I Mustache You a Question

I am blessed to live with a philosopher-princess.  She is a wealth of information(5 year olds know everything), the most honest person I know, and asks the questions of a true philosopher.

One minute we are doing all sorts of silly things like making salami mustaches and she bursts out from the depths of her wisdom: “Eat your mustache and don’t give up!”  My jaded grown up mind can’t even comprehend what golden wisdom is contained in this piece of advice.

Mustache

Her thirst for knowledge far rivals my own and 99% of what she says is in the form of a question.  She is the type of philosopher-princess who watches barney and then asks to hear the story about Jesus dying.  She doesn’t just want the children’s bible version though.  She sits back, scrunches her face in concentration, and says very seriously, “hold on a moment, can you tell me more? Explain this to me.”

During my explanation she interjects:  “Mary was very sad when Jesus died.”  Such heartbreaking Truth from so innocent a heart.

She has the makings of a Saint as long as she can hold onto her identity as a princess.  This past Sunday she was distraught at not being able to receive Jesus and didn’t feel “special.”  Do we even realize the privilege we have been given in the gift Christ made of His own Flesh and Blood?  She knows something special is going on and wants to be part of it.

On top of this, she understood the Gospel’s message of “love one another” better than most of the congregation.  On the way home from Church we were discussing her vehement hatred for ants, especially the red ones.  We reminded her that its important to be kind to everyone, even the ants.  After insisting she would kill all the ants, we came across one of the little guys.  She looked at it and not just stepped, but leaped over that precious creature, exclaiming “I LOVED HIM!”  St. Francis and I shared a mystical high five.

And then there are the million dollar questions, the whammies, that require nothing less than an emergency jolt of wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

“Why can’t we see God?”

The Truth is, my little philosopher-princess, you probably see Him more clearly than us silly grown-ups.

 

A Plea from the Soapbox

We interrupt this creative programming for a very important message from our sponsor – The Soapbox.

Just get three jobs.

Just wait a couple of years.

Worker harder, you can do it on your own.

Everyone else has to deal with debt, why should you get off free and easy?

These, my friends, are the reactions of hardworking independent Americans to my problem of debt.  They are also the things the devil whispers to me daily, trying to drive me to despair.

So, it’s time to get up on my soap box and clear up a few things.  Firstly, I am not begging.  I have money to support myself and jobs that could allow me to pay off my loans eventually(good thing God is outside of time).  What I am doing is living out my vocation already. Oh that’s the second thing – this isn’t my vocation – it is Christ loving through me, inviting you to go deeper and deeper into His Heart.

So let’s take a look at the life He is calling me to live.  Religious life as a TOR involves living in trinitarian community, not making a personal income, and supporting one another.

So, in this time which is really a period of deep and intense preparation for that way of life, I should logically be engaging in things that are in line with that.  Therefore, putting my nose to the grindstone and working my butt off to try to pay my loans all by myself makes no sense.  If my debt is paid off, but my soul is in tatters, what good is that?

Most importantly, Jesus is calling me to lay down my life for you.  My life will consist of unceasing intercession for His people and offering of my suffering for the Body of Christ.  This is not to make you feel guilty, I just wish people understood what really goes on behind convent doors.  I will be a bride of Christ – united with Him as husband and wife.  And what is the marriage bed?  The cross.

If you don’t believe me, read about Saints like St. Faustina, St. Gemma, and St. Francis(of course) who suffered both physically and spiritually with Christ to “fill up what is lacking,” but also to make reparation for those who do not repent of their own sins.

I invite you to be a special part of this life God is calling me to and to live out your vocation of love.  Let us work together to build up the Body by offering our time, talent, money, and most importantly, ourselves, to one another as free gifts.

P.S. Oh boy, do I have more to say about this – including the Franciscan idea of the “privilege of poverty” and some great nuggets from Henri J.M. Nouwen.  For now, I’ll let you chew on this.  I also have exciting things to reveal about how God is asking me to fundraise!

 

Groanings of the Spirit

Grasping at the Apple

Gaping with Lust

Growing in Indifference

Grasping
Gaping
Growing
 

Gasping with Awe

Gaping at His Beauty

Growing in Love

Gasping
Gaping
Growing
 

Grasping at the Unknown

Grappling with Unanswered Questions

Groaning with Understanding

Grasping
Grappling
Groaning
 
 

A Heart Burning with Love

The Great Lover looked upon His beloved with intense longing.  In fact His longing burned so intensely it was a living flame. He longed to ignite the cold embers of her heart and drew her close with great tenderness.

The Great Deceiver noticed His gaze and in turn, also looked on her with great longing.  He also longed to make her heart his own.

This beloved heart was ignorant of the intense gaze of Love trained upon her at all times.  She longed for a heart on fire with Love.  She longed with inexpressible groanings for some unnamed thing.  Her heart remained cold despite her every effort.

One night, the Great Lover called out in the only way He knew how – in the language of the Heart.  Knowing the bitter pain of rejection, having experienced it over and over, He once again exposed Himself.  In an act of desperation, He exposed His Heart to His beloved.  She saw it, brilliant and golden – she caught a glimpse of the Great Lover.

