One less kiss

Sr. Dorcee:

From a few years ago. The readings were different this year, but the message is still so important for each of us.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Following up on yesterday’s gospel which is one of my very favorite readings:  I did a study once on all the New Testament scriptures that talk about women at the feet of Jesus.  I usually meditate on various of them this time of year because most of them occurred near and at the time of the Lord’s Passion (like yesterday’s reading).  Luke 7 recounts a story similar to yesterday’s Gospel, but in a different context, and in it, it is said that the woman “covered his feet with kisses” (Lk 7:38).  Jesus himself remarks on this to Simon (at whose house he was) and actually upbraids him for not welcoming Him in the same fashion. “You did not give me a kiss . . . ”  Let not the same be said of us.  Let us then not hold back our kisses for His sacred feet.  Mother Teresa once said…

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His Love Did Burn

PALM SUNDAY

Alone I weep, and lost, in hurt and pain.
My dreams seem shattered; mind’s lamp flickers low.
I blame myself, but how am I to blame?
No grand design to build, nowhere to go.
The world turns its uncaring eye away.
I live or die: ’twill not be written much;
And as the sleepless night brings troubled day,
I long for crumbs of comfort, human touch.
Yet soon is Easter, and my thoughts now turn
To One Who, palm-applauded, still rode on:
His face set flint, as all His love did burn:
A cross awaiting, for God’s only Son.
And as my tears descend, as winter rain,
I know Love lives, and I shall love again.

David John, Oxford, England.

“Where are you?”

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

“See where he stands behind our wall.  He looks in at the window, he peers through the lattice.”  (Song of Songs 2.9)

This is the point of Lent: to open up to our Beloved who is looking in at us through the window.  Fr. Blaise Arminjon writes:  “For if God is love, there can only be in the final analysis a single sin: not to love, to refuse to open oneself to the waiting love.”  After Adam and Eve sinned, the first words of God to them were “Where are you?” (Gen 3.9)  God is all about relationship.  He experienced the loss of relationship with Adam and Eve.  His first words to them were not: “What did you do?” but “Where are you?”  And that is what Lent is supposed to be all about for us: our relationship with Him, not what we have done.  (If we concentrate on relationship…

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Her small room

Reblogging this once again . . .

There are so many artistic depictions of the Annunciation, but one of my all-time favorites is one that a good friend of mine gave me a few years ago.  You can see it below.  Not too long afterward I came across a poem by Luci Shaw that seemed to have been written for it.  I share that with you as well.  Thank you, Mary, for your earth-changing yes. . .

Annunciation (golden) 001Virgin

As if until that moment
nothing real
had happened since Creation

As if outside the world were empty
so that she and he were all
there was–he mover, she moved upon

As if her submission were the most
dynamic of all works; as if
no one had ever said Yes like that

As if that day the sun had no place
in all the universe to pour its gold
but her small room

(Luci Shaw)

“A thousand times a day I will begin again.”

“If I should fall a thousand times a day, a thousand times a day I will begin again, with new awareness of my weakness, promising God, with a peaceful heart, to amend my life. I will never think of God as if he were of our condition and grows weary of our wavering, weakness, and negligence. . . . Rather, I will think of what is truly characteristic of him and what he prizes most highly, that is, his goodness and mercy, knowing that he is a loving Father who understands our weakness, is patient with us, and forgives us.”

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, spiritual counsels

What are we to do when our footsteps are flagging?

Do you feel like your flagging during Lent?  Mother Mary Francis has the best answer for what to do!

[Jesus] is always going forward to save us.  How strange if we were not that eager to be saved in the little events of every day. His footsteps were on the way to the Father.  They were unflagging.  He always kept going.  His footsteps were always unswerving.  They went straight ahead in the will of the Father.  He knew where he was going . . .

For ourselves, we know that our steps are quite often flagging.  We lag.  We sit down.  We get tired.  What are we to do when our footsteps are flagging?  There is a simple answer.  We get up.  Sometimes we become discouraged in a prideful way and we think, “Well, what is the use?”  What we are really saying is, “I don’t want to make the effort to get up.”  For us to have unflagging steps fitted to his, we have to be always getting up, because of our weakness, our sinfulness.  It could be a wonderful thing indeed never to fall, never to flag, but it is a wonderful thing to get up.  This can be a true inspiration for the poor sinners we are: that our footsteps become more unflagging according to how often and how quickly we have gotten up.

He follows us into our own darkness

232d18bcad3b096f6645381dd2c797ceAnother picture that our Lord loves to use is that of the shepherd who goes out to look for the sheep that is lost.  So long as we imagine that it is we who look for God, then we must often lose heart.  But it is the other way about: he is looking for us.  And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him.  And he knows that and has taken it into account.  He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape from him, we run straight into his arms.
So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us hope of salvation.  Our hope is in his determination to save us.  And he will not give in!
     This should free us from that crippling anxiety which prevents any real growth, giving us room to do whatever we can do, to accept the small but genuine responsibilities that we do have.  Our part is not to shoulder the whole burden of salvation, the initiative and the program are not in our hands: our part is to consent, to learn how to love him in return whose love came to us so freely while we were quite uninterested in him.        (Simon Tugwell, O.P.)