Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Ship Far Out..

A Ship Far Out
I woke before dawn and put on my leather jacket, jeans and boots.
I walked out of the hotel into a fine mist blowing off the Aegean Sea.
Our Hotel was on the shoreline, and though I could not see the water well in the darkness,
I cold hear it, taste it, and felt it in the steady wind blowing in from the north.
I walked along the shore for half an hour before the morning light changed everything.
There came a soft yellow haze, hints of red and gold.
I watched a man and his dog, a Vizsla, (a Hungarian sporting breed) they walked about forty yards ahead of me.
The man had on a fur hat, it was very cold in the wind and I wished I had one.
He and the dog must have done this hundreds of times, two friends with their ritual.
I walked till I came to an ancient lighthouse, in itself a work of art.
 I  turned around and headed back to the hotel.
The sun looked like a half sun on the horizon, painting the clouds a beautiful grapefruit ruby-red.
The mist turned to rain as the storm coming from the north was getting closer.
I didn't run or hurry my stride at all, I noticed a ship far out in the hastening light. 

Monday, June 29, 2009


Beware of flattery. Always struggle within your heart against dangerous flatteries, then you will go forth with deeper humilities.--St. Teresa of Avila
All good things come from God. Every talent and ability, even the ones we work hard at, are gifts we can never take credit for. In fact, we should desire with great gratitude to give them back to Him through service, expression, and creativity. Everyone has some kind of gifitng. The main reason for our gifts is for loving God and others. He wants us to push ourselves where we are gifted. He wants us to do something beautiful, original, and honest. This is not for selfish gain. Selfish gain is so boring and predictable. Giving Him our thoughts, abilities, foibles, needs, strengths, and weaknesses is much more exciting. When we give them to Him He knows what to do with them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


He is like us but more perfectly human, simple, poor, humble, and yet, while burdened with work, He is more patient. He spoke on our behalf; He worked miracles; and He founded a new kingdom: in it the poor are happy; peace is the foundation of a life in common; where the pure of heart and those who mourn are uplifted and comforted; the hungry find justice; sinners are forgiven; and all discover that they are brothers.--Pope Paul 6
This picture of life is a mystery to our world. Jesus came to bring Himself, and in doing so, He brings these virtues and states of being. But where are they? They are only found in His kingdom He ushered in. Where is this kingdom? Jesus said it is within us. These virtues and states of being are not so evident in this world of spiritual and emotional chaos. We see kindness and love occasionally, but too much we see blindness, heresy, and loneliness. This is why the Church is so important in our discovering how this "kingdom within" is to be traversed and embraced. Every kingdom has laws, language, atmosphere, ritual, direction, and authority. The Church Jesus builds on Peter is the Querencia for those who want to explore the kingdom within. Without the Church's authority, and the Sacraments, there could end up 33,000 denominations that can't agree on the most basics aspects of the kingdom. And thus, people who follow after Jesus will not discover their brotherhood. It's worth thinking about.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Much to think about over coffee....

If, while Jesus lived in the world, the mere touch of His garments healed the sick, who can doubt that when He is dwelling in the very center of our being He will work wonders of healing in us if we have a living faith in Him?--St. Teresa of Avila
Isn't it amazing to meditate on the fact that Jesus makes His home in the soul of a man?! The Word of God the Father lives within the soul of the baptized. He makes His abode within our very being. What does this mean? How do we deal with this? We well up with faith that He is able. We well up with hope that He is working in us. We well up with joy that He cares enough to do so. We also realize that we are no longer on our own, or, that we are our own. St. Paul said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me." There is much here to think about over coffee this morning.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dig Deeply

