Punishing with a kiss

I am working on a talk I’m giving this week to a bunch of Santas at the St. Nicholas Institute–look it up–and this is one of the stories I want to share with them. Thought you might like to re-read it yourself. Let yourself be punished with a kiss!

Witnesses to Hope

This morning I was pondering my failings and starting to move to discouragement–as I am too often prone to do–when the Lord in His mercy brought to mind a section of a letter from St. Thérèse to Fr. Bellière in which she describes the ideal way for us to come to our heavenly Father when we realize our faults.  Reading it always brings me great hope–and I hope it does the same for you:

I would like to try to make you understand by means of a very simple comparison how much Jesus loves even imperfect souls who confide in Him:
I picture a father who has two children, mischievous and disobedient, and when he comes to punish them, he sees one of them who trembles and gets away from him in terror, having, however, in the bottom of his heart the feeling that he deserves to be punished; and his…

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The best thing to give up for Lent

Witnesses to Hope

I repost this every Lent.  It’s still the best recommendation as far as I am concerned.

This comes from a Magnificat article written by Fr. Peter John Cameron a few years ago.  I do not have time to quote the whole article (which is always dangerous because what you read will be edited), but I hope–especially those of you who despair of ever giving up what he suggests we give up–that you will find some hope in what he says:

Here’s what to give this Lent: the doubt that goes, “I can never get closer to God because I’m too sinful, too flawed, too weak.”  This is a lethal attitude, for it based on the false presumption that we can possess something of our own–that does not come from God–by which we can please God.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Only what is from God can please God. …

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Advent Sunday

A blessed Advent 2020 to all of you.

Witnesses to Hope

A Sunday-poem by Christina Rossetti:

Advent Sunday

Upload time: Apr 21, 2009 by Matt12345Add info Report inaccuracy Add tag FavouriteMore Sharing ServicesShare Share on facebook Share on myspace Share on google Share on twitterComments Be the first to post a comment! To write a comment please log in or register. Schadow, Wilhelm von (1788 - 1862)Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (detail) Schadow, Wilhelm von (1788 – 1862)
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (detail)

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out
With lighted lamps and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,
Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock
Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For, lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:
His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,
Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,
She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;
He knows His lovely  mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,
And she with…

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Upheld from Falling

Barnstorming

I had grasped God’s garment in the void 
but my hand slipped on the rich silk of it. 

The ‘everlasting arms’ my sister loved to remember 
must have upheld my leaden weight from falling, even so, 

for though I claw at empty air and feel nothing, no embrace, 
I have not plummetted.
~Denise Levertov “Suspended”

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for? 
~Robert Browning from “Andrea Del Sarto”

As richly dressed as the world is this time of year,
beauty abounds everywhere I look,
it slips through my fingers when I try to capture it and hold on,
I cannot save myself by my own grasp.

Yet I’m not allowed to plummet
despite my flailing panic
as the bottom drops out beneath my feet

The air around me is not empty~
it is full of His breath
and where God breathes,
He suspends the fallen.

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Locked doors

Witnesses to Hope

I always find this kind of reflection on the Easter appearances full of great hope for folks like me: “Jesus moves among men and women–even if it means passing through doors locked from within” (Jn 20.19-23). (Fr. William M. Joensen)  Many of us frequently–or continually–bolt the doors of our hearts from within, yet we long for Christ to come to us.  We can have great hope . . . for He is the One who can enter “through doors locked from within.”

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