Breathe in; breathe out
(the practice of prayer)
When I ask this “what do we pray for”, many do not understand what I am getting at. I guess we can start with the question what is prayer? The simplest answer is that it is “raising our heart and mind to God”. But that answer can lead to another question…..what does that mean for me in my everyday life? Prayer, if pursued and the impulses of grace are followed, which is, in fact, an invitation from the Holy Spirit, can slowly gr
“This is how much I love you….At that moment my life changed.”
I felt the urge to look up in the sky and suddenly or felt like … a stroke of love, which took me straight to the heart, in a very strong way. According to my watch, this experience lasted only three seconds, but it was very, very powerful. At that precise
moment I felt that God was speaking to me and he was telling me: ” This is how much I love each of you, all over the world “.--María Vallejo-Nágera
People will often say
Playing with magnetic tiles
(Play is everywhere. Even in our painful struggles, it is also a dance,
or perhaps it may feel like an arm wrestling match……)
One of our brothers, was before he entered the Monastery, a teacher. He taught young children, and like most teachers who have the gift of relating to young people, he himself has a very strong, mature, childlike personality. He is a good speaker, and when we sometimes do a retreat together, I enjoy in how he relates to the group. H
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.
Our true nature
September 11—At the grotto. “Break free of yourself. Take note as to whether even here, you are acting for Me or for you. Cease to exist in your own eyes and focus everything on Me. First and foremost your thoughts, since your actions depend on them. At noon couldn’t you take stock of your inner life in such a way as to tighten the bonds between us? I call you so often. Call Me, so that you may come; it’s not I who fail to come. Ask My mother for the grace to live like her,
Healing, pain, purgation
Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again. That He can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with Him and can stand there in the fullness of life. Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.--Pope Benedict XVI
Pain comes from the
The man who was freed of a heavy burden
“Believe in the matchless beauty of a humble soul that shows Me its wounds and hopes in Me alone.
I clothe it with My merits. How could I ever do otherwise?”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3582-3583).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
One of the most natural things for men, and women, to do, is to without even knowing it is happening, is to hide from themselves. I guess I know this because I do it myself. It is ‘normal’, tho
A simple but very powerful Near Death Experience
(my time with a retreatant)
“What could ever harm you? You are God’s child and Christ is your brother. Isn’t that a wellspring of joy? Escape from yourself. Forget all earthly cares. Return unceasingly into the eternal womb that bore you. Give yourself to the Spirit. He will quicken you. He will interpret you to the Father. You can’t understand this; so knowing that you know nothing, give yourself all the same, and the smaller you are the more
A woman lonely and troubled
“Win the right to see Me. Let this secret longing be your constant thought. I say ‘secret’ because it is still feeble. Ask Me to make it grow in you, so that it may be light and warmth to those who come near you; and they too will understand that I am the End. The End of every beginning day. “And when at last you close your eyes, hope that they open only to see Me, your very gentle, your most loving Savior.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3522
The Human Journey
(life needs to be lived, though it is not always understood)
I remember when I was very young, that there were days when I felt very old. Even then, I felt a certain type of inner fatigue….why does life have to be so hard I would intuit, if not actually think it out. Of course, life was not always hard when young, but it was the times of struggle, and fear, that made the biggest splash in my small pond.
I used to like to sit and listen to adults talk. Not sure why th
Chad, a prisoner I am writing to
Life in a prison is intense, amplified, and I believe that the struggle for those who seek an inner relationship with God is also more intense. If only for the reason that they cannot get away from others. They can go into their cell, in some prisons, yet the noise can be overwhelming, I am told. There is violence, stabbings, and lockdowns. In the winter, from what I have learned, they keep the place cold, and one prisoner I write to says they allow no jac
How are we to live?
What is really important in our lives? When I look inward, when praying, or just thinking, I see a lot of real issues, some of them quite painful, but in the long run, they are smoke and ashes. Sometimes I worry about how I am going to die. Or fret, that I sense that my aging process, is like a snowball rolling downhill, it gets bigger and it will only stop when it hits something. Or will just run out of momentum, and become still. I am not always worried about my d
Many roads to the one gate
“I have another temple—your soul in a state of grace: a state of Me-in-you, since
grace is your Christ. Who can ever know the joy it gives Me to be loved there, even if the love is feeble.
