We Have a Very Good Friend in Christ

We Have a Very Good Friend in Christ

When we are busy, or suffering persecutions or trials, when we cannot get as much quiet as we would like, and at seasons of aridity,    we have a very Good Friend in Christ. We look at Him as a Man; we think of His moments of weakness and times of trial; and He becomes our companion. Once we have made a habit of thinking of Him in this way, it becomes very easy to find Him at our side though there will come times when it is impossible to do either the one thing or the other. For that reason it is advisable to do as I’ve already said: we must not show ourselves to be seeking after spiritual consolations;   come what may , the great thing for us to do is embrace the cross. The Lord was deprived of all consolation; they left Him alone in His trials....

Say Goodbye—The End is Coming

Say Goodbye—The End is Coming

    Today is the last day of the liturgical year. There’s an ominous foreboding in the cultural afflictions surrounding us; and they are many. But the externals of the world don’t concern me near as much as the interior of my own heart. The ominous note in the Mass readings provoke us to remember that indeed — the end is coming. And in the end I will answer only for what I did about my own condition which will include what I did to help the condition of my fellow man. I have a lot of ‘conversion’ left to go as I make room for the Savior to come anew into my heart this Holy Season. There are some things I need to say good-bye to if I ever hope to live knowing ‘nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified': If any man...

A Samaritan Leper

A Samaritan Leper

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama’ria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you...

Do The Next Thing

Do The Next Thing

St. Cecelia with the Angel 1610 Carlo Saraceni (1570-1620) She is a woman of small prayers, but of a great prayerful disposition. She has no conception of contemplation in the strict sense; no one  has formed her in this. But she has a powerful inner guide. And she has this to such an extent that she is not even shown in what direction the path leads; She sees only the general Christian life in front of her. Step by step, she does what she ought to do. —Book of All Saints, Adrienne Von Speyr   When I read this it reminded me of a poem I used to read to my boys when they were young. I think of it often, when I just can’t make sense of what the Lord is asking me to do; Do The Next Thing From an old English parsonage down by the sea There came in...

Christ the King

Christ the King

Jesus Christ is King and Lord of All...

Docket of Life and Death..Part II

Docket of Life and Death..Part II

His sister was first to speak. Her voice was gentle and sweet telling the parole board that it was time her brother came home to a loving nurturing family. She advised the court that they already made living arrangements for him in expectation of his release. A place was reserved for him at a trailer park specifically for sex offenders, along with an account set up with three thousand dollars to help him get back on his feet. I was absolutely seething, and it only got worse when his brother spoke. My brother is a God fearing man. He has shown the utmost repentance and is ready to come home to us. Low and behold, their timer ran out and the attorney was barely able to get in a few words. Their closing consisted of a letter he’d written from prison, stating...

A Docket of Life and Death

A Docket of Life and Death

As usual the Lord’s timing is different than mine. I thought we were done with the story for a while..but my son, though busy with classes, called to say he had his guest piece ready and wanted a chance to speak his part. I told him take a break…don’t worry about it. But, he said, in the light of all the sex scandals out there — broken lives are scattered everywhere. There’s no break when it comes to helping victims, mom. I’m more than glad to give him a voice. He’s a real blessing to me..and I know the Lord has great plans for his life. As promised, here is part one of my son’s Tallahassee account. I told you, the Lord saves the best for last. +PAX ————————— The...

Success or Failure in Prayer

Success or Failure in Prayer

Prayer cannot be measured on a scale of success or failure because it’s God’s work–and God always succeeds. When we believe we have failed at prayer, it is because we decided what shape our prayer should have, and now we’re frustrated that there’s nothing we can do to implement our ambition. Prayer is nothing more or less than the interior action of the Trinity at the level of being. This we cannot control; we can only submit. —- Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer Michael Casey This is a great weakness of mine in prayer: deciding what shape it should be and finding out I’m powerless to implement it. As you may guess from my past history…I have labored long and hard with the issue of...

Madonna of the Rose Bower

Madonna of the Rose Bower

Stefan Lochner (1400–1451) c.1448 Known for his highly mystical religious paintings, he is considered the greatest representative of the school of Cologne; a German late Gothic painter. His style is famous for its clean appearance, combined Gothic attention towards long flowing lines with brilliant colors, a Flemish influenced realism and attention to detail. His compositions are often sprinkled with fanciful angels, singing and playing musical instruments. The epitome of his style is Madonna of the Rose Bower (c. 1450, housed in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne), showing the Virgin and Child reposing in a blooming rose arbor and attended by Lochner’s characteristic child Angels. Is that sweet angel bottom left, sitting in a pair of …. shoes? I...

All Endings Are Crucial

All Endings Are Crucial

Near the end of the liturgical year the texts are alarming, apocalyptic. Jesus speaks about the end, the ultimate Now, the moment of consummation. All endings are crucial; we have no more time to arrange ourselves and our things. There is no more time, because time is no more. In the meantime we are to live the ‘now’ that is given us at each moment. The advice is the same: don’t go back to the past trying to salvage something from there. Don’t look forward either, that’s how we postpone our life. The good news is for now or never. —Living With Christ Today’s Good News Father Donagh O’Shea, OP See, if I don’t live the ‘now’ guarding every moment as if it could be my last…I might slack off; a...

A Prisoner Set Free.. Cont’d

A Prisoner Set Free.. Cont’d

Afflictions cannot injure when blended with submission. —Streams in the Desert Today I thought about how wonderful the Lord’s timing is; that in this season of Thanksgiving I leave the story for now at the place where, as my friend Patricia said, wherever your story goes from this point on, you will not be alone! And that is so true. It wasn’t that I was free from pain from here on…it’s just that I now had the Rock of Ages always beside me guiding me, and picking me up when I fell down….over and over again. Since that day when I personally knew and accepted that Jesus was my living Lord, there has not been one day …. not one, that I don’t remember what He has delivered me from the minute my feet touch the floor in...