Monday, 31 December 2012

Loving

I want to love you with the same enthusiam as I loved your predecessor, however as we are in the early stages of our relationship I am undecided as to whether I am to rush into trying everything with vigor or whether to take things slowly, sampling and savoring!
The  beauty of a new phone, a different style of blackberry.
I could tell who, what, where, why all  in casual glance, now that is no more, now there is commitment, if I want to find out anything...
My messages would scroll up, at a glance I would know who, content, whether to take it seriously, now I have to use a different approach in accessing email.
LOL

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Factors to consider - Sept 1, 2012

This was previously written to my phone as a way of reassuring myself that I can still think and function as a reasonably intelligent person,. Of course given that this is written in a type of shorthand which may be code to most persons it may not make sense at all :
  1. Knowledge of the industry in which you will be working, ~ the upstream and the downstream of the industry.
  2. The structure in which you operate~ Can it cope with the needs of the area of responsibility, are there plans to change the components so that current and future needs can be dealt with, based on known combinations.
  3. Reporting responsibility~ Was there any documentation to measure accomplishments on time and as they occurred.
  4. Interaction with otheres~ Where do you see yourself fitting in with others? Is there common understanding, frustration being the bond?
  5. Skill, knowledge, competency, either technical or otherwise, openness. Even though you may not excel in every area of technical competency, willingness to assist others will count in your favor.
  6. Ability to grasp knowledge of the business, this will impact on the person's ability to grow, expand their skills, function in the new environment.
  7. Skills to be able to understand their needs, communicate in a language that conveys what they are looking for.
  8. Concept~ Entrepreneur of the month ~ You get a six month period of shadowing the "  " and between one to three months of being the boss.. Ideas are to be communciated to someone above, either the Chair or the Board  in writing, implementation fairly agreed upon, depending on the idea and concepts agreed upon, the person can be paid either through royalties or a bonus. There should be clear identification of outstanding matters which are being brought forward.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

10 Things or so,

This started as a list of things to acknowledge about yourself in different environments and coming to term with the strengths of others:

  1. Recognising that people need time to recharge. Not everyday someone can work at 115% or more. Sometimes an hour of whatever pace, will allow the person to catch themselves, (refresh and recharge)
  2. Recognising that sometimes a person could be faster at something than you and that's ok.
  3.  Recognising that there is value in learning new things. If you try to be open about learning things, the things that you are stubbornly resistant to, won't make it appear that you are totally strong willed and unwilling.
  4. There are always things to accomplish and to not accomplish  and to recognise that you have to live with the non accomplishments. Sometimes you have to treat your list of to do's as you would approach an exam, recognise that there are so many marks to be obtained and move on to the next question. 
  5. Recognise that there are people who you feel better  being around and it is ok to want to geel good. 
  6. Recognise that unless you have a vision of how the world could be, then you do not have anything to work towards, such as harmony, love, peace. Extract from homily of Fr. Henry Charles Week 1 of Advent.
  7. Recognise that God's grace means that you get spared some of the time. It is also supposed to teach you about gratitude. 
  8. Recognise that humility means stating things as they are. If Brian Lara says that he can make a few strokes in cricket, he would be saying that with humility. Extract from homily of Fr, Henry Charles. 
  9. Recognisng and thanking God for illuminating things like cave art, and imagining a story behind the creation, a journey that took place year on year of a mother using it to make her childrena nd herself mentally comfortable.
  10. There is value being added in a program and that can sell it, if we slow down and speak to persons, rather than talk at them. We may have told a story many times, so there are lots of times when we shorten it and we do not realise that we have shortened it so many times. Of course we need to realise that we are speaking to persons who may have different knowledge levels, skills and competencies and who have not tackled the program because there is some thing holding them back and we have not addressed that need in all of the times and avenues when we have been selling it.
Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Stone walls


I have been fascinated by stone walls for some time now, having read through a book on the different ways of constructing walls using stones. As I live on a hill leading to a Fort which overlooks the sea, there are several types and levels of stone walls. This wall is used as a retaining wall and the wall is built along a curve in the road.
Below is another section of the wall where there is less curve in the road.



