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Showing posts from December, 2014

Letter from the Mission Field (Dec 25, 2014)

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¡Feliz Navidad! and Merry Christmas! (and Happy Chanukah!)

It's Christmas again in Honduras.  It's time for parades, fireworks and eating tamales.  
The Christmas tamale  is something new for me.  A tamale is    made from  various vegetables, rice and meats, placed inside a masa (corn dough) dumpling. The dumpling, itself, is wrapped in corn leaves and steamed or boiled.  It is an ancient food of the Mayas, Lencas and other indigenous people, and a tradition, which continues today.   Its connection with Christmas is obscure, but everyone makes them this time of the year.  They have become, in a way, a   New World offering to the Christ Child. 
Again this year, I went with Father Roberto on his tour of the countryside on Christmas Eve Day (December 24) to celebrate the end of Advent and the beginning of Christmas. This year we had several  baptisms at both the Church of the Annunciation and at San Isidro.  
And, of course, we brought presents for the kids of campo. I am always amaz…

A Christmas Meditation: "No Distance" by Theophane the Monk

No distance   by Theophane the Monk
I stumbled upon  this  story from Tales from the Magical Monastery (1), which  has been helpful to me for my spiritual journey.   It is told as a parable, and, in it's peculiar style, raises questions about our response to Jesus' coming to us in this Christmas season.
The story, told by Theophane the Monk , begins:
"I asked each of  the monks I met this question: 'What great blunder have you made?'
One answered, 'There was a stone in my room and I did not love it.'
Another said,  'They called me a Christian, but I did not become Christ.'
I asked the first, 'What do you mean?   I don't understand.  You didn't  love that stone....'
 'I just didn't love it.  I was so close to redeeming the  whole world, but I looked down on that stone.'
I asked the second, 'You did not become Christ?  Is one supposed to become Christ?'
'I kept putting distance between myself and him ---  by se…

Feliz Navidad from the Campo: Christmas presents for the kids

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Christmas presents for the kids

Again this year we bought presents for kids living in the campo (countryside) around Tegucigalpa.   These may be the only presents that some of these kids receive.
The kids at San Isidro dig into Santa's bag to select their Christmas present.   Fr. Roberto stands by to make sure that no fights break out.   The kids, in spite of their excitement, were actually very well behaved.
Alejandra and friend show us their presents at the Church of the Annunciation.
Two boys at San Isidro with their presents.