Unfathomable Wealth

What it would be like to live with such wealth, that you could create, or have created for you, a home that had it all and even more? This past weekend, my youngest and I visited the grand home of James J. Hill, on Saint Paul, Minnesota’s historic Cathedral Hill.

The Man
The Man

We embarked upon an informative and educational venture into the dream home of one of Minnesota’s most important citizens. He founded the Great Northern Railwaycon49

He was a tireless “workaholic” and created a vast fortune that is evident throughout the state. More information can be found here Minnesota Historic Society  The rest of my entry will be photos and commentary of impressions I left with.

The grand stairway, with its gorgeous woodwork took my breath away. Photos do not do the grandeur of this spectacle justice. the entire house has carved woodwork that was carved by and artist that left his likeness in certain pieces.Carver

The home had the latest technology of the time, mainly electricity, with a gas backup and a central heating system that still works today. The lighting is designed to give one the feel of what it would have been like living in the home at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Large windows provided natural light, which is evident where applicable.

The Man was involved in nearly all of the industries that experienced growth during the industrial revolution. I am still processing the entire event. I will return again in the spring the get more from the exterior and the view of the Mississippi River Valley from the Home. Until then

May your moments be all the are meant to be.

Advertisements

Do not be too quick…

Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s kindness and God’s patience and mercy and understanding of the weaknesses of people.

Do not be too quick to condemn people who no longer believe in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed their faith.

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation

blossom
Tender Opening

Perhaps you are the only best example of your faith, he has or will encounter. Be the person you wish everyone to be.

 

Something out of the Ordinary

Or perhaps, for you, not so much. Today or I should say. Beginning late last night I went to Christmas midnight Mass. I felt led to participate in this blessed tradition and am not sure of why. I went embracing the mystery of it all.

I am not Catholic and am still mystified by all the gestures and rituals. I have found great value, though, in ritual. It has become the foundation for improving my life, from my however flawed, perspective. I did feel a bit out of place but welcome none the less.

Inside

I attended the celebration at The Cathedral of Saint Paul. What a magnificent place! I can only imagine what it must have been like in 1915 when the first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 14th of that year. This is the biggest Church I have ever been in.

Nothing out of the expected occurred. There were carrols, prayers, readings from scripture, a homily by The Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Arch Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. A profession of faith. The offering, and of course Communion. I did not take communion as I am not, or do not consider myself Catholic. I did, however, go up for a blessing Arms crossed over my chest.

Liturgy Guide

I am still processing the occasion and take away these

  1. All are invited
  2. I am flawed and in need of forgiveness
  3. I am forgiven in Christ’s Life, death, and Resurrection
  4. His Spirit as God Lives in me
  5. I am to give as I have been so graciously been given

Merry Christmas until then enjoy divinely inspired Rock Guitar

How could I?

I like to think that I have a strong faith in God. Yet I have recently had occasion to doubt.

DOUBT

transitive verb

  1. archaic a: fear b: suspect
  2. to call into question the truth of : to be uncertain or in doubt about
  3. a: to lack confidence in-Distrust b: to consider unlikely.

I had been thinking it unlikely that I would be able to accept a job offer due to having prior commitments, I had worried that I would have to tell customers that I would not be able to provide service due to traveling. I wasn’t sure I would have time to complete commitments after a scheduled orientation meeting today.

I was tossing last night doing my best to let Him have my cares and to forgive my faithlessness. All of my prayers were answered. I felt a warm sense of ease. I knew it would all work out. I could not comprehend how, based on the information I had at the time, I just knew.

  1. It didn’t snow while I was away no need to let customers down.
  2. My offer to work for the biggest online retailer as a seasonal delivery station associate came after Thanksgiving
  3. The shifts I will work will allow me to continue to work during daylight hours.
  4. the orientation lasted 2 1/2 hours instead of the 4 I had expected. Allowing me to complete jobs I had committed to, and better yet, the last job was much easier to get done than I had expected.

I had to stop and Thank and praise Him and was in tears as I knew I had doubted that it was all going to go better than I could have dreamed. It always does

There’s always room for improvement!

And boy, do I have some. Astronomical in size comes to mind. What brought this on? One might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. If you have been following along, you know of my desire to help. Well, it has become painfully apparent that I can do more.

Through reading blogs, scripture, news and so on. The question arises, what have you done for “the least of mine”. Not a lot I must admit. Lately, though I have given some dollars to those requesting “anything helps” at intersections.

I had, in the past, thought that these people were actually just doing this for their job and that they probably made more money than I do. Upon reflection, I found within that this was devoid of compassion.

it's here
Like it or not-Fall is upon us

Another area in my sorted life, where I find room for improvement is in refraining from the judgment of others. This has been brought about reading from Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island “If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity…We must somehow strip ourselves of our greatest illusions about ourselves, frankly recognize in how many ways we are unlovable, descend into the depths of our being until we come to the basic reality that is in us, and learn to see that we are lovable after all in spite of everything”, and that we are loved precisely because of our flaws.

As I emerge from the other side, I am better able to love, any and all. And, most important understand.

The things I see

The sun beating down brightly, as I am focused on the task at hand. Earbuds blasting from the playlist. The hum of the mower’s engine is evident through my body. And yet I remain aware of my surroundings. Yesterday I was working and an unusually large and overgrown lawn when I sensed something. I turned, and there she was scouting what I think is the location of her den.

coyote 2
Checking me out
Coyote 1
All good I’m out

She was trotting through where I had previously worked stopped looked at me then carried on. I guess I have adapted to my loss of hearing sense (earbuds) and pick up on other queues. I am glad I was able to capture the moment. The toad population is great this year.

toad
spots
green toad
light green

I don’t even want to think of what happens to these creatures if pass over them.

I observe all kinds of things and I saw the first snake I have ever witnessed in Minnesota. Scared the crap out of me at first, then I tried to take a picture but it found cover quickly. It was a gartter snake. Do you find thistles as beautiful as I do?

Thistle
Ooh Ouch!

These and so much more to fill my being with wonder at how much life there is beyond our immediate perception.

working
Busy Bee

It is simple but not easy to see