Monday, December 28, 2009

A reflection...

Well, there ended up being no time found to post when I wanted to say something and then when I had time, my mind was cooked. But that's OK. The end of Advent/Beginning of Christmas was busy, but at times, blessedly enveloped in silence. Even when we were singing in the choir at the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve I tried to let silence rule. In between songs, just the reflection of the Baby Jesus in the womb. Not easy. I feel that Mass is sometimes the hardest place to focus in on Our Lord. Just too many distractions, but that's another issue, another post. Concerning the Choir, every year H and I say this is it, no more Folk Choir and regular Choir singing at the holidays, but we end up doing it anyway. We're asked, and we feel guilty saying no! At least H can sing, I just squawk along and try. But Lida keeps asking me back, so I can't say no, can I? I always equate it with Our Lord asking. Who can say no to someone or something that is good for one and all but pushes us out of our comfort zone a bit? I can't, not any more. The comfort zone was a topic in our meditation yesterday at our Secular Franciscan Christmas Gathering. Let me say right first, our gathering was just that, a gathering of brothers and sisters of like mind, devoted to living the Gospel and following in Our Lord's footsteps wherever that may lead. It felt really good to be there, breaking bread and praying together. At our monthly meetings there is always work to do, and even after the meeting proper, when we have a little snack, about half of our group has to leave on account of time constraints. So yesterday was a day to just relax and chat, to enjoy each other's company and rejoice in so many blessings that have been given to us. That said, in our group of about 25 or so there are two or three strong personalities that, at times, well, what can I say, strong personalities are just that; strong. Yesterday they weren't there, and the gathering took on a decidedly different feel. Our hostess, Marilyn steped in for the reading and reflection, and it was beautiful. Our Minister, Rich, played his guitar quietly in the background. The sun broke through the grey overcast and streamed in through the windows with that slanted and weak winter brightness. Some spoke of Francis, others of Our Blessed Mother, and I think we all felt the presence of Jesus there.
I know for myself, my comfort zone was nudged big time when I became Grand Knight for our K of C Council 1395. I don't consider myself G.K. material, didn't have any aspirations for it and tried to stay clear of the one-man committee that was trying to find a worthy G.K. But as I believe, God, when he wants us for something, he knocks on that door, and keeps knocking, nudging, until we let him in. It was good to hear others speak of their experiences this way, and in that, knowing we are not alone in our dealings with God. As I write this I see more clearly how we must let God lead us, to almost shout the phrase that has been sung so many times before; Lord, show me the way! Show me Your Will that I may do it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Day

Hopefully I'll find time this Christmas weekend to post. A lot has gone on during this Advent, almost too much. Isn't that always the way this time of year? The secular world nudges in no matter how hard we try to keep it out. And we really don't want to keep it out completely, we just are trying to keep focused. And that can be very hard unless one lives in a cave. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad...

Merry and Blessed Christmas, and thanks for all the exchange of ideas during this year!

Peace to all as we await the Lord!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A reflection...

A wonderful reflection today in Medjugorje Day By Day.

C. S. Lewis...wrote that "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ is vere latitat-truly hidden."
In this sense the love of neighbor is parallel to the love of God; we cannot love one without the other since they are inseparable-the vine and the branches, the Mystical Body of Christ.

Reflect of the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "Though we do not have Our Lord with us in the bodily presence, we have our neighbor, who, for the ends of love and loving service, is as good as Our Lord himself."

I just wanted to share that with everyone. It seems that in these days of Advent I know I myself, in prayer, have felt, seen and heard many gifts given to me by Our God, for me, more than ever before. It seems every time I turn He is there, though not in plain sight, he is there watching to see if I saw, if I caught the glimpse, or felt His touch.

Our God is a wonderful God.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Yesterday, being Thursday is our day of Adoration in our parish. I have the 5-6pm hour, which gives me just enough time to get there after work. After Sister Barbara left about 5:10 I was alone with Our Lord. For the beautiful silence in there it could have been midnight. Only the creaks and groans of an old church. During this Advent season the Friars are offering Confession from 6:30-7:30, after which Our Lord is returned to the Tabernacle. This Saturday, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe I will re-consecrate to Our Lord Jesus through Mary for the third year in a row, so having confession available was truly a God-send. I've been thinking lately about Confession, and how last Sat. with a priest who hasn't heard my confession before I sort of froze up, and never got to the place where I wanted to go, to confess a different level, you might say, of my sinful life. I just ended up repeating the same round of sins as usual, the same repeatable sins that I do week in and week out. I don't know, but I think I may have these sins, to some degree, the rest of my working life, because I relate these sins to my work place, the place where I am 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. I struggle with these sins, pray about them, gain on them and then, they overtake me again. A constant battle, but the Lord has granted me the gift to know that these sins, these challenges are my cross to carry for Him, my road to travel to Him.
In Confession I think Fr. R. was able to understand somewhat where I was going in explaining the reason why I wanted him to be more firm with me and not fall back on the mantra "Your too hard on yourself!" I'm done with that penance. I need to hear it from a Priest, from Jesus-on- earth that when you daydream during Evening Prayer that is wrong, don't do it, focus on the incense rising to Heaven. That even though one tries to do three Rosaries' a day, if not even one is done truly from the heart then why bother? These human frailties bother me, and I hope Fr. R understood, I think he did but more importantly do I understand what He wants of me, or am I just listening to myself, dreaming of what I'd like to be.