Knowing What Awaits Us

 

In-his-glory-original-24-x-24
In His Glory, art by YongSung Kim

 

As long as we live here on earth, it often feels as if we are separated from him. Obviously, we aren’t, but because we are so dependent on what we can see and hear, it is difficult to believe fully in an invisible reality.

In our own days, it is often heard that we don’t know what happens after death; nobody has ever come back so you can never be sure. That it is even said among Christians is perplexing. The central truth in our faith is exactly that someone has come back, and that the Risen One has appeared to many. He has been seen, spoken to, eaten with.

We know very well what happens after death. When we die, we meet him who is love itself, we receive a body that is like the body of glory that he has (Phil 3:21), free from all limitations, a body that is no longer bound in time and space. We get to be with Christ, be together with him in the Father.

We can’t imagine the security, peace, and joy involved in being forever with the Lord. It transcends our comprehension. It is “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor 2:9). But the fact that we can’t imagine it exactly doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.

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

Gaze Into My Eyes

Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast Day of our Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Ávila, Discalced Carmelite, first female Doctor of the Church, Spanish mystic and reformer. It was a very joyful, holy and blessed day for all the family of Carmel. Here I share a very special poem written by St. Teresa. May she inspire our hearts to be always on fire for The Beloved, our Lord Jesus!

 

Carmelite-Saints-stTeresa_of_Jesus
Saint Teresa of Ávila, art source unknown

 

Gaze into my eyes, sweet, good Jesus,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

Look, if it pleases anyone, at roses and jasmines.
If I but see You, I see a thousand gardens!
Flower of Seraphim, Jesus of Nazareth,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

I see myself captive without Your company,
Death is what I live without You, life of mine.

I do not want comfort, my absent Jesus,
That all is torture to whom feels this;
Gaze into my eyes, sweet, good Jesus,
Gaze into my eyes, and slay me thus.

~ A poem by Saint Teresa of Ávila, O.C.D.

 

 

Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno

[Poema – Texto completo.]

Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno;
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Vea quién quisiere rosas y jazmines,
que si yo te viere, veré mil jardines,
flor de serafines; Jesús Nazareno,
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

No quiero contento, mi Jesús ausente,
que todo es tormento a quien esto siente;
sólo me sustente su amor y deseo;
Véante mis ojos, dulce Jesús bueno;
véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Siéntome cautiva sin tal compañía,
muerte es la que vivo sin Vos, Vida mía,
cuándo será el día que alcéis mi destierro,
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Dulce Jesús mío, aquí estáis presente,
las tinieblas huyen, Luz resplandeciente,
oh, Sol refulgente, Jesús Nazareno,
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

¿Quién te habrá ocultado bajo pan y vino?
¿Quién te ha disfrazado, oh, Dueño divino ?
¡Ay que amor tan fino se encierra en mi pecho!
veante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.

Gloria, gloria al Padre, gloria, gloria al Hijo,
gloria para siempre igual al Espíritu.
Gloria de la tierra suba hasta los cielos.
Véante mis ojos, muérame yo luego.
Amén.

~ Poema escrito por Santa Teresa de Ávila, O.C.D.

 

 

Saint Teresa of Ávila, pray for us!

 

Thankfulness Always

 

Jesus art by Joshua Vargas
Art by Joshua Vargas

 

Jesus gives thanks to God when he institutes the Holy Eucharist. He thanks the Father for the bread which is his own body, and the wine which is his blood.

Jesus is infinitely thankful that he gets to work for his Father’s kingdom, even if this means suffering and death for himself. He gives thanks that he can pass on the words he has received from the Father (Jn 17:8), reveal the name of the Father (v. 6), and fulfill the commission the Father has given him (v. 4). Everything for which Jesus gives thanks comes to fruition through his total humiliation. The wine in the cup that he lifts in thankfulness to God is the blood that pours out of his pierced heart.

If you sometimes have difficulties thanking God for everything, then just remind yourself of how Jesus presented his whole life as a thanksgiving sacrifice to the Father. All his vitality, the riches of his will and his love, he concentrates and summarizes in a prayer of thanksgiving. If you wish to find unity and coherence in your life, the best thing you can do is to resign yourself to everything that happens. What it does mean is a foundational attitude of trust in someone who knows and understands everything much better than you do, someone who loves, and wants the best for his creation.

