Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Taking on the Fragrance of Compassion

Passing in the midst of the subtly divine, do not fail to breathe it in. Do not forget to share this breath of fresh air. Opportunities are rare, unless you make the most of them in the present. Paradoxically they grow with the embrace of their scarcity, and the sharing of their beauty unlocks them for the return to them again both as a reusable gift of grace passed forward and also as a fond memory recounted in the heart. When we learn it isn't in the lethargic hoarding of gift for a future that may never be but rather the frantic budding of gifts given... When we realize love meted out as a scarcity does nothing but smother it in jewel-encrusted reliquaries without needed effect... We lose the immediacy, the intimacy, the humanity of our love. We should see this in the everyday, in our homes, and in our everyday places. We must be close to the ones we love, lest we lose their scent, their sweet fragrance of compassion. For to be void of it, we would be without passion with the Other. And I know of no worse death than to be without passion for another.

Let us take on the fragrance of those whom we love... before it is too late. This is the Little Way.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Question of Suffering & The Joy of Life

We ought to realize in the everyday the profound reality that we are faced with a choice of perspective and framing of mind: either God is keeping something from us, or else He is intending something else to transpire before the gift of the secondary comes. Both still must lead to Him in the telos of the endeavor, but we shouldn't discount the real possibility our desires do not have the fullness of His love in mind (thereby missing the mark) or lack the order found in Him who orders all things (timing).

We, especially in Western society, think of it as a zero-sum game. We either get what we desire or we don't. We lose sight of the value of prayer and of certitude with the end game. We try our damnedest to get what we want this moment, in a race of instant gratification, without realizing good things are good not because they are quick but, rather, because they are abiding. The good invariably comes in sequences. We can try to "game" the system, but virtue isn't a magical game. It requires hard work and dedication.

Dedication often takes doing things that aren't natural to our sensibilities or to our patience levels, but then how would virtue grow if not with a bit of resistance? Certainly the satisfaction of something doesn't come from its consumption, for it would mean we would wish to consume nothing more. No, satisfaction comes from the growth of spirit through the tedium and the lengthening of time between desire and its consummation. The larger fire isn't necessarily a flash explosion but a growing fire that burns but doesn't consume. Love, in its purest forms, does purify through this growing fire and not from the scorching explosion of a exploding blast, burning away the impurities but not pushing away the greatest richness found within. This nugget being refined within is the virtue and good works we seek and, in its deepest forms, the insatiable desire for love and to be in communion with the Other.

So it is, timing must come from the understanding that gratification and gift isn't predicated on our readiness of receipt but our willingness to give of ourselves in the service to the Good. Who is the greatest good but Him who made all things and did so in all knowledge of the good works He called us to labor in, under, and in response to His grace?

It is His grace that leads us on, whether it be in outward suffering or in joy contemplated. No matter, joy mustn't remain inward, self-effacing. Joy is always the outward expression of the inward ponderings of a God so great as to give us His Son for expiation of our sins... and for the fulfillment of our deepest longings for Him as One. It is the joy of being filled with His grace.

Ave Maria, gratia plena...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Incarnation of Love

God has been with me through every love enkindled in my heart for another. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega. It pains me to remember my faults and choices away from such a deep, abiding, and consoling love. It is a frustration that can only be overcome by grace not of the self. Love must be shown; it must be incubated. It must be taught from youth, from birth. Love must be on the lips, selfless in its gift, at its own transmission. And when that offer of generosity is left on the doorstep and no one answers, remember it is not a gift wasted. For so it is, even those who roam the streets must eat. They must have their fill at Love's Banquet.

What greater image do we have of Heaven and the Church than the image of a wedding feast? There is none. Our minds are longing after a consummation that will last, that will be pervasive and fulfilling. What other consummation can there be besides the longing after the end to which one is made? This is the execution of virtue and, its waiting, the building of endurance.

What man will say one day this power is enough, this control of a moment? Will he reject another given? No! He will add power upon power, moment upon moment until he has day upon day and week upon week. He will always welcome, all other powers and gifts being equal, one day more.

So it is, the gift of Eternity. It is the Evergreen gift, the constant Advent for the next day, satiability without end and engagement without boredom.

As children we may have experienced terrible boredom to great lengths. More often than not, it is a lack of learning of the senses and of experience in creation. Creation itself is without tedium. There is always another gift to recreate.

The Creator, the Father Himself, is the example par excellence of this... He has made us in His own image: in the image of the Trinitarian love exhibited between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He did not shrink from view but rather chose a people for His Himself and willed all may choose to be with Him, thus giving us His very son. This Incarnation is the nexus between every human heart's desire for the Divine to be enfleshed within. Love beckons to build a home sturdy enough to weather the storm and shelter this Incarnation of Love, the very start of an enkindled love that was made manifest over 2,000 years ago in the little town of Bethlehem. Let us never forget to welcome Him in.

May God bless you this Christmas season and continue to bless you with grace unbounded in the New Year to come. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

O Lord of All Sweetness...

O Lord of all sweetness... O Lord of all joy...
Come now and enter, this our humble home...
Abode of simplicity, Place of grace and rest...
Take up thy home in hearts of those whom you have blessed.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Prepare the Way

O Lord, guard my heart.
When love's arrow misses its mark,
guide me back to your Sacred Heart.
When I grow weak to the voices from without,
give me your grace to return and never again depart.

Lead me that I may follow and lead others in your stead:
for those in need of being fed,
of those who have bled,
and for those who believe in all those words you have said.
Lead me to you.

Bring me to the place you have prepared for me,
for the works you have prepared for me to enter into.
Let not my heart's questions quiet the call you have given.
Let me see the splendor you have given for the Church in miniature.
Let me see the splendor!

Prepare the Way. Prepare the Way of the Lord!