Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Something Affecting My Spirit

Something Affecting My Spirit

Last week was a very strange week for me. It was more than just feeling ‘off’. My spirit was greatly disturbed. One could say that it was because a couple I know lost their daughter who was living in Switzerland, to an undiagnosed disease or that my boss’s cousin’s son was murdered last week. A young woman from the same area as the twenty four year who was shot in his back, was killed in a car accident on Friday night. In a twelve hour period between last Friday and Saturday, there were seven murders.
By last Saturday evening, seventy seven murders for the year. There is an opinion out there that there is a ‘hit squad’ comprising of security services personnel which is ‘popping off’ gang leaders and known ‘bad boys’. I don’t know about that but I do know that innocent people are being gunned down at an alarming rate.
Last Saturday my department held a Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Nation. We do this annually, two Saturdays before Carnival weekend. Some people may think that given the crime rate and the inability of the government to curb it, prayers are a waste of time as they obviously aren’t being answered. But on the whole this is a praying nation and well all else fails. Perhaps if the nation had prayed a bit harder in the first place we wouldn't be in this damn mess!!!!
So there I was, putting last week’s unexplained feelings of doom down to the fact that what was going on in Trinidad together with some of the things going on in my life, were affecting my spirit.
Then I read a friend's blog on another site. It was about a vision she had seen and she was questioning whether or not she had really seen it, dreamed it and or had hallucinated. I read it three times before I commented and even then, felt that I hadn’t hit the nail on the head and hadn’t been able for some reason, to say what I really wanted to. The words would not come. A friend and I had a discussion about it and although we didn’t have time to finish the conversation, we did agree that something was going on because there is ‘something in the air’ so to speak. The writer of the blog said she had a ‘nagging feeling’. I know that feeling – I get it when my spirit is disturbed. Some may call it their aura. I call it my spirit.
On Saturday when I came in I had a discussion with my daughter. I have been somewhat pissed off with my ‘angel’ of late (last week) as felt, unusually for her, that she had been distant and unapproachable. The result of her behaviour was that I switched off. During our discussion she opened up. The talk was good and one thing I learned was that she too was feeling the same disturbance I was feeling. Hers was so bad that she cut off from everyone, refused to go anywhere except to work and the Law Institute and had not returned friends’ phone calls and texts. My sociable, life and soul of the party daughter? My immediate reaction was that she was depressed/ overwhelmed with work and study. Depression? Please no. I had to stop myself from going into panic mode because I didn’t think that I could deal with that. One member of the family on ‘happy pills’ is quite enough thank you! I found myself telling her about the disturbing blog, my comment and my discussion with my friend. Her reaction to the blog story was immediate.
“You are wrong! She did not see a ghost. She saw a spirit. There is a difference”.

My daughter then proceeded to tell me what had happened to her last Monday. It was her day off, she was home alone and sleeping. She was awakened by a feeling of pressure bearing down on her. She could move nothing but her eyes and she heard voices ‘whispering to each other’. The only word she could make out being said was “Baptism”. She said she prayed and prayed as she normally does when this happens and eventually after what seemed an age,the voices stopped and she was able to move. She was not ‘freaked out’ as one might imagine because as she said, ‘she’s used to it’. A few weeks ago she woke in the night to see a figure sitting on a shelf in her bedroom. She feels that whatever it is, follows her from place to place and is more prevalent when she is involved in something religious/spiritual i.e. a bible study.
My daughter knew it wasn’t my mother visiting as she is normally gentle and comes wafting perfume! The day I received the news that a friend of old had died, I asked my daughter if she remembered me remarking a couple of days earlier (the day he left) that I could smell Chanel No 5 in my bedroom. I wasn’t using it. I was using Coco but he used to give me bottles of No 5 which is my preferred perfume.

My friend talked about the month of February and I wondered if I was feeling like this because my mother’s anniversary is in February. My daughter says I am always like this in February. I am not so sure. Why am I not like this in the month of December which is the month my father died? Or January when my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother died? I was very, very close to my grandfather.

This is not meant to be morbid but more a questioning as to what is going on that is affecting some of us? It is not as though we live within miles of each other. My two friends live thousands of miles away from me. Is it that those of us who are are particularly sensitive are more aware and affected by the unseen? I am a mere lay person and no expert but being one that dreams disasters, I am of the belief that everyone has the gift of ‘seeing’. It depends on how one chooses to use that gift. My daughter chooses to suppress it. I don’t seem to have a choice. But what I do believe is that at different times we can be on different spiritual levels. When I am taking my spirituality seriously (I know that there are times when I am spiritually dry, when I cannot pray, when my faith doesn’t sustain me, when I doubt – even Mother Theresa doubted!), I am on a different spiritual level; a higher level and as I always say, “spiritually tuned in”. It is during those times that the dreams come. My mother used to call it my sixth sense but when it became really strong, she freaked out and told me to keep my dreams to myself. My daughter however and my husband take it in their stride. My son doesn’t want to know!! He like his grandmother, freaks out!!!
So again, I ask, what is going on that affects some of us at the moment?
I am sure there are some people out there who are also of the Catholic persuasion who would like me to have my head examined but this has nothing to do with my religion. It has to do with my spirituality. After all, I know some Catholic priests who have amazing gifts for which they would have been hung, drawn and quartered not so very long ago!!!

