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markdohle

Letting go of fear, of our idols about God

Love casts our fear.  Since I came to love God with my whole being and with all the strength of my heart, fear has left me.  Even if I were to hear the most terrifying things about God’s justice, I would not fear Him at all, because I have come to know Him well.  God is love, and His Spirit is peace. I see now that my deeds which have flowed from love are more perfect than those which I have done out of fear.  I have placed my trust in God and fear nothing.  I have given myself over to His holy will; let Him do with me as He wishes, and I will still love Him.
(Divine Mercy Diary 589)

Jesus told Sr. Faustina that there are two ways gates that we must choose to enter.  One is the gate of mercy, the other the gate of justice.  When people think of the justice of God, they often unconsciously (I know that I do more or less), go by their own human ability to show justice to others, or mercy for that matter.  It is all very subjective and depending on our past, how much we have been loved or not, will lead us to be more or less fearful of God in a servile way.  When in fact,’ Justice,’ and “Mercy,’ are the same thing, for both are based on absolute truth when applied to God.  God is all mercy as well as infinitely just, they are not opposed to each other. 

St. Paul says the Jesus is God’s “YES”, there is only openness from God towards his children, all of them.  This points to the reality that in the end, when we stand before God, no matter what we receive (mercy or justice), both the soul and God agree completely.  All is taken into account, instantly, and I think the mercy is received much more often than many believe.  For who can understand Infinite Love, Compassion, and Mercy, since it is far beyond any human conception.

 

The deeper a human being loves another (sees the beloved), the more that is understood and forgiven.  If the beloved does not want forgiveness, then all that is possible is separation, which is done on the part of the one who freely rejects mercy.  “Freely’ is the operative word here.  The Lord sees all, understands all and only God knows, when that free choice has been made to reject him.  All who seek God will find him; all who knock will find the door opening to them, for in fact it has never been closed.  People who seek God and fall constantly into the same sins, but continually rise and begin again, give great glory to God for they trust in his mercy, even if they have to swim against the current of neurotic fear. 

In paragraph 1485 Jesus speaks to Sr. Faustian of his boundless mercy towards the greatness sinner:

The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy:  Come to Me, all of you.

Jesus:  Be not afraid of your Savior; O sinful soul.  I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me.  Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you.  How dear your soul is to Me!  I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.  –1485

It seems to me that Jesus almost seems desperate to free of us our fear of God, a kind of fear that makes us slaves instead of his beloved children, each no more precious than the other.  Sr. Faustina, was created, and given her many graces, so that she could speak to each one of us, she is for us, just as Jesus is for us all, and seeks us all. 


Only look to Jesus, his mercy, not to one’s own self.  For we do not understand ourselves, we often don’t know why we do the things we do, yet we still love and seek God….for God’s grace never leaves us.  When a soul makes that choice to turn from God (and only God knows when that happens) I would think that all fear of God would be gone, and a certain kind of freedom would emerge, one opposed to the freedom of the Children of God.

The sacrament of reconciliation keeps our souls and hearts open to mercy, to the healing balm of the Holy Spirit, whose fire will slowly purify and heal us, even if takes a lifetime. 

Jesus I trust in you, have mercy on us and on the whole world.—Br.MD 

 

 

 

markdohle

Thoughts on a Divine Mercy Retreat

Thoughts on a Divine Mercy Retreat

 

 

Jesus' attitude is striking: we do not hear the words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, which are an invitation to conversation. "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again." Ah! Brothers and Sisters, God's face is the face of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God's patience, the patience He has with each one of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, patience with us, He understands us, He waits for us, He does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to Him with a contrite heart. "Great is God's mercy," says the Psalm.

— Angelus on March 17, 2013

 

On the last day of our ‘Divine Mercy’ retreat, we met in a circle for a more informal gathering.  I encouraged people to share or to ask questions if they wanted.  I then invited everyone to speak, as well as to respond to any inquiries that were brought up.  It took a few moments before anyone started off but once it did it was a very powerful experience I believe for all.  One point that came up over and over again is that in order to begin their conversion journey, things had to fall apart; facades had to fail before healing could even begin to happen.  Painful, yes, but healing and pain seem to go together.  Just as bitterness, anger, the desires for revenge are also joined at the hip with pain. 

 

Each person who shared told a story of things falling part, light being brought into their lives and healing and a new peace and joy was found.  I brought up the point that each person who spoke, changed because they allowed grace to work in their lives because they had enough humility to embrace the truth and move on from there.  Which I believe, is a grace that is freely offered to all of us.  To stop cycles and pain and chaos that have a life of their own until we are forced to changed through outer circumstances, or through the amount of pain that comes from our wounds and sins. 

 

Sin is a way to escape life, but it does not deliver, instead, pain increases through the problems that flow from our ‘running away’.  Broken marriages, loss of health, serious addictions that can consume us, suck us dry, until there is nothing left.  Grace gives life; sin drains the life out of us.  So when we crash, it is often a mercy, for it is then that we reevaluate our lives and seek to renew our relationship with the Infinite, that which can only fill our hearts to the depth that we desire. 

 

Compared to the suffering caused by our sins, the cross of Jesus is truly light, for it is life giving and healing and does not crush us.  We all seek to be seen to the depths of our being, which is what love is.  Only Infinite love can do that, and in that seeing, we learn to embrace life without seeking to run away. 

markdohle

There is no soul which is not bound to pray

There is no soul which is not bound to pray

(Mercy Sunday)

There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer. ---Sr. Faustina’s Diary 146  A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again.  In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray.  Prayer. – A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat.

For to pray in such times, in trust, has to come from deep within, a place that only God sees, and in that choice freedom grows and   The most important time to pray is when one feels alienated from self, others and God, for it is then that grace is readily available.  Or if not, strength will be given, even in the midst of deep interior suffering.  Prayer is a deep connection with God; prayer will bring hope and eventually find a way out of the situation.  When I speak to a retreatant in a situation that he or she feels backed into a corner, I tell them that they must never stop praying.  At times people will find themselves in situations that are detrimental to their lives on many levels.

ones ability to began over once again……Jesus said to Sister Faustina:  “The more a soul knows of its sins and weaknesses, the more right it has to my mercy”……so fear is useless what is needed is trust.  Be like Peter on the waters, when he looked to Jesus he was able to stay above the raging sea, when he looked at his feet, he doubted and began to sink…..yet he called on the Lord and he lifted him up.  You are loved beyond your comprehension, never forget that and live in faith, hope, and love. ---Br.MD
markdohle

