Thursday, November 26, 2009

God is love and His graces always astound me.

Jesus is love and His tenderness uplifts me, as the inner voice after Communion that day reminded a couple weeks ago, Jesus is "my Master, my Savior and my Brother..." Oh my God let me lay down on the cross and lovingly out stretch these hands and place my feet all for love. Love for my Father the Almighty One, for You, for the Holy Spirit! Let me lay down out of love for my brothers and sisters. Let me lay down in love for my blessed Mother Mary... let me do only that which is Thy will dear Holy One for I renounce all that is me and place once again all my trust and love in You for all eternity. I humbly ask You through your beloved Son, Jesus,and Mary, the mother You gave to us all.
Been trying to find a way to describe what these past few months in Canada have been for me in a way all of y'all can understand.. OK in a way even I can understand in normal worldly talk. "Restoration" is a word used at Madonna House using "Rest" and "ora"=prayer and "action"=work to heal the sinner into a state more to that which God intended. These past few months have been very restoring and healing to my being. Once again, especially since coming back home I realize that once again in my life I am enjoying being around people and re-learning the fine art and love of talking and sharing with others face to face. The old desire for isolation is not all encompassing, but being replaced with a balance of both. The need to be surrounded by my brothers and sisters and sharing in their lives and to have quiet time for deeper prayer and silence. This is a healing and more normal balance I have not experienced in over a decade plus.

One cannot be isolated from people unless one truly knows first that one needs to be around people to truly know how glorious God is. This time living in Combermere,thanks be to God, is teaching me I think, how to live again with people and how wonderful people are again. Something so hungered for within my being that I dared to not give it voice to my conscious mind or access often to my heart for the pain of the loneliness was so great within. Yes, there are still some obstacles God has left like my low hearing but as exhausting as it gets sometimes the people are great about accommodating me when I ask for it. I know one thing that went through my thoughts during the time of testing ?, suffering? whatever up there I did crave silence just because I do get tired of always struggling to hear what people are saying. It gets exhausting to always read lips and body language to follow conversations I admit but that is my own personal cross to bear and I will deal with it. But Oh it is so worth the burden, the sacrifice, to laugh and be among others so loving of God!

Surprisingly while there the battles with temptations where few, mainly while on the trip home did I suddenly get slammed with thoughts, etc. that where bothersome. Thanks be to God they faded once home and once I just started praying to our Mother for help. She is an awesome Mother to have, I am so glad Fr P recommended the consecration to Jesus through Mary and that I followed his advice, it just is right and proper to do so. Plus when I prayed about doing the consecration the Holy Spirit again made it obvious it is what He wanted me to do. LOL, gotta love a God who is so kind as to make it simple at times to know what He wants of you! Yeah for the idiot version for fool's who get easily confused!

You dear Jesus, you have called me so loudly through the Holy Spirit through your Mother's loving heart. Please give me the heart of your Mother so I may love you completely, so I may serve your Father without hesitation. Dear Jesus you have not wavered in your calling of me, it is I who wavers, questioning and not trusting completely like I should. You make the path obvious, you make the way clear yet I hesitate using excuses petty and man made to say maybe I am hearing you wrong. But in you all things are possible, nothing is impossible for you for you have the power to move mountains and to save the wretch like me. So again I will pray you give me the grace of faith of a mustard seed. Please let me trust completely in you and do only your loving will for the rest of my days here on earth and forever in the eternal home of your Father if it be your will. Please have mercy on me and hear the prayers of your blessed Mother so my only thought, desire and love is doing Thy will and never my own.

It is so clear within my heart...why do I insist on questioning the obvious?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2 am Ramble...... also Will I die for Him?

(Another Unproofread ramble for your bored surfing pleasure..Pardon the errors!)

What does it mean to live a holy life? To truly live for God?

Hidden from all not wishing to seek any fame for self, to only crave that which pleases the Almighty is my deepest desire.

O what is the reason if not in loving and serving the One who created the life? In thanking the One who first created love? Nothing is worthwhile if not done through of the Holy Trinity, love of the Blessed Mother, love of our self and our brother and sisters all created by our Lord God.

O my God how often I fail you, how often I do not have you as my main thought and focus of the day, yet You who are so merciful and so loving still deign to come to me, to comfort me. My glorious God I could thank you for all eternity for just one second of my life and it would not be enough to rightly glorify Your wondrous grace.

