still on the fringes of social awareness, the ancient wisdom of community and connection remains alive and growing.

Continue reading “The Truth Revealed by Coronavirus – It’s All Connected by Judith Shaw”

Community and Social Distancing by Gina Messina

Our commitment should be to the wellbeing of all; our own wellbeing is dependent upon it. This virus does not recognize borders or walls, nor racial or religious divides. Oppressive structures have caused our communities to crumble; and yet, it is only through a collaborative community effort that we can hope to “flatten the curve.” 

We are in the midst of a global crisis unlike anything we’ve seen during our lifetime. Admittedly, I gave the situation little attention, even when relatives were under forced quarantine in Italy and cases were piling up in California where many of my family and friends live. It’s typical; we often don’t realize the seriousness of a particular issue until it is one we experience ourselves — we can empathize, but can’t fully understand something that hasn’t hit home.

I wasn’t afraid when the NBA suspended its season, or when March Madness was canceled. When I received an email that a child at my daughter’s school had been quarantined, I told myself it was precautionary. Still, when a neighbor who is a nurse in an ER had provided care to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19, I thought how scary it must be for her — but assumed that nurses of all people know how to protect themselves from getting sick. 

Once school was suspended in my state and people started to panic, buying up every last roll of toilet paper and hand sanitizer pump, my concern was not COVID-19, but instead what I deemed overreaction. Nonetheless, I jumped on the bandwagon and stocked my pantry just in case…although I was too late for the toilet paper. Continue reading “Community and Social Distancing by Gina Messina”

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