Friday, February 26, 2010


Putting up anything here has been nearly impossible lately due to time constraints, an avalanche of events that I'm still trying to digest and then write about and the effects of prednisone that I began taking for my spastic lungs which accompanied my bout with bronchitis. Yech!! I've been weirded out for the last 2 weeks but the weaning process began a few days ago, so hopefully I'll get back into better shape. One can't think straight on prednisone, so I figured I'd just absorb all incoming events and deal with posting later. I've made a major change in my life that has to do with taking on extra work (I'm not going to). In my feeling of importance in being the main supporter of our beautiful family I let my life get out of hand and ruled (in a way) by the almighty dollar. I forgot who was in charge, and needed to be smacked more than a couple of times last week to get it through my head. In feeling so damn important I lost sight of some basic goals, lost sight of the Franciscan Rule, and momentarily lost sight of Christ. When we are weak satan is strong, and once again I found that out. This time though Our Lord helped me to realize my mistake (I know it was Him, otherwise I'd still be ranting) and drove me that evening (Tues.) to confession. Thanks you, Lord, for being there, in the guise of a good Franciscan priest. Thanks for asking just the right question, for having me reflect on something else entirely, until you revealed the wisdom of your love.

Lord, why does it take us so long to let you lead us, let you lead me? And why can't I let myself go completely, to place all these burdens that I'm really starting to feel at your feet. Why do I insist on carrying everything and everyone around? These are my questions, Lord, to you this Lent. These are the questions I'll ask myself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Tuesday, the 16TH - The sudden firing Monday of a co-worker of mine has thrown me out of sync. Although not unexpected, it still came as a shock to most of us. Without going into details let me say that at times (most times!) he was rude, arrogant, sexist, racist, you name it he was it. But he was a good work friend, and I'm sorry to see him go. Even though I spoke with him about his actions on a personal level and as a General Foreman (I was his boss) He kept going back to his old ways, which just didn't fit in with our ways. It leaves me wondering if there was more I could have done, or should have. And I can't help thinking that his wife is going to flip when she hears the news. She knows how S acts and was always telling him to straighten out, your going to get fired.

Well, he did.

So it's like a hunk of darkness that settles inside of you when all this happens. The reading from Monday, James 1:1-11, how it is a joy to have trials, and to be tested in faith, produces perseverance. Well, I wasn't really tested in my faith but I was put to the test a bit with S, and maybe I failed. I've been waiting for him to contact me but he hasn't, he's texted and e-mailed almost everyone else here, complaining how he was shafted. Everyone here has an opinion but I've kept a low profile. Something (or someone,my guardian angel?) has kept my thoughts muffled, even inside. I will not pass judgement on S. We always told him "You don't need us to give you a shovel, your always carrying one around with you," in reference to him digging a hole for himself here at work.
Friday, the 19TH - It took all week to write this post and most of the uneasiness that stemmed from the firing of S has subsided, with the busyness of a workweek taking over. Even myself, I've gotten over the shock part but not the disappointment of the loss of a c0-worker. I'm probably just over analyzing the situation but I keep coming back to the whole event and I guess just wish the world were different. In a perfect world, this would be and that would be... but it just isn't so. We move on, we continue to labor, to love, to live our lives. An uncle of mine flew from this earth this week and his son, my cousin isn't even having a service for him, never mind a catholic funeral. Just burn him up and put him in the ground. So that's been on my mind this week. A week of trials, anger and reflection. And in the middle of the week Ash Wednesday. In a way, how perfect. Take up your cross, and follow me. I've got it Lord, and I'm with you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

From the heart...

It seems that I post a lot about Adoration. Right now, maybe because of the time of year (winter in CT) or the time in my life, I find that when I'm in His Presence I'm able to slow down a bit to either talk to Him or not talk, pray the Rosary or just let my mind wander a bit. Most of my day is spent at work, and there is no real time (except for lunch) to relax. A crazy way to earn a living, if you ever saw us in the shop. I'm hoping to get through a few more years and then we'll see what happens. I know that planning like that isn't the best way to go but I'll just leave it at that.
This past week at work was one of those 'weeks from h...,' if you get my drift. Certain people bring so much personal baggage with them to work and the negative energy really affects us. This is a person I've talked about before and over the years I've learned to love her somewhat, but not in the way I should. I don't know if I'll ever love her the way Jesus asks us to love, but I try. Lets say it's a part of my life that, as long as we work together I will be challenged in love. On account of other people who didn't fill in for co-workers who were out for personal reason, sickness, etc, our workplace this week was a personal strain on many levels and on many good people. Thursday's Adoration came up and earlier in the day as I tried to gather my thoughts for my hour and I thought I had a good idea of what I'd present to Him. But I'm thickheaded and thick hearted, thinking (once again!) that I was in charge. When I got there I re-read the First Reading and the Gospel for the day and mulled that around in my mind for awhile. Read again from Medjugorje Day by Day and as usual, became disappointed in myself. Cracked open the Bible and read more about Solomon and his troubles. Other prayers, the Rosary, but everything seemed dry and just out of reach. I should know better that with me Our Lord doesn't really say much, but with last week's uplifting hours before Him I guess I expected more.
So at six I left.
Halfway home (it's only a 12 minute ride) I thought again of my co-worker whom I really try to understand, who carries with her so so much anger and bitterness, and I thought to myself (or God?) What can I do, how can I deal with her? and as soon as I internally voiced this thought loud and clear came the answer; With Love. Only with love. It was if He'd been waiting for me through the whole Adoration to ask that question, heck, maybe I've been waiting my whole life. And as He said it to me, straight to my inner self, I sort of knew what to do with her, how to use God's love through me to her. And that is to show the Face of His Son all the time, not when it's convenient, but all the time. Such a challenge! Such a simple yet devastatingly difficult new beginning. Because when we put on the Face of Christ, the armor of Christ it gives us new strength. The Face of Christ is to be seen, not hidden under a basket, but brought forth to shine for our hard pressed co-workers, a daughter who's struggling or a son who's searching. A Face to shine on a wife (or husband) who is there for you forever, two become one. So my Hour with Him that I thought was anything but fruitful bore much after I asked my question from my heart.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Adoration reflection

