Blog
19169
blog,paged,paged-2,stockholm-core-1.1,select-theme-ver-5.1.7,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.3,vc_responsive

@Home Retreat, November 2020

Triangle@Home Monthly Morning Retreat
November 21st, 2020
9:00-10:00am

 

*Prepare your space: Find an area where hopefully you will not be disturbed for your quiet time. Perhaps you want a blanket for yourself. 
*Gather your supplies: Timer, note paper and/or journal, pen. You may want to bring in one or two inspirational books. 
*Create an “altar”: Put a few meaningful items out, include a candle. 
*Opening Song – Amazing Grace or song of your choice
(You Tube Link) Alan Jackson – Amazing Grace

Lyrics:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Newton
*Opening Prayers: The Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary or your choice.
*Intention: This is a reflective, healing time and we ask that it be filled with the love of the Holy Spirit, the care of Mother Mary and the guidance of all our guardian angels. We are here to learn from one another and to support each other on our journey towards a closer, more intimate relationship with Our Lord. 
*Write out a prayer request or a few and add them to your “altar.” 
*Reflection – Just when we thought it was getting safer to resume our lives, the Covid 19 virus has become more rampant. Add to that, the political climate has presented itself with conflict and angst.  Now we are faed with decisions about the holidays that are causing sadness and separation. We are still faced with daily decisions based on little information about how to take care of ourselves and our families. How are you doing? How have you continued to stay connected to God, the Divine, Our Lord? What has come into your heart and your life during this time of chaos and uncertainty, peace, hope, fear, compassion, gratitude? 
Using your journal write about any insights. (10-15 min.) 
This Saturday in the Catholic Church is the:

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

*The Gospel reading is:
LK 20:27-40
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called  ‘Lord’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.
*Journaling Time – What did you hear God sharing with you? What do you want to share with God? (10-15 minutes) 
*Centering Prayer – 10 to 20 (recommended) minutes of silent time (you decide.) 
Guidelines: 
  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Choose a sacred word on which to focus.
  3. Set a timer.
  4. Don’t judge, just observe.
  5. The phrase that often precedes Centering Prayer is: I let go of security, affection & control and fully accept this moment exactly as it is. (Optional)
  6. Take a few breaths at the end to return to the present moment and to reflect
    on the experience. 
  7. *Make it Your Own:
    Perhaps you have an inspirational book you have been meaning to investigate but you just haven’t had the opportunity. Now is the time. If you have some time left before the end of the hour open it and see what other messages the Holy is sending to you.
  8. You could also use this time to say the Rosary. Saturday in the Catholic Church is set aside as “Mary’s Day” and the reflection is on the Joyful Mysteries.
*Closing Prayer – 
Dear God,
Speak gently in my silence. 
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings and the loud my fears keep pulling me away from you, 
inner noises of 
help me to trust that you are still there even when I am unable to hear you. Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying: “Come to me, you who 
are overburdened, and I will give you rest… 
for I am gentle and humble of heart.” Let that loving voice be my guide. Amen 
Excerpt from With Open Hands by Henri J.M. Nouwen, ave maria press, 2006 
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 
*Sharing a Word Exercise – choose a word from your reading or your quiet time (your sacred word?) and share it on an email to me. Feel free to share any other thoughts or insights you have gained from this sacred time. I will send out an email with everyone’s response some time today. 
Thank you. 
Jean Costa, MSW, RYT 
Certified Spiritual Director, JeanAnneCosta@gmail.com 

@Home Retreat, October 2020

Triangle@Home Monthly Morning Retreat
October 17th, 2020 9:00-10:00am

*Prepare your space:
Find an area where hopefully you will not be disturbed for your quiet time. Perhaps you want a blanket for yourself (or a teddy bear?).

*Gather your supplies:
Timer, note paper and/or journal, pen. You may want to bring in one or two inspirational books.

*Create an “altar”:
Put a few meaningful items out, include a candle.

*Opening Song – Come Holy Ghost or one of your choice.

(This is a video in case you want to listen to it & sing along).  ****(There is an Ad at the beginning of this link. I apologize.
I don’t know how to copy the link and not have the ad show up.  Please skip it as soon as you can.)

Lyrics:
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our hearts take up Thy rest;
Come with thy grace and heav’nly aid to fill our hearts which thou hast made,
To fill our hearts which Thou has made.

