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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/18/2021 in Blog Entries

  1. 2 points
    Aridity in our walk with God "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. (Hosea 2:14) The soul is made for the ‘Living Water’, that which allows our souls to flourish and grow. Yet the desert is also a reality that dwells within each of us. A place of dryness, thirst, listlessness, and a feeling of not knowing where one is moving towards, for in the desert there are no well-worn roads. It is there that we ‘wait on the Lord’ in faith. Where we seek the ‘Living Waters’ out of love and longing and not just simply to have our prayers heard, or to give us spiritual consolation; we learn that God gives and takes, draws close, and then pulls back…..yet that is an illusion. God is always yes, there is never change, for it is we who change, grow or pull back. In the desert we learn to trust; we also over a period of time learn that the living water is just below the surface nourishing us in all that we need. Our self-love and self-seeking die in the desert and what is left is our longing for the embrace of the living God.--Br.MD Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.| (Psalm 139:12)
  2. 1 point
    In my own life, I have found that I am the problem “Don’t you come to Me with more confidence than to any friend on earth? Aren’t you at home in My heart? It should be that way too, since for each soul I am the unique, the incomparable one. Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 1344-1346). Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition. ++++++++++ My sister Judy and I will often have a conversation, whether or not the Christian faith is a religion. She says no, I say yes. However, she does have a point. Religion can be simply an empty gourd, a strong exterior, but hollow inside. Prayer and ritual can become just an empty show, even if the prayers are beautiful, and the ritual profound in its implications. The Eucharist comes to mind. If the heart is not there, not much, if anything, is gleaned from the experience. It takes mindfulness, presence to what one is doing to make one’s faith, and yes, religion an integral part of one’s life. For if it is true that in “God we live and move and have our being":, then our relationship with ultimate reality is of utmost importance. God’s love as shown in the Christian Scriptures can be a scandal to many. To say that God is love is not always an easy concept to embrace. Many live in the world with lives that have little true love in them. Many think love is just an emotion, and when that emotion dies out the love is over. It can lead to a frustrating search all of one’s life for something that cannot exist. Emotions come and go, they can even dry up when one is ill. Does that mean that love dies? No, but the love must come from a deeper place. Jesus shows us how this works. He gave his last drop of blood to show his love for us. Endured betrayal, abandonment, injustice, torture, imprisonment, and finally a slow horrible death. Yet he forgave all in the end. I am sure that was not something that resembles the infatuation that many think is true love. No matter how strong one’s attraction is towards someone, if it cannot mature beyond the ‘honeymoon' stage, it is only a mist that will evaporate when reality sits in. Love is about the long haul, not about a week or longer of intense emotions that can’t last. Christianity is about having a deep, personal, trusting relationship with the revelation of the Father’s love in Jesus Christ. We are called to look to the Infinite, revealed as love, and to walk forwards not letting our own faults, sins, and deep self-destructive aspects, get in the way. There are many voices in our unconscious that talk to us all the time. Some whisper, some scream, each wanting to protect us from reality. They are our wounds fearful of facing life more freely. We are called to die to self, to let the voices speak, but to understand that there is one voice we need to listen to, which can be deeper than any whisperings. That voice says “Come to me all who are overburdened and I will give rest”. Also, Jesus says “Do not fear. Fear is useless what is needed is trust’. In my own life, I have found that I am the problem. When I look only at myself all I see is broken promises, wounds, and a fear of being in the Infinite Light. It takes the choice to have trust, to have confidence in God’s love, to be able to open up ones inner chaos, failures, and yes even self-hatred to Jesus Christ. He already sees it, we just need to make that truth our reality. Then we fear nothing that is within for we have given it over. We turn over our souls, our whole being into the arms of our faithful Creator. We call God “Abba’, let us live out of that truth. In that, we learn that our deepest longings are fulfilled only by this.-Br.MD
  3. 1 point