So, how's your spirit?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

letter to the Editor

I have a grouse! In fact I have many grouses. Last Monday I eventually wrote a letter stating a couple of them and e mailed it to our weekly Catholic newspaper, the Catholic News.

As I was entering the Conference Hall for the third day of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain's Synod, I was met by an usher - a woman I'd never seen in my life. She looked at my name tag and said: "I read your article in the Catholic News."

"Wow" thought I - "I read the letters and never take much notice of the writer unless I know them".

Then: "Article? What article? It was a Letter to the Editor".

A few minutes later the editor walked past me.

"Your letter is in!".

After the day's proceedings, I stopped off at a local pharmacy, bought the paper and there it was. The letter I had been meaning to write since before Christmas. But nothing happens without reason and the topic of my letter fell in quite nicely with one of the discussions that came up at Synod.

I share this with you because a) I feel strongly about what happened and b) because I do not feel that this incident(s) is peculiar to we Catholics.

CATHOLIC NEWS - The weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain

I did not caption my letter which read:

Hand sanitizers for parishioners?

Letters to the Editor - Catholic News
Dear Editor,
Sometimes I really have to wonder what message we so called Catholics are sending out to our own and by extension, the world.
During Advent, I was at a 7pm Saturday Mass in Chaguanas. On that particular evening there weren’t many people at Mass and I was sitting in an aisle seat. The row was empty apart from the other end seat which was occupied by a man who attends Mass every weekend. He is well known in the parish and whilst I wouldn’t say he is a vagrant, I do know that parishioners ‘look after him’ in various ways.
His appearance in some peoples’ eyes probably leaves a great deal to be desired but he is inoffensive, polite, does not smell and appears to be a genuine fellow who obviously has to rely on the generosity of others. Don’t most of us at some point in our lives?
A young, well turned out couple was sitting in the row in front of me slightly to my right and a lady, also well turned out, with several young children was sitting behind me, also to my right.
After the sign of peace, I was ‘disturbed’ by some movement to my right. I opened my eyes and was somewhat taken aback to see an outstretched arm moving past me and the hand at the end of the arm vigourously digging into the back of the young man in front of me.

This movement was accompanied by a hissing sound which was obviously meant to attract his attention. Both he and the young lady turned around and to my horror and by the look on his face, also the young man’s, the outstretched hand belonging to the lady behind me was waving a bottle of hand sanitizer at him.
The waving was accompanied by instructions to take it and use it. The young lady shook her head and turned back to the front whilst the young man, by this time highly embarrassed, took the bottle, turned out some of the contents onto his hand, returned the bottle, shook his head and promptly put the sanitized hand into his pocket in an effort to wipe off the liquid.

Whilst I felt for the couple I was in total shock by what I had witnessed after which I had great difficulty in concentrating on the remainder of the Celebration. The incident disturbed me deeply – I had shaken hands with all of the people concerned as had the gentleman at the end of the row and I wondered how he felt when he too saw the scene being played out. He could not have seen the embarrassed reaction of the couple as they had turned in my direction. Could you imagine where we would be today had Peter and the disciples followed Jesus round handing Him the equivalent of hand sanitizer, baby wipes etc??!!!
Relating this episode brings to mind something else I have a major problem with. There is a church in the west where the ladies who are preparing parents and godparents for infant Baptism ask that if any baby has a rash, to ‘please make sure your baby goes last. We know the water is blessed but………….” I can’t even write the rest because I am so incensed.
Now you tell me – will they really know we’re Christians when we walk hand in hand? If bottles of hand sanitizer are being bandied about and babies with rashes are sent to the back of the line at the Baptismal font, I very much doubt it!

I put my name to the above because I firmly believe that people who hide behind names such as 'concerned parishioner', 'an unhappy believer' etc.. need to put their money where their mouths are and some people of this Archdiocese need a wake up call..
A friend called me having left a message on my voice mail saying that he was 'doing a line in hand sanitizers and could let me have a good price' saying that it was about time that someone spoke out. Well Bee spoke out - she has a few other issues to address but is waiting for the 'fall out' from this one!! Her boss has not called her yet!!!

PS: OMG! I've just been on the website and there it is - in black and white!!!
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