Speaking truth is not about control

Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to speak the truth. Do not be afraid to change yourself and the world by spreading love, by doing everything for my Son to be known and loved by loving others in Him. As a mother I am always with you. I am imploring my Son to help you for love to reign in your life - love that lives, love that draws, love which gives life. I am teaching you such love - pure love. It is up to you, my apostles, to recognize it, live it and spread it. Pray with feeling for your shepherds so that they can witness my Son with love. Thank you."-- April 2, 2017 Message to Mirjana (part of the message)

 

When speaking the truth, it should be done with gentleness and love.  Before we can speak the truth to others, we must know the truth about ourselves.  If we can love ourselves after we see our own need for mercy and healing, it is then that we can love others and speak truth to them.  Speaking truth is not about control, but about seeking to bring light to those we know and love.  Conversely, we also must be open to what others tell us, for if we do not, then change is difficult, for we become defensive both to those around us as well as to the influence of the Holy Spirit who can use others to lead us.  Even the most unlikely people we meet and live with may have something very important to say to us.  Prayer must come from our own need, as well as when praying for the needs of others.  Then, when we are at peace with ourselves and others, trusting in God’s mercy an love, then, we can be silent and allow ourselves to re4st in God’s loving presence.—BrMD

 

markdohle


If you love me
(The Last discourse)

During the ‘Last Discourse’ in the Gospel of John, Jesus made this statement:  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”.  In Christianity Jesus Christ is of course the central figure, he being the revelation of the Father and the sender of the Holy Spirit.  To be a Christian is always rooted in growing in the love relationship with the Eternal, the Infinite One, revealed as love.  So to use a Pauline phrase, “To put on Christ”, is about allowing his love to fill our souls, our hearts, to become channels of his love in the world. 

We live in a world where someone is always over and against someone else.  Or a country, a religion, political party and yes even in sports, going
after one another…..people die for their teams in riots after games.  If Jesus came today, who would he be over and against?  In the Gospels he interacted, loved and healed those that were often looked down upon by the religious establishment.  He spoke harshly to people like me, who know the ‘book’, seek to live it, and know all the scriptures in order to condemn just about anyone you disagreed with me, or was different in someway,  if I wanted to misuse the scriptures for that reason.  Being pious has it dangers, ego inflation being one of them.

What is the life that Jesus calls us to?  I doubt he calls us to a life of neurotic guilt or to a live preoccupied with ones
so called holiness.  It is not even about keeping a strict morality, for in doing that, when we fail, bitterness can enter into the one seeking to deepen ones relationship with the Father.  It is not about cleaning ourselves up.  It is about love, giving oneself, and receiving love in return.  Like Peter who got out of the boat, he was fine until he looked at his own feet; he stopped looking to the one who called him.   Yet when he sank, Jesus clasped his hand and lifted him up.

When afraid, uncertain or angry in ways that are unhealthy and anxious it constricts the soul, we become defensive, go into survival mode.   Jesus said that fear is useless for a reason….fear of God is a waste of time.  By fear I am meaning it in the sense of being afraid of someone stronger, bigger and angrier than me……God.  It is a ferocious idol, one that grips I guess all of us from time to time.  As we grow hopefully in wisdom and insight, as we have many decades to look back on and ponder, we see how foolish it is to fear that which Jesus told us not to.  Those who seek God are responding to grace, we open up our hearts and our tryst begins…..a long slow process for most of us.  So fear only slows that down.

We are called to become like little children for a reason.  Though what comes naturally to a child has to be a mature conscious choice when made by an adult.  It is a call to trust.  Fear and trust can’t really co-exist, so we are called to die to an old way of life and allow something new in.  Which is not easy, for how does one open oneself to infinite love?  What is it?  Is it just more?  Yes and no, but something else, beyond comprehension, so it can be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  Fearful yes, because it is something beyond our control, other, a love that is stronger than death, that strips away all the keeps that love at bay.

All  the love that we know, no matter how pure and as close to unconditional as it can be,  pales in comparison to the love we are called to embrace and to become one with.  It is hard to understand and believe.  Christians love to put “but” before any talk about God’s love and mercy……there are no ‘buts’.   How we love to carry the heavy burden of doing something we have no right or business to do…..thinking, weighing, and judging the worthiness of others.   It is a deep
self wounding as well as  a worthless and harmful  pass time. 

Jesus saw others, we are called to that as well, but it is easier to push under, yell at and belittle.  Well, let’s say I still struggle with this, and spend a lot of time praying over this.  Asking the Lord for a loving heart and not a warring one…… over and against others is something I do a lot of.   Being neurotic is not always easy.



Lord that I may see deeply,
into my own heart without fear,
knowing the all hearts are yours,
seeing all, you understanding all,
I see nothing in others,

except the surface,
with my projections and
transference’s,
just help me to understand others
just a little, or if not that,
to see all as my brothers and sisters
on the way.

markdohle

Trying another kind of love

Trying another kind of love

Agape is a Greek word ( ἀγάπη, agápē) used to describe God’s love for us. Jesus shows us what this love of God is by his teaching and commandments. For instance, human love is for the most part conditional, because it is based either on instinct or on need. We love another because we need them; we also want them to respond to us. If there is no response the relationship will most likely die, or turn into an obsession.

Parental love is the closest love to being unconditional that you can get. A child can hurt their parents, reject them, disrespect them and be contemptuous, yet the parent will still love the child. I think that goes beyond instinct but is a love that will pour itself out for the well being of the child. However, being human, finite, it is possible for there to be a time when that love can end if the pain and hurt become too great. It happens, though if the parent is a good parent, this is rare. We have our limits if left to ourselves.

Cont:  http://www.thechristianreview.com/trying-another-kind-of-love/

markdohle

The human heart as a fortress

The human heart as a fortress

 

Most feel the need to protect themselves,
from pain and sorrow,
as well as others who can be the causes
of so much discord in our lives.

Then there are ‘those other people’,
from different religions,
races and societies different from ours.

Also from those we know and even love
if their burdens to heavy to carry,
so we build up armor to keep them all away,
by making them less than ourselves,
hopeless, less than human in some cases.

To block out humanity in its many disguises
leads to deep personal harm.
For we kill part of our humanity when we disregard others,
even if for good and justice reasons
as far as we reckon.

Yes, we need to be healthy, and strong,
boundaries are good and needful,
healthy being the operative word,
for walls built up in anger, fear, or hatred
lead slowly to an inward death
wherein light can be extinguished. 

Grace is needed to soften stone into flesh,
a hardened heart is enclosed in a casing sturdy,
suffocating what is experienced has protection
from pain, suffering and the heavy weight of those we reject.

The Lord allows us to experience ourselves deeply
in ways that crush our hard shelled egos
until the time comes when we see ourselves
in the struggles and failures of others,
and wish only God’s mercy on them,
and healing,
as we have experienced it.