O Comforter, to thee we cry, Thou heav’nly gift of God most high;
Thou fount of life, and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above,
And sweet anointing from above.

Chorus:
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you. (2x)

O Holy Ghost, through thee alone, Know we the Father and the Son;
Be this our firm unchanging creed, That thou dost from them both proceed,
That thou dost from them both proceed.

Praise we the Lord, Father and Son, And Holy Spirit with them one;
And may the Son on us bestow all gifts that from the Spirit flow,
All gifts that from the Spirit flow.

Chorus:
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you. (2x)

*Opening Prayers
The Sign of the Cross/Our Father/Hail Mary/Glory Be or your choice.

*Intention:
This is a reflective, healing time and we ask that it be filled with the love of the Holy Spirit, the care of Mother Mary and the guidance of all our guardian angels. We are here to learn from one another and to support each other on our journey towards a closer, more intimate relationship with Our Lord.

*Write out a prayer request or a few and add them to your “altar.”

*Reflection
The world is still dealing with the Corona Virus. Nothing much has changed since March except Covid fatigue has now arrived. We are faced with daily decisions based on little information about how to take care of ourselves and our families and many are finding it to be very daunting. How are you doing? How have you continued to stay connected to God, the Divine, Our Lord? What has come into your heart and your life during this time of chaos and uncertainty, peace, hope, fear, compassion maybe even gratitude?
Using your journal write about any insights. (10-15 min.)

Gospel
LK 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

*Journaling Time
What did you hear God sharing with you? What do you want to share with God? (10-15 minutes)

*Centering Prayer –
10 to 20 (recommended) minutes of silent time (you decide.)

*Centering Prayer – Guidelines
1. Sit comfortably.
2. Choose a sacred word on which to focus.
3. Set a timer.
4. Don’t judge, just observe.
5. The phrase that often precedes Centering Prayer is: I let go of security, affection & control and fully accept this moment exactly as it is. (Optional)
6. Take a few breaths at the end to return to the present moment and to reflect on the experience.

*Make it Your Own:
Perhaps you have an inspirational book you have been meaning to investigate but you just haven’t had the opportunity. Now is the time. If you have some time left before the end of the hour open it and see what other messages the Holy is sending to you.
You could also use this time to say the Rosary. Saturday in the Catholic Church is set aside as “Mary’s Day” and the reflection is on the Joyful Mysteries.

*Closing Prayer –

Dear God,
Speak gently in my silence.
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings and the loud inner noises of my fears keep pulling me away from you,
help me to trust that you are still there even when I am unable to hear you.
Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying: “Come to me, you who are overburdened,
and I will give you rest…
for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Let that loving voice be my guide.
Amen

Excerpt from With Open Hands by Henri J.M. Nouwen, ave maria press, 2006

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

*Sharing a Word Exercise – choose a word from your reading or your quiet time (your sacred word?) and share it on an email to me. Feel free to share any other thoughts or insights you have gained from this sacred time. I will send out an email with everyone’s response around Noon today.

Thank you.

Jean Costa, MSW, RYT
Certified Spiritual Director
JeanAnneCosta@gmail.com

Coronavirus – My Day 40

There are new words now in our language and we have all learned them, regardless of whether or not we even speak English.  They arrived suddenly one day and like company that stays too long or is purely obnoxious, they are still with us even after several months.  For some the arrival has brought fear, anxiety, chaos and even death.  We are all facing a strange, unknown threat and most of us are doing our best to “follow the rules” as to not become ill or even worse, to make someone else ill and perhaps be the reason for their demise.  No matter who you are or where in the world you live, you are probably experiencing at the least some sort of stress.  I’ve spoken to many people who seem to have some sort of new physical ailment or one from the past that has reappeared.  It is not uncommon.  Besides many of us find ourselfes wondering whether or not that sore throat or queasy tummy or ingrown toenail might be a sign that the enemy has found a weak spot in our defense.  It’s simply an extremely daunting, challenging time and we, as American are at our best in times like these but I don’t know if any of us understood how long this time might last. 

