Early light, before sun, and I hear an unknown bird singing his morning syllables— pitiful, pitiful, pitiful—in a voice too plaintive to be believed.
Birds speak their native language— music with feathers. We pick up clues, but translation depends on our willingness to hear, and listen.
Maybe I’ve let last night’s bad dream misinterpret his message. Maybe he’s telling me this new day is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
~ A poem by Luci Shaw
“The birds are the saints, who fly to heaven on the wings of contemplation, who are so removed from the world that they have no business on earth. They do not labour, but by contemplation alone they already live in heaven.”
~ Saint Anthony of Padua
“My sweet little sisters, birds of the sky, you are bound to heaven, to God, your Creator. In every beat of your wings and every note of your songs, praise Him.” ~ Saint Francis of Assisi
Today it’s Earth Hour around the world at 8:30p.m. (local time) and on the side of the world where I live, Canada, it finished two hours ago. We honour our beloved planet Earth with an annual one-hour event meant to spread awareness about sustainability. This should be practiced all year round focusing on long-term changes that everyone can make to do their part for our planet that is in so much need. Together we can make a difference! Let us care for our beautiful and beloved planet each and every day ❤
O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God, to you belong praise, glory, honour and all blessing.
Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation and especially for our Brother Sun, who brings us the day and the light; he is strong and shines magnificently. O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon, and for the stars which you have set shining and lovely in the heavens.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Brothers Wind and Air and every kind of weather by which you, Lord, uphold life in all your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful to us, and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire, through whom you give us light in the darkness: he is bright and lively and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth, our Mother, who nourishes us and sustains us, bringing forth fruits and vegetables of many kinds and flowers of many colours.
Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for love of you; and for those who bear sickness and weakness in peace and patience – you will grant them a crown.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death, whom we must all face. I praise and bless you, Lord, and I give thanks to you, and I will serve you in all humility.
~ A poem by Saint Francis of Assisi
“My soul can find no staircase to heaven unless it be through earth’s loveliness.”
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti
Yours I am, born yours to be, what’s your will to make of me?
Sovereign Majesty, decreeing
wisdom timeless, ever whole;
kindness pleasing to my soul;
God, most high, all good, one being,
this vile creature you are seeing,
who sings to you lovingly: what’s your will to make of me?
Yours, for me you did create,
Yours, since me you did succor,
Yours, since me you did endure,
Yours, you called me to my fate,
Yours, for me you did long wait,
Yours, I chose not lost to be. What’s your will to make of me?
What, then, is your will, good Lord,
that this servant vile should do?
What work can you give unto
this poor slave in sin abhorred?
Look at me, sweet Love adored,
sweet Love, here for you to see, What’s your will to make of me?
See my heart here for inspection,
I place it within your hand,
with my body, life, soul and
my deep feelings and affection,
sweetest Bridegroom and redemption,
myself offering yours to be, What’s your will to make of me?
Give me death, or let me live,
give health or infirmity,
shame or honor give to me,
war or peace to me now give,
weakness, strength superlative,
to all these I will agree, What’s your will to make of me?
Give me wealth or poverty,
give relief or troubled spell,
give me sorrow or give glee,
give me heaven or give me hell,
sweet life or sun without veil,
I surrender totally. What’s your will to make of me?
If you wish to, give me prayer,
if not, give me dryness too,
if abundant worship fair,
if not barrenness will do,
Sovereign Majesty, in you
I find all my peace to be. What’s your will to make of me?
Give me wisdom’s deep insight,
or for love, just ignorance,
give me years of abundance,
or of hunger, famine’s blight,
give me dark or clear daylight,
move me here or there freely. What’s your will to make of me?
If you wish that I should rest,
I, for love, want to rest to savor;
if your will is that I labor,
death from work is my request.
Say where, how, when, manifest;
say, sweet Love, now say clearly. What’s your will to make of me?
Give me Tabor or Calvary,
desert or land fruitfully fine,
be as Job in misery,
of John, on your breast recline;
let me be a fruitful vine
or bare, as your will may be. What’s your will to make of me?
Be I Joseph placed in chains,
Egypt’s governor of renown,
or as David suffering pains,
or now David bearing crown,
be I Jonah nearly drowned,
or from waters now set free, what’s your will to make of me?