The misfortune of Christendom is that it has encouraged people in the notion that by knowing the facts about Christ's life eighteen hundred years ago, they have faith.--Soren Kierkegaard
We must embrace faith on our own within our own minds and hearts. It is a good thing to be born into the faith. It is good to be baptized as a child and grow up knowing the workings of the faith. It is good to grow up with the liturgy, sounds, smells, ins and outs of the faith. This is all very good and good for the soul. But every soul must step out of its familiar culture for a moment and study the faith as if discovering something for the first time. The decades of the rosary mean more when they are suddenly relative to something we are going through. The "Our Father" at some point should amaze our sensibilities with its brilliance and fullness. The Mass will come alive for us when we have an "aha"  that it was for us He died, and for us that He gives Himself in this mysterious way called the Eucharist. We all must dig deeply into this Kingdom that is within us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009



Our Hard Thought for Eternity

God has fitted us into his great plan...If Christ is the beginning and the end, then he embraces us and our lives, and our short days are taken up into his endless time.
Fr. Joseph Lienhard, S.J.
We must never lose our sense of the eternal placed deep within each of us. It is so easy to do. We become so occupied with living our lives that we forget them. We are soul/body. He has bought us with His Holy Blood. In class, in the work-out room, in the car, at the job, at play, creating, etc.. we will live much better and with more lucidity if we keep a sense of Other. God is Other. Jesus brings the Other to us and takes us into the Other. He is our Hard Thought for eternity. Hold on to Him in your daily thinking no matter what you are facing or have faced. He is in this moment as you read this, ever thinking of you. This will never change. Selah
the painting is by Dave Marshall, a dear friend of mine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Moves me to hope

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. --Fr. Thomas Merton
I'm not sure we understand the importace of art to our spiritual/human well being. In times past they seemed to know better. The world's greatest artist, musicians, and poets used their brushes, instruments, and pens to explore the glories and mysteries of God. From Michelangelo, to Van Gogh, to Caravaggio,,, from Bach, to Mozart to Beethoven, the spiritual life inspired the arts to the greatest heights of timeless masterpieces. Art not only inspire us, it  challenge us. In its own mysterious way it births the important questions. It encourages, fills with awe, enrages, surprises, saddens, stirs hope, is a mirror for the times we are in, stokes the fires of love and abandon, moves our souls, gives us pause. We may find ourselves staring at the "Prodigal" by Rembrandt and realize how deeply we are loved. We may be listening to a piece by Bach and know that we are known. I gaze often on Vincent's "Sunflowers", it moves me to hope.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A little Queasy..

Those in true union with God are always peaceful and calm, and nothing can scandalize them because they have done away with what causes them to take scandal, their self-will. They trample underfoot all the persecutions that the world and the devil can hound them with. They can stand in the waters of great troubles and temptations, but it cannot hurt them...They find joy in everything.

St Catherine of Sienna
When I read this from St. Catherine I felt a little queasy. I almost didn't use her fine words because they seem so beyond me. But the more I meditated on them, the more I felt the need to do so. This is what I want! This is what I want for you! Is this possible on this good earth we travel and travail? I do not know how to get there, but God helped her get there. This brings hope. Maybe we can do this, think this, be this. Somehow, this can be ours because of the cross. Before Jesus and His cross, suffering and trouble was just suffering and trouble. But His choice to suffer made suffering in all of its forms something more. He redeemed pain and struggle. Through these things now, we learn obedience, trust, and a love for God that is far from mercenary. Mercenary love is all about what God can do for me. The love that sets us free to truly love God and others is beyond mercenary. It is the love Jesus showed us on the cross and continues to lavish on us in the Eucharist. He never stops giving to us. I wish I could bow before Him right now and wash His feet with my tears. But I am not worthy to do this, and my eyes are dry.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Curious Eye

"There is little to tell of happiness — happiness is only itself, placid, emotionally dormant, a state adopted with a light heart but nagging brain."--Jim Harrison, from his novella, "Legends of the Fall"

