Thursday, October 28, 2010

Absence of Trust

"Trust in me."

Pretty simple words, don't you think? I always thought they were, simple, easy to live by. Even the ups and downs of day to day living most times don't seem to interfere with trusting in Him. With me, I do it every day, I pray, I trust in Him. Simple, right? How wrong could I be.
How quickly I can forget anything I ever learned, felt or loved about God. How the Sacred Word, passed down through centuries could mean anything different than it is. How could I think that my easygoing hassle-free life was a trial?. I've got a lot to learn.
I think I've seen the other side of people more in the last week, or to say, I've, no, not I, God has opened my eyes to see the strengths and weaknesses in people, but to what end? To bring about unease and trial in my life? Maybe. I don't know. I do know that people are put into the crucible for many reasons, some reasons never to be known by us. God's plan is His plan, not ours, and we are usually not privy to it. I'm certainly not in on his plans for me or my fellow co-workers or this shop I'm in. You cannot serve both God and mammon. Our shop is so production and money driven I hardly fit in anymore. I doesn't really matter. I'm content to sit in the rear seat and let others drive. The view is fine back here.
I've also seen decisions made in the last day or so that will affect people for a long time to come. Family matters. Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer... If we spend time in prayer, serious time searching for God's answer, we must have the strength to believe that that word, that insight is from God, and we're going to act accordingly. I witnessed someone very close to me do just that, and the answer she got was not a popular one. But she believed with her whole heart, soul and mind in the reply from God, and she has stuck with it. Time will tell what He has in store for her and her siblings. But the point here is, she trusted.
Me, on the other hand, when confronted with news that I don't like, that takes me out of my comfort zone, I turn morose. Even after being told how we must trust in Him, even after I say uh huh, in total agreement, inside I'm tore up. This one issue, I had tried to keep it out of my mind, just let everything play itself out. But I got excited over premature news, and then, a couple of days later when things didn't work out, I felt cheated. Aarrgh! Why do I fall when I should rise? He tells us to trust, and when I really should, when I really have to, I can't. Somewhere, deep inside, I must think I'm still in charge of some things. This just shows how deep that trust in God has to go. One must believe completely, without hesitation. Will I ever reach that point, that point where this secular world has not so strong a hold on me? When I can move more freely between this world and His world, when they finally blend together and become one? Maybe never. I know I must just go on in the not knowing of His love the love that is here, all around me and inside me.
And trust in Him.

Oh my Lord and my God,
I'm commanded to walk
in your ways,
to trust in your words,
but I turn
and my own path calls me.
Is that You, Lord
I hear beside me, arm outstretched
before me, showing my way?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Night Prayer

Night Prayer

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his

name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more.

They will need no light from lamps or the sun,

for the Lord shall give them light,

and they shall reign forever.

Revelation 22: 4-5

How to word this...

The reading above was from Sunday, the 17th, Night Prayer. H and I went over to a good friend of ours house, Barbara, a Third Order Franciscan like us but also an ex(?)-nun (is their such a thing?) whose order dissolved many years ago. She is still a nun to us, a very holy and devout woman, in her 80's. She had already done Evening Prayer, so we did Night Prayer. She told us that in some Monasteries the monks chant Night Prayer in the dark, having committed it to memory. I love Night Prayer, the darkness of it, the way in saying it it points so effectively towards God, towards prayer. When Barbara and Helen get together they like to chant their prayers, so we chanted Psalm 91, Barbara and I doing one verse, Helen the other. And we did everything slowly, never rushing, enunciating each word. Barbara has many tips and insights from back in 'the day', and she always shares with us. That night as she read the Reading, Revelation 22:4-5, slowly in her clear voice the words really jumped out at me. 'They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads.' To see the Lord face to face. Just think about that for a moment. What will it take for us to get there, to see Him. I think of how far I've come on this journey and realize I've really not gone anywhere. The further I think I've progressed the more I realize, well, I don't know what I realize. I do know that, for me, complacency is my bitter enemy. Every once in a while I find myself feeling good, almost feeling smug, in my faith. It's like blinders have been put on and all I can see is the good around me. God doesn't want that in me, maybe not in any of us. H wants me to stay hungry, hungry for His love, hungry to see His Face. And how will we see His Face? Not being complacent. Not accepting our lot in life. I believe only by living the Gospel life will we have the path to reach Him. All week the Readings have been about discipleship, about how to constantly be alert and strive to reach the higher goal. When I feel myself just going thru the motions, just living in the secular world and not the world of heaven, that is when I must stop and look at the Cross. There hangs all the answers. He died for us not so we could live a half-life, or to ignore Him completely. He died to save us from ourselves, because we cannot go it alone. I, we, are tested every day. And we well know who is prodding us, lying to us and darkening our eyes. It is in weakness that I am strong. I know the Lord wants to entrust me, us, with more. He wants me to seek His Face. And as I do, and hope to find, then...
The night will be no more. They will need no light
from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God
shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


26 years married today, the last 5 truly in the Blessed Arms of Our Lord, to my best friend, wife and companion on my journey, Helen. I am a blessed man! See our pic at http//

Monday, October 11, 2010

An uncalled for whine...

