This beautiful Baptist church resides on Main street here in Osterville, and as it represents the white steepled churches of old, that drew me to New England many years ago. In reality it serves as a rallying point at the Christmas stroll, a home base as it were, for the spirituality of the season. There is even a little manger with Mary and Jesus and the animals that surrounded him–purity. It also has a youth pastor whom I have not met, but it is good to know that the word “youth” and Pastor are still used in the same sentence. As I sing today with my Choir at “Our Lady of the Assumption”, a block away from the Baptist church, I will reflect a little more on the music that is now a part of my life again, another gift that gratitude cannot repay. I will also keep in mind that from congregation to synagogue to mosque to parishes like mine, although the messages and direction may differ, we can all agree… Love is all that there truly is. It is more powerful than any gun or tank or bomb. We, as a nation do not celebrate the victories of war, with the same quiet reflections and words uttered by a man 2000+ years ago. Those words of peace have echoed louder than any blast could and has endured every test of time. We are fortunate to have a wonderful priest, here in Osterville, who does more for the community than most I have met during my travels. One of those was our “hospitality” group. One of those is the fact that we, volunteers from the church, donate one or in my case 3-5 nights to stay with 7 homeless men, whom we pick up at the salvation army, near the Noah shelter, and bring them back to the church conference room, a nice, dry, carpeted, safe place to be for a night. Every Sunday evening, once a month, we pick these men up, drive them from Hyannis to Osterville, provide a good meal that establishments like Wimpy’s and Fancy’s donate food provide (bless them) and allow them to take “a load off” even if it is for only one night. The air mattresses are new and the bedding freshly washed, and after the men make their beds, they eat! A Lot! There are a few volunteers like myself who spend the night with them, and to be quite honest, the first time I volunteered, as I was not on the “staff” yet, I felt that pain and sadness, perhaps it was the bed and the bedding, or maybe it was the quiet gratitude that these men felt and expressed that day and all of the days since I began volunteering. As the lines for unemployment continue to lengthen, as manufacturing jobs continue to shrink, as we try to find solutions in the congress with “good banks” and “bad banks”, a model that would only work if we lived in Sweden, I take a deep breath and plan to sing my heart out at the 10:30 am Mass this morning and I invite you to join in with me, you don’t have to be any religion to talk to God, you don’t even have to believe in God, the important thing is that you believe in something greater than thought created by man. Love, Peace and Joy are all natural states of being, and have no opposite and are not exclusive to anyone. The willingness to ungulate, as a friend of mine used to say, is another way of saying emotional cleansing and thus, exposing oneself to the true light of the spirit. So, the next time you are getting groceries, give the cashier a little extra “Hi”and smile, because she is just the messenger of the greed that caused this calamity and she has to buy groceries too. Peace M
February 8, 2009
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