The Easter Holiday brought the following message to my inbox:

Haven’t seen you lately so here’s an update. I have been working out 2-3 times a day, lost 25 pounds, almost all muscle now. Took up learning Mandarin and have become quite proficient. Have finally got to finish War and Peace as well as all of the works of Tolstoy, Hemingway and Kurt Vonnegut which I have always wanted to get to. I’ve taken up the guitar and have Smoke on the Water down pat. Have tried to write a few songs, sent them to a music house and they tell me some guy I never heard of, Post Malone, wants to record them. I have also become a concert pianist and expert at ice sculpture. It’s been very boring but we all do the best we can. Happy Easter, stay safe and may the force be with you. 

I so appreciated the humor and I am sure anyone reading this has also found some relief in the humor that has come along.  I, on the other hand had to reply that the skills my husband and I have honed have been a little more mundane.  He has taken charge of the cleaning, including the vacuuming.  I am his “new” supervisor. 

About forty years ago, we had a friend who won the “sexiest man alive” contest in upstate New York.  It was I recall, a lunchtime event and several men were called up on a makeshift stage and questioned about why they should win the title.  As you can imagine, there were many creative and somewhat risqué answers but our friend won with not only his good looks (which he had) but with the simple statement that he loved to cook and he did the cleaning.  He was unanimously given the title.  I’ve tried to convince my hubby of fifty-two years that there is nothing sexier than a man who likes to cook and clean.  It just took a pandemic to push him into the role I always thought should be his.  

Again, humor has come in many many forms and for the most part, I have let it feed and nurture me.  We had one email that said a couple had decided to not have children and they were going to tell them after dinner.  But, the winner for me so far has been:

It was LOL for at least two days and it still brings a smile to my face when I think about it.  I don’t know who this lady is but I would love to meet her and I would love to have her as a friend.  

Also don’t miss John Krasinski’s YouTube segments called Some Good News.  It’s the kind of news I wish were published by our mass medial. It’s kind, funny and uplifting. 

https://youtu.be/F5pgG1M_h_U

In one of my favorite books, Spiritual Insights for Daily Living by Elizabeth Fenske, the March 25th reading tells of an old Arab folk tale where Pestilence once met a caravan in the desert on the road to Baghdad.  “Why must you hasten to Baghdad?” Asked the caravan chief.  “To take 5,000 lives,” was Pestilence’s answer.  Later, they met again and the caravan chief said, “You deceived me, Pestilence, instead of 5,000 life’s you took 50,000.” “Nay,” replied Pestilence, “5,000 and not one more-it was fear who killed the rest.”

I know, we all feel like we are living in a Twilight Zone episode.  I know I do.  I keep thinking any day now, I will wake up from this dream, this bazaar state of the world.  Fear! Anxiety! Stress! Grief! Loss!  Most of us are facing all of these emotions.  Most of us are fairly familiar with them but not on such a continual constant level.  Being who I am, I look for ways to see the silver lining in all the events of my life; sometimes to the annoyance of those around me.  In my first book Creating Positive Affirmations, Living an Intentional Life, I write that, “We cannot control the wind but we can decide how to set the sail.  The wind may blow you all over the world and take you to places you do or do not choose but it is your attitude during the journey and when you arrive that will determine every aspect of the adventure and you can determine that mindset by carefully choosing your self-talk.”    

I am not proposing that you ignore any of your emotions.  As Rumi says, “Welcome and entertain them all.  Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”  Then, take steps to move through those negative feelings.  Most of us know what is required to lift ourselves out of the pit but sometimes we need a reminder and many times we need a friend.  

Here are some of the tools that help me.  I share them with a hope they may also lift you to a “better place.”

 

  1. Believe in a Divine Power that loves you and wants only your best.  It may look nothing like you think it should, but work hard on trusting your God.
  2. Reach out either to help another or get help.  Don’t hesitate to ask.  Be humble.  Pick up the phone, write an email or even more unique, send some snail mail.  
  3. Exercise.  Find a way.  Take a walk, go up and down the steps, turn on a video, dance to a favorite song or two.  It is a panacea for the blues.
  4. Laugh.  Read those silly jokes or find a movie that tickles you funny.  How about anything by Steve Martin but especially my favorite, My Blue Heaven?
  5. Eat some chocolate or a little ice cream.  Be kind to yourself.  Be compassionate with yourself. 
  6. Take a bath, put some bubble bath in it and light a few candles.   

The list can be endless.  You know what you love.  You know what nourishes your soul and feeds your heart.  Have hope.  Have faith.  If it’s simply too windy for you at any point, lower the sail and take shelter in a safe place and wait.  The time will come again when we can all raise our sails and embrace the adventure of this life.