A Child’s Glorious Freedom

 

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Me ~  (My photo)

 

A child—if it lives in an environment where it is allowed to be itself—has no problems. Children aren’t worried about money, food, or clothing. They are like the birds and the lilies Jesus speaks about. They figure they will always get what they need. Nothing needs to be stored. There will always be enough.

Children live in a glorious freedom. Even the smallest, insignificant gift can mean pure bliss for them, because it is received in the present moment. The joy of the present moment is not darkened by worries of a difficult past or a threatening future. Children’s ability to be present in the moment means that every moment has a gift to give and that every little occasion of joy is appreciated.

This presence in the moment also means that children make no separation between play and seriousness. Play itself is taken very seriously. They don’t perceive mistakes as calamities; they count on forgiveness as self-evidently as they count on daily food.

This lack of worry is slowly lost as we grow up and become “adult.” Life becomes full of “problems”—modern variation of the worries Jesus tells us we don’t need. Our time is a time of problems, and can only be such, because everything becomes problematic when we no longer know whether there is a Father who takes care of us. But if we return to the Father, we return to the glorious freedom of a child.

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

 

 

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Our Heavenly Birthday

 

heavenly birthday
Art source unknown

 

For a Christian to be afraid of death would be like being afraid of a ghost. Death no longer has any power over us. It has lost its sting. “Death has been swallowed up in victory, ” Paul writes (1 Cor 15:54). Ever since we have eaten the food of immortality that is Jesus himself (Jn 6:51, 54), we are irrevocably on the side of the living. True, all Christians must go through the physical process called “death” when “this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Cor 15:53)? “I do not die; I enter into life,” Thérèse of the Child Jesus said on her deathbed.

It is important not to forget the early Christian way of speaking about death. The date of death of the saints has always been called dies natalis, their birthday, by the Church.
To die is to be born into eternal life. When Jesus, just before his death, shares his farewell discourses with the disciples, he says: “I am going to the Father” (Jn 16:10); “If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father” (14:28). John also writes that Jesus knew “that he had come from God and was going to God” (13:3). To be born is to come from God; to die is to return to God. When we die, our true life begins.

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

 

“The essential is always hidden from our eyes . . . and that lends still more ardor to the quest and sustains our advance toward the only reality.”
~ Brother Roger of Taizé

 

 

Knowing What Awaits Us

 

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In His Glory, art by YongSung Kim

 

As long as we live here on earth, it often feels as if we are separated from him. Obviously, we aren’t, but because we are so dependent on what we can see and hear, it is difficult to believe fully in an invisible reality.

In our own days, it is often heard that we don’t know what happens after death; nobody has ever come back so you can never be sure. That it is even said among Christians is perplexing. The central truth in our faith is exactly that someone has come back, and that the Risen One has appeared to many. He has been seen, spoken to, eaten with.

We know very well what happens after death. When we die, we meet him who is love itself, we receive a body that is like the body of glory that he has (Phil 3:21), free from all limitations, a body that is no longer bound in time and space. We get to be with Christ, be together with him in the Father.

We can’t imagine the security, peace, and joy involved in being forever with the Lord. It transcends our comprehension. It is “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor 2:9). But the fact that we can’t imagine it exactly doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.

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

Vineyard of Carmel

 

CarmeliteMonastery
Carmelite Monastery in Santa Clara, California ~ Art by Sylvia Waddell


Come, Love, to the vineyard

In the morning dew,
There we’ll watch in silence,
If vineyards bloom anew,
If the grapes are growing,
Life with vigor glowing,
Fresh the vine and true.

From the heights of Heaven
Holy Mother descend,
Lead unto your vineyard
Our beloved friend.
Dew and rain let gently
Drop from His kind hand
And the balm of sunshine
Fall on Carmel’s land.

Young vines, newly planted,
Tiny though they be,
Grant them life eternal
A gift of peace from Thee.
Trusted vintners strengthen
Their frail and feeble powers,
Shield them from the enemy
Who in darkness cowers.

