Sunday, October 11, 2009

Anam Cara + My Brother = Gratitude

It's been an incredible weekend.

To start off, for the first time in several years I met with my "anam cara", Father Jim. Anam Cara is the Celtic term for "soul friend". In the Celtic tradition, an anam cara relationship is sacred, allowing you to awaken your own nature and relish all of your other relationships, including your relationship with God. Your anam cara loves you, cherishes you, accepts you for who you are, and acts as a confessor and confidante. Father Jim had been my spiritual director when I was discerning entering formation to the diaconate back in 2005. We'd developed a sort of anam ccara relationship as he helped guide me through my journey, to better understand my role as husband to my wife and father to my boys, and to help me see the face of God with new eyes.

I'd been stumbling a bit on an old root in the middle of my spiritual path the last couple of weeks (the details of which I will keep to myself for the time being), and my wife nudged me in the direction of re-connecting with Father Jim. We made the the trek out to Setauket to Father's new parish and joined together for about and hour and a half meeting. Jim gave his usual sage advice, listened with a kind, charitable and loving ear, and made me very happy to renew our friendship. I am not out of the woods in reference to my issue- but it feels wonderfully liberating to be headed in a positive direction with a practiced guide.

Then it was time to celebrate - my best friend from childhood had his 40th birthday party at a dare-I-say funky establishment called reBar, located between Jay Street and Pearl Street under the Brooklyn Bridge. Dylan and I have been friends since he moved around the block from me back in 1978. We'd seen each other through the swamp of puberty and high school together, and stood by each other through all manner of personal tragedies and victories over the years. Dylan stood up from me as my Best Man the day my wife and I got married, and our oldest son bears "Dylan" as his middle name. I have always considered Dylan my brother, no matter how our lives have forked away from each other in recent years.

Dylan's wife Wendy set up a beautiful party with all the people Dylan loves - I hadn't seen Dylan's sister Moira since James (now 12) was an infant! We were all reminiscing, laughing, and enjoying our lifelong friendships until the wee hours of the morning. Full of birthday cake, laughter, with our ears ringing from good, loud music, Lori and I made our way home.

To those of you who don't know New York, going from our home in Levittown out on the island to Setauket, out to Brooklyn and back again to Levittown is in the neighborhood of 120 miles. This weekend, it was a trek worthy of any pilgrimage and I thank God for the people in my life today.

God Love You!

Daily Mass Readings
Wisdom 7:7-11
Psalm 90:12-17
Hebrews 4:12-13
Mark 10:17-30

1 comment:

  1. I know I don't often read your blog, but this time, as I was there with you this day, I felt I should. I'm so glad Fr. Jim was able to help you, and the icing on the cake of the day was Dylan's party.