In Our Mother’s Heart

 

Virgen de Guadalupe y yo

Virgen de Guadalupe, art by Cecilia Spihlmann (my photo)

 

At the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in 1999, Pope St. John Paul II elevated Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day to a solemnity. The Holy Father proclaimed her to be the empress of all the Americas.

This message went deep into my heart and I said to God, “Does this mean that the Holy Father is telling us of the ultimate triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—she who is destined to crush the head of the Evil One with her heel? Is this a prophetic utterance that is foreshadowing a glorious restoration that we cannot see as yet?

Let us pray that this is so.

 


Be like little children, resting with total confidence in the heart of our Blessed Mother. Every day, she shows us how to incarnate her Son and his words. The Sanctifier will bring pain, but if we surrender and remain still, Mary will transform that pain into joy. When all of us place our trust in her, we find ourselves together in the heart of Jesus.


 

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, ora por nosotros y el mundo entero! 

 

 

The Fruits of Our Lives

To help you determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ…  Philippians 1:10-11

angel of love

 

What counts in your life and mine is not successes but fruits. The fruits of our life are born often in our pain and in our vulnerability and in our  losses. The fruits of our life come only after the plow had carved through our land. God wants us to be fruitful.

The question is not, “How much can I still do in the years that are left to me? The question is, “How can I prepare myself for total surrender so my life can be fruitful?”

Our little lives are small, human lives. But in the eyes of the One who calls us the beloved, we are great—greater than the years we have. We will bear fruit, fruit that you and I will not see on this earth but whose reality we can trust.

Solitude, community, ministry—these disciplines help us live a fruitful life. Remain in Jesus; he remains in you. You will bear many fruits, you will have great joy, and your joy will be complete.

Prayer:

Remain in me, dear Jesus.

~ An Advent Meditation by Henri J.M. Nouwen

Christ The King

 


“O Jesus, Prince of Ages, King of Nations, be the sole Ruler of my mind and heart.”
~ Divine Intimacy


 

Cristo Rey

Christ The King (Artist Unknown)

 

O divine King, most amiable Jesus, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Spouse, my Master and model, I renew today the total consecration of my being to You, begging You to take absolute dominion over me. Be my Sovereign, my Ruler, my Guide. Direct and govern me entirely, so that everything may turn to Your greater glory. Be King of my memory, of my intellect, of my will, of my emotions; I wish all to be completely subject to you and I invite You to reign in me.

Your Kingdom is a kingdom of Truth, of Love, of Justice and of Peace.

Grant that Your reign of Truth may be established in my mind, destroying all error, deceit and illusion. Enlighten me by Your divine wisdom.

Grant that Your reign of Love may be completely established in my will, to move it, draw it, and direct it always, so that I may no longer be moved by self-love, or by creatures but by Your Holy Spirit alone. Make this weak, mean, rebellious will of mine strong, generous, constant; make it grow stronger by the persevering exercise of virtue, and by the gifts of Your Spirit.

Grant that Your reign of Justice may be established in all my actions, so that all I do, having this characteristic, may be a work of holiness, accomplished with purity of intention and with the greatest fidelity in order to give You pleasure and accomplish Your holy will.

Grant that Your reign of Peace may be established, not only in my soul but also in my sensibility, so that, in harmony with the superior part of my soul, it may give You glory and neither retard me nor be an obstacle to union with You.

~ A Meditation by Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.

 

Jesus king of my heart

 

Jesu, were you nothing but a memory
How fragrant would that memory be!
But O, you are my living Love,
Sweetness itself, my life’s delight.

Music of unearthly timbre
Of soaring joy no human ear can catch.
Beauty, beyond the frontiers of thought
Jesu, God’s dear and holy Son.

(‘Jesu dulcis memoria’, trans. R.B.)

Jesus, King of my heart and King of the Universe, I Adore You!

 

Wishing you All a Very Blessed Feast Day of Christ The King!  

 

A One-Sided Love

 

Jesus love by ladislav zaborsky2

Art by Ladislav Záborský

 

Jesus asks us to love our enemies. Love of enemies has always been considered a typically Christian virtue.

It is common to love the one who loves you. The law of mutually regulates love in society: I love you, if you love me; I will be grateful to you, if you treat me well.

However, Jesus wants us to break out this “coercion of mutuality.” He wants us to love in all circumstances, to love those who do not love us, yes, even the ones who are against us. Perhaps a former friend has turned away from me. Perhaps this person has stopped loving me; still, Jesus wants me to love him or her.

Just as we used to talk about unilateral disarmament, we should be able to talk about unilateral—one-sided—love, that is, a love that doesn’t expect anything in return. In this sense, God’s love for us is often one-sided. God loves and loves while we don’t love him in return.