So it's Monday morning, I'm not feeling so hot, I'm still not unwound even from work last week and I'm back here already, I'm sore all over from working with Helen on the way overgrown hedgerow at the farm, etc, etc, etc, I'm whining inside, sort of. Break time comes, I start my readings. Then, from Medjugorje Day By Day:

Dear children, this evening I especially call you
to perseverance in trials. Reflect on how the Almighty is
still suffering today on account of your sins. So
when sufferings come, offer them up as a sacrifice to God.
(Weekly Message, 3-29-84)

How often, for me, do answers come unlooked for from the Hand of the Almighty? He is behind all. Let me say, I'm not suffering. I'm just whining, whining about a Monday. But I was brought about quickly, realizing that I have much much more than most people and nothing to complain about, ever. I will offer them up as a sacrifice to God, as I keep my gaze on the Cross.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

...more will be asked...

"From everyone who has been given much, much

will be demanded; and from the one who has been

entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

Luke 12:48

I thought of this quote from the Gospel as I was pulling into work yesterday morning. I'd just finished saying the Rosary and usually I finish with about 8-10 min. left before I get to work. At 5:00am there's not much traffic on the road so I use the beads. Most mornings I'm fairly focused and I'm able to pray and contemplate the decades as best as can be while driving a car. Some mornings though, other thoughts filter in, work, the night day before, whatever. Yesterday was one of those days; I don't even remember what was on my mind. But during those last few minutes I give to Our Blessed Mother, St, Francis and all the Saints, Our Lord and his Heavenly Father my intentions for the day. I didn't get a chance to do any, and that always bothers me. Then, for some reason (HA!) that scripture quote popped into my head, and it made so much sense to me. I think, even in my humbleness, I'm one of those whom Our Lord is demanding more from. It is not my lot to take the easy way out, not any more. Maybe when I took my Franciscan vows, something changed between me and God. I don't really know. Probably this, the more demands, are a loving consequence to that. All those people I offer my first Rosary of the day to, every one of them needs my prayers. And I from them. And if God uses my prayers for something else, so be it. It's not mine to decide. In my own way I'm trying to figure these things out. This is where the mystery of it all nearly overwhelms me. How can He love all of us, together and equally? How can any of us do Him homage? My Rosary intentions seem almost meaningless. This thought has bothered me since that morning. Tonight, though, the Reading, James 1:2-8, during Evening Prayer, helped to bring it all back to me. If any of you is without wisdom, let him ask it from the God who gives generously and ungrudgingly to all, and it will be given him. We are told over and over that God loves us. We are asked to love Him in return, with all our hearts, with all our soul and with all our mind. When will I ever learn to do just that?

continue to guide me
even when I know not,
as I ignore the signs and wonders
You rain down upon me,
your worthless servant,
your humble wretched creature.

Monday, October 04, 2010


How to speak about Francis...
I really can't, I will never do justice to him whom we follow, who leads us to Christ. At the 11:15 Mass Sunday, Fr. Toms' Installation Mass, he spoke in his homily about being a Franciscan, what Francis meant to him. Food for thought. Last night, at our Transitus gathering, more stories of Francis read by more Franciscan priests who made the journey to our small parish. To some of them, I think, Francis truly speaks in a deep way, on a deep level. Francis still calls to me but in a different way than 4 years ago when I began walking the path of Francis. I too, feel that deeper calling, as does Helen. Sad to say, with some Franciscan priests what they call the 'Franciscan Spirit' is not Franciscan at all. It's modernism in it's plainest form! Francis would never have put up with some of the liberties taken by some men of the cloth today. Maybe it's me, but the real spirit of the little poor man is one of humility and poverty, and a deep and abiding love and reference for the Holy Eucharist. I just don't understand it. I'm not going to complain anymore about it. Today was a beautiful day, spent at work, trying to do my best to put Christ before my co-workers. I don't know, most times the face I show is not His but my searching face, the one I wear most days as I look for Him along my road. Francis leads us to the Father, by just being who he was, a person just like you and me who by hearing His call and abiding by it, changed the face and direction of the Church forever.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Little Flower

"You know that our Lord does not look at the greatness or the difficulty of an action but at the love with which you do it. What then have you to fear?" - ST. Therese of Lisieux

This weekend is a busy one for us. First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament tonight, Nocturnal Adoration later from 1-2 am, our Knights of Columbus Pig Roast tomorrow after the 4:00 Mass, the Installation Ceremony for our new Pastor, Fr. Tom takes place during the 11:15 Mass Sunday, and to end the weekend, since we're a Franciscan parish, we celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis Sunday night at 7:00. Whew. The only reason I bore you all with this inane list of stuff has to do with the beautiful quote from St. Therese. She didn't care what she was doing, whether it was scrubbing the privy floor or washing the linens used in Mass. She performed all chores, and I'm sure all actions with the intent of doing them for our Lord. Think about that. To be in that frame of mind always, in what amounts to constant prayer, that elusive state we all seek on our journeys. I have many chores to do this weekend, some I love to do and some, well, not so loved. But the Little Flower reminds us, reminds me to do them all with love, with kindness and with sincerity. A few days ago I was blessed by God to be able to help a friend of ours just by cleaning up some leaves. She was so thankful and for me, it was only a small task. I learned something that day I'd always known, but kept hidden behind that wall; God is love, and if we seek and find Him, we find his love. Help me Lord and be with me these next few days, help me to do my best, to show Your Face, not mine, to everyone I meet.