Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Prayer for Advent 2007

It has been hard to say,
‘I did what I could’ – when that means
That I have to admit
That I can’t hold everything
Together all the time.

To allow things to fall and crash and break
To allow things to get lost and not found
To allow misperceptions and judgements to be – without freaking
To allow my carefully laid plans to
Fall apart
To allow the feeling of emptiness
To come close to me
When I feel that things are slipping through my fingers

To allow my heart to say
In the midst of these moments
And not lose heart
To be willing to be turned upside down
And shaken
Loose of my firm grip on things
So I can rest
In my poverty and humanity
And celebrate the mystery,
The paradox,
The miracle of
Emmanuel – God with us.
©2007 Cathy Hardy

Sunday, January 20th 7pm St. Matthew's Anglican Church

An Ecumenical Service for week of Christian Unity

A service of 'sung prayer' centering on the theme 'pray without ceasing'

(led by Kevin Boese, Jonathan VanDyke, Karin Dart & Cathy Hardy)

Monday, Jan 21 - 12:15pm Peace Lutheran

Tuesday, Jan 22 - 12:15pm Calvin Presbyterian

Wednesday, Jan 23 - 12:15pm Trinity Memorial United

Thursday, Jan 24 - 12:15pm St. Ann's Catholic Church

Friday, Jan 25 - 12:15pm Trinity Christian Reformed

Jan 27 - 8pm Highland Community Church (Taize Evening Prayers)

This Taize service will close the WEEK OF PRAYER

All services are from 8-9pm

Sunday, February 10- St. Matthew’s
Sunday, February 17 – Highland
Sunday, February 24 – St. Mtts
Sunday, March 2 – Highland
Sunday, March 9 – St. Mtts
Sunday, March 16 – Highland
Good Friday – to be announced

Spring Taize Services
Sunday, March 30 – Highland
Sunday, April 27 – St. Mtts
End of May – at Westminster Abbey – details to be announced

Friday, September 21, 2007

FALL 2007



Sunday nights at 8-9pm
Sept 30 - St. Matthew's
Oct. 28 - Highland Community
Nov. 25 - St. Matthew's
Advent Services:
Dec 2 - Highland
Dec. 9 - St. Matthew's
Dec. 16 - unconfirmed
this photo is taken at Bowen Island at the outdoor labyrinth this August

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16, 2007
May all that is You flow into me
May Your essence be my food & drink
May the shelter I seek be Your encircling arms
May I know Your gaze upon me today....
that my worth, my value, my beauty, my destiny
is a reflection of the truth I see in Your love for me
May Your captivating Love transform my life
into a reflection of your radiant glory

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Family Adventure in Thailand and Cambodia -
Our family just returned from a 3 week adventure.....
rides with elephants in the jungle, visiting HIV orphanages, shopping in open air markets with crowds of people, visiting Angkor Wat - where this photo was taken, seeing the Killing Fields of Cambodia and resting on the beach!
This is my family and we had a great time together.
July 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

June 29th - turning 40

It's been quite a journey to realize I'm turning 40! I've been thinking about it all year and I finally feel ready for the big day and ready to move on. There has been a lot of joy this year & joy is something I want to keep discovering. Joy seems to emerge when i let go & celebrate what IS at this present moment instead of what I might wish it to be. Letting go comes out of trust. Rest emerges from the trust and joy emerges from the rest. My prayer for this year is greater trust, greater rest, greater joy.
My family will be gone to Thailand & Cambodia for 3 weeks starting on my 40th! We have a lot to celebrate and so are making it a trip of a lifetime.
Picture from my garden!

Monday, June 18, 2007

There is a Celtic melody that has been haunting me for over a year now. Haunting me in the best sense of the word - when I sleep, when I wake, when I walk through the woods - it is there. And the truth of it seeps deeper and deeper as the months go by. The imagery of the words speaks of the Divine as Encircling. I have been very aware also of the femenine aspect of the Divine which as a mother would reach out with encircling arms. I didn't grow up being aware that God was anything other that male......but that has deeply changed! If I am created in the image of God, then my femeninity is rooted in God's very being. Male and Female, we are both equally rooted in God. It is helpful then to imagine God in both femenine and masculine ways. God as my warrior protector. God as my nurturing, caressing mother. God as my valiant father. God as my gentle and kind healer.