Mercy, grace, healing, is a pure gift,
so precious that no payment can procure it,
only an open, humble and contrite heart.

 

markdohle

Life is about little things

I like to think about problems,
questions flow through my mind,
about suffering and joy
and life and death,
sometimes even my own ending
whenever that will come.

Still, it is really about little things
our lives that speed by so fast,
a cup of coffee in the morning,
or a drink of water when very thirsty,
meals with friends,
our families,
and walks alone under the moon,
or in the rain
and when no one is looking
running and splashing like a child.

We have deep inner lives,
sometimes haunted by the past,
as well as thoughts deep and lovely,
memories both hard and soft,
and wounds that need healing,
for they can itch and hurt,

Then as the years go by,
little by little,
we learn to let go and accept change,
bodies stiff and more pain no doubt,
yet if the hearts true meaning sought
there is a joy that was not there before.

A peace of a more quiet nature and peaceful,
that if rooted in our true nature
will weather all of life's storms.

We learn to see others and love them,
beyond their foibles and weaknesses
to something deeper that can come through
if we stay in touch with the little things.

Our deepest longing is to be seen and loved,
also perhaps for many their greatest fear,
pulling the soul this way and that
until hopefully, humility gained
and we seek truly what the heart most desires.

Christ Jesus, God’s love made flesh,
that can touch our hearts true longing
and without fear, we can open up
to what was always there,
our soul’s nakedness
before God’s infinite unconditional loving gaze.

 

 

markdohle

Humanity is an idea, people are the stuff of everyday life
and the problem

 

We are commanded to love, to serve; even our enemies.  In fact we are to reach out to those who are least like us, those we fear, those who may hate us, the unattractive, the untidy, the criminal, those in prison, the poor on the street and yes the rich and powerful, those better than us, more advanced than us, more intelligent than us.  Our Lord commands us to do one thing, our emotions and feelings tell us another story entirely. 

Before we can be in communion with all, we have to grow in the understanding that we can’t do it on our own.  What the Lord is asking of us is impossible; it goes against all of our survival instincts. We naturally love those like us. Fear those different than us. Hate and seek revenge on those who hurt us, or our loved ones etc.  It is normal, easy, and we often call such reactions ‘justice’.  I can’t do it; I fall easily into anger, seeking revenge and the struggle to have power over others. 

When we seek the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to draw us into deep humility, which is the ability to accept and embrace our own humanity, with all of its beauty, as well as that which is destructive, both to us, and to others, it is then our journey truly begins.  Yes we are also called to love ourselves, for how can we love our neighbors as ourselves, if we have self-hatred and contempt towards our own humanity?

When we know ourselves and understand that we are loved by God, in spite of all that we see that keeps us from returning that love…It is then that we begin to see with the eyes of Christ Jesus.  For the more we know ourselves, with our sinfulness, as will as with aspects of our lives that can be called compulsion and addiction, we learn compassion and develop empathy for others. 

 

The Lord is calling us to a death to self that leads to a fuller life, which flows from allowing the Lord’s life to grow in our own heart until our hearts become the Heart of Christ Jesus.  Without knowing ourselves, and loving ourselves, which flows from true humility, it is impossible to love those outside of our own comfort zone.  For judgment, of the kind that Jesus forbids us to do, is all that we can do.  We are harsh to block out the humanity of those ‘others’, then we can let go of compassion and empathy, closing off our hearts to a large segment of humanity.  In doing so, we move towards death.  For those we hate and despised or in reality Jesus Christ. 

It is easy to love humanity; it is people who are the problem.  Humanity is an idea, people are the stuff of everyday life and the problem.  This applies to our-selves as well, for we can be a big problem to ourselves if we do not start with loving ourselves as the Lord commands.  
 

 

Expanding our hearts to become true flesh

 

All we have is today,
this glorious gift of our lives,
where we choose to give and love,
and heal and serve;
becoming simple servants
of the Lord.

 

Time flies by faster it seems
as each year passes by,
reminding us that we are pilgrims
passing through,
hoping to make this place a little better

 

Allowing the Lord to use our arms to hold,
our feet to run to help,
our hearts to love
becoming one with His humanity,
true, complete, perfect,
calling us all to allow Him to live in us,
expanding our hearts to become true flesh,
allowing the stone casing to become powder
to be blown away by the Holy Spirit,
the Infinite Fire of God’s love. –Br.MD

 




 

 

 

markdohle

An elderly woman who truly shone and touched my soul
(broken open in pain but healed in infinite love)

Because of my job in our retreat house, I have to work on my day off according to the retreat house schedule for retreats.  So, on Sunday, the retreatants are asked to check out before noon.  However, I also allow a retreatant or two to stay longer if they need to wait for a ride;  I just need to know.  I also try to catch up on my sleep.  I get up early to prepare coffee for our guest as well as other small chores that need to be done during the week.  Also, I simply love the morning hours, and perhaps I may get up earlier than I need to.  A good time for Lectio Divina and prayer….so on Mondays, I try to catch up and sleep more.  I then return to the regular life for midday office at 12:15 on Mondays.

This Monday, it was a nice cold morning so I decided to take a walk around 7 AM.  It was a beautiful morning, a little windy, but invigorating.  I decided to walk down where the old St. Pius the X church used to be many years ago when I was a young monk in the very early 70”s.   After the church moved into Conyers, the building became a bakery for about 45 years.  It is now our food bank that is open on Tuesdays. 

Walks are interesting for me, for when I begin my walks I will often find a deep longing welling up inside of me that lets me know that there are still many barriers in my soul that
keeps me from the union with God that I both long for and fear…..which is another mystery of the human condition I do believe.  It is like my heart is about to break open but then closes up again.  It is not something I can control, but have come to accept and perhaps that is what keeps me on my journey towards seeking to allow the grace and love of Jesus into my heart more deeply.  It is as if I am waiting for the embrace of the Lord that will bring to completion my deepest longing to be seen and loved. 

As I was walking over the road that is between two of the small manmade ponds that we have here, I heard a car approaching.  It drove by and the person inside waved at me.  I thought it was one of the people who help out at our food bank.  On Mondays, they fill up the food boxes that will be given away the next day.  So the car went to the building and stopped and backed up into a parking space.  Yet no one came out.  Then the car after a minute pulled out and drove back towards me.  The car came to a halt and the window came down and inside was a very pleasant looking woman, I guess in her late 60’s or early 70’s.  She did not ask a question but made the obvious statement that she came on
the wrong day.  I of course agreed and told her that it was on Tuesdays and to come early.  She thanked me and drove off.

