By Father David Fisher
Want to learn more from different perspectives about our lessons? Soundings is a an opportunity for our Clergy to provide different insights into our readings and scripture. You may not always agree with the Clergy's interpretations. But that is why Soundings was created. To invite thoughtful discussion. You are welcome to email the author of each article to provide your comments. Welcome to Soundings!
“A Franciscan Benediction” is attributed to the earliest followers of St. Francis. It is worth considering this year, and every year.
May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
Read more: Divine Discomfort
It is easy to imagine people celebrating, like this young woman dancing or these comfortable Flemish burghers partying. But what does it mean to exchange sorrow for rejoicing and celebration? Emerging from deep sorrow into exuberance may seem callous, uncaring.
Read more: Exchange Sorrow for Rejoicing and Celebration
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
Read more: To The New Year
A Poem by Dr. Maya Angelou
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Read more: Amazing Peace
The ritualized drinking of tea in Japan, called chado, or the way of tea, is a uniquely Japanese art form that has thrived for 500 years. While the heart of the ceremony involves brewing, serving, and drinking tea in a specialized tearoom, it also comprises elements of architecture, landscape gardening, ceramics, painting, calligraphy, flower arranging, and cooking (food may be served, depending on the ceremony). Tea masters say it takes 10 years of study to master the ceremony in its entirety.
Read more: Tea