New Imagery Prepares You For Christmas

Welcome to this beautiful season as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Infant Jesus.  This new Imagery series emphasizes how our Imagery is often reflected in our waking life as our waking life is reflected in our images. For example, you may see a child at play in your Imagery and within a few hours or days, see a child who reminds you of your image.  Make note of these experiences.   They are synchronicities and play a valuable role in making decisions in your waking life.  They also validate your images and build your confidence as an imager.

Let’s now review the special breathing used for Imagery.  You’ll read or hear the instruction “Close your eyes and breathe out three times.”  The emphasis is on the out-breath, which is a long slow exhalation through slightly open lips followed by a gentle in-breath.  After you complete the instructed number of breaths, usually one or three, return to your natural breathing.  At the end of each exercise you’ll be instructed to “breathe out one time and open your eyes.”  Then sit quietly for a few moments;   additional images may emerge in pictures, sounds, sensations in your body or emotions.  Stay with them as they play out in a few moments.   They’re part of the Imagery experience.   Then continue with the next exercise or return to your regular daily routine.

Note: “Less is more” for Imagery.  Resist any temptation to stay in your images for more than a minute or so.  Think of it as the opposite of meditation where the emphasis is on achieving duration.

Exercise One – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  See, feel, sense and know how Christmas shines in peoples eyes days before the holiday arrives.  Stay calm and allow your images to emerge.  After a few moments, breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few moments before moving on to the next Imagery exercise.

Exercise Two – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  See, feel and sense yourself glancing at a happy child. Know how this child represents the innocent joy we celebrate at Jesus birth.  After a few moments breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few minutes then move on to the next exercise or go back to your daily routine.

Exercise Three – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  See, feel and sense yourself glancing at a person standing reverently before a Christmas Creche.  Know how you’re seeing a demonstrate of faith.  After a few moments, breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few minutes then move on to the next exercise or go back to your daily routine.

Exercise Four – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  See, feel, sense and know yourself glancing at someone engaged in an act of kindness.  Know how you’re witnessing the kindness of Jesus.  After a few moments breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few moments, then move on to the next exercise or go back to your daily routine.

Exercise Five – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  See, feel and sense yourself glancing at your ideal Santa.  Know how you’re witnessing Jesus mirth and generosity.  After a few moments, breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few moments, then move on to the next exercise or go back to your daily routine.

Exercise Six – Close your eyes and breathe out three times.  Feel, sense and see yourself glancing into a mirror. Know you’re seeing the image and likeness of God, a gift of his everlasting love.  Wait a long moment, breathe out one time and open your eyes.  Remain still for a few moments, then move on to the next exercise or go back to your daily routine.

During these days watch for events that recall your imagery during waking life and, if possible write them down.  These may be synchronicities.  You’ll find a blog about synchronicities  listed in the index.

Have a beautiful holiday season.

Blessings, Barbara

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Countering the Five Dark Currents of Will



Barbara Fedoroff


When you aim  to fortify yourself against the Five Dark Currents of the Will, it’s useful to have a regular spiritual practice.  In Blessings of the Cosmos: Wisdom of the Heart from the Aramaic Words of Jesus,  Neil Douglas-Klotz, PhD,  presents us with a ready-made practice based on the  benedictions and beatitudes of Jesus.  What makes this book so special is these sayings are the full English translations of their original Aramaic.  You’ll find yourself easily drawn into the gentle, simple tone as these messages teach us how to live in the world while remaining above the Five Dark Currents.   The tone is of a father speaking to his adult children about navigating through life with an open heart.

Our experience is enhanced with an introduction where Douglas-Klotz fully explains how to use the book and adds Textual Notes with definitions of the Aramaic words.  You’ll also find 20 Body Prayers complete with CD’s  to open our minds, hearts, spirits and souls to messages  enhanced as  the author speaks and chants them.

