Monday, January 31, 2011

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity
No Greater Love
"The man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him... but he told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."

We have been called to love the world. And God loved the world so much that he gave Jesus to it (Jn 3,16). Today, he loves the world so much that he gives you and me to the world to be his love, his compassion and his presence through our lives of prayer, sacrifice and self-surrender. The response that God is waiting for from you is to become a contemplative, to be a contemplative.

Let us take Jesus at his word and we will be contemplatives at the heart of the world, because if we have faith then we are his permanent presence. In contemplation the soul draws directly from God's heart the graces that the active life has been entrusted to distribute. Our very existence is to be intimately bound to the living Christ within us. If we do not live in God's presence, we cannot keep going.

What is contemplation? It is to live the life of Jesus. That is how I understand it. To love Jesus; living his life at the heart of our own; living our own at the heart of his... Contemplation has nothing to do with shutting oneself up in a dark cupboard but in allowing Jesus to live his Passion, his love and his humility in us, to pray with us, to be with us and to make holy through us. Our lives and our contemplation are one. It's not a question of doing but of being. In fact it is about the complete happiness of our spirit through the Holy Spirit who breathes God's fullness into us and send us out into all creation as his own, personal message of love (Mk 16,15).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In between warm and cold, nature's pause over all; our breath we hold..

Been a long week, a time that makes me fight from the marrow.  Fighting the thoughts, fighting the want to let my weaker self just say "F it all, I'm tired"  But I am battling the impulse, battling the temptation instead I blindly reach for that hope of better things, better times if not here, then after.  Reaching and leaning on our Blessed Mother, talking with my light that leads and shapes all towards her Son Jesus.  I talk to her as Mother, I talk with her as friend.  She knows..she knows.  It is not that I fear the future, it is that I fear my weakness.  It is one of the few times that the wondering and the struggle gets hard and tiring, the path gets lonely.  But that is fine, it is nothing a mere pittance I can offer and unite to Jesus' walk in this world.

Keep looking for volunteer work, but nothing stands out, yet so many in need.  Look for work, but so many others in greater need, I have more then I need or want in this physical world. After I get this dental work done I'll just jump into something, anything and make the most of it. Still have the urge to make that one statue, maybe now is a good time to try and shape it outside this mind's eye?  What do you think Mama Mary?  Through pain and suffering a light shines, maybe not seen by the one offering but somewhere someone is benefiting the glow of the Lord's merciful love.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican at Strasbourg
Sermon 71, for the Feast of All Saints
"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted"

«When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain... he began to teach them, saying...» The mountain that Jesus climbed was his own happiness and essence in which he is one with his Father. He was followed by a great crowd, which is the crowd of saints whose feast we celebrate today. All of them followed him according to the vocation to which God called them. We are to imitate them in this, each of us paying attention to our own vocation before all else so as to be certain of that to which God calls us and thus following his call...

When he was on the mountain, Jesus opened his mouth to teach the eight beatitudes... «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.» In the first place comes the question of the virtue of spiritual poverty since this is the beginning and foundation of all perfection. Consider the question from all sides and it is always a matter of man's deepest self being stripped, detached, free, poor and released from every kind of self-interest if God is truly to accomplish his work within it. It must be set free from every kind of attachment for only then will God find himself at home there...

«Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land» for all eternity. Here we take another step forward since if, by means of genuine poverty we are set free from hindrances, with meekness we advance further into the very depths, casting out all bitterness, irritation and imprudence... For the meek nothing is bitter, as for those who are good everything for them is likewise good: all this comes from the goodness and purity of their innermost self... The meek inherit the land by remaining peaceful whatever happens. But if you don't behave like this then you will lose both virtue and peace at the same time and it might be said of you that you are a grumbler and to be compared to a barking dog.

