Monday, September 29, 2008

L'Shana Tova (Happy New Year)

This past weekend my sissy Carly told me about Rosh Hashanah. She was pretty excited about the high holy days ahead.

Me, I'm Roman Catholic. And Orthodox (yes, I feel like both, so there!). We have more holy days and feasts than you can shake a stick at. My mom used to say that, 'shake a stick at' when we were talking unmanageable quantities.

I have to admit, Carly's enthusiasm moved me. She goes to a kind of a Messianic Jewish congregation. I think. It's very informal, but God knows it's been a healing place for her. So, now she loves Jesus and celebrates Jewish holy days. And you know what? After years of church abuse, I'm happy she's found her peace and safety.

This week, they are reflecting and repenting. She told me they'll be going to water, to cast their pebbles on it. The pebbles represent sins. I loved that image. I'm a big fan of the sacrament of reconciliation. I've never confessed my sins and not found it remarkably healing, but I like the physicality and symbolism of this act of faith Carly will participate in, this casting away sins she could touch with her hands into very wet, real waters to be forgotten.

Carly also said, this time of year was a time for God to visit. I told her that's what I was waiting for, a visit, because I sure do need to see my Lovely right about now. The pebbles in my hand are too many. Dark, cold, little compacted stones that look like my heart so much of the time. I don't want a heart of stone. I want a vibrant, juicy, red and living heart, blood pumping and flowing in and out of it. I want a heart full of passion! Full of life! Joy! And despite the fact that my birthday was the on the first, not even a month ago, already I crave for a new year. A year of the sweetness of apples and honey.

Today, I will work, in soul and in vocation. I will write on the book, which oddly begin to really hit stride this morning. Carly said I could expect God to visit this week, and that creativity would flow. I'd forgotten about that, until this morning at around 5 am, when my fingers flew across my keyboard. Then I remembered Carly said, beginning Monday, it will all begin to change. And I will do the important soul work. Listen for the sound of the shofar in my soul. Remember the Water which brought me salvation. Wait for Love.

Things really are changing. I feel the stirrings. Maybe because Carly said so, and I trust her with my whole heart. Or maybe because a beloved friend did a three day fast for me. I couldn't see the results. My sins seemed so at the surface that I thought, "Man, I totally suck! My girlfriend wasted her fast on me." But maybe right at the surface, highly visible and distressing, is the best place for sins to be. So you can deal with them. Rush to the Water. Dump them in fistfuls away from you.

Be made whole.
Begin again.

I don't know what it is, what changed things this joyful Monday, when Rosh Hashana will arrive with the evening. I suspect it has a lot to do with G-d, who loves us, and does so wants to cleanse us.

I believe, and surely this is so, that the whole thing is about love. God visits. Shares bread and wine and water. Takes stones away on great and holy waves. Immanuel. He is with us. And because He is present, we'll live.

May you find your sweetness. L'Shana Tova.
mair-francis

p.s. Happy Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael today. Love them!

2 comments:

Elysa said...

Praising God with you this joyful Monday morning.

During our morning prayers, even before I read this, I reminded myself, God, and my children that today was the beginning of a fresh start.

Hmmmm...somethings up!

nuzor said...

Happy Michaelmas to you too. I feel the fresh start coming up as well.

My job hasn't quite started yet (not until next Monday), but I'm in work mode, lol.

It could be the fall coming up, or I see St. Michael opening doors that cannot be shut. It could be the fact that I'm easing more into liturgy like I would in my favorite blanket. I know that the day the altar cloth turns purple I might bawl (I've been moved to tears at every Eucharist I've been to recently. *sigh*).

But I'm right there with you. Change is coming. I'm growing up a little. Ordinary Time is not so ordinary anymore.