We do well always and everywhere to give God thanks.

 

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

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

 

A Blessed Canadian Thanksgiving to All!

 

grateful

 

Manuscript of Heaven

 

three archangels 2
The Three Archangels, art by Marco D’Oggiono

 

I know the manuscript of the Uncreated
writes in the garden of His good state.
His creatures are the words incorporated
into love’s speech. 

O great 
immortal poet, in Your volume bright
if one may choose a portion, write me down
as a small adjective attending light,
the archangelic noun. 

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

 

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of the Holy Archangels!

Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and St. Raphael, pray for us!

 

Seeding the Heart — The Frank Friar — Elijah’s Breeze

Journeying deeper into the act of meditation, as a Christian, is a practice animated by the pursuit of knowledge but never merely knowledge isolated in the abstract but always in reference to God. Thus, when we turn to the Bible and then spiritual texts, we are being offered seeds to nourish and build up the… via […]

via Seeding the Heart — The Frank Friar — Elijah’s Breeze

Elpina, The Shepherdess

 

shepherdess with her flock
Shepherdess with her Flock, art by Jean-François Millet

 

Elpina the shepherdess
Burning with a great desire
To know how God
Could be loved upon earth,
Wept alone one day
And in the woods
Uttered these words:
“Eh! Who can teach me
to love God Who loves me
and Who, before the existence
of the world He created
with this same love
of His Heart Divine,
loved me…”
While thus grieved
she wept to herself
not being able to console
the pain of her heart;
the virgin, now a hermit,
swooned and fell–
a prey to languor…
Behold, there before her,
ornate with gilded wings,
brimming with celestial delight,
stood suddenly a gracious spirit,
and his loving lips
like lilies and roses
opened into these beautiful accents:
“Elpina, how can you say
You do not love God,
When your very desire
Of loving is love itself?
It is the sweet flame
Which escapes from
The secret furnace of your Heart.”

 

~ A poem by St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

 

 

“I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, than the motive of Love alone. “
~ St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

 

 

 Happy & Blessed Feast Day of St. Teresa Margaret Redi!  

The Assumption of Mary: A New Presence

 

Mary Assumption
Assumption of the Virgin, art by Guercino (Giovani Francesco Barbieri) 1650 – Detroit Institute of Arts.

 

Mary’s Assumption into heaven does not mean that she traveled away to a far distant land. We imagine heaven to be “up there”. Glory to God in the highest”, we sing in the Gloria, It is not wrong to have this conception, as long as we realize it does not completely convey the reality. Heaven is not a place that lies beyond the limits of the universe, but a dimension we cannot perceive with our earthly senses. Because Mary has been taken up into heaven, she has not therefore left us. Quite the contrary. For that very reason she has penetrated more deeply into the world.

As long as Mary lived in her mortal body, she was bound by time and space. She could not be present in more than one place at a time. When she lived with John after Jesus’ Resurrection, she prayed earnestly for the new Church, but she could not be present when the apostles went out to proclaim the Gospel. But after her Assumption into heaven, all the borders burst, and her whole being, including her body, was glorified. A glorified body has no definite contours. It can be present in different places at the same time and take on cosmic dimensions. Through Mary’s Assumption, she passed over to a universal presence from the limited presence that characterized her life on earth. Always and everywhere Mary is with us, wherever we may be and wherever we may go. She fills the whole universe. She is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:I). When we pray the “Hail Mary” during the day, on the street or at work, we do not speak into a vacuum. Mary is always present. It can give us great joy to discover that Mary’s Assumption into heaven, which appeared to take her far away, really brought her closer to us. Thanks to the Assumption, she is present at the center of our lives.

Neither should we think Mary is in heaven to enjoy undisturbed peace. As long as the fight between light and darkness continues. Mary is involved. We know that Jesus “always lives to make intercession for [us]” (Heb 7:25) , that he goes to “prepare a place for [us]” (Jn 14:2). But he does not do it without his “helper” (cf. Gen 2:20). Even in heaven, Mary lives only for her Son and his redemptive work.

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

 

Our Lady is so transparent, so luminous, that she might be taken for light itself; yet for all that, she is but a mirror of the Sun of Justice.
~ Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.

Let us draw near to the Virgin most pure, who is all lightsome, so that she may lead us to understand Him whom she understands so deeply.
~ Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.

 

 

 

Wishing you all a very blessed feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!