. THIS IS A PERFECT BOOK FOR AN INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE:                                                       . A CORE CURRICULUM FOR A MEDITATION OR SPIRITUAL STUDY GROUP OR                                                                        . A BEAUTIFUL HOLIDAY GIFT

Order your Blessings of the Cosmos: Wisdom of the Heart from the Aramaic Words of Jesus today from Sounds True at <>   You also can call them toll-free at 800-333-9185.  Make sure to order the version with the CD.

Holiday Blessings, Barbara










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Sexual Abuse Has No Boundaries


Cover-ups of sexual abuse against a thousand children, including altar boys and seminarians, are revealed in a 900-page Philadelphia, Pa. Grand Jury Report.  Their perpetrators include 300 Catholic priests, among them bishops, archbishops and cardinals.  Similar abuses have surfaced in Ireland and Germany.

These follow a flood of sexual abuse and assault allegations made by women against male tv news personalities and executives at the highest ranks in the media and entertainment industries.  Just last week Bill Cosby, famous for his t.v. role as a typical dad, was found guilty and sentenced to prison for drugging and sexually abusing women for decades.

At a recent rally during Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland, a member of the crowd questioned him about repealing the church’s celibacy law for priests as a solution to the child abuse tragedy.  Pope Francis quietly replied there was “more to the problem” than celibacy.  The rash of sexual abuse cases cutting across ages, careers and industries, confirms how correct the Pope is.  Celibacy is not the only cause of sexual abuse.  Its roots run deeper.

Pope Francis has released a letter acknowledging regret over the Vatican’s complacency and minimizing reported allegations.  “We abandoned the children,” he sadly said and asked Catholics around the world to…

“Join Forces Uprooting This Culture of Death”

The “culture of death” the Pope speaks of is described by Valentin Tomberg, noted author of spiritual topics, as the Dark Currents of the Will: the will to greatness and power; the desire to take and keep at the expense of others, and the desire to gain and hold onto at the expense of others.

These characteristics dominate abusers who exercise their will-to-power over their victims; steal their self-worth; destroy their confidence in authority figures; and subject them to years of physical torment and shame to satisfy their own needs at their victim’s expense.  By hiding their actions perpetrators hold onto and even advance their careers at their victims’ expense.

Action Is Needed Now

History shows us how slowly change comes in the Catholic Church.  Efforts to revoke the celibacy law as a solution to child abuse could delay action indefinitely. The Church does have a long-standing commitment to educating and supporting the spiritual life of its laity.  Shedding a light on The Five Dark Currents of the Will; what it feels like when they come into play and how to avoid falling prey to them is a good beginning.  These and other spiritual options will start the healing process of victims, perpetrators and the Church as well as institutions where power-over others is the preferred management style.

Watch for More

This is the first in a series of blogs on this topic.  To follow are Strengthening Ourselves Against the Dark Currents of the Will; Renewing Our Relationship with the Gifts of Faith, Hope and Charity; and Reflections on How Jesus Regained Our Likeness of God at the Crucifixion.  Audio Imagery will be included to aid the healing process.

Blessings, Barbarah


O’Loughlin, Thomas, research scholar in the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute of   Advanced Studies, Celibacy in the Catholic Church, A Brief History

Article,  A Brief History of Celibacy in the Catholic Church Future Church

Article, The True History of Celibacy

Stewart, Dan, (August 27, 2018) Revealed Pennsylvania Church Abuse: A Catalog of Sins. TIME Magazine, page 12

Olmstead, Molly (August 20, 2018) Pope Apologizes for Church Sex Abuse, The Slatist

Tomberg, Valentin, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, (Robert Powell, Translator) Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnum Edition, New York, New York, 2002 (orig. Pub. 1985 Element Books, Limited)

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Barbara Fedoroff

Moses is a key figure in the Evolution of Conscience.  He’s the only person to actually see Yahweh’s presence and led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt.  

In the Old Testament, Exodus, we learn the Israelites had become numerous and powerful in Egypt while under the protection of Jacob’s son Joseph who during a famine acquired all the land in Egypt for the Pharaoh. Then a new Pharaoh came into power who didn’t know Joseph and seeing so many Israelites, took precautions to stop them from dominating the country.

