Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I "borrowed" this from another blog as they "borrowed" from the author, Michael Casey. I felt as though it really explained my struggles with knowing what is my will and God's will(I was thinking of Dorrie from Chicago, as we have spent endless conversations about this very topic!)
Abandoning self-will, by Michael Casey
Divesting ourselves of self-will is a goal easily stated, yet it takes a lifetime of effort even to make a beginning. Without thorough self-knowledge, we can never be sure that our effort is not merely a subtle expression of the very self-will we are striving to eliminate. For this reason the task is usually left to other people. Family, friends, associates, superiors, and those who are supposed to take the lead from us will all join together in a massive conspiracy to frustrate our plans and projects. At least this is how it seems on our more paranoid days.
It is interesting in reading biographies of the saints to note how often they are blocked by the well-meaning interventions of small-minded and conventional wielders of power, subjected to scorn and humiliation and reviled by those who ought to know better. This is especially evident in the lives of founders and formers of religious orders.
Blessed Mary McKillop was hounded by certain bishops in colonial Australia fro much of her life and eventually excommunicated; she has been beatified, they not. Anyone who speaks or acts against the institutional status quo can experience trouble – irrespective of whether their message is from God or from themselves.
Indifference, misunderstanding, passive aggression, and various degrees of harassment are unavoidable especially for those who try to live creatively. They are generated in others independent of our will and often of our deserts. If we resist the temptations to become professional victims, such mistreatment can be a potent means of purifying the subtle promptings of self-will in the ordering of our life. It is not enough, however, to be totally passive, waiting for someone to come along and persecute us. Once we have developed the capacity to discern the stirrings of self-will, we can refuse to cooperate with it. We are given a measure of freedom. We can say “No”!
Over the years, we can become quite good at withholding our consent. That is admirable, of course, but it can turn us into very negative people. Excessive caution and suspicion, combined with an element of rigidity, can rob our life of any sense of lightness and joy, isolate us from many of the harmless pleasures of life, and risk our being dismissed as eccentrics by those whom otherwise we may have been able to help. Just because the Ten Commandments begin “Thou shalt not” does not mean that religion is merely a matter of saying “No”!
Christianity, in particular, is principally a matter of learning to say “Yes!” Merely abandoning self-will condemns us to live in an affective desert until such time as the love of God becomes paramount in our awareness. For most of us, this is too hard. This is why a more excellent way is proposed to us; genuine, unselfish love is a sweeter and equally effective means of neutralizing disordered self-will, but it also needs to be worked at.
Saying “Yes!” to others is not only a marvelous means of being kind to them, it is also an effective means of blocking our self-will and ensuring that the good deeds we do are not being poisoned by a hidden agenda. It is one of the more attractive effects of the spiritual gift of meekness (Galatians 5 : 23 – see Matthew 5 : 5). That is why, in the history of monasticism, obedience has always played a strong role. It was not seen primarily as a means of establishing or enforcing social order, but as a technique by which the monk could put self-will on hold while repair work was undertaken to remedy some of the ravages of sin.
• Adapted from the book: Fully Human, Fully Divine, by Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk of Victoria, Australia,
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Aren't these two cute? They play so well together and there is a tremendous amount of brotherly love (even though they are cousins) It's a constant battle to get Keagan to accept that Brady and his brother, Mason, come over 2 days a week. It's as though you just took away his Star Wars figurines when he realizes that when he gets home from school THEY are going to be there. And, Brady, he asks me over and over when Keagan is coming home because he can't wait to see him.
Normally, this will regulate itself and they end up playing pretty nicely together. There are, of course, little squabbles but they are minor and the day is ended with no injuries. Today, the tide turned a bit (pun totally intended) The boys were playing outside and amidst a few fights, things were going pretty well. Until I heard a real cry coming from Brady. I ran out there as I was checking on baby Mason at the time. I saw Brady standing there crying and Keagan telling him something so I assumed it was a verbal argument and ordered them inside as I didn't think the neighbors would appreciate the prolonged fighting. Brady was still crying and I asked Keagan to tell me what happened and began to weave this elaborate story about how Brady was minding his own business and then the chair viciously reached out and tripped him. I didn't see any scrapes but I comforted Brady anyway.
Then came the real story from the 2 1/2 year old mouth. As Keagan victoriously walked away, Brady mentioned something about "and Keagan bit me." "You mean he hit you, right?" "No, he bit me!" Brady, then, lifted his shirt to show me the perfectly formed mouth and teeth marks on his little chest. At this point, I blacked out because I couldn't believe that my 5 year old was now creating huge lies in order to avoid getting into trouble. Must my 12 year old AND my 5 year old go through the same stage at the same time? As I look back to the past few minutes, I can now see Brady's face, as Keagan is telling the story, looking at me as if saying, "this jack ass is lying to you!"