My dad used to say that you should never trust happiness. He said to enjoy it while you can, but always with a curious eye. "You'll be ok if you keep in mind that it ebbs about as well as it flows. Don't put too much stock in it." Thinking about this made me wonder if happiness is really what we want anyway. As Harrison's character says in "Legends of the Fall", "a state adopted with a light heart but a nagging brain." I think this is what my dad meant with his "a curious eye" comment. I wonder if we should apply the same idea to sadness. It too is unreliable, even though sadness can teach us well, whereas happiness is a flighty part-time substitute teacher. But we need to move on from sadness when it's time. Happiness leaves on its own, sadness hangs around on its own. It is not wise to linger in sadness too long, as it can cause internal bleeding. (This reminds me of detachment. The great state of the saints!) I don't think God promises happiness anywhere in the bible. He speaks of unspeakable joy, peace, knowing, fulfillment, milk and honey, struggle, trouble, salvation, holiness, eternal life, etc..,. My dad hung sheetrock from the time he was 14 till he died a few years ago at age 69. I didn't know him very well, but he seemed most curious when he was talking about fishing.

for my old pal Jody Davis.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Food for the Journey

"Forgive us our trespasses..", ...This command to pray daily for our sins reminds us that we commit sin every day. No one should complacently think himself innocent, lest his pride lead to further sin. Such is the warning that John gives us in his letter: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not is us. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just and will forgive our sins."--St. Cyprian, bishop and martyr
Why is the understanding of our own personal sinfulness so important? Why does the bible make it so clear that we are sinners, needing a Savior? Why do we so much ignore this in our culture? It's like a man with cancer who won't accept the doctor's prognosis. But it's such a downer to our seemingly evolved understanding of self and humanity these days. When the bible was written they didn't have Freud, Dr. Phil, and Oprah. People see the Church of Jesus as a buzz-kill to our fashionable and progressive culture of "live and let live", of, "your ok, I'm ok". This is so shallow, boring, and deadly! Man tries so hard to ignore his soul. But, our soul's are who we are. Ignoring our soul is like ignoring the mysterious elephant in the room. And we must not separate body and soul. We are soul and body. Sin kills our bodies, and without a Savior, it kills our souls eternally. God loves us. God is the Great Doctor with the only cure; the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of His dear Son. This is why we must never forget that none of us are that much less lost. The bible says even the righteous man sins 7 times a day. When we eat our Lord's Body and drink His Blood, we are eating the Bread of Angels, this is the medicine for our sickness, this is Food for the journey. This is the good news.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grace to respond to Grace

Each man's destiny is personal only insofar as it may happen to resemble what is already in his memory.--Eduardo Mallea
What is the soul of a man? It is his memory, his will, his spirit, his ability to reason. We are made in the image of God, and our dignity lies in God. Each of us are made "soul" at conception. There is never a moment after conception that we will cease to exist. Among other things, made in His image means everlasting. When our body dies, the soul is separated from the body for a time. At some point,  we will be reunited with our body.( Jesus' resurrected body is our hope.) Our destiny is meant to culminate in union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but, our will can alter this, otherwise, we would be less than made in His image, not human. We have the ability to choose, which also means we can know the breadth and width of love. Let us give God thanks for life, and pray that He will give us grace to respond to the grace that falls on the just and the unjust. And that our response will be to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and strength.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Baby when I get home
Help me pick up the pieces
You can hammer in the final nail
I wanna believe in Jesus
Dave Matthews, from the song Time Bomb
There are some things only a poem can express. When we feel something is moving in our soul and we need that certain song, book, poem, painting, film, etc...nothing else will do. We find the place where we can listen, read, gaze, and we let it wash over us. It's not explainable either, it just is. We are made by a God who is creative, expressive, and artistic. He wants us to express our hearts and minds to Him, and sometimes in doing so, we might help others do the same.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All Christ Did

