Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Cross Through the Eyes of Mother Teresa

I was drawn today to the writings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the book Love: A Fruit Always In Season edited by Dorothy S. Hunt. It is a book of daily meditations on the words of Mother Teresa and today's is very graphic in its imagery. Reflect on these words with me.

What you can see in the Cross

...Look at the Cross and you will see Jesus' head bent to kiss you, His arms extended to embrace you, His heart opened to receive you, to enclose you within His love. Knowing that the Cross was His greater love for you and for me, let us accept His Cross in whatever He wants to give, let us give with joy whatever He wants to take, for in doing so they will know that we are His disciples, that we belong to Jesus, that the work you and I and all the Brothers and Sisters do is but our love in action... (Mother Terese of Calcutta: A Biography by Edward, LeJoly, 333-334)

If we look at the Cross through the eyes of Mother Teresa we can really see this loving Savior who gave his all for us! How much is ALL we can give for him?

Thanks be to God!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wisdom from Fulton J. Sheen

Originally uploaded by Oka Kurniawan

My Lent thus far has been more productive than most. I say that as I have just finished a four day mission given by a wonderful Redemptorist, Fr. Vic. Earlier this week was the Penance Service. Being reminded of this again today in this reflection brings even greater healing. Listen with me from Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Fulton J. Sheen, A Redemptorist Pastoral Publication.

Rubbish Pile

Sorrow [for sin] is an intention to abandon the ego. It is hard. Sometimes it is like being skinned alive, peeling away sins and getting rid of some of them, taking on the firm purpose of amendment...I believe that most people are sorry for their sins not just because they dread the loss of heaven and fear hell, it is because they have hurt our Lord. After all, it is the Cross that reveals the dimension of sin. No one ever thoroughly sees sin in its utter nakedness until he understands redemption. Take the errors and the stupidity and the crimes of every day. People summarize them by saying, "Oh, what a fool I made of myself!" There is a world of difference between that and, "Oh, what a sinner I am!"

Fulton J. Sheen, Audio Tape, "Penance"


If we say that we have fellowship with [God] while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin...If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:6-9


With Saint John Chrysostom, let us contemplate the "many wrongs that the cross has set right," and pray: Dear Lord, even by prayer and penance we cannot fathom the inscrutable way of the cross, but we seek faith that you will deliver us from our sins and rescue us from our wrongheadedness. Amen

Lenten Action

Say a fervent act of contrition today, perhaps one you create in our own words.


So it is that I reflect today on my sinfulness and in so doing offer my sincere sorrow for the sins I have committed. For my sins do indeed impact the lives of many, not just my own and I must accept responsibility for the pain they have caused. And then in gratitude I say to my Lord and Savior, "Deo gratias!"


Again I say,

Thanks be to God!!

Originally uploaded by Oka Kurniawan

Monday, March 8, 2010

Music Monday``May the Road Rise to Meet You

Good Monday Morning! May this be the beginning of a grand and glorious week for us all!

Thanks be to God!

Please join in this Music Monday by visiting Shawntele's lovely blog Saved By Grace each Monday for a musical and inspiring start to your week. She hosts Music Monday where we are invited to post a song or video. This is an opportunity to share the music that lift your soul and enlightens your life.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi

I found this reflection really illuminating. It is from Lent and Easter: Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. The instruction itself is beautiful to me.

God's Self-Revelation in Love
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!(Heb 2:3)
Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance (1Cor 3-18)
and, through contemplation,
transform your entire being into the image
of the Godhead Itself,
so that you too may feel what friends feel
in tasting the hidden sweetness (Ps 31:20; 1Cor 2:9)
that, from the beginning,
God Himself has reserved for His lovers.

And, after all who ensnare their blind lovers
in a deceitful and turbulent world
have been completely passed over,
may you totally love Him
Who gave Himself totally for your love,
At Whose rewards and their uniqueness and
grandeur have no limits;
I am speaking of Him,
the Son of the Most High,...
St. Clare of Assisi,
"The Third Letter to Agnes of Prague." 51

Christ's Eternal Love That Fills Us With the Presence of God
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask of imagine to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen
Ephesians 3:16-21


Our Lord, you are not a distant god. Rather, you loved us so much that you drew near to us by becoming one of us. You revealed yourself to us through the gift of your Son two thousand years ago, and you continue to reveal yourself to us in the loving union and friendship we share with him today. Be near to us. Show yourself to us. Fill us with your love.

Lenten Action

Spend time with or contact a friend perhaps one with whom you may have fallen out of touch. Reflect upon who close God is to you and how God's friendship with and love for you is deeper than any friendship or love that you can experience in your earthly life.

