Showing the Face of Christ

Jesus prince of Peace by Akiane

Prince of Peace, art by Akiane Kramarik

 

He who eats the Bread of the Lord must in turn be “eaten up” by others. Having received God, who is love, we must give love. We who work in the front lines of spiritual warfare know that this is the only answer for a world so desperately in search of meaning.

Only when we who call ourselves Christians show the face of the resurrected Christ will seekers of God be able to see and touch him. This has to be done person to person. It cannot be done en masse. Each person needs to know that he or she is loved—loved as a friend, loved as a brother or sister in Christ. Only in the eyes of another can we find the image of Christ.

~ A meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty


“This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
~ 1 John 4:21


 

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.

 

 

The Gift of Love

Art by Maria Oosthuizen

Art by Maria Oosthuizen

 

My thoughts of you are fair as precious stones
out of the memory’s deep mysterious mines.
I cut and polish, hold the gems to light—
color of sea water, color of wines
coaxed from the earth’s sweetest fruits.
I drop them down into my heart,
into the lifted hands of love
whose lone concern is your renown.  

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

 

Jesus abounds in love

Thank You Father, for the Gift of Your Love!

A Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving Canada!

 

To My Angel Guardian

 

angel by my side

My Guardian Angel

 

O glorious guardian of my frame!
In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,
As some most pure and holy flame,
Before the Lord of endless light.
Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,
To be my brother, Angel dear:
My friend and keeper from my birth,
By day and night to me most near.

Knowing how weak a child am I,
By thy strong hand thou guidest me;
The stones that in my pathway lie,
I see thee move them carefully.
Ever thy heavenly tones invite
My soul to look to God alone;
And ever grows thy face more bright,
When I more meek and kind have grown.

O thou who speedest through all space
More swiftly than the lightnings fly!
Go very often, in my place,
To those I love most tenderly.
With thy soft touch, oh! dry their tears;
Tell them the cross is sweet to bear;
Speak my name softly in their ears,
And Jesu’s name, supremely fair.

Through all my life, though brief it be,
I fain would succor souls from sin.
Dear Angel, sent from heaven to me,
Kindle thy zeal my heart within!
Naught but my holy poverty,
And daily cross to give have I;
O join them to thine ecstasy,
And offer them to God on high.

Thine are heaven’s glory and delight,
The riches of the King of kings;
The Host in our ciboriums bright
Is mine, and all the wealth pain brings.
So with the Cross, and with the Host,
And with thine aid, dear Angel Friend,
I wait in peace, on time’s dark coast,
Heaven’s happiness that knows no end.

~ A poem written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on February, 1897 (seven months before her death) From a translation by S.L. Emery, 1907.

 

May we always have our Holy Guardian Angel by our side guiding and protecting us!

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast Day of the Holy Guardian Angels!

 

To Scatter Flowers

Saint Therese by unknown author

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux by unknown artist

 

O Jesu! O my Love! Each eve I come to fling
Before Thy sacred Cross sweet flowers of all the year.
By these plucked petals bright, my hands how gladly bring,
I long to dry Thine every tear!

To scatter flowers! – that means each sacrifice,
My lightest sighs and pains, my heaviest, saddest hours,
My hopes, my joys, my prayers, I will not count the price.
Behold my flowers!

With deep, untold delight Thy beauty fills my soul.
Would I might light this love in hearts of all who live!
For this, my fairest flowers, all things in my control,
How fondly, gladly I would give!
To scatter flowers! – behold my chosen sword
For saving sinners’ souls and filling heaven’s bowers.
The victory is mine: yes, I disarm Thee, Lord,
With these my flowers!

The petals in their flight caress Thy Holy Face;
They tell Thee that my heart is Thine, and Thine alone.
Thou knowest what these leaves are saying in my place;
On me Thou smilest from Thy throne.

To scatter flowers! – that means, to speak of Thee,–
My only pleasure here, where tears fill all the hours;
But soon, with angel hosts, my spirit shall be free,
To scatter flowers!

~ A poem written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in June 28, 1896

 

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Feast day of Saint Thérèse,
The Little Flower! 

 

Santa teresita y Jesus

Saint Thérèse with the Child Jesus by unknown artist

 

 

 

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

 

 

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