Wednesday, October 29, 2014

O Fragile Cross

You have given me, Beloved,
A cross I have borne and carried;
It has now traveled with me
With tears like Peter's.

He had his own cross to carry
In this ancient city,
But mine has broken,
Shards of porcelain now scattered.

I have traveled the streets;
I have walked the hills.
I have found the Savior's sorrow
That He felt as He carried His up His hill.

Those blessed shards of porcelain, red and white,
Form a heart in love on a frame of Divine Mercy.
At once pressed together,
They create a reminder of God's great love:
to lay one's life down for one's friends.

O fragile cross now laid to rest,
If I must let go, let me let go
Now at the tomb a lover, a new Peter, a saint blest.

Tomb of St.John Paul II, St. Peter's Basilica

Sunday, October 05, 2014

"Rejoice in the Lord Always!"

The Vatican Museum - Mural of the Eucharist

I found great joy in the Agnus Dei today, the Mass setting from the Mass of the Morning Star... The music remains for me a motif, a scent of a profound underlying beauty of the Faith made intensely personal. The very familiar notes remain with me and bind, in a way, my sorrow with His at the Mass. He is the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. We do not make ourselves clean; "by His stripes we are healed." (cf. Isaiah 53:5)

And so this causes me to respond as St. Paul enjoins on us even until today: "Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice!" (cf. Philippians 5:4)

Even so, can joy be mixed with sorrow? YES! Because joy does not depend on us. It is a grace, as all good things are, from above. His joy is made complete with our participation; that is why we must participate both in the joy and recall it even when we face sorrow. The Cross did not eliminate sorrow or suffering... His sacrifice has given us a clarion call, a mustering point to which we have a duty and honor to observe—out of pure love of Him. When we make it about us, piousness grows hollow. When we search for joy without service, we become empty tombs of faltering, passing happiness. Love of Him in the Other cannot be ignored; if distraction appears it is an opportunity to deepen our commitment to the radical love of Christ—to go to the root of that love—that bears fruit that remains. Then we become the servants worthy of praise by the Father, for we have not divided against the Son. Rather, we have thus joined with Him in the work of the Vineyard. The Vineyard is the People of God, and we must labor no matter our state with Him if we are to share in His inheritance. Out of love for Him, we serve, and out of this love comes the everlasting joy that gives us hope in the present for a future secure in His love. May He ever deepen this gift to us for the good benefit of others.

Deo gratias!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Of the Brightness—Reflection

I have grown over the past decade to love morning Mass, especially in a church that fills with the morning light as it shimmers through the trees and has cast within it light and shadow in the kaleidoscopic variation that changes with the breeze. All of this coupled with the Presence—I cannot ask for anything more. He is greater than I, and my heart belongs to Him and those who love Him.

The sun may shine, but shadows do exist. Although they do, the light shines ever brighter... It's warmth on a Saturday is a consolation on the Way—of chill mixed with warmth.

What can I say that He doesn't already know? I sit on that bench in prayer. Waiting, yes, waiting... For my beloved whom I do not know. I wait because of the light—that sure light. Can I do anything else? Where else can I run? To whom should I go?

Can there be anything to add or to give? He has given everything. I can give my presence, my thought, my accedence, yes. But can I give my love?

I do not move because of the light; within it there is no darkness.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Church as One

My heart burns... it yearns. I wish every day was the eve in anticipation towards a Sunday morning. It is not that every Sunday has its note be the sweetest... though we must do our part. No, it is the anticipation of something even greater, greater than even the Mass present before us in our hearts of the day. That is why we are called forth, the Mass is a sending into the Vineyard. So must we... and to not grumble when we see gifts greater than our own. Even that morning, the arresting breath! A turn of the corner, a flash of light, a peace not my own. The Eucharist is our highest joy on this earth.

My heart returns to these successive weeks... for me, they're enveloped within the consciousness of the Domestic Church. At Mass a few weeks ago, again and again at that early morning offering—the young families present. We mustn't grow weary of their participation—of the coos, the noise, the shaking of the Church. It is a good and necessary thing! It reminds us of our vitality, of our love for one another. They do not belong behind, away, or shuttered. They belong in front.

I wish to take the latter of this into my arms... and ultimately into my prayers. My prayers are for those who deal with such deep loss within the Domestic Church. There is good in desires and better in their purification. We are not a Church at rest! We are a Church active, a Church Militant. A Church in Love is a Church active, not doing Her own will but the One who sent Her, who Baptized Her, who Commissioned Her for the great good She does because She is empowered by Jesus Christ himself and the same Spirit that fills us as believers in the true Faith of Jesus Christ. We are the Church, but not in our isolation... in dissident, fractious belief or in our vanity, our impatience, our own self-centeredness... We are the Church in Communion, called to be One, called to be Holy, called to be Apostolic... called to be Catholic.
Lord, repair what I have undone, what I have done poorly. Fix what I have broken, heal where I have made division, speak where I have remained silent. Make known Your love to us. Take us back into Your own heart, a people set apart. Let us see You in the Other.

Guide us into the Way of Peace, into the Way of Truth, into the Way of Love together as One. Amen.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Little Flower

What shall I say? Let us make a return to the Lord, for He is good and forgiving, slow to anger and rich in kindness. To the hungry He brings good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. Let us pour ourselves out as the Little Flower did, be rich in word and deed for others, and sacrificial in our service—no matter or place in life. We are called to do good and to be love for one another. Let us seek out the good, for our time is short. Let us seek out the good and think better of others and trust in the Lord. Let us share that goodwill and be present to those in our midst and count not the cost of love.

"O little martyr of Love, you know now even better than in the days of your pilgrimage that Love embraces all vocations; that it is Love alone which counts, which unites us perfectly to God and conforms our will with His. All you sought on earth was love; to love Jesus as He had never yet been loved. Use your power in heaven to make us love Him. If only we love Him we shall desire to make Him loved by others; we shall pray much for souls. We shall no longer fear death, for it will unite us to Him forever. Obtain for us the grace to do all for the love of God, to give Him pleasure, to love Him so well that He may be pleased with us as He was with you.

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but especially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen."

"Thought for the day: Love of God. I will love God alone and will not have the misfortune of attaching myself to creatures, now that my heart perceive what He has in store for those who love Him.

What attracts me to the kingdom of Heaven is the call of our Lord, the hope of loving Him as I have so desired and the thought that I shall be able to make Him loved by a great number of souls who will bless Him forever.

When Christ said, "Give Me a Drink," it was the love of His poor creatures that He, the Creator of all things, desired. He thirsted for love.

Remember that the dear Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone. Remember that He is consumed with a desire to come into your heart."
- EWTN's "Little Flower Novena"