A man’s journey towards healing and sobriety
✝ Whoever does not meditate, is like someone who never looks in the mirror before going out, doesn't bother to see if he's tidy, and may go out dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his mind to God, who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his faults, tries to correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order.—Padre Pio
I was talking to one of our retreatants about the importance of self-know
The days like sand flow between the hands,
Nothing stops the flow,
Leaving helpless those who fear,
Clinging to youth at all cost,
Consuming ones life,
Fed by fear,
Leaving it difficult to simply enjoy what is.
“Where your treasure is there also will your heart be”
People in general, unless they have some sort of personality disorder, give the impression of wanting to be more truly human. We admire those who display compassion and empathy, especially when it is directed towards us and we enjoy being around them. We ponder concepts like ‘justice’ and ‘mercy’, though they are not easily achieved. Injustice and the seeking of revenge appear to be the stronger force, but that is because when acte
To react or respond to life
(Self-Confrontation retreat 2017)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor 9:24
When thinking about sports of any kind, we tend to think of competition, besting a worthy opponent and thereby winning the crown. When seeking to lead a life that is rooted in following our spiritual path, it can take on a different meaning. Yet the truth of the mat
The anxiety of a prisoner (no longer your own)
I do believe that everyone has something to teach those around them. Often, this comes about when it is not done on a conscious level but comes about when people are just themselves. Open, honest, and not trying to impress or influence anyone. We can influence one another, but control is not possible. Even with fear which can give the illusion of control, there is always a place where rebellion and anger resides, and rightly so when a human
Simply talking with someone else and sharing ones faith
The greatest way we can show respect for someone is to simply listen to them and not to try to change their minds. I suppose in trying to such a thing would lead to ‘Excedrin Headache #8”, since it is impossible. Howe do I know this? From personal experience when I am communing with others. I have been screamed at by some over the simple fact that I am a Christian believer. I have been reviled by Christians because I am a Cathol
July 22-24 retreat
Fear can be something good; it is there to protect us, to tell us when to fight or when to retreat. However sometimes fear can keep us from living, even from completing the simplest of tasks. Overcoming fear can be difficult, but to not try is to not fully live.
Fear like all of our emotions and feelings is something that is at times needed. For instances, if you pass by a dark alley in the city
A sweet lady who lives out of her car
On Monday morning, one of the monks came to notify me that last night he was approached by an older woman in our church. She wanted to know if it was OK to sleep in her car, in our parking lot. We do get a request like that a few times a year from people who simply want to stay in their car. It is not something we like to give permission for because of legal considerations. However, at times it does happen.
When I returned from my trip with
An old woman at the VA who was a sign of grace for others
Walking down the hallways in the VA on a crowded day can be very interesting. Like any crowd, there are lots of people, each dressed differently, some knowing where they are going, others confused and too proud to ask for directions. Others aren’t shy about seeking information on how to get to some place or another. There was a couple, perhaps in their 50’s trying to figure which direction to go in. Each war arguing with each o
We are Pilgrims
(notes for grief retreat this weekend)
One day we will find ourselves in a deep dark woods, along and bereft.
One of the hardest lessons to get is that one of the central aspects of being human is that we are in fact pilgrims. We are on a journey, a very difficult one with many painful as well as joyful experiences along the way. We gain and we lose, we rejoice and we experience sorrow, health and sickness, we lose our youth, all of these can bring us to a point o
Thankfulness is mindfulness
There are days when I am not mindful and lose my way.
I forget the giftedness of all that I am, and what I have,
that I can love, laugh and play, and at times even weep,
enjoy the sun, but mostly I love rainy days with dark clouds,
plants in water with roots, long and flowing, like a work of art, a living sculpture,
people and their smiles and tears and gentleness,
their generosity and freely given love.
Quiet mornings when I go outside and th
A train wreck that never ends
Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others,
to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly.
Lawrence G. Lovasik
Overcoming resentment does not mean there is no emotional fallout, it means that on a certain level we do not demand justice, but give mercy. To constantly give in to resentment is a train wreck that never ends, allowing the buttons that others push (often unconsciously) to grow in number and inten
I had a good talk with a friend and he stated that 'evil' is a subjective term, that it had o objective reality. This is my answer:
Is evil subjective?
