Monday, March 29, 2010

The Inner Voice of Love

I've started reading Henri Nouwen's book The Inner Voice of Love - A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. Henri's writings have always moved me. He shows a raw vulnerability through which the Holy Spirit gently and soothingly speaks.

I remember in late summer, 1996, Father H. and I were planning to invite Fr. Nouwen to speak at the following year's Courage Conference. Then, before we'd had a chance to compose an invitation letter, we heard that Henri Nouwen had suddenly died of a heart attack. It was September of that same year. Fr. Nouwen was only 64.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from a chapter entitled "Stay With Your Pain":

It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God's healing.

God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart.

Henri lays it bare.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Her Own Words

Here's Ann Coulter's take on her University of Ottawa experience.

I hope she files that Human Rights Commission complaint, if only to highlight what a hoax those commissions are in the first place...

On a happier note, apparently the Harper government is taking steps to close down the branch offices of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax! (h/t: Kathy Shaidle)

Seraphic Book Launch!

Last Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of attending Dorothy Cumming's book launch at the Duke of York pub on Prince Arthur Avenue. Dorothy's book Seraphic Singles: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Single Life has been published by Novalis and is available for purchase here.

I had the distinct honour of being the second person in the world to have a copy of the book signed by the author! The inscription reads: "To Tina: The second one I've signed! Thanks for years of support. Grace & Peace, Dorothy Cummings, aka Seraphic."

It was a very pleasant gathering. The pub setting was cozy and I indulged in a hearty meal before the reading. The attendees were a friendly, sociable group and I noticed that several of us enjoyed a warming beverage before and during the book launch. I think the crowd consisted primarily of blog readers, acquaintances, and friends of Dorothy (I don't mean to use that last phrase euphemistically, although I'm sure chaste Catholic persons with same-sex attraction are among Dorothy's large and varied readership).

Dorothy, dressed in a lovely powder blue dress boldly accessorized with orange shoes and matching orange lipstick (please see her site for photos), read a variety of interesting and memorable selections from her book, including a poignant one entitled "The Cross That Singles Bear". This was one of the entries that first got me interested in her blog a couple of years ago.

Dorothy is now married and living in Scotland (although she travels back to Toronto for occasions such as these), and she continues to blog frequently. I recommend both her site and her book. Her writing is witty, insightful, and engaging, and her blog topics cover everyday life as well as a variety of current issues and events.

Here's an outline of Launch Day, in Dorothy's (Seraphic's) own words.

Coming out of the blogging closet...

I think it's time to stop using a pseudonym. Henceforth, I shall sign my posts as "Tina" and not as "Belloc". I'll change my profile setting too, so that all previous posts will also be signed "Tina".

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ann is Coming to Canada!

Ann Coulter will be in Canada this week! She'll be at the University of Western Ontario on Monday, at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday, and she'll be at the University of Calgary on Thursday. (Please click on above links for updates from Kathy Shaidle's site.)

Alas, I won't be able to attend Ann's two Ontario gigs, but I will be keeping her and the organizers in prayer...

Predictably, some people are getting their knickers all bunched up over Ann's visit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quotable Quotes

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

So says Hamlet to Horatio in Act 5, Scene 2 - and so said my Boss to me over lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant on Spadina Avenue about eight days ago.

I had just been telling her about a previous work experience where I'd made a somewhat impulsive but, I believe, correct decision about leaving an organization because of the administration's treatment of their employees (I had just seen my supervisor at the time dismissed without notice or cause, and I'd seen others treated this way too). It was the only time I'd ever left a job without giving two weeks' notice and without having something else lined up. I figured if they could dismiss such a nice lady as my previous supervisor without notice or cause, then I could also resign without notice. It was my own small way of protesting the ways things were run.

Providentially, a friend of mine who did freelancing work for publishing companies soon put me in touch with one of her employers who was looking for someone to do permissions work. Thanks to my friend's thoughtfulness, I had work all lined up for me upon my return to Toronto. It was an ideal situation because, during that first year back in Canada, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and have some income while working from home.

In all truth, I probably would have been heading home in the next six months any way because of my father's passing and my consequent desire to be available to my Mom and Nana. My circumstances prompted me to come home sooner, which was better for all of us. Eventually, I found full-time work at my alma mater where I'm currently blessed with another excellent Boss (thank you, God!).

I do believe Divine Providence saw the good intentions in my actions (however impulsive and heedless of the future they may have been) and blessed me through my freelancing friend's thoughtfulness, and also through the great generosity of other kind and loving friends.

Indeed, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

Or, as St. Paul puts it in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Go Canada!!

Fourteen Olympic gold medals, a really exciting final hockey win, inspiration, and admiration!

I admit, I'm not much into sports, but I did enjoy that final hockey game! I also loved Virtue and Moir's ice dancing, and I was touched by the closeness of Alexandre Bilodeau and his brother Frédéric.