In my misery I call out to You and You always answer, not in how I desire but You wisely answer in what You know I need. How many times my soul ached for my Lord's comfort and it was answered for Your love divine and mysterious is always so much wiser then my petty heart could ever imagine. How humbled am I knowing my sins before me, yet You will forgive even them my Father, My Brother. How humbled am I knowing in my own little way that You are the only thing that matters most, how glad am I to live for You Almighty Holy One...

How happy am I and thankful that You chose to touch me and call me to Your loving ways... for just that moment when my life was forever saved I will always strive to become a saint for the love of You.
....... .........

11:30PM Ramble (Just doesn't have that same ring to it does it?)

Had a wonderful dinner with my favorite and longest friend. I truly enjoy her company and love her dearly. Being with her is like wearing a comfortable old pair of jeans where everything is just and right, no pretenses, no bullshit..just "Hey" and "How are ya doing?" as we catch up on the ever moving evolution of our lives over the last...LOL, waaaayyy too many years! :0)

Coming back home I was drawn to distracting things, the earlier writing was done very early morning Wednesday and now is Wed PM. Sorta allowing myself a brief bit of time to not think but to just let the day simmer unconsciously through the brain and heart I guess. Hey I actually played computer Solitaire-That says enough right there! LOL! Guess I haven't been allowing myself much deep thinking time, with being icky and everything else. Is it that I don't want to give voice to what is in my heart... my deep desires for this life? If it that I fear disappointment, failure or worse rejection? It is partially that I am not completely trusting in Jesus and Mary because I am having a selfish desire for what I want, but then again can't one has a personal dream that would be their ideal while realizing that it is just that? It is so much easier for me to openly say what I don't want then to admit to what I do want...but I know that is my own weakness and scars from the past coming forward. Scars that must be faced, dealt with and rid off.. well until they decide to be thrust back into the forefront again for whatever reason. I give the old emotional and mental scars to Mary with hope and certainty that she will do what she deems best with them for the good of God and for my growth in love with Jesus. Trust, hope, and surrender...all for love of the Divine.

But surrender in the world is a bit precarious...then again no one said love and living for God would be easy.. yes, Job, I know, I just need to glance around my room and there is the crucifix clear, and sharp in His reminding me of sacrifice and love, trust and surrender to the Father's will. That delicate balance between being fully aware of the stain of sins past carried on my soul, and feeling the presence of God within my soul.

God has given me an interesting month to say the least, these past few weeks have encompassed many extremes and not the easiest ones either. Although in a way I guess I am glad, I am not a child and I have lived a hard enough life to know that reality is not simple and a fun party ride. These tough times from physical to emotional have been good tests for me. They forced me to trust in my blessed Mother Mary and to give her everything for her Son and for God. To trust in Mary to ask for whatever lessons I need, to root out the things that displease our God, to trust that She and Jesus are always there even if I am not "feeling" them.

For over a month now the words to the hymn sung at MH has been going through my head "Christ before me, Christ beside me..Christ above me Christ behind me...Christ within me..." yes the words are badly paraphrased but you get the gist of it. For a good while now I have been praying and working on trying to see Christ in all I see and within myself, and to love the God within us all without question. As the time went on I can say it is easier to see the presence of God in us all, it at the same time became harder to see within myself even though intellectually I knew Jesus is here. During Mass and within the areas of holy ground it was easier, especially after the gracious gift of Communion when Jesus was truly present in the Holy Eucharist, then for a brief while all was right and sometimes Jesus would grace me with many special gifts of understanding and reassurances. Humbly and softly in awe I thank God for this loving mercy.

Yes being back place where I am so loved by my family unconditionally, a place where life should bring me much comfort(it does in some ways) and much joy (it does in some ways) at my "home" surrounded by my "stuff" in this world. Here. What are the thoughts lingering just below the surface? That I wish to articulate yet seem to fear articulating them for I am realizing the price. Here...

"Will you die for me?"

A question that has followed me in many incarnations for a long time now. When I heard it interiorly at church a couple weeks ago it took me by surprise but not at first when without hesitating I mentally said "Yes, with Thy graces to support me, yes." After going through those many days of feeling alone even though I knew I was not since I was surrounded by caring people who would do almost anything to help me if I just asked. I knew that period was meant to be experienced on many different levels now. The most basic, human level was to deal with my own issues of white walled past of depression, abandonment, and past pains and injuries. LOL, simple and so hilariously obvious if it wasn't so reminding of the pains of the past at the time I was facing it all again. But there was a beauty in all the mental and emotional anguish of that time around the beginning of the month and end of October. Yes, I said beauty and meant it. Hang on I'll tall ya...

