Friday, May 21, 2010

Living Water

I have been wandering around various shops/stores trying to obtain goods for our approaching bookstore/chapel*. These stores, sometimes filled with things up even to the ceiling can be immensely soul oppressing. I happened to pass a little fountain busily burbling away on a dark hidden shelf. *Holy Annunciation Chapel and Bookstore soon to be in Taos, NM., August.

"Well just look at that! Life in the darkness."

It was amazing how that moving water was so alive in a huge collection of dead and lifeless objects. It brought to mind the story of St. Photina. Photina is drawing water at a well and Jesus approaches her and asks her for a drink and ends by offering her living water. (For the story go to John 4:9-26)

Our lives are very much like that sometimes. We realize that we are in a funk, a dead place where seemingly there is no life. It is important to be aware of our process so that we don't get caught in something that oppresses the life of the soul. That seems to happen to me when I get tunnel visioned with something so that all I can see is the project in front of me. If I stop for a moment and do something that is frivolous it helps a lot. Even better, there are things that I need to do to make something happen, so I have to keep on keeping on. If Jesus offers Living Water then it will be present in even that which oppresses. The focus is Christ, not the tedium at hand.

There is a wonderful old hymn of fundamentalist root that was about the funniest thing I had ever heard as a teenager. It was called "Telephone to Glory". I remember some of the words.

It went like this:

"Telephone to Glory over Joy Divine, you can feel the current moving down the line. Made by God the Father for His very own. You can talk to Jesus on the Royal Telephone." (Set to Country Western music)

Seems to me this song has stuck with me all of these years because it is where Living Water is. Our connection to God...Our taking the time to give Jesus a drink and then in return we get Living Water.

That 'giving Jesus a drink' can come in lots of forms: Helping someone else, playing and observing the life that comes from (for instance) folding paper, cutting something out and gluing it on something else, taking some time to pull some weeds focusing on only that spot and not the mass of weeds to the left of it, etc. Focus is the key word here...focusing and watching what comes of some simple act, watching the thread play itself out and following the thread. That thread is tied to a bucket with Living Water. Be mindful of the Water in the Process.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Byzantine Chant

The Bookstore/Chapel is still in progress. There are so many things that combine to be part of it. I have been primarily working with the Town to get things in motion. We are stalled temporarily on changing a doorway, putting in exit lights and pricing a parking pad for wheelchair accessible use. This is an old building that we have our eyes on and are really not in any position financially to pay for big updates. We have gone to the owner to see if he will be willing to make those changes. We certainly pray so as it seems a wonderful space for this to happen. Keep us in your prayers!

Along with the idea of the chapel I have been looking at a very interesting website, Ancient Faith Radio, which is full of pod casts that are from great speakers, even readings of childrens books. They have workshops in Byzantine Chant which is just what I need to learn for the readers services. I can do straight chanting...but it will be great to build my knowledge and see what I can do with this.
If you are interested go here:
Pictured above is St. Romanos the Saint par excellence of chanters and song writers of the Orthodox Church. St. Romanos pray for our memory and learning ability!
You can link backwards from here and see what else is offered. I downloaded the different tones so I can practice in the car as I travel. What a great thing!