Where did I learn to connect physical things with spiritual truths? My parents never let me forget that every task, however ordinary, is of redeeming supernatural value, if done out of love.
Awareness of little things done well for the love of God is daily living lifted up into the heart of Christ. It means we rise in the morning, aware that this day is given to us so that we may grow in grace and wisdom before the Lord. It means that we have been given another day to spend in the school of God’s love.
In order to enter heaven, we must be lovers. For instance, we wash the dishes for love of God. When you serve your family, do it quietly and efficiently. If you learn to connect serving to prayer, you will grow in wisdom and love, and you will become a light shining in the darkness of the world. This light from your loving service will lead people to God.
~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
“It is not those who say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 7:21
Brother Lawrence Prayer,
17th century French Carmelite monk
O Lord of all pots and pans and things, since I’ve no time to be a great saint by doing lovely things, or watching late with Thee, or dreaming in the dawnlight, or storming heaven’s gates, make me a saint by getting meals, and washing up the plates.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy Love, and light it with Thy peace; forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease. Thou who didst love to give men food, in room, or by the sea, accept the service that I do, I do it unto Thee.
The Pharisees bring to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery to see if he will condemn her. Jesus simply says to them, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at her.”
In John Cheever’s short story “The Country Husband,” Francis Weed is attending a cocktail party, when the maid serving the drinks arrests his attention. Francis had seen her before, when he was station in Trenon, France, at the end of World War II. She had been the subject of a public chastisement because she had lived with the German commandant during the Occupation.
It was a cool morning in the fall. The sky was overcast and poured down onto the dirt crossroads a very discouraging light…. The prisoner arrived sitting on a tree-legged stool in a farm cart. She stood by the cart while the mayor read the accusation and the sentence. Her head was bent … [and] when the mayor was finished, she undid her hair … and a little man with a gray mustache cut off her hair with shears and dropped it on the ground. Then, with a bowl of soapy water and a straight razor, he shaved her skull clean. A woman approached and began to undo the fastenings of her clothes…. She [stood there] naked. The women jeered; the men were still … the cold wind made her white skin rough and hardened the nipples of her breasts. The jeering ended gradually, put down by the recognition of their common humanity. (391)
When Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” he invited them to recognize the common humanity that they shared with the woman. He didn’t condemn the Pharisees and scribes any more than he condemn the woman. He simply bent down and gave them time to reflect upon their lives. We are told that they drifted away one by one, beginning with the oldest.
The judgment of the Pharisees and scribes was not rash, for the woman was guilty of adultery. Rather, it was harsh. But once they reflected upon their own sins and their desire for a merciful judgment from God, they could recognize their common, frail humanity in the shamed, guilt ridden creature that stood before them. As their judgments softened, their clenched fists loosened and they released the stones they were holding.
Michael is a prince of God and page of Mary. He stands beside the tall throne of his Queen. He is the warrior who made peace in heaven and keeps the earth serene.
Then why should I take fright when foes or demons assail me with their treacheries or wrath, when I have knowledge that the Queen’s archangel is keeper of my path?
O heart, believe. The great winged prince of heaven watches the Queen’s child with a warrior’s eye and lifts his flaming spear and comes like lightning at the first cry.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.
“I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully.”
~ St. Faustina Kowalska
“O glorious prince Saint Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day. Amen!”
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
You have got to approach prayer as a love affair. And the accent is not on praying; it is on the one to whom you pray. You are drawn to God as a young girl is drawn to a young man. Slowly, as in a human love affair, Christ absorbs you more and more and becomes the center of your life. You savor and find new depths to every word he says.
Then you turn to the Scriptures. We call this meditation, but how can such a little word describe your plunging into the depths of each word of Christ?
As you plunge into Christ’s words, your deep relationship to him, the one you call prayer, will change. You will enter into a new dimension, which some call contemplation.
What is contemplation? One Sunday I was walking in a city park, and I came across a couple sitting on a bench. Before them was their picnic basket, and a dog was happily eating their sandwiches, paper and all; I stood less than ten feet away. The two paid no attention to me, and were utterly oblivious to the dog. They were holding hands and looking at each other.
There comes a moment when words become useless—men and women just sit and look at each other. This is the moment of deepest love, when the wings of the intellect are folded and the heart is totally opened to the other. This is contemplation.
So, before you can pray, you must meet God. The best way to meet him is to stand very still, without frustration or anxiety, and wait for him. He will come if you are waiting for him.
That is really all I can tell you about prayer.
And when you hold hands with Christ, whisper my name.
~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! ~ Sg 2: 10
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!