Sunday, April 24, 2011
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be thou still my Strength and Shield.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
"Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and He has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear."
Friday, April 22, 2011
"Blessed Virgin, Mother of fair love, tell us where Your Beloved has gone. Teach us to follow Him truly and no longer to follow ourselves. Show Jesus crucified in all His meekness and humility to us whose eyes have been blinded by pride and whose hearts are hardened by selfishness." From The Way of the Cross with the Blessed Virgin
The Way of the Cross with the Blessed Virgin
By Mother Marie des Douleurs – foundress of the Benedictine Sisters of Jesus Crucified
“The Way of the Cross is not only a great testimony to an inner depth and maturity, but it is in fact a school for interiority and consolidation. It is also a school of the examination of conscience, for conversion, for inner transformation and compassion – not as sentimentality, as a mere feeling, but as a disturbing experience that knocks on the door of my heart, that obliges me to know myself and to become a better person.”
Pope Benedict XVI
First Station - Jesus Is Condemned to Death
YES, MY CHILD, I WANT TO SHOW YOU MY SON. Be very attentive and recollected in the depths of your soul, far from all things, beyond all sensibility and reasoning; perceive the word which never ceases to act efficaciously. May your soul be flexible and gentle like Veronica’s veil so as to reproduce all the divine features.
Imagine at first someone who willingly and peacefully humbles himself till the end, who does not revolt before injury, whom mockery does not cause to wince, and who submits to all the abjections with a tranquil heart. Behold my Son, the Author and Prince of peace, and consider: are you truly one of his disciples, you for whom a look, a frown, a breath of suspicion suffices to wound deeply and to cause you to withdraw from recollection for yours, even days?
Second Station - Jesus Is Laden with the Cross
MY SON CAME ON EARTH FOR THIS HOUR. He has accepted his mission and fulfilled it point by point in order to arrive at the end which is the cross.
You also must attach yourself passionately to the will of the Father so that you will know how to say yes not only in advance for what your imagination represents to you as a future cross, but according to the degree that suffering causes revulsion to your body and anguish to your heart… to the degree that suffering disheartens your spirit and compasses your soul entirely.
Third Station -Jesus Falls for the First Time
LEARN NOT TO BE SCANDALIZED BY HUMAN WEAKNESS – this weakness which God knew, this weakness which he became himself.
Because of Jesus lying beneath the cross, be compassionate, devoted, and come to the aid of the weakness of your neighbor.
For yourselves, do not wonder and allow yourselves to be troubled by the weight of your body. Be humble before its weariness; bear it with simplicity, and then as soon as you can, take up again your burden. The task is not yet finished; Calvary is still far off.
Fourth Station - Jesus Meets His Mother
GIVE YOUR HEARTS TO MY SON all emptied, thirsting, and turned solely toward him, wholly unoccupied with yourself.
You have met him many times, but you did not know it, because your spirit was full of plans, anxieties, and thoughts which were not concerned with this unique love.
Oh, how sad it is for my Son to seek with so great a desire of a loving look from one who remains distracted, dreaming, or even laughing with the foolishness and dissipation of the world.
Fifth Station - Jesus is Helped by Simon
HOW I DESIRE THAT YOU WOULD NOT RESEMBLE SIMON, this poor Simon who considered it a burdensome task to help carry the cross.
I desire that you love the cross very much and that you consider that it is my Son who grants you a grace in asking you to help him, and not you who would do him one by accepting an additional task or a trial or some physical suffering.
I would have you spouses of Jesus crucified, of those who do not content themselves, who do not measure, who give all without knowing what they give and who do not discover new sacrifices and new crosses at each hour of the day.
Sixth Station - A Holy Woman Wipes the Face of Jesus
VERONICA FOLLOWED THE IMPULSE OF HER HEART and did not ask herself what the people around her would think of her gesture.
You also, go ahead, allow yourself to be enkindled by the Holy Spirit and never again fall into this miserable human respect. Be entirely simple, and do the least little things in the best way you can, without solicitude for those who see you, solely occupied with him who suffers, who loves and waits for you. Each one of your minutes can be a reparation if you seek nothing but the face of your Bridegroom. May nothing frighten you, may nothing prevent you from accomplishing everything most perfectly.