I have noticed that many older people; both male and female have a certain beauty of soul that shines out through their eyes, smiles and something other, that I can’t put my finger on.  When I looked at her I was taken back by this type of beauty, her smile, and gentle demeanor.  I never let on of course, but we had our short exchange and I moved on.  All day, I felt her inner beauty and it felt like a healing balm to me.  Funny I bet she has no idea of her effect on me.  Perhaps one day if I see her again I will share that with her, or not.  She may think I am crazy.

Perhaps the Lord does use other people to embrace us in some way that can bring inner peace and healing.  Or maybe to alert me that He does dwell in the hearts of all that I
meet, if only I have the eyes to see.

How is God immanent in the world?  Well, I do think it can most powerfully be perceived in others, if we allow grace to heal the inner barriers and fears that have been built up, often unconsciously.  Her name was Mary Lee, I did not get the last name.  Christ before me, behind me, embracing me and showing himself to me in those I met on the way.  I often fail and when I do I just place another wound for the Lord to heal, so my journey continues.

Broken open

O Lord I long one day to be embraced
by your love within my being
where my deepest fears and shame
will be seen and healed
and my heart at home at last
broken open in pain
but healed in infinite love.

 


 

markdohle

Walking meditation

Walking meditation

(Gail was walking and felt Jesus close accompanying her;
she was aware of everything around her and experienced a deep peace)

I am surrounded by people who are each unique and also a mystery
and wonder.  I have the choice of how I will spend my remaining years.  I embrace, love….caring…quiet…be calm….be still…listen. --Gail Bardis

 


It can be a freeing experience to be able to say “I have a choice”.  Often I believe we act as if we don’t.  It is true some situations are out of our control; however how we react or relate to them is not out of our control.  Though it may take a while to grow into interior freedom at a depth that we can desire to choose to let go of pain, bitterness and stereotyping, which is a way to escape the true humanity of those we meet on a daily basis. .

.  I embrace, love….caring…quiet…be calm….be still…listen.

To be mindful is not easy, but worth the effort.  Once we make a conscious choice, or have a desire to deal with life on a level that leads to inner freedom as well as a more compassionate attitude towards others, we become aware of how unmindful we can be, how judgmental of others so easily.  This is a good sign, for it means that growth in self-knowledge is happening, which leads to humility and then to relationships that are less burdensome.  For compassionate self-knowledge frees us from the burden, the heavy burden, of judging others.  When we judge, even if the person being judged does not know, we become an adversary and will often go to others and try to turn them to our way of thinking.  This inflicts a profoundly painful inner wound. 

To embrace love, to seek to see our own humanity in others, to deepen our connection can only come to fruition if we seek to be more caring, to calm our automatic reactions to others, to seek to let go of that which agitates us, to simply be still and observe and most importantly to listen, both to ourselves, and to others, and in a special way in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Growth is slow, and the more conscious we are of it, this growth, the deeper we learn of our need for help, from others and most especially from the grace of God.  For grace is simply allowing God’s love to grow in our hearts so that we truly learn to love and give and when needed, to speak the truth in gentleness.

It is never easy.  However, with patient endurance, we will eventually find ourselves running joyfully this path to deeper union with God as well as with others. 

 

markdohle

The noonday devil (Acedia)

 

The noonday devil (Acedia) and the experience of nothingness
Chapter Talk 4/1/17

When ask to respond to the invitation to describe the ‘Cistercian charism’ specific to our Order as you desire to live it out in your community?  My spontaneous response was this:

“I believe that Lectio Divina is at the heart of our charism.   Without it, our lives can become too scattered and we can lose our focus.   As well as enclosure, which is often hard to keep when living near a large city and dependent on their patronage for our survival….I am called to deepen my love of scripture and the discipline needed to continue to deepen my practice.  It has been a long journey, but the monastic vocation and growth into its charism takes time and patience”. 

In my own life, I can go through periods of deep inner discontent.  Even the word discontent does not apply, it is more like a feeling of ‘nothingness’, more than boredom.   I call it the Sunday afternoon syndrome.  When young, and in the Navy, Sundays afternoons for me would be absolute torture.  Just the feeling of ‘nothingness’, of feeling rootless, wandering around finding no relief anywhere, it was not painful, or even distressful, just empty air…which from my experience is much worse. 

In the Monastery this also happens, and my way of dealing with it over the years has changed.  When a young monk, I would exercise a great deal, swim for hours, do yoga and lift weights.  Which are good in themselves, but for me it was a way to escape.  I would also read for knowledge and pleasure, which is also not something bad, but good.  However, that underlying feeling of ‘dissipating’ and being ‘nothing’ would not abate, I felt rootless and in fact, it is still with me more often that I would like: I still struggle with it.  I am of course talking about the ‘Noon Day Devil”, or “Acedia”

 

Signs of Acedia
(The Noon day Devil)

The signs or symptoms of Acedia may be bodily or psychological, and again, pertaining to sadness or to its consequent tedium or languor. Bodily signs range from mere sleepiness to general sickness or debility. It produces feelings of ill health, making a person feel unable to fulfill his duties.

Some psychological signs are a lack of attention to prayer, an overall dissatisfaction with life, and boredom, showing itself in a general laziness or refusal to work or to pray.

It is usually seen as naming a fault, which is subject to one's will, rather than simply a psychological state. Acedia is to spiritual health something like what depression is to mental health.

 

Over the years I have found that the only way to deal with it, to profit from it, is to stop running from that ‘restless nothingness’ and simply embrace it.  For me, that can take some time, but as the years roll on I have slowly learned that restless wandering only makes it worse and ever more deadly.  The more I try to get away from it, the more like a tar baby it sticks to me.  “Feed me” it seems to say.  Feed it what?

Lectio is, of course, different from other forms of reading.  Study and the love of literature is a good way to spend one’s time, but when ‘aecedia’ hits hard these activities may not be possible.  Lectio is not done for pleasure or as a way of escaping but of facing deeply the hard reality of our human existence.  Living in a Monastery with its quiet life and strict schedule will only open us up more deeply into the human situation.  One being, that our inner thirst for meaning and our longing for God can only be ignored at our own risk.  Many addictive actions are used to find some form of release from this often deeply painful situation.  This in the end only makes our situation worse and will keep us at an immature level of emotional development, for we can’t grow without a disciplined response to life and what we are called to become.  In any case, when living any kind of life that goes against what we say we are doing, is deeply destructive to both mental and spiritual health.  It is a way of fleeing from personal responsibility and the painful road of self-knowledge. 