Yet another type of wall made from stones. This one is located closer to a highway which is extremely close to the sea.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Hosay 2012

The evening was overcast. The tadjahs and moons were returning to St James. As one can see in the background there are several tadjahs coming down a main street. This moon is one of two and is red. Every time Hosay is "celebrated, there are two moons, one Red and one Green/blue.
There are several persons who "dance" the moon during the procession, i.e. balance the center on their head, with the pole hitched to the belt around their middle  and turn around, most times quickly. The weight of the moon is such that a person can move the moon for approximatley 5 ft when they reach the heart of St. James.

The blue or green moon.


Each moon and or Tadjah is preceded by tassa and drums. The tassa are the smaller drums beaten with two sticks. The big drums are carried and played for periods/ distances with persons interchanging the playing. The drummers hands are usually wrapped to protect their wrists as the palms of their hands are striking the drums to produce the sound.
This year there was a beautiful red Tadjah.  Also the processing of the tadjahs, occurred close to the Feast of Christ the King, a Catholic Feast day.  In the Catholic Church, red vestments are used when we are celebrating the feasts of Martyrs. It is also used on other occasions. Also red is used for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I enjoyed the different patterns  and shades of red on this tadjah. It was the first year I can recall seeing one in red, as there are predominant colors or shades of colors. The upper pieces are covered in a textured fabric and the gold pulls together the look.


This is another view of the tadjah. I love the ornate layered "entrances as though they are a recreation of an entry way.
This sea green beauty was majestic in color and stature. as you can see the design was different to the preceding red. The top was wider than that of the red, with gold being used to highlight a subtle color. The "entry ways are different to the other designs and there is a clear view to the inside. Almost as though one is honoring a mature mother.

In this tadjah, there are floral arrangements.


 The centre is seen clearly from this angle. Here the "entryways are carved in a smaller detail.

Below a right side view of the tadjah.


The above and to the right photos show yet another design in a more traditional color. Love the "entryways" There is a front and back view of the tadjah as well as views of the sides.
Below a close up, to appreciate the detailed artwork in the design and the decoration.


The color scheme of this tadjah is the opposit of the other purple one. Here the top is which with purpe decorations, and the remainder is pure purple. again the design is different to the rest and the "entryways are seen due to the details.

When you love some of the designs, you just cant show enough of them. See the impatc of the gold and the textures of the red, with the draping of the fabric for fluidity and the use of whites


This tadjah was beautiful!. The color scheme was simple, elegant and youthful. It reminded me of Our Lady. The design was different and light hearted!


Please excuse all of the horizontal and diagonal shots. Have not figured out how to rotate the pic prior to uploading

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Timeless Treasures



This photo was taken several Christmases ago. There may not have been stones such as these where Jesus was born, but it adds a nice texture.
The Palms or greenery are totally local, and I do not know enough of Bible studies to know if there was greenery such as this....
However I loved the scene, the display and funnily enough when I took the photo with my phone, I got the star of Bethlehem.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Saturday, 29 December 2012

How do I fall in love ~ Time after time

It can be very difficult to fall out of love as this implies that to fall in love time after time means that  you had to be out of love, whether slightly or in a  major way. You can be happier with someone at certain times than others, and you may feel intensely at certain times.

Just as private communication creates shared emotions, bonding, and sometimes people choose what they will display and  you will not necessarily know what a person feels.  There is no easy answer for what makes persons fall in love....  Sometimes the persons who are determined, decisive and controlled are the ones who will make the decision " to fall in love"  Whether they display that emotion or anything may be due to them having a private side that they choose to reveal. After all who will let anyone know that the thought of eating minced liver makes them gag, however they may eat it with a straight face even if they discover that it is cooked in beans, potato and  you are eating both  at  the same meal for three  days of the week.

