Sunday, 29 September 2013

Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels

"St. Michael the Archangel", icon by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
 Today the Church could be celebrating the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael; however, it's Sunday and you know how that works -- Sunday takes precedence over all feasts except solemnities.

I love this feast and so it happily turns out that I get to celebrate it in spite of the fact that it is a Sunday!  Why?  Because I live in the parish of the cathedral of our Archdiocese.  The Cathedral is named in honour of St. Michael the Archangel. This means that for us our patronal feast day takes precedence over the Sunday.  

So, I was even able to use the readings for the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel in the Liturgy of the Hours:  Office of Readings and Morning Prayer.  I usually pray the Office these days using my iPad where I have an app for the Divine Office -- I can even select the audio version so I can listen to it when my poor, old eyes are not working too well.  Today, however, since the rest of the Church was celebrating Sunday, I had to go back to my old, four-volume set of the Breviary so that I could find the psalms and scripture for this feast day.

In the Office of Readings, there is a lovely sentence found in the Responsory following the first reading from the Book of Revelation, which says:  "There was silence in heaven when the dragon fought with Michael the Archangel."  

This statement has always intrigued me as we usually think of a battle, a fight, as being anything but silent.  Yet, somehow, the image seems right to me.  I once heard a priest commenting on this passage in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 12: 1-17a) and he said that the battle was/is/will be actually a battle of minds and wills rather than fists. I wonder...  

When I try to imagine what such a battle would look like, I cannot do it -- all I can see is Satan gritting his teeth and turning really, really red in the face!  As for St. Michael, I can only imagine him as beautifully calm and filled with the peace of God.  It is obvious who the winner would be in such a battle.  Praise God for that. 

Anyway, happy feast day to you all.
St. Michael and all the Archangels, pray for us.  



______________________________________________________________________________

CALENDARS FOR 2014


I have spent a lot of time over the weekend preparing my calendars for 2014.  Unfortunately, the company that I use does not have software available so that I can simply take last year's calendar and copy all the special days into it.  So, I had to input each item again for the entire year.  The normal events of the year such as Canada Day, etc. are already included in the software; however, since my calendars also go to folks in the USA, I have to input their special days as well.  Thus, it was a lengthy process, but now I have finished.  I placed an order for a draft copy of each calendar and once they arrive, I will be able to make certain that everything is OK before ordering the final copies.

Remember, if you are interested in purchasing either or both of these calendars, the price is $15 (the amount I am charged per calendar) each.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you intend to order so that I can make certain that you have the calendar(s) in hand before the New Year.


The Cover for my 2014 Calendar featuring drawings and icons of Our Lady



The Cover of my 2014 calendar featuring drawings of flowers





______________________________________________________________________

MY FRIEND, KAREN


As regular readers of this blog are probably aware, my friend, Karen, moved to Vancouver a few years ago now.  Thankfully, we have managed to stay in regular contact.  (You may recall some of her photos that I have posted over the past few years.)

At any rate, a friend of hers in Vancouver, also a blogger, recently did a posting about the issue of accessibility for mobility devices (wheelchairs, scooters, etc.) in downtown Vancouver.  Evidently, the City Fathers and Mothers have not done a great job in helping all the elderly and disabled folks get around easily.

Karen sent me a link to her friend's posting about this issue.  He included a short video of Karen riding her scooter (the photo below was "snatched" from that video) and a paragraph with information about Karen herself.  I thought it was so good that I wanted to share it and so got permission from both the blogger and from Karen.  I think you will find it interesting.



Image taken from a video showing my friend, Karen, driving around the
streets of downtown Vancouver



The text accompanying the above photo telling a bit about Karen and the problems
experienced by people using mobility devices in the downtown area of Vancouver.
This was written by a blogger in Vancouver.
If you are interested in reading the entire posting you will find it here:
http://sqwabb.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/is-bike-friendly-vancouver-ignoring-the-growing-fact-of-mobility-scooters/


____________________________________________________________________________

SUKI AND SALLIE


"Hey, Miss Sallie, are you sure
it isn't time to eat again?"
Well, I just went into the kitchen to get a fresh glass of ice and water.  I was met there by a large, black cat who seemed to be saying "feed me, feed me."

Since it was past noon, I figured that it was, in fact, time for Suki to have some lunch.  She gobbled down her favourite food and is now stretched out on the bed giving herself a good washing.  

Like most cats, Suki's routine is pretty predictable:  eat, wash face and paws thoroughly, find a comfortable position and go to sleep.  As I watch her, I can see that she is starting to get sleepy.  This is evident by the fact that her ablutions are starting to slow down considerably.  Yes, I am right... there she goes... the eyes are closing... the tail is still twitching just a bit, but she is almost asleep.  Have a good nap, Miss Suki.

She has actually been pretty good this past week.  She continues to awaken me each morning about 5 a.m., but by then I am often ready to get up anyway.  I wouldn't really mind being awakened by her if only she would just stop trying to wash my hands with that scratchy tongue of  hers!  I wonder how she knows that the skin of my hands is a very sensitive areas of my body?  What a clever cat she is!

As for me, I am continuing to do pretty well -- all things considered.

As I mentioned last Sunday, I had two important medical appointments this past week.  The one at Sunnybrook on Monday lasted for three hours!  I was exhausted by the time they finished with me!  Fortunately, they did not find anything new wrong with me.  They were able to make some helpful suggestions about my treatment, however.  The one thing I was hoping to find out was if there is any name for the sleep issues that I struggle with.  When I asked about this, I was told that everything would be in the report to my specialist at St. Michael's Hospital.

Unfortunately, I already had an appointment scheduled with the specialist at St. Mike's on Wednesday of this past week and, of course, the report from Sunnybrook had not arrived yet.  So I am still waiting for more information.  The doctor at St. Mike's assured me that if there was anything in the report that I needed to be informed about right away, she would call me.  Knowing how busy this doctor is, I won't be holding my breath while waiting for her to phone!

All in all, the results of this medial investigation seem to point to a condition which can be treated by the new medication I am now taking.  I must admit that the medication seems to be working well with very limited side effects.  So, for the moment, I can say that I am no longer having any serious sleep attacks and the restless leg problems are also continuing to subside.  As you can imagine, this makes me very happy.

The future is unknown, but I am hopeful that we may have finally found treatments for these problems -- treatments that will work over the long term.  This will hopefully ensure that I will be able to live without the constant distress, discomfort and pain of these past few years. 

However, from the standpoint of all these many years of living, I realize each day more and more fully that I need to be most thankful for all the difficulties God has allowed into my life for it has been these that have taught me the most about living and living well.  Had everything always been easy for me, I fear I would have been much less "human" than I am.  What peace I have when I can trust God with my life -- believing that He will always give me what is best for me and what will enable me to give the best for all those with whom I share my life.

So, I ask you to please join with me in giving thanks to God for all the good things He has given us as well as for all the difficult things that He has allowed into our lives.   

Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, pray for us.
St. Michael, pray for us.  Amen.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does Suki wash your face with her scratchy tongue as well?
That's funny as well
Karen