The Only Way Up is Down

The Only Way Up is Down

Ladder of Divine Ascent  St Catherine’s Monastery     With help from Lessons From Saint Benedict, ( Chpt 22) by Father Donald Raila, this is what I am learning lately:   To accept my weakness and poverty without becoming defensive (I’m working on discouraged) Realizing God accepts me in my miserable poverty and can break through to embrace me even when I feel no consolation In discovering my poverty I am better able to recognize the wealth I possess in Christ …but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses,...

What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say ?

What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say ?

  Though he was a Lutheran, he is one of my favorite spiritual writers because he wrote in a day that has tremendous relevance for our times. In light of the Supreme Court ruling today, I’ll be re reading Cost of Discipleship. I got to thinking, what would this man who strongly opposed Hitler’s euthanasia programs and died for his faith say if he were alive today ? Bestselling author Eric Metaxas said the ObamaCare mandate stood as “a horrific example” of state overreach.   Metaxas, the author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, made his remarks last Thursday before a crowd of more than 800 attendees of Acton University, a four-day seminar held near the Acton Institute‘s headquarters in Grand Rapids.   A student with the...

Daybook…. {June}

Daybook…. {June}

Cima da Conegliano David and Goliath c. 1505-1510     Outside my window ~ …the sun has finally returned to dry the tears from Heaven   I’m thankful ~ …we made it through the deluge without any damage {215} …my son got the job he hoped for {216} …for my husband’s patience with me in a circumstance where I am ” kicking the goad” {217} …knowing how utterly bankrupt I am without Christ in my life { 218} …the Lord’s gentle reminder to cast a specific area of anxiety totally upon Him {219} …praying with several people at the hospital this week who will return to the sacraments {220} …the grace and strength to finish part II of my story {221}   What’s keeping me on my...

Call on Mary

Call on Mary

  St Mary Star of the Sea  Key West, Florida   I couldn’t help but re post this from last June as we await another round of storms after Tropical Storm Debbie dropped 10 inches of rain here yesterday. Pray for us, the wind is blowing as I write:     The title ‘Star of the Sea’ has its origins in the 9th Century (possibly earlier) when the writings of one Paschasius Radbertus wrote about Mary as the ultimate guide for the Christian. Likening her to the star that guides the sailor across the ocean, he notes that she is the perfect embodiment of humanity lived in grace. The idea of Mary as a ‘guiding star’ led to deeper devotion to Our Lady especially within fishing communities. Before long many churches in coastal places were dedicated to...

His Name is John

His Name is John

  Birth of John the Baptist Jacopo Tintoretto c. 1563     Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari’ah after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled.   —Luke 1 57-63   It was an unexpected name but...

Roll Away the Stone

Roll Away the Stone

  The Raising of Lazarus Francesco Trevisani Second Half of the 17th century   I’m glad it’s over…Part II, I mean. With the exception of my always faithful ladies, I think I’ve lost most of my readership along the way. Oh well, I did what the Lord asked me to do…and I also followed my father’s advice. Once in a while as a young girl, he’d walk in on me writing in my room on that precious white desk and advise me to be very careful about whatever words I commit to paper: Do it so you won’t be ashamed for anyone to read it.  I always rebutted, I know dad. But of course I didn’t know, until I began to write for others to read and realized how hard it is to paint a picture with words that are truthful...

Whatever It Takes

Whatever It Takes

      History is a solid witness to the fact that…iron curtains don’t come down easy. The enemy fights hard to keep us in bondage from sinful wounds incurred either by our own hand or the hands of others. Quite simply, he does not want God’s people set free of anything. When you determine that enough is enough .. and it’s all got to go, from family generational sins to any bondage that life thrust upon you without your permission, prepare for the battle of a lifetime. When you cast your chains towards heaven realizing that no human power can cut those bonds, there is only one prayer to pray;   Whatever it takes, Lord   +PAX       I did not want to see this counselor. There were too many faces in too...

You Have to Try Again

You Have to Try Again

    There is no use trying, said Alice; one can’t believe impossible things.   I dare say you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. —-Alice in Wonderland     +PAX   The only thing worse than a friend who won’t be truthful with you…is a friend who won’t be anything but truthful with you. Yet, we know from Scripture that wounds from the latter prove them faithful and trustworthy. (Proverbs 27:6) It seemed that at this juncture of my spiritual journey, the Lord had planted me in the midst of a mine of priceless jewels, each one themselves having been...

A Pot of Tea and Some Green Beans

A Pot of Tea and Some Green Beans

  He that is a friend loveth at all times: and a brother is proved in distress. —Proverbs 17:17     +PAX       It was a blustery winter night. The wind howled through the oak and pine trees that surrounded our house bending the branches like straws and whipping the panes like a carpet being beat against a wall. The weather seemed the perfect expression of my troubled spirit as I anxiously settled in for another night without K. The boys were finally asleep. It had been a long day of home schooling… I was so exhausted that I thought sleep might come easily and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t wrestle with the nightmares. K called at 10:00 to check on everyone and say good night, but we wound up fighting and I hung up crying...

Come Out From Behind the Iron Curtain

Come Out From Behind the Iron Curtain

    “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie Ten Boom   +PAX     It was our church friends who had invited us to dinner one night to discuss home schooling, but I will never forget the impact that family made on my life.   Our friends had set a simple table but, prepared a sumptuous feast almost as if in anticipation of the profound message the Lord arranged for me to receive from them.   They were missionaries behind what then stood as the iron curtain, that political and ideological barrier established between the Soviet bloc and western Europe from 1945 to 1990.*  They were home on furlough. That night I listened more than I spoke, so captivated was I by their testimony of God’s protection over...

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Isaiah 55:8-9   Yesterday, as I was typing, I began to think, Lord, it makes absolutely no sense to me… I mean, why would you have me telling my story in this format.. Isn’t it a waste of time? Then that still small voice, Since when has anything I’ve asked you to do needed to make sense to you? I smiled. OK, Lord, I’ll just keep typing.   +PAX       To this point in our marriage, K had managed to avoid overnight trips but, that was about to change because of another promotion. He broke the...