I intended to start this post last Sunday afternoon but it didn't happen. By then my head was just too tired, and if I can't write my thoughts with a strong, clear inner voice I won't post. Everyone who reads my thoughts deserves my best.

Since our conversion/spiritual journey began a few years ago H and I have found ourselves volunteering or stepping into help, whatever one wants to call it, whenever Our Lord passes these opportunities before us. H does Meals-On-Wheels, brings the Eucharist to home bound and people in the convalescent home, etc. And together and separately we fill in Adoration Hours at three different churches, which is an unbelievable blessing. Our parish has Thursdays from 12:00 noon until 7:30pm, which H has the 3-4 hour and I have the 5-6. St. Martha's has Adoration from 6:00am until 10:00pm but that parish is having trouble getting volunteers to keep it open all those hours. We do the 6-7pm on Friday nights but we usually repose Our Lord on account of no one showing up after 7. And at All Saints Church we joined the Nocturnal Adoration Society because a husband/wife team for some reason couldn't make it anymore. With nocturnal adoration it's a rotating schedule and All Saints only has it on First Friday into First Saturday. This month we had the 2-3am slot. These middle of the hours are so special. Only the two of us with Our Lord. Very very quiet. Occasional car drives by. A radiator pops and creaks. We usually say either Night Prayer or Morning Prayer, depending. Out loud, to Our Lord. We pray a Rosary out loud to Him Who Is There. When I leave All Saints after spending time with Him I feel so full, and sometimes dazed. Any prayer in the very early morning is somehow different. For me, it seems richer, almost. The silence and no distractions, gifts from the Lord that say Come, speak to me a bit. What troubles you? What is on your mind.

Words that are not heard but felt.

Three plus hours of Adoration in two plus days is, for me, a very real gift. For the rest of the weekend I felt at times so fragile, but also so very clear. I was filled up with the Lord, and in His filling up He slowed me down, slowed my mind down a bit and though the feeling of Him filling me to the brim has somewhat passed the slowing down has not. Each time I knelt before Him it was as if He was saying something soothing, a wordless drawing of me to Him. Lately my quiet times with Our God has left me more aware, more alert, for lack of a better description. Other events happened during the weekend but they all pale in my reflection of my time with Our Lord. The more often I can place myself before Him, the more clearer my purpose for Him will become, that I truly believe.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Todays Gospel

Today, one of my favorite Gospel readings; Mark 6:7-13. I'm willing to bet this was one of St. Francis' faves too. I remember reading in the Omnibus how Francis was so excited when there were enough Brothers to send out to different lands on preaching missions and how excited he was when some didn't come back! I couldn't help but try to compare (well, not compare, wrong choice of words!) but how we are first called to the Lord and then he sends us out, sometimes two by two to preach, (my wife and I) usually by example, to our family, our friends, our co-workers, everyone who touches our lives. And like the early Franciscan brothers some of us come back and some do not, not necessarily because of physical death but spiritual death. For some of us the Narrow Way is maybe too difficult, and for whatever reasons some fall away or grow quiet. We don't know why. I know a lot of people who have grown quiet over the years, accepting the road they're on to be the one for them, the path that will lead them to Him. I grow sad even now thinking about them, close friends and family members that I've had a hard time reaching as I'm traveling on my road, my journey for Him. Even though I own a home and cars and all the "stuff" that goes along with this life when I'm representing Him it is only me, -no food, no sack no money in my belt-trying to preach by example and sometimes using words.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Presentation...of me

On this Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord I find myself focusing on how we, like the child Jesus, are presented to our God everyday, not by our mothers, although the Blessed Mother helps us if we ask her, but how we present ourselves to Him, every day, every moment. Some days, the person we present is better than others. Today is not a very good presentation day for me. Things have bothered me today and since this is a very busy week for me I seem to be focusing on the negative instead of the positive, I'm trying to influence the day instead of letting the Lord influence me. The Lord Our God deserves better than this.

More prayer is needed....and humility....and humbleness.