Well if you got a room full of people from all over the world, from many religions as well as none, and if they were asked to give a list of what they would consider an evil against them or their loved ones I am sure that the list would be similar. I doubt that anyone would say that for someone to rape their wife would not be evil, or t
Suffering is it a problem?
During our ‘Self-Confrontation’ retreat on Saturday evening we had an open discussion. These discussions tend to bring out some deeper aspect of any given retreat that was not addressed directly. The floor was open to just about any topic that would be brought up. The problem of suffering came up and those who shared did so deeply and with courage. This is not surprising in the least, for this retreat would attract courageous souls, who can step out and shar
This is an essay written by my good friend and author Fr. James Behrens. He has been a member of our community
since 1994. Before that, he was a parish priest. He has a way of seeing deeply into ordinary life and bringing the reality
of God and grace into it. I have Fr. James permission to print this.
On Knowing and Loving Differently
“Variety is the spice of life.” It is a very well known rule
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
Desire and the Monastic Journey
What has brought us to the monastery? It is the desire in our heart. Of course we are not going to be as conscious of the force of desire itself but we might say something like we have come to love God or to sacrifice ourselves for others. But the fact is we want something. We want – something. I purposely stress the want – because in that lies desire. St Benedict is aware that it is desire that jump starts our journey. In the Prologue, the Lord lifts
You will become both Light, and Fire
When you come to adoration, hold yourself before My Eucharistic Face like a mirror before
the sun. Thus will you capture the radiance, of my Countenance and the fire
that blazes in My Heart; thus will you become both light and fire for
souls plunged into darkness and hearts grown cold.
--In Sinu Jesu (When Heart Speaks to Heart).
No matter what religion one follows, or what spiritual path traveled upon, if it is not done in a mindful manner, it c
How do you measure a life
(Love, loss, hope, and faith) “It is more necessary for the soul to be cured than the body;
for it is better to die than to live badly.”― Epictetus
I went with my brother to the VA this week. He has some health issues and we are trying to find out how serious it really is. So, we were back at the VA, and I was sitting again, in the waiting room for outpatient surgery. It is not a big space, enough room for about 20 seats. There are two TV’s but on the day tha
(the use of prayer beads)
I was talking to one of the AA retreatants this morning. She was talking about trying to get herself settled so she could meditate. Meditation can come in many forms but many people think it has to be ‘just so’ for it to be meditation. Actually we meditate many times through out the day. For instance when listening to music that is truly loved and appreciated will bring our focus to the music, be it Gospel, or gentle piano concertos, or whateve
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.
Bringing Christ to others
May 25, 1937—Rennes, in the train. “Why should you create solitude for yourself if I want you before the public? (then tenderly) My beloved little child, take Me, Me to others. Be Christlike.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 354-356).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
About a year ago, a man came to speak to me about some of his struggles. Which were heavy, and without letup. Yet he still loved those who hurt him, and reached out to hi
Confronting our gifts
Last talk for the Confrontation retreat
God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving.
If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it---Pope Francis
When thinking about ‘confronting oneself’ it is usually thought of being only with aspects of ourselves that keep us in cycles of pain and frustration. However many have trouble openly expressing
God and the Afterlife
By Jeffrey Long, M.D.
with Paul Perry
In the early 70’s, I went with a few community members, to a talk given by Kubler Ross on the Near-Death-Experience (NDE). Even though it was 45 years ago, I can still remember the talk clearly. In the audience was also a young man, named Raymond Moody, whose book was soon to be released. He stood up in the audience when Kubler Ross asked him to present himself. From the point on I have been an avid student of this phe
Our True North
Without a True North when confused, it can lead to walking around in endless circles……going nowhere. If lost it can be fatal for one who does not have a way out of the cyclic pattern, exhaustion and death are the result. For the Christian, the Lord Jesus is our True North, His word our guide and the gift of the Holy Spirit that heals and leads us, giving us hope that never departs from our hearts.
For all of humanity, the law of God is written in their hearts, which is al