Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The summer for us usually is not a time for relaxing and laying back, re-charging the batteries, etc. It's our most hectic time of the year. Tough to find is the quiet time to spend with Our Lord, a few moments to sit on a large grey rock and say the Rosary or to just think about the day. To survive in this world one must push on to get ahead. And so it seems. I know my mindset is like that at most times, from morning till night; this needs doing, plants need watering, a lawn calls to the mower, where you been? The whole thing can easily get away from someone (like me). Fortunately my wife Helen helps to keep me grounded, helps to bring me back around to the Truth when stuff, the everyday stuff begins to overwhelm me. I'm still under the way of thinking that I can take care of all problems first, and ask the Lord for help later. Very rarely do I, when confronted with a problem, take a deep breath, speak to Our Lord or the B.V.M, and ask for help or guidance, to put the whole problem in their hands, and then to listen in silence. My wanting to help sidetracks me to places I don't want to go, don't belong. Helen addresses almost everything in the same way; Lord Jesus, Blessed Mother, what do you want of me? Show me the way. She is so grounded in her faith and love of God that I'm like a small child, tagging along, who mostly whines and cries.
Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!
a man of strife and contention to all the land! Jeremiah 15:10
I don't know if I'm a man of strife and contention to all the land, but I think I am to myself. At times my internal world is so uneasy, a seeming battleground of tensions and images, that, where I not somewhat grounded, not focusing on things above, I could not remain where I am. I find the pull of this world, well, not strong, but perhaps overwhelming. It is everywhere, and to me, it is not good. When I do find the time to quiet down the inside, when prayer comes in its fits and starts, I long for a more peaceful life for the two of us. The long hours at work have taken their toll and the Lord is calling. Perhaps a life in a Franciscan community, or maybe start one ourselves. I place it in the hands of Our Lord. My son, give me your burden. Do you not know that I will carry you? You only have to ask.
Oh, Jesus, my Lord and God
I cry to You for faith,
the faith to give to you
all I have, all that I am,
and in return
to finally accept your love,
love so freely given
but one that I
have turned away...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

...act out of Love

A thought...

In order to truly be one with Christ, we must shrug off, no throw off the crushing weight that the world imposes on us.

We must become light.

To become light. Not an easy thing. In my life, in my journey to just be closer to Him, the becoming closer to God is also the journey of releasing this world. A man cannot love both God and mammon. God and money. God and this world. Why does He turn us so? That's a question I ask. And, why me? What did I do to hear His voice so clear at times? I know, nothing. It is only His Grace. Even in the dryness, I can still feel the vibration of Him around me. Why don't others? I became a Secular Franciscan thinking I would walk with more understanding through this world. I felt that following in Francis' footsteps would be a better way to imitate Christ, and it is, but for one reason or another, to me, the Seculars don't go deep enough. Even the word 'Seculars' makes me uneasy.
My wife Helen and I have been blessed in that God decided to bring us both back into His Light together, at the same time. We are inseparable, truly two become one. Together we share the sadness, as we see within our society and within our Church the 'smoke of satan' and the damage that it's wrought. I'm venting, I know, and I'll stop. But one more reflection, a positive one. From a great blog I read, Do Not Be Anxious, a post about Pope Benedict's' new take on the parable The Prodigal Son. A great post. At the end the blogs author asks, (I paraphrase) What have you done for someone today? and today I had an event that was so small but so natural but, in a way completely unnatural. I didn't know how unnatural it was until after. At work today my friend Perry had an English Muffin at break, but forgot to bring anything to put on it. I asked him, how you gonna eat that, what are you gonna put on it? He said, nothing, I'm gonna eat it dry. I finished buttering my wheat toast (my Wednesday breakfast) using only half my Smart Balance. Here, use the rest, I don't need it all. I didn't even think about it, I just did it. Thanks, he said. I went to my office and sat down and felt that trembling in the pit of my stomach that precedes when God is about to let me in on something. I instantly realized that He was pleased, pleased that I'd done something for someone without thinking about it, without expecting anything at all to come out of it, I just did it. A simple act of love from my heart to him. As I think about and pray about the whole small event I can see that God asks us to constantly make these kinds of choices and decisions every day, every moment. We react and do things all day long and are so caught up in this world that at times we forget (if we even ever knew!) how to act with kindness, top just act out of love.

Oh God, my loving Father!
Please hear my humble prayer to you.
Open my eyes but show mercy
as I see my faults before me
and strive to take the narrow road
that leads to Your Heart of Light.