Entering into another’s pain

My Apologies for the long delay between posts. I do not usually wait a week between notes but the past week has been a world wind. Would you believe that since I last posted about being stuck (by the way, I’m not depressed and my self esteem is pretty good. I was trying to communicate a deeper sense of call that we should all feel. I have my doubts some days – but I am fine – I have to be – I’m stick with ME!), I have been to the sesquicentennial service in London, drove to Philadelphia and back, had our big day at Arby’s, took in a Spitfire’s game, Celebrated a great feast of all souls, and am now readying myself for “Bring a Friend Sunday.”  It has been a week to remember – All of this fresh of the heels of a great week with our visit from Ed Smith.

Sometime in the next few days I will post a YOUTUBE video of the Sesquicentennial service, which I must say held some good surprises for me. I also hope to post an Ed Smith Video with some highlights of what from all reviews and accounts, was a great visit indeed.  So stay tined for those updates. I thought tonight  I should update some more immediate events.

Last night marked our annual celebration of the Feast of All Souls. We were pleased to again this year welcome over 100 people to our church as we marked the lives pf the souls of all those that we love but see no longer – we marked with great dignity those lives last night.  The Reverend Canon Jane Humphries (soon to be archdeacon of Essex) was our guest preacher and we were thrilled to have her with us.

DSC01661_editedAll Souls012

Again we were privileged to have the musical offerings of Songbird – Nancy and Stephanie Asiack. We give  thanks to the Marcotte Funeral Home for providing Songbird and for hosting such a wonderful reception after the Mass.


Again last night we were given the gift of our church choir. I echo the words of so many when I say that Andrea Morosin is brilliant with our choir and we are fortunate to have such a gifted director and such talented choir members.  It was a good night in every way and it was great to see the many people into whose lives I was welcomed in many cases in moments of suffering and pain.    

On the cover of the NATIONAL POST today there is a half page photo of Jean Vanier. It drew my attention and I bought the paper – even though I am usually a Globe and Mail reader. In any event the article was a good article about the influence of this gentle giant who founded L’Arche communities around the


world. L’Arche is a home for severely disabled persons. In many cases the people in these homes need constant care for everything. I had opportunity at World youth day in Toronto to hear this great man speak. He is utterly consistent with his message of service. I was reflecting on his words in paper and remembering his inspiring words of service to the thousands of young people who came to see him in Toronto. "The sign of being human is to be a friend to the weak person. There’s something in the history of humanity that shows being human is to care for the weak — the fragile, the orphans and the widow." This was reflected in the kindness expressed between strangers last night at our All Souls service. It was good to see people share their pain and suffering. It was heartening to see folks shoulder the weight of grief together. Vanier’s life is reminder to the world that you can make a big difference by adopting an attitude of service. He has reflected well the spiritual benefit of being present for others who so desperately need to be loved and cared for.  Make no mistake about it, this is no easy task. It means that at times we will, even though we know it will hurt, take a step toward someone else’s pain. It means that instead of giving in to the voice that says, “I can’t go there, it’s too hard on me,” we listen to the sprit which guides us to the understanding that as Vanier says,  "[We] see the face of God within the disabled. Their presence is a sign of God, who has chosen [quoting St. Paul] ‘the foolish in order to confound the strong, the proud and the so-called wise of our world.’ And so those we see as weak or marginalized are, in fact, the most worthy and powerful among us: they bring us closer to God." Youcan substitute many words for disabled here. I am rminded of what ed Smith said when he was with us last week, reminding us that we “all have disabilities.” I would say that we all have suffering, we all live through pain and we all have to find ways through it. This does not always come easy and it is much harder when we have to bear it alone.

We cannot remove another’s suffering, pain, sorrow or grief. We can choose to be with someone we love and care about [or for that matter a complete stranger]in their dark night of the soul. It may mean that it makes us uncomfortable – it ma mean that we have to listen and be silent instead of speaking out of fear and a need to avoid silence. It may mean that we have to walk away from the egocentric idea that our comfort zone is what s most important.

You can read the article from The National Post by Clicking here. 



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