Thanks be to God!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wisdom from Pope John Paul II

So I will reflect on the words of Pope John Paul II today and be guided by them. From Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Pope John Paul II:

Returned to Dignity By God's Mercy

Mercy--as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son-- has the interior form of the love that in the New testament is called agape. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to son. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and "restored to value." The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy that he has been "found again" and that he has "returned to life." This joy indicates a good that has remained intact: even if he is prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father's son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son has his return to the truth about himself.
Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), November 30, 1980

The Merciful Love of the Father

Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had tow sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, Give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them. A few day later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living...So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and dissed him Then the son said to him 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; am no longer worthy to be called your so.' But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe--the best one--and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. and get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again' he was lost and is found:' And the began to celebrate."
Luke 15:1-13, 20-24


Merciful Father, I sometimes turn from you and reject your love. I think I can make it on my own and i Stubbornly refuse to follow you. If it were not for your mercy, I would be forever lost. Help me to remember that you are always waiting to welcome me back and to restore my great dignity as your child.

Lenten Action

Show thanks for God's mercy in your life by reflecting it. When someone wrongs you today, excuse him or her...eve before he or she asks for forgiveness.


I will spend my day developing my compassion and understanding. I will welcome those I meet this day and greet them with a smile though it may be difficult. For I have been greeted by others with this same smile when I have not been worthy of it!

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lenten Reflection With Herni J. M. Nouwen

I have found each and everyone of these books a treasure in wisdom and enlightenment. Today I offer a reflection from Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Herni J. M. Nouwen compiled by Judy Bauer. I listened to this lesson with great interest and again was nourished by these words.


To take the holy scriptures and read them is the first thing we have to do to open ourselves to God/s call. Reading the scriptures is not as easy as ti seems...We tend to make anything and everything we read subject to analysis and discussion. But the word of God should lead us first of all to contemplation and medication. Instead of taking the words apart, we should bring them together in our innermost being; instead of wondering if we agree or disagree, we should wonder which words are directly spoken to us and connect directly with our personal story. Instead of thinking about the words as potential subjects for an interesting dialogue...we should be willing to let them penetrate into the most hidden corners of our hearts, even to those places where no other word has yet found entrance.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Reaching Out:
The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

The authority of the Word

Jesus said to them..."The Fathers loves the Son and show him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son give life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, So that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my work and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life."
John 5:19-24


Steadfast God, grant me the openness to read and accept the words of your holy Scriptures as truth from my inner being, as a springboard for meditation, as urgent messages directed to the hidden places of my heart. Also grant me the willingness to listen and connect with your teachings. Keep me from stumbling over their simplicity. Amen.

Lenten Action

Choose a passage from holy Scripture that is significant to you and memorize it.

Wishing all a day for fruitful reflection on the word of God!

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton

Today's offering from Lent and Easter: Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton from The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends.

Riddles of God

This, I say, is the first fact touching the speech; the fine inspiration by which God comes in at the end, not to answer riddles, but to propound them. The other great fact which, taken together with this one, makes the whole work religious instead of merely philosophical is that other great surprise which makes Job suddenly satisfied with the mere presentation of something impenetrable. Verbally speaking the enigmas of Jehovah seem darker and more desolate that the enigmas of Job; yet Job was comfortless before the speech of Jehovah and is comforted after it. He has been told nothing, but he feels the terrible and tingling atmosphere of something which is too good to be told. The refusal of God to explain His design is itself a burning hinge of His design. The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.
"Introduction to the Book of Job," G. K. C. as M.C.

Out of the Whirlwind

Then the Lord answered job out of the whirlwind;
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without
Gird up our loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements--surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning starts sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?"
Job 38: 1-7


God almighty, maker of heaven and earth, have mercy on me for my lack of faith, for too easily grumbling and grousing about your governance of the universe. Something the injustice the cruelty, and the insanity of our world overwhelms me--and I freeze. Grand me an obedient heart more willing to submit to you, more willing to offer myself in significant ways as part of the solution to my own prayers.

Lenten Action

Take a walk or hike today. Try to peer into the depth and intricacy of the created order. Admit in prayer all the things you cannot fathom. Humble yourself, thanking God for the mystery of the universe.


I had to read this not once but three times. The lesson here, to me, it not that I should understand but trust. I'm not supposed to get it. I'm supposed to attempt to get it and in so doing I am open to all that is around me in this journey to God. If I don't get what I think I should understand, there is going to be a gift that is offered to me in which something more important is revealed. There are surprises around every corner and "the riddles of God [really] are more satisfying than the solutions of man."

Thanks be to God!