Call out to Mary

“O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land, if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star.  When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of temptation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary.  Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition or slander or jealousy, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary.  When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skiff of your soul, gaze up at Mary.  When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgment appalls you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary.  In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary.  Keep her in your mouth, keep her in your heart. Follow the example of her life and you will obtain the favor of her prayer.  Following her, you will never go astray.  Asking her help, you will never despair.  Keeping her in your thoughts, you will never wander away.  With your hand in hers, you will never stumble.  With her protecting you, you will not be afraid.  With her leading you, you will never tire.  Her kindness will see you through.” (Bernard of Clairvaux}

 

Don’t Be Afraid

Sr. Dorcee:

Amen.

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

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To acknowledge the significance of this day and the events of 13 years ago:

The grace of God means something like:
Here is your life.
You might never have been, but you are,
because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.
Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
I am with you.
~Frederick Buechner
in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

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Being afraid

Sr. Dorcee:

What to do when you think your emotions are all wrong . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

I was delighted when I discovered Caryll Houselander.  I found her to be a woman of great honesty about herself and great faith in God.  Here is an excerpt from a letter she wrote, describing how she dealt with great fear as she served as an air raid warden in England during World War I.  Perhaps I’ve already shared it, but it’s worth sharing again.  She offers an approach that I think we can apply to many, if not all, of the challenging emotions we can experience:

During the war I was simply terrified by air raids, and it was my lot to be in every one that happened in London–sometimes on the roofs of these flats, sometimes in the hospital. . . I tried to build up my courage by reason and prayer, etc.  Then one day I realized quite suddenly: As long as I try not to be…

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I did it again!

For those times when you say to yourself, “I did it again!”  From St. Faustina’s Diary:

It so happened that I fell again into a certain error, in spite of a sincere resolution not to do so even though the lapse was a minor imperfection and rather involuntary and at this I felt such acute pain in my soul that I interrupted my work and went to the chapel for a while. Falling at the feet of Jesus, with love and a great deal of pain, I apologized to the Lord, all the more ashamed because of the fact that in my conversation with Him after Holy Communion this very morning I had promised to be faithful to Him. Then I heard these words: If it hadn’t been for this small imperfection, you wouldn’t have come to Me (Diary, 1293).

Even there

Sr. Dorcee:

One of my favorite poems. Always worth reposting. Have a blessed Sunday.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Written by a missionary in Communist China in the early 1950’s, with only 15 cents left in his pocket, a terrible toothache, no fuel and a tiny daughter with scarlet fever.  The beginning reference is to Acts 27:27-32.

In Adria’s tempest-tossed wastes,
My barque through the dark deeps is driv’n;
The canvas all torn from my masts,
My timbers by stormy waves riv’n.
Yet there faith’s assurance rings clear,
E’en there will I trust, EVEN THERE.

All hope for deliverance had gone,
Despair’s chilly gloom shrouded all;
No sun’s ray through threat’ning cloud shone
To brighten the future’s dark pall.
Yet there should my heart quake with fear,
E’en there will I trust, EVEN THERE.

My brook’s daily waters had dried,
All replenishing springs scorched bare;
Resourceless in sore need I cried
To a God who seemed not to care.
Though trembling, triumphant I bow
E’en now will I trust…

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Broken Things

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

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God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop,
broken clouds to give rain,
broken grain to give bread,
broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.
~Vance Havner

And I might add:
a snail wandering into sidewalk foot traffic,
crushed, cracked and dying, clinging to the pavement,
its broken shell a gift of metaphor
of our own leaking brokenness.

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When your enemy falls into your hands

Very apt advice always:

“When your enemy falls into your hands, do not consider how you can pay him back and let him feel the sharp edge of your tongue before sending him packing; consider rather how you can heal him and restore him to a better frame of mind.  Continue to make every effort both by word and deed until your gentleness has overcome his aggressiveness.  Nothing has more power than gentleness.  As someone has said: A soft word will break bones.  And what is harder than bone?  Well then, even if someone is as hard and inflexible as that, he will be conquered if you treat him gently.  There is another saying: A soft answer turns away wrath.  It is obvious, therefore, that whether your enemy continues to rage or whether he is reconciled depends much more on you than on him.  For it rests with us, not with those who are angry, either to destroy their anger or enflame it.”  (John Chrysostom)