Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Uniformity with God's Will

I've been picking up here and there a 30 page booklet recommended by my brother-in-law's wife called Uniformity with God's Will by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori.  I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. It is very rich in wisdom.  I keep it in my purse so if I'm waiting at a doctor's office or something I can pull it out.  There is a story he shared in it that I wanted to share.

"Our Lord assured his apostles: 'Your joy no man shall take from you...That your joy may be full' (john 16:22.24).  He who unites his will to God's, experiences a full and lasting joy; full, because he has what he wants, as was explained above; lasting, because no one can take his joy from him, since no one can prevent what God wills from happening.

The devout Father John Tauler relates this personal experience: For years he had prayed God to send him someone who would teach him the real spiritual life.  One day, at prayer, he heard a voice saying: 'Go to such and such a church and you will have the answer to your prayers.'  He went and at the door of the church he found a beggar, barefooted and in rags.  He greeted the mendicant saying: 'Good day, my friend.'

'Thank you, sir, for your kind wishes, but I don recall ever having had a 'bad' day.'

'Then God has certainly given you a very happy life.'

'That is very true, sir.  I have never been unhappy.  In saying this I am not making any rash statement either.  This is the reason: When I have nothing to eat, I give thanks to God; when it rains or snows, I bless God's providence; when someone insults me, drives me away, or otherwise mistreats me, I give glory to God.  I said I've never had an unhappy day, and it's the truth, because I am accustomed to will unreservedly what God wills.  Whatever happens to me, sweet or bitter, I gladly receive from his hands as what is best for me.  Hence my unvarying happiness.'

'Where did you find God?'

'I found him where I left creatures.'

'Who are you anyway?'

'I am a king.'

'And where is your kingdom?'

'In my soul, where everything is in good order; where the passions obey reason, and reason obeys God.'

'How have you come to such a state of perfection?'

'By silence.  I practice silence towards men, while I cultivate the habit of speaking with God.  Conversing with God is the way I found and maintain peace of soul.'

Union with God brought this poor beggar to the very heights of perfection.  In his poverty he was richer than the mightiest monarch; in his suffering, he was vastly happier than worldlings amid heir worldly delights."


Peace be with us all! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am Simon

"On their way out they met a Cyrenian named Simon.  This man they pressed into service to carry the cross."
Matthew 27:32

This verse has been ringing in my thoughts.  I didn't hear or read it recently.  I just thought of it and can't stop thinking of it.  I looked it up in every Gospel.  It is in every on except for John.  The words were almost identical in each one.  The word "pressed" stands out to me and was used in each Gospel.  It is apparent that Simon didn't want to help Jesus.  He was forced to.  I wonder about the interaction between he and Jesus.  Did they interact?  Were they both just trying to carry the heavy wood?  I doubt Jesus was.  He knew exactly who was with him, helping him.  Was Simon appalled walking next to a beaten, bloodied man he perceived as a criminal? Was Simon ashamed that people could possibly associate Him with Jesus?  Or...was he moved with compassion?  Was there a moment of grace where Simon realized who he was walking beside?  When he was done, was he relieved or converted?  I wonder about these things. 

I wonder about them because I can relate to Simon.  We can all think of a cross we have been pressed to carry at some point in our lives.  Maybe some of us can think of many, or a cross that has been carried for a very long time.  Whether it is forced upon us or not, the question to me is, what has become of me because of it?  Do I allow Jesus to make all things new in me?  Do I allow myself to be moved with compassion for Him and the world, or do I scuff and complain at the load?  Am I open to a deeper love?  To deeper conversion?  Or am I just waiting to be relieved of my duty? 

Yes to all of the above at different times.

As I searched Scripture for the passage I checked all the Gospels because I wanted to know if any of them talked about what happened to Simon.  I wanted to read the next verse and hear it say, "And he looked at Jesus after he helped carry the Cross and proclaimed, 'You are the Son of God!'"  None of the Gospels mention what happened to Simon.  I guess it is up to us to see how Simon responded.  We are all, or have been, or some day will be...Simon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Poetry I Found

I went through some of a journal of mine.  I read this passage I wrote a while ago.  I was touched by it and I often fall upon old writings and I move my very own self.  Kind of funny how that works out.  It is as if someone else wrote it and it was just for me. 

