A place of beautiful, wounded, raw humanity
I feel at home at the veteran’s hospital in Atlanta,
a place for men and women who have seen much,
who carry their burdens for all to see,
not in shame, but just their lives.
Many are old like me, some very young,
so much for war and its fruits,
wounded men and women, many adrift,
they wear their hats stating which service they served in,
with pride, not shame, even if bitter and angry
over how their lives turned out.
The hallways are
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
The Beatitude I want to speak on is the one that speaks of mercy. Or about the merciful.
However, I want to start off with this quote from Matt: 7:1-5
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is i
My brothers and sisters
Oh Lord, I pray for those like me,
whose inner life is chaotic,
filled with images of conflict and strife,
yet who seek to love in spite of this inner war.
My community is with the broken,
not among the strong and virtuous,
for gifts are just that,
a given….grace to share with others,
perhaps my wounds and struggles,
for me and as well as for all of us
are for others as well,
for Lord, it is our wounds you carry,
our burdens you embrace,
should we not do
The inner life
When thinking about the inner life, the vibrant pulsating world that we all have that is hidden from others, the picture that comes to mind is one of a very large jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces scattered around, and the main focus of that inner world is to try to put the pieces back together again.
Fragmentation is a good word to use, when thinking about this reality, different aspects of the inner man, some parts at war with others, some aspects desiring death, and othe
Expansion of Heart
February 25, 2019 Monthly Message to Marija: “Dear children! Today, I am calling you to a new life.
It is not important how old you are, open your heart to Jesus who will transform you in this time ofgrace
and, like nature, you will be born into a new life in God’s love, and you will open your heart to Heaven and the things of Heaven.
I am still with you, because God permitted me out of love for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Before God, the Ete
Our greatest prison
Alfredo Bencomo, is a family brother here at the Monastery. He has a prison ministry, he goes in and gives talks in the local jail once a week. He wanted me to write something for the prisoners to read, about not coming back after they are released. He tells them, “Returning to prison is not an option”. He seems to have a real gift with prisoners, they respond to him. The fact that he looks like a bouncer has nothing to do with it ( I think). Here is the piece I wro
“Depart from me for I am a sinful man”
This a beautiful homily that the Abbot (Dom Augustine) gave this last Sunday This is a beautiful take on Lk: 5:1-11
5th Sunday of Ordinary Time February 5 2019 Lk 5: 1-11
In today’s gospel we have the powerful scene of Peter on his knees saying: “Depart from me for I am a sinful man”. I ponder it first thinking of what Jesus did not say explicitly or implicitly: He did not say to Peter you really are not. Don’t be hard on yours
Dealing with the crisis in the Church
“In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.” St. Boniface’s
There is no way to try to tone down the scandal that people are dealing with in the Catholic Church today. Many just leave, I think that is a mistake. Others who stay in the church are trying to find out how to regain some trust in their le
What is our life?
I wonder why we tend to cling,
impossible though it is to hold on
to so many ‘things’ in our lives.
Clinging will destroy a friendship,
or even marriage if it is too needy,
children also grow away from their parents,
painful as that must be,
yet parents if they don’t let go
stall another kind of relationship,
a deeper one, between equals,
though being a father and mother
seems to be an endless job,
it just changes.
Aging is feared,
a waste of time, for ti
A Muslim couple
(between a rock and a hard place)
(This was written in January 2016)
As a retreat/guest master here I get to meet some very interesting people. People come here who have no specific beliefs. We get Buddhist, Hindus, New Age, and Christians of just about every denomination, and atheists, and agnostics... Not many Muslims come through here, or if they do, they may not identify themselves as such.
About a year ago we got an email from a very nice couple, Muslim, who wanted t
My Friend Janet
Be ever ready to help others right to the very limit of your strength. You remember with what love I gave myself. In My public life, in the midst of so many people all crowding around through self-interest. Seldom did I meet with love. They came to Me through selfishness, yet My tenderness reached out to each one of them. Imitate Me. Don’t bargain with Me.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 1822-1824). Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
I do believ
Anxiety and Morning Coffee
I love coffee. I enjoy the ritual of preparing it. Three scoops for a full pot, allowing the water to run, then getting that first taste of the bitter brew. Yes, I love the bitter taste of coffee. I guess I simply taught myself to enjoy dark, and bitter. It is a familiar place, a comfortable one, a good start for any day.