Sometimes  you have to understand that you are looking for love, you are going to choose to love and you are going to make as rational a decision as possible.  If you would like the out of control love, there is the novena to St Ann, where you take what you prayed for and some times you will not like what you prayed for. However maturity, your decision and ability to commit will kick in at some time and you will stay married.  On the other hand, it is perfectly fine to walk away, lots of people do that and it is not the end of the world.... It is better to be labelled as someone who changes partners frequently (if frequently means at all), than to remain in something that  you may be afraid to look at.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Falling in love over time

There was a time when stationery and other types of paper were my number one love. Whether it was the walk to the store after a hot day in school.  Merely a five minute stroll.  Moving from the bright sunlight of the streets where there were  cars honking their horns to alert school children, your ride is here, to the shady side of the park with the branches of the trees covering the sidewalk, providing welcomed  relief and a chance to walk slowly to bright sunlight again. Reaching the store seeing the rows of stationery in the  air conditioned room, the different types of paper!

Imagine what happened when I went  to work in a firm of chartered accountants, to see all the different sizes of paper, ruled differently depending on its intended use and if you thought everything that was white was intended for the same use,  the texture  told you of the use of the paper and God help you if you used bond paper for photocopying. I think there were other paper lovers in that office, ranging from the partner who was in charge of the office (supplies included), to the Managing Partner who monitored the profits.

Nowadays, I will head to the stationery section of any store, be tempted to buy at least one small pad, surreptiously touching the paper to tell how thin it is before buying, whenever there is something to celebrate or to think about.

In between the love of stationery were the books...... Story books from the Library in primary school, racing up the wooden stairs during a ten minute break to quickly select a book while juggling the urge to visit the canteen with other necessary needs to fill. After all the Library was only open during recess and if you missed getting a book, it meant that there would be nothing to read after school and during lunch. Finishing a book in a day was great, as there were many books to read and you were only limited by how quickly you could read. Famous Five and other stories by Enid Blyton opened up the imagination, if not the mind to other places, things which were different. Gradually primary school became secondary school with a biggger library, air conditioned mini areas, with even more books. Becoming a Library Aide in Form Four was an honor and a privilege, not because of the badge and the chance to show participation in an extra curricular  activity, but the chance to develop a skill, interact with others, and access to lots of books.

Books remained my great love with authors and types of stories changing from Robert Ludlum to John Le Carre to Nora Roberts, Kay Hooper and  Iris Johansen. Nowadays there are e books or books on loan for a fee or from an even bigger  Public library with floors dedicated to children, young adults and adults. 

Travelling  means a quick stop in a book store for a treat, a reason to purchase a novel. A visit to another country entails locating a library and running in to see what it is like or locating the reading room in a hotel. After all many buildings are similar and a library will be a library wherever you go.

Photography and boats are my current crushes. Photography is closer to being a love while boats are just a crush.


Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Creating A Blog

First there is the title or name of the blog: The title or name  should  be attractive and should also be able to last several periods in time... Alas I have not discovered how to rename my blog so I cannot offer any suggestions on if you leap in haste in naming your blog, how to deal with the changes....
Secondly: Understand that this will be trial and error and you can amend things as you go along. So if you are a prolific writer or you just want to get started, go right ahead, there is the save in draft option for works that are being fine tuned. Some persons are planners and will select the perfect photo or link and play around with it, until they are satisfied and that approach works also.
Thirdly: Identify the amount of time you would like to spend on blogging.  The amount of time which you are planning on spending on blogging  would vary depending on the time of the year, the activities which you will be participating in as well as your motivation. Like most new things, you may want to spend a lot of time on it, because you are using the blog to develop skills. If you are using the blog as a marketing tool or  for self expression then you may need to develop other skills with which to communicate your message.
Fourthly: Enjoy the activity. When you are passionate about something, some of the joy, excitement is communicated /captured in the information which is displayed.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

The many faces of Curacao

I have been visiting Curacao over the last few years and have occupied different hotels during the course of time.  During the years when I did not visit Curacao, work allowed for visits to some of the Caribbean islands hence there was exposure to other hotels.

