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
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
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
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.
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
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
Praying, Hoping, Trusting
Gail is a very good friend of mine. She allows me to share some of her musings from time to time, for which I am very grateful. She is a good writer, very childlike, and transparent, in what she writes down. She has taught me about joy, seeing beauty in what goes on around me, and yes, in the power of grace to overcome inner obstacles to joy, peace, trust, and faith.—Br.MD
Praying, Hoping Trusting
--A poem by Gail Bardis—
I am sitting here
waiting for a mirac
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