Beauty of the suffering, so sublime yet so interiorly profound at times. Physical suffering to me is one thing but mental, emotional is quite another... both I can 'deal with' but the level with which I was allowed to use this time to meditate and to unite it with Christ's and Mary's suffering was precious. How Mary suffered so much without even a scratch being placed upon her tender skin. How Jesus suffered, we all know how He suffered for love of us. "Will you die for me?" Yes for everyone must die but it is in the living we die for Him. Physical dying is basically easy for we have little choice in the time, way in which we are meant to go and hopefully by that time we might be ready for it. It is in the living death of self that is so very hard. "I live, now not I, but Christ who lives within me."

Easy to say, easy to desire, easy in somethings to do... but not so easy to maintain , live and to continually commit to forever. Yet, it is the only way of life that makes any sense. During those couple weeks of emotional darkness and confusion I was loudly reminded how little worldly things mattered like possessions, pride, even more basic things we take for granted like our friends, food, sanity, and even basic dreams, and hopes. There truly is only one path and only one goal for us all if we so desire it and that is God. This world is meant o be challenging and sacrificial, we are not good people even when we try to do our best..LOL, especially in this age! We have all sinned greatly by the time we even reach adulthood unless blessed or very isolated by our parents. Something most parents do not have the luxury, money, or ability to do given the massive influx of media in all arenas of life in North America, even then unless God graces it so, we are too sullied by sins due our fallen nature. God is kind to give sacrificial suffering, for us to have offerings to unite with His beloved Sons suffering or to give to Him as penance for the sins of the world and our own sins.

Divine Mercy, yes, Divine Mercy.. the reason it is so simple is because we have become such simple, lost people and we are so weak and confused we need a devotion from Jesus so easy we can't forget its basic message. Mercy gave me suffering, mercy saved from from suffering. Mercy opens me to His love, and mercy gives me hope. Mercy is His love raw and beautiful... mercy and love keeps my faith from wavering and my faith that God will always hear our pleas and will always reach out to us. For God loves us little children even with the filth covering us that He will help us and give us no more then we can handle and has our homes waiting with Him when we can finally unite completely with His Divine Love and thank Him, serve Him, and glorify Him and love Him forever and ever.

Will I die for Him? Oh with His grace I sure hope I can and will everyday of my life in this world...with Mother Mary's guidance I sure hope I will in love for all that is God's glory. I know we all have this available for us, no one of us is more special then the other to God, we are all His children loved equally by Him. All we have to do is trust, love and be willing to take that little step towards Him and to ask God for His help through his beloved Son Jesus and through the intercession of Mary.... how can we not make it to sainthood if we all just dare to turn our backs on the worldly things and embrace Divine love and pray for its unity with us. If we just dare to strive for sobornost... O dear Mary pray for us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It is late Monday night and the first day I felt almost healthy, didn't realize how sick I was until I started to feel better. Was either a mild form of the flu or one ass kicking allergy slam. Either way thank you God for pharmaceuticals! Ironic though I sleep better on the bed at MH then I do on mine here at home. LOL, although here I do have to share it with a lovelorn cat.

Being home forces me to be more cognizant of my prayer life, of making my day one of prayer in addition to taking time to have more focused prayer. Also being home has shown me starkly how easily little things distract from prayer and draw one away from God and misdirect the heart. A good meal is a wonderful creature comfort, but I need to remind myself that it is a wonderful gift from God that makes it possible to eat this fine meal and all the people who make it possible are to be thanked and prayed for also. The meal is made special not for the food but for the time I got to spend with my brother, ok the lobster was really yummy. The things that ruled my time before now seem so trivial or almost distasteful even if they were mildly benign, they can be used as tools but not as the sole source of bemusement. All this and more confirms what I had previously thought and prayed about that my time in Canada is for a purpose of training and learning and listening to whatever God desires of me.

Here at home a mirror is being held before me showing many of my weaknesses in the world, that my spiritual growth is still toddling along in its infancy. Nothing really appeals me anymore that use to, I enjoy them but not in the same way. Everything is now being framed within a context of God, and how absent He is in many created things that so many derive pleasure from. One bright spot is the man from class is now officially in RCIA and is even praying and trying to expose his children to the Catholic faith. He thanked me for my help before I left and how he still uses the cds I burned for him of many great EWTN shows and good Catholic speakers. As he said he is finally feeling like he is "coming home". God is kind to let me know I helped another in their journey.