Courtyard of  a former fort
While wandering through Otrabanda early one morning I decided to take a walk through Hotel Kura Hulanda. At that time I did not know that the Hotel was going to be called "Sandton Kura Hulanda & Spa" and I was just trying  to choose between visiting the Museum which I had visited before or taking a walk through the compound which I had not done before, having planned to many times and just nor getting around to it.   If I enjoyed the walk, I could stop and have something to eat and drink as a way of giving back to what I had enjoyed for free. So here are some photos of my walk that morning as well as a link to some of the other photos of the different areas. http://www.kurahulanda.com/en/photo-galleries.









  I did stop and having a sandwich and bowl of soup at this restaurant, trying to quell the urge to visit the Museum. Maybe another day.


Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Friday, 28 December 2012

Understanding

Understanding can arise in different ways. Some of the ways are as follows:
~ Arising from disclosed information  such as that which is published in Newspapers or other sources such as the web.
From this type of information can come appreciation. I recently learnt that Caribbean School of Catholic Communications (CSCC) where the general theme  of the school is "Forming Missionary Disciples in a Digital Age"  has a long history and a number of connections. See the following extract and link:
"In keeping with the general theme of the school,.... Pastoral Media facilitator, Sr Angela Ann Zukowski, who has been an integral part of CSCC since its inception in 1995, set this year’s focus, “Faith as a Way of Living”, with her presentation “The New Evangelisation for Transmissions of the Christian Faith”. This year’s CSCC focused on faith in light of the Church’s “Year of Faith”, which begins in October". For additional info on this article  see http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/frontpage/3868-focus-on-faith-at-cscc-aug-12

Imagine that this school has been running for approximately seventeen years from 1995 to 2012 with some of the persons who were there in the formation stage continuing to develop the school. Sr Angela Ann  has a history in the education field through her work with the University of Dayton. http://www.udayton.eduhttp://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/zukowski_angela.php

A bit of background on the formation of the school:

" Synod 2009 named the New Evangelization as a pastoral priority. The school, answering the call of the local and Continental church, commits to the formation of missionary disciples. See http://cscctt.org/wpv/




Statue of Our lady at University of Dayton
Of course at CSCC blogs have been covered already. See Andrew's blogvia the attached link: .http://sekeisenbonzakura.wordpress.com/
~ Arising from inference /deductions:
Most persons can read  or listen to statements and come to different conclusions.  Sometimes not stating a conclusion, but including as many facts as possible can allow persons to pass on information and retain it in a different way, which may be separate to self. What may be a conclusion for you may be a starting point for someone else.
~ Arising from perceptions
Perceptions are affected by where you are at emotionally and your use of perceptions in your functions.
~Acknowledging someone's feelings
Many times the persons with whom you are interacting are experiencing emotions which may need to be dealt with prior to dealing with the subject. Of course since you are not using your perceptiveness, because that is a function of where you are at emotionally, then you will have a conversation on a topic and never know why you are getting no where and be quite happy.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Understanding your audience

Understanding your audience is key for a good delivery whether you are developing a strategic plan or delivering a speech. After all your audience could be your key stakeholders. So who would you say are your key stakeholders in an "education" environment within the Catholic Church?
~Parish priests: All parish priests are designated as the manager of the school in their area. Coming out of this is their responsibility for the development  of religious education and other areas in  primary and secondary school  children.  How does this responsibility tie in to the decisions taken at the last Synod? What is the way forward? When is the next Synod? How effective is the Priest, the Pastoral Council in this role since the Pastoral Council assists the priest in the execution of his duties with respect to matters which are non sacramental?How are we communicating the effectiveness of this  duty to all of the parties concerned?
~Staff at the schools: Succession planning and rules which govern this area. Whether the rules are based on seniority or level of academic qualification is one of the questions to guide the process. Also what are the ages of the teachers, when will they be eligible to retire and what are the plans in place to deal with those events? Tied in to this would be  performance management, updating of skills as needed.
~Population of the schools - What are the levels and numbers  of school children at each school? for example is there a need for 3 Std 5s every two years because there is some event which creates that need and that is the period in which it occurs? Where is there a GAP or surplus and how do we deal with this? Do we have a plan for this type of need or for other needs? What is the population of non school age persons in the areas? This could give an example of the population to come.
~ Needs of the school- What are the needs of the school over the next three to five years? It is all well and good for us to plan, but taking the needs of the school into account would create the impression that they have had successes and we are aware that they can contribute to the current evaluation.
~ Infrastructure ~ What is the level of infrastructure at the schools? When is expansion planned or renovations due? What are the physical needs of the school going forward? Is there land available to accommodate this or is there a need to acquire land or is the infrastructure to change to accommodate the non availability of land in the immediate vicinity?
What are the expectations of the audience? What are the external factors which will shape the goals and what are the timelines for delivery of what you need to communicate?