All Christ did, all He taught, was the will of God.--St. Cyprian, bishop and martyr
One could read this quote by St. Cyprian and think, "well, of course!", but there is more here to mine for our thoughts this morning. "All Christ did." Think of this, and then think about all that He did. He was born to and raised by Joseph and Mary, two very poor Jews.  He was obedient to them, and when He died on the cross, He gave His mother to all believers when He gave her to John. He must have played as a boy growing up in Egypt and Nazareth. He must have had friends He hung out with as a teenager. He left home at age 30 to begin His ministry. 30! We do not think highly of 30 year old men still living with their mom in our day and time. He walked everywhere He went, except for a short ride on a donkey. He chose 12 very rough characters to be in His posse. Tax collectors, zealots( a terrorist some believe), fisherman, farmers, and one accountant who would betray Him. He lived 40 days and nights in a desert without food or water. He must have looked pretty rough when He came out of that desert. He picked the most boisterous wild man to be the one to lead His disciples after He left the earth. He attacked people making money at the entrance to the Temple with whips. He sweat great drops of blood in a garden called Gethsemane. He asked God to let the cup of suffering pass, then He said, "Not my will, but Thine be done." He let Himself be kissed by His betrayer and friend. He suffered immensely, died, was buried, and then, He rose from the dead in silence. This is Who we follow. This is Who we adore. This is Who we are called to be like. Doesn't sound very safe or logical does it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do it for God

Oh how easily we could win Heaven - day by day just by doing what we have to do - but doing it for God. --St. John Vianney
I believe the greatest obstacle to "doing it for God" is pride. I say this from experience. It's not very complicated at all. Our pride keeps us from resting in the hands of our Father. It also keeps us from loving God and each other. Pride brings low the virtues of humility, hope, and compassion. It also builds up a false sense of security. We think we can talk to God however we want to, with any attitude we choose. Pride destroys respect for God, and thus we become unwise. The bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." This "fear" looks like respect, awe, a humble and contrite heart, and a realization of our need. Pride makes us think we don't need God. It makes us think we can live our lives however we want, calling it freedom. But thank God we don't have to let pride win. Our Lord is with us today and He knows what we are facing. We can rejoice, and with his help, we can do it for God.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Captivity Time

If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?--Gideon speaking to the Angel of the Lord
All of us who call upon the Lord feel this sometimes. We think that since we are His now nothing bad should happen to us. This is an honest sentiment, but it is very flawed in its theology. The Israelites had offended the Lord and He delivered them over to the Midians for 7 years. Did they cease to be God's children while they were in Midian? No. They needed some "captivity time" to remind them of who they were. We all need a little "Captivity Time" every now and then. We probably offend the Lord seven times a day. Sadly, I know I do. As a people who call themselves friends of Jesus, sometimes we will only understand our erroneous ways through "captivity time". These wrong ideas of Father God lead us to folly and lead others astray as well. They bind us up in falsehood and keep us from the true freedom God intends. For example, in our shallow culture of sin and self, many Christians have bought into the idea of material prosperity as a birthright for all Christians. This is so counter to the teaching, example, and life of Jesus and the Apostles. Sometimes our "captivity time" is about learning detachment from our wrong ideas of God so that we can truly be free to love Him and others.

Monday, June 15, 2009


The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages.--St. Anthony of Padua, priest
St. Anthony goes on to say these different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, "such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others." Humility, poverty, patience and obedience are not easy languages to master! But, we have the best teacher in Jesus. He lived these virtues for the apostles, and when Pentecost came they remembered what to say and what to do. We must never give up, even when it seems we will never speak these languages fluently. God is able to do the impossible in us. His language is love.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


O Heart of Love, I put all my trust in You. For I fear all things from
my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Your goodness. Amen

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Our hearts are meant for love, hope, courage, faith, and trust. We are
not meant for fear, sadness, insecurity, depression, or loneliness. So
much of our mental capacity to hope is about our will. Grace comes
through many things, but our reaction to this grace is found in the
will. If we truly believe that God loves us, and that He only wants
our good, then this will affect our will to hope. When we fail, we
still hope. When we fall, we still rejoice in God. We can hope for all
things from His goodness, if we choose to.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

To be..

