Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Case In Point

How timely of this to appear on Facebook after my latest post.  So, what do you think?  Sacrilegious because it's not in the proper building, with the proper vestments, furniture, etc?  I think not.  I think it is even more sacred, due to the circumstances.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Form and Substance

Outdoor altar at the Memorial to the Unborn, St. Germaine's Catholic Church, Prescott Valley, AZ
There is a lot of contention these days about the particular form of things.  What words should be used in the prayers of the Mass.  What gestures should be made.  How we should place the furniture (ie., altar, tabernacle, pews, etc.).  These are all superficialities.  I would gladly attend Mass out in a parking lot, with a tailgate for an altar, and the priest wearing makeshift vestments.  I am more concerned about the substance of my faith. The Holy Eucharist.  The Word of God.  The Homily that touches my heart and gives me new insight, inspiration, or at least food for thought.

The only things I want to concern myself with are - am I ready to receive Jesus into my heart?  Am I trying to live the kind of life He would have me live?  Am I too attached to property, prestige and power in my life? Just give me the Mass, Holy Communion and the Word.  I hate having my faith chopped up by fellow believers who want to nitpick over fluff and stuff.  Who buy into slanders against and focus on the imperfections of our leaders.  Who want to feel superior because they use a certain form of practice which will get them into heaven, while the rest of us roast, simply because we do not subscribe to their "form".  I could well be wrong, but I believe that God will judge on more of what is in our hearts and how we treat others.

I certainly don't mean that form is not at all important.  I am simply of the opinion that there is a committee of guys in red hats who get paid the big bucks to worry about all that stuff.  Whatever they decide for the moment on format, is not going to impact whether I stay or leave the church.  The substance of our faith is, has and always will be the Word of God, and the Body and Blood of Christ.  As long as that continues, we're good.  Don't get distracted by the side show.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Clover Spring Trail, Williams, AZ

Turn off from Bill Williams Lookout Trail

Took the Li'l Guy up to Williams (AZ) the other day, for some hiking.  We stopped at the Williams District Ranger Station, off Interstate 40, exit 161.  The office was closed, as it was a Saturday, but the trail head was open.  In spite of there being five other vehicles parked, we didn't encounter anyone on our trail until we were nearly back to our car.

Clover Spring Trail Map

The trail to Clover Spring starts at the Williams Ranger Station.  You can also start from Buckskinner Park in Williams, or Sheridan St. downtown.  From the Ranger Station, take the Bill Williams Mountain Trail, #21, for about 1/4 mile, then make a left onto the Clover Spring Trail, #46.  That's your turnoff sign, pictured above.  The 3/4 mile trail meanders through ponderosa pines, oaks, and rare alligator junipers.

The trail is easy, with just a few rock steps set into the path, but it showed me how quickly I can get out of shape.  Even my hiking boots felt heavy!  Note to self - do NOT wear tight denim skirt for hiking - full skirt is a must.  It feels so wonderful to be back in the pines after 4-1/2 months in the city.   Up near the spring, we startled a young deer and enjoyed the sight of it bounding away.

Clover Spring
Clover Spring is a natural spring, once used for domestic purposes, but now only safe for wildlife.  Bring your water purifier if you want to drink!  The water level was almost a foot below the drip pipe when we were there, and didn't look too appealing.

The return trip was all downhill.  Lots of big rocks for young-uns to climb, and side attractions for them to explore.  We were out early enough to hear the Grand Canyon Railway down in Williams blast its farewell for its daily run up to the canyon.

If you want a longer hike, you can continue past Clover Spring to Buckskinner Park - bring your picnic - or take the loop back to the junction with Trail #124, City of Williams Link Trail, and explore downtown Williams.  There are several great restaurants and lots of shops offering everything from Indian jewelry to custom leatherwork to Route 66 souvenirs.  When you're ready to go back to your car, take Trail #124 back to #46 and end up at the Ranger Station.