Holy Mother grant reward
For your vintners’ care
Give them, I beseech you,
Crown of Heaven fair.
Don’t let raging fire
Kill these vines, we pray,
And grant your life eternal
To each young shoot some day.

 

~ A poem by St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), O.C.D.

Gaze Into My Eyes

Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast Day of our Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Ávila, Discalced Carmelite, first female Doctor of the Church, Spanish mystic and reformer. It was a very joyful, holy and blessed day for all the family of Carmel. Here I share a very special poem written by St. Teresa. May she inspire our hearts to be always on fire for The Beloved, our Lord Jesus!

 

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Saint Teresa of Ávila, art source unknown

 

Gaze into my eyes, sweet, good Jesus,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

Look, if it pleases anyone, at roses and jasmines.
If I but see You, I see a thousand gardens!
Flower of Seraphim, Jesus of Nazareth,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

I see myself captive without Your company,
Death is what I live without You, life of mine.

I do not want comfort, my absent Jesus,
That all is torture to whom feels this;
Gaze into my eyes, sweet, good Jesus,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Ávila, O.C.D.

 

 

Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno

[Poema – Texto completo.]

Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno;
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Vea quién quisiere rosas y jazmines,
que si yo te viere, veré mil jardines,
flor de serafines; Jesús Nazareno,
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

No quiero contento, mi Jesús ausente,
que todo es tormento a quien esto siente;
sólo me sustente su amor y deseo;
Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno;
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Siéntome cautiva sin tal compañía,
muerte es la que vivo sin Vos, Vida mía,
cuándo será el día que alcéis mi destierro,
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Dulce Jesús mío, aquí estáis presente,
las tinieblas huyen, Luz resplandeciente,
oh, Sol refulgente, Jesús Nazareno,
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

¿Quién te habrá ocultado bajo pan y vino?
¿Quién te ha disfrazado, oh, Dueño divino ?
¡Ay que amor tan fino se encierra en mi pecho!
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Gloria, gloria al Padre, gloria, gloria al Hijo,
gloria para siempre igual al Espíritu.
Gloria de la tierra suba hasta los cielos.
Véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.
Amén.

~ Poema escrito por Santa Teresa de Ávila, O.C.D.

 

 

Saint Teresa of Ávila, pray for us!

 

Thankfulness Always

 

Jesus art by Joshua Vargas
Art by Joshua Vargas

 

Jesus gives thanks to God when he institutes the Holy Eucharist. He thanks the Father for the bread which is his own body, and the wine which is his blood.

Jesus is infinitely thankful that he gets to work for his Father’s kingdom, even if this means suffering and death for himself. He gives thanks that he can pass on the words he has received from the Father (Jn 17:8), reveal the name of the Father (v. 6), and fulfill the commission the Father has given him (v. 4). Everything for which Jesus gives thanks comes to fruition through his total humiliation. The wine in the cup that he lifts in thankfulness to God is the blood that pours out of his pierced heart.

If you sometimes have difficulties thanking God for everything, then just remind yourself of how Jesus presented his whole life as a thanksgiving sacrifice to the Father. All his vitality, the riches of his will and his love, he concentrates and summarizes in a prayer of thanksgiving. If you wish to find unity and coherence in your life, the best thing you can do is to resign yourself to everything that happens. What it does mean is a foundational attitude of trust in someone who knows and understands everything much better than you do, someone who loves, and wants the best for his creation.

We do well always and everywhere to give God thanks.

 

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

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

 

A Blessed Canadian Thanksgiving to All!

 

grateful

 

Manuscript of Heaven

 

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The Three Archangels, art by Marco D’Oggiono

 

I know the manuscript of the Uncreated
writes in the garden of His good state.
His creatures are the words incorporated
into love’s speech. 

O great 
immortal poet, in Your volume bright
if one may choose a portion, write me down
as a small adjective attending light,
the archangelic noun. 

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

 

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of the Holy Archangels!

Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and St. Raphael, pray for us!