It is not superhuman to love in situations where you only encounter hate? Yes, it is superhuman. It is divine. But Jesus will teach us how to interact with one another in a divine way. He has come to reveal God’s “lifestyle” to us, and he wishes for this lifestyle to become ours as well. He wants us to love as God loves, who lets the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and lets it rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Mt 5:45).

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

 

Matthew 5 45

Surrounded

 

Jesus by yon sum kim

Jesus, art by Yongsung Kim

 

Those who don’t love themselves can’t receive the love of others in a healthy way either. To those who doubt their own worth, other people become rivals and competitors. Positive and open encounters become an impossibility. Many people never have an authentic experience of presence. They can’t receive another person and simply let that person be near them. There is no community, no communication. This lack of presence can lead to the most bizarre, desperate attempts to bridge the abyss they feel between themselves and others.

The deepest human longing is to be completely affirmed as we are, and to be loved unconditionally. But one of the reasons this is so difficult for the majority of us is the fact that we don’t really know who we are, and therefore we don’t know how to receive the love that is true. Only those who know their own depths can begin to understand what love is.

In your depths, you are nothing but the capacity to give and receive love. Only in your depths can you come to know the love that surrounds you on all sides. And the most direct way to your depths are silence and prayer.

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

 

“Oh, if you could go to the depths of my soul even for an instant, you’d see me captivated by that Beauty, by that incomprehensible Goodness. How I’d love to bind the hearts of creatures and surrender them to divine Love!”
St. Teresa of Jesus, O.C.D. 

 

 

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! 

Facing Him

Eucharistia by ladislav Zaborsky

Art by Ladislav Záborský

 

Faith is a gift of God. Only he can bestow it, and it is a gift that he passionately desires to give us. However, he can only give it to us if we ask for it.

When we ask for faith, we are turning our face towards his face, and he can look into our heart. He loves to see us facing him, but we for some reason try to avoid this. Even while begging him for favors, we close the eyes of our soul, so as to avoid looking at him. Yet he is always looking at us, with deep love.

It is faith that allows us to enter peacefully into the dark night each of us faces at one time or another. Faith walks simply, like a child, between the darkness of human life and the hope of what is to come, “for eye has not seen, nor ear heard what God reserves for those who love him.” Faith is a kind of folly, a folly of God himself.

Faith breaks through barriers. When our face is turned to God in faith, our eyes meet his, and each day becomes more luminous. The veil between God and us becomes thinner until it seems we can almost reach out and touch him.

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty


“For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~ Romans 8:38-39


 

Contemplation: Meeting Gaze

 

Kristus by Zaborsky

Kristus, art by Ladislav Záborský

 

There are those who wonder why Christians must talk about contemplation and mysticism when the Bible itself says nothing about it. The answer is that the Bible says a lot about contemplation. The yearning to have God show himself is a reoccurring theme in the Bible.

“Make your face shine upon your servant” (Ps 119:135). “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Ps 42:2). Or in Psalm 27: “Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.” All these texts express a yearning to behold, to contemplate God. In the New Testament, Jesus promises that he will show himself to the one who loves him and keeps his commandments (Jn 14:21).

Heaven promises to be an eternal, contemplative beholding of God. But for the one who lives a life of prayer it is possible to taste some of the happiness of this contemplation already in this life.

Still, it is not the most important thing that we get to behold God. Long before we could even fathom what it is to see God, God has seen us and let his light shine upon us.

The gift of contemplation is none other than human beings having their eyes opened to meet God’s gaze, which has rested eternally upon each one of us.

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

 

 

An Autumn Encounter

Jesus walking in the path

Art by Yong Sung Kim


My Beloved,

you are the author of all seasons.
At the arrival of each one,
you leave your footprints in my garden.

Now, is the glorious season of autumn.
Here where I live, in this beautiful North,
the majestic beauty of your touch
is everywhere to be seen.

The precious gift of your presence
is always a special grace
in my garden.

My Beloved,
my flowers are still in bloom
despite the late night cold breeze.
But the maple tree is already
showing the vibrant hues of red and orange leaves.

Oh! Blessed Lord!
The birds always welcome your divine presence in my garden,
they whisper in my ear
that your gentle steps are approaching,
and I know you are near
calling me to come to your presence and rest awhile.

Autumn, this glorious season of change,
is also of transformation and beauty.
I can sense your gentle presence within me,
transforming and revealing within my soul
new insights illuminated by your precious light,
leading me in my own
journey of self-discovery and towards you.

Beloved of mine,
how I long for these moments of being
in your holy presence!
Quietly listening to you,
awakening my heart.

Your voice I seek,
your warmth I crave,
you give me an abundance
of unconditional love.
Thank you, my Jesus!

Oh! My Rabboni,
I love you!
I want to live to love you!
Each and every day and night
of my life.
Let us walk together along this path
in my fall garden.
This tender precious moments I’ll always treasure
within my heart and soul.

Let me embrace you,
my Beloved,
with endless love and gratitude
forever!

~ My Personal Reflection

Bible verse Colossians