 

The demon of Acedia suggests to you ideas of leaving, the need to change your place and your way of life. He depicts this other life as your salvation and persuades you that if you do not leave, you are lost. – Evagrius of Pontus, De octo vitiosis cogitationibus 12

 

When I am in the grip of Acedia, below the emptiness and nothingness I sense panic, anxiety and a desire to run away.  As I age this is becoming more apparent to me.  What is also becoming more obvious to me is that the only cure for this dilemma is to simply sit, open up my bible, and slowly read, ponder and pray from the Word.  This can be difficult, like swimming up river, but in the end, perhaps later during the day, because of my desire to center myself in the Word, I get a feeling of ‘home’, or of even feeling the living waters rise up in my heart.  A joy comes, and I feel how much I need the grace of God.  To pray, to do Lectio, is in actuality a response to an invitation to center myself and to die to ways of being that only trap me in an endless round in the desert, like it did the Israelites with their 40 years of wandering in the desert.

One reason that I like aging is that I have many years of experience behind me that allows me to stop the endless cycle of seeking relief from my own inner poverty without the grace of Christ Jesus.  It also connects me more to the community, which is another way of allowing the Lord to minister to me.  In seeking to serve the community, to love them and not to judge harshly, frees me from my-self as well.  

In any life, to be successful (however that is meant), discipline, focus, and determination are needed.  I like the adage:  “Believe that nothing is possible without the grace of God, but act as if everything depends on you”.  I would like to say I am always successful, but not true.  That is the difference between isolation and solitude.  One is destructive and other life giving.  Acedia leads to isolation, or to relationships that are shallow and in the end lack meaning.

So, for me, I guess Lectio is, in reality, central to our charism.  Without it, I believe everything else falls apart.—Br.MD

 

markdohle

The thin barrier between there and here

(Written 6/12/08)

One of our newest employees, Fiona is her name, has very recently suffered a great tragedy in her family. One of her brothers died recently from drowning. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to receive that kind of news; it is not something one can prepare themselves for. She is a gentle soul, a good worker and is respected by everyone who has the privilege to work with her.

She is very intelligent and can ask some good question when it comes to faith in God, about death and what comes after, if anything. She is honest about her doubts and struggles, something most of us go through in our lives. I guess no matter what one comes to believe about the nature of life, doubt will often be there, for any worldview is not something that can be proven, for one is dealing with meaning and mankind’s struggle to find reasons for it all.

As we were talking one day about the above issues, I remembered a book that I had read, written by a doctor who ran a hospice clinic ( Into the Light: Real Life Stories About Angelic Visits, Visions of the Afterlife, and Other Pre-Death Experiences by John Lerma ). It dealt with the experiences that many of his dying patients went through as they were nearing their end. He would talk to his patients drawing them out and was able to pass on his experience in book form. I told Fiona about it, and she expressed a desire to read it. So I lent it to her.

A few days later she brought the book back and thanked me for lending it to her. She then started talking about Philip, who is our longest-lived resident here. It seems that she has been having some experiences with Philip, that have touched her deeply. As we were talking she related how Philip was acting like some of the people she read about in the book. How he would often look into the right-hand corner of the room, and often say that he was not alone. Bob came up a few times; he was one ours and died about a year ago. She did not think much of it, until one day Phillip said something to her that got her attention. She was talking to Phillip about her brother, the one who drowned, never mentioning his name to him. Well,l Philip said that her brother was here with her, and mentioned his name, which both shocked and comforted her. The next day she asked Philip if her brother was still with her and he responded with: “no thank God, he is not here anymore”, and smiled at her.

She wondered why this happened to her. The only thing I could say is that she received what she needed and God was using Philip to deliver it to her. I guess I can say that I have had my share of experiences with the dying as well and also from time to time, from those who have died, I guess you could say that I have had some visitations. Though over the years they have lessened, probably because I don’t need them any longer; for I really believe we only get what we need. I would imagine, that many who work in an hospice like environment would also be able to relate an experience or two if asked about it. Are they real? Well, there are many ways to interrupt these experiences, but when they hit home on a deep, personal, level, I would imagine there could only be one way to deal with them; they are simple markers, telling us something about life. Perhaps a glimmer of the answers we all are seeking and perhaps what our faith is already telling us.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO

markdohle

The reality of His Presence

The reality of His Presence

 

“For you I must be everything.  Everything!  You understand? 
Your life is mine…Move out of yourself; I’m living in you. 
Do you grasp what I mean?  I take up all the room.”
(From the book “He and I”)  Author:  Gabrielle Bossis
 Pauline Press 6 Feb 41

 

God accommodates us when He speaks.  Using language that we can understand, when speaking of the incomprehensible, the ineffable, so that we may at least to begin to comprehend the depth of the love that the Eternal has for each one of us.


For instance, when He speaks to us ‘becoming’ little children, He is actually inviting us to embrace what is real….that being, our total dependence on God for our very existence.  Just as little children are dependent on their parents.  Though it goes much deeper, for the more childlike we become, as opposed to becoming more self-centered the way a child can be when acting childish, the deeper we move into the true humanity that Christ Jesus is calling us all to.  Paradox is always at work with it comes to our growth into living out our true image and likeness. 

So when Christ Jesus is speaking to Gabrielle, He is really telling her what the truth of the matter is.  God, even if we do not believe, or, are indifferent to His existence, He really is, ‘our everything’.  For in Him we ‘Live and move and have our being”.   Like it or not we are in
relationship with Him, by our very existence.  To deny that, freely, can only lead to an existence that is rootless, for everything we touch disappears and dies.  All those we love also die, but to be in Christ Jesus, or to simply seek God, connects us to a life and love that is eternal.  In the end we lose nothing, but gain the hundred fold.  To seek is to be open to the truth.  To stop seeking is to close ourselves off from further revelation of God’s love and existence. 


If God exists, then to not take that seriously is to live a life that is based on a lie.  Emptiness cannot fill itself.  Our souls can only find rest in the infinite, the eternal, to not do so, is to starve and to become simple mist, which disappears when the light of truth comes in the morning. 

 

markdohle

A Beggar Off I-75, Near the Cleveland Avenue Exit by Br. MD

He actually has a regal look about him, at least when first spotted, sitting on the side of the road. Long white beard, thin hair also uncut, in matching white shirt and shorts, soaked with sweat on some days. Looks almost like some sort of holy man one might see in India, along the roads there, begging while sitting in some sort of yoga position. 

Cont http://www.thechristianreview.com/a-beggar-off-i-75-near-the-cleveland-avenue-exit/

markdohle

 

I believe we are in a time of ‘Free Fall”.

