Prayer for the day

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


Monday, May 10, 2010

To touch the face of an angel

Ever wanting am I,
To touch the face of an angel.
True, divine and perfect beauty,
Enamored am I,
Enchanted by thine's beautious face.
Soft as ermine, sweet as myrrh, your face.
Doth I toucheth you, and foul your fair beauty with my earthly hand?
My desire has no end,
And my wisdom can not prevent.
I stretch out my ever tentative hand,
You are ever out of my reach.
Must I remain within my earthly bounds,
And never touch the face of an angel?

Standing on the precipice of this cliff,
I lift my arms and feel this wind.
Oh, should it be that I am lifted on the wings of angels?
To fly with the Cherubim, Seraphim and all the other choirs.
I'm surrounded by the clouds,
My feet no longer on the ground.
So sweet, just to be,
In the company of thee.
Now, I feel the earth beneath.
Was it all just a pleasant dream?
I feel this wind upon my face,
An angel's kiss, my grace.
A smile alights my face,
For I have been upon the wings of angels.

So now, I lift my hands up high, so high, I may just touch the sky.
Doth I knoweth you exist?
Hath I not desired to touch your face?
Hath I not been upon your wings?
Your kiss upon my cheek?
Your existence so sweet, ethereal and free?
So, I lift my hands up high, so high, in the sky, that I just may touch an angel.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Love is silent and gentle

I am so thankful for the ability to love. I have not always been able to say that. For many years I used my broken heart as a reason not to love. But as incredible as God is, He brought love back to me. He was quiet and slow about it. He used the power of friendship to heal me. Sometimes we just do not see what is right before our faces. The true gifts which we are given.

I thank God every day for my best friends. My childhood best friend still is my best friend and confidante. There is a constant comfort of knowing no matter how badly I fail or fall, my friend will be there and there will be no judgement or removal of friendship due to my failure. She knows me better than myself sometimes and she calls me out when I don't want to face the reality of a situation. she wants the best for me. She laughs with me, she cries with me, she walks along side of me, her silence sometimes the best companion, she wants nothing for me but my happiness. I never have to ask, she simply gives and hopefully I have been just as good a friend to her as she has been to me.

My other best friend I have known for over 6 years. It never started as whirlwind romance or even as a powerful friendship. That is why I say God worked slowly and quietly. God in His infinite wisdom introduced me to Justin just as I was at the end of hope. I truly despaired. I had been divorced for over 2 years and had had a few unsuccessful relationships. A relationship had just ended. It was a sudden, unexpected and a devastating ending for me. I knew one thing and that was I did not want to trust or love again. God had other plans for me. He introduced me to Justin. I initially was not impressed. Honestly, I thought he was a bit conceited and a jerk. He persisted. I was polite. God worked His magic.

At some point I began to like the man. I found that I enjoyed his conversation, wit, intelligence and amazed by his quiet patience. We made arrangements to spend a week vacationing together with our families. By the end of the week it was pretty well established that we had a strong friendship, but that is where it ended. There weren't any exciting flashes of lightning in the romance department. I went home with my kids and time and distance came between Justin and I and we fell away. Talking once or twice a month on the phone and it was not unusual for a week or more to go between emails with only a short curt response. A couple of year later we got together again for a vacation with our families. Again, I realized how much I liked this man. We got along great, we had incredible conversations, he made me laugh as no one has made me laugh and it seemed at times he knew me better than I knew myself. The last night of the vacation upon my questioning him he explained to me why he never pursued a romantic relationship with me, and I was broken. He couldn't pursue a relationship with me because of my children. They were just too rowdy and unruly for his taste. True to Justin and his demeanor, he was honest and honorable. I sure didn't see it that way at the time.

I went home and vowed to myself I would never speak to the man again. I ignored all of his phone calls, did not respond to his email and all communication went dead after a few weeks. Almost three years went by and one day, out of thin air, he called me. Enough time had passed and I had healed enough to be able to talk to him without my anger and hurt getting in the way. We talked for a few minutes and said our goodbyes. I hung up and cried as I have never cried before.

I realized how much I had missed his friendship and how much he had meant to me. I was not ready to forgive or forget. Over the next year we would talk sporadically and email every once in a while. Our conversations increasingly longer and more and more he was endearing himself to me. I asked him why he started calling me again. He simply responded he missed me and was curious what had happened to me. I told him there was no point in pursuing a friendship. My boys and I are a package deal, you don't get one without the other. He told me he understood that and he was willing to work on improving his relationship with them. Skeptical and still not ready to forgive or forget Justin, we resumed our friendship.

