26 March 2007

Ok. Everything isn't moved yet, but the new blog is set up and ready to roll.
Find me here:
I'm moving too...

It seems to be the universal reaction of anyone with conscience to the realization of what Blogger allows on its site. I'll post a link to the new blog as soon as it's ready...

13 March 2007

Some Thoughts for Lent
from Benedict XVI

Sacramentum Caritatis!

The Church's "thoughts" are the Spirit's "thoughts," so these are the best meditations of all:


07 March 2007

Some thoughts for Lent
from Sr. Miriam of the Holy Ghost (Jessica Powers)

Nor do you know your dwelling
for dark is your retreat,
and who would guess that darkness
could hold the Paraclete?

Measure your love by stillness.
He waits; do you as well
give to His infinite patience
your finite parallel.

When quiet has possessed you,
and dark has fled with dim,
you on a mount of morning
will be aware of Him.

(from “O Spirita Sancta”)

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener.
It is to keep the vigil of mystery,
earthless and still.
One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit,
strange as the wind’s will.

The soul is all activity, all silence;
and though it surges Godward to its goal,
it holds, as moving earth holds sleeping noonday,
the peace that is the listening of the soul.

(from “To Live With the Spirit”)

22 February 2007

This blog's word-cloud. I love it.

From snapshirts.com

20 February 2007

Another Lent looms before us. Some people I know dread these six weeks of intensified prayer, giving, and fasting, but I always see them as an opportunity to take a step toward Freedom. The Church gives us this time to clean out our minds, our souls, our bodies, and our closets - and by the end, if we have made good use of the time, we are lighter (physically and spiritually) and able to soar closer to Truth.

I was talking with someone recently and suggested that we jettison all our props and embrace our poverty so that we can be blessed; the Kingdom of Heaven can be ours. God continuously forgives our crutches, our anchors, our safety valves; the Divine pity dismisses all we think we need to prop ourselves up or hold ourselves together in one piece, even as we are invited to surrender it all and be free. We must let go of one thing so that our hands are free to accept something better.

That something is the Truth, which sets us free. But first we must let go of our litle falsehoods, because wherever the lie remains, the Truth is not welcomed into that space. We open ourselves to the Truth to the extent that we rid ourselves of the lie; God is only able to fill the space that we open to Him by doing so. Every personal expedient, every prop for our self-love, every shred of self-sufficiency, every thought of our own ability to progress by our own efforts, every memory we hold on to in order to define ourselves according to our own desires, every habit of thought and action that does not allow for the action of grace - all these are false, and where we cling to them for fear of facing our utter powerlessness and emptiness, we are not free for the Truth to animate us. Christ fills what He is allowed to fill, but our willfulness prevents Him from filling us wholly. Truth and untruth cannot peacefully co-exist.

They are at war. But the beautiful thing about Truth is that it is not a thing, but a Person. And that Person is the King of Peace. Not only does this King maintain a profound peace wherever He is allowed to reign (Reign in us!), but Truth alone is able to peacefully conquer - as Christ is allowed to fill us, He subdues or exiles every falsehood with such gentleness and brings such joy that we hardly know that there has been a fight to the death. We only know that fear has succumbed to the force of Love, and Truth has triumphed in us - we recognize His victory by the peace and strength and certitude it brings.

He wants to give Himself wholly to us. He wants us to dwell wholly in Him. When we are surrendered totally to Him, every boundary within us is obliterated and we are free to embrace every good thing. No longer are we moved by our needs or wants or brokenness or bitterness; at last we are free to be moved by His Spirit dwelling within us, and we cannot seem to give enough until we have given all.

So this Lent, let's take up arms against every falsehood within us until we have cleared the way for the King of Endless Joy and Peace to reign fully in us. When Truth triumphs, we are free.

11 February 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled discussion for this brief FYI

Jean Heimann (freelance writer, retired psychologist, poet and Oblate with the Community of St. John) posts her review of the Suffering book today at CatholicFire (another great Catholic blog that is absolutely faithful; if you hear it here, it's so). If you are interested, read it here:


And now back to our profound ponderings....

06 February 2007

Eucharist and the Mystical Body

Back to the Source and Summit.

We were discussing suffering and the Eucharist, and this lead us to examine anew the Mystical Body of Christ and our participation in It. This is the crux of everything, the point that makes sense of everything else – that we are IN Christ, and Christ is IN us.

