Friday, May 18, 2012

Deeply Refreshed

Backtracking on the bulletins from Boston....

Yesterday: Sojourning at San Lorenzo Friary, Jamaica Plain in Boston. Arose at seven; meditation, then morning prayer in the friars' chapel. No Mass today; we celebrated the Eucharist the evening before at our vigil Mass for the Ascension of Jesus. Breakfast and conversation with one of the brothers, as we talked about the stand-up comic we saw the night before at The Burren, an Irish pub in Davis Square, Somerville.

Left the friary at nine to catch the Orange Line to downtown Boston. Participated in a strategy session with the board and new lead organizer of the Massachusetts Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. The new director is a good guy, a graduate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He succeeds my immediate successor, a fellow classmate from Boston University School of Theology, who will move on to a ministerial internship at a Unitarian Universalist congregation as he pursues ordination. Blessings on them both. At lunchtime our IWJ friends picketed Dunkin' Donuts for flexing its corporate muscles to pin down in defeat a bill that would mandate paid sick leave for all Massachusetts workers. We chose a Dunkin' shop on Beacon Street across the street from the Massachusetts State House. We wanted the state legislators to notice.

After lunch over wraps and salads at a Greek deli on Beacon Street, gave parting words of wisdom to the new Mass IWJ organizer, then walked to City Hall to deliver my absentee ballot application. I intend to vote as a Massachusetts resident in the fall elections.

Took the Green Line from Government Center to Lechmere in East Cambridge. Met a Quaker friend with whom I lived for two years at Beacon Hill Friends House. A sister in the Spirit with the heart of a woman religious. Our conversation was rich, deeply nourishing, and all too brief.

Walked to Kendall Square and boarded the Red Line for Harvard Square. A quick stride through John F. Kennedy Park to the monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic community, for evening prayer with their fraternity. With several Boston University seminarians I have had the privilege of attending silent reading retreats here. Almost the entire divine office is sung in plainchant. The chapel is huge and gorgeous. The liturgy is majestic and very much kindred to the Liturgy of the Hours used in the Catholic Church. A year of common prayer with the Capuchins made it very easy for me to follow both the order and the pace of the Episcopal monks' prayer. Most fitting to celebrate the high feast of Ascension with our Anglican brethren.

After savoring, in slow motion, the silence and music of evening prayer, hoofed it to the Red Line to make it by seven to Central Square to meet three of my female seminary friends from Boston University. Over quesadillas, brown rice and beans, and fresh fruit and sparkling flavored water, we talked long into the night about Church and society. They are, indeed, my own Marys of Magdala.

A full day and a fulfilling day.

Today: Sojourning at San Lorenzo Friary, Jamaica Plain in Boston. Arose at seven; morning prayer at eight and Eucharist immediately following, in the friars' chapel. The brothers have departed for retreats and summer assignments. It was one of the priest friars and I alone. "Where two or three are gathered...." Breakfasted over The Boston Globe. Now computing and corresponding.

Planning today to help a dear friend from Harvard Divinity School pack her life into boxes and clean house. Need also to visit City Hall to get my voter registration information in order. The Boston address I put on my absentee ballot application did not match where I was most recently registered to vote. Oops!

This evening: dinner with friends in Harvard Square; we don't know where just yet. The Indian restaurant we wanted to patronize is closed. Let the Spirit show us where to go!

Feeling deeply refreshed as this week of reunions and partings continues.

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