My Mind

Personal website of M.G. Daniel. Sharing poetry, my writings, snippets from my life and whatever's on my mind.


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Friday the beautiful 13th

Confession: I’ve said I love the number 7 as my lucky number, but I always kinda loved 13 as much or more and claim it as my luckiest number. That does not mean, given all the baggage – historical, cultural, social, etc. – that goes with that number that I don’t have some dread about 13th floors, Friday the 13th and so on. (Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th part 2, the first of the series I watched, nearly terrified me off horror movies for good.)

Where I am sitting at this moment it’s still Friday, October 13 , and that fact made me forget how I was feeling and drag myself to a church this afternoon.  The reasons why I love 13 have to do with my faith orientation. (Something I post about occasionally on this blog, not to proselytize or snare anybody’s soul, but because it is part of the make-up of me, as is my Caribbean/Saint Lucian identity, immigrant status, Daniel/family genes, etc.)

last supper-daVinci

I walked in with a friend and a bas-relief of Jesus and his 12 apostles (13 people) greeted us at the entrance. A bit further into the church and there was a statue of Saint Anthony, whose feast day is June 13 and whom I have a particular devotion to. (Yep: I devoured Greek mythology, over-consumed African folk tales and Caribbean oral literature growing up and I now like a lot of the Catholic mythology.) Anyway, the draw of church today was this October 13 being the 100th anniversary of the last Fatima apparition and the Miracle of the Sun – an event that the recorded newspaper accounts and other histories can sway a stubborn mind to the side of believing these eyewitness reports have more to them then mere group histrionics or mass hysteria.

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I know, this is not your typical Friday night post, but my mood is light and happy, as if I was enjoying a night out on the town. It has something to do with going to confession. I thought I had a burden of bad things to put down, in this essentially free and confidential spiritual therapy-like sessions. I am always bowled over by the gentleness, kindness, compassion and genuine caring, non-judgmental nature of the priests I encounter in the confessional. So my latest confessor, hearing all the bad things I have done,  cut me short with a finger wagging and a sharp, “Listen to me, you’re being too hard on yourself.” And for my penance asked me to go read Psalm 103 (you’ll find a 13 in there somewhere if you look hard enough). I just found it so beautiful, so consoling reading this that I had to share. In case someone else will find it soothing.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

Update, Saturday the 14th: Note that ‘fear’ here does not mean bone trembling terror but awe, respect, reverence, and such like.

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Happy day

Blessings to anyone named Gabriel, Raphael or Michael, in celebration of today’s feast day.

Statue_St-Michel_(Picpus)

 

Saint  Michael, the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about  the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

 

More info about this ancient and popular prayer.


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Hurray for the Riff Raff

Something about the name of this musical group had me reading Maya Angelou Still I Rise and thinking we must raise a glass tomorrow for the rejects, losers and any of us who have gotten our derriere dusted good and proper in the game of life. The tale of Easter and Jesus rising from death, after being treated like the riff raff, has a story for everyone who has survived adversity to watched their inner phoenix rising from the ashes. The band’s Navigator album leads to  this pleasant Ghost story, but the song that really speaks to me at this time is St. Roch Blues.


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When last did you…feel joy?

You talking to me? Well. I am joyful right now. It is um, pardon my Sunday orientation, the advent of joyful things. Like the glimmer and glow of delightfully scented, mood-setting candles. And these ones are mainly in my favourite colour to boot.

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Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.

Random fun fact: Did you know the scented candle business is a gazillion dollar industry in many countries?