To weaken the Israelites advantage, the Pharaoh assigns them to forced labor under taskmasters instructed to wear them down.  But the harder their lives, the more prolific they are.  The Egyptians respond by increasing the pressure, requiring  the men to fill greater quotas.

During this time, Moses is born to parents captive in the Israelite compound directly across the river from the Pharaoh’s palace, separated by a narrow strip of the Sea of Reeds.  In spite of living a hard life, the Israelite women continue delivering healthy babies and the Pharaoh instructs the midwives to kill all the male infants at birth.  The midwives ignore the command and tell the Pharaoh the hardy Hebrew women give birth before the midwives can get to them.  Soon after, Pharaoh commands all his people to throw every new-born boy into the river, but lets the girls live.

For the first months of Moses life, he is hidden and subdued while his mother and sister Miriam devise a plan to save him.  They often watch as the Pharaoh’s daughter and her handmaidens walk on the promenade across the river from the Israelite community.  When a few months old, they water-proof Moses’ basket, tucking the infant inside and placing it among the reeds at the edge of the sea where the infant’s cries can be heard on the promenade.  Their plan succeeds and Moses is rescued by the Israeli handmaiden accompanying Pharaoh’s daughter. A kind and gentle girl, she feels sorry for the babe and the handmaiden quickly offers to find a nurse to feed the infant. As planned she brings Mose’s mother, who is hired as his nursemaid.

When Moses outgrows babyhood, she brings him to Pharaoh’s daughter who treats him like a son and names him Moses “because I drew him out of the water.”  Moses and his mother remain in the palace until he matures.  There are many contradictions in Moses early life.  He’s exposed to the Israeli ways of his mother and the belief in one true God–as well as the Egyptian way of honoring many false idols.  Although Pharaoh’s daughter delights in the child, she and Moses’ mother fear reprisals from Pharaoh, limiting Moses freedom and discouraging him from making noise.  This manifests as a speech impediment Moses never overcomes, even with Yahweh’s guidance.

One day when seeing a worker beaten for not producing enough bricks for Pharaoh’s many building projects, Moses intercedes but instead of making conditions better they worsened.  On the following day he returns to the work site and kills the Egyptian, hiding him in the sand.  A day later two Israeli’s are fighting and Moses asks the one in the wrong, “What do you mean by hitting your kinsman?”  “Who appointed you,” the man replied, “to be prince over us and judge.  Do you not intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”  Pharaoh hears of this matter and tries putting Moses to death, but Moses flees into Midianite territory.

While sitting on a well he meets the daughters of a Midianite priest being driven from the well by other shepherds.  Moses rushes to their aid and waters their flock.  When the girls return home and tell their father how they finished their chore so quickly, he asks why they didn’t bring Moses home for a meal.  They go back to the well and invite Moses to dinner.  Their father, Ruel, asks Moses to stay on and some time later gives him Zipporah, his daughter, in marriage.  They have a son named Gershom meaning “I am an alien in a foreign land.”  This marriage later becomes an impediment preventing Moses and his family from entering The Promised Land, a place where a pure Jewish bloodline is essential.

Yahweh Calls Upon Moses

As Moses looks after his father-in-laws flocks he leads them to the far side of the desert, coming to Horeb, the mountain of God.  The angel of Yahweh appears to him in a flame from the middle of a bush, but the bush appears not to be burning up.  Curious, Moses heads there.  When Yahweh sees him moving near he calls  “Moses, Moses.”   “Here I am,” Moses replies.  “Come no nearer,” Yahweh says.  “Take off your sandals for the place where you’re standing is holy ground.  I’m the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  At this, Moses covers his face, afraid to look at God.

Yahweh explains how he sees the misery of his people in Egypt and hears them crying out for help.  “I have come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that country to a country rich and broad, a country flowing with milk and honey.  So now I am sending you to Pharaoh, to bring my people, the Israelites out of Egypt.”