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

A year of Grace 2012-2013

Most persons start their resolutions on Jan 1 using the calendar year as the start of their year. I will use Christmas as the start of my year. Understand that the mental planning probably started in last Sept and is now becoming actualised.  There are several factors which contributed to this decision which may help the early start  of implementing resolutions to work. You do not start projects with knowledge of factors which work against them and do not attempt to address the factors or have several possible solutions. Whether you articulate the factors or the possible solutions that is up to you. Articulating/documenting  the factors takes trust and most persons do not operate from a point of complete trust.


Partial view of the Synagogue in Curacao  This was a point of faith and the continuation of  questions
So back to the factors,~ #1~ Presently I am on vacation with time to think or to try to think. It is rare for me  to think or to acknowledge what I need to think about. After all during the normal course of things, there are persons who are interested in where you are at and where you are going. And many times there are unplanned events which can have  a big impact on your current delivery but which are important for other persons delivery. Focus point: Have time to think. let the things which you cannot or will not bring to the surface come forth and identify how you are going to deal with them. Give yourself space and time to think.  The location may be important also! The location determines whether you are dealing with pie in the sky or mission impossible.
There are many factors working to accomplish goals each time a ship passes .
#2~ I am starting another project in Jan which may take up to two years to complete. This has a high level of uncertainty of success  and I cannot shift the timeline for start or finish or the deliverables during each period or phase of the project. Why is this project important? It is for self improvement,  will utilise different skills and develop other skills as well as provide knowledge. Am I excited? Possibly, because it is like freedom. It is also impacting on other areas of my life..... What is the chance of success.... I can fail the exams and have to resit, so the overall goal may not be accomplished in the time set out, however all I have to do is try.... I know from past experience that there are other things which I will learn as I progress, which I will have to deal with.  Focus point: Have something that you will develop you as you go along. Make this a priority, because you are important:
The other side of the fence
#3 Carnival is around the corner. Literally Carnival falls in the week of Feb 13, 2013 which is early in the year this time around, so there will be a two day break from work. This break means re arranging of  meetings which are set for the month, other deliverables  will need to be rescheduled. Yes there will be the usual rush to get things done and given certain situations which we are all aware of, from now there will be the emotional gamut which we will all experience and be exposed to. :) Focus point: Schedule breaks for yourself. Know what provides a break/ recharge for you  and how to make use of the breaks which are there. 
As I progress, I will add other factors, however these are the ones which I think are important at this time.
PS: The title A year of Grace was supposed to cover all the factors which you put in so that you can experience a year of Grace. My factors tend to be from the point of where I am and where I need to be. I know what I want to keep and where I need to be at the end of the day......

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Acts of Parliament - Trinidad & Tobago 2012

At December 25, 2012 there were 16 Acts which were assented to by the Parliament of the Republic of  Trinidad and Tobago. These Acts ranged  from incorporation of the Postal Corporation, the Association of Real Estate Agents and the National  Ramleela Council and several  relating to Finance  such as the Supplementary Appropriation and  the Finance Act and the Children's Act of 2012.
To a lay person this may seem like not much was done... after all only 16 Acts  were assented to in one year, however  there is a process to bills becoming law and there are bills which move quickly through the process. The process depends on the following:


  • Types of Bills 
  • Powers of the Houses in respect of Bills: House of Representative and the Senate





 See http://www.ttparliament.org/publications.php?mid=66, for further information and access to the site.