"My soul cries out to You my God. 
This mystery of me searches for the Mystery of where it came. 
I want to burst inside. 
Explode.  All of me wants to be free.  My soul is trying to respond to your call.
I am bleeding, Jesus.  The blood doesn't stop.
I think I have bled so much, how could I possibly still be alive?
It is you alone that sustains me.  It is you my soul looks upon desiring greater things than EVER before.  It is this bleeding of my soul that arouses more depth.
How could this be?
Love must give all, as you have asked for the greatest treasure I have.
I cannot and will not refuse you, for it is in You I have it all.  For you came so that whatever has been given to you will not be lost.
So as my blood continues to pour, it empties my soul. 
It makes room for your Spirit, it's greatest desire.
What will become of me? 
Free. Free.  Free.
I miss her."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mercy

I wanted to share this beautiful excerpt from The Visions of the Children - The Apparitions of the Blessed Mother of Medjugorje.  I thought this testimony was beautiful.

"It is obvious that genuine sinners come to Medjugorje as well as the faithful.  Many people who have been away from organized religion for fifty years or more are drawn to the holy mountains.  Their attitude is open.  One old man in his eighties arrived knowing he had only a few weeks to live.  He was trying one last time to find the great God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob before he died.  How was his trip?  He said, 'I heard the Lord.'  When asked what he heard, the man was moved to tears.

'I asked Him why He bothered with me, after so many years that I denied His existence.  The Lord told me, You are the child of My great covenant with My people.  All my children are sinners.  To repent is to choose Me, to choose My ways.  Your peace is only My will.  'I asked Him, 'Father, how do I obey you now?' and He told me, 'Pray more, My son.  Pray with great confidence in My mercy.  My mercy is your garment now and for all eternity.'  I thought of His justice and I was afraid.  Then He said, 'My justice is joyful.  See how it corrects?  See how it cleanses?  Do not seek Me in places.  Seek Me in your heart.' "

'Did you ask Him about churches?' someone asked.  The old man sighed. 'Yes.  I haven't been in a church since I was a kid.  I didn't even got to hte church when my mother and father died.  The Lord told me, 'The church is you home on earth.  Wherever My church is, so is your home.'"

One of the people listening said, "Did you see a burning bush too?' No one laughed.

The old man was weeping now, 'I asked Him, 'Father, how do I find you?' He said, 'In you heart, My son.' I asked HIm if it was too late for me and He said it was never too late. 'Keep your heart pure, My son.  Do not fill your heart with sensual longing.  A pure heart is My dwelling place.  That Tabernacle of the Most High is your sanctuary from all the cares of the temporal world.'

I asked: 'Dear Father, what must I do so that only you swell there?'  He said: 'Hold all things of the earth with great love for Me, dear child.  Consecrate every moment of your life to Me.  Consecrate your use of every moment in time.  Consecrate your use of everything you experience to My will Consecrate every encounter with every creature to My will.  Then every use of all things will be for Me, and with Me, and in Me.  Then you , too dear child of Mine, will be a servant of humanity with Me and for Me and in Me.  Then total peace will be yours.  The tears will flow for love of Me.  Those tears will water My souls who long for Me.  Those tears free my wounded children.  Those tears melt hearts of stone frown cold with neglect and nonlove. Love My Son.  Love My world.  Love My lost children.  Love My wounded children.  Love My broken children.  Bring their hearts to Me by your compassion.  Never fear, My child.  Find Me in the peace of your heart.  Do you see now why your heart is the center for peace?'

Everyone was weeping now.  Someone said, 'Heaven is right here, isn't it?' no one answered."


I see a little clearer now, how the heart must be protected at ALL cost.  It is our haven here. It is the Lord's tabernacle.