“Look, if I go to the Israelites and tell them the God of their ancestors has sent me they’ll ask your name.”  God replies, “I am he who is.  And this is what you are to say to the Israelites.”  This was shocking to Moses.  It’s unclear if Moses is simply shy or if he has a speech impediment caused by being subdued in his childhood to save his life.  For Moses it’s a handicap in the assignment Yahweh envisions for him.   “I am has sent me to you.  Yahweh the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has sent me to you.  This is my name for all time and thus I am to be invoked for all generations to come.”

But Moses continues to resist and Yahweh instructs him to throw the staff he holds on the ground: as Moses does so the staff turns into a snake and Moses recoils.  “Reach out your hand and catch it by the tail.”  Moses catches it, and in his hand it turns into a staff.

Yahweh continues to show Moses what he can accomplish with the staff, and Moses continues to resist telling Yahweh he has never been eloquent, even since Yahweh has spoken to him, believing himself to be slow and hesitant of speech.  Yahweh suggests Moses brother Aaron is a good speaker.  “Here he comes to meet you.  When he sees you his heart will be full  of joy.  You will speak to him and tell him what message to give.  I shall help you speak and him too and instruct you what to do.  You will be as the god inspiring him.  Take this staff in your hand; with this you will perform the signs.

Moses Returns to Egypt

Yahweh lets Moses know when it’s safe to return to Egypt for those who wanted to kill him are dead.  So Moses takes Zipporah and their son Gershom and heads back carrying the staff of God in his hand.  “Think of the wonders I have given you the power to perform once you are back in Egypt.  You are to perform them before Pharaoh but I myself shall make him obstinate and he will not let the people go.   You will them tell Pharaoh “This is what Yahweh says, ‘Israel is my first-born son.  Let my son go and worship me, but since you refuse, I shall put your first-born son to death.”  On the journey when they had stopped for the night, Zipporah takes  a flint, cuts off her son’s foreskin and touches it at his feet saying, “You are my blood-bridegroom” referencing the circumcision.

Yahweh then tells Moses how he will force Pharaoh to let the Israeli’s go with this covenant.  “A mighty hand will force him to let them go, a mighty hand will expel them from his country.” God then passes on to Moses and the Israelites the covenant he had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

           “I am Yahweh.  I shall free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians, rescue you from their slavery and redeem you with outstretched arm and mighty acts of judgement.   I shall take you as my people and I shall be your God.  And you will know I am Yahweh your  God, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.  Then I shall lead you to the country I gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and give it to you as your heritage.”  

Moses repeats this to the Israelites, but they still don’t listen to him.

Moses Meets Aaron In The Desert

Yahweh sends Aaron into the desert to meet Moses and is told all Yahweh said and all the signs he ordered him to perform.  “Aaron then went and gathered the Israelite elders, repeated everything and performed the signs.  The people rejoiced for Yahweh had seen their misery and they bowed to the ground in worship.”

Aaron and Moses go to Pharaoh giving him Yahweh’s demands.  “Let my people go so they can hold a feast in my honor in the desert.”  Pharaoh, knowing nothing of Yahweh, refuses but Aaron persists until they are dismissed for distracting the men from their work.  But Yahweh continues to pressure Pharaoh with signs and Pharaoh responds by sending for the sages and sorcerers who do the same, each throwing their staff down and turning it into serpents.  But Aaron’s staff swallows theirs.  Pharaoh remains obstinate and as Yahweh has foretold refuses to listen.

The First Passover

There are ten plagues before Pharaoh hears Yahweh’s intentions.  Before the last, Yahweh tells Moses and Aaron to gather the people so he can prepare them to leave giving them detailed instructions on the preparation of animals and instructing them to eat a special meal hurriedly as it is a Passover in Yahweh’s honor.  In particular he instructs them to take the blood of the animal they’ ll be eating and put it on both door posts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten with unleavened bread so they will be passed over and escape the destructive plague as Yahweh strikes Egypt.

Yahweh then declares this day as a feast day for all generations, a decree for all time:  Passover.

After this tenth plague, Pharaoh summons Moses and Aaron and instructs them to take the Israelites and leave taking their flocks and herds with them.  The Israelites do as Moses instructs asking the Egyptians for their silver and gold jewelry and clothing without any idea why they would be needed.  Nevertheless, they asked and the Egyptians, seeing them with new respect, readily handed over all they had.











