Go to the Father!

 


“Grant, O Lord, eternal rest to the souls of the departed; and may the thought of death spur me on to greater generosity.”
~ Divine Intimacy ~


 

Jesus and the souls

 

Human beings have lost the clear perspective that death is a part of a life that is lasting and true.

Most often, death is considered something sad and negative—a punishment for sin, as the Old Testament affirms. But the New Testament has a different perspective. “Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die,” Jesus says (Jn 11:26).

The physical process is not changed, but the meaning and its signification changes completely. “If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:28). To Jesus death is a joyful event, and he has given it the most beautiful definition: “To go to the Father.”

Life reaches its zenith in death; this is where we leave behind all details in order to cling unconditionally to what is essential. Death is the last and definitive capitulation before God, the beginning of an eternal being together with God and one another.

When we die, we conclusively give up our resistance and our self-will. Death leaves us unreservedly in the hands of God. To die means that we finally let God take care of our lives.

Do not love death for its own sake! You can only go through death in a meaningful way if you love life. The meaning of death is life, the life that remains forever.

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

 

“O Master and Creator of the universe, Lord of life and death, You give our souls being and fill them with blessings: You carry out and transform everything by the work of Your Word, at the time foreordained and according to the plan of Your Wisdom; receive, today, our deceased brethren and give them eternal rest.”
~ Divine Intimacy ~

 

 

Wishing you all a very blessed All Souls’ Day!

 

 

 

 

Little and Great Saints

 

Communion of Saints by john R Mccoy

Communion of Saints, art by John R. McCoy (left panel)

 


“Through the intercession of Your saints, O Lord, may I tread the way of holiness courageously.”
~ Divine Intimacy ~


 

Communion of saints by john mccoy3

Communion of Saints, art by John R. McCoy  (right panel)

 

Every one of us would probably admit that the distance between the great saints and us feels quite great. Their pattern of life can be so bright that there is a risk that—rather than urging us on—they make us wonder whether there is any sense in trying to follow their example.

For that reason it is good sometimes to turn our gaze to the great multitude of insignificant, anonymous, little saints. They are ordinary people who haven’t always been exemplary. They haven’t lived in ceaseless prayer and have not always been obedient and faithful to the promptings of the Spirit. They have had their failings, maybe big and tangible failures, but they haven’t said an irrevocable “no” to God. They are now, thanks to God’s incomprehensible mercy, together with the great saints before the throne of God.

They know, and we know, that it isn’t their great deeds or achievements that opened heaven to them. They acknowledge, and we with them, that God alone has saved them, and that their clothing has been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.

These little saints aren’t envious of the great ones. And the great saints aren’t condescending toward the little ones. All who stand before God are full-grown saints, according to the measure God has determined for each.

It fills us with encouragement and resolve to love God more when we see that it isn’t through great feats we come to him but only through the infinite love of this God to whom we finally surrender.

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

 


“O saints of heaven, I am the least of all creatures. I know my worthlessness, but I also know how noble and generous hearts love to do good. Therefore, O blessed inhabitants of the heavenly City, I entreat you to adopt me as your child. All the glory you may help me to acquire will be yours; deign, then, to hear my prayer and obtain for me … your love …” (T.C.J. St, 13) Divine Intimacy.


 

All Saints by elizabeth wang

Radiant Light, art by Elizabeth Wang

 

Prayer to the Saints of Carmel

Holy men and women of Carmel,
you found in the Carmelite Family a school of prayer,
a community ready to serve others,
and sure companions for your pilgrimage through life.
From your place at the summit of Mount Carmel,
Jesus Christ, help us to walk steadily in his footsteps,
that our prayers and good works may further the cause of his Church.
Amen.

 

The Carmelite Vine by anonymous artist

The Carmelite Vine by Anonymous Novohispanic Artist, 18th century – Templo del Carmen de San Ángel, Mexico City, Mexico

 

Wishing you all a very Blessed Feast of All Saints! 

The Oasis of His Heart

 

Jesus and Saint Teresa at Holy Communion

St. Francis Borgia, S.J. with St. Teresa of Avila, O.C.D.; art by José Segrelles (1956)

 

We who walk in the desert of violence, wars, and changes that bewilder and confuse us need an oasis in which  to rest and renew ourselves. Mass is the oasis to which the Good Samaritan brings us each day. Every day Christ  invites us to the oasis of his heart to be refreshed there by the Wine of his compassion and love.

Love is not an emotion and not a state. It is a Person — it is God himself. He is the food I receive in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. I need him daily because I am a sinner and weak.
True, I am a saved sinner; but one who realizes only too well the words of Christ, “Without me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5) I need him, the living Bread, to love through me.

I need to participate in the daily Sacrifice of the Mass because I am in love with God. I am in love with Jesus Christ. My soul seeks union with God. It cannot rest until it finds him.

