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Oculus and Michelangelo

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Susanna

Michelangelo is my favorite artist and The Sistine Chapel my favorite work of art.  When seeing it for the first time, the feeling was visceral.  I have gone back to Rome a few times to study it, enjoy it.  I have read books to understand it better.  For me, it was more than wonder and awe—and there was certainly that—it was an insight into this great artist’s breathtaking cosmology.  This weekend my family visited the reproduced  images of Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel within Oculus, the winged subway station at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.  I wondered, having seen the magnificence of these paintings in person, how would I react?  Add to that, from this site, Ground Zero, where the horrors of 9/11 took place, witnessed up front and personal, this great winged structure was born to symbolize rebirth, hope and freedom.  Here are some images to see for yourself…

Oculus 1Oculus 2Oculus 3

Blessing Baby Nicole

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 by Susanna

This is latest angel whose blessing I had the honor and delight of performing.  We celebrated Catholic and Jewish elements: Blessing over the Wine, Honoring Grandparents, The Blessing of the Siblings, Appointing Godparents, Baptism, Prayer of the Faithful along with beautiful readings and so many personal and creative touches.  As we say in interfaith seminaries, “Never instead of, always in addition to”   Or as I tend to say, “With two traditions, we are twice blessed!”   It was an intimate blessing in the family’s home.  Everyone was honored and included.  I am profoundly grateful to have basked in the light of the love of this beautiful family.  One of my favorite Christian teachings is “God is Love.”   In the Talmud it is said that a human being is a universe entire.   We wholeheartedly celebrated the universe that is Nicole.Nicole and Rev Baby Nicole

 

 

Rev. Susanna’s New Year’s Message

Posted on: December 1st, 2016 by Susanna

There seems to be a tidal wave of change happening across the world. I need not go into the details. You know it. I know it. Our recent election and other elections around the world reflect it.
So here is the question—”the root of the root and the bud of the bud”: Are we going to respond with love or fear?
Awareness begins the asking: Am I responding to this situation— this comment, this event, this person— from love or fear?
I am not suggesting that we should deny our fears. Heck no! That would only give our fears power over us. That only exacerbates the problem.
To acknowledge our fears, to face them openly and honestly, is the path towards liberation and empowerment. That’s the beauty of it!
I am asking that each of us takes a moment to step back, breathe– and make a choice with awareness. You can do this right now with any situation or person in your life. Right now.
I pray to God we choose love. Only love brings hope, healing and peace. Mind you, love does not mean that we do not protect ourselves. It does not mean staying silent. Honesty, openhearted communication, courage and vulnerability all require strength. Great strength.
Hint: If there is defensiveness, anxiety or guilt, there is fear involved. Where there is peace, healing and joy, love is involved. Truth, honesty, care, nobility, charity, respect, humanity and anything positive has love in it. Frustration, hatred, anxiety, panic and anything negative has some form of fear in it.
So, my blessed friend, for 2017, I pray this Jewish prayer for you, “May you go from strength to strength!” Knowing that strength means loving our neighbor as ourselves as Christianity teaches. Knowing that it means seeing the Divine in our neighbor as Hinduism and Sufism teaches us. Knowing that strength is to hold all life sacred as Buddhism and Native American spirituality teaches. Did you know that the golden rule exists in some form in every religion? It does. The different versions are listed in my book, Bless This Child. Most importantly, love begins with self love. So, Dear One, for 2017 I pray that you love and respect yourself fully, boundlessly and unconditionally.
For in the words of Max Ehrmann:

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Wishing you and your extended families Happy Holidays and a Blessed 2017!
Rev. Susanna

Little Juliette on her blessing day!

Posted on: October 25th, 2016 by Susanna

Juliette

There is so much God in a baby!

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by Susanna

So much God in a baby

 

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