Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Prayer for 2018

I wrote a prayer for 2018.  I want to post it here for my own sake, so I can look back at the great grace Jesus allows me to experience at times.  This one is not grand, but quite simple.  I long for healing and am so grateful for Christ's consolation in my hard times.

Jan 1, 2018
Prayer for 2018

Lord, from You comes all consolation.
Lord, from You comes all joy.
Lord, allow me to receive this consolation you
Have set aside for me.
Allow me to receive the joy you have created for me.
Guide me as I wait.
Grant me the grace I need to do Your will.
You are the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.
Father God, Holy Spirit, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Hear my prayer. Amen.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Consolation of Jesus

I have wanted to write about the consolation of Jesus for months now.  This draft has been sitting in my saved box for a while.  I don't think it can be described in one small reflection.  I can say that I cannot write well about it, because I have not sought healing for long enough in my prayers. 

If I could describe the consolation of Christ, I might describe it as the relationship of Christ married to the Body of the Church.  In both His divinity and humanity He has united himself to our failure and success in love and selflessness.  Jesus is master of both as he honors this great marriage and never forsakes it.  Therefore, as a believer, how do I go about the great task of consoling the Sacred Heart of Jesus when He consoles my own?

It's so laughable, impossible even to think of doing any good that would impact the gracious, merciful heart of such a God.  That is the flaw in my thinking though, because every act or movement toward love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is just the act He longs for.

Consider a God that unlike all before, acts in total disregard for His pride and admiration.  In fact, with every act of Jesus, he gives some warning of the lack of faith that man will have in his divinity.  Christ leaves very few men and even fewer lowly women as His believers.  He then leaves not on a fiery chariot, but on a cross of utter devastation for those who had a smidgeon of belief.

In failure, we rise if we are ready.  One of my favorite meditations is on the road to Emmaus.  the disciples downtrodden and moving away from what lay behind.  Christ always walks among us.  He guides and leads and teaches in this small way of walking with those disciples on that road. 

After such trial and horror of the crucifixion, horror because a great, joyful hope of a long awaited savior has been seemingly crushed, here on a dirt road Jesus gently coaxes faith, hope and love into the hearts of men.

So what can I do to join in His sacrifice to bring more love into this great cacophony that is the world?  I think I can continue to look on my deeds and words for what I am bringing to the table. I would ask myself these questions: Is what I am doing fulfilling the vocation God wants for me?  Are the words I speak purposeful and loving and/or kind?  Am I contemplating the consolation that Christ offers and accepting that forgiveness as well?

As in the marriage of Christ to the Church, this Christian vow we take as we honor His sacrifice each Easter holiday, is a great call to glorify Christ and console His heart in our very act of loving others.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Great Implosion of a Dream

    This summer my dream of becoming a chemical engineer died.  My dream of becoming any kind of engineer died.  Though I prayed for supernatural understanding, which I believed I received, I still couldn't think quick enough to pass the 50 minute tests that were given. 

    It seemed like a real crap shoot and honestly I'm still upset about it.  It's something I really cared about but it wasn't meant to be.  I gained math and chemistry credits which I am pleased with, but I wish I could have gone farther.  Most of the kids in college either do exceptional or take classes over and over.  I didn't think that was a wise thing to do at my age and with my temperament.

     I happened upon a fantastic job opportunity teaching math to elementary students.  I loved teaching math to 5th and 6th grade before.  Even though I did not intend to go back into teaching, the school is a diamond in the rough.  My greatest worry is that the children won't like me.  I had been teaching the rough sort of students for a long while.  I don't think people like me generally because they like to tell me often what I do wrong.  Even though I know I talk too much, or am overly friendly, at least I love people.

   So I had been feeling like an idiot for a long, long time because I couldn't seem to be successful even when I quit my job and spent all night studying.  Now I get to feel like an idiot and a failure for not being fast thinking enough to pass technical classes.  It's okay I guess.  I am hoping I am able to teach the children the critical thinking skills they need to be whatever they want when they grow up, whether they like me or not.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows references the sufferings of Mary the Mother of Jesus.  The sorrows are 1. The prophecy of Simeon 2. The Flight into Egypt 3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple 4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way to the Cross 5. The Crucifixion 6. The Taking Down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross 7. The Burial of Jesus

If you ever feel empty either from despair or doubt, pray the seven sorrows rosary and contemplate each of the mysteries.  Even though emptiness is difficult burden, Our Lady felt the sorrows greater than we can know.  Knowing her son was God, she wept and travelled both sorrowfully and with understanding that humanity needed a Savior Jesus Christ.

