No one is unloved
To love ourselves is a command given by Christ Jesus.
You are not an accident, God created you on purpose,
and for a purpose. He loves you and created you to be in a
relationship with him. It demands faith to trust in God
and to love ourselves enough to continue on our journey
in spite of the failures and roadblocks we often face.-Br.MD
It takes self-reflection and prayer
It is easy for me to spout off pious sayings, or quotes from the bible without taking in what it is really implying.
For instance the ‘Golden Rule”. Sounds nice, and may even come across as something easy to do,
once one’s mind is made up. So do I “love my neighbor as myself”? I can honestly say I do not know,
but I strive for that reality. Yet, if I do not know actually how I want to be treated, or do not ponder it,
how can I really treat others as
No one is exempt
My whole body hurts today,
Lord, it is ok, for there is also such beauty in my life as well.
Teach me not to fear pain, whether from my soul, heart,
in my thoughts, my feelings and emotions,
knowing that all passes, yet your love is eternal.
No one is exempt from life's vicissitudes, yet how we respond is perhaps
one of the most important choices of our lives.
Helps us Lord to never lose hope, to be deeply rooted in your love,
and to not fear the storms we
The stranger's touch,
Written on 08 Oct 2006
She walked in pushing a wheelchair slowly,
looking tired and a little worn out,
the man in the chair perhaps her father,
old, and sickly, his arm in a cast acting confused.
She walked with a slight limp with stingy blond hair,
her face looked as if she had not smiled in a while.
Her voice was strong and intelligent yet gentle,
conversing patiently with the man she cared for.
As I observed her from ac
It is no small thing
To trust is no small thing.
For fear can build up high walls,
seemingly impossible to climb,
yet we are called to trust God,
stepping over those high walls
on the wings of grace.
Our emotions and feelings can be untrue,
God's love and Word are always trustworthy,
we can entrust ourselves into the arms
of our Loving Father,
as revealed in Jesus Christ-Br.MD
Inner stormy seas
Lord, help me to keep it simple,
to simply get through this day,
embracing all that comes my way,
and try to become a little more loving
by day's end.
If not, to begin again in hope, trust, and love.
To look to you, and not myself, O Lord as I walk
the often inner stormy seas.
Keeping it simple is often difficult for one such as me-Br.MD
Our prayer changes as we age
I of course can only speak from my experience when it comes to prayer, but I believe that the inner life as we age takes on a new dimension that is unknown by most people before they reach what we called ‘old age’. People who have a chronic disease from a young age or of course an exception in many cases, as can be seen in the numerous stories about the journey of children and young adults with their struggle.
I believe that one reason old age is often feare
All people who are on a spiritual path need to work together and not against each other. While it is true that not all paths seek the same thing, yet the deeper you go in seeking understanding, the closer we seem to get. I am a Christian; Jesus is the Word become flesh, a special revelation of the Father for mankind. The Word is God, and I guess if there is one word that may sum up God’s Word to us, is “BE”.
Perhaps if another Word is needed it could be “LOVE”. Both I beli
“Love to be blind, since it is I who am leading you if you really want to put your hand in Mine.
Don’t you think fathers are happy when their little girls leave everything to them in simple tenderness?”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 1356-1357).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
There are many impossible human situations, where the only thing one can do is show
compassion, and simply be present in the path that has no signposts.
There is always struggle
4. “Jesus: ‘My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for my kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life – for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness.’” (No. 1488) Divine Mercy Diary
I learned, and I guess we all do, very early, that life is oft
My struggle with tenderness and mercy
“You remember, when Mary Magdalene had told Me of her sins, she stopped to ask, ‘After that, can I be forgiven?’ I assured her and she went on. But once again she stopped and asked, ‘For this too, may I still hope to be forgiven?’ ‘Yes,’ I assured her. Then when all her past had been laid at My feet, she wept from pure love-gratitude, understanding My infinite compassion. Understanding a little, that is. For it is not in you to grasp the infinite. “Love t
Staying open to the gift
I was walking
doing my mediation;
it was the softest evening,
the sun setting,
long beautiful shadows
gracing the fields,
with barn swallows
flying, zigging and zagging
the way barn swallows do
joyful in their flight,
allowing joy to become conscious
a tree standing quiet,
I stopped observed,
then without warning
silence enveloped me,
a quiet without strain,
just an all-encompassing peace.
I was feeling very unsettled, in a very bad mood
One day I was in the retreat house doing dishes. This was 30 years ago. I was feeling very unsettled, in a very bad mood, and struggling not to take it out on anyone. As I was fuming, doing dishes, one of the young monks came up to me and said: “Brother Mark, why is it you are always so peaceful and centered?”