So, what to do? Needless to say, I spanked Keagan with a bit of gusto! Don't send me letters - no mark was left and I think the event merited some corporal punishment! Of course, I'm thinking Keagan's mad at me because I'm getting serious with Bill or that I'm raising an abuser (his lie was just so frickin' convincing!) What am I doing wrong? I'm not sure how to handle this! He's been in his room for the past hour and I'm not certain as to how long he should be forced to stay there! An hour, two hours, his lifetime? UGH!
I have 4 days until we leave for our vacation to Florida and in these few days I have to, somehow, keep my sanity! Only to drive 22 hours with 5 kids (4 of which are boys) in a van. Thank God, Bill will be there with me and we can sit in the front and pretend we're on this vacation alone! God help me, please!
I've been trying to come up with a million things to say about this whole Obamacare debacle (I think I used that word one other time - his speaking at Notre Dame's commencement) I, honestly, just will have to remain (or become more) prayerful. God is in charge and He loves us all individually so I'm just going to have to believe that even in this messed up world that He will take care of all of it.
Having said that, I fully intend to vote against those, ummm, posers that voted for this ridiculously, thinly-veiled Socialistic health-care bill. Joe Donnelly? Yep, you hide behind your big stance as being one of the few pro-life Democrats and so you got my vote at election time. You got my vote because I thought it was courageous of you to stand up for the rights of the unborn in an environment that was hostile for you to do so. Where were you on Sunday, Joe Donnelly? Was your vote cast before or after you received the Eucharist? Was it before or after reading the thousands of emails, letters, and voice mails from your employers (you know, us!) imploring you to vote "No"? Was it before or after you felt that you were firmly entrenched in the Washington scene?
In the words of the growing Facebook group: Dear Joe Donnelly, You're Fired!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Ruth Gledhill - Times Online - WBLG: Archbishop: 'Face to face with Satan' in Jos, Nigeria
Click on the title to be redirected to the article.
Click on the title to be redirected to the article.
Monday, March 8, 2010
“Little children can be at peace playing at home with their mother, but every one of us, once we reach adolescence, begins to long for affirmation and affection from persons outside the home. My two teenage daughters never tire of begging me to let them get together with their friends. Or they are pouring their hearts out to me in agony about how this or that girl (or boy!) does not really like them. We have a lot of talks about what makes a good friend, and how true friendship is a rare treasure.
Jesus, too, loved with a human heart, and longed for human friendship, as is evidenced by His desire to gather around him a special group of friends, the disciples. And yet, he also experienced rejection by His friends. Early in His public life, those whom he had known His whole life--His fellow Nazoreans--violently attacked him, leading “him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.”
In the many moments when we feel rejected or misunderstood, we can take comfort from our Lord, who was no doubt heartbroken when he was rejected by His friends and neighbors. He knows our longing: He has made it His own.”
The Magnificant Lenten Companion 2010, Monday March 8, writer: Lisa Lickona.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I have been grappling with something big this week. I've been trying to figure out if true happiness can be seen on the outside when the feelings originate and blossom (ick, hate that word) on the inside? I know it really seems like a fluff and flutter kind of a thing but I'm so frickin' happy that this is where my brain is lately. I've been happy before but it always seem to lead to a tremendous let down and I attribute it to me trying to stuff my square peg of happiness in to a round hole out of desperation. The bottom line is that I have tried my entire life to figure out how to have peace and happiness and I always felt like I was so faithful and that I asked God to help me but it hasn't been until the past few years that I've finally listened to Him.
Again, as I've said in many of my other posts, I realize how dopey I was/am to not get that connection between true happiness and the Divine Healer - Jesus! I'm sure some have looked at me and thought that I was "one of those girls" that needed a man to be happy. Perhaps they're right in some aspects. I have always felt called to be a wife and a mother. I know that many others have this same calling and for whatever reason they either are still single or remain childless. This doesn't mean that their calling is/was not for that purpose. I don't pretend to know the workings of God and why He chooses some to carry heavier crosses than others. I do know that my cross has been way lighter now that I have truly allowed God to work miracles in my life.
My boyfriend,(ugh, that sounds so high school but I don't want to call him my significant other because that sounds so, well, insignificant) Bill, has re-shown me the tremendous gifts that are to be had while submitting to God's Will. This sounds so simple and so 3rd grade but to see it in action is incredible! To share it with such a Godly man is beyond words. He has repaired in my heart a hole left by the loss of my husband and my children's father. A hole that was left despite the overwhelming love that I have felt from family, friends, and from God Himself the past 3 years.
I'm failing at conveying my true happiness but, if you see me, please just be happy for me and don't go calling me "one of those girls" Although, if you do call me that, I won't care as I'll skip right along with my Rosary beads into the arms of the man that I love!!!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
This is an absolutely beautiful original Lenten song that follows the dialogue between Jesus and his Blessed Mother during His Passion. It was inspired by "The Passion of the Christ", and was composed and sung by a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi and her brother, himself a Religious Brother. It really brings home the whole "point" of Lent, so please take some time to listen and meditate on its words.