Waking up, the beginning
AA principles Steps 1-4
(notes for a talk I am giving for a retreat)
1st Step: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
I often wonder how manageable anyone’s life is. How much illusion is at work in our lives? I do believe that we each live in our own universe, have deep inner lives, with an often traumatic past. In this world, anyone who has had no trauma, or little, in their lives, is very rare indeed. A
My good friend Noel has published a book about his experience of hearing loss. It has gotten many good reviews. Check it out on Amazon. The book has got me thinking about life, fragility, and how we deal with it.--Br-MD
Life turns on a dime
(the loss of something precious)
We live in illusion, one hard to break,
that our lives are stable,
and as it is ‘now’, so it will ever be.
It is a lie we know, but it brings comfort,
yet life turns on a dime.
A random flip of event
The use of a prayer robe, rosary, or Jesus Beads is not for everyone. However many people from all religious persuasions find them helpful. The holding of the beads, the feel of them, can for many have a relaxing effect on the body. The slow repetition of the prayer, or word, can also help to focus the heart and mind on God.
If done on a regular basis and it does not become compulsive but comes from the heart, it will allow for the “Practice of the presence of God” to deepen ov
I just kept hearing "you will never be denied
(from a online friend)
Below is a beautiful meditation from a friend I have online. I love what he has to say because I know that many others are walking the same path he is…..perhaps we all are. Walking in a desert, seeking the living waters. In any case, I am happy to share this and hope that some may find some healing, and hope in knowing that they are not alone in their search for what is most important….love.—Br.MD
(Quote:)) I thought y
A good question and something about Advent
A man responded to one of my postings with this question. "How can you possibly believe in God? The whole concept is absurd and irrational"! It was written in anger I believe, though it is hard to really know, since it was typed on the internet.
We often use terms that are totally subjective in nature but are often thought to be based on reality. We can stick with those who believe as we do and as a group, possibly laugh at those who be
When I dream, it is my world, then I wake up.
Sometimes, Lord, I would like something to hold on to,
yet that is impossible for all I have is this naked moment,
then there is this instant, and now yet another one!
When young, it was my world,
now I am not sure what my world is anymore,
for like sand in my hand, my days slip through,
falling, where I wonder, all that sand I cannot grasp?
When I dream, it is my world, then I wake up.
Sometimes during the day, I will wake up as well,
It is a mercy that gives us the courage to face what needs to be faced.
357+Most Holy Trinity, I trust in Your infinite mercy. God is my Father and so I, His child, have every claim to His divine Heart; and the greater the darkness, the more complete our trust should be. (St. Faustina’s diary)
What if we had a human friend that responded by showing more love and compassion the worse we got. Our indifference, our selfishness and our coldness of heart, instead of destroying our friend’s re
Not about Magical Thinking
Faith will not always remove suffering, but it will make it bearable, and will suffuse it with a supernatural hope.
Others can make this act of faith for the ones who are suffering until,
helped by their prayers, they have enough strength to make it for themselves.
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (p. 243). Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.
Many people believe that all they have to do after they
Peace is found in thankfulness
Sometimes we do not know until something is lost, or someone we love leaves us in mourning, how happy we actually were.
Happiness, if pursued, is elusive, it can sneak up on us when we least expect it, mostly when we are involved with others,
forgetting ourselves on some level.
Owning something does not bring happiness, for once we get what we desire, we no longer have the desire, it is ours.
Yet, to be thankful, well, for just our lives, even in tur
I would say a lot of the emotion in what I do is a sort of a thankfulness for those energies being around, because there's been points in my life when they weren't around, and it's a real sort of miserable existence.--John Frusciante
If every day was joyful, or each week like spring, would we know the delight of rejoicing in the weather and would we even know that we have joy? This is a strange realm that we live in. We are not pampered nor are we coddle by the Inf
Preached November 17, 2019
By Fr. Cassian OCSO
In my elementary school in the mid-1950s, following the detonation of 2 atomic bombs in 1945, we had periodic drills in which we crouched under our desks. We were practicing how to protect ourselves from an atomic bomb dropped on Indianapolis.
I have no idea how many people at the time realized desks would not have done much to protect us in a nuclear blast. But it was a way of dealing with fear.
"Lo, the day is coming, blazing lik
I see your life in the light of My providence
Take heart! Trust in My love for you. I will not abandon you. I will never forsake you, because you are Mine and I have set My Heart upon you. Do you think that I am fickle and unfaithful? I am unchanging and nothing can change My will,1 for My will is the expression of My love, and My love is everlasting.2 There is no detail of your life that is unknown to Me, and I see your life in the light of My providence. It is I who lead you, correct you,
What is practice?