Seventh Station - Jesus Falls for the Second Time
THERE HAVE BEEN DAYS, AND THERE WILL BE AGAIN, when you will be as if crushed under the burden of temptation, disgust, and trouble. It is to help you to rise again that my Son willed to fall the second time.
When everything seems too heavy, humble yourself beneath the burden which you do not know how to carry; confess your weakness and the small amount of you generosity. Make yourself little, very little, and the spirit of strength will come in you and will raise you up, and you will go on, even to the summit of Calvary.
Eighth Station - Jesus Consoles the Daughters of Jerusalem
LEARN TO HAVE YOUR SOUL PERFECTLY OPEN, wholly comprehensive of the weakness and miseries of your neighbor. Always be prepared to pour out your soul on those who are hungry. You should serve as their nourishment, for you are here so that the sad may become joyous, the faint-hearted recomforted, and the bad converted.
Oh! Do not fail my Son who awaits all these souls and who desires to have them through you. Think no longer of yourself; do not speak of yourself; you must not waste the time, for your task is immense. My Son is in agony until the end of the world because of all those who have not understood the cross. Do not allow yourself to be occupied with self during this time.
Ninth Station - Jesus Falls for the Third Time
EVEN IF YOU REMEMBER YOUR SINS, even if it happens that you again commit some of them, or even if you should be scandalized by the faults of consecrated souls, raise yourself up and continue. By his third fall, Jesus, my gentle Son, has redeemed all. Do not give the enemy the occasion to triumph. What he wants is to discourage and stop you. Only to attain this end does he desire to permit you to commit faults.
Be courageous even to death, begin again, fight, and advance at any price. Your fall could be the occasion of a great triumph for the glory of God.
Tenth Station - JESUS IS Despoiled of His Garments
IN ORDER TO ADVANCE MORE RAPIDLY, my children, allow yourselves to be despoiled. Love the most holy poverty; love this spiritual destitution which leaves you marvelously free.
So long as you reserve an attachment for something and believe that you have need of a support coming from riches or of consideration, you do not yet resemble him who was despoiled of all things, even the robe which I had woven for him myself. Do not believe that you have need of anything, and allow everything to be taken away as soon as it is asked of you. Even seek the detachments; it is this that will make your soul great and strong.
Eleventh Station - Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
MY CHILDREN, YOU DO NOT YET KNOW WHAT THE CROSS IS; you cannot know it. Your crosses are those in your imagination, and you fabricate sufferings to occupy yourselves when you lives are not full enough.
Ask for nothing, but refuse nothing. Behold my Son allowing himself to be nailed to the cross without saying anything, with the immense joy in his heart of adhering to the will of the Father.
You should also do the same; do not resist, allow yourselves to be loved. He who disposes all things according to the designs of his infinite love knows what you need to win souls and sanctify yourself. Extend your hands and feet, and allow yourself to be nailed.
Twelfth Station - Jesus Dies on the Cross
MY CHILDREN, ASK FOR THE GRACE OF PERSEVERANCE and do not be sure of yourselves. It is grand to die on the cross, in sentiments of peace and love, in thanksgiving for participating in the state of the divine crucified. It is grand to stay at the foot of the cross right to the end, without having any terror for flight, nor any weight or weariness. But how many were we?
I have asked for your perseverance. Ask for it again through me, and fear nothing. You shall be there until the end, in a growing love, but only if you are humble, if you know that by yourselves only cowardice and calamities can happen.
Thirteenth Station - Jesus Is Replace in the Arms of His Mother
“ALL IS CONSUMMATED.” May this be said of you also. May all the graces you have received become fruitful; all that has been confided to you terminated like the task of a good laborer when evening comes. Let nothing be neglected, not one iota of the law. May you have treated nothing as being too small to be worth accomplishing with a great deal of love.
I would like to be able to reunite, on the last evening of your life, all your days in a splendid sheaf, and offer it to my Son in eternal thanksgiving for the sinner that you could have been and who has become a saint by the mercy of the blood of my Son.
