Archive for November 2015

Living In The Upper Room

November 12, 2015

JMJ

We should always look to God as in ourselves,
no matter in what manner we meditate upon Him,
so as to accustom ourselves to dwell in His divine presence.
For when we behold Him within our souls,
all our powers and faculties,
and even our senses,
are recollected within us.
If we look at God apart from ourselves
we are easily distracted by exterior objects.
~St. Margaret Mary

That makes intuitive sense…
but it’s always felt as though finding God within
meant looking down,
below, in my body,
which didn’t quite sit right…

I’m sure that could spark a fruitful meditation on humility…
but in the meantime, Archbishop Ullathorne and the Glorious Mysteries
gave me another tack:

The Glorious Mysteries are about rising
–rising from the dead, rising to Heaven–
and Archbishop Ullathorne (following many others before him)
contrasts our lower (animal) nature
with our higher, grace-infused, nature,
in which we are “already seated with Christ at God’s right hand”
(see Ephesians 2:6).
From thence, He lets fall into my lower nature
the flames of love of the Holy Spirit,
that my lower nature might be lifted up too,
as was the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This superior part of the soul
reminds me of the upper room
the Shunammite woman built for the prophet Elisha
so he would have a place to stay when he passed through
(and where he raised her son from the dead, see 2 Kings 4:8ff),

ElishaRaisingShunammitesSon

and of the Upper Room
where Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist,
and where the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles
who had prayed there for nine days.

UpperRoom

It’s a place to build within my soul;
a place above;
a place for God to dwell;
a place to meet Him, to welcome Him,
to abide with Him,
to receive His Life;
a place of power.

Its foundation is in Heaven,
not on earth.

The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach
~Psalm 32:6

Though its waters rage and foam,
though the mountains be shaken by its waves,
the Lord of Hosts is with us
The God of Jacob is our stronghold
~Psalm 46:4

Flood

The passions flood the lower part of the house;
their waters rage and foam.
But when I discipline myself to stay in the “upper room”,
in the superior part of my nature,
with Jesus,
I don’t get swept away.

The Mighty Lord is with me,
he God of Jacob is my stronghold!

It sure doesn’t take much
to get sucked in.

A Knocking…

November 11, 2015

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If any man listens to My Voice
and opens the door to Me,
I will come in to him
and will sup with him,
and he with Me
~Revelation 3:20

Spiritual Communion
is simply answering
the Divine Lover’s
insistent knock
at the door of my heart,
that He might come in and dine
with me
as He so ardently desires.

A Prayer of Spiritual Communion
I believe You, O Jesus, are in the Most Holy Sacrament!
I love You and desire You.
Come into my heart; I embrace You.
O never leave me!
May the burning and most sweet power of Your love,
O Lord Jesus Christ,
I beseech You,
absorb my mind,
that I may die through love of Your love,
who was graciously pleased to die
through love of my love. Amen.
~ St. Francis of Assisi

Hedged About With Thorns

November 10, 2015

JMJ

As I’ve studied verses in an interlinear translation,
I’ve been struck by the Hebrew word “shamar”, usually translated as “keep”,
as in “I will keep Your statutes” (Psalm 119:8)
or “Keep me as the apple of Your eye” (Psalm 17:8).

According to Strongs concordance,
the sense of “shamar” is “to hedge about as with thorns”
(sort of like natural barbed wire, only more formidable)
–rather more visceral than the English!

ThornHedge

Then I read this:

Adorable Heart of Jesus,
sanctuary of the love that led God to make Himself man,
to sacrifice His life for our salvation,
and to make of His body the food of our souls:
in gratitude for that infinite charity,
I give You my heart,
and with it all that I possess in this world,
all that I am, all that I shall do,
all that I shall suffer.
But, my God, may this heart, I implore You,
be no longer unworthy of You;
make it like unto Yourself;
surround it with Your thorns
and close its entrance to all ill-regulated affections
;
set there Your cross,
make it feel its worth,
make it willing to love it.
Kindle it with Your divine flame.
May it burn for Your glory;
may it be all Yours,
when You have done what You will with it.
You are its consolation in its troubles,
the remedy of its ills,
its strength and refuge in temptation,
its hope during life,
its haven in death.
I ask You, O Heart so loving,
the same favor for my companions. Amen.
~Madame Elizabeth,
(Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France),
sister of Louis XVI

SacredHeart

A shock of recognition ran through my soul.

How often the plea is made in Sacred Scripture for God to “keep” us,
and for us to keep His commandments
–which is the same thing!–
and here they are, brought together
in the divine conflagration of Jesus’ Passion,
represented by His Heart, encircled by thorns,
aflame with caritas.

So that’s why God made the ground bring forth thorns
in response to Original Sin! (Genesis 3:18)

Thorns on my Head (Jesus, Colossians 1:18) guard my mind;
thorns around my heart guard my will.

With these two fortresses intact,
I’m impregnable.


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