At the conclusion of each sorrow I pray that a fire of love would burn a space for more of Jesus in your heart and soul.  Consideration of Jesus Christ must be always first in your mind.  Christ can fill the empty parts of your soul, which in turn makes room for all those that He loves and desires you to love as well.  With love, will come healing.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Sense of Failure

The times that I experience or think about my failures are always preempted by a lack of prayer. I am the first to admit this because thankfully through prayer it has been revealed to me.  But I am human, therefore the wages of sin rear their ugly heads in the form of doubt, fear and sadness.

Some of my failures are very real, but maybe not as mountainous as they seem. Most times a fear of an assumed failure is only a subversion from God's divine plan. I was trying to describe the building up of prayer in one of my earlier posts, but I don't think I was able to express it.

Here is another go...When the fear or doubt weighs upon your mind and soul and sometimes the body as well, a buildup and continuous dose of prayer is the preparation and the remedy. Think on the way the human cell thrives. In a healthy body the cell will be able to combat and consume unhealthy cells.  This regeneration comes from the wellness of the original cell.  The same cell that has benefitted from the carrots and proteins and free radical consuming goodies you have eaten.

Think on prayer in the same way. It cannot be denied that memorized prayer, meditative prayer or a random discussion with God in all its forms, is a benefit to the body, mind , and soul.  Much less a greater love engendered by such a consideration of one who loves.

When the steady sense of failure or the actual failure occurs, there are two options. One is to dwell in fear and struggle to move forward.  The second is to bound with leaps as in a race from a leopard toward prayer.  The stores of prayer can then rush from the sylo as grains collected together to overcome all doubt and fear.  Imagine all of your small prayers as grains of rice or seed. So small, yet so powerful all together.  Imagine then, that in that moment of realization, you pour more rice upon what has already been stored to overtake completely the doubt.

Prayer does change you. Because your interactions with what and who are around you start to be centered on the good of God's plan. These days there are still times, almost daily, when I feel unwanted, not smart enough, not friendly enough or whatever.  I just go to prayer.  These ill thoughts are sometimes because I haven't considered God's love yet today because of tiredness or forgetfulness.  But my stores of grace lead me to pray and hope past the failures both big and small.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Great Silence

Robert Cardinal Sarah's book The Power of Silence is like stepping back in time and rereading the profound encyclicals of Pope Saint John Paul II.  Words describing the essence of silence include adverbial suffixes like imperceptibly and noiselessly. He says "Silence is not an absence." Thought 12

Turning common place ideas on their head is the work of Jesus Christ.  It is so simple a concept when we are in fact surrounded by grand mechanisms and machines of God the Creator that miraculously coexist to create in minutia in silence. What a clanging chorus of grace!

With only the above quote, I have already noted the abundant grace of Hope that may come from those words. The formation of answered prayers underlies silence. When we see a week or a years time as too long to wait for an answer from a God who formed the oceans over millions of years, silence is not absence.

We often say God is within us as we are made in His image. Our building blocks chemically change ingredients of life through mitochondrial machines weaving new DNA and cells. Silence still is not and absence.

How glorious that our God moves in a way counter to humanity's noisy intentions. Where there is silence, there is the ever constant glory of God.

Read The Power of Silence if you think you are ready. It will be a great blessing to you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Comfort in the Rosary

Growing up, we had a small clock on the living room fireplace that had to be wound by hand on a regular basis.  I liked watching my dad wind it.  I liked the sound so much so that when I couldn't sleep, I would go to that room and the ticking would help me sleep on the couch nearby.

I like to have a ticking clock that I can listen to, to this day.  It is a symbol of time passing but also gives me a sense of comfort.
I often find the same comfort in the rosary. When I was younger we were not actively going to church, but the rosary was discussed in my household.  Both of my grandmother's prayed the rosary. One was Roman Catholic and the other High Episcopalian. I have often spoken here of how my mother encouraged me to ask 'Sweet Mary' for help with bad dreams and worries. I know the rosary comforted both of my grandmother's as they approached the end of their lives.

The rosary is very much like a ticking clock in the steady pace and regularity of the prayer itself.  For a prayer so simple, there is so much gained on the meditation of the mysteries of the rosary.  Insight given is truly a work of the Holy Ghost who allows as much grace as we need.

Sometimes I pray the rosary with intent for others, intent for myself or for the needs of souls.  Mostly I find myself praying in reparation and thanksgiving these days.  Even when all else fails, there is the rosary.  I think of the great saints who were quarantined off from others and how they had the rosary to pray.  I think of Pope Saint John Paul II who gave us the Luminous Mysteries and his encouragement to pray the mystery of all scripture.

The rosary is a small act that engenders so much grace to understand the will of God in our lives.  When in doubt, pray the rosary.  When in fear, pray the rosary.  When in sorrow, pray the rosary. When in need, pray the rosary.  I could go on as it has so many applications.  

