Archive for May 2019


May 23, 2019


It is strange to say that we discover Christ in one another
through forgiveness.
Perhaps this is because we have a wrong conception
of forgiveness.
So often, alas, as we use it,
it is condescension following upon condemnation.

But it should not be.

It should be the most direct way of healing a wound.

It goes beyond all possible explanations
and all possible misunderstandings.
It does not even ask to be understood…

Christ is utterly sinless;
if someone has injured us,
it cannot be Christ in him that has injured us.

But no one can do wrong without wounding himself.

Sin always wounds the sinner,
but Christ has taken this great wounding to Himself.
All His wounds, all His suffering, the whole of His passion,
is the wounding of sin–

ours the sinning;
His the redeeming wound of our sin.

Forgiveness, then,
is a reaching out to comfort and heal
that wound in our friend
which Christ in him bears
because of the wrong he did to us
~Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God

Pressed Down & Shaken

May 22, 2019


The spice bottle looked full
until I shook it together
and pressed it down.

Then quite a bit more fit in
(& I won’t need to refill it as soon!)

I was reminded of Luke 6:38:

give, and it shall be given to you;
good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
running over

Then I sat down,
picked up today’s readings
(for St. Rita of Cascia),
and read that very passage!

I picked up Caryll Houselander’s The Reed of God,
and came upon the same verse!

I think God’s trying to tell me something…

In context, God is telling us to be generous.

I get that.

But part of generosity
is receiving.

It’s being
pressed down,
shaken together,
to increase my capacity
to receive more.

I’m not fond of being shaken.
I don’t like being pressed.

But God knows I can hold
of the infinite Goodness
with which He wants to fill me
and He doesn’t skimp!

My Father’s House

May 17, 2019


In My Father’s House there are many mansions.
Were it not so, I should have told you,
because I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I am coming again, and I will take you to Myself;
that where I am,
there you also may be.
~John 14:2-3/p>

Take these things away
and do not make My Father’s house a marketplace.
~John 2:16

The worship they offer is a mere copy and shadow
of things heavenly,
even as Moses was warned
when he was completing the tabernacle;
“See”, God said, “that you make all things
according to the pattern that was shown you on the mount”
~Hebrews 8:5

The Father’s House
is the temple!
It is the true temple,
on which Moses was commanded
to model the Jewish house of worship
here on earth,
which has been fulfilled
(so far as can be this side of the veil)
in the Church.

As I make myself at home there,
I am learning what it means
to be at home
in my Father’s House.

How do I get to the Father’s house?

And where I go you know,
and the way you know…
I Am
the way, and the truth and the life
~John 14:4, 6

Follow the Son!
(He’s going Home)

Lifted Up by Humility

May 16, 2019


Blessed Thursday!

Acts 13:13-25
Psalm 89: 2-32, 21-22, 25, 27,
+John 13:16-20

King Saul prepared the way for King David–
most unwillingly!
The lesser gave way to the greater,
but only when forced to do so.
Saul’s pride
is his shame.

David prepared the way for Jesus,
One greater still.
So did St. John the Baptist.
Their glory
is in their humility.

The one who elevates
one greater than himself,
will in that very act
himself be lifted up.

God’s meditation on Christ…

May 12, 2019


…creation itself
is simply His [God’s] meditation on Christ.

The seed in the earth is the unborn child.
The snow on the field is the Virgin’s mother’s purity.
The blood on the black thorn, flowering through the land,
His birth.
The falling of the red rose leaves foretells His passion,
the wheat is bound because He was bound,
it is threshed because He was scourged.
The fruit is red on the bough because He was crucified;
because He rose from the dead,
spring returns to us again.
~Caryll Houselander, _The Reed of God_

Oh, to share in that meditation!

To Admire is to Acquire (Spiritually Speaking)

May 3, 2019


This image from the life of St. Gertrude
colorfully brings home the truth that we move toward what we admire:

At Communion, as [St. Gertrude the Great]
prayed for the Church, but felt a want of fervour,
she prayed to our Lord to give her fervour,
if her petitions were agreeable to Him;
and immediately she beheld a variety of colours:
white, which indicated the purity of the virgins,
violet, which symbolised confessors and religious;
red, which typified the martyrs;
and other colours, according to the merits of the saints.
Then, as she feared to approach our Lord
because she was not adorned with any of these colours,
she was inspired by the Holy Ghost,
“who teaches man wisdom” to return thanks to God
for all those who had been elevated
to the grace and state of virginity;
beseeching Him,
by the love which made Him be born of a Virgin for us,
to preserve all in the Church,
to whom He had vouchsafed this favour
in most perfect purity of body and soul,
for His own honour and glory;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned
with the same shining whiteness
as the souls of the virgins.

She then returned thanks to God
for the sanctity and perfection
of the confessors and religious
who had pleased Him from the beginning of the world,
beseeching Him
to bring all who were still militant in the Church
to a happy end;
and immediately she beheld her soul adorned with violet;
and as she continued to pray
for the different states and orders in the Church,
her soul was adorned with their respective virtues.
As she returned most fervent thanks to God for these favours,
she beheld herself clothed in a golden amice;
and standing thus marvellously adorned before our Lord,
He turned to the saints, and exclaimed :
” Behold her in garments of gold,
clothed round about with varieties.”
Then He opened His arms to receive her,
as she was no longer able to support
the torrent of Divine joys
with which her soul was encompassed.
~The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude

The Battle Lines of the Culture War

May 1, 2019


The issue at stake in the culture war
isn’t about when life begins
or who has the right to live
(or the right to die).

It’s about suffering.

What meaning does suffering have
& how will we respond to the sufferer?

The Culture of death
views suffering as the worst of all evils,
so much so
that it must be eliminated at all costs
even to the point of killing the sufferer
rather than to permit them to keep suffering.

The Culture of Life
recognizes that
suffering can be ennobling
when squarely faced and borne with courage,
and rallies around the sufferer,
valuing the person far above any personal cost required,
to support and encourage them through
whatever suffering cannot be morally alleviated.

Anything less
is not worthy of the name.

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