More later as I am still getting the sweats and chills, yeah for Nyquil which is kicking in! I'll expound on some of the earlier themes brought up hopefully tomorrow evening.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This has been an interesting visit home so far... before coming home I had imagined I would be chasing after the things I missed most when at Madonna House living in the dorm. Not so I have discovered, instead I am finding rather a lack of desire for these things previously thought to be creature comforts. Yes, I do admit I enjoy eating more meat not floating in stew and it is nice to listen to music whenever, but besides the initial joy in these things I am finding myself rather indifferent towards them. A nice special treat rather then a "must have" or "want to have". TV is a complete waste of time, I have tried to watch many things and all seem to be either silly wastes of time or else sadly vile in how they convolute the good in this world. No wonder our world seems so lost and confused, but that was no new revelation about the media in the USA.

It has been nice and warm here for the first week, 70s during the day, and the leaves are still falling and the grass green, some roses still blooming and hardy flowers bright and hope filled. So as I look around me at my home and loving family I feel love for them but also within me I feel a detachment from them. There is no longer that fear(?), or dread of leaving them if God so desires... At times I wonder at what the Lord wishes for me to do to serve Him, how He desires me to serve His will, but I have no clue. So instead I just continue praying hopefully to Him that He makes it easy for me to hear, see and follow His will. That I may be like a leaf on His living waters going where ever He desires and allowing me the good grace to never go contrary to His will. LOL, a good challenge knowing myself at times!

It has been 7 days

Glory be to God!!!

It has been 7 days since I have returned to living in the world and what an experience . All I can say is the heaviness of life among people is so overwhelming at times and yet, so blessed. Rarely is it halfway, either I met people who are so open about their love of our Lord or I see the dark and empty lost souls who wander and wonder about the hollowness of life. So interesting how much I miss and crave the life in Combermere, the Mass Lauds and Vespers, people the work, heck even dishes= ahhhh.. altho I guess it shouldn't surprise me so much. So many have commented on how happy I look and how I am "glowing". NOT a term I have ever heard in relation to me. All I can say is that our Lord and our Mother are all to thank for the transformation of this poor soul... what a wonder it is to know how our good Lord loves us and will reach out to touch and help us if we just make that tiny step towards loving and trusting in Him.
I purposefully have taken time and not written anything since being home, mainly because my emotions and mind have been all over the place and yet while I am home, I feel not quite at home. My heart yearns for the daily Mass and gathering for prayers, for that taste of life I have been living the past few months. The last couple weeks before coming home have not been easy ones even in the relative safety of Madonna House, but in my opinion (which can be very wrong I admit for I don't know crap most times, LOL)it was a testing period perhaps? since I made the Consecration to Jesus through Mary many things have been going on in my being. Now how to articulate to y'all? That my friends is the challenge! LOL! Yes, how to explain without sounding totally crazy. So to make it easier for me to try and put down, I am going to jump around since as y'all know I don't go back and edit once written outside of spell check(I heard that!). Sorta work backwards and sideways in time since that is the easiest for me right now to try and make a cohesive narrative in my own lil mind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

draft- too tired to write more

It was the Sunday after my Consecration and the week had been a hard one Oh and blisters that hurt like all get out, ouchers! (whole nother storyline there). It all stemmed from a sentence heard out of context during a spiritual reading after lunch where the line "Jesus can't be on the psychotropic ward". In context the statement was benign and was meant as caring for another that was in a weak state in the book, but it triggered a long meditation within me that lasted for many days. My mind wandered over to how Jesus was definitely on the psych wards, and how he was at his weakest and most vulnerable there in our brothers and sisters. How the extreme loneliness and emotional pain was all united with Jesus' agony from the garden and his 3 years of ministry.

Searching on the backwards, yearning on the white walled halls like Jesus looking for that one person who hears His word. Who loves Him for Him, who will lovingly listen as He speaks... that aching desire for the one who will love Him for who He is. Darkened wards filled with the abandoned by those who do not wish to make that leap of faith and hope to stand by the person lost within the whitewall wards. Abandonment, rejection, time stands still within the psychwards. The patients tending to be more aware then most normal people of the misery and pain of the human condition because they have the time and emotional sensitivity to witness it more fully, and have experienced the world's cruelty due their conditions that drove them to the psychwards. And no one will stay awake with them that is not paid to stay with them. Loneliness so profound and deep a knife scrapping bone would be more merciful to one locked within the echoing walls. Yes, Christ cries on the psychotropic wards, His heart aching for the people there and the rare mercies shown by the loving few.