    Getting Through a Bad Day (Internal Mind Storm) One of the benefits of being older is that consistency over how time is spent becomes easier. At least that is for me. When younger, I could be quite restless and would often have a hard time settling down for private meditation/prayer. I used my energy like most young people through my work and exercise. Now that I am older I am aware of how my energy is now being used in a different way. While my body is slowing down, and fatigue is becoming more of an issue, I find that on another level my energy level is higher than ever. It is easier to develop healthier habits of prayer and Lectio. Neither is always easy, yet I have learned that to keep my times of prayer, in the end, allow me to be more comfortable with myself, and how my inner life is changing. Sort of like the weather in the world around me. However, this is not always the case, I do fail in this discipline from time to time. There are some days when I seek to pray, that there seems to be a mind storm going on inside me. Negative thoughts, angry feelings, and yes lustful thoughts. Yesterday morning was like that. I love the early morning hours, for me the best time for prayer. So I went into our chapter room chapel and sat down to pray. Not sure how much I prayed, because a maelstrom of thoughts, desires, fears, anxieties, and lust, became very strong. It was of course, unpleasant. Yet I have been here before and will be again in the future. Sooner than I would like. I was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and all I could do is bring myself back to the moment, and then I would sink in to some sort of inner storm. The waves were high, and I felt like I was being swallowed up. Not a new sensation for me. I know it will pass and all I need do is to stay in the boat and ride it out. My intention was still there, to pray and to be before the Lord. So there is a peace knowing that I was in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, who knows of my frailty, as well as my desire to serve him, even if I often do it poorly. That kept going pretty much all morning. After lunch, I was walking towards the Retreat House and I said to the Lord: “Lord, what I am going through is no surprise to you for you know all things, so in this moment of inner confusion, and yes pain, I give it all to you and even embrace this inner struggle, for I know it will end, as it always does, but your love, mercy, and compassion are forever. So, Lord, I am going to get out of the boat and walk on the waves, knowing that as long as I look to you, all is well, no matter the emotions, or feeling, for all passes." After I said the prayer inner stability was achieved by God’s grace, but the day was still a struggle for me. Another good thing about being older is that I have many years to look back on and I see that cycles have to come, but they pass, and in the end, they are for my good for it is when I struggle that I have to make choices to move forward, or if I fail, to simply get up, praise God and take the next step……there is always the next step for all of us….never give up hope.-Br.MD
  4. 1 point
    There is neither pure light nor pure darkness that we may wander. The balance between worlds is our buoy. Our ability to hold firm the center is the gauge of our scramble. Should we lose sight and fall we will feel the pull of the waters. But we were destined to breathe and not drown. The light will rise and fall on our island, a daily cleanse and fresh garment for every branch. And we are the Suns of the world, Pushing the petal that spins morning and night on pirouetting mansions. Shadows teeter the wheel fleeing the shape of our sharpening dance.
  5. 1 point
    The woman who did not love God (Written September 15, 2015) "I don’t love God" the woman informed me. "All my life I have suffered, been abused, abandoned and now the only love of my life is gone". She started to cry and then looked at me and said “why me?”, then she became so quiet that it worried me. “Why are you here” I responded. “If you are seeking an easy answer I can’t give it to you. Just because I am a monk I don’t have some sort of elevated answer to the awful tragedies that people go through. I have not met anyone who has been spared the vagaries of life; it seems that everything turns on a dime”. I then decided to say something to her, though it was an act of faith to do so. So I said that “in the Christian faith, the term ‘Christ with us”, or that “God tabernacles with us” is a way of seeking to understand this crazy world we live in. Also “Christ died for us”. I asked her if she ever spent much time pondering the life and death of Jesus. She told me that she is not that religious. So I responded: “In the Christian faith, God is not outside somewhere watching us, no, he is within, and when you read about his sufferings and death it can help you understand your own life and sufferings. It is not a fix, this understanding, but it can give a place for you to stand from”. “God suffers with me?” she asked with some awe. “Christ took up your life and death, the life and death of your loved ones, experienced it and brings it into his resurrection”. “I don’t understand” she replied. “I don’t’ either,” I said, “however to ponder upon this mystery has a way of leading to some sort of peace with the way life is. For one thing, I have come to recognize. We comprehend fear, punishment, and betrayal, and being abandoned. What is more difficult to grasp is infinite love as it is shown in Christ Jesus. In seeking to understand this love, your own love of Christ Jesus will deepen, and while your pain will not go away, and even your anger, something else will be there, the seed of grace and the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. I held my breath after saying this, but it seemed to help her in some way. She sat for a minute or two, silent, but this time it was a different sort f silence. She looked up, thanked me, and left.-Br.MD