To be or not to be..-William Shakespeare

Free will is a gift from God. Life is a gift from God. Grace is a gift
from God. Mercy is a gift from God. We all are given every breath we
take. There is a fragility to this existence that makes it more
precious than the morning. If God ever forgot about us, we would cease
to be. We sat in a park last night watching a play by Shakespeare, and
if you asked me to tell you what the play was about I couldn't.
Instead, I could tell you about the beauty of the Saint Louis night,
the joy of being with dear friends, the food, the drink, the
laughter, the stories, the moonlight...

Saint Louis, Mo

Friday, June 12, 2009

Paint the Town Beige

..like an old desperado who paints the town beige.--Robert Earl Keen, from the song "Paint the Town Beige"

I know the feeling. We all do sometimes, a little worn, a little ragged around the heart, a little weary from living the drama of taking another breath. (But thank God for that breath!) Sometimes you just have to laugh, especially when you get up the courage to go out and paint the town red,, only to stumble home leaving it a boring shade of beige. Heck, it almost makes your side hurt from laughing when you stop and think about it. God is too good to us foolish sheep, doing our best and worst with these days we are given. Let's thank Him for His patience. 'Thank You Lord!'


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Lamb Of God

Take and eat, this is My body.--Jesus
Why did Jesus give us His body to eat? Because He is the Lamb of God. Moses made it clear that the children of Israel were to eat the lamb after they had covered the doorpost with the blood of the lamb. The passover would only happen to those households who ate the lamb. John the Baptist announced Jesus to his own disciples as, "The Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world." The first Passover was only a type for the one true Passover to come through the One True Lamb of God. When Jesus told the disciples and apostles in John chapter six that they must eat His Body and drink His Blood, He was preparing us all for the Eucharist. He told them plainly in this chapter, "for my flesh truly is food, and my blood truly is drink."  He is our passover.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Joy of the Lord is my strength.--King David
The most prevalent and amazing thing one notices when reading about the life of Mother Teresa is her joy. It was a real joy because it was birthed out of great darkness. It was a joy the earth could not take away from her. Hell couldn't even take it away from her. She chose to have this joy in the face of her trials. When the book, "Come be My Light" came out, the media reported that Mother Teresa had doubts and great struggles with her faith. Obviously the media knows little about true Christianity. Our faith is not about certainty, it is about hope. It is the "assurance of things HOPED for..". Of course Mother Teresa had doubts, so do I, and if you are honest, so do you. Her doubts made her press in even closer to Jesus, and drove her commitement to serve Him in the poor. Her pain and darkness only made her smile more at her mysterious hidden Lord. Our lives with God are in His invisible hands, and we must learn from these Saints, like Mother Tersesa, to be honest with God and ourselves. And with God's grace, we will hopefully learn to smile at our hidden Lord too, filled with a joy even we don't quite understand.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Best Farmers

Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight!--Bruce Cockburn, from his song "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"
Sometimes we are faced with having to find a way to bring the love of God into a situation that is filled with darkness. When someone we know is heading down a destructive path, and everyone is nagging them about "right and wrong", we must look for an opportunity to till the soil of their soul with mercy. Sometimes this means saying nothing. Sometimes it means saying something they don't expect. None of us are that much less lost. We are all where we are by the grace of God. If this person is approached from a place of humility and truth, it might go a long way in planting a seed of awakening. I know that when I have been on the wrong road, it is always the ones who speak the truth in humility and love that are the best farmers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pure Hope

