In the Midst of Joy: Everything Sad Becomes Untrue

Sr. Dorcee:

Awake, thou wintry earth!

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

cherrybaker

Just after the climax of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee discovers that his friend Gandalf was not dead (as he thought) but alive.
He cries, “I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
The answer of Christianity to that question is – yes.

Everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.

Embracing the Christian doctrines of the incarnation and Cross brings profound consolation in the face of suffering.
The doctrine of the resurrection can instill us with a powerful hope.
It promises that we will get the life we most longed for,
but it will be an infinitely more glorious world
than if there had never been the need for bravery, endurance, sacrifice, or salvation.
~Pastor Tim Keller in Reason for…

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With the eyes of faith

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

I love pondering the post-Resurrection appearances of Christ.  I guess I feel in good company when those who had spent three solid years with Christ failed to recognize Him.  It’s always a reminder to me of the need to sharpen our eyes of faith, to look for Him in His many disguises.  In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus showing a sense of humor (in my opinion).  He repeats advice that He had given them when He first met them: put the net down on the other side.  How many times does that happen to us, that God comes to us in a familiar way?  Let’s not miss His appearances to us in our every day life.

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The one who still burns the light of hope

Sr. Dorcee:

She leads us in hoping against hope . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

{This is a repost . . .]

mary-pierced-heartHave you ever wondered why Saturday is traditionally observed as the day of Our Lady? A few years ago I was reading a book by John Saward (The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty), and, in a section about our Lady, he described Mary’s unfailing faith through the long, terrible day after Christ’s death when she alone kept faith in her Son.   I had never before heard of this mariological foundation for Saturday being traditionally her day:

The yes [her continued yes to the Lord that began with her Annunciation yes] of Our Lady does not end on Good Friday and [Christ’s] yielding of the spirit . . . . The faith and love of Our Lady last into Holy Saturday.  The dead body of the Son of God lies in the tomb, while His soul descends into Sheol, the…

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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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“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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Lenten Grace — The Uses of Sorrow

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

photo by Josh Scholten photo by Josh Scholten

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
~Mary Oliver, “The Uses of Sorrow”

The bright sadness of Lent
is a box full of darkness
given to us by someone who loves us.

It takes a lifetime to understand,
if we ever do,
this gift with which we are entrusted
is meant to
hand off to another and another
whom we love just as well.

Opening the box
allows light in
where none was before.
Sorrow shines bright
reaching up
from the deep well
of our loving
and being loved.

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The happiest of beings

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday: from the archives.

Originally posted on Wonder and Beauty:

“I do not know when I have had happier times in my soul, than when I have been sitting at work, with nothing before me but a candle and a white cloth, and hearing no sound but that of my own breath, with God in my soul and heaven in my eye . . . . I rejoice in being exactly what I am,—a creature capable of loving God, and who, as long as God lives, must be happy.  I get up and look for a while out of the window, and gaze at the moon and stars, the work of the Almighty hand.  I think of the grandeur of the universe, and then sit down, and think myself one of the happiest beings in it.”  ~a poor Methodist woman, 18th century

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What should I give up for Lent?

Sr. Dorcee:

Still good advice . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

I have the answer for you!  I’d like to share a short article I wrote for The Catholic Times last year:

“So . . . what are you giving up for Lent?”  The best all-time answer I’ve ever heard to that question comes from Fr. John Peter Cameron, editor of Magnificat: “Here’s what to give up for Lent: the doubt that goes, ‘I can never get closer to God because I’m too sinful, too flawed, too weak.’”  Lent really is not about giving up, but about receiving. Fr. John goes on to say: “Lent is not about lamenting our inadequacy.  Rather, it is a graced moment to receive from God what he is eager to give us so that we can live the friendship with him that he desires. . . .”

This approach requires a major change of attitude on most of our parts.  We are so geared…

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A Recipe For Good Medicine

Sr. Dorcee:

I want her for my doctor.

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

raindrops1315

A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.
~Ray Bradbury from Dandelion Wine

Most days in clinic we see tears, lots of them.  We keep boxes of tissues strategically placed in the exam and consult rooms,  as well as the waiting room.  Life can seem overwhelming, fear and worry proliferate unchecked and floodgates spillover occurs when just one more thing happens — maybe a failed test, a fight with a family member, a lingering fatigue that just might be some dread disease.

We underestimate how therapeutic a good cry can be, almost as helpful as deep and heart felt laughter.  Stress and tension is dissipated, endorphins are released, muscles relax.  Holding back tears, like trying not to laugh (think Mary Tyler Moore at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral service) is hard work and cab only…

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Shatter Me

Originally posted on Barnstorming:

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As through a long-abandoned half-standing house
only someone lost could find,

which, with its paneless windows and sagging crossbeams,
its hundred crevices in which a hundred creatures hoard and nest,

seems both ghost of the life that happened there
and living spirit of this wasted place,

wind seeks and sings every wound in the wood
that is open enough to receive it,

shatter me God into my thousand sounds.

~Christian Wiman “Small Prayer in a Hard Wind”

May I,
though sagging and graying,
leaning perilously,
be porous enough
to allow life’s gusts
through me
without being pushed over
in a heap.

So the wind
makes me sing
filling my every crack
and defect,
shattered into pieces,
a mosaic of praises.
~E Gibson

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