If you feel things are out of control in your life (and even if you don’t), this is for you:
Lord Jesus, Who Would Think That I Am Thine?
Lord Jesus, who would think that I am Thine?
Ah, who would think
Who sees me ready to turn back or sink,
That Thou art mine?
I cannot hold Thee fast though Thou art mine:
Hold Thou me fast,
So earth shall know at last and heaven at last
That I am Thine.
Sometimes someone else’s hindsight can help us to have a better attitude at the trials in our own lives. Listen to what Scott Hamilton shares about the trials in his life:
This is for you who are going through times of great darkness and/or suffering:
“Hope and trust grow and increase only by trial, suffering, danger, sorrow, and even if it comes, horror. For this reason, darkness is an essential part of the spiritual journey–darkness of many kinds.”
“Some have called this trust the greatest act of worship we can perform, because it unites us in a more realistic way with the mystery of Christ.” (Fr. Benedict Groeschel)
I thank all of you, on behalf of the Church, all of you who are offering the trials, dangers, even horrors to God as an act of worship. May God sustain you and give you hope.
A fascinating way of looking at holiness, and not necessarily an easy one:
Holiness consists in enduring God’s glance. It may appear mere passivity to withstand the look of an eye; but everyone knows how much exertion is required when this occurs in an essential encounter. Our glances mostly brush by each other indirectly, or they turn quickly away, or they give themselves not personally but only socially. So too do we constantly flee form God into a distance that is theoretical, rhetorical, sentimental, aesthetic, or most frequently, pious. Or we flee from him to external works. And yet, the best thing would be to surrender one’s naked heart to the fire of this all–penetrating glance. The heart would then itself have to catch fire, if it were not always artificially dispersing the rays that come to it as through a magnifying glass. Such enduring would be the opposite of a Stoic’s hardening his face: it would be yielding, declaring oneself beaten, capitulating, entrusting oneself, casting oneself into him. It would be childlike loving, since for children the glance of the father is not painful: with wide-open eyes they look into his. Little Thérèse–great little Thérèse–could do it. Augustine’s formula on the essence of eternity: videntem videre–’to look at him who is looking at you.’ (Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat)
One of the goals of the Christian life is to become more and more you, your true self. I just posted last week about our desire to be loved for ourselves. Here is another piece by a wonderful writer, Dr. Edward Mulholland, touching on the same theme.
Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor, has written an interesting piece in The New Yorker about technology. Advances in technology, it appears, don’t automatically signal advances in humanity. He concludes noting that “The technology industry, which does so much to define us, has a duty to cater to our more complete selves rather than just our narrow interests.” I was struck by the expression “our more complete selves.”
This past weekend a few hundred high school seniors came to Benedictine College to compete for the Presidential Scholarship. They are an impressive group. Faced with a tough day of essays and interviews, the advice that I often given is “just be yourself.” But it struck me, as I heard myself saying this, that “being ourselves” is one of the most monumental challenges imaginable. It is, in fact, the purpose of our lives, and how we give glory to God.
You can read the rest here.
For the “Little People,” Before the Blessed Sacrament
Tiny round God,
weak and small, You could fit in my hand, yet
all the span of the universe cannot contain You
all the powers of the cosmos cannot resist You.
You have made Yourself like those
who are close to Your Heart.
I carry them here with me today:
the “little people
invisible to the mighty but not to the Almighty.
The world reckons them a zero:
without wealth, without power,
without name, without face,
without arms, without voice.
But You too, Lord, are a Zero,
a white, wheaten Cipher,
a Figure on whom
they have failed to reckon.
When You foes seek to multiply
You will invade their equation
and bring them to naught:
You will nullify their pride,
annihilate their power,
annul their schemes
But those of lowly degree
You will stand beside
Tiny round God,
blessed are You
who gather the poor
into the ring of Your riches,
into the cup of Your fullness,
into the crown of Your might,
into the circle of Your dance.
Blessed are You,
encompassing Your people
without beginning, without end,
in Your love.
I haven’t reposted anything lately from Restoration, Madonna House’s monthly publication. I was quite moved by this piece from their January issue. Each of us has such a deep longing to be known for who we are. Steve Heroux shares his perspective:
Each of Us Is a Person
by Steve Héroux.
A number of years ago, a friend of mine said that if Christ were not in me, it would not be worth his while loving me. What an interesting comment to offer a friend!
Of course one could hear this in a number of different ways. I suppose I could have answered with “thank you very much,” or entered into some sort of theological discussion about it all. But when it comes to being loved, somehow theological discussions don’t seem to cut it.
I couldn’t help but think that something very precious was lacking in his outlook, and I was deeply saddened. My gut reaction was: “Please do not make of me an object of your love for Jesus.”
Of course, it is likely that I misinterpreted his intentions and misunderstood what he was trying to say.
Nonetheless, making someone into an object of our love for God is not something impossible to do. And it is likely not much better than making an object out of a person for any other reason. Something very sad indeed.
I heard it said that here at the Marian Centre, we give people an opportunity to touch the poor and that that is a good thing to do! I must admit that I struggle with this as well, possibly for the same reasons.
I would not like to be a poor person going somewhere to give someone else a chance to touch me or serve me in order that he or she might get something out of it, out of me. Even if that something were noble feelings or a broadening of horizons or of the heart, or even perhaps conversion of heart—or worst of all—a good conscience.
I would feel like someone was taking advantage of my situation for their own “noble” gain. I simply want to be seen and treated as… well… me!
You can read the rest here.
For those days when you don’t feel any emotion in prayer and/or resist serving Him, but do so anyway:
“A very high degree of love of God is quite compatible with an absence of any feeling of emotion, and even with a feeling of distaste for the service of God. We have only to remember our Lord’s prayer in the agony of Gethsemane to realize that. In fact, if one is going to achieve the heights of the spiritual life, it is necessary to pass through a stage where one’s apparent spiritual activity is reduced to a dry act of willingness to conform one’s self to God’s Will in the darkness of a sheer decision to believe in God without light of any sort.” (Fr. M. Eugene Boylan)
Sr. Ann, the scheduled speaker for last night’s Witnesses to Hope, got stranded in New York due to a snowstorm, so Sr. Dorcee and Sr. Sarah teamed up to read out loud some of their favorite stories. Get yourself a cup of tea, snuggle up, and let yourself be read to. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and hopefully you’ll be inspired. Just click below.