Searching for My Beloved!

Every first Friday of the month we have Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in my Parish. The first Friday of every month is also dedicated to the devotion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today at Eucharistic Adoration I was inspired during prayer to write this reflection and poem.

Carmelite nun with Jesus art by Carl henry Boch

A Carmelite nun consoles Our Lord Jesus, art by Carl Heinrich Bloch

 

Beloved,
I’m searching for You
and I can’t find You anywhere
around my garden.

I’m shouting Your Holy Name
Yeshúa! Yeshúa! Yeshúa!
And I find no answer.
I look and look everywhere
and nothing!
There is no trace of You.

I keep walking 
and find a path that leads me
to the base of the mountain.
I look up the hill
and I begin to sense Your presence.

I feel that You’re inviting me to climb,
so I begin to ascend up the mountain,
I’m so eager to meet with You, my Beloved.

Despite my tiredness and pain
I continue on the journey.
Then suddenly I see You approaching me,
I can begin to see Your full figure
with Your white spotless tunic,
I can see the contour of Your hair but I can’t see Your face,
and You know what I’m thinking about…
Then suddenly, You begin to talk to my heart,
“Not yet my beloved child, not yet.” 
“You can’t see my face now.”
“But come and see my hands and my feet.”

As I get closer to You,
I lay down to Your feet and caress it lovingly,
then I can see they are bleeding from the old wounds.
I say nothing! I can’t talk, I have no words.
I feel only sorrow.
Then, as I rise and hold Your hands,
they are also bleeding from the old wounds.

I break down in tears,
there are no words between us,
only a sacred silence.
Then, I see Your side where Your Divine Heart is,
and I can see drops of red blood beginning to soak Your spotless garment.
I do not know what to do!
I’m at a loss for words!
I stand still…

Then, You gently speak to my heart once more.
It was Heart to heart…
“My beloved child,
I’m still suffering greatly.
My wounds can never be closed.
They continue to be open for all.
I bleed out of love and for love.
I feel Your pain and the pain of every creature on earth.
Console My Suffering Heart, console it.”

How, my Beloved Lord? How?

“Loving Me, loving Me in all and in everyone.”

 

~ My Personal Reflection

 

 


“There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.”
Pope Leo XIII


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Thing is Necessary


“O poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones in order, and will lay the foundations with sapphires.”  (Isa. 54, 11.)

Jesus by george kordis

Icon of Jesus by artist George Kordis

 

If we only knew the one thing necessary! (Luke x., 42.) If we only thought of building the one house upon the one foundation! But what can we expect? We build upon the sand.
Is it any wonder that the house will not stand? Such winds blow! Such floods come down! And when the dilapidated building has almost tumbled to the ground, we go into retreat to try to prop it up. And like a child who sees his house of cards collapse and wishes to put it up again, we think about making fresh resolutions and new practices, as external and shallow and incoherent as those which have preceded them: therefore, as frail; and our building is bound to come to the ground once more when smitten by the winds and the floods. And we do not think of trying to find the rock, we do not endeavour to build upon a solid and deep foundation. Do we even know that our building must have a foundation?

In order to erect a building, one must first of all pay attention to the foundations. Without a foundation there is nothing solid, nothing strong, and nothing lasting. The important thing, therefore, is to know the foundations of the Spiritual Life, and to lay them down strongly, and to set the building of perfection on the one basis, apart from which nothing can be erected: “for no one can lay other foundation than that which has been already laid.”

Would that we could say with St. Paul: “According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation which is Christ Jesus.”  (I Cor. III, X-XI.)

If the natural rock possesses such astonishing abundance of beauty and wealth, what must be the magnificence, and bounty, and graciousness of the Spiritual Rock, the Living Stone, the Good, the Lovable, Christ! And what should we think of ourselves who are called upon to be living stones built up, a spiritual house, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, the Corner-stone of life! Weakness takes root with Divine Rock! Sullen clay finds a home in the Living Spiritual Stone! The finite goes in quest of the Infinite! The streamlet loses itself in the great Ocean of God! How lifeless and insignificant when unflooded by His Light!

When the Master spoke of the unshakable house whose foundation was cut deep into, and built upon a rock, He was speaking of Himself as the only safe and secure foundation for the soul amid the winds and waves and whirl-blasts of time. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds beat vehemently upon the house, but did not shake it for it was embedded in the impregnable and unchanging Rock. The rock then is a happy symbol of the sustaining power, the grandeur, the majesty of Christ, to whom we must cling until He draws us down to dwell within Himself. There we shall find the riches of His wisdom and knowledge which will enable us to go through life, not only as strong and mighty warriors, but with a superabundance of love which renders the rough ways smooth, and makes bearable the painful.

Taking root in Christ is seldom accomplished in a day. Little by little through fidelity to His inspirations, we take a firmer hold of the strong and loving Lord. It is not always easy to be faithful to grace, but it is the building up, stone by stone, of this spiritual house in which we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, which accomplishes the task.

We catch glimpses here and there, of the marvels of grace in the souls of others. We see men and women of the world bearing weighty burdens of care and responsibility with a smile upon their lips and a kindliness of manner at which we wonder. Others, with lifelong sorrows pressing upon the heart—sorrows from which there is no escape, but about which the sufferers are silent and uncomplaining, because of their love for Him to whom they offer holocausts within the shelter of their soul. Could we but see the thousands of hidden sanctuaries ablaze with the light of heeded grace, we should strive to be of the number of those whose ambition it is to keep aglow every taper of spiritual light shed upon us by the inexhaustible bounty of the Holy Spirit. These sanctuaries are everywhere—not only in the cloister but all along the highways of life, amid the din and noise and laughter of the world, down among the slums and water fronts of great cities, even in the midst of corruption where it seems impossible for sinlessness to thrive; there we find the exquisite touch of God’s grace, for the Master has His friends in every walk of life.

Locality is no obstacle to the entrance of Divine Grace within the soul. It halts before each casement begging for admittance; we have but to open the door and bid it welcome and our house will be flooded with light which, day by day, will increase in brightness until all things will be seen and judged by the brilliancy of the Holy Spirit. This is the life of the friends of Christ and He has many such. These friends are generally hidden, but their strength, resulting from fidelity to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, is felt by others who are influenced and sustained by it. The things that are visible to the naked eye are, for the most part, temporal, whereas the things hidden and unguessed, unlooked for and obscure, are eternal.

How often does not our superficial spiritual life leave Jesus outside and on the surface! And He Himself declares that He wishes to dwell within the soul, and the soul to dwell within Himself. (John XV, 4.) Is not the point to which souls must be brought to-day, when so many of them have forgotten the paths of the Interior Life—the fundamental dogma of the Indwelling of God in the soul?

The abiding of Christ involves the positive clinging to Him. It is like the growth of friendship; at first these two people were very little to each other, but by interaction and acts of kindness they grew to know each other better, then one took more hold upon the other’s thoughts, the influence became stronger; when outwardly separated they were less and less apart in thought. The drawing near of two friends or their separation is like nothing else. It is the mysterious action of one person upon another. So is the soul’s coming to the Master of Love. The mind is more constantly filled with His Presence, His influence gradually penetrates through the whole soul, shaping and forming the character. The first question in coming to any decision is, “What would He wish?” The last question when any work is done is, “Will it be pleasing to Him?” The whole character is swayed and controlled by His influence. How wonderful it is to see many a rough, undisciplined, self-centered man pass beneath the spell of that Sacred Presence and gradually become transformed, still indeed himself, but with all that unmistakable characteristic that betokens His work.

~ A Meditation compiled by A Religious, ‘In Love with the Divine Outcast’ 1934

 


“A God is the Divine Guest of my soul, dwelling there day and night, desirous of receiving the unceasing homage of my intimate friendship and my love.”


 

 

Live in the Light!

 

art by akiane kamarik between my fingers

Between My Fingers, art by Akiane Kramarik

 

Light is a symbol for everything that is good in our lives. God knew we can’t live without light, and therefore the first word he uttered when he, in the beginning, created heaven and earth were: “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God saw that the light was good (Gen 1:3-4).

We see for ourselves that the light is good. That is why we seek it out whenever we can. Unfortunately, we often look in the wrong direction.

Even though God separated the light from darkness on the first day of creation, we often do not see the difference. We confuse the two, seeing light as darkness and darkness as light.

We no longer have clear insights. Things have gone so far that, at times, it is considered a pity to possess clear, unequivocal answers to the questions of life. Some hold that it is a sign of courage to dare living with doubt. Still others stretch tolerance so thin in ethical and religious questions that they no longer see any line between true and false. They think everything is equally good.

Is humanity intent on taking creation back to the original chaos? God has drawn clear lines between light and darkness. But humankind—no longer listening to God—can’t distinguish between day and night, good and evil, left and right.

Yet, the light is there, independent of our confusion, and offers itself to anyone who is open to receive.

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

 

 

Let There Be Light

Over the water of the world again
the Spirit broods;
Over the chaos the minds of all
and down the dream-deserted solitudes.

I know His ominous presence, and I hear
His prophecy of flight
over a world of thought at the first clear
and thunderous dismissal of the night.

How shall that burst of radiance be greeted
as, from the black abyss,
the first day wakens when it hears repeated
that cry to light, torn out of Genesis?

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

 

art by akiane kamarik the reflection

The Reflection, art by Akiane Kramarik

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

 

Jesus come to me2

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.


 

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary2

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

Georgian bay8

“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

 

Georgian bay14

“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)

 

Georgian bay15

“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)

 

Georgian bay5

“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)

 

Georgian bay12

“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)

 

Georgian bay16

“‘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

 

Varadero Beach2

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

    

I See His Blood Upon the Rose

 

Rose Flower Dewdrops Drops Rain Red Hd Wallpaper Free Download

Red Rose (Photo source unknown)

 

I see His Blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of His eyes
His Body gleams amid eternal snows
His tears fall from the skies.

I see His face in every flower
His voice is thunder and the singing of the birds
And carven by His power
Rocks are but His written words.

All pathways by His feet are worn
His strong Heart stirs the ever-beating sea
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn
His Cross is every tree.

 

~ A Poem by Joseph Mary Plunkett

 


“and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:20


 

*The month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. For more information about this special devotion, please kindly check:  Seven Saints Talk About the Most Precious Blood at http://www.catholictv.org/blog/7-saints-talk-about-the-most-precious-blood