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When the Archangel Gabriel asked Mary for her consent to become the mother of God, he also told how Elizabeth, her cousin in her eighties and barren, conceived and was in her sixth month with a child to be called John. Mary, filled with joy, set out to care for Elizabeth, who lives in the hill country of Judah with her husband Zachariah, a priest.  We learn that Zachariah, at the temple when the Archangel Gabriel gives him the good news, is overcome with fear and refuses to believe it.  When he rejoins his friends outside the Temple, he has lost his speech, and is only making signs.

Mary Arrives To Be With Elizabeth…

…and Elizabeth greets her with great joy, the child within her seeming to understand the significance of the moment.  To Mary she says, “Of all the women you are most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb…Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.  Yes blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” -Luke 1: 43-45

Mary humbly replies “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” Elizabeth’s words of greeting and Mary’s response become two of the most familiar Catholic prayers, the Hail Mary and The Magnificat.  

A son is born to Elizabeth and Zachariah and on the day of his circumcision they were about to call him Zachariah after his father when Elizabeth intercedes “No, he is to be called John.”…Zachariah asks for a tablet and writes.  “His name is John… and all were astonished.”  At that instance, his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God.  All who heard of this wondered “What will this child turn out to be?”

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zachariah speaks a prophesy of his Son “Little child you shall be called Prophet Most High for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for Him; to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins because of the faithful love of our God…” Luke 1: 57-79

John becomes known as John the Baptist.  As the prophesy foretells, he travels through the Jordan area proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, gathering many who become the first followers of Jesus.



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Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas II


John the Baptist: Paving the Way for Jesus

At the time of Mary’s visitation by the Archangel Gabriel, he announced that her cousin Elizabeth, in her eighties and barren, conceived a child to be called John.  Mary, filled with joy, set out to care for Elizabeth who lives in the hill country with her husband Zachariah.  Elizabeth is a descendant of Aaron, a high priest whose lineage can be traced to Noah.

When Mary arrives, she’s greeted with great joy, the child within Elizabeth seeming to realize the significance of the moment.  To Mary she says, “Of all the women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb…”  Mary replies “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”  These words become two of the most familiar prayers in the Catholic Church, the Hail Mary and The Magnificat.

Jesus and John do not meet until thirty years later.  Shortly after, Isaiah delivers this prophesy to Jesus “Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you, prepare your                                                               way before you.   A voice of one who cries in the desert:  Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.” Isaiah 40:30

Isaiah speaks of Jesus cousin John, son of Elizabeth, now known as John the Baptist.  As the prophesy foretells, John travels through the Jordan area proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, paving the way for Jesus.

A Treasure of Qualities to Meditate on During Advent                                          

Yahweh’s patience is infinite; it takes 650 years for these covenants to be fulfilled, reinstating mortals Likeness of God lost at “the Fall.”   

(1) Imagine a God so humble and righteous He remains faithful to His laws for the separation of  kingdoms even when it requires His Son to willingly undergo extraordinary conditions to atone for the sins of mortal beings.

(2) In preparation for Advent, we may reflect on one or more of the qualities expressed by those we’ve met in these Advent blogs.  The Infinite patience of Yahweh; the humility and courage of Mary and Joseph; the possibility of seeking creative solutions through your patience, courage and alignment of your will with Jesus.

(3) Look to the arcs created from the Old Testament to these events marking the beginning of the New Testament, e.g. Abraham asked by Yahweh in the Old Testament to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac arcing to Yahweh asking the Son of God to sacrifice Himself to atone for the sins of mortal beings.                         



