Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo: Ice on Swamp

To see photos of ice on the Essex Swamplands, please click on the link below:

Pics of Ice on Swamps

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back in Form

Another 8-day retreat is coming to an end. This was a small intimate group. It seemed odd to have so much free space in the house. We are used to full liturgies as well, but we had plenty of space in the room this time around. The retreatants really seemed to like it.

A fun snowfall fell this morning. It dusted us with 1/4 of an inch. That's all. It was light and airy as it softly fell from the sky. It is amazing to think that it was the tail end of a blizzard that swept through Wyoming and South Dakota. Fortunately, we were spared.

It gave me an opportunity to get outside and do some clearing of bushes. Insidious vines have been choking trees and shrubs. I want to liberate them from these pests that are suffocating them. It reminds me of the work I did at Canisius College in Sydney, Australia. It was such hard work but I enjoyed the challenge. However, no poisonous spiders are lurking in these winter habitats. I can see a big difference in the little work I have done. I feel like I am back in tertianship form. The clean fresh air feels great - even when it is cold. I do work up a good sweat.

Friday, February 18, 2011

We are Australians!

On Saturday just gone, at Karrinyup Shopping Centre (yes, Western Australia) the Variety Club Youth Choir organized a FLASH MOB where they all were incognito in the Food Hall, and started standing up in groups singing "We are Australians"

The purpose was to raise money for the Queensland floods. Each time it is clicked on, money is raised thru google ads, SO PLEASE WATCH!!!!!! It is a beaut way of suppporting those poor ozzies over on the other side of our country.

I am Australian.


I came from the dream-time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame.
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come.
For forty thousand years I've been the first Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I came upon the prison ship, bowed down by iron chains.
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian.

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I'm the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I'm a bushy, I'm a battler, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I'm a teller of stories, I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse, I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

There are no words of comfort that can hope to ease the pain
Of losing homes and loved ones the memories will remain
Within the silent tears you’ll find the strength to carry on
You’re not alone, we are with you. We are Australian!

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

There are so many heroes whose stories must be told
They fought the raging fires of hell and saved so many souls
From the ashes of despair our towns will rise again!
We mourn your loss, we will rebuild. We are Australian!

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian

I'm the hot wind from the desert, I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys, I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice:
I am, you are, we are Australian
I am, you are, we are Australian!

We are one ….. We are many ….. We are Australian!

Photo: Moonrise over Gloucester Harbor

To see photos of the moonrise, please click on the link below:

Pics of Moonrise

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chad and Jeremy Concert

Chad and Jeremy were part of the British invasion that rocked the American music scene 50 years ago. With their sigature songs, "Yesterday's Gone" and "A Summer Song", they played to a mellow audience at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts last night. Their style of music resembles Peter and Gordon and is likened to Simon and Garfunkel. They were quite entertaining and comedic as the 2.5 hour show recalled an energizing spirit for teens half a century ago.

Since this is a week of rest following 35 days of intense retreat work, and as the Academy Award season is upon us, I decided to catch up on some films. Turner Classic Movies this month is playing all the movies that won an Oscar.

I've watched "Kramer vs. Kramer" about a single dad who takes care of his son after his wife walks out on him. This film was released in 1979, the year I graduated high school, and captured the changing social work of the 70's. As divorces were becoming more common, men fought for equality for child custody in light of the women's equality movement. By today's standards, it would be a non-movie, but I recall it gain critical acclaim when it was released.

I also saw "Three Coins in a Fountain" about the hopes of three American women in Rome who wished romance and marriage by each throwing a coin into the magical Trevi fountain.

I had seen the ending of "Braveheart" before, but never the beginning or middle so I stayed up very late to watch this Mel Gibson film.

The current "King's Speech" was terrific. I do think Colin Firth will get the Oscar for his performance. I liked how the ending wasn't wrapped up so neatly. These films inspire me to read more about the biographies of the main characters.

Tomorrow, I will see "Social Network," which is getting good press. I will go to the Cabot Street Theatre in Beverly. The place is a hoot because of its classical atmosphere. It is like dropping back into a 1950s theatre.

One other thing of note, yesterday I visited some elderly Jesuits at Campion Center in Weston, Massachusetts. The Chapel of the Holy Spirit was recently renovated. It is stunning. The gold lined ceiling glitters and radiates. If I had more time, I would have brought my camera along to take photos. I'll be back there soon to do it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coro Piccolo

Last night I was invited to be part of the Coro Piccolo for the North Shore Chorus. We are singing Carmina Burana on June 4th. It is a great piece of music.

We ended the long retreat yesterday. I feel so proud for all the retreatants who spent the whole month in prayer. My heart goes out to them as they leave the retreat house for such diverse paths in life. My only regret is that we only had 27 thirty-day retreatants. My desire is to have the retreat house bulging at the seams because more and more people can take part in God's specific plan for them. I wish we had 500 retreatants coming each month just to behold what God wants to do for them. We, of course, do not have room for that, but it is still my desire.

Some of the retreatants positively made a comment that they liked that their prayer is so Christocentric. While we are Catholic in all ways, our emphasis is on developing their prayer life with Jesus Christ. When one loves Jesus, she or he loves the church, even though they may have levels of discontent with it. However, while one's faith tradition is very important and respected, one sees himself or herself principally as a child of God who is in radical solidarity with others regardless of their faith tradition. We encounter a God whose concern is for each person's wellbeing and happiness. God's mercy extends to everyone and transforms the way one views the world. We learn to see the world as God sees it.

Ignatius of Loyola is a genius. He has healed so many people that, in his own right, he is a doctor of the church - even though the official magisterium does not regard him as such. What would my life be without Ignatius?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photos: Snow Sparkles

To see photos of Snow Sparkles, please click on the link below:

Pics of Snow Sparkles

It is Finally Februrary

It is great to have the snowy month of January come to a close. February is not dissimilar to January, but towards the end of the week it is projected to be over freezing for several days straight. I can deal with that. Today is Groundhog Day and Punxsatawney Phil has not seen his shadow. Therefore, he is predicting an early spring.

The storom that blanketed the Midwest has not been as bad as expected in New England. Boston has rain; we have frozen sleet. The below freezing temperature tomorrow will make the roads slick, but I am delighted that we have such an increase of daylight. This is the same amount of daylight that we have on November 2nd.

I feel badly for the people of Northeast Australia who are bracing for the Cyclone that is hitting them. They've had too much flooding as it is. I hope this storm is not devastating.

Another 8-day retreat will come to an end tomorrow. On Saturday, the 30-day retreatants end their formal part of their prayer with a few days of faith-sharing afterwards. It has been a very good month.