Being silent, moved to speak,
bearing fruit or barren woe,
my wound to me law does show,
Gospel mild does joy bespeak;
mournful or enjoyment’s peak,
in me now lives You only, what’s your will to make of me?
Yours I am, born yours to be, what’s your will to make of me?
~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Ávila
Today is Saint Teresa’s Birthday! I’m sharing a few photos I took of my visit to Ávila, Spain in July 2017
Happy Birthday Holy Mother St. Teresa! ❤ Pray for all your Carmelite family and the whole world!
Our prayers break on God like waves, and he an endless shore, and when the seas evaporate and oceans are no more and cries are carried in the wind God hears and answers every sound as he has done before.
Our troubles eat at God like nails. He feels the gnawing pain on souls and bodies. He never fails but reassures he’ll heal again, again, again, again and yet again.
The parable of the fig tree exhorts us not to live a fruitless life.
In 1970, during a protest at Kent State University, national guardsmen shot and killed several students. Shortly afterwards, psychologists interviewed parents of college-age children. Among other questions, they asked whether the students who had been killed were campus radicals or innocent bystanders. Overwhelmingly, the parents believed that the slain students were campus radicals. Applying to their findings Attribution Theory, which tries to explain how and why people make sense of their world, the psychologists concluded that the majority of parents held that the slain students were radicals because it was too frightening for them to believe otherwise. If they believed that the slain students were innocents bystanders, then they would have to admit that in a similar situation their own children were vulnerable. Whenever disaster strikes, we tend to attribute it to a cause that will protect us from a similar disaster.
This is what the people in today’s gospel were trying to do. They had to believe that those killed by Pilate or the falling Tower of Siloam were sinners. This belief protected them from living in an unpredictable world. They were reasoning thus: “All we need to do in order to be safe is to keep the Law, for bad things don’t happen to good people.” Jesus challenges their thinking by telling them the Parable of the Fig Tree, which teaches that to avert spiritual disaster it is not enough to keep the Law. Our lives must bear fruit.
The Greek word translated “wasting (katargeo) the soil,” means unused, idle, inactive, or useless. From a spiritual perspective, our life is useless and barren, if, like the fig tree, we provide shade only for our selves and offer no nourishment to others.
The parable is consoling, for it proclaims a season of grace, a second chance, a stay of execution. Each day when we wake up, we are given another opportunity to truly live life by loving our neighbor. But the parable is also sobering, for it warns us that our opportunities are not endless. Thoreau wrote that he wanted to live deliberately in order to avoid the ultimate disaster of life, that at the moment of death he would “discover that [he] had not lived” (86). This is what we must fear.
~ A Meditation by Marc Foley, O.C.D.
The Lord’s Abundant Crop
Lord you’re doing So much in our lives To bring a deeper growth A time of pruning The withered branches So healthier ones can grow
Though it is painful And hard to endure, It is needful in our lives — For without it we’d be An unhealthy tree And may wither away and die
To keep on producing The fruit of the Lord, We need to have sin cut out Then new branches will come And we’ll flourish again As the new shoots begin to sprout
Then we will produce From the seeds God planted Fruit that will never rot Ripened by God And picked in its season, Is the Lord’s abundant crop!
Is Lent and I feel the interior call to walk by your side during these 40 days united to you, my Beloved.
These 40 days in the wilderness where the earth is barren and quiet, I can feel your loneliness, my Beloved. Silence engulfs this desert and I can only hear your footsteps as we walk side by side.
I can’t wait for the night to arrive. So I can view the magnificent sky filled with all the beauty of your Father’s creation. The moon and the stars — the sky looks like a blanket of shooting stars covering us from above giving us light and protection marked by the beauty of His love.
All those bright stars are speaking to you they bring you messages from above, from your Beloved Abba! They prompt you to persevere, and remain in His presence all along this journey. Giving you strength for your mission ahead, consoling your weary heart, my Beloved.
They urge you to keep going, to keep focused, to keep praying. To stay and remain in His perfect love.
Following you along this desert, my Beloved, is not an easy task. At times I have so many questions, so many concerns, so much restlessness in my own heart. But you only ask me to trust in you, to hold your hand and continue to walk together, side by side these 40 days.
My heart is united to yours and is finding true calm now, being in your presence is all I need during these long 40 days.
In quietude and awe, my heart is waiting,
Your beloved child, sister and friend, Redeemed by your love!