An Inner Fire

Dove with rose
Art source unknown

 

Every human being has an innate longing for an inner fire. The fire we long for is the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit begins to burn in us, all the old, bad habits will successively be driven out. For this reason, the fire will create conflict. It isn’t our purpose to create conflict, but we must not be afraid of it when it comes. Conflicts, be they exterior and interior, are signs of health if they are a consequence of the Spirit burning within us.

Do not be afraid of the anxiety that the arrival of the Spirit may bring. Don’t go back to the lifeless peace which may have characterized your life up till now. Let yourself be shook up by the Spirit. The peace Jesus promised presupposes a complete reorganization of your life. Don’t be afraid to leave old habits behind; it’s natural at first to feel insecure and unsure. Don’t be afraid of the truth, even if it is uncomfortable.

Do not be afraid of becoming a sign of contradiction either. If the Spirit burns in you, you necessarily become a different person. You become a stranger in the world, a pilgrim on the earth. You will disappoint some people; others will consider you naïve. But you are not seeking the world’s peace. Jesus says: “…my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (Jn 14:27).

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

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come! 

 

 

Happy & Blessed Pentecost Sunday!

 

 

 

The Evening of the Visitation

 

 

The Visitaion art by Angiolo D'Andrea
The Visitation art by Angiolo D’Andrea (1880-1942)

 

Go, roads, to the four quarters of our quiet distance,
While you, full moon, wise queen,
Begin your evening journey to the hills of heaven,
And travel no less stately in the summer sky
Than Mary, going to the house of Zachary.

The woods are silent with the sleep of doves,
The valleys with the sleep of streams,
And all our barns are happy with peace of cattle gone to rest.
Still wakeful, in the fields, the shocks of wheat
Preach and say prayers:
You sheaves, make all your evensongs as sweet as ours,
Whose summer world, all ready for the granary and barn,
Seems to have seen, this day,
Into the secret of the Lord’s Nativity.

Now at the fall of night, you shocks,
Still bend your heads like kind and humble kings
The way you did this golden morning when you saw God’s
Mother passing,
While all our windows fill and sweeten
With the mild vespers of the hay and barley.

You moon and rising stars, pour on our barns and houses
Your gentle benedictions.
Remind us how our Mother, with far subtler and more holy
influence,
Blesses our rooves and eaves,
Our shutters, lattices and sills,
Our doors, and floors, and stairs, and rooms, and bedrooms,
Smiling by night upon her sleeping children:
O gentle Mary! Our lovely Mother in heaven!

 

~ A poem by Thomas Merton

 

Happy & Blessed Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary! 

There Is a Homelessness

 

Jesus My Beloved art by ricardo colon
Art by Ricardo Colon

 

There is a homelessness, never to be clearly defined.
It is more than having no place of one’s own, no bed or
chair.

It is more than walking in a waste of wind,
or gleaning the crumbs where someone else has dined,
or taking a coin for food or clothes to wear.
The loan of things and the denial of things are possible
to bear.

It is more, even, than homelessness of heart,
of being always a stranger at love’s side,
of creeping up to a door only to start
at a shrill voice and to plunge back to the wide
dark of one’s own obscurity and hide.

It is the homelessness of the soul in the body sown;
it is the loneliness of mystery:
of seeing oneself a leaf, inexplicable and unknown,
cast from an unimaginable tree;
of knowing one’s life to be brief wind blown
down a fissure of time in the rock of eternity.
The artist weeps to wrench this grief from stone;
he pushes his hands through the tangled vines of music,
but he cannot set it free.

It is the pain of the mystic suddenly thrown
back from the noon of God to the night of his own
humanity.

It is his grief; it is the grief of all those praying
in finite words to an Infinity
Whom, if they saw, they could not comprehend;
Whom they cannot see.

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

 

Put Your Finger Here

 

Jesus and thomas2
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, art by 
Vicente López y Portaña –1849

 

The fact that God handed over his only Son to humankind is not a historical event in the sense that it belongs to the past and is over once and for all. God doesn’t refer to those who seek him to something he did a long time ago. He hands over his Son to each and every one in an eternal present.

The Father’s sacrifice of his Son and the Son’s perfect assent to the Father’s will is beyond time. God made this sacrifice yesterday, he does so today, he will do it throughout eternity.

