Showing posts from February, 2016

March Interfaith Observances and Celebrations

March is a busy time for Interfaith Observances and Celebrations.  Beginning with the Welsh feast, St. David's Day on the 1st and ending with the most important feast for the Jain, Mahavir Jayanti on the 30th, many of the feasts remembered during March center around sacrifice, renewal/rebirth and growth, which are full of symbolism.

Symbols are an important part of many traditions. Rabbits, pussy-willows, baby animals, spring flowers, and eggs are just some of the spring images that have traveled through time and across cultures, reminding us of the cycles of life.

If you're Irish and American, you might be celebrating St. Patrick's Day on March 17th by wearing green, eating corned beef, cabbage and potatoes and singing the songs your mother taught you long ago. Green is symbolic of life as well as one of the colors associated with the Irish flag. For most folks in Ireland, however, the day is a religious observance of St. Patrick one of the three patron saints of Eir…

St. Valentine and Memories of Ireland

Photo Credit (c) 2014 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Whitefriar Street Church 

In the heart of Dublin, we found it - 
a sanctuary for saints – 
from Bernadette – patroness of the sick and 
the name Momma had chosen 
but Dad couldn’t spell, thereby 
giving me the nom of popular song – 
toValentine, patron of sweethearts,
martyred for Love. 

Wandering through the nooks 
filtered in stained-glass light 
I find my old friends, Anthony, 
patron of all things lost - 
Theresa, the Little Flower, 
gentle soul of small acts of kindness and 
Michael, protector of those who serve – 
police, firefighters, military.

To my surprise, Edith Stein, her portrait painted as Saint Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, 
converted philosopher of loving wisdom, 
meets me beside the smiling statue of 
Blessed Titus Brandsma, a fellow journalist, 
who gave himself joyfully to the workings 
of Freedom and Peace. 

Walking up and down the aisles, 
I feel like I have just met with friends, 
my soul nourished by stories told and remembered 
by relics sh…

The Awesomeness of Awe

Photo Credit: Linda M. Neas (c) 2015
When was the last time you were awestruck?  Do you remember when youwere filled with wonder and awe?  Did you know that awe and well being are directly related to each other? 
In a Psychology Today article I read, Dr. Andy Tix writes, "Psychological scientists only recently have started to study awe, an emotional experience in which individuals are overwhelmed by vastness or greatness to the point that they need to alter how they understand the world. Studies are beginning to reveal, however, several significant effects of awe. For instance, awe appears to enhance individuals’ feelings of belonging, time availability, generosity, spirituality, and humility. Physical health also seems better when individuals feel more awe. People even are more likely to help someone in need after an awe experience." 

Dr. Tix then discusses how life often keeps us from awesomeness. He recognizes the fact that laundry has to be done, bills paid and homes cleane…