“[W]e are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the “culture of death” and the “culture of life”. We find ourselves not only faced with but necessarily in the midst of this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life.”—John Paul 11 Evangelium Vitae, 28

Agitation is   When I believe all we can do is to pray, seek to take care of what is actually in front of us and continue calmly our walk of faith and trust.  As we fall the tendency to fight, stereotype and hate will increase.  After making so many destructive choices we have slipped over the edge and have begun our movement with what is called ‘bottoming out’.  I think that at this time a large part of the world is in ‘free fall’.really of no help whatsoever.  Perhaps this is a good time to follow what Jesus said:  “Fear is worthless, what is needed is faith”.  We will hit bottom, what happens after that is predicated on what we did before. 

We can seek to blame others, yet I believe all of us are responsible for what is going on today.  To blame another group is 
too merely reduce ourselves into becoming victims; very angry victims.  So let us pray for the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the seeming growing chaos that is going on around us. 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

 

markdohle

We are called to endurance and faith

 “I passed the time on earth, rejoiced, suffered and patiently endured pains, until my Son, in all His glory, removed them.”
(March 18, 2017 Special Message from Our Lady to Mirjana

All we have is today, and all we need do is to get through it, as we have every day of our lives.  Things can fall apart, the center will not hold, and it can seem like hell on earth on some days.  The Blessed Mother is letting us know that she like us went through such days.  She was a woman of faith and she had to ponder deeply the mystery of her Son Jesus’ life and mission, as well as her own life’s purpose.  To stay on course, or to get back on the path after a fall, is of extreme importance.  For how we handle suffering and life’s many unsolvable situations today, is the building block for tomorrow. 

To begin again

Lord, today is enough,
dealing with what is in front of me,
to seek in the whirlwind
to do the loving thing.

Your love filling our hearts
is all that we need,

Grace giving freely,
overflowing this living water,
always present
calling us to begin again
each day,
hour and moment.—Br.MD

 

markdohle

To know all is to forgive all

To know all is to forgive all

 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God
is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.—1 John 3:20

The proverb “To know all is to forgive all” is something that I have pondered over for many years. From experience, even on some minor happenings in my life, I have found that if angry, once I know more about the situation the less I am bothered by it. We do it all the time I would suppose. For instance, if we know that someone is suffering from some form of mental illness, or if they struggle with controlling their anger, we are more prone to understanding and compassion. If we do not know what the man or woman is struggling with, then it is easy to be harsh and unforgiving.

I do think that it is easy to assume that those around me or in some way freer than I am. I know I fail, but I know of my inner pressures and how hard it is to change and grow. It takes many new beginnings to stay on a certain path. Yet with others, I may forget that about them and demand instant change and perfection.

If the more we know and understand, the more compassionate we become; what about how God sees us. If the Lord sees everything in each soul and knows every detail of their lives, even going back generations, perhaps this should be a source of hope and comfort for us. Not leading to presumption, but instilling trust in the Lord’s compassion for all.

There is a reason we are told by the Lord, no we are commanded not to judge on the soul level. Actions, yes, they can be judged, intent and inner freedom, we can’t. From what Jesus said about judging another’s worth, or the state of their soul, is dangerous ground, for it shows the state of the one judging.

Even then, I know nothing really about the depths of anyone's inner being, even myself. In 1 John 3:20, it states that even if our hearts condemn us, yet God is greater than our hearts. So in our own lives, God knows all, we don’t, hence we should always trust in his mercy and compassion. This will encourage us to continue in spite of our many ‘start over’s’…..we trust and begin again. We look to the Lord, his love, not to ourselves.—Br.MD

markdohle

How we talk, respond and listen is important

 

If in anger we speak, we draw down the same upon us.  In speaking truth, love and calmness suffice, for others to listen, they must not feel attacked. No one sees into the soul or heart of the matter, yet we must speak what we think is right.....we must also allow others to speak as well. To have a disagreement is to expected, it does not imply bad will.

 

No one can change me, nor can I modify others, yet in communication with respect and love, we all plant seeds that will grow at their own rate. It is the Holy Spirit that waters, it is God who changes each one of us who have open hearts.....we are called to listen and respond with compassion and love, just as we want to be respected and heard.

 

To become bitter and argumentative is easy for it is fed by anger and deep pain.  Yet in the end it only leaves us alone and bereft.  Anger causes us not to see others, or to hear them, they become invisible to us, and we to them, when they respond in anger back.

 

It is difficult to live the Golden Rule, to actually treat others as I would like to be treated.  It takes a deep death to self to accomplish this so as to stop the endless cycle of yabering, jabbering, calawagging, and wampering.  I calawage a great deal.  God help me.--Br.MD

markdohle

We, ourselves

  1.  
    We, ourselves


    Problems surround us on every side,

    and our inner lives often chaotic,

    raw even, as we ride the high waves,

    our emotions raise us up, then dash us down,

    good days and moments as well as bad days

    pass in quick succession;

    yet within each heart, the light shines,

    revealed as Christ Jesus,

    His heart infinite encompassing all,

    so he tells us to not fear,

    but to root deeply in him,

    letting go of fear and embracing faith.--Br.MD
     
markdohle

My Bickering Spirit

After I posted about how people react or overreact to Pope Francis, this morning I begin to see how my own brand of 'bickering' only adds to the problem, solving nothing. I have no idea how this impasse can be bridged, but I continue to seek my own healing and mercy for my own role in the on- going 'bickering' that seems to be going on in all levels of society.

continue: http://www.thechristianreview.com/my-bickering-spirit-is-healed-by-a-breaking-heart/

markdohle

Pope Francis

Pope Francis
(A defense)


I recently read an article from OnePeterFive titled: “Four Years Later: Reflections on an Unprecedented Pontificate.” When I first starting reading the article I found myself rolling my eyes a bit, and I guess they may still be rolling. It started off with this quote::  “On March 13, 2013, I sat in my office and watched my screen as a new pope — a man whom I had never seen before that moment — walked out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. I had never heard of him. I did not even know his name. Like most Catholics, I had approached the papal conclave with a sense of hopeful anticipation. But the feeling that came over me when I saw the man the cardinals had elected was shockingly forceful. It was a feeling of icy cold dread. As I looked at him, standing there, staring out at the crowd, I heard seven words distinctly in my mind, unbidden: “This man is no friend of Tradition.”

  I read the article and it did give me pause to consider my perceptions of this Pope.  Yet I when I started reading the comments on the article, I was disturbed.  One commenter pretty much came up with the belief that Pope Francis is possessed by the devil.  Another said he is the ‘chastisement’.   I found the whole thing event distasteful and wondering if the people who actually go to that site are completely in their right mind.  I know that they are of course.  They were taking their subjective first experiences of this Pope as some sort of heavenly verification about how unfit this pope is.  When in fact, they are just people who long for a past
that will never return and perhaps never existed. 