This meditation would not leave my heart or mind and instead grew as I begged Mary to never let me abandon our Lord in His darkest hour of the Garden, to please in some tiny way let me show Him I love Him, I wish to somehow ease His suffering as He took on our sins that dark, cold night alone as His closest friends slept as He prayed, to never let me ever stray or abandon Him again. So I guess my prayer was answered as for the next week I felt a level of abandonment, loneliness, sadness and rejection like I hadn't felt before. Different tho from those dark days of depression I suffered in the past- that was the part that at first puzzled me for the suffering was there but the despair was not for I knew that Jesus and Mary were there with me even if I could not actually "feel" them. None of this derived from the people around me who were as always loving and kind and warm and who saw something was going on inside me.

What a grace for instead of allowing these feelings to get me down I was allowed to unite them and understand more organically the isolation and sorrow our Lord felt. During this time my prayers were much deeper and stronger as only suffering can bring about in us fickle humans usually. Looking at the people around me I could feel more easily the emotions they held just below the surface and it became almost painful to meet another's eyes for either their emotions would come into me and I felt that a violation of acceptable trust among people in community living. Or there are some who I just could not meet their eyes for I knew they would probably know that something was going on in me and how would I explain it when everything was so raw feeling, yet unlike anything I had felt before? Even at such a quiet place filled with so many loving people with a common goal of loving God as much and as best as possible the feelings were too much to bear, I wondered how am I going to manage if this keeps up when I leave blessed ground and focused, loving people? LOL, never fear our Lord is way ahead of silly thoughts running through my tiny head!

Consolation, reprieve call it what ya will, but thanks to God and the wonderful people around me there were beautiful islands of relief through laughter or quiet gentleness. The guys would make me laugh, even during Mass where one Mass it was all I could do to not laugh out loud. My body decided it was tired and in too much pain and lack of sleep which brought out my slightly bitchy side, gulp, hey I am human. LOL! So I got some change up in work assignments, which helped make things easier to bear. The biggest was during Mass especially right after Communion and having Jesus there close and tender, how to tell this without seeming crazy or something? It all came to an end after the Mass when I heard a blunt statement "Will you die for me?"

"Will you die for me?"

Now that is something that one does not hear interiorly at Mass too often, well not me anyway.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Combermere up in Canada-land

Combermere up in Canada-land... these past 3 and a half months living with the Madonna House people immersed in their spiritual way of life has had a profound effect upon me. Not just on my spiritual self but on my whole person. Restoration, it is a place that heals the whole person in many ways through loving our gracious God and through entrusting ourselves to blessed Mary's guidance. How to explain this way of living to you who have never been there? How to tell a story that still unfolds its chapters in ways subtle yet profound within my being? Grace of our Holy Father, our Savior Jesus and our Advocate the Holy Spirit all with the intercession of Mary is the only way to explain all of this... that our great and glorious God takes each one of us and works miracles within our hearts every moment of everyday if we just open our hearts and allow Him.

Today I actually slept late, didn't have to get up at 6:45amish and am still sitting around in the pjs enjoying the warmer weather and an icy cold Dr Pepper, but my heart was missing the morning lauds so I prayed them thanks to the online site that has them. Interesting how one can feel the difference of the world around them. How at the MH training center the people are all directed with the same goal, serving and loving God. Here in the world you can feel the lack of direction the lost souls wandering, wondering, searching yet not seeing. How sad... how very sad. Is this how Jesus and the disciples felt as they preached through the crowds, walked through the towns and cities some 2000 years ago? The emotional flurry of such anger, sadness, despair, confusion that encompasses so many around me out here in the world is almost too painful to bear. I just want to reach out and say there is a way out of your misery there is a true love out here you can reach for and who will love you back... alas, so few will listen and I have no talent for that yet as I am still learning so much.

Around so many good, holy, striving men and women at MH in Combermere who have spent decades living a simple life of prayer, work, service to our God makes me humble. I am but a wee child among grown ups in the spiritual life, the joy on their faces even when exhausted is always present. The love they give to everyone always there among this group of eclectic, totally unique people. The personalities so diverse but all with one thing in common, their love of Christ our Lord and the Christ within everyone they meet. So you learn by immersion into the way of spiritual life at Madonna House, working, praying, laughing, resting together. Since being there I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary according to St Louis DeMontfort. A 33 day period of prayer leading to a public declaration that from that day forward all of me is Mary's to be entrusted in her blessed hands and heart to give to Jesus. More on that later, but it has opened a gateway to where I feel even more graces are being given me to use for the love of God.