In seeking to live deeply ones spiritual path it is best to keep it as uncomplicated as possible. Have a practice that is simple to do, because the effort is needed in keeping one foot in front of the other. Not to think of two steps forward or obsess on what happened two steps back, but to simply start where one is at. In chaos, or pain, in failure, or joy, or success, it is the same. All we can do is to start from where we stand, and taking the next step. Grace works the sam
Janet’s tough situation
I have known Janet for a long time. I first met her in 1991, when I was a guest-master for a short time. For just under two years. Over the years I have written some stories about our relationship, which while there was a closeness, was never what I would call a friendship. Yet, there was a bond.
She is actually a very intelligent woman and has an easy outgoing personality. She was a teacher for a while. Yet, as she aged, her underlying issues became stro
O Lord I prayed
‘Protect us from them”.
“There is no ‘them’, the Lord responded,
there is only Me”.
“What you do to ‘them’
is felt by me,
as well as wounding your own soul”.
“For I the Lord,
carry the pain of all,
as well as their deaths”.
“Out of love I freely do this,
on the cross, I show this,
for it is there that all souls rest”.
“Awaiting the third day--BrMD
The root of the matter
Jesus talks about receiving back what was given up; in the way of community and family; not in beautiful “things”. We are to seek love, and the reward is to constantly grow in our ability to love and embrace others. The reward is to see all whom we meet as our brothers and sisters, to truly see others as other-selves; or as Christ stated; “whatever you do to the least, you do unto me”.--Br.MD
What is God’s Compassion?
Never Lose Hope in God's Mercy (Rule of St. Benedict 4:74)
I have always been thankful for the Elders in the community. When I was a young monk in my mid-twenties, until I was around 35, Fr. Matt was my Spiritual guide. I still remember much of what I learned from him.
So as far as I can remember this is what Fr. Matt said: “It was an act of supreme mercy on the part of Jesus to ask Peter three times. For each time he asked Peter: “Peter do you love me?” It e
I can only speak for myself
It is not enough to say we are Christians.
We must live the faith, not only with our words,
but with our actions.--Pope Francis
When speaking about life, and what it means, each of us can only truthfully speak from our own perspective, or one’s faith path. I really can’t speak for anyone else. For me, the growth in faith, as well as my vocation as a monk has been a slow one. That is not true of many Christians, and that, of course, includes monks. I have kno
No need to force or to achieve
When fatigued it is hard to pray,
or focus, or at times to even think,
when the inner waves rise about me,
and anxieties seek to sink me,
it is then that my mind can race,
so over the long years, I have learned
that there is a place of inner calm,
as if I am sitting in a boat on a raging sea,
or resting into my fatigue,
and let myself sink into presence of the Infinite,
no need to force, or to achieve,
just simply be, with an inner ear to listen,
The Monastic Struggle
'Man's anger does not bring about the righteousness of God' (Jms. 1:20
We must, with God's help, eradicate the deadly poison of the demon of anger from the depths of our souls. So long as he dwells in our hearts and blinds the eyes of the heart with his somber disorders, we can neither discriminate what is for our good, nor achieve spiritual knowledge, nor fulfill our good intentions,
nor participate in true life;and our intellect will remain impervi
By the door, it sat, this big black dog,
it then walked away when I approached,
not running, just walking fast,
as if it did not know to run or trust,
it simply declined my presence.
I saw it the next morning in the grey dawn,
shivering it watched me again as I walked by,
ready to dart away,
yet wanting to come,
it must remember the caress of its master,
who abandoned him.
Then a week went by,
a man came and said that a dog,
skinny, black, and weak was by our lake,
All Souls Day
Lord on this day we remember your beloved children
who have left us and moved on to a greater reality,
where only truth reigns in your presence.
Your mercy is like a two-edged sword
cutting deep into the human soul
exposing all that needs healing,
for are you not the Divine Physician?
Love is a fire that burns away all that is false,
or at enmity with Infinite Love,
until only truth remains and total healing,
all sins forgiven, and self-inflicted wounds restored
The saints lived as we did,
days of joy and of sorrow,
faith sometimes fought for,
doubt reasoned with,
suffering and injustices endured,
and yes, many failures,
yet they endured and did not despair
slowly growing in their trust of Christ Jesus,
diving deeper into the Mind-Of-Christ,
until now they deeper in the kingdom
they are in union, one with,
Christ’s mind and intentions.
They are now fully human,
like Christ Jesus, for they now see him
as he really is, and tra
Life is a marathon, not a sprint
In life, we do not see the finish line,
we just begin each day anew,
perhaps conscious of our seeking,
or if not, perhaps wondering what compels us,
to continue in spite of failure and loss.
Joy, love, family, and friends help give spice to our days,
a healing balm more often than not,
giving us reasons to continue our quest,
that is often not understood.
Our faith is light that shines on the deepest meaning of life,
if we have the ears to hea