Even this glimpse was too much for her.  She hid her face from His beauty, suddenly aware of her drab and dark heart, so pitiful next to this glorious flame.   In spite of this, she secretly longed for another glimpse of the Great Lover and searched far and wide for Him.  The Great Deceiver, who was never far, saw his chance.  He tempted her with counterfeit Love – just enough like the Real Love to trick her, but not intense enough to make her face the state of her heart.  He whispered to her in the night that she would never find Him whom she Loved.  She began to believe the lies – that He had seen her heart and rejected it, because of its ugliness.

The Great Lover continued to pursue His beloved gently and tenderly, whispering to her and calling her name.  She forgot how to listen and began to fall into despair.

The ember of her heart colder than ever, she lay broken and alone.  Then she remembered what He had done in a desperate attempt to show her Love – how He had captivated her.  Moved beyond her fear by her Love for Him, she gave to Him what she had so abused – her heart, her very self, blackened beyond recognition.  Trembling, she held it out, no more than a lump of charcoal.  He took it, caressing it gently in the palm of His hand, until it began to glow faintly.  She wept, thinking there could be no greater gift than what He had just done – to revive her heart and set it aflame with Love.

To her surprise He did not give it back.  Before she could protest, an exchange was made.  The Love now inside of her was almost too much to handle – it could not be contained and overflowed the tiny space where her own heart had dwelt.  She thought the flames would consume her as they filled her to the point of ecstasy.

He proclaimed with great joy, “It is Finished”

Praying with Merton

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.

Yet, my heart is joyous. ie possessing the qualities of, full of – joy

 
I do not see the road ahead of me.  
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

But that it will pass by the place of the skull.Though it may require fasting, it will end in feasting.

Nor do I really know myself,

Is that not what this road is really about?  You, Lord, knew me in the womb.

and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

Well, that’s terrifying.  Jesus help me want what you want.

 
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

Like children, we bring seemingly meaningless trinkets to lay at your feet.

Our earnest desire inflames your heart with love.

 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

My Hope is in you alone. Hope – expectant desire.  This road of fasting will end with feasting.

Dominus Deus Sabaoth

Lord God of Hosts, bring us back. Raise up a holy host of victims that are wholly yours.  Conform your bride to the perfect image of true love – that dark hour in which the father’s broken heart caused weeping from the heavenly hosts.

Raise up an army of feetwashers, not swordbearers.  You, who command armies and all the universe, humbled yourself to come as a small host and to come inside our broken and wounded hearts – shabby mangers unfit for your glorious head.

Hosts of Angels gather for the sacrament of remembrance and thanksgiving.  Remind us daily, with the host made body, of the day you laid down your life as victim for us all.

What can we offer to the one who gave up everything? Everything good is a gift from you.  I offer my brokenness and the misery I have accumulated from my own sin.  We offer our lives in Thanksgiving.  We offer ourselves as hosts. Through this, our daily bread, transform our hearts into the perfect hosts in which your spirit can dwell.  Break us to make us whole and holy.

She who was the most perfect host, pray for us.

y_holy_eucharist

 

Here We Go Again…

A few days ago this symbol began popping up all over Facebook:

357490-red-equal-sign-gay-marriage-equality (1)

This, paired with an increase in statii about gay marriage, led me to believe that something important must be going on.  For those of you who also live under a rock, the supreme court is currently deciding on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and DOMA(Defense of Marriage Act).  I heaved a heavy sigh, prepared to do my duty as a blogger and headed into the trenches.

 After spending a day staring at the computer screen until my head was spinning and my eyes were watering(sometimes with tears of frustration), I realized, I don’t want to write about this.

Sometimes blogging feels like hitting my head against a brick wall.  I feel like I say the same things over and over again.  I wonder if I’m preaching to the choir, or if hearts have been converted through these words.

So I won’t be writing on gay marriage, because it’s just not necessary.  I am Catholic and hold fast to everything the Church teaches.  If you want to learn about the reasoning behind those teachings, there are countless sources to do that through – first and foremost, the Catechism.  If you want to explore the reasons why marriage needs to be between a man and woman, you might be surprised to learn that this is not a Catholic notion.  For example, the arguments of the current supreme court case make no mention of God, yet give evidence for the importance of marriage being a conjugal union between husband and wife.  You might be even more surprised to learn that there are whole organizations of people with same-sex attractions who see the value in “traditional” marriage and are actually against gay marriage.  There’s some really interesting stuff in France going on right now that I would encourage you to check out.  I thought this guy was especially fascinating – a gay atheist who is against gay marriage – what is this world coming to??

One last thing: at the heart of this issue is the desire to change the definition of marriage, something that should not be taken lightly. You know how I feel about words.  The word marriage means something very distinct.  We either change its definition or we can’t call same-sex unions “marriage.”  It’s as simple as that.

And now, I will use that frustrating technique of asking questions and not giving you the answers.

What is equality?

What is marriage?

Does it matter if we change that definition? Why?

Is it a fundamental right?

And for the Love of all things Holy, what about the children???

Equal-Rights-2

*In a few days I will probably get angry about this again and write more anyway*

A Litany of Unity

“I pray…that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us” ~ John 17:20-21

holycard_mary_eucharist_1

Lord, let us not tear asunder what you have made one.

Holiness and Suffering

Joy and Sorrow

Love and Sacrifice

Desire and Fruitfulness

Your Death and Resurrection

Your Humanity and Divinity

Father, Son, Spirit

Two Hearts, Immaculate and Sacred, Beating as One

Your Body; Physical, Mystical, Eucharistic