The most glorious sign of God’s continuing giving of himself is the Eucharist, which the Church celebrates every day. In it, God’s sacrifice is present. Here God puts his Son so completely at your disposal that you get to eat and drink him. It must pain the heart of God when people, after having received him in the Eucharist, immediately can begin to doubt and question whether they are truly loved. What more could God do to prove his love?

When Jesus appears to Thomas (Jn 20:24-29), he complies totally with Thomas’s wishes. Jesus submits to him, puts himself at his disposal, makes of himself an object and an illustration. Thomas gets to touch him with his finger, verify that it is Jesus who is with him. Jesus surrenders to Thomas like he surrenders to you in the Eucharist. As often as you want you can receive Jesus, who gives himself to you completely disarmed. Can you doubt his love?

 

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

 


O Holy Trinity, Eternal God, my spirit is drowned in Your beauty. The ages are as nothing in Your sight. You are always the same. Oh, how great is Your majesty. Jesus, why do You conceal Your majesty, why have You left Your heavenly throne and dwelt among us? The Lord answered me, My daughter, love has brought Me here, and love keeps Me here. My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul. This act is an act of the will. Know that a pure soul is humble. When you lower and empty yourself before My majesty, I then pursue you with My graces and make use of My omnipotence to exalt you.
~ Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul – Diary.  


 

Jesus, I Trust In You! ❤ Jezu Ufam Tobie!

 

The New Season

 

woman and the fountain of love by christian schloe
Art by Christian Schloe

 

Waiting is purification,
is patience quelling desire,
is God’s time permeating human haste.

The crystal droplet
gathers at the curled leaf’s tip
but does not fall.
The mighty wave bounds in
but does not break.

The heart’s new season
pauses on the threshold
of the walled, inviolate garden,
the spring of living waters at its center.

We wait till that authoritative voice
cries once more, “Come forth!
Begin to bud and bloom!
Toss in the breezes of my ardent love!
Be all renewed and filled with light!
Waiting is over—
the hour of fulfillment come!”

Beloved, this is our new season.
Together let us go to meet it.

 

~ A poem by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.

God Is a Strange Lover

 

Jesus and Mary Magdalene2
Art by Anton Raphael Mengs (1769) at Palacio Real de Madrid, Spain

 

God is the strangest of all lovers; His ways are past explaining.
He sets His heart on a soul; He says to Himself, “Here will I rest My love.”

But He does not woo her with flowers or jewels or words that are set to music,
no names endearing, no kindled praise His heart’s direction prove.

His jealousy is an infinite thing. He stalks the soul with sorrows;
He tramples the bloom; He blots the sun that could make her vision dim.

He robs and breaks and destroys—there is nothing at last but her own shame, her own affliction, and then He comes and there is nothing in the vast world but Him and her love of Him.

Not till the great rebellions die and her will is safe in His hands forever does He open the door of light and His tenderness fall, and then for what is seen in the soul’s virgin places,
for what is heard in the heart, there is no speech at all.

God is a strange lover; the story of His love is most surprising.
There is no proud queen in her cloth of gold; over and over again there is only, deep in the soul, a poor disheveled woman weeping . . .

for us who have need of a picture and words: the Magdalen.

 

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

 

The Two Lines of the Cross

 

cross and prayers
Photo taken by me last night (Good Friday) Prayer and Meditation at the Cross, Taize style in my Parish.

 

God will receive everything in your life. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). Whatever you devote to society, your work, and your human relations are to be given in such a way that it is not taken from what you give to God. Is this possible? Yes! Through his own example, Jesus has shown it to be. He gave himself completely to us, but in handing himself over he did not in any way leave his Father. To the contrary, it was the Father’s will he lived in, when he turned toward us, and it was the Father’s love he communicated.

It was precisely because Jesus lived so fully in his Father that he was unable to forget the world and humankind. The Father is, after all, Father of us all and loves us all.

The cross shows us that there was no separation between the Father and us in Jesus’ life. It was not an either-or, but rather a both-and. When Jesus reached the culmination of his love for us, he also reached the culmination of his love for the Father.

The cross consists of two beams. The vertical beam expresses our relationship with God. The horizontal beam points to our earthly relations. These two meet each other and become one in the intersection of the lines, the center and locus of the heart of Christ. His heart burns with a singular love, and this love makes him stretch toward the Father and out toward the world to embrace us all.

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