«Blessed are they who mourn...» Who are these people who mourn? In a certain sense they are people who suffer, but in another sense they are those who mourn their sins. But God's worthy friends, who in every respect are the happiest of all, no longer mourn their sins... even though they are not without tears: they mourn the sins and faults of their neighbor... Thus it is that the true friends of God mourn because of the blindness and wretchedness of the sins of the world.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Over the last14 months I have traveled from my happiest to my lowest, happiest when I said "Yes" internally.  Lowest when the roads that lead to a "yes" were filled with "no's"... It's ok because it forces me to surrender and to look at myself more plainly, honestly. To discern hopefully maybe better what I am to be in this weird life and odd world.  The wretchedness of my being, my thoughts, my behavior... the beauty of what the Lord has given me.
  "All for Jesus.  All for Jesus.  All for Jesus."  Mother Teresa of Calcutta..... what more can be said?
Today's Gospel reading is a good timely reminder for me right now.  Due to many factors swirling around it seems a struggle to remain focused on the light.  Over and over I need to remind my self,,,trust in Jesus, he is with you even if he seems asleep in the boat.  Trust no matter what the world throws at me, trust he will lead me to wherever, whatever he wants me.  Let not fear enter into my heart no matter how whispered... Trust has been the overarching stronghold of this past year.  Trust is all I have had at times as I try with the Lord's help to overcome my weaknesses, my woundedness, my occasional desire to..what?  Give up?  Give up to what though?  There is no choice, there is no option that sings of truth and hope.  Trust and try, be silent and listen, pray and give thanks..all I can do, all I can hold on to sometimes.  Pray for me and I do pray for you altho we are unknown to each other we are known by our bound of brother and sisterhood with our loving Triune God.
In light of today's Scripture readings, Fr. Bob's Prayer is:
You seem like a contractor and builder, Holy Wisdom. You are designing and making the home for Your people. Like Abraham and Sarah, we search and journey. We feel like strangers and foreigners in a land not yet Yours. Continue to use us as the living stones of Your Temple of Justice. Teach us to live with the feelings of exile so that we work more humbly and boldly for the creation of the city You are building for us. We get scared in the turmoil and squalls of life. Sometimes, you seem to be sleeping. Help us to trust in your presence, when we are ungrounded and seasick in the storms of our lives. Jesus, calm the winds! We are in awe of your creative power, even when we are afraid. Help us to believe that we are not alone!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grey, a color so filled with all the hues of  light... today  all seems brown.  (Color theory students will appreciate this statement.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MercyMe - Beautiful

O come my Savior, come my Hope

Enter into this heart of mine and make me clean, transform my being.
Yours alone is all I desire, rend from me everything and all that displeases and hinders Your Grace from filling this vessel. Humble this daughter smaller and smaller.  Dear Father I know You desire me and all people to be saints, please have mercy on this lowly one before You and lift me up into the person You made me to be, so Thy Will can be done here and for all eternity.   You have the power, the love and the mercy Dear Jesus, unite me with you, show me the way.

To see into others things that ought not be seen is an interesting and heavy way to live.

Had a sudden urge this evening to put bird seed in the feeders after 10pm.  Went into the snowy night food in hand, and a poor little wren was trapped under the plastic wall that holds the seed.  Had to be there at least 4-5 hours.  Scared me at first I thought it was dead, lifted the plastic and the birds neck was stuck on the edge of the plastic and his poor exhausted body went up with the plastic wall.  Tried instinctively to lightly tug him away from the plastic but he was stuck, he fluttered his wings a couple times, poor little heart pounding. It was too dark to tell if it had cut into his neck.

Praying quickly as my heart broke over this innocent creature's suffering, asking my Guardian Angel and St Martin De Porres to please pray to Jesus for help and if the bird must die or suffer to please make it quick for they should not suffer needlessly.  Raised the clear wall a wee lil bit and was ready to reach in and tug harder when the lil thing gave a weak lil tweat and suddenly he was free and flew off toward the garage.  What a joy at how our Lord hears our prayers for this little bird!  I thanked God and Jesus and thanked my Angel and St Martin for their prayer.  Feed the birds and put some fresh good food down near where the bird flew for I know it had to be cold and hungry. I pray he lives a normal life, but if it was too much for him and he must die I know our Lord will make it fast and not let him suffer anymore.

God comes to us in little ways through his creatures great and small.  His love surrounds us in his most tender of creations, His love given to us- all of us every bird his treasured joy, every human his child, every tree a palette of grace.  On and on everything we see made by His love a gift for us who just need to reside in this moment and see Him.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Epiphany word for the year: Dance

OK, I must admit when I first got it, I had to chuckle for my mind went immediately to the world's definition of "dance".  Needless to say the mental image of me getting up and boogie-ing down was rather humorous.  And my brother's response slightly tongue-in-cheek was also funny, saying that now I have to go out to the clubs with him. Yet, I was brought out of my momentary giggle-fest and reminded kindly by someone I was giving a ride to that dance does have a bigger and deeper meaning.  OK, then I know that and hadn't really taken the time to truly meditate upon it in the context of what does "dance" have to do with God and what is He wanting me to learn from this most curious word?


Friday, January 7, 2011

New year, new beginnings....The Advent/ Christmas season comes to a close and back to ordinary time until Lent.  Introspection ticks through the mind filling me with a curious wonder of what the year may hold.

Few things are on the list of things I desire, and of those all are not bought, or traded things.  No, the things I desire cannot be obtained by me but demand a trust in Jesus that He will guide and help me see their possible fruition.  The crux being will I see the sign, hear that silent whisper showing the way?  Will my "self" get in the way and drown me in cacophonous waves of selfish distractions missing the Spirit's inspiration?  Lately it seems that all is askew, a silent chaos that thrusts me back down to my knees and make my entire being cry Heavenward for help, I cannot do this on my own. 

How to end all this, what will the path be this year dear Beloved?  Will you give me the grace to follow and hear your gentle call?  Love, love, all I crave is your love and to do your will.  You gave me gifts so sweet and special, how may I use them in service to you?

Sigh, nobody ever said life would be fun and easy. Trust, trust, trust.
"Who is this?"