One of the main objectives of the process is to allow  for views by persons who represent interests of the society.  This happens in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Currently there are approximately 10 Bills which are still in various stages of work in this 3rd session of the 10th  Republican Parliament which runs from 10 July 2012 to 10 July 2013. Most of the bills relate to other areas of law such as The Births and Death Registration (Amendment) Bill 2012, The Beverage Containers Bill 2012 and The Securities Bill 2012. see http://www.ttparliament.org/publications.php?mid=28

Copyright Jennifer Bailey: Source of Information Trinidad and Tobago Parliament

Christmas Novena 2013

This year I made it through the Novena. Imagine nine days of Masses at six a.m. There was determination to attend all of the masses partly because there was the promise of hope, that things will be better, or you will work whatever it is out of your system by the change of praying for nine days about it, instead of making a decision blindly. After all Mass at six a.m. every day creates a change. There is the "combined effect of no breakfast", concentrating for an hour with participation as there was no sleeping or reading of the Catholic News during Mass, no seeing everything from the back due to a change in seating which was supposed to bring me closer to my family. Something must work.
Well there was the impact of all of the above on other areas of life, work was not dealt for at least 3 days as there were additional responsibilities which did not go away just because I wanted them to. The truth of the matter is that I did  not want them to go away.
Did the mini break work? Well I cheated by working on something late one night which had the snowball effect of making me slower and more tired the next day. My brain has not been working creatively however I have been realising that there are deliveries which I would like to make  which I would need to deal with.
During the Novena, the attendance at Masses allowed for relief to work through  a situation which was unplanned and which had the potential to be emotionally devastating.
So in conclusion, has the object for which the Novena was intended been dealt with? No! But perhaps God and his saints were walking with me throughout the Novena.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey

Friday, 21 December 2012

Julian of Norwich



I became interested in Julian of Norwich several years back when  I was attempting to change the person I was through meditating/contemplating.  I stumbled on the book "All will be well". At that time I was in between jobs, not actively searching for one, using the time to attempt to develop myself.  I think my father practised contemplative prayer or  some kind of praying for answers/guidance prior to engaging in activity. Not being spiritually inclined or the most quiet of persons, most of what he spoke about or said on the whole went through one ear and out the other.  So in memory of the person my father was, here is a  little bit of info on Julian of Norwich and the current times:

The following site actually shows a refurbished shrine and Cell of Lady Julian of Norwich:
http://www.julianofnorwich.org/
Julian of Norwich
Author
Julian of Norwich was an English anchoress who is regarded as one of the most important Christian mystics. She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran churches, but has never beencanonized, or officially beatified, by the Catholic Church, probably because so little is known of her life aside from her writings, including the exact date of her death. There is also scholarly debate as to whether Julian was a nun in a nearby convent, or even a laywoman.
I like the article accessed by the following link which attempts to put some perspective on the life of Julian of Norwich.
http://heroesfoundfaithful.blogspot.com/2010/09/julian-of-norwich.html

Order of Julian of Norwich

Interest
The Order of Julian of Norwich (OJN) is a contemplativecommunity of monks and nuns in the Episcopal Church (Anglican Communion).

History

The Order was founded in Connecticut in 1985, under the inspiration of Fr John Swanson (now known by his religious name, Fr John-Julian OJN). The Episcopal Church formally recognised t...



Photos and additional information is on the following link
http://zanemaser.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/a-god-filled-life-julian-of-norwich/

Other sites devoted to Julian of Norwich:

http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/julian.htm


Luminarium Encyclopedia is a project begun in 2001 to provide historical contexts
for the people, places, and events featured in Luminarium.

