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

 

 

The Oasis of His Heart

 

Jesus and Saint Teresa at Holy Communion

St. Francis Borgia, S.J. with St. Teresa of Avila, O.C.D.; art by José Segrelles (1956)

 

We who walk in the desert of violence, wars, and changes that bewilder and confuse us need an oasis in which  to rest and renew ourselves. Mass is the oasis to which the Good Samaritan brings us each day. Every day Christ  invites us to the oasis of his heart to be refreshed there by the Wine of his compassion and love.

Love is not an emotion and not a state. It is a Person — it is God himself. He is the food I receive in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. I need him daily because I am a sinner and weak.
True, I am a saved sinner; but one who realizes only too well the words of Christ, “Without me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5) I need him, the living Bread, to love through me.

I need to participate in the daily Sacrifice of the Mass because I am in love with God. I am in love with Jesus Christ. My soul seeks union with God. It cannot rest until it finds him.

Mass is a rendezvous with Christ. Passionately in love with my God, I become one with him at the Eucharistic table.

Daily Mass is a plunging into the inexplicable, incredible mystery of love. It is a reality more real than the air I breathe, than the life I live throughout the day.

What can I bring to the world but him who has given himself to me?

~ A meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 


My lover belongs to me and I to him…
~ Sg 2:16


 

Jesus Sacred Heart9

God’s heart is our only true resting place, the oasis to which he calls us ❤ Beloved Lord Jesus, draw us near and near to your Most Sacred Heart! Amen!

 

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


 

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.

 

 

One Thing is Necessary


“O poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones in order, and will lay the foundations with sapphires.”  (Isa. 54, 11.)

Jesus by george kordis

Icon of Jesus by artist George Kordis

 

If we only knew the one thing necessary! (Luke x., 42.) If we only thought of building the one house upon the one foundation! But what can we expect? We build upon the sand.
Is it any wonder that the house will not stand? Such winds blow! Such floods come down! And when the dilapidated building has almost tumbled to the ground, we go into retreat to try to prop it up. And like a child who sees his house of cards collapse and wishes to put it up again, we think about making fresh resolutions and new practices, as external and shallow and incoherent as those which have preceded them: therefore, as frail; and our building is bound to come to the ground once more when smitten by the winds and the floods. And we do not think of trying to find the rock, we do not endeavour to build upon a solid and deep foundation. Do we even know that our building must have a foundation?

In order to erect a building, one must first of all pay attention to the foundations. Without a foundation there is nothing solid, nothing strong, and nothing lasting. The important thing, therefore, is to know the foundations of the Spiritual Life, and to lay them down strongly, and to set the building of perfection on the one basis, apart from which nothing can be erected: “for no one can lay other foundation than that which has been already laid.”

Would that we could say with St. Paul: “According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation which is Christ Jesus.”  (I Cor. III, X-XI.)

If the natural rock possesses such astonishing abundance of beauty and wealth, what must be the magnificence, and bounty, and graciousness of the Spiritual Rock, the Living Stone, the Good, the Lovable, Christ! And what should we think of ourselves who are called upon to be living stones built up, a spiritual house, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, the Corner-stone of life! Weakness takes root with Divine Rock! Sullen clay finds a home in the Living Spiritual Stone! The finite goes in quest of the Infinite! The streamlet loses itself in the great Ocean of God! How lifeless and insignificant when unflooded by His Light!

When the Master spoke of the unshakable house whose foundation was cut deep into, and built upon a rock, He was speaking of Himself as the only safe and secure foundation for the soul amid the winds and waves and whirl-blasts of time. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds beat vehemently upon the house, but did not shake it for it was embedded in the impregnable and unchanging Rock. The rock then is a happy symbol of the sustaining power, the grandeur, the majesty of Christ, to whom we must cling until He draws us down to dwell within Himself. There we shall find the riches of His wisdom and knowledge which will enable us to go through life, not only as strong and mighty warriors, but with a superabundance of love which renders the rough ways smooth, and makes bearable the painful.

Taking root in Christ is seldom accomplished in a day. Little by little through fidelity to His inspirations, we take a firmer hold of the strong and loving Lord. It is not always easy to be faithful to grace, but it is the building up, stone by stone, of this spiritual house in which we offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Jesus Christ, which accomplishes the task.

We catch glimpses here and there, of the marvels of grace in the souls of others. We see men and women of the world bearing weighty burdens of care and responsibility with a smile upon their lips and a kindliness of manner at which we wonder. Others, with lifelong sorrows pressing upon the heart—sorrows from which there is no escape, but about which the sufferers are silent and uncomplaining, because of their love for Him to whom they offer holocausts within the shelter of their soul. Could we but see the thousands of hidden sanctuaries ablaze with the light of heeded grace, we should strive to be of the number of those whose ambition it is to keep aglow every taper of spiritual light shed upon us by the inexhaustible bounty of the Holy Spirit. These sanctuaries are everywhere—not only in the cloister but all along the highways of life, amid the din and noise and laughter of the world, down among the slums and water fronts of great cities, even in the midst of corruption where it seems impossible for sinlessness to thrive; there we find the exquisite touch of God’s grace, for the Master has His friends in every walk of life.

Locality is no obstacle to the entrance of Divine Grace within the soul. It halts before each casement begging for admittance; we have but to open the door and bid it welcome and our house will be flooded with light which, day by day, will increase in brightness until all things will be seen and judged by the brilliancy of the Holy Spirit. This is the life of the friends of Christ and He has many such. These friends are generally hidden, but their strength, resulting from fidelity to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, is felt by others who are influenced and sustained by it. The things that are visible to the naked eye are, for the most part, temporal, whereas the things hidden and unguessed, unlooked for and obscure, are eternal.

How often does not our superficial spiritual life leave Jesus outside and on the surface! And He Himself declares that He wishes to dwell within the soul, and the soul to dwell within Himself. (John XV, 4.) Is not the point to which souls must be brought to-day, when so many of them have forgotten the paths of the Interior Life—the fundamental dogma of the Indwelling of God in the soul?

The abiding of Christ involves the positive clinging to Him. It is like the growth of friendship; at first these two people were very little to each other, but by interaction and acts of kindness they grew to know each other better, then one took more hold upon the other’s thoughts, the influence became stronger; when outwardly separated they were less and less apart in thought. The drawing near of two friends or their separation is like nothing else. It is the mysterious action of one person upon another. So is the soul’s coming to the Master of Love. The mind is more constantly filled with His Presence, His influence gradually penetrates through the whole soul, shaping and forming the character. The first question in coming to any decision is, “What would He wish?” The last question when any work is done is, “Will it be pleasing to Him?” The whole character is swayed and controlled by His influence. How wonderful it is to see many a rough, undisciplined, self-centered man pass beneath the spell of that Sacred Presence and gradually become transformed, still indeed himself, but with all that unmistakable characteristic that betokens His work.

~ A Meditation compiled by A Religious, ‘In Love with the Divine Outcast’ 1934

 


“A God is the Divine Guest of my soul, dwelling there day and night, desirous of receiving the unceasing homage of my intimate friendship and my love.”