Pray the rosary.  You don't have to be perfect at it.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Goalie for the Save, or Forming Your Conscience for the Goal

One of the most important things in life is to form the conscience. Building your conscience is like building a Great Wall against the turning tides and emotions of both your own humanity and the attacks of the devil.  The nitty gritty is in the preparation. 

Action can exist in words as an adjective or as a verb to describe what is happening. It's what we cannot see in the immediate action that requires a readiness of heart. Take the examples from scripture: "He wept." "She desperately moved close to Him to touch His robe."  Why did he weep? What had come before to lead him to weep? What made her think that touching His robe would help her? How had she survived so long with the ailment that caused her to seek Him out?

What is really cool, is that God knows your heart and desires above anything and anyone else.  When you seek to form your conscience, you most certainly will not have instant clarity. The intentions and desires of humankind are a great mystery to even those that are nearest to each other.  But those who know, understand that in time the fog will lift.  Usually, it lifts at just the right time.

So, what can make one man take one action and another in similar circumstances do a totally different thing?  Today's scripture is Matthew 13:24-43 'When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. '  This exemplifies that all manner of things can happen that are not your fault.  But notice the action of the farmer versus the servants.  The farmer chooses to act using his prior knowledge and forethought about the good crop.   The servants are ready to pull it up and throw it away.  Jesus goes on to describe that the farmer understands the detriment of pulling up the weeds too early.

It's kind of like soccer.  Each man on the field has a specific part to play.  They are all on the same field of play.  The goalie prepares his heart and mind to defend the goal.  The midfielder prepares his heart and mind to run, a lot. Very much, a lot of running.  This of course is the simplified explanation because if you know nothing about soccer, then you should know that the goalie is the only person allowed to catch the ball with his hands.  If the ball even grazes the hands of the midfielder then there is a penalty.  The midfielder must prepare to problem solve around moving the ball without his hands.  Each prepares their movements to coincide with the needs of their position.

What is our position in the game of life?  We must be prepared to spring forward and sometimes fall backward.  Both are a necessity because they will happen eventually.  If we can acknowledge the vast spiritual realm that plays a large part in our lives, then we can see the importance of preparing the conscience for good and bad circumstances.

One example is the practice of praying the rosary.  For one thing, just to memorize a prayer is a start.  But also to know the very act of remembering to speak the prayer you know when a trial comes upon you, is to speak to the heart of Christ who knows all of your needs.  You could even think of each Hail Mary prayed as a brick you have laid down in preparation for spiritual attack when it comes.

We all need this preparation.  From the nearest to the Word of God to the most desperate.  God is always calling us to be better so we can fulfill His will to help others be better.  Form your conscience the best you can and when in doubt ask a priest to help you.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Call to Arms

Will there be a call to arms for the spiritual heart of man in the same way there has been a call to reduce climate change or a rising up against social and racial inequality? Truth at its heart is what carries a man to his greatest humanity. Man can only be bolstered by virtue which counteracts sin.

I think society is afraid of sin. Not what sin is or what it does but what it reveals about the person inside. This is part of what we call dying to self.

Recognition of inner flaws repeated on a daily basis even as one strives for success, is still recognition and desire to be greater than one self. The true test is how to overcome self in order to rise by becoming less in the eyes of the world but magnificent in the eyes of the Spirit.

Which of you can say you have given up anything most desired because once a failure always a failure? Is that true or does the human person choose to make it true?

Dying to self, to let go of material, prideful & avaricious measures of oneself in the world, is what the call to a revolution of spirit is all about.

Do not let dark thoughts take over a life made for God. What fear can be had when truth is so empowering? What sin can God not forgive when He has created man himself? Love is greater than sin. Love is greater than pride.

The weapon that overpowers our selfishness is prayer. For, who is it really that we fight against? It's not really family, it's not neighbor. It is the deep within ourselves and the dark forces around us that we fight against. Therefore cover yourself in prayer. Command the Holy Spirit upon you. Pray for the mantle of Our Lady to safeguard you.

God loves.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Long Walks

A priest friend recently tackled the El Camino. I love his reflections from the walk. As it should, it makes me think of my own long stride toward God's will.
This year I will turn another year older and it is particularly on my mind. My spiritual walk to this point has been greatly blessed even as I seem not to conquer the same old sins.  Jesus has been right there with me. Sometimes too, we tend to judge ourselves but what others have achieved, especially if it reflects our inmost desire. God's grace is super amazing as he tends his sheep in the most loving way toward a greater desired path.
I would never have thought I would be studying engineering at this time in my life. I am not surprised by my amazement in learning new things beyond me.  God the Father has allowed me supernatural grace of understanding in what I am studying.
I have chosen in the last week or so of a compressed summer course, to just go with it.  I won't give up even when the going gets tough. Well, at least until our Lord tells me otherwise.  This slow journey will hopefully lead me to fulfill my own desires in life with persistent prayer and humble faith.