This time something was definitely different. I saw a willingness on his part to accept my boys and interact better with them. He was more like a father to them. Which has caused it's own set of problems, but my boys have never had a father figure and there is going to be growing pains with that. We quickly became best of friends again. Forgiveness came and healed the wounds.

His quiet patience, honesty and honor are qualities I have come to cherish. I admit I can be impossible, selfish and just plain difficult. He has been quietly patient; waiting for me to realize the changes I need to make in myself and allows me to change on my own. And of course, exalts in me when I have changed for the better. My own personal fan club. Life just can not be better than that.

He is honest but not brutal. He simply tells things as they are. His intention is not to hurt but for a self examination. This, I must admit, was an aspect of his personality I had difficulty learning to deal with. It was completely disconcerting. I am more accustomed to people pointing out my faults by belittling me and insulting me. So, for him to just point out a defect in thought, action or personality, and not followup with a belittling comment was hard for me. I would challenge him and try to argue with him, because I just knew that there had to be something insulting to be said. His quiet patience persisted. I learned. It is not his nature to insult or belittle. I have come to love this about him. Through his honesty and quiet patience he has changed me in many ways.

Justin is an honorable person and that is a quality which is extremely rare today. He is willing to sacrifice the moment for the betterment of the future. I am more accustomed to the post modern societal norm of being used and discarded. I sure did not understand that years ago when I was being pushy and demanding a more sexual relationship with him. He was willing to let me go without any dishonor occurring to either one of us. He knew true love was letting the the one you love go. What an incredible gift. I can see that now. We both needed to change. We both need to grow in our understanding and knowledge of each other. His quiet patience, honesty and honor victorious.

He has changed me in many ways. I too, have changed his life. We have both taught the other how to trust and love again. I didn't realize this until he told me how much he appreciated me and our friendship. He told me he was willing to love again, because of me. He told me how he was first attracted by my wit and intelligence (huh?) and as time went by it was my smile, laughter, joy of life and sweetness (double huh?) that allowed him to fall in love and trust again. And now, he dislikes any day that goes by when we don't talk, text or email each other. We cherish the moments when we are in each others company and we have both come to delight in the family we are becoming.

It has been over 2 years since we made a second attempt at our friendship and I personally couldn't be happier. Please do not think that all is perfect, because it isn't. I do not think any relationship is. We still have hurdles to get over and obstacles in the way. What I do know is that with Justin in my life, I will not only overcome but be a better person for it.

I know when he pulls me into his arms, holds me tight against him and presses his lips upon mine that he is sharing of himself with me. An incredible gift which I know he does not give away freely to anyone undeserving of his love. I feel safe in his embrace and sometimes the most incredible things that he says is when he says nothing at all. His smile and his actions say it all.

Love didn't come quickly It didn't come with a flash of lightning, no burning bush or great flood, nor with the power of a hurricane. Like a gentle snow falling, it was soft, slow, quiet and gentle. Unknown to us, God was changing us and making us the person we needed to be to see the true beauty of the other. Philia, Agape and Eros. One step at at a time my friend became my best friend and then we found affection and love. Neither was looking for love, but God thought it should be so, so, He made it so. Praise be to God and His infinite grace and wisdom.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A lesson in love

"Sweet as the dew in the early morn, like a lily among the thorns. I looked for you, the one my heart loves. I searched through the night until I rested in your sight. Now, I will never let you go. You have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes. Set me as a seal on your heart. For strong as death is love, unyielding as the grave. Nothing will quench its flame."

I speak of love today. Love, an incredible gift, which maybe we, as people, do not give enough thought to. Post modern society teaches us love is easily obtained and just as easy to dispose of. Love is transient. In other words affection and attraction = love. If we look at love as the philosophers did, then we know that there is more than one kind of love and that the combination of these types of love give us a a completeness and give us the immense treasure of love.

I don't need to go into these types of love and discuss them. I would never do justice to them and would never be as eloquent as the philosophers were. But, I do want to discuss how these different types of love are necessary to love completely.

Love is a rhythm. It is everchanging and dynamic. It ebbs and flows just like the tide and it carves us and creates a beauty in all of us.

Eros - marital love, is passionate love, with sensual, sexual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "(romantic) love". The term erotic is derived from eros. This is the love most of think of when we think of love. It is a maddening, passionate emotion frought with desire, lust and pleasure. It drives us crazy. As quickly as the flame ignites it burns out. We are constantly looking for ways to reignite the flame. We like the passion, it makes us feel alive. Many people get stuck here, needing the constant passion to make them feel loved. Eros is a self serving love. It does not give, it only receives. It is a love which only focuses on the moment and the pleasure and no more. There is nothing long term about eros.

This love is associated with marital love. Of course it should be, this is the sexual love which nurtures and kindles