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It’s 650 BC. The Prophet Jeremiah sits alone weeping as Yahweh tells him what will occur in 589 BC through the edicts of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon: The city of  Jerusalem is besieged; the Temple burned; and the Tribes of Israel are exiled.  As  Jeremiah laments on these coming tragedies, Yahweh shares this covenant promising to end the repetitious cycles of sin and guilt:

 “The House of Israel will know that true freedom comes with absolution from the transgressions against The Lord.  They will  all know me from the least to the greatest, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sins to mind.  And this shall be the covenant I will make with the House of Israel.  After these days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts.” -Jeremiah 31: The New Covenant (L) 31-34                                                                                                      

Yahweh refers to the time when through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, they and all their progeny lost their Likeness of God and Divine Justice, virtues guiding mortal’s gift of free will toward righteous decisions (true freedom). In this covenant Yahweh, a loving Father, promises to atone these sins, removing them from His children’s memory.

In the writings of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Thomas Aquinas, we learn how this covenant requires a special course of action. At the creation, Yahweh Himself established a strict separation between the mortal and divine kingdoms, preventing His personal involvement in atoning for these sins.

If Yahweh, Himself cannot atone for mortals, how will this New Covenant through the Prophet Jeremiah be fulfilled?

In His Infinite Wisdom and love for the Children of Israel, Yahweh deems it fitting for God the Son to incarnate as a mortal man to atone for the sins of mortals and erase the memory of these sins from their minds.  Yahweh gains the cooperation of the Son of God who consents as Mary and Joseph did.

Extraordinary Plans Are Fulfilled By Extraordinary People…

…Devout, strong, thoughtful Children of Israel are chosen by Yahweh to carry out the plan for Jesus conception, birth and life: The Virgin Mary; her parents Anne and Joachim; her cousin Elizabeth, husband Zechariah and their son, John, who becomes John the Baptist; Mary Magdalene and her family; and many more we  meet as we follow Jesus on his path to bring us to true freedom.   Our focus in this blog is on Jesus’ grandparents and parents.

Anne and Joachim Become The Parents of Mary Through the Intercession of Yahweh

It takes time to prepare a perfect being to become the mother of Jesus, one without the blemish or inclination to sin.  When time moves near for Jesus conception, Yahweh responds to the longing for a child by  an older devout couple and the Holy Spirit intercedes.  Anne was born in Bethlehem, her husband Joachim, a shepherd  from Jerusalem.  The high priest at the temple rejects Joachim’s sheep as offerings for the burnt ritual because he has no children.

Hearing himself ridiculed, Joachim goes into the desert to pray for a child.  After fasting and praying forty days and nights, an angel of the Lord announces he and Ann will have a child they are to name Mary and dedicate to Yahweh at the Temple of Jerusalem. Joachim is over-joyed. His wife Anne receives the same message as she kneels in her garden praying as Joachim does for a child.  She too is filled with joy and gratitude.

Soon after Mary’s birth, Anne and Joachim take their beloved child to the Temple in Jerusalem and as they promised the angel, dedicate her to Yahweh.  Mary spends much of her childhood at the Temple preparing for a life she could not then imagine. When fourteen years old her parents arrange her betrothal to Joseph, a mature man much older than Mary, known to be devout, righteous and just. Joseph is a widow with several children.  As the 25th great grandson of King David, he fulfils the lineage foretold in the covenant of the Prophet Jeremiah.

The Annunciation To Mary And Joseph

Mary continues living in her parents’ home and sits quietly in the garden when the Archangel Gabriel appears announcing “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with thee.” Mary reflects for some time on the angel’s greeting, leading the angel to explain how she was being asked to conceive and bear a son she must call Jesus.  As he awaits Mary’s reply, he remarks how Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin who is in her eighties and barren, has conceived a son to be called John. Mary responds by asking how her conception can come about, since she’s a virgin.  “The Holy Spirit will cover you with its shadow.  And the child will be holy and will be called Son of God…” Gospel of Luke 1:26-48

Understanding the significance, joy, pain and sorrow of what is asked, Mary humbly replies, “You see before you the Lord’s servant.  Let it happen to me as you have said.” Pope Benedict calls Mary’s yes “the moment when God’s will and Mary’s will align and the young virgin is prepared within for what is known as the virginal birth (both a birth through Mary, who is a virgin, and a conception that does not alter her virginity).”