We are saved by hope for that which we do not see and we wait for it with patience. The Holy Spirit is the One Who fills our heart with this hope and this patience. If we did not have Him speaking constantly to the depths of our conscience, we could not go on believing. . .The trials that seem to defy our hope and ruin the very foundations of all patience are meant, by the Spirit of God, to make our hope more and more perfect, basing it entirely in God, removing every visible support that can be found in this world. For a hope that rests on temporal power or temporal happiness is not theological. It is merely human, and has no supernatural strength to give us.-----Father Thomas Merton
This is a subtle but incredibly important message to us. What is our hope truly in? Is it in our own strength and cunning? Is it in an idea, a guru, a teacher, or a guide? The hope God wants us to have is a, "pure hope" as St. Paul says. Pure in what way? Pure in the fact that it is complete in God alone, and in what He has done, is doing, and will do. The Holy Spirit is our only true Guide and Teacher, the only One we can truly trust. He is our Helper. We can't and won't find lasting help anywhere else. This all sounds so easy to grasp and to accept, but, it is not. We grasp at what we can see or feel and place these things before our hope in God all the time. Our trials and struggles are the ways the Holy Spirit wakes us up and shows us where our true hopes lie. If we see and respond with longing for God alone, we will move closer to pure hope, a hope that never dissapoints. God, have mercy on us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Jesus Prayer Again

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.--The Jesus Prayer

There are times in our lives when we just can't seem to pray. We try to open our mouths, but nothing comes out. Willie Nelson sings about it, " I've been too sick to pray Lord." Our minds become weighed down by the burdens of life, and in our pride, fear, anger, depression, laziness, etc..whatever it is, we simply can't talk to God. As I have mentioned before, I came across the book, "The Way of A Pilgrim" many years ago. I think this book saved my life. This book gave me the "Jesus Prayer", and there have been many times when this prayer alone got me through. When the devil brings those despairing thoughts, replace those thoughts with this prayer. When illness or pain fills your mind with "what if?", replace those fears with this prayer. When you are angry at God for being so hard to understand, fill your mind with this prayer. This prayer is always the truth, at it will always open the door for more dialogue with God.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Blame God

 I Blame God
Failure follows me around
Like a dog I shouldn't feed
God fills me with His visions
And they just won't let me be
I would dream when I was young
Now I'm older and confused
His words of love drip from my tongue
and I beg Him to be used.
Used for the troubled
Used for fools
Used for the lonely
For the weak and abused
The songs come like birds gliding on a silkened wind
Some blue some gray some strangers some friends
They speak and I write as fast I can
I'm a vessel of the wind with a pen in my hand
I blame God for my pain and the road I'm on
For this temperamental hope, sometimes here sometimes gone
He would rather us fail and gain His bright home above
Than get everything we want, while down here in the mud
I don't mind the loneliness or the tempest in my mind
I don't mind the fearfulness or the way some people lie
I don't mind the sleepless nights or the days that drive me mad
As long as He stays with me, and holds me in His hands
The songs come like birds gliding on a silkened wind
Some blue some gray some strangers some friends
They speak and I write as fast I can
I'm a vessel of the wind with a pen in my hand
I blame God for my pain and the road I'm on
For this temperamental hope, sometimes here, sometimes gone
He would rather us fail and gain His bright home above
Than get everything we want, while down here in the mud
wkm for Fr. Greg Michaud
June 6, 2009
Oxford MS

Friday, June 5, 2009


Wherever your heart is, there your treasure will be.--Jesus
Where do we think Jesus would have us seek our treasure? Does He want us to find our treasure in money, fame, sex, education, power, drugs, alcohol, etc...? He wants us to find it in Himself. Why would He want this? Is it because He is an ego maniac? Is it because He is insecure and needs the praise of humans? He needs nothing, so it must be something else. When someone places all of their hope, treasure, and love in something, that something becomes why they wake up everyday and get out of bed. If Jesus is why we live, then we will live for beauty, forgiveness, grace, truth, creativity, holiness, love, and others well being will come before our own. Where are our hearts today?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I AM...--God, speaking to Moses
Moses had just been told by a voice from a Burning Bush to go back into the dragon's jaws and rescue the Jews. He asked who he could say was sending Him. "I AM" came the reply. His name is "I AM", God must be an existentialist. This answer He gave Moses is very philosophical. It's as if He is saying He is never 'I WAS, or I WILL BE', He is the eternal now. Time means nothing. He always IS, which we can logically assume means He always was and always will be. And this is the exact answer Moses needed to hear. The God calling him to this impossible task is ever with Him in this impossible task. He is ever in the moment. Jesus comes along and uses this same language and it gets Him crucified. He said, "I AM the Bread of Life...Before Abraham, I AM.., I AM the Way the Truth and the Life..,I AM the door,, etc.. If Jesus was just a man, then He was nuts to use these words around the Jewish leaders! No wonder they wanted to kill Him, He was calling Himself God every other day! But we know, as our doctrine teaches us, He is fully man and fully God. Knowing this teaching makes His, "I AM" very encouraging to us. He is ever with us as our "Good Shepherd", our "Bread of Life", our "Door", our "First and Last", our "Light", our very present help..... This is very encouraging.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

