The earth is the LORD’s and all it holds, the world and those who dwell in it. – Psalm 24
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
Blessed Independence Day
When the facade of worldly society crumbles, and souls become tossed in chaos and fear, there is always just One which remains standing, and He is calling on you to turn back to Him.
“There are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
I just received this beautiful reflective poem from one of my OCarm sisters of the Third Order, and I know it is not mine to keep. I must share it with you all, as I am sure you are also suffering in one way or another in this world we have come to understand as exile.
I am not sure who wrote it, as it is a variation from a Trappist Monk, but it surely speaks to me. I pray for you and I hope in all your suffering, you look deeply at our Lord in His, joining all of your suffering to His.
There He hangs — pale figure pinned against the wood.
God grant that I could love Him as I really know I should.
I draw a little closer to share that love Divine
And almost hear Him whisper, “Ah foolish child of Mine!
If I should now embrace you,
My hands would stain you red.
And if I leaned to whisper,
The thorns would pierce your head.”
And then I knew in silence that love demands a price
‘Twas then I learned that suffering is but the kiss of Christ.
God bless you.
This morning as I was just waking, I was dreaming and all the demons in hell were demanding me to get out.
I heard a voice telling me to walk through the door. The door was closed and I didn’t know how to open it. So I walked through it as it was still closed. And the SECOND I did, I was in the locked room with the Apostles and it was the very moment our Lord said PEACE!
I woke and fixed my gaze on the photo of our Lord in the Eucharist. Its a BEAUTIFUL Joyful Day! The peace of our Lord is still here.
The oddest thing about this dream, were the suffering demons. All the suffering they had, all their complaints were so trivial. So senseless. For the ones I pondered were so nonsensical I found it laughable because it was so obviously self inflicted and a complete denial of reality and His grace.
Upon waking, to see our Lord in the Eucharist, in a photo on my dresser, combined with the joy I had of being in that room with Him in that dream, caused me to wake like a child on Christmas morning. I could NOT wait to enter into prayers and attend Holy Mass. He is THE gift! No dreaming, but His Real Presence! I found such great concentration in my prayers today and that is something I had been missing as my attention has been focused on my illness.
I wanted to share this today, because this is what I can do. I hope it brings His joy to souls today.
EDIT TO ADD 10/29/2018
“Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Rev. 3:8).
And this morning, just before I wake, the dreaming was all about BAKED FISH. An abundance of baked fish that not one soul could even remotely consume for ones self. And it was GOOD!
Jesus. Get off the cross. You’re embarrassing me!
A friend of mine lived in the country. He had kids and they were growing up and one of his daughters got involved in ranching. Raising cattle. She was just getting started in this work and she was put in charge of moving a herd of cattle.
She asked her father to help because he was an experienced rider and he was also a veterinarian. And he was her Dad.
Moving the herd happened in the dark of night, just before dawn. A dozen or so riders had instructions from this young woman and the move began. They walked or trotted their horses by the edge of the herd to keep them together and going at a speed they could control.
My friend’s horse was trotting along fine, then tripped and flung my friend down a slope onto his back. He called out for help and a couple of riders came by. He was trying to tell if he was hurt, and his daughter rode up.
She leaned down from her horse and scolded him in a whisper. “Dad. Get up. You’re embarrassing me!”
I love that story. That girl had so much on her mind and wanted this job to go well so badly that when her father got thrown from his horse she could only think about how it would affect the job.
When St Peter heard Jesus say that He would be killed for what He was doing, Peter said, “No!”. In one way Peter said, “Be quiet, Jesus, You’re embarrassing me.” Peter was saying “I want things to go this way: more success, bigger crowds. Don’t talk of failure.”
What do we do when things go wrong? What do we do when there’s pain? How about when suffering goes from short term to long term? God wants us to deal with suffering. It’s a part of life. When we think we can control our lives, we make sure suffering is not part of it. Suffering makes us look bad. It ruins our image. It feels awful.
What do we do?
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychologist who worked with dying people. She came up with an understanding of how people cope with having an illness that will probably end in death. Death is the biggest way of all that things go wrong. Most of us see it as the worst thing that will happen. The biggest embarrassment.
There are five stages people go through when things go terribly wrong. To keep this short, I will say only the first and the last. The first is denial. “No! This is not happening!” The last one is acceptance. As Jesus put it, “Not My will, Father, but Yours be done.”
Any time things go wrong we can bet our first reaction is “No!”. If we are believers, if we pray, and ask for help, that begins to change. We’ll get to “Your will, not mine be done.”
There’s a reason to accept suffering, any kind. Some day we’ll have to accept death. In the mean time we have to accept things like where we were born, how we were treated as children, what we look like, the traffic is, our jobs, our health, you name it.
What do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we see our failures? Blemishes? The ways we’re not good enough?
What do we feel when we enter a room full of people? Unworthy? That we have to hide who we are or what we did? That our jobs aren’t good enough or our kids aren’t bright enough or our bank accounts aren’t big enough?
If we feel that kind of embarrassment about ourselves, we try to hide. Or we look for something to cover it. Some pleasure. Some fantasy. We drink, we spend, we judge others. Anything to make us feel less embarrassed about who we are.
These things that deny the pain, that distract or cover over our unhappiness actually do work. The world is filled with ways of denying reality. They do take away the pain.
What they don’t do — what they cannot do — is heal us. Denial never heals. Never. It only conceals.
God wants healing for us. Healing comes with acceptance. Healing comes when we accept reality as it is, not as we’d like it to be. As soon as I can accept my life as it is, I find freedom. The things I was afraid of lose power.
We all can spend a lot of time and energy covering up our embarrassment. We hope people will like us, and include us and respect us.
Hasn’t that been what some people in the Church did when the sins of priests were reported? Deny. Hide. Don’t families do the same with the things they don’t want known? Businesses? Yup. Everybody does it.
There’s a saying in Italian: “bella figura”. It means “beautiful face”. When we put the preservation of the beautiful face above the truth, we lie. We deny. “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.”
There was nothing beautiful about Jesus on the cross. Nothing. Horrible to look at. Horrible, but three days later, He rose. He filled the world with glory. It’s the glory that comes from acceptance. From trust and honesty.
When we face reality instead of denying it, we pass through suffering into freedom. At first the truth embarrasses us. Then it sets us free.
Via Fr. Bill Murphy