Good Friday

Yesterday, Holy Thursday, I thought about the Catholic Church and how after the Thursday evening service, they take the \”bread-which-is-Jesus\” out of the church; and then pretend Jesus is not in the church. Then, on Friday, they serve \”leftover-bread-that-is-Jesus.\” Then at the vigil on Saturday night or Sunday pre-dawn, they make new \”bread-which-is-Jesus.\” After that, Jesus stays in the church for the rest of the year.

What? Really?

At this point in my life, that all sounds preposterous. One of the reasons I left organized religion was because I believe that every molecule, photon and the smaller or even non-existent particle (thinking of you SGL), is either holy, spirit filled and the Real Presence; or their is no God and none of this matters.

I believe there is a Higher Power. I don\’t say God because there is too much incorrect teaching about what God could be. But none of this matters as it is an illusion.

So, in the monastery, Good Friday was used for penance and confession. When I was a novice, I was excluded from some of the sisters activities; so I did the unseemly thing. I went running.

As I was running today, I thought about my monastic life. As a matter of fact, I owe my current spiritual capability to my monastic training. See I don\’t get involved in distractions from the knowledge of God\’s presence because of those 4 years cut off from the world. I want to be grateful to the sisters rather than being angry they kicked me out. As a matter of fact, my spirituality is far better now than if I\’d remained in a Roman Catholic Convent. As I ran, saying my day\’s psalm, I did feel happy for the gift of contemplation.

Let me remember what my purpose is.
Let me remember that my goal is God.
Setting aside all little senseless aims.
Achieving only what You want me to.

To celebrate Easter this year, I thought of buying a symbolic piece of body wear. It turns out, I spent $35 on an aqua titanium neck band. It is white and I tied 3 knots in it to symbolize the Trinity. I look very hip in it.

Today was Good Friday indeed. I got up at 5 and hit the park by 6:30. I jog/walked 8x2s for almost 4 hours. Then I came home just as the guys delivering the new treadmill showed up. I bought a new treadmill because of too much concrete in Texas and no hills at all. I got a really good Life Fitness treadmill. It cost less than 2 weeks salary (after taxes and 401K). This afternoon, I walked another 5 miles uphill on the treadmill as well as lift weights and do core. My new shorts also came today.

So different from being a nun. Here are some picture from my last half marathon where I won 2nd place in my age group. The last one is with one of my Canadian friends.


Palm Sunday

If only…..I had not been kicked out of a monastery, today would not have happened.

Palm Sunday was the beginning of my most dreaded week of the year. Sisters were practically beating their breasts over their feelings that their sins had pounded the nails into Jesus\’ flesh. And then tensions were high over who was chosen to do what during the Easter Liturgy, how was the altar to be decorated, who was cooking, how would the tables be set for the feast, choir practice, cleaning; but worst for me was the segregation of the novices. I mean how can you expect to assimilate someone into the community if certain community meetings were off limits. I hated the whole thing.

Instead, a couple of days ago, a runner from Alberta Canada came to visit me in Texas. We ran a half marathon today. I would not have the pleasure of this friend except for, where we first met.

Here\’s how my day went: far different than the monastery. I woke up at 2 am with on my mind. Runners reading this will know what Active is; and it was on my mind because I have a problem with my account. It was bugging me. But then, I fell asleep at about 3 and woke up with the alarm at 4. I quickly got out of bed and dressed in my race clothes.

I came downstairs for coffee and an hour of spiritual study. Then I pinned on my number, made my race energy drink and a green smoothie for after the race. Then I went and picked up my friend. We got to one of the race parking lots. We were incredibly early and didn\’t see anyone. Walking in the dark, we had to ask a cop where the start actually was. We got there and found many people. I had parked at the outermost lot.

I peed 3 times in various bushes. A bag piper played the national anthem. The fire chief counted us down and off we went.

I had decided to actually race this race. I mean not just run to finish but put some effort into it. I felt good. I knew that I could run fast enough to get an age group award. I was certain my friend would get an age group award and was thinking it would be fun if we both were on the podium. My legs actually felt good; no plantar pain.

Part of my Course in Miracles lesson for today was, \”Let me not see myself as limited.\” This is a great lesson for a running race. The day was hot and humid. I do absolutely NO speed work. All my training is done at 12 minute miles or slower. But I have speed in me when I feel like it.

So I ran the first 2 miles at about 8 min miles and averaged 8:50 for the first 10 miles. At that point, my previously injured right ACL had a couple of twinges. So I slowed down to 9:40 miles.

I didn\’t talk to anyone much in the race. But my friend\’s husband and daughter were along the course at several places. I got a high five from her at one place.

I kept repeating my ACIM lesson. It kept my brain from projecting disaster with the knee. It also kept me running much much faster than I have trained for. Nearing the finish, I was able to sprint in. I desired to get in under 2 hours and made it.

At the finish, they had cold wet wash cloths, cold water, people cutting off timing chips and people handing out medals. The timers had a big screen showing almost instantaneous results. I saw my friend who had finished in front of me. She got 1st in her age group and 3rd master woman. I got 2nd in my age group.

I like races even when I just \”finish\” them. I like them when I see friends. I like them when I win. I like celebrating freedom from religious life.

I am currently signed up for 5 more races this year. 3 of these are ultra-marathons. All of them are out of town: Springfield Missouri, Ottawa Canada, Copper Mountain Colorado, St Louis Missouri and Dallas Texas. I already have airplane tickets for 3 of these races.

This on top of some highly complimentary words from my boss at work this week: \”You\’ve done a world of good.\” Since I work in a global company and practice process safety management, that statement is literally true.

I\’ll post pics after I get them. Thank God I am spiritual and not religious. I get to celebrate spirit instead of church.