Our struggle with humility
Our Lord sends the crosses; we do not have to invent them. ---Padre Pio
Humility is not a popular word. For many when thinking of humility they think of weakness, or people who falsely depreciate their selves, when in fact it is far away from being true humility since lack of self-esteem is not humility at all. To be able to accept the truths we learn about ourselves, be it something beautiful or its opposite is not always easy. Yet we are called to do that.
Love your enemies. Really!?!
When we get it, we lose it,
gods can be messy beings,
just us in bigger form,
best to let it go and love the mystery.
When I read the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament, I have more in common with what is going on in the time before Christ. When I read the words of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and on the Plain, I will often feel lost. I read it, ponder it, pray about it, yet I know that I still don’t get it, or to put it in a b
Being thankful for the dark times
(A thanksgiving retreat)
We had a retreat on thankfulness this Mon-Wed of this week. This time of the year the number is usually small; we had five participants. Usually we have larger groups. I do like the smaller ones however. When I started off the discussion, I reminded the group that when thinking about ones life and being thankful, we are also led to those times when we struggled and perhaps failed in a major way and in the end we find ourse
Sin or ignorance
‘Sin’ is a difficult concept to understand. Today the word itself is in disrepute and I can understand that. Here I am 65 years old, and I still struggle with the term. In some religious traditions the concept of ‘ignorance’ is used when it comes to seeking to understand the plight of mankind. People can embrace the above states, of sin and ignorance, or they can be victims of them, yet the outcome is the same.
I was talking to a man in the 12th step program and he
All who hope in God
Mary’s song of praise in the Magnificat “is the
canticle of the People of God on the journey,
and of all men and women who hope in God, in the power of his mercy.” Pope Francis
Advent is a time of hope. For Jesus Christ is God’s mercy in the flesh and Mary in her joy over this deep mystery and actual reality praised God in her “Magnificat”
”My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the l
What do I really believe?
“Death is nothing else but going home to God,
the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.” – Mother Teresa
Many people believe that faith is some form of absolute assurance. I do not believe that. From my own limited experience, there will always be room for some doubt. I think that is healthy and when ‘doubt’ is rejected and pushed underground it can manifest itself in other ways. Being overly defensive as opposed to simply sharing one's faith and viewpoin
A convict with a rough background
Most people, I believe, have a rough background, or at least a period of time when things were not optimal for healthy growth. For some, it can be a lifetime of living with their chaotic past, which can actually be generational. That is, passed on from one generation to the next. For others, it can be from being in a home that is temporary, like many foster homes. While there are most likely many foster parents, perhaps the majority, that
Backed into a corner
Working with the elderly has given me a certain perspective on life that others perhaps share, but don’t have it presented to them all the time like I do where I work. As we age we are at least for most of us, slowly but surely backed into a corner, were finally a place is reached, often feared by most, in which they have arrived at the point in their lives where they need to be taken care of. Once vibrant, strong and independent people are faced with the reality that
Which Cross will you carry?
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self;
there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain”
― Padre Pio
People often balk when they read comments like the above; or when Jesus talks about dying to self and taking up one's cross in order to follow him in life. What is often forgotten is that anything we give our hearts and mind to, demands the same thing. People give up everyt
What is the present moment?
Live, then, in the present moment. Choose to be faithful to Me in the little things that I give you and ask of you from minute to minute, from hour to hour, and from day to day.3 It is foolish to pin your hopes and to spend your energy on an imaginary good, when the real good that I offer you is here and now.
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (Kindle Locations 3220-3223). Angelico Press. Kindle E
Treading is what people often do,
Just trying to keep the head above water,
Struggling to stay afloat
With no surcease in sight.
Often alone with no one to say a kind word
Or offer a helping hand.
They are all around us,
Passing our way on the street,
Yet often they are not seen
Since it is hidden away.
Their hearts heavy laden
With life’s burdens;
They are often experienced as a pest
To be avoided,
Since to truly see what is undernea
I have been asked to give a talk on Anger, Resentment, and Forgiveness; a subject I feel I know a lot about, since anger is an issue that I have been dealing with all my life. I am not an intellectual, so my talks tend to be more autobiographical than anything else, and sometimes it gives me pause when I think about it.
One of the reasons I like blogging is that I have an avenue that I can simply state what I feel I need to state, and then send it to be read by people who really don’t know
The bright sun on the white sand and rocks
Reflected a strong glare causing the eyes to water,
The blue sky empty of clouds opened up to infinity,
The cool breeze with the sweet smell of the salty water
Allowing calm to descend were just a moment ago was missing.