“…that they all may be one as You, Father, in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… And the glory which You have given to Me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as We also are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one…that the love wherewith You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them…” (John 17)

My head spins with these words, because there is a lifetime of meditation here, and if we can get our minds around the truth of it, it transforms everything we do.

These were Christ’s words before He gave us His very Body and Blood to sustain us after His sacrificial death. He explained the mystery of the Mystical Body, described our oneness in Love, His identification with us and our incorporation in Him (we are “sons in the Son”). And then He fed us with Himself – became one with us physically, as a bridegroom becomes one with his bride. He gives Himself to us fully in love, invites us to open ourselves fully to Him, and we become one Body – one with Him, one with each other (we all partake of the “one loaf,” as St Paul puts it), one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as we participate in the intimate life of the Trinity.

We are tabernacles of the Trinity.

We are in God, God is in us. Allow me to condense the whole of theology in one dense paragraph:
In every moment, God is acting, His plan is being fulfilled, His work is being done. His action is always love (we see this as mercy and forgiveness on earth) and His work is to draw all things to Himself in love. The Son became man, the Second Adam, to re-do what had been un-done, to restore man to his intended dignity, and to identify Himself with our weakness so that Christ may be all in all. Christ is all, we can do nothing without Him, we must put on Christ and submit our wills to His so that He can continue to act in the world, and so that we may become UNUM QUID – one entity, the Mystical Body of Christ come to full stature. And as we are all one in the Body, what we do to the least of these, and to the greatest, we do to Christ.

It is all Christ.

We are oned with God; we are alive by the breath of God. If God stopped “breathing” us, we would cease to be. Everything we do is participation in the life of God, who is intimately connected with our life. What we do, we do IN GOD.

Our understanding of this should change our understanding of our deliberate choices - sin becomes not just a "rejection of the rules" or "something I do by myself for myself" but a real interruption in the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ. Every selfish choice prevents Christ from participating in that action, and effectively prevents Him from acting in the world in that moment. Our pride and sin can disrupt the process of God’s action and prevent His will from being done fully in us and through us at that particular intersection of time and space. Every act contrary to the will of God cannot be shared by Christ, is not part of the life of His Body, and therefore has no real value.

And yet (one of those paradoxical mysteries of God that are hidden from our understanding in this life), Christ Himself has redeemed the whole world, and has somehow "made good" every wrong. Somehow, even our sins can be made to bring glory to Him, or He would not have allowed sin to be. And of course, He loves us and died for us "while we were yet sinning," so our sin does not diminish His absolute and unwavering - unwavering! - love for us.

So in an ultimate and real sense, our sins do not disrupt His Plan, because He has allowed for our sin too, which is the mind-boggling part of this meditation. EVEN THOUGH we sin and disrupt His plan, His plan is not disrupted; He's already allowed for our sinfulness and selfishness and woundedness. He's already become the Second Adam, undoing the worst thing that was ever done, redeeming all of creation, so that whatever is done now easily finds its remedy in His death and resurrection.

Yet Christ taught us to pray "Thy will be done," so that we would learn to conform our wills to the Father's, as He did. If there were no possibility that God's will could be disrupted, we would not have to pray that His will would be done. Our will CAN be (and often is) opposed to God's, in which case we are not allowing God to act fully. Christ "came to do the will of the Father," which implies that He had a will of His own, which He actively conformed to the Father's - "not my will, but Yours be done." This is our prayer as well, and insofar as we are able to let Christ reign in us and submit our wills to His, He will be free to act in us and through us in the world.

So in one of those ineffable awe-some paradoxes of God, we might say that even though our sins evade God or oppose Him or disrupt the unity of His Body or offend Him or prevent Him from acting fully through us, His will is always done. He's already allowed for our brokenness and weakness, He already knows what will happen, and so His Plan continues to unfold and His will is done.

Yet in the practical milieu of everyday choices, it is helpful for me to consider that my choices are not about the best thing FOR God, but the best thing IN God.

If I had more time to think and pray and write, I might make these reflections more organized and maybe even clearer. But you are forgiving, and the discussions here often clarify (when I don’t scramble everything), so I’m posting this and relying on the Holy Spirit, as usual ;-)

Don't let this distract you from the combox below, and there will soon be more on the Eucharist above, but I wanted to share the view from my space on the planet.
Two feet of snow and a bona fide blizzard.
Glad we have food on hand.