Fourteenth Station - Jesus Is Place in a Tomb
IT IS VERY NECESSARY THAT YOU KNOW THIS, because your presumption still hides it – suffering is not just a great cry of love which opens heaven without agony. No, it also has a whole train of inabilities and humiliations of all kinds. We must feel everything in us being paralyzed and have some idea of the cold and emptiness of the tomb. The more you shall be bound thus, the more you shall be ready for the resurrection. The more you shall have been reduced to nothing, the more you shall be rich for the glory of God eternally.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
...He said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?...If I, the Master and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do." John 13: 1-15
I, particularly, love Holy Thursday Mass. It causes me to stop, think, and wonder what I would have done for Jesus on these important and fateful days. I would like to think that I would never have abandoned Our Lord in His need but don't I do that now? When I "forget" to pray even a simple word or two in a day, aren't I abandoning Him? When I lose my train of thought at Mass and can't recall what the readings were but CAN recall what "Susie Q" was wearing, is this abandonment? I know I'm human (shocking!) but it saddens me when I think of the way that I am prone to ignore Jesus. However, it is Holy Thursday that thrusts me back in to it! I feel renewed in my vow never to abandon Him. I so want to protect Our Savior from the crucifixion while, at the same time, I want to observe and emulate The Blessed Mother and show my obedience and love in God's Divine Plan. I am looking forward to spending time in deep reflection these next few days.
On a side note, I was watching the news this morning (I shouldn't have) and caught the middle of a segment titled, "How Much is Too Much?" Curious, I turned up the volume and watched as 3 high school girls were prom dress shopping. They tallied up their cost and it went something a little like this: $55 for tanning; $150 for jewelry; $200 for hair; $200 for limo; $75 for flowers; $3050 (that's right, $3050.00) for the dress. I just sat there with my mouth wide open! To compare and contrast Our Lord's sacrifice against these 3 families justifying spending close to $4000.00 on prom...there are no words. I realize that the secular world doesn't curtail their lives around Holy Week but I just found this to be gross. I am saddened, sickened, and more determined to remain somewhat prayerful in these next four days of the Triduum.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
It's official: I put the forms in the mail for my kids to begin school next year in Ohio! We took a tour of the school over our Spring Break (who needs Florida, right?) and fell in love with the kind teachers, the friendly office staff, and the terrific 8th grade tour guide! I won't speak for Murphy, as his opinions are jaded by the fact that he truly believes that I sought out and decided to marry Bill merely to mess up his life. But, I know it will be a great fit for all of us.
Don't get me wrong, I had to run to Target while I was in Rocky River and I got teary-eyed because of all of the women that were stopping each other in their cute workout gear to chat. I am going to really miss my friends and my family. The other day, I shoved Keagan in his coat and barely batted an eye as he ran down to my sister's house to play. I will miss that! A few days before that, I ran into a girlfriend at the grocery store and we decided to go and have lunch. I will miss that! Last weekend, my mom decided it was time to clean out her garage freezer so she decided to have a "Clean the Freezer" dinner - just like that! I will miss that!
I know...I know what the next response is going to be from you: "You'll meet people when you move" How do you know? Maybe I will be so terrified to leave my house for fear of rejection! Maybe I will be so paralyzed with fear that I will become one of those hoarders that you see on TV! You don't know, it could happen!! No, it won't happen that way because I'm a very good faker. I will pretend as though I've made lots of changes in my life and I will pretend that I have always lived my life as a free-flowing kind of a gal. I will fake the fact that I am scared silly that other mothers might be judging me because I bought my daughter the wrong kind of shoes for the first day of school. I will fake the fact that I am sick to my stomach at the thought that I may have, indeed, ruined Murphy's life by moving him away from all of his great friends and family!
Or, I may just try the honest approach and throw myself out into the world knowing that God will surely love me even if no one else will. I may just stick my neck out there and make friends with people even though they may be well aware that I'm quaking in my boots the entire time. I'm going to have to attempt the old faith approach to life. I have never been failed by God and I'm certain He will not decide to abandon me now! The faith issues, as always, come from my shortcomings but, alas, God loves me and waits patiently for me every time. My/our move to Rocky River will provide just that same opportunity for me to turn to God and I'm going to do that.
I may still fake it though :)