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INTENTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS 

JANUARY 2011

I’ve always been one for New Year’s resolutions, but with all honesty must report that I have usually forgotten them or given them up by March. It was a game I played with myself and both of us came out losers. In recent years, though, I have learned a little bit about the power of intention. It seems to work better for me. It is very helpful for me to have a sense of direction, a focus and so I usually spend some time around this time of the year evaluating what I have done and envisioning what I would like to do next.

 My tradition of resolution making involved choosing one or more items from the long list of qualities or behaviors I didn’t like about myself and resolving to change it or them to a more desirable quality. Most often they revolved around weight and exercise. Those of you who have known me for years can see the physical evidence of many forgotten resolutions!

 Intention on the other hand, for me, is more an imagining or visualization of what I might like to BE and SEE at the end of 2011. Its process is softer and more fluid than goal setting, more heart and inner knowing based and less intellectual. It allows space for the unexpected and invites serendipitous events and divine interventions. Intention acknowledges the changeability of human nature and accepts that what I think I want today may be different from what I want tomorrow. Intention suggests a destination and may map out some key stops along the way, but is fully aware that detours may occur.

 And so, in 2011, in the garden, I am hoping my roses will thrive. I had about 50% success with the ones I planted last year under a regime of benign neglect, so I am hoping I can still count on those roses to happily bloom this year. Out of the others, some outright died and will need to be replaced, others had problems of disease or insects or location that will need to be addressed and will be a great learning experience for me.

 I would like to reduce further the amount of grass in the back yard and come up with a better system for watering it. I also would like to get to know more about the medicinal herbs I have planted and create labels for all the plants in the Rosa Mystica Healing Rose and Herb Garden. I saw a film this afternoon about the life of Hildegard of Bingen and it reminded me of why I started the healing garden in the first place. The film is called Vision and was quite wonderful.

 I wish my vision for Rosa Mystica Ministries was as clear cut as my vision for the garden, but it is not, and so what this is telling me is to allow it to develop as it will, keep asking for guidance from Divine forces, keep LISTENING for guidance and paying attention to all the signs and wonders along the way. There are some concrete actions to take however, continue working on this website and sharing the ministry with you all.

 On a spiritual level, I have been thinking a lot lately about JUDGMENT. Not as in judgment day, or the last judgment, but as in me judging others and myself; as in “snap judgment”, categorizing, classifying, or otherwise labeling myself or others in a way that does not allow me to see my own or their true humanity. My hero, the Dalai Lama, speaks often about compassion, which to me is related to the concept of non-judgment. What I admire most about the Dalai Lama is that he not only speaks compassion, he lives compassion. And this compassionate non-judgment is perhaps my most important intention of all for 2011.   

Peace,

Reverend Carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ROSA MYSTICA NEWS 2010

 December 17, 2010

Dear Friends,

It has been a wonderful year here at Rosa Mystica Chapel. We all (two legged and four legged) have been healthy and happy. Our family is now comprised of myself, SuzieQ and Poppy (dog family), Frero, Snowball and Midnight (cat family) and four chickens who don't have names but are known simply as "The Ladies". We had a lot of helpers in the garden the first half of the year, Tony, JJ, Richard and his service dog Shila. Shila stayed with us for several months while Richard looked for a living arrangement where he could keep her. Tony, Richard and JJ dug holes in this hard New Mexico soil to plant 12 rosebushes, laid cobblestone edgers in all the beds, redesigned the vegetable garden, built a chicken coop, installed a drip irrigation system, replanted the lawn, spread compost and mulch and much more.

I was happily able to accomplish some home improvement projects, redesigning the master suite to replace the shower with a deep soaker tub and create a walk in closet. I also had a sliding glass door installed to open onto the backyard and had a grape arbor built that can be closed in to create a greenhouse to winter over the hibiscus and geraniums. It's working great and actually serves to heat the bedroom!

I officiated at the first wedding in the garden in June and the first wedding in the chapel in November. The chapel had a very busy schedule with many folks using the space to hold meetings of a spiritual, metaphysical, or healing nature. Check out the calendar page to get an idea! This Advent I finally decided to add my own voice to the mix and have been hosting Advent Soup and Singing Suppers on Saturdays. I  plan to continue in the new year with a study on women Christian mystics.

I was thrilled to meet someone at one of these meetings who teaches web design and was able to get my website up and running after just two classes! I had been hoping to find someone, so she was an answer to prayer. The site is a work in progress but I have already received a couple of prayer requests through the site and that is very gratifying.