Mass is a rendezvous with Christ. Passionately in love with my God, I become one with him at the Eucharistic table.

Daily Mass is a plunging into the inexplicable, incredible mystery of love. It is a reality more real than the air I breathe, than the life I live throughout the day.

What can I bring to the world but him who has given himself to me?

~ A meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 


My lover belongs to me and I to him…
~ Sg 2:16


 

Jesus Sacred Heart9

God’s heart is our only true resting place, the oasis to which he calls us ❤ Beloved Lord Jesus, draw us near and near to your Most Sacred Heart! Amen!

 

Humility

 

man and the cross art by arild rosenkratz

Art by Arild Rosenkrantz


Humility  is to be still

under the weathers of God’s will.

It is to have no hurt surprise
when morning’s ruddy promise dies,

when wind and drought destroy, or sweet
spring rains apostatize in sleet,

or when the mind and month remark
a superfluity of dark.

It is to have no troubled care
for human weathers anywhere.

And yet it is to take the good
with the warm hands of gratitude.

Humility is to have place
deep in the secret of God’s face

where one can know, past all surmise,
that God’s great will alone is wise,

where one is loved, where one can trust
a strength not circumscribed by dust.

It is to have a place to hide
when all is hurricane outside.

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

 


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
~ Micah 6:8


Saint Teresa of Ávila: A Mystical Poem

Saint Teresa vision

The Vision of Saint Teresa, art by Bartolomeo Guidobono (late 17th century)

 

Loving Colloquy

If all the love you have for me,
my God, is like my love for you,
say, what detains me, that I do?
Or what is it delaying thee?

— Soul, what of me are your desires?
— My God, no more than you to see.
— And what most in you fear inspires?
— What I fear most is losing thee,

A soul within its God now hidden,
whatever else should it desire,
but to e’er greater love aspire,
and in that love remain all hidden,
returned anew into love’s fire?

One love that owns me I request,
my God, my soul within you centered,
for making me the sweetest nest
where union can the best be entered.

~ By Saint Teresa of Ávila, O.C.D.

Saint teresa of Avila art by Corrado Yaquinto

Santa Teresa de Ávila , arte de Corrado Yaquinto

 

Coloquio Amoroso

Si el amor que me tenéis,
Dios mío, es como el que os tengo,
Decidme: ¿en qué me detengo?
O Vos, ¿en qué os detenéis?
— Alma, ¿qué quieres de mí?
— Dios mío, no más que verte.
— Y ¿qué temes más de ti?
— Lo que más temo es perderte.
Un alma en Dios escondida
¿qué tiene que desear,
sino amar y más amar,
y en amor toda escondida
tornarte de nuevo a amar?
Un amor que ocupe os pido,
Dios mío, mi alma os tenga,
para hacer un dulce nido
adonde más la convenga.

~ Poema místico de Santa Teresa de Ávila, Carmelita Descalza

 

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Feast day of Saint Teresa of Ávila!

Deseandoles a todos un feliz y bendecido dia de Santa Teresa de Ávila!

 

 

Gently

resting on the heart of Christ

Resting on the Heart of Christ, art by Giotto di Bondone (1304-06)

 

Christ told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else. How important it is to be gentle with oneself!

We so often flagellate ourselves, dwelling on our sins and thinking we are horrible people. We harass ourselves, thinking of the wrong decisions we have made and the sins we have committed. We wound ourselves unceasingly, and we exhaust ourselves in the process.

We forget that the gentleness of God is part of his mercy. We forget that if we but turn to him and say, “I’m sorry”, the sin is erased completely. He does not remember the sin. His mercy overshadows all.

How do you learn to be gentle? St. John used to recline on the breast of Christ. I think we will become gentle with ourselves and others if we do likewise. Then we will hear the heartbeats of God, and we will be able to help others hear them.

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty


“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
~ Matthew 11:28-29


 

Healing

ChristCleansing the leper

Christ healing the leper, art by Jean-Marie Melchior Doze, 1864

 

The pity of God is immense and profound. It is like a fresh wind that comes up suddenly on a torrid day. It is like a cool evening, when the sky is pink and blue and red, and beautiful to behold. It is as gentle as a loving mother rocking a cradle. It is like oil that softens the heart.

If we let God’s pity penetrate the deepest levels of our being, so many painful things will disappear. If we allow the gentleness of Christ to take hold of us, so many of our inner hurts, fears and negative emotions can be assuaged. We will find our depression lifting, for it is Christ himself who visits the very depths of our heart. Having lifted up the crushed and bruised soul, he embraces the whole person, and speaks words of tender affection. Even sin can be burned up in this pity, for God loves sinners.

If we enter into the divine pity, we will ourselves be able to extend it towards others, embracing them, holding them, and calling them “Brother, sister, friend.”

