Tag Archives: Suffering

Kiss Of Christ


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.

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You’re Embarrassing Me!


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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

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Peace


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Yesterday

The Fruit Of Righteous Anger

Today

Silence is Christ’s response to lies, divisiveness, pope says at Mass

Always

The pope, sex abuse, and the story no one is talking about

In Christ Jesus, our LORD

Please, in your charity, also read:

A Carmelite Response

 

 

 

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Confession And Transfiguration


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This morning, I had seen a post on Facebook by a wonderful priest, with a hashtag’s  #Confession  #IGotNervousToo 

I felt compelled to write about my return to the Sacrament of Confession after not having gone for 30 years, with a photo of the Church I had attended, which was Sts. Peter and Paul, Cary IL. I will share the story below:

My first time going to confession after years, I didn’t know I was even going to confession. Something in my heart told me go to the church. SO I did. It had been about 30 years. I walked into an empty Church. No one there but a woman turning off the lights. I began to cry sitting there thinking about how miserable of a life I had been living and would never even be accepted here. I got a tap on the shoulder and it was a Priest. He sat with me for about a good hour. 20 minutes of which we just talked. Then he asked me if I would like to confess my sins. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I said yes. July 1998. It was a rocky road at first, but now? I make sure to go at least every other week. #IGotNervousToo#Confession

Tonight as I was pondering my Carmelite Lectio Divina, I was struck with awe. From the time I had returned, I had always thought that my old Parish, looked very similar to a tent on the inside. I loved that Parish and the Priest who heard my confession. It was a welcome home that I would never forget. I have written a lot in this blog about the struggles and suffering I have faced for the past 20 years, which drew me to leave there and head out on a journey, in which ever day, brought me through many sufferings but into the arms of our Lord, in a way I could never deny.

I had to go back to my post on Facebook to add:

Oh my goodness! I had always thought that this Church looked like a tent! As I pondered my Lectio Divina tonight – “Peter wants to build three tents, because it was the sixth day of the feast of tents. This was a very popular feast of six days that celebrated the gift of the Law of God and the forty years spent in the desert. ” – How I wish I could have stayed in this parish! I loved it so! But our Lord was not finished with me!  Praise be to our LORD 

Back then,  I couldn’t yet, understand the Cross.

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Communism, Socialism & Our Lady of Mount Carmel


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On this beautiful feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I find myself pondering Communism, Socialism and our beautiful Mothers hand in revealing it all, even today.

As I scan social media, the US Summit with Russia fills my news feed. I pray for all, as many point fingers at each other as “Communists” or “Socialists”, forgetting what they truly are. I see many frightened by the thought of the US Government being infiltrated by either. I pray for everyone.

Below you will find, just a few Encyclicals on both Communism and Socialism, written by Blessed Pious IX and Pope Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Saint John XXIII, Pope Paul VII and a few others. I encourage you to read and ponder them, and how both ideology are poisons to any society.

Thank you Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and my sister in Carmel, Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, O.C.D., for prayers answered.

PIUS IX (1846-1878):
“Overthrow [of] the entire order of human affairs”
“You are aware indeed, that the goal of this most iniquitous plot is to drive people to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them over to the wicked theories of this Socialism and Communism, by confusing them with perverted teachings.” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849)

Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, December 8, 1849

Encyclical Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884, n. 27

Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, December 28, 1878

Encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888

Encyclical Graves de Communi Re, January 18, 1901, n. 21

Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914, n. 13

Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931, n. 111

That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.” (Ibid. n. 117)
Catholic Socialism, a contradiction

“[Socialism] is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.” (Ibid. n. 120)

Encyclical Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961, n. 34

Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens, May 14, 1971, n. 31

Saint Pope John Paul II

(1978-2005):

Socialism: Danger of a “simple and radical solution”
“It may seem surprising that ‘socialism’ appeared at the beginning of the Pope’s critique of solutions to the ‘question of the working class’ at a time when ‘socialism’ was not yet in the form of a strong and powerful State, with all the resources which that implies, as was later to happen. However, he correctly judged the danger posed to the masses by the attractive presentation of this simple and radical solution to the ‘question of the working class.’” (Encyclical Centesimus Annus − On the 100thanniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, May 1, 1991, n. 12)

Fundamental error of socialism: A mistaken conception of the person

“Continuing our reflections, … we have to add that the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears, the very subject whose decisions build the social order. From this mistaken conception of the person there arise both a distortion of law, which defines the sphere of the exercise of freedom, and an opposition to private property.” (Ibid, n. 13)

Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005, n. 28

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI –

“We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything”

“The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person − every person − needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) − a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.” (Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005, n. 28)

I pray for all, who continue to look to Communism and Socialism as a means of salvation for avoiding any suffering that we all encounter every day in what is simply life in exile from our eternal home with our Lord. May we grow closer to our Lord Jesus Christ, through Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to learn how to carry our crosses, together, in love, dignity and humility with the realization that our Lord Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth and Life which brings us to Our Father.

 

As I finished up writing this post, my middle daughter came to me, and handed me a holy card she found in her room. This being the one. She then preceded to ask me to pray the rosary so she and my youngest could go to bed.

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My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.

Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference’s whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

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O Sacred Head Surrounded


I am reduced to nothing, the moment this hymn begins. My throat closes. There is a tightness in my chest and the words can not pass my lips. I can never, as hard as I try, sing this hymn, as the tears well up and stream down my cheeks. I can only assume, for now, its the interior contemplation breaking out in a way I could never put into words.

This hymn is just a short part of Salve Mundi Salutare, a poem in honor of our Lords various members on the cross. I have shared this poem in previous posts, divided into seven cantos,  “Ad Pedes”, “Ad Genua”, “Ad Manus”, “Ad Latus”, “Ad Pectus”, “Ad Cor”, “Ad Faciem” (To the Feet, Knees, Hands, Side, Breast, Heart, Face).

Please see the post below, To The Feet, and if you would like to continue, just click the next post.

Salve Mundi Salutare: Ad Pedes

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Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze from our guilty people whose face has become unsightly in Your eyes. Look instead upon the Face of Your beloved Son, in Whom You are well pleased. We now offer You this Holy Face, covered with shame and disfigured by bloody bruises, in reparation for the crimes of our age, in order to appease Your anger, justly provoked against us. Because Your Divine Son, our Redeemer, has taken upon His Head all the sins of His members, that they might be spared, we now beg You, Eternal Father, to grant us mercy. Amen.

 

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Good Friday 2017


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“See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted…

Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth…

But it was the Lord’s will to crush him with pain. By making his life as a reparation offering, he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days, and the Lord’s will shall be accomplished through him,”

(Isaiah 52:13, 53:7,10)

Silence…

Nothing more to say..

It is finished.

 

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