Of Joseph, chosen by Yahweh as the legal father of Jesus, Pope Benedict tells us in The Infancy Narrative “That Joseph received his message of Mary’s pregnancy in a dream, shows us an essential quality of the man.  Only a man inwardly watchful for the divine, only someone with a real sensitivity to God and His ways, can receive God’s message in this way…From the angel’s words Joseph understands the child Mary carries is the Messiah described in the prophesy of Jeremiah many years before, this Messiah coming from the House of David.”

It takes some time for Joseph to work through this.  A man with a reputation for being fair and just, he first considers sparing Mary from scandal by releasing her from their betrothal.  When Yahweh intercedes, Joseph realizes he is essential to establishing Jesus birthright and influencing the child’s upbringing.  Like Mary, Joseph says yes.

The question often asked is “How can Joseph pass his lineage on to Jesus?”  In the legal custom of the time, a man became a child’s legal father when he presented the child at the temple to be named. When Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple for his naming and circumcision ceremonies he receives all the privileges of Joseph’s lineage as one from the House of David.

Next week we’ll introduce Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah and be reminded how the conception of their son John when they were very elderly is also part of Yahweh’s plan for the Son of God to atone for the sins of mortal beings.

Blessings, Barbarah

P.S.  For more preparations for Christmas, go to: Elevating Holiday Tasks to Rituals Posted November 14, 2010 and Advent 2017: Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas II.


The sources used in this blog are: Studying The New Jerusalem Bible, Meditations on the Tarot and Christ and Sophia by Valentin Tomberg with Dr. Gerald Epstein, founder and director of the American Institute for Mental Imagery; Aquinas’s Shorter Summa by Saint Thomas Aquinas; Mary from the Spiritual Theological Series by Pope Benedict XVI; Jesus of Nazareth and The Infancy Narratives by Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI; The Timeline History of the World, Third Millennium Press Limited

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Welcome to Barbara’s Blog

Whether you’ve been preparing for Lent — or have just realized that it’s already Holy Week, the Imagery Exercises in the Blog Booklet for Lent offer an opportunity to connect with the Divine in just a few minutes…

You’ll discover the Audio Imagery Exercises  beginning at Carrying the Cross.   Simply click onto each exercise — or read the whole blog.   Whichever you choose, you’ll link yourself with the energies of this sacred season.

Here’s a reminder for using Audio Imagery:

Find yourself a quiet place where you’re not likely to be interrupted.  Sit in a chair where your back is straight, your feet touching the floor.  Place your hands on your lap or on the arms of the chair, whichever is more comfortable.

(1) Click on the Imagery Exercise.  You’ll be instructed to Close your eyes and breathe out three times. Keep your eyes closed naturally; there’s no need to close them tightly.

(2) Take a long, slow inhalation through your nose just to the point when your chest begins to rise; now let the breath out slowly and gently through your mouth.  Repeat this cycle of breathing three times or whatever number of times is indicated.

(3) Keep your eyes closed, and wait for the Imagery instructions begin.  This is followed by 7-10  seconds of silence, where your eyes remain closed as your Imagery develops.  You’ll experience one or more of these responses: see images, hear sounds, feel body sensations.  Keep your eyes closed until you hear Breathe out one time and open your eyes.

(3) Sit quietly for a few minutes, then resume your regular activities — or go on to the next exercise.   

Some Imagers write down or draw their experience. This isn’t necessary, but will give you a chance to review your Lenten Imagery as a whole before Easter.

Blessings for a sacred season!




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Updated December 2, 2017

“The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and is also the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.

The final days of Advent from December 17 to 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas.”  From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Advent

Here are a few ideas for Advent — simple activities for moving into the true spirit of the season.  The first is a personal memory that warms my heart every time I think of it.

Seeing Jesus In Many Faces

A framed picture of Santa Clause (St. Nicholas) sits on my desk regardless of the season. With his bright smile and sparkling eyes, it still reminds me,  “Yes, there really is a Santa Clause.”  That Santa’s joyful smile and bright eyes are constant reminders of how we look when carrying the gifts of faith, hope and love into the world.   It was a daily reminder from God saying,  “You can make things happen here: I’m present.”  That energy filled our offices with a  joy remarked on by visitors who heard laughter greeting them as they entered.  Laughter is a sign of hearts open to receiving the energy of God’s presence and sharing it with the world.  It was His presence that made us both joyful and successful.

