Through Division to Unity

Holy Spirit within ones soul by rebecca brogan

The Holy Spirit within one’s soul, art by Rebecca Brogan

 

Jesus says: “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” (Lk 12:51). To understand the meaning of what Jesus says, we must remember that there are two kinds of peace: a false one and true one.

Jesus definitely came to bring peace, true peace. But in order to accomplish it, he must first destroy the false peace. This process of destruction is a kind of warfare, and it starts when the fire, which Jesus had spoken about in the previous verses, burns in someone. This fire is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit shakes us up in order to show that all that appeared peaceful has nothing to do with true peace. The Spirit exposes our egoism and narcissism. The Spirit forces us to question old values and to gather all our energy—which formerly went in all directions—so that it begins to focus on a single goal: God.

From time to time, you will get a foretaste of the unity and peace which the Spirit keeps creating in the midst of all the unrest. A foretaste that encourages you to persevere by making you understand that the unrest is a sacred unrest moving you toward an unimagined peace.

~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

 

Pax et Bonum!

 

 

Walking On The Wind

 

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Come to Me, art by Yongsung Kim

 

Slow were his steps, for he came from far away. He didn’t want to hurry lest I get startled at his approach.

When he arrived, he bent and took my hand, saying, “Come, let us go to where my Father walked.” We went. It seemed as if our path was but a gentle wind. I had never walked upon the wind. But it was gentle, soft and singing. It sang its joy that he who made it now walked upon it. I could only listen to this song, for it is the Trinity who sang to me in that strange wind we walked upon.

It seemed to me that I began to see both outside and inside at the same time. The world was before me, and so were the hearts of men. I did not understand what happened. I could only absorb the unabsorbable.

I felt a change. His hand tightened upon mine. The gentle wind became a roar. He said, “Listen to it. In it you hear the hunger of men’s hearts for me. You cannot hear as well as we: my Father and I and the Holy Spirit. But you can hear. Ephpheta: let your ears be opened!”

I lost all sense of whatever had been real to me. I entered the roaring wind, holding his hand and trembling as leaves do on a windy night.

Have you ever entered man’s hunger for God? Pray that you never do, unless it be his will, for tears will fill your mind, your heart, your soul. You will drown in your own tears, unless you hold his hand.

Somewhere, some time, I came back, back to the Mass that was going on, in time to feed on bread and wine given to me by him who held my hand and taught me to walk upon the wind.

 

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 


O most Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed into heaven, I beg you to purify my senses so that I may begin to enjoy God even while I am on earth.


 

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, art by Bradi Barth

 

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Assumption shows us the route we must follow in our spiritual ascent: detachment from the earth, flight toward God, and union with God.

Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heaven because she was Immaculate; she was- all pure—free not only from every shadow of sin, but even from the slightest attachment to the things of earth, so that she “never had the form of any creature imprinted in her soul, nor was moved by such, but was invariably guided by the Holy Spirit” (J.C. AS III, 2,10). 

The first requirement for attaining God is this total purity, the fruit of total detachment. The Blessed Virgin, who lived her earthly life in absolute detachment from every created thing, teaches us not to allow ourselves to be captivated by the fascination of creatures, but to live among them, occupying ourselves with them with much charity, but without ever letting our heart become attached to them, without ever seeking our satisfaction in them.

In her Assumption Mary speaks to us of flight toward heaven, toward God. It is not enough to purify our heart from sin and all attachment to creatures, we must at the same time direct it toward God, tending toward Him with all our strength. The Church has us pray in today’s Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, “O Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was assumed into heaven, may our hearts, enkindled by the fire of Thy love, continually aspire toward Thee” (Secret). Our earthly life has value for eternal life insofar as it is a flight toward God, a continual seeking after Him, a continual adherence to His grace. When this flight fails, the supernatural value of our existence lessens.

Mary has been taken up to heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges, the root of all the others and the reason for them; it speaks to us, in a very special way, of intimate union with God, as the fact of her Assumption speaks to us of the beatific union of heaven. Mary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. Mary herself stretches out her maternal hand to guide us to the attainment of this high ideal. If we keep our eyes fixed on her, we shall advance more easily; she will be our guide, our strength, and our consolation in every trial and difficulty.

~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

“O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of men, we believe with all the fervor of our faith in your triumphal Assumption, both body and soul, into heaven, where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of angels and all the legions of the saints. And we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other pure creatures, and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and our love.” (Pius XII)

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

The Splendor of the Day

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“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. ” Saint John of Damascus – (my own photo)

 

Your grace is my constant companion.

I find You everywhere in the splendor of the day.
I find You in the trees and in the gentle movement of the leaves.
I find You in the breeze of the summer afternoon by the bay.
I find You in the beauty of the sunset. 
I find You in the love and care of good friends.

I find You in the beauty of the monarch butterfly flying carefree
searching for the sweet nectar of each flower.
I find You in the sunlight that passes through the green leaves.
I find You in the beauty of the scenery of this country road.
I find You in the joyful songs of your happy birds…
I find You in the hummingbirds, blue jays, and woodpeckers.

My heart is overflowing with love for Your creation.
Oh Beloved, your grace is sufficient for me.
I find Your beauty everywhere in the splendor of the day.

These days at the cottage with dear friends
and the blessings of each hour enjoying each other’s company.
Sharing meals together.

Our early evening swim at the bay,
admiring Your beautiful sky and all the cloud formations.

Bike riding after so long…Thank you Lord Jesus
for making my body strong again.

There is so much to give You thanks my Beloved!
Your Bread of Life I received on Sunday Mass at the Martyr’s Shrine.
My heart is so full of gratitude.

And how can I forget about the starry nights,
the sky is Your canvas.
I find You in the sounds of nature,
the crickets chirping at night and the birds at dawn.
They wake me up with their sweet melody.