God is for us..

If God is for us, who can be against us.--St. Paul to the Romans
If we would ever stop and consider these words, "God is for us", if we would mull them over and over in our minds, we may discover there is more hope to be had than we realized before. It is a complicated and sometimes loaded truth, but it is truth none the less. When we lose a job, or can't find a job, God is for us. When we lose a parent, spouse, child, or friend to an unforeseen tragedy, God is for us. When our plans and dreams fall to pieces, God is for us. When we feel depressed, afraid, lonely, or it seems we are losing our minds, God is for us. When we find out we have some kind of nagging ailment, God is for us. God is for us. God is for us. This should be our mantra in this world of trouble we live in. To believe that God is for us, even when it seems He is not, is to see with the eyes of faith. To believe He cares, even when His silence is so loud it scares you, is to live in the wonderful world of sweet detachment.  God is for us. We must let these words wash over us, and pray they will change us little by little as we go.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

He is Creator, I am creature

What advantage can I expect from this ruin of my life which leaves me desperate and hopeless?...But wait awhile and you will see that by it God is preparing you to receive the greatest marks of his favor...There is nothing harder for a Christian than to break the last tie that binds him to the world or to his own self. He knows he ought to do it, and until he does it there is something wrong with his life ...The misfortune which has befallen you will soon do what all your exercises of piety would never have been able to do.---St. Claude de La Colombiere
 The mystery of being a follower of Jesus is immense. We are never in control. If we think we can control and manipulate God in any way we are mistaken. But for some reason, we keep on trying to make Him do things for us whether they are what He wants to do or not. We are creatures. He is Creator. Sometimes I treat Him as if He is creature, and I blindly hold on to something that simply ruins my life. Whether it is a dream, a person, a "good idea", etc.. whatever it is, if it even slightly comes between me and Jesus, our Jealous God will let it ruin us until we break from it. I am learning to blame God for my dreams that don't come true, and He happily accepts the blame. He would rather my soul be free in His perfect love than my soul be enslaved to some temporal dream that if came true would only take me further from union with Him.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A Violent Wind

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.--Acts 2:2
God knows when to affect our senses for His purposes. It is rare when He does this kind of thing, but when He does it is not soon forgotten. It seems though that most of the time He speaks to us in very quiet and common place ways. A thought comes from nowhere. We read something that enforces an idea we were praying about. This can happen reading scripture, a novel, hearing a song, a sermon, during a conversation, etc... We must always be open for Him to speak to us. The day the apostles and Mary were there in the upper room, and the Holy Spirit came in this sensational manner, they were open to God speaking to them. Their obedience to pray and wait brought about this violent wind that changed everything! That wind still blows in every baptism, confession, in the the Eucharist, in all the sacraments. This Holy Wind blows through every priestly prayer prayed during the consecration of the host at every Mass, in every place, all over this planet. Even as you read this now, the Holy Spirit is doing this somewhere in the world. He still shakes the rooms of our lives. What happened that day brought thousands to the Way. If we will give ourselves to prayer and waiting for God, like those in the upper room were doing, we will see people come to Jesus too. He will give us the words to say, but even more, the lives to live.