Perhaps you have a favorite Christmas card that reminds you of Christmas all year long.  If not, I recommend discovering one; It brings great joy every time it comes into sight, reminding us how when the Son of God became man, he regained for us our birthright as beings made in the Likeness of God.

For more on this, go to Advent: Preparing Our Spirits for Christmas I and Advent: Preparing Our Spirits for Christmas II.  

Fill your holidays with joy and laughter.  It’s priceless!


Set the Stage by Creating an Advent Wreath

This simple family project can become a weekly reminder that we humbly await the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent Wreath All you need is  a natural evergreen wreath and four candles. Place the wreath on a table and stand the  candles at its center.  The candles may be violet and white or all of either color.  Children love to participate in holiday activities.  Depending on their age, they can help by gathering greens for the wreath, putting it together and placing the candles in holders at the wreath’s center.

On the four Sundays before Christmas (Dec 4, 10, 17 and 24) light the candles, say a short prayer and sing a Christmas carol.  Rituals always have added meaning when refreshments are included.  In the spirit of Advent, these should be simple.  

Caution:  Make sure the candles are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended.  If you have concerns about them, there are “candles” that light without an actual flame, still creating a warm glow. You’ll find  them at most  candle shops.

Creating a Spiral Walk for Adults and Children

Several years ago I shared a beautiful experience with a family who have four daughters.  Their dad built a yurt, a round structure surrounded by temporary walls and a roof to protect people from the weather.  The mom and four girls gathered rocks on their daily walks and marked a path in the shape of an infinity sign inside the yurt.  Guests were invited to join them in “walking the spiral” with lit candles, spreading light out into the world. Those who completed their walk joined those waiting their turn, all humming Silent Night.

Not everyone can undertake such an ambitious activity.   Here are instructions for adults, followed by those for children to participate in this sacred activity without leaving your home.

Note: The open circle is one in which the end point does not meet the beginning, but continues outside of it creating the beginning of a spiral.  The spiral signifies possibilities.

An Imaginal Spiral Walk For Adults:

Have someone slowly read these instructions to you — or record them on your cell phone and play them back, no more than three times a day.

Sit in a comfortable position, feet on the floor, arms in your lap or on the arm rests.  Close your eyes, and breathe out three times (breathing out is a long, slow gentle exhalation through the lips followed by natural breathing.)  With your eyes remaining closed, “See, feel and sense yourself standing at the midpoint of an infinity sign and begin to walk in a counter-clockwise direction.   As you walk, think of something no longer beneficial to your life and let it go.  Continue to imagine yourself walking and when you return to the mid-point, see yourself walking around the remaining loop in a clockwise direction as you see something beneficial come into your life. When you’ve  returned to the mid-point, sit quietly for a minute.  Then breathe out slowly through your mouth one time and open your eyes.

Now for the Children’s Spiral Walk

For children I suggest they walk a single open circle in waking life.  This can be done by tamping down a few inches of snow or marking  the circle with chalk or washable spray paint on a driveway or sidewalk.  Create an entrance/exit in the circle by overlapping the end about a foot above the beginning.  Instruct the children to walk the circle individually, each reaching out their hands and imagining the light of love beaming over the world.  As each child leaves through the open end, have them join the others, as they hum Silent Night.  A hot drink and treat are the perfect ending for this activity.

Children are very creative, so expect to see variations of this.  It’s all perfect in the end.

If you have ideas for Advent/Christmas activities, share them, please.  You can reach me by e-mailing to

Meditate to Enya’s CD And Winter Came, a Classic Released in 2008

This CD is not a collection of traditional carols.  It’s Enya at her best, especially its musical story about the flight of angels on Christmas Eve.  All required of us is to sit back, close our eyes and allow ourselves to be transported by the music.  A wonderful way to hear and sense a bit of what the angels sing on Christmas Eve.

May all the blessings of Christmas shine upon you!


Barbara Fedoroff







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