Although I am already an ordained minister with the Eternal Life Church, I still feel called to pursue my studies for the priesthood. I have been enrolled as a seminarian in the Sophia Divinity School of the Independent Catholic Church of Antioch. The leadership of the Church of Antioch has been through some tumultuous times in the past few months which has been quite upsetting and leaves some uncertainty as to my direction, but the call to the priesthood is still strong. Time will tell all.

I've been taking classes in Psychic Awareness with my friend Karen DiTrapani. As well as being fascinating they have been extremely helpful with decision making and goal setting. Thanks to one of the exercises Karen led us in, my "painting block" which has lasted more than three years, has been lifted and I am ready to start painting again. My first painting will be of Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th C Christian mystic, healer, artist and musician. She is one of my inspirations for Rosa Mystica and the Healing Garden. I'll post it on the website when it is done.

I'm still working part time as office manager for Susan Turner, Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Our office moved to a new building on November 1 and although we are still not quite settled we are enjoying the new atmosphere very much. I have assumed the cleaning and linens contract for the office, which will bring in a little more income. I'm also getting quite involved with the Albuquerque Rose Society, volunteering in the Albuquerque Rose Garden, (over 1200 roses!), doing some graphic design and co-chairing the spring rose show.

So life is good. A caring community is forming around the activities in the chapel. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner here for nine friends, everyone brought something. It was a lovely day and I am truly thankful for everyone who was present and the many who were here only in spirit. Stuart will be arriving on Christmas Eve to spend a few days and I am looking forward to some quality time with him. His wife Joan will be staying in Houston to be with her brother and family who will be visiting there. He is still living in Houston and is a partner in the architectural firm of Nathalie Appell. Unfortunately, his band of many years, The Jonx, has decided to disband. Hopefully, this will free up some time for Stuart to compose more of his own music which I enjoy so much.

I am thankful to all of you who continue to keep in touch even though we don't get to see each other often. Some of you I haven't seen for YEARS!!!  This reconnection is one of my favorite things about this time of year. Please let me know what you think of the website and if you would like to be added to my email list. I currently send out a once a month update on the happenings in this end of the world. I wish everyone who reads this (and some of you I have not even met!) a very blessed year, full of peace, love, light and joy... and may YOU be a blessing to all you meet.

Reverend Mother Carol

 

 

 ADVENT ROSA MYSTICA CHAPEL 2010

 "Let's Talk About DIS-Organized Religion"

         I believe many of us share a common disappointment with "organized" religion, which even though sometimes promising, eventually degenerates into power struggles and patristic behaviors. There are many who have chosen to disassociate themselves entirely from any "religious" activity in favor of the "spiritual" or nothing at all.

        For me personally this has led to a feeling of lack in my life. There are things about "church" that I love. Most of these things revolve around ritual and ceremony and the great wealth of traditions that have been handed down and preserved for thousands of years. It is for this reason that I have started thinking of Rosa Mystica Ministries as DISORGANIZED RELIGION. No dogma, no hierarchy... but tapping into the wealth of traditions that exist, adapting them to our current circumstances and needs. 

        The season of Advent is one of those traditions and it is my favorite liturgical season. Comprising roughly the month before Christmas, but also springing from Pagan origins, as many Christian festivals do, it is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. One of my favorite traditions during the advent season is the lighting of the advent wreath. Another tradition is the singing of sacred music and hymns associated with the season. It also has a distinct feminine aspect for me, as we could imagine and some of us remember that last month of pregnancy, the expectation, the worry, the preparation, the excitement. 

        So this year I am inviting all of you who live in the area to celebrate Advent with me here at Rosa Mystica. The celebration will consist of four Saturday evenings starting with the Saturday after Thanksgiving and continuing Dec. 4, 11, and 18. We will be sharing a simple meal, soup and bread and whatever else you want to bring, lighting the advent wreath and singing Christmas carols together. In my disorganized religion it is ok to sing Christmas carols during advent. Please plan to join me and bring a musical instrument if you have one, otherwise we will be a cappella.

        December 4th will be a very special event with Mother Carol Calvert joining us for an "Angel Tea".  She will be reading from her newly published book, "Beitha's Sound", chanting and playing the harp and celebrating a Celtic Mass in the chapel. Check out the calendar page on this website for more details.  For more information about Advent here are a couple of interesting links:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0369.html

http://dsjliturgy.blogspot.com/2006/11/repeat-advent-season-of-anticipation.html

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