As I age, I begin to notice that in the morning, even though I wake up rather quickly, there has always been a form of ‘suffering’ associa
Evan, a prisoner I am writing to
Many in prison really do have a profound conversion while incarcerated. There are some who have doubts about this, as if when one goes to prison they become something other than human. That is the danger of stereotyping. I have never met another human being who fits into any narrow stereotype. All one needs to do is to listen. The same goes for prisoners. Those who are seeking a deeper connection with God, also desire to have someone that they can rel
The Two Sides of Silence
Before embarking on some sort of journey, be it going to another destination, or planning a vacation etc., there can be the tendency to romanticize the process. Anticipation is often different than the actual experience.
When pondering the need for silence, it can be one-sided when it is simply being thought about or when reading from a particular author. The thought of silence can be soothing, peaceful and even healing. The desire for some peace in our lives at all
What lies beneath
March 20—Holy Hour. “You are worried about the passage from this life to the next? But since it is the greatest proof of love that you can give Me, be glad. Offer your death to Me now with complete detachment, ready even for heroism. Say, ‘Even if I didn’t have to suffer death, I would choose it in order to be more one with Him.’ And in this way you will give Me the greatest glory a creature can give his Creator. Oh, precious death of the saints that echoes even in the heaven
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
Learning to live with uncertainty and loss
Being young is truly wonderful. When I think of my youth, I often experience ‘that person’ as almost a stranger, yet someone I of course know. I also feel young inside, but there is a difference. I have learned, more or less, to deal with loss.
Many people learn about loss early in life. Starting in early childhood, though perhaps the majority don’t start this process until much later, if they are lucky. We are always letting go, though whe
Accosted in the name of truth
A week ago, right after community Mass, I had a run-in with one of our guests. Nice young man, very conservative, devout and thinking about entering the priesthood. He was upset over how we relate to certain types of guests who stay in our retreat house. He was forceful, perhaps angry and seemed to be demanding that I respond in a very specific way. Which of course I could not do, for what he was demanding from me was unreasonable, though in his own mind, of cours
I have a lot of memories of Christmas, mostly positive and happy ones. My parents seemed to make it a priority that the children had a good Christmas no matter what they had to do to accomplish it, well within legal means of course. In 1953 when I was five we moved into a small farmhouse near a town called Desoto, I guess it was about 50 miles or so from St. Louis. We lived in the house for a few years and it had a few acres of land, some of it used for farming; something
Advent, waiting for the encounter
Advent/Christmas is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, Pope Francis said Nov. 27 in St. Peter's Square. “If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord."—Pope Francis
Is death truly the end as many believe? Or is it an encounter with what the human heart longs for from its deepest center? Is all
The first step
O will of the Omnipotent God, You are my delight,
You are my joy. Whatever the hand of my Lord holds out to me
I will accept with gladness, submission and love. (Sr. Faustina’s diary 1004)
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30
We can be blinded by immediate satisfaction. We look for release, an escape from pain, but only find more when we act in ways that are against what we are called to do. Addictions are a way to deal with pain. Yet all that is a
A pleasant memory of my childhood in Panama
I find that when I am out in the woods, I can feel overwhelmed by all of the life surrounding me. I get overloaded and can’t take it in. I have always been that way. The same goes when I am in a large place with lots of people. If I do not shut down in some way, I get scattered, and tired, very quickly. I can’t say I understand why this is so. Music (apart from dancing) is the same, as well as food. Though I do like to eat, a lot. Yet I re
A death in my extended family
Peggy is a second cousin of mine. I have grown quite close to her over the years. In fact, I am touched that she has always reached out to our side of the family. I do feel a connection with my family of both my mother and my father’s side. However, we moved to Panama in 1958, so the connection has not been all that strong. It is also a large family. I have many cousins as well as nieces and nephews, many that I have not had the privilege of meeting.
For the last three months or so I have been having a strange kind of headache. It is a pressure felt right at the top of my head. Sometimes there is a little pain around the edges, still on the top but a little further off from the pressure point. In years past, in that same area, I would also get a quick pain, it felt like someone had put an ice pick through my skull, and then it would pass. Now, this seems to have moved on to something different. Because of this, I tend
A unique love
My Heart has a particular love for you, a love that My Father destined for you alone and for no other from all eternity. How it grieves My Heart when the unique love I offer a soul is spurned, or ignored, or regarded with indifference! I tell you this so that you may make reparation to My Heart by accepting the love I have for you and by living in My friendship. Receive My gifts, My kindnesses, My attention, My mercies for the sake of those who refuse what I so desire to give the