2018

I’ve lived through many decades, some more tumultuous than others. As someone once said to me in a gym, “How cool, you lived through the ’60’s.” I was a teenager in the ’60’s and I got married in the ’70’s and that naturally changed my life. I had children in the ’80’s and was busy raising them in the 1980’s-1990’s.

I managed throughout my adults years to serve God in both volunteer positions in the Church as well as working in different roles in the Church. Now I write, attend Scripture classes, give retreats when asked and spend time in prayer. Jesus is never far from me. I call upon His Holy Name all the time.

This year is a big year for me. I will become a grandmother for the first time. And so 2018 will be an important milestone in my life. I am thankful for so much, but most especially for my deep faith, which has been an anchor in my life. And for all the other blessings too!

NJA

 

 

Pick Your Poison

My most recent blog post at my blog (Brooklyn Born Believer) which can be accessed from this site, quotes from a recent New York Times article titled, “End of the World Is A Bit Closer-Scientists Fear” by Sewell Chan. I wrote the blog entry last night which was a bad idea, because the thoughts expressed by the atomic scientists who keep track of “The Doomsday Clock,” irritate me, which is enough to keep me awake at night, combined with other unproductive thoughts. But anyhow with all my faith in God, I still get anxious about things and I shouldn’t because ultimately God is in control. I know that but still I worry about living in a fallen world and the great sin of pride which is everywhere.  But anyhow, if you read the blog or the article I quote from,  you will see that humankind has lots to be concerned about in the modern world. But Christians must live in hope. It is part of being a Christian. Trusting in God and having a positive attitude is essential for a peaceful life. And I do try……..most of the time.  NJA

Have no anxiety at all but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

A Blessed Christmas

How blessed we are to celebrate the great feast of Christmas. The wonder and magic of it all! A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God be with you each step of the way, on the journey towards wholeness, happiness and peace.

God Bless you and me too!

NJA

Michelangelo’s Exhibit at the MET in NYC

One of my most favorite places is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I just love it there, surrounded by beautiful pieces of art, paintings of the masters and so many cultural artifacts.

I thought by going on a Tuesday afternoon to see the much talked about exhibit, “Michelangelo-Divine Draftsman and Designer,” it wouldn’t be too crowded but it was. It’s a great exhibit and everyone who loves art wants to see it. Michelangelo was called, “the divine one,” by his friends and patrons. The exhibition features 133 of his drawings, three marble sculptures, and his earliest painting, as well as the work of other artists influenced by him.

I was fascinated by his relationship with a deeply spiritual woman, Vittoria, who wrote mystical poetry. She presented to Michelangelo in 1540 or 1541 a book which contained 103 of her religious sonnets, “beautifully written in cursive by a professional scribe……Vittoria’s poetry focuses on personal suffering that leads to divine illumination and manifests her belief that the grace of salvation is God’s gift to humanity.” The manuscript (the book she gave him) is on exhibit and as I read the words of her poetry I was moved, as Michelangelo must have been in 1540.

“…………..now my heart languishes in pain turned towards God, who alone can help me, let the holy nails from now on be my quills, and the precious blood my pure ink, my lined paper the sacred lifeless body, so that I may write down for others all that he suffered.”

Michelangelo, the creative genius was very taken with her deep, mystical poetry.

NJA

 

Finding God Through Nature-Through a Sunrise

My son took the photo of the sun rising on the beautiful island of Maui in Hawaii, that I’ve used at the top of my home page.

It seems there are many people in the world, who wake up very early and watch the sun rise and then photograph it and post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. When my son is in Manhattan, where he lives, on some mornings he goes on his friend’s sailboat, with other businessmen or those headed to Wall Street and they watch the sunrise from the sailboat, in the NY harbor. They don’t talk for one hour and they just sit and watch and are present to the magnificence of creation, the beginning of a new day, with all the possibilities that offers. It is calming for these young men, who then venture to their jobs.

And from this practice and the discipline of waking early to watch the sunrise, my adult son is becoming more aware of God’s presence, of the spiritual journey and it’s opening for him a new path. He is going to be in Bethlehem for Christmas and though I was sad he wouldn’t be with the family, he wants to go to the Holy Land for Christmas. (My son cancelled his plans to go to the Holy Land for Christmas because of the recent outbreak of violence. There will be other years for him to go. He’ll go somewhere else.)

All from watching the sunrise……

NJA

 

Walking down Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn yesterday, with friends I was trying to figure out just what the fascination and attraction of “hip” young adults (and some not so young) is with Williamsburg. Just when you think real estate prices couldn’t get any higher, they just keep going up because it’s so popular and in demand. Yes, it’s close to Manhattan and many stimulating neighborhoods in the boroughs and it’s a very vibrant community but personally I can’t understand all the hype. We had lunch in a restaurant on Grand Ave. and the waiter was from New Zealand. We were conversing with him and I asked why he left New Zealand (which is known to be very beautiful) and how it is he wound up in Williamsburg. He said, “I just wanted to be in New York City.” OK that’s a good answer. I love New York City too, I think it’s an amazing place. I was born in Brooklyn and lived most of my life there and now I’m still on the same “island,” I only moved a bit..to the border of Queens on Long Island.

When it comes down to it, I guess NYC and the tristate area, though very expensive to live here, it’s a very dynamic, multi-cultural, ethnically rich and also religiously diverse part of the world. It’s very attractive to a lot of young people. I can understand that.

NJA

Thanksgiving 2017-God’s Blessings Abound

Happy Thanksgiving (if you celebrate Thanksgiving) But whether you celebrate or not, we are have to be thankful. This past year was a year of some disappointments and some accomplishments. The ups and downs of life, are ever present in our lives, in my life. But as long as I walk with Jesus, with Jesus at my side, I can and do overcome obstacles and rise to new heights. This was the year I finally finished my spiritual/mystical memoir and its selling on Amazon. More importantly people are reading it and being inspired by it. Praise God! That’s important because no one ever read the book or even parts of it, before I published it. I was apprehensive about showing it ….what would people think of me? But amazingly people who have read it (granted they know me and some even like me) like the book and find it inspiring. What a relief!

And so have a Happy Thanksgiving. The good news is that if you pray and have a relationship with God, “all things work together for good.” And everything becomes rightly ordered and in God’s time, all things work out. So be at peace.

NJA

“The Vision of Christ in St. Columba Church” by NJ Azzaro