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.

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/how-to-pray-the-rosary.cfm

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.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Teapot calling the Kettle Black

It has taken me all day to realize my own pridefulness in a seemingly simple situation.  I was so upset, I didn't really hear anything said to me for an hour while I tried not to cry. I wasn't successful, but at least I didn't cry in front of the judgy people.
Which brings me to my point, people are always looking to judge.  The people who go around saying everyone should be nice are the most judgmental.  It's really kind of sad.
Here's what I did: I prayed that God would smite them.
Just kidding!! But smite is a good word. The first thing I did was attend Sunday mass on this wonderful Pentacost feast. I tried to listen to what the priest was saying. Then I prayed for my enemies known and unknown that they might know the mercy and love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Even then, in my prideful anger I still could not surrender to the trust and love of Jesus. But after some time, it finally came to me that I am the cause of my own demise.
I guess the people who are so judgmental will always be that way. I don't know if I believe people can change, but I do believe the Holy Ghost can move hearts in the right direction. I am glad I was able to get somewhere with that lesson today. I may learn more tomorrow, for the Spirit is an abundant teacher.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Answering

God rises in my soul each day in my first waking thoughts. Sometimes it's because I love Him and most times it's because I am asking for His divine mercy because of my faults.  Either way, I walk a road near to Him because He had called me to it.
I guess technically I graduated from a Catholic university, but not many people at my university knew what being Catholic truly meant.  Still I merged as a practicing Catholic ready to heal the world.
I found instead that Christ would wound my heart in various ways with each cut healing over making the organ seal upon itself growing outward.
I am glad not to many read my thoughts here because I tell the whole truth about my love for Jesus and the way in which He calls me.  I find it doesn't hurt as much when people judge or hate me. I am more ready to pray for those souls most in need of prayer. Those souls that lash out at their fellow sinners, are longing to be loved, are longing to not be pushed away, are longing to be alone no more.
Let the Creator rise, rise, rise in your being. Let Him enter in the darkness. Let His radiance illuminate the shadowed places of your heart. For Christ has won.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Death by Sunday Brioche or Love beyond the Food

Lent has come to an end this year again with the celebration of Easter.  I love Easter but I always seem to be terrible at practicing Lenten observances.  In order to counter act the bad practices I have and give glory to God, I am going to try to upgrade my Catholicism to fasting from meat on all Fridays.  If I can remember what day it is, I hope to repent for all the other times I have forgotten about abstaining on Fridays during Lent.
The thing that is really cool though is that Christ loves me even though I forget.  It's really not about the meat so much as the grace He wants to pour out on those that seek to follow his will.  Abstaining and offering a small sacrifice conjoined with the cross is an act of our free will to love Him in return.
Our Lord has poured upon me so many graces.  May I not forget or abuse them in anyway.