If labels must be used, I would say I am a ‘moderate’ catholic.  That means that I love tradition, for me it a living reality, but I also love many good things about the Church today.  I remember the past.  I was 14 when the Latin Mass was stopped and the New Ordo took effect.  At the time I told the priest that it was too sudden there was little if any preparation and why could not both the Latin, and New Ordo, be kept and let the laity choose which one they would want to go to.  He said that Rome has spoken.

Today many who are speaking out for the Tridentine Mass come across as just angry and frustrated and have an overly sentimental attachment to it.  I often feel that it is theater to them, but not based on how the mass was actually celebrated in the past when I was young.  It was often rushed, and the altar boys would often get tongue tied over the Latin and the rubrics were so rigid I would think most priests were glad when the English came in.  Also, a plus that it could actually be understood.  After a short time, I grew to love the Mass in a language that I could understand. 

This Pope is from a poor country that has had many political struggles.  Pope Francis is a champion for the individual human being and their worth before God.

He also understands that his office, as well as the office of Cardinals, Bishops, and Priest, are a call to deeper service of the people.  He truly believes in the example of Jesus Christ when he washed the feet of his Apostles.  He speaks to the people, not at them.  He uses everyday language and does not disguise what he wants to say by using words that soften
what he wants to say.  He also understands the messiness of life and how before anyone should judge we should enter into their life’s experiences.  When reading the Gospel it shows how Jesus related to others, to ‘the sinner’, to the ‘outcast’.  So it is natural that he would seek to enter into the lives of those who are divorced and remarried outside the Church.  It is messy, not clean cut.  We are told not to judge for a reason.  Many sins are overlooked by the pious, that could be just as serious, or more so than those who are living in marriage outside the church.  Perhaps we should look into our own hearts before judging others. 

As a Catholic, I understand at ever more profound levels what it means to belong to the Body of Christ.  Imagine when we pray, in union with Jesus Christ, we are one with all, outside of space and time.  It is in that space, outside of time, that we are in union with all.  I do not think we should ever underestimate our role in the Church.  The world has always been a rough, messy, cruel, going to hell in a hand basket kind of place, yet Christ Jesus came to us, loves us, and when we pray we are to open up our hearts to all. 

Yes, the Church struggles, yet we are promised that the Gates of Hell will not prevail.  I doubt that this Pope is seeking to destroy the Church.  He wants to bring us, Christ Jesus, to lead us to understand that how we treat the poor, is how we treat Christ Jesus.  If we as Christians would live that out, I doubt many of the troubles in the Church and in the world be the way they are.  I would like to close with this quote from the Pope.  Perhaps if all of us prayed over this, and sought to live it out in a more conscious way, we would become together in ways that are important and not waste time over arguing if this Pope is good or
evil, or the anti-pope.  Perhaps the Holy Spirit is trying to break open our hearts, to not be afraid like Christ Jesus was not afraid to feel the pain of others…..yes, even the pain of this Pope, who I believe does carry the heart of Christ within his own heart.  Or perhaps it is Christ Heart that has one-ed itself with his.—Br.MD

 

“Go out to others and share the good news that God, our Father,
walks at our side. He frees us from anonymity, from a life
 of
emptiness and selfishness, and brings us to the school
of encounter. He removes us from the fray of competition
and self-absorption, and he opens before us the path of peace.
That peace which is born of accepting others, that peace
which fills our hearts whenever we look upon those in need
as our brothers and sisters.”—Pope Francis





 

markdohle

We have to give ourselves to something


It is easy to forget that our lives are important and our
choices and the path we choose invested with deep meaning. 

One thing I find intriguing is the way people deal with life.  By people, I am putting myself in that group.  We all know that life is a tough journey, no matter who you are, or how rich or poor you are, or how intelligent you are.  Rich people suffer as well as poor.  You can’t get away from it.  We also as a species seem to have a knack in creating cultures that have an inbuilt self-destructive switch.  It should not come as a surprise, since we create our cities (a large snapshot of our inner lives), wherein each of us gives our little drop into that often undulating ocean that we call humanity.  We then create out of that inner energy and make it manifest around us.  Hence our ‘Will to Power’ and the desire to make an impact on the world can leave a long, painful, and often bloody trail.  It is amazing how far people will go to serve that desire, that god.  We have to give ourselves over to something, some god or another.  There are those who sacrifice everything for their careers for instance.  Their families, their health, their self respect is all sacrificed for success in the business or political world.  I guess addictions are one of those god’s, demanding everything, then after sucking its devotees dry, will throw what is left in some gutter somewhere to die.  There are many ways that we can bleed our souls to death.  Funny thing, we often do it because we are running from something else.  Perhaps it is our essential emptiness that no matter how much we feed it still remains just dry sand. 

What can actually help us, is often looked upon as something unimportant, a hobby of sorts.  If anyone actually takes this ‘hobby’ seriously, like people do their service to their ‘god’s’ they are called fanatics, even if they are sane and balanced individuals.  I am of course talking about faith in ‘God’.  The source of life and that which keeps us in existence, for creation is not something that happened in the far past, but is ongoing.  We really have nothing of our own, and what we think we have will be taken away from us as our lives progress, until even that will be let go of. 

I guess at the heart of life there is ‘paradox’.  To let go of our ‘god’s’ and serve ‘God’, is the only way to true life, for if we do not have the life of God in our hearts, there is only our essential inner emptiness that we have, which in the end will swallow us whole.  Or the fragments that are left over….we either become ever more fully human and loving or we sink into a state of progressive degeneration. 

Perhaps that is what the ‘life review’ in the NDE is all about.  Where all of our self-delusions are shown to us and taken away, and we finally see the truth about ourselves, both the good and loving and that which is selfish and even freely chosen evil.  What we truly become is the fruit of our free choices. Perhaps some will not accept the truth about themselves and will not accept the healing that comes with mercy, and are simply left to themselves…..in nothingness….their empty center without their seeking to connect with God.—Br.MD

markdohle

Regret, pain, loss and tears

 

Regret, pain, loss and tears
(A prisoner’s sorrow)

I am writing a prisoner, his name is Roger, who has been in prison for  many years, but, hopefully, will be getting out soon on parole.  He is I believe one of those who will not be going back in.  At least that is my prayer, for him.  In his last letter, he talked about regret and if I could give him some insight into dealing with it.  I am not sure if I helped him, but since I have my own weight of regrets, I guess I do have some experience in dealing with it…..as I would suppose, most people do as well.  Below is some of what I shared with him.  I did not want him to think that he was alone in dealing with his past, that we all carry some weight around in our souls, even if it is often hidden.  One day it will come out.  I believe that as death nears, we do review our lives, or as the NDE’s talk about, have a live review.  So below is what I shared with him.  I need to say in passing, I have learned a lot from him.  About perseverance against strong obstacles and starting over as he has done and will continue to do when he is released.

