Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grace Experienced: Some things cannot be contained in words...

Today I was penetrated by an experience of grace - and even hours (and a gin and tonic) later, I still can't shake it off. It confirmed who I am and why I am in this place.

In the attempt to help my students apprehend and comprehend that truth is accessed not only by the 'mind' but also (and first) through eyes and ears, body, space and place, we went to an exhibition at the Doug Adams Gallery, and opened ourselves to a graced experience of poetic drama, art, dance, music, photography and awakening to spaces, prepared and performed by gifted and thinking students.

And I am convinced the world and the Church (and Jesus, by the way) needs more of this. We can taste grace; it is not far from us - on the contrary: it is so close that if we are not careful, we miss it. And yet God is powerful through human minds, hearts, limbs and eyes. God is beautiful through human bodies, shot through with fragile thoughts and strong sensations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flying visit to Rome

I promised I would blog more - in the midst of this busy year, full of changes and new ventures, it is hard to keep in contact with the amazing people I meet, and those I don't want to lose touch with, so here goes:

God has a sense of humor: after seven years in Rome, I was asked (and flown back) to come to Rome to sing in the Paul VI Concert Hall at the Vatican for the opening conference of Dicastery: The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. It was a moving experience for me.

After a morning of reflection and dialogue with the leaders of those movements involved with initiatives of New Evangelization throughout the world, leaders, members, cardinals and bishops from around the world filled Paul VI's Hall, where Cardinal Fisichella and his team had organized an afternoon of music and testimonies, followed by a meeting the Pope Benedict XVI, to launch and focus the work of this new council.

Towards the end of the afternoon, between the testimonies of Foundress Veronica Berzosa, Writer Vittori Messorio, scientist Marco Bersanelli and short concert by Andrew Bocelli, I was asked to give a 'musical witness' of evangelization through music, and chose to sing Dancing in our Minds, a song which tried to express what may be happening when one tries to sing (in) faith, and Lead Kindly Light, based on John Henry Newman's famous poem.

I found it profoundly moving to perform for such an audience, who I sensed both receive and pray with us as we 'sang' our experience of Christian faith. Monica Cardona, another missionary of my community, and Andrew Summerson, a seminarian for the Catholic Church of Greek rite who studies at the Gregorian, sang with me. Their availability and support was 'prezioso'

I cannot but think that this is one step forward in the Church understanding and moving with music as a beautiful and appropriate way of reaching out to our world. And as I seek to reflect upon and interiorize what I have lived, a phrase of the first song repeats in my mind: "Hold my hand in your side 'til..." keep coming to mind, and the words I sense from Jesus are: 'I felt you'; and I think what 'happened' there is that something of his life, his presence, the sap that is the life of his Body and ours, flowed through the room as we sang and prayed.

I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I can feel my hair going grey with the quest to express the height and the depth and the breadth and the immensity of the truth we have access to when in all trust and audacity we open ourselves to how God is in our world and in our lives.

Why are we scared? How beautiful is a world-view that can sing about God present in all and through all!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Another beginning - another academic year. What do you want from me, Lord? Why am I here? What are your thoughts, your desires, your dreams?

Would that I could breath in your way of perceiving things... and move with you. Would that my mind were awake and alive to how you are present to all things, and in all things...

I need You.

This you know.

Hold me.