Thank you! Thank you, my Beloved!
for I find Your grace in the splendor of the day.

~ My Personal Reflection

 

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“It helped me to look at fields, or water, or flowers. In this things, I found a remembrance of the Creator. I mean that they awakened and recollected me and served as a book.” Saint Teresa of Avila – (my own photo)

 

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“God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty.” Saint John of the Cross –  (my own photo)

 

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“Believe one who knows: You will find something greater in woods than in the books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux – (my own photo)

 

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“From the creation, learn to admire the Lord! Indeed the magnitude and beauty of creation display a God who is the artificer of the universe. He has made the mode of creation to be our best teacher.” Saint John Chrysostom – (my own photo)

 

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“‘With my mouth,’ God says, ‘I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.’” Saint Hildegard of Bingen  –  (my own photo)

 

All photos are taken by me from the beautiful area of Georgian Bay, Ontario ❤ in August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Spirit, Holy Dove

Bernini's Holy Spirit

 “Dove of the Holy Spirit” amber stained glass window designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1660) at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (photo source unknown)

 

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!

Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son’s heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit eternal life!

Are you the ray
That flashes down from the eternal Judge’s throne
And breaks into the night of the soul
That had never known itself?
Mercifully relentlessly
It penetrates hidden folds.
Alarmed at seeing itself,
The self makes space for holy fear,
The beginning of that wisdom
That comes from on high
And anchors us firmly in the heights,
Your action,
That creates us anew:
Holy Spirit ray that penetrates everything!

Are you the spirit’s fullness and the power
By which the Lamb releases the seal
Of God’s eternal decree?
Driven by you
The messengers of judgment ride through the world
And separate with a sharp sword
The kingdom of light from the kingdom of night.
Then heaven becomes new and new the earth,
And all finds its proper place
Through your breath:
Holy Spirit victorious power!

Are you the master who builds the eternal cathedral,
Which towers from the earth through the heavens?
Animated by you, the columns are raised high
And stand immovably firm.
Marked with the eternal name of God,
They stretch up to the light,
Bearing the dome,
Which crowns the holy cathedral,
Your work that encircles the world:
Holy Spirit God’s molding hand!

Are you the one who created the unclouded mirror
Next to the Almighty’s throne,
Like a crystal sea,
In which Divinity lovingly looks at itself?
You bend over the fairest work of your creation,
And radiantly your own gaze
Is illumined in return.
And of all creatures the pure beauty
Is joined in one in the dear form
Of the Virgin, your immaculate bride:
Holy Spirit Creator of all!

Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?
The harmony,
That joins together the members to the Head,
In which each one
Finds the mysterious meaning of his being blessed
And joyously surges forth,
Freely dissolved in your surging:
Holy Spirit eternal jubilation!

~ Poem by St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) O.C.D. – Virgin and Martyr, Co-Patron of Europe

*For more information about the life of Edith Stein please check:
http://www.kilmacudcarmel.ie/edith.html#Who

 

Wishing all of you a very blessed Feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)!

 

Nature & Grace

 

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Varadero beach, by unknown artist

 

I just got back from Varadero, Cuba. My husband and I went for a week’s vacation to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean sea. The resort we stayed at was very close to an ecological reserve and our room was located close to this beautiful gem of nature. Every morning the beautiful birds would be waking us up chirping in the blue sky and lasting all throughout the day like praising the Creator for all his goodness and love.

We saw many kinds of beautiful butterflies and little colourful iguanas among the tall palm trees. What a delight to the eyes and the senses. After breakfast we would walk to the beach and as we approached it, we saw the beautiful crystal clear turquoise sea’s gentle waves washing away the white sand. The view felt like it was taken from a very fine photograph. We felt so blessed to have experienced those days surrounded by God’s beautiful creation in the place we loved the most…the sea.

Sunsets were so amazing diffusing so many different shade of colours in the sky. It was truly a golden hour. As I always say: God indeed is an artist!

We had the amazing opportunity to go in a catamaran to see the dolphins in the open ocean close to the beautiful island of Cayo Blanco. What a surreal experience. I couldn’t contain my tears from flowing as I interacted and swam with these beautiful angels of the sea. It was a long time dream of mine.

And I can’t forget the flowers! They were all so beautiful and full of rich colours shining towards the bright sun. We met amazing people and made new friends. I love Cuban people, they have a beautiful heart.

And the food…was simply amazing! Especially the fruits. They are blessed with so many different varieties of fruits like mangoes, papaya, pineapple and guava; these were among my favourites. We ate a lot of seafood and it was very tasty and so fresh. We loved it!

We are so grateful and thankful for experiencing moments of grace in those blessed days. Those memories will be with us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Lord for the amazing gift of life and your beautiful creation and for meeting new friends. It’s all a blessing.

Thank you for reading! Always take the time to enjoy nature wherever you are and be aware of those moments of grace ❤

 

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A dream come true! Interacting and swimming with the dolphins near the island of Cayo Blanco, Cuba. (my own photo)

Birds

That God made birds is surely in His favor.
I write them as His courtesies of love.
Hidden in leaves, they offer me sweet savor
of lightsome music; when they streak above
my garden wall they brush my scene with color.

They are embroideries upon the grass.
I write the gayest stitched-in blossoms duller
than birds which change their patterns as I pass.

I nurse a holy envy of St. Francis
who lured the birds to nestle at his breast.
Yet I am grateful for this one which dances
across my lawn, a reckless anapest.

Subjects for gratitude push up my living
praise to a sum that tempts the infinite;
but birds deserve one whole psalm of thanksgiving
and these words are my antiphon for it.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Birds of Cuba art

Birds of Cuba, art by Julio Cesar Rodriguez