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Gabriel's Harp

Contemporary Christian Music

The Gabriel's Harp Blog

Walking the Journey

So, yesterday, the Divine Word Staff toured the Office of Migration and Refugee Service, supported by the Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Charities AND the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our tour guide was kind and well-informed, and had - as I suspect most of the Service's employees do - a passion for helping people in need. Did you know that there are approximately 20 million refugees worldwide? The United States has taken 25,000 refugees this year. These are individuals and families - some of them single mothers and children - who are persecuted and fled their home country - traveled to a refugee camp in another country, and are waiting for a third country to accept them. Time in the refugee camps can be anywhere from 5 to 30 years. Think about that. Remaining in a refugee camp for 5 to 30 years, until someone can come and rescue you. The MRS Office here in Cleveland has programs, volunteers and a plan to help the refugee from their arrival in the United States, helping with language barriers, job skills, providing assistance and housing. Many organizations in other states help the "easy-to-place" refugees. Cleveland helps everyone, especially those with health concerns and single moms with children. Our tour was an eye-opening AND heart-warming experience.

The next time you hear about the limits the United States places on incoming refugees or immigrants, picture yourself and your family living in a tent or a box or in a field. For 15 years or more. And open your heart and know that it could have been you, except by the grace of God.

So it's just been forever . . .

Since I wrote a new blog post! Sometimes we get too busy to keep up, or be introspective. Parish life has been very busy. I'm fortunate to be of service to several churches in our area. There aren't enough hours in the day to finish new compositions, arrangements, recording.

I'm so lucky to be at Divine Word. Great people, great community.

I've been very inspired by our local Encore Chamber Music concerts, run by good friend Jinjoo Cho. Jim and I are very happy to once again host Encore Lutier Yair Hod Fainas and Archetière Delphine Petitjean and their darling daughter. What a great way to start the summer!

So, back at it . . . 

Today is Pentecost!

So, paraphrasing Fr. Dave's homily for today:

Our God is a consuming fire! The warmer our souls become, the more God burns away our impediments. Compassion is kindness, humility, patience. Ground yourself in the love of God and may the peace of Christ control your hearts. When we're at peace, we can see God.

John 18:38 "What is truth?" Pilate asked.

The Lesson for Today: The truth is interpreted - or should I say clouded - by everyone's opinion. (And EVERYONE has an opinion!) What slays me is when people deliberately mislead you into believing them so you can be manipulated. It happens more often than we know! Sometimes it takes years to discover that someone has not been honest. It's no consolation to realize that you've been fooled.

So, pray for truth. That you can see someone for who they really are to know if they are telling you the absolute truth. Not truth that's just good for them, but good for all.

Mother Teresa said, "Some people come into your life as blessings. Some people come into your life as lessons."

What's good for the soul?

So, what's good for the soul? It varies. Sometimes you can be introspective, sometimes you must devote yourself to making society a better place. People are always saying they want to be happy, and yet, happiness eludes them. Do they seek possessions that fail to bring long-term happiness or experiences that are fleeting? Then, on to the next thing that might give them a small amount of happiness for a short time.

I've found true happiness can be found in service to others, even in small things. Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.