A Thousand Reasons to Love Salt

Salt used to be rare. Gold was even exchanged for it.

One day, while visiting the Adam Thoroughgood House, built around 1680 to 1720, the tour guide showed us a saltbox. (Several styles exist, and the colonial-style saltbox house resembles one of these containers.) This particular replica was a wooden box with a lock, and it made a beautiful table display.

But how many of us value salt now – or even know its history? Something that seems insignificant is worth more than we realize. It’s old and has many stories to tell. But we shove a cardboard container of it (hopefully iodized sea salt) up on the shelf somewhere, not giving it much consideration unless we have to use it for a recipe. Or, if we think about it, we’ll sprinkle it on slick winter sidewalks to melt the ice. If you really get to know this mineral, you’ll find a thousand reasons to love it, just like baking soda and vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

Salt is a lot like people. Specifically, salt is a lot like people who have been on this planet for many years. Like salt, though, they’re often seen as expendable, insignificant, and are often forgotten about.

Maybe it’s a good time to go through the cabinets and take inventory. After all, it is springtime. It’s a good season for healthful changes. Maybe by really considering all items on our shelves – and all people our culture says aren’t worth much — we’ll discover new ways to appreciate them in our lives and, consequently, our hearts…

Beautiful Royal-Wedding Homily

Loved the royal wedding today. And I’m not much of a wedding person. I’d rather elope — maybe to some castle somewhere, what the heck — but with the dress, the flowers, the candles, and the cake — and then have a big reception for family and friends. I’d talk more about this subject, but I’m too tired. It’s been a long day. But how wonderful to have a royal wedding break into the news all day long. Something joyful for a change, in the middle of a lot of heartache all over the world. Tomorrow the news will go back to mostly the seriousness of life, and rightly so, leaving us to find the joyful moments in our own worlds. But today, this was a time to celebrate the union of two people who happen to live a little differently than most of us. But the commonality is love… I thought today’s ceremony was joyful and intimate in spite of the grandness of it all. And I especially loved the beautiful words from the wedding homily by Dr. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London:

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day!

It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.

A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.

In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life. It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century.

We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom.

Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase: “Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.” As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life.

This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light.

This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practise and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life.

And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen, that way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day: God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen. “

(The text is courtesy of HelloMagazine.com:

We’re All In Process…

We’re all in the process of growing and changing and developing into the human beings we were born to be. And we’ll keep progressing if we’re willing to go through the good times and the challenging times… Never give up… The operative word is through. If you let Him, God will take you through and out of those challenges, and you’ll emerge stronger and more compassionate, able to help someone else. Life always changes. If it’s difficult now, it will get better. He won’t abandon you; He won’t let you stay stuck in the middle of it all. Even though the season may last for a while, it won’t be forever. Change is the nature of life. Here’s a time-lapse video of the butterfly’s process… Great analogy…

Ginger Egg Salad

What to do with those hard-boiled eggs from Easter… Make ginger egg-salad sandwiches. When I wasn’t a vegetarian, a friend shared a recipe for chicken salad that used ground ginger. This spice is also great for egg salad. I don’t use a recipe, so just experiment until you get the flavor that suits you. Mix chopped-up boiled eggs with a bit of organic mayo, a little mustard and ground ginger. Then add chopped-up onions and walnuts, along with organic pickle relish. Place on organic spinach leaves inside a pretzel roll.