Quote “Dear Roger,

You asked about ‘regret’ and how to deal with it.  We all have regrets in our lives.  Some, over embarrassing moments, others, about serious wrongs that we did over the years, some more severe than others because we knew what we were doing and not just overwhelmed with emotion or passion when committed; they were free, evil, acts. 

Regrets, which are wounds that we place on ourselves, can rise up from time to time.  For when we sin against another, we also sin against ourselves.  However, to feel sorrow over our past can be something positive if we do not wallow in false guilt, which is a waste of time.  Growth in self-knowledge comes from our contemplating what we have done in the past and from that knowing what we are capable of doing now and in the future.  It is not always easy, but if you do feel regret, bring them into the presence of the Lord Jesus who knows, understands and has already forgiven you.  Now you just need deeper healing for yourself and for those you hurt.  You can pray for them, also if you can, if it is possible, to ask them for forgiveness.  If they give it or not, are less important than you actually admitting it…..it takes a weight off and also leads to deeper compassion for others, as well as being able to forgive those who have hurt you in the past as well as the present….though it is always a struggle because of our powerful emotions. 
Pain goes deep, emotional pain the deepest. 

We each carry a burden, but until we learn to love ourselves and accept fully the healing mercy of the Lord we will go in circles bemoaning our past.  Tears of sorrow are healing, tears of self-pity are of a different nature altogether.  We need to look to the Lord and not to our feet like Peter did when he was walking on the water towards the Lord. He began to sink, yet the Lord reached out and pulled him up, as he does you on a daily basis.  You are God’s child, his son, his beloved, never forget that.  Allow God’s love to fill you with compassion for yourself, self-hatred leads nowhere. One point, do not be afraid of the different types of inner experiences, for they pass and another will take its place.  It is from the standpoint of faith that you learn to trust and not get swallowed up by inner storms. 

When you start on the path of faith, the Lord will want you to grow in self-knowledge, which is humbling, for it is based on truth.  Do not fear the truth about yourself, for in that you learn to embrace your need for mercy and healing.  To deny that is only to allow it to grow unchecked and over time can become a devouring flame.  Christ Jesus died for you, would have died if you were the only human on earth, that is what God’s love is….infinite, incomprehensible, other….so don’t try to understand it from how we humans love.  Our love is finite, very comprehensible because it has limits.  If God loved the way we do, well yes, we would be in deep trouble, yet Christ Jesus shows us something different my friend.

When you see others there in the grip of some passion, or depressed, or overwhelmed with guilt, have compassion for them, and if possible let them know of God’s love.  Speak to them in everyday language, using scripture only if it helps you to share your experience of the Love you have experienced in Christ Jesus.

So, your
regret, can lead to deeper healing, or to just more worthless guilt that leads nowhere.  When you feel ‘negative emotions’ open up that chamber in your heart to the love, light, mercy and God’s love for you and those there with you…everyone you see and interact with is the beloved Child of God and how you treat them is how you treat Jesus Christ.  When you fail, just get up and if you can make amends.” End of quote’

 

As a Christian who has received the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, I have only hope for all and so I encourage others no matter what their inner feelings and emotions are to trust in God’s love and mercy.   God’s love is not predicated on how we feel at any one time.  True faith has a deep trust in the Lord’s love; that nothing can separate us from if we seek mercy, compassion for ourselves as well as others.  What we receive, we are to give back, to become channels of God’s love and grace.  We are Christ arms to embrace, he speaks through us when we share our faith and encourage others, and when we show compassion it is His Heart that flows through ours.  We are called to truly understand and deepen our understanding of what it means to belong to the priesthood of the faithful. –Br.MD

 

 

markdohle

Pray with the heart

Pray with the heart

“Therefore, my children, pray, pray, pray, with the heart, pray with love,
pray with good works.  Pray so that the world will change, that the world will be saved.  With love live the words of my Son.  Do not judge, instead love one another so that my heart will triumph.  Thank you”. 
Our Lady of Medjugorje 2 March 201

To pray from the heart is to live out the priesthood we Christians belong to as stated in the ‘1st Letter of Peter’.  When Jesus told us not to judge, he was not talking about acts of evil that are committed.  What we are called to do is to not abuse our priesthood in ways that we are not called to do.  The human person is made in God’s image and likeness and that can never be erased.  Each human being because they are created by a loving God is sacred and no one has the right to judge or degenerate another human being.  Each of us must grow in humility and in the knowledge that we fail, sin, yet only God is our judge, because only God sees the depths of our hearts as well as the hearts of our fellow human beings.

To pray from the heart is to join ourselves with Christ Jesus before the Father in praying for the world and in offering Jesus up for the salvation of the world.  Mankind is growing weary from the weight of the violence, pain and war that is piled up higher in each generation.  We know that hatred in all of its forms does no one any good, yet it is the normal way of dealing with others who offend us, or of a different nation, race and religion, or as is easily seen in the United States today,  an opposing political party.  Yet we continue.

 

I believe the Blessed Mother is a true prophet for our times.  She also says in the same messa

“My Son is merciful and just.  My motherly heart would desire for you also to be like that.  My motherly heart would desire that you, apostles of my love, speak of my Son and of me to all those around you with your life; so that the world would be different; that simplicity and purity would return; that faith and hope would return”. 
 

For Christians, the only way to achieve this is in relationship with Christ Jesus so that we can be more like him. The more we love and open our hearts to him, the deeper his grace can work in us and heal us.  So that we can actually love, forgive, and because of the gift of true humility, see more deeply into the hearts of others.  The more we learn to love, the less we can use contempt and hatred to cover over the suffering humanity of those around us.  Peace has to start with each person opening their hearts to God.  Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhist and people of all paths are called to this…..to be open to God’s infinite love and grace, compassion and mercy.

Below is the full Message given on the 2nd of March 2017—Br.MD

 

Dear children, with a motherly love I am coming to help you to have more love and that means more faith.

I am coming to help you to live with love the words of my Son so that the world would be different.

Therefore, apostles of my love, I am gathering you around myself. Look at me with the heart, speak to me as to a mother about your pains, sufferings and your joys. Ask me to pray to my Son for you.

My Son is merciful and just. My motherly heart would desire for you also to be like that. My motherly heart would desire that you, apostles of my love, speak of my Son and of me to all those around you with your life; so that the world would be different; that simplicity and purity would return; that faith and hope would return.

Therefore, my children, pray, pray, pray with the heart, pray with love, pray with good works. Pray so that the world will change, that the world will be saved. With love live the words of my Son. Do not judge, instead love one another so that my heart could triumph. Thank you.”

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