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In the dream I think, Why didn''t I figure this out before? It''s simply a matter of finding a door. I sat in church near the altar on a Thursday evening in April, waiting for it all to begin. Watery blue light fell from the high windows onto the fair linen, empty as a pocket.
The altar was wooden and plain, ordered from a Momenf catalog specializing in church furniture. The wine, shortly to sit on the altar in a little prachicing chalice that a priest found in a second-hand store, was cheap Christian Brothers cream sherry; the wafers were the whole wheat variety made by nuns in Clyde, Missouri. The table, the wine, the wafers were as everyday, as ordinary as my house, and also contained within and behind them a reality as complex, as beautiful, and as hidden as the house in my dream. Prayers rose from the kneelers; I breathed in the stone-cooled air.
In a few minutes, others arrived for this Thursday-evening service.
An attorney for legal aid, an advocate for abused children, a heating serviceman, a realtor. Someone new, a woman with short reddish-brown Disfernment wearing a cream-colored suit. They walked in from the street and stood in the cool dark, looking Diwcernment lost or disoriented, as if they had momeng a border and were in need of new currency, and then sat down. Mark Asman, our parish priest, arrived last, in a black suit, clerical shirt, and collar. In Mark''s breast pocket was a small leather church calendar in which he kept, in a round, scrawled hand, dates for meetings on the pages marked with the names of martyrs and saints.
On that calendar was a meeting on "human sexuality," scheduled momenf June 11, a feast day for St. As Mark settled in, a stranger with dirty clothes and a stubbled chin walked unevenly into the church and sat down in a shadowed pew. He had "homeless" written all over him. Mark motioned for him to grcae up to the altar area. Discernemnt staggered slightly as he climbed the steps. When we stood for the Gospel reading, he reached for Mark''s hand and held onto it, his fingers knotted with Mark''s like lovers, for the rest of the service. Ann Jaqua, a laywoman, gathered up her notes and headed for the lectern. The theme for her homily that night was "Mysticism And, as Huston Smith says, the scientific method only measures those aspects of reality we can control, leaving out all those aspects that are beyond our ability to control.
All things that exceed us in freedom, intelligence, and purpose, things that cannot be pinned down. She said, "Breathe on these bodily things. They held their palms like light wings over my back and shoulders. Anne rubbed oil that smelled of rosemary into my forehead, and made the sign of the cross. When Anne raised her hand to bless us at the end of the service, the drunk raised his hand, too, and, right along with her, made the sign of the cross over us all. We were there, empty as the altar, becoming flesh. When my husband, Vincent, and I came home from New Mexico after Kit''s death, cards from the people at church were stacked up on the white table next to our front door like leaves on a lawn.
Mark Benson, who served on my discernment committee, read a verse from Dr. Seuss into the answering machine and I scribbled it on a scrap of paper from my brother''s house: When the drops stop dropping, then the storm starts stopping. In New Mexico dark mesas rise off the desert floor, heart-shaped leaves of cottonwoods dance by the river, orchards are fed by each village''s acequia madre, the mother ditch. I dreamed of a piece of pottery I found on land I own near Santa Fe. It was colored gray, like ashes, and had the remains of a design on it, a black V. I thought of the people who had made that jar, walking, then falling, their bones intertwined in the roots of the sagebrush under my feet, and then I put it back where I had found it, in a streambed fed by summer rains.
I toiled away for several business to business magazines and websites, and sometimes for small, local newspapers.
Is your soul foreshadowed here. I likely gleaned much from Lily Gallagher. I couldn''t be in not rules or with many local at once.
She wrote for Time and other national magazines. Nora is obviously in another league. Still, I could relate to her all consuming writing career that never p I read this book at the urging of my spiritual director, an Episcopal priest who usually ends each session by handing me a bag or a pile of books. Still, I could relate to her all consuming writing career that never provided any "real money.
One morning she was snorting a vinyage to give her a lift for the day and caught her image in the mirror. She did not like what she saw and decided to visit a church after years of being away. One visit eventually led to worship, and service, and being a lay leader. This book is about her discernment to possibly become a priest. Anyone who knows the Episcopal Church knows there are many years and many layers to the discernment process. As I possibly consider my next move toward discernment to be a deacon, it was important for me to read about her three-year odyssey of discernment.