The Mighty Three
My protection be
Encircling me
You are around
My life, my home
O Sacred Three
The Mighty Three

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Articles on the web:

Here are two articles that are available on the web:
This is a review about the Rest CD produced last fall by
gemma & co.

This is an article printed in the MB Herald regarding
how Taize music has affected my life:

To know more about the Rest CD by gemma & co. go to:

My daughter, Brianna, carved this bird soapstone last spring. She gave it to me just as I was heading into the recording for the rest CD. She had no idea
of the significance it was for me at the time. I was fighting a lot of self-doubt as I was entering into this musical project, yet at the same time, I had such a passion to create the sounds I was hearing internally for so long. I felt very 'pregnant' with the CD. The bird had become symbolic of freedom for me - freedom to LIVE & to be all that God has created me to be. And that means to sing. Singing is a strange thing - it really puts you 'out there'. So, one really needs to believe that one can! It is pretty vulnerable to pour one's heart out through music. However, as all true musicians really know, there comes a point where you NEED to sing, or else something in you begins to die. So, for me to live IS to sing and to rest in that. This bird was a gift that confirmed that. Thank you Brianna!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Are you ready for a Silent Retreat?
Together with the Mark Centre staff
& a team of spiritual directors,
I will be leading & participating in a 3 day silent retreat
late November, 2007.

If you are interested- please contact
the Mark Centre

This retreat has just been confirmed and I am
so excited to set aside this time as a way to enter into the season of Advent. It will be open for 12 people to participate in. These times that are set aside for silence have changed my life profoundly and I invite you to share this one with me.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Journey into Silence -
Part III

The inner path.....
Silence invited me to come to rest with myself. If one is not talking, creating activity, or constantly looking outwards for stimulation, one must eventually face herself.
Silence invited me to face things about me that were restless, uncomfortable, and painful & downright ugly. I couldn't ignore those areas for very long when forced to be with myself.
However, the greater discovery was that the journey within not only led to greater self-awareness but 'God awareness'. God was not something 'out there' that I had to be striving towards. God was not 'far off' and 'distant'. When I came to be looking within, I found God's presence more strongly than ever and it was within my being. The invitation to 'be still and know that I am God' from Psalms became a reality.....and it was through the gift of silence. Silence made me aware of a Beautiful Presence who has created me, who heals me and who redeems me.

One might think that all of this inner work causes one to become too introspective...or 'belly gazing'. However, I have found the opposite is true. That the more I become at rest in my inner life with God, the more I am able to recognize that Presence in others and have a desire to love and honor others in my life. It deepens the community around me as I am not looking so much to others to meet my needs, but I am becoming more at rest and can allow others to also be at rest in who they have been created to be.

This photo is taken at Heritage Park in Mission......the path in the woods which I love.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Journey into Silence - Part II

It was a 3 day silent retreat that I took in
southern Georgia that profoundly affected my
personal life. I am still affected by that retreat and it is 9 years later. It wasn't an open space of nothing for 3 days, but a time of intentional listening, of receiving spiritual direction for one hour each day, and of deep rest.
The guidance that came to me in silence during that time gave me courage in making some huge decisions that I am still bearing the impact of to this day.

"The beginning of prayer is silence...God speaking in the silence of the heart. And then we start talking to God from the fullness of the heart. And He listens. ......That is really prayer. Both sides listening and both sides speaking." Mother Teresa

photo from Heritage Park, Mission, B.C.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Journey into Silence
- Part I
It wasn't by choice or desire that I was introduced to the world of silence.