I was shocked that he would say something like that to me when in my interior it felt like I was in the midst of an internal earthq
The Deeper the Trust, Greater the Depth
“You understand—in Me you can find everything: all the love you need to help you. So don’t be afraid of making use of the one who loves you so. Unfold your trust like silk to clothe your request, and you will vanquish Me. My heart is easily taken captive by My little children. And you are all My little children. Any humble tenderness disarms Me.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 1349-1351).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
We are not to judge, we are to heal, lift up and love
“When God comes, he always calls us out of our house.
We are visited so that we can visit others;
we are encountered so as to encounter others;
we receive love in order to give love.” --Pope Francis
When Jesus healed it was always a call to reenter society, to not withdraw out of fear but to seek to share their healing. No matter where one lives, in a city, a small town, on a farm, or in a Monastery, others will be encountered. Ho
A fragment of our October 2021 Newsletter for the Monastery Retreat House
Hello everyone, I am not in the best of moods as I write our October Newsletter. It almost seems like we are back at square one in the ongoing saga of the present pandemic. The reality of the times is becoming more real every day as many of us learn about the death of family members, friends, classmates, and just the rising numbers of deaths not only in the United States but worldwide. I would be lying if I said that m
Beauty is where you find it
(the joy of little things)
A couple of days ago I had the joy of seeing our cloistered turtle. She was in her usual place, where she is looking for some treats from one of the monks. Usually, Br. Michael takes care of her, but this was later than usual. So I went into the refectory (dining area) and got a banana for her. When she saw me coming she starting running (sort of) towards me. So I broke off two good size pieces of the Banana and placed them in
In my own life, I have found that I am the problem
“Don’t you come to Me with more confidence than to any friend on earth?
Aren’t you at home in My heart?
It should be that way too, since for each soul
I am the unique, the incomparable one.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 1344-1346).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
My sister Judy and I will often have a conversation, whether or not the Christian faith is a religion. She says no, I say yes
Getting Through a Bad Day
(Internal Mind Storm)
One of the benefits of being older is that consistency over how time is spent becomes easier. At least that is for me. When younger, I could be quite restless and would often have a hard time settling down for private meditation/prayer. I used my energy like most young people through my work and exercise. Now that I am older I am aware of how my energy is now being used in a different way. While my body is slowing down, and fatigue is becoming
Aridity in our walk with God
"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.
The soul is made for the ‘Living Water’, that which allows our souls to flourish and grow. Yet the desert is also a reality that dwells within each of us. A place of dryness, thirst, listlessness, and a feeling of not knowing where one is moving towards, for in the desert there are no well-worn roads. It is there that we ‘wait on the Lord’ i
The woman who did not love God
(Written September 15, 2015)
"I don’t love God" the woman informed me. "All my life I have suffered, been abused, abandoned and now the only love of my life is gone". She started to cry and then looked at me and said “why me?”, then she became so quiet that it worried me.
“Why are you here” I responded. “If you are seeking an easy answer I can’t give it to you. Just because I am a monk I don’t have some sort of elevated answer to the awful tragedies that peop
An interesting encounter
(Written in September 2014)
Working in a retreat house that is in close proximity to a large city has it benefits as well as challenges. People come here for spiritual rest and renewal and from time to time there are those who arrive who are looking for a safe place. For the former group, we are set up to help, for the latter, it can be a little more difficult.
Early last week I was on my way to the front office. It was just before 7 AM and I was trying to get s
Forgiveness: Finding freedom of heart
There is a saying that is often used about the need for the military. It goes like this; “freedom isn’t free”. This concept can be used for many areas of our lives if we wish to un-clutter both our outer and inner selves. Many people struggle with discipline, I know that I do, yet without it, freedom is not possible. The freedom to do whatever we want at any time is in reality the exact opposite of true freedom.
When you look at someone playing the
It is difficult to exist
If we do not face our fears and develop inner strength, then our weakness will take over;
we will respond with implosion or explosion. It becomes part of the ongoing destructive situation.
It is difficult to exist, to stand out, and to be self-aware. Within our inner world, the more we are aware of it, can cause anxiety and lead to self-loathing. True humility shines a light on the problem in our lives. Strange to say it seldom scopes out those around us
Struggling with Inner Barriers
A few years ago, my good friend Gail, as she was walking in the woods near where our green cemetery is, found a stone in the form of a heart. It was large covering much of the palm of my hand when held. She wanted me to have it. I have it on my prayer altar in my room. I found it intriguing because it for me, represents my own inner journey to overcome the stoniness of my own heart.
I have found that there are barriers that have been set up in my soul t