The scope of the project is enormous, and the progress slow, but new entries, as well
as new images, are being added almost daily. The intent is to have this encyclopedia
become the Who's Who and What's What in Medieval and Renaissance England.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Every Time I turn around

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXpa0Ef25XQ  Every Time I turn around (Back in Love). This song is put here as part of my past, who am I currently and for all who contributed to the person I am. Play it, laugh, dance, sing, exercise to it and have fun.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Contemplative Spirituality


Every now and then I am reminded that there are many things I know little about and some of my flaws slip out like not being exploratory in my thinking. After all I am still quite happy to believe the bible literally ( would not put much thinking into how the assumption of Mary works, or the ressuraction of Christ), and would never dream to question it. I treat books by Dan Brown such as DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons as good reading because the concepts are well put together. I would never dream to even think about how the Bible was put together, because then my argumentative side would come out and I would state categorically you have no proof, so I do not have to believe you.
So to cut a long story short I am now googling Contemplative Spirtuality and so far I have come across some links which provide real insight into how people think. I am still to decide if I want to read the contents of the links or if as usual I am happy with my thinking. However I will paste them here in case I decide to look into them further to save myself the trouble or to avoid having a reason not to read them:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/contemplativespirituality.htm: This site  covers recent data such as The Gethsemani Encounter 1996 and the Gethsemani Encounter II 2002, and  a book written by the Dalai Lama titled "Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians";
http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1997ii/Caddock.html ~ What is Conteplative Spirituality and why is it dangerous; by John Caddox,Winchester Or. In this page, Mr Caddox mentions Thomas Merton who was my main source on Contemplative Spirituality, not that  I read anything of his, he just looked appealing.
Then there is http://www.shalem.org/index.php/about-us.. Shalem is an associate member of the Washington Theological Consortium. Their page on Contemplative Quotations is quite good actually since it covers a number of saints  who existed at different times and some of their more inspiring quotes. http://www.shalem.org/index.php/resources/quotations. There are quotes from
~Julian of Norwich: Right understanding, with true longing, absolute trust and sweet grace -giving mindfulness. So now I am starting to be biased as I tried meditating using a 30 day guide on Julian of Norwich, All will be well or something of the sort.
~ Catherine of Siena: The secret of Christian cntemplation is that it faces us with Jesus Christ toward our suffering world in loving service and just action. I have heard priests quote Catherine of Siena for a long time
~ Ignatius of Loyola: Finding God in all things. Yep, our priests have been quoting him as well
~ Theresa of Avila: Awareness, absorbed and amazed. "Famous  I think.
~ Francis de Sales: The mind's loving unmixed permanent attention to the things of God.  Heard about him too, never paid much attention to it, sounded like too much suffering.
~  Thomas Merton: Seeing through the exterior things and seeing God in them.
So after all is said and done, maybe I can lovingly accept Contemplative Spirituality if I try to see through exterior things and see God in them. :)  As the song says: " Back in love again," can't remember the names of the singers however I will definitely add a You tube link as soon as possible.
Copyright Jennifer Bailey

O Holy Night - eight versions - worth listening to

O Holy Night: Eight versions through the years, worth listening to.. http://graphics.latimes.com/vignette-o-holy-night-videos/ -

St Theresa of the Little Flower and Christmas

Today I heard a  version of O Come O Come Emmanuel, which was absolutely beautiful. I cried. The song was rendered as part of the meditation after communion at a Mass. Maybe the surroundings were important, as the church was named in honor of St. Theresa of the Little Flower and this was a church where I grew up. 
http://woodbrook.rcpos.org/picture-gallery/ 

I had transferred to the school attached to the church when I was around seven and this was part of my parents' attempt to let me have a good Catholic education complete with praying.  They knew I was not inclined to pray when I woke up, and it was unlikely that I would pray during the day as I was more inclined to play. Running did have its advantages, it was fun and there was a big yard also attached to the school and church. Falling down,  getting bruises on my hands and knees stopped me for long enough until they healed and the knees could move painlessly.  Also the praying part was like an agreement, if I prayed in church every morning, then all will be well. At that time, I understood enough to know when not to ask questions and obey, for their piece of mind at least.

Copyright Jennifer Bailey