The sound of the waves pounding the beach,
So soothing its crashing upon the sand
Its rhythm allowing the mind to rest in peace deeper than sleep,
A refreshing break from simply existing apart,
Drawing into the oneness
Thinking about being a pilgrim
(Journey at the end of life retreat 11/17-11/20/2015)
I remember when I was around 10 or 11, watching a movie with my mother way past my bed time. In the movie one of the actors greeted a friend by saying “hello pilgrim”. It was an old film from the 30’s. I thought about that word ‘pilgrim’ and when the movie was over I asked my mom what the word meant. I had some idea about the word but needed further clarification. So my mom thought about it for a mi
Why Jesus told us not to judge
When talking to people who do share deeply I am beginning to understand why Jesus told us not to judge. While behaviors can be harmful to others it is easy to understand why they are done even if the morality behind them is still wrong if their history is understood. We can judge actions and at times the need to deal with people who commit them. That is a form of judgment. Which is necessary, yet to judge the worth of another human being, or to give up on
Never being challenged
I often wonder what life would be like being alone,
no other, just me, by myself,
without the bother of others or their problems,
or endless opinions and ideas,
not to be pulled this way and that,
or needing to control my responses
because of some inner turmoil or unease.
In other words,
never being challenged.
If alone, all that being pulled around by others
would be me being submerged by inner chaos,
as well as being infallible in my ideas
Being conned, what to do?
October 4—“Above all, confidence! When you have an anxiety and you can do nothing about it, just think, ‘He will straighten that out for me’—and go back into the peace within Me.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 630-632).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
I received a letter from one of the prisoners that I am corresponding with. I will call him Jason. He is 55 years old, and in jail for three different felonies. Parole violatio
Each day so much like one before it
Just little differences
That make some stand out,
While the rest sink into forgetfulness,
Never again to see the light.
Buried in the cave beneath thought,
With roots deep,
Influencing in secret
That makes us a mystery to ourselves
In how we sometimes are.
Am I my past or am I my thoughts at this moment?
What will I be in the future?
Perhaps I am none o
What is it about Jesus that everyone has to have some sort of theory seeking to debunk his reality? I think one reason for some, though not all, is fear. Jesus did talk about our freedom, how in the end we become something. Either we become like God, or we become though our own choices eternal horrors. The last judgment scene in the Gospel Matthew brings this out I believe. So if Jesus did rise from the dead, this has to be dealt with. One way is to try to disprove the re
The stakes are up with ISIS
Well war has been declared, or the danger has gone up for all of us. I have no doubt that ISIS will pay a heavy price for this senseless attack on people who were no threat to them or anyone. As Pope Francis said, we are in the midst of the Third World War; I suppose it will only get more violent now. I have a feeling that violence towards Muslims who have no desire to harm others will pay for this attack. I hope that we don’t go into revenge mode. ISIS need
My cruelty in High School
There are events from my early teenage years that still haunt me to this day….wounding memories that bring to mind aspects of myself that are painful to even contemplate, but must, in order for those seeds that led to the events when young…. don’t grow and consume me. I don’t understand why so many people react to the concept of ‘sin’, through granted it is often misused and has been wounding too many. However, it seems that to not believe in the reality of ‘sin’
Trying to bring it all together
There is always more than one side to any of us. True we are each unique, but we share a common humanity and that is what allows us to communicate with each other. Even with that however, we can only put before others a small fragment of who we are. We each have deep inner lives, often much of it hidden, but it can reveal itself if we have ways that allow the door to open a bit. I believe in each of us there are deep wells of joy and peace, as well as pa
When alone, the moment we enter our room and close the door, when we are accompanied only by silence, we change. We are adrift either in isolation or in solitude; they are of course not the same. In both of these states all of our pretenses fall away. Our ego’s, no longer needed, move into the background, though there may be some resistance, which can be felt as restlessness. An attempt I believe to keep us busy, that is often based on the fear of the seeming ocean of nothin
Self concern, narcissism, is in the end the most terrible of prisons, since it blocks out any chance of seeing others and the world as a whole. As something that should be related to and simply seen, instead of being reduced to something that is just an extension of my own often childish, self absorbed, projections and transferences. This in the end shrinks the world down to the size of a small room, empty of any real light, beauty, or love. Perhaps that is what hell is in the end; this self imp