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Showing posts from June, 2012

I don't want to win the lottery

There are people that play the lottery.  There are people that talk about finally landing that perfect job.  There are people who long for a dream house.  I am not really one of those people. 

I have been thinking about transformation this past week.  How does transformation happen?  Is it really the result of one major, life-changing event?  Like winning the lottery?  Or getting struck by a bright light on the road to Damascus?  Is it a proactive event where I must work hard to get results?  Or do I merely surrender to a higher power and let him do all the work?

Last night I had a dream, a dream that I seemed to remember having several times before.  In it, there was some impending catastrophe and I knew we had to get out of the situation and do it fast!  There were two ways to make it to safety: one was by climbing a set of very narrow ladders through inclining, tightly enclosed passageways leading ever upwards and the other was by following a group of people through a series of c…

forgive me, for I have sinned...

Yesterday I was on the subway going downtown for an appointment and read another chapter in Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris.  I have been reading bits and pieces of the book here and there (it requires some digestion after reading, so one can't race through it) and found the stories she told about her husband's troubled adolescence and his mid-life suicidal tendencies incredibly honest and touching.  Then Norris hit me with a chapter that landed squarely between my eyes and poked at the complacent spots in my life.  Mixed metaphors AND conviction!  Ouch!

To get a bit of a background on acedia, read the first post I wrote on it.  I won't go into detail about its definition here, but in the chapter I read yesterday, Norris deals with the aspect of acedia that refuses to take responsibility.  You may want to stop right here.  It gets pretty rough.  The story of shifting responsibility onto someone else starts in the garden of Eden and continues to this day.  Nowadays, how…

what do you see?

I like to take pictures.  I take quite a lot of them.  My iPhone is full of random snapshots that I like to capture while I go through life.  I take pictures of food before I eat it.  I take pictures of my neighbourhood as the seasons change.  I take pictures of unique products and silly situations and beautiful scenes.  I take pictures of things that make me laugh.  I take pictures of moments that I want to remember.  Sometimes when I go back and look at a picture, I see things that I never saw when I was there in the flesh at the moment I took the photo.  A picture can remind me of things I have forgotten.  At best, a picture allows me to slow down and really see.


The picture above is one I took on rue St. Laurent yesterday of a band that was playing at the street festival.  I remember the energetic music and the vibrant performances of the musicians.  I remember the jazzy rhythms they incorporated in their songs and the way they made people smile and stop walking.  I remember seein…

I do care...

While in Waterloo, Ontario to attend the Canadian Theological Society's annual conference last week, I picked up a few books, one of them being Kathleen Norris's Acedia & Me.  Sometimes defined as sloth or associated with depression, acedia is a word that, though commonly used by the ancient monks, has not found a prominent place in contemporary spiritual language.  Norris describes what acedia looks and feels like by writing about her own experience. 

Basically, acedia is an absence of care.  Norris writes:  "The person afflicted by acedia refuses to care or is incapable of doing so.  When life becomes too challenging and engagement with others too demanding, acedia offers a kind of spiritual morphine: you know the pain is there, yet you can't rouse yourself to give a damn." (p. 3)  Monks knew this affliction well.  They called it the noon-day demon because the temptation usually made an appearance around midday when it was hot and they were hungry and tir…

Esther's protest

I have been hesitant to write anything here pertaining to the student protests in Montreal, partly because I didn't believe I had any solutions to offer and partly because I just wanted to stay out of the controversial mess it has become.  Besides, I have studying to do.  But this weekend, something changed.  I read the book of Esther.

First, some background:  the unrest started early in the year when a group of students decided to protest the tuition hikes proposed by the Quebec government ($325 a year for the next 5 years).  Seeing that tuition rates have been frozen for almost ten years, it seemed reasonable to the government to increase them to reflect rising costs.  This did not sit well with some students, and they organised an ongoing protest in which students were encouraged to boycott classes and refuse to hand in assignments.  It has now grown into a movement which has staged several organised, peaceful marches numbering in the hundreds of thousands as well as many smal…