I was silenced by pain and turmoil. It wasn't a comfortable silence. It wasn't a restful silence. It wasn't a peaceful silence. It became a desperate silence. God, are you really there? What the hell is going on? I lost my speech. I lost my song. I almost lost my breath. During this time the forced silence became an invitational silence towards something deeper and richer than my current situation.

When I first experienced a 5 minute intentional silent period in a group of Anglicans, all the inner pain, restlessness, anxiety shot to the surface. I was extremely agitated. The interesting thing was what I observed in myself later. That the intentional silence in that group that was aimed at opening ourselves up to God, fostered a space inside of me for listening that seemed to create more awareness throughout the days that followed. More 5 minutes in groups, 10 minutes and soon there was a whole day of silence.
To my surprise, I gradually grew hungry for this silence, which then opened up a space for listening inside of me. This space for listening began to surprise me. It opened up a greater awareness of what was happening in my life and in the situation I found myself a part of. It opened up an awareness of God's voice coming to me when I least expected it. It was like finding a '6th sense' and learning how it works and that it could be a daily part of my human experience here on this earth - being connected with the Divine.

This is a partial picture of a painting by my daughter, Pera. The night sky speaks to me of the journey into silence.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Upcoming Taize Service at Westminster Abbey in Mission

Experience an hour of rest in a beautiful setting through song, silence, scripture and candlelight.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 8-9pm

Here is an invitation to be carried in the arms of the Shepherd and rest....

Monday, May 07, 2007

Intuition and Flexibility - the Giraffe Story

It was this spring that I got invited to participate as an artist in a local elementary school. My job was to help the class of grade 2 students experience making a piece of individual art as well as help groups of students make a project together that could be sold to raise money for their school playground.

The process of this art was one that I enjoy - applying acyrlic paint in the primary colors to a canvas. Then, one layers more and more paint. The result can be an astonishing assortment of color and shapes. The process then invites the artist (s) to 'see' something in the art that they wish to develop or bring out. In one of the group projects the 6 children involved saw an animal. At first they wondered if it should be a camel, but then they decided on a giraffe. I am not a very accomplished artist and I didn't know how to help them create this giraffe. They watched me full of hope- I was the 'artist'- surely I knew what to do. So, I tried. I thought it looked absolutely horrible! But because the children had so much faith in me, I could not give up. In the end, this Giraffe became one of my favorite paintings from the experience and I bought it myself. I found out the the giraffe is a symbol of 'intuition and flexibility'. This painting is on display in my home as a wonderful symbol to me of the faith & intuitive knowing of a child and as an invitation to be flexible regarding how I face a task or a challenge.

Thoughts on beauty

Lately I've been captivated by the idea, the majesty, the wonder, the splendor of beauty. I have realized that there has been a lot of shame in my life around the concept of beauty. Somehow in my growing up, I got the idea that to really enjoy beauty was linked with vanity, selfishness, & a slippery slope towards hedonism. Being female and holding a somewhat negative idea of beauty has brought a bit of a clash for me; or perhaps I should say a cautioned hesitancy towards beauty. My female heart is drawn towards pleasing shapes and lines, towards colors that evoke a mood or a thought, towards sounds that touch my inner self - I have realized that beauty feeds me. Beauty refreshes me. To hold a new tulip and be in wonder at it's color and shape, the long straight line of the stem, the rounded curves of the petals is a showcase of beauty. Did not our Creator delight in beauty? Is beauty not something that is a tremendous gift for our hearts and perhaps a deep reflection of the Divine? Lately I've been singing together with a friend once a week. We just sit in a beautiful setting an sing one hour per week - no agenda to perform. Just experience the beauty of a song. Recently we sang a chant that had Navajo words regarding beauty.

In beauty happily I walk

With beauty behind me I walk

With beauty before me I walk

With beauty all around me I walk

It is finished in beauty, It is finished in beauty.

These words remind me of Julian of Norich - all shall be well, and all matter of things shall be well. They also remind me of the prayers of St. Patrick - Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ above me, Christ all around me.