Do you know what it is to feel at home in a soul? To be the one waited for, the most loved, the most understood,
the head of the household even though I am so ready to fulfill the desires of this one who lives for Me alone.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3535-3
February 12—Nantes. 5:35 AM The Way of the Cross.
“As you meditate on the Stations of the Cross, look at My eyes and see in them nothing
but the utmost kindness and love in the midst of the torture.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 679-681).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
There is very little that I understand. The older I get the more I am aware of this reality. So if I live to be 99 and in good mental health, I will finally come to the co
In suffering, we discover our unity
March 29—After Communion. “Say, ‘Holy Father, I offer You Jesus living in my life and dying in my death.
And I offer You the heart of Jesus in each one of my heartbeats.’ ”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 693-695).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
The Christian path is one of love and service towards others. To belong to the Body of Christ is to invite suffering into our lives, because of the unity of hearts, united in the total
I can’t leave my pets behind!
A couple of days before Florence came to shore, I called an old family friend, (an adopted aunt), who was very close to my mother. She is now 85 years old, and from what she tells me, is in great health. She lives in Myrtle Beach and I was worried about her. I asked her if she was going to evacuate as was recommended by the authorities. She lives close to the water, so my concern was pretty high. She said, “no, I have too many pets and can’t leave them, Debbi
To rekindle our ‘Child-Soul’
April 15—I was listening to some children playing. “I love children. It is I who gave them all these delicate thoughts and feelings: complete trust, docility, a thirst for Jesus, candor and purity, absolute surrender and the forthright glance. You must keep the same sentiments with you right through life. For they come from Me and I so love to find them again in you when you are grown up. So find your child-soul again and give it to Me.”
Fear of just ‘being’
When you come to pray, it is not so much the words that matter; it is your loving attention to My presence that consoles My Heart. Give Me your attention, and I will work the wonders of My merciful love in your soul. Hold yourself facing Me. Abide in My presence gently, without forcing yourself to produce thoughts, feelings, or sensations. None of these things is necessary to a prayer that pleases Me and gives Me the freedom to act in a soul. All that is necessary is f
Facing our inner chaos with faith
When all seems confused and inconsistent, then you must turn to Me with an even greater confidence, for I remain all wisdom, all love, all mercy, and nothing escapes My providence. Have no fear, for I remain constant even when you are inconstant.1 I am strong when you are but weakness. I am holiness itself when everything in you seeks compromise
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart
--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (Kindle
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
How do I say it, do it, and am I doing it right?
A retreatant came up to me yesterday and thanked me for giving him a rosary last year, while on retreat. He still has it and showed it to me. He wanted to ask me if he was saying the rosary correctly. So I asked him how he said it, and he explained it to me. So after he explained how he said it, I said, yes, sounds like you got it. Then I added, there is no wrong way to say the rosary, each person will say it in their own unique way. For i
Prayer and the Expanding Heart
The human heart is very complex, often fearful, and quick to withdraw, placing up barriers to keep others out. It is a form of both protection and death since it can become a self-made prison. Some people need to be kept at a distance for many reasons, not all of them bad, but so dysfunctional that they only have their own pain to give. At the beginning of one’s journey towards becoming more loving, which could be many years, discernment is needed. For c
You can’t stop it, so get over it, live your life
I do not mind aging for myself,
(though in my friends, well I do not like it,
they're getting older)
in any case, it cannot be stopped,
little bits here and there reduced or lost,
and body parts once taken for granted
have to be attended to because of pain,
energy levels lower and by 3 PM,
well, let us say, I do get by,
I read and doze off, then read again,
my eyes work better on some mornings than others,
quite a litany, so commo
The deep joy of writing prisoners and what I have learned
Loneliness is a form of invisibility
that only heals when one is truly seen,
to the depths, deeper than one is aware of,
I have mentioned before how I got involved with writing prisoners, well, by accident. A much as I love to write, I have never before I started writing prisoners really wrote letters at all. It simply started one day when a monk asked me if I would like to write a convict, about four years
Taking our faith for granted
The emptiness of My churches apart from the hours of the liturgical offices is an indictment, first of all, of My priests, and then, of My faithful. My Eucharistic presence meets with coldness, with indifference, and with a chilling ingratitude, even on the part of My priests and of consecrated souls. They fail to recognize in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist the pearl of great price, the treasure once
hidden in the field but now offer