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 



“A leper came to him and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to,’ he said, ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured.'”

~ Matthew 8:2-3


“Let us not grow tired of prayer: confidence works miracles.”
~ Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, O.C.D.

 

 

Stone Poems

Recently I visited Barcelona, Spain and I was very impressed with the magnificent work of Barcelona’s most famous architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). He was a man of profound sensibility towards beauty and the gift of creation. A true mystic and a poet. He was inspired by nature. As he would often say, “Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” Gaudí was a devout Catholic man. A man of deep faith. He went to church twice a day. He was also inspired by the writings of Saint John of the Cross, a Discalced Carmelite saint. He believed with conviction his architectural ability was a gift from God, and that his pursuit of excellence in his field benefitted his city and his beloved Catalonia.

Here, I share a beautiful poem and a few photographs I took of some of the work of this great and humble Catalán architect that won the hearts and the admiration of not only the people of Catalonia but the whole world.

*If you would like to know more about Antoni Gaudí, please check:
https://www.barcelonaexperience.com/sightseeing/about-gaudi
https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=66039

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo7

Casa Batlló, Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

To Antoni Gaudí, poet and architect

Haven’t you ever thought that Gaudí was a poet
and that his work breathes poetry?
Message, light of expression and harmony
they have always been a path to the final goal.

Haven’t you seen a wonderful verse vibrate in its structure,
and felt the songs of rhyme in its harmony,
or the rhythm of expression in the symphony
of the materials, the colors, the architecture?

Not every poem is born of words,
not only with words you compose a poem;
the image, the sentiment, the charm, cherishing
are other ways of saying beauty or fable.

To wake up emotion, spell, message
any art can open the mind to the heart,
the dream of an excellent and strong creative being
can describe a poem with its language.

The art in Gaudí has dreamt dreams of stone;
placed its voice in the charm of new columns,
builds spaces with the taste of other perfumes
and in the infinite of its time there is no ashes.

He has searched for God, the nature, the beauty
and its wish of building has brought the wish,
of approaching, with brand new eyes, the earth to the ski,
always striving for perfection and more grandeur.

His transcendental sense has never hindered
that even human warmth was always present
in the details of its work in all moments,
from the halls of the palace to the garden.

And even the temples combine splendor
and humanity. The figures offer
the echo of a godliness, which expand
with overflowing love.

He had mistery in its heart,
the metaphor in its vision,
the structure in its brains
and in its fingers a touch of soul.

Each design is a symbol,
each shape has a spirit,
each color a word
And each detail a kiss.

The “torres del Naixement ” are like flames,
the lightning of forged iron shout at the wind,
the seats that surround Parc Güell resemble waves
the mosaics of live colors are like rising sun.

God’s poet, space’s poet and nature’s poet,
poet of the well-being and of peace,
you have built your world of architecture
garnishing the blue ski with magic poems.

Your poems of stone always wake up a charm
from the unit to the detail,
from the biggest to the smallest,
from elegance to precision,
from the root to the summit,
from surprise to miracle,
under daylight or moonlight,

And what is this other than the being of a great artist
who sings with barroc songs, exuberant, modernist,
until it created a personal and unconfusing style
who has impacted the whole world with its unique vibration?

The great Gaudí, who is for everybody, an incomparable architect,
he is for me, more than anything else, one of the greatest poets.
With a language of stone has written profound poems,
religious, lordly, of nature and symbolism.

As every poet he has strived for emotion and perfection,
with metaphoric conceptions or with peculiar features.
It is still moments, ideas turned to a volume,
structured concepts, well suggested sentiments,
which will consolidate as the infinite time goes by.

~ By Pere Brosa, Gaudí First Prize of Poetry and Short Narrative from Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo fachada

Casa Batlló, photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo detalle

Casa Batlló (details) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa batlo Gaudi

Casa Batlló (beauty is everywhere) photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 la pedrera casa mila

Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera or “The stone quarry” photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi best shot

Gaudí House-Museum located within the Park Güell in Barcelona was the residence of Antoni Gaudí for almost 20 years, from 1906 till the end of 1925. Photo taken by me in September 2018

Barcelona 2018 casa Gaudi great shot

Gaudí House-Museum gardens and sculptures…So beautiful. Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 sagrada familia Gaby

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, (my photo) September 2018

 

Barcelona 2018 sagrada familia

Basilica of The Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) western side (Passion Façade) Photo taken by me in September 2018

 

 

“Come as you are”

 


“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
Luke 6:36-37


 

August-Afternoon-Conversation 3

Art by Patrick Stewart (Madonna House Apostolate)

 

Hospitality of the heart means accepting others as they are, not as we would like them to be, and allowing them to make themselves at home in one’s heart. To be at home in another person’s heart is to touch love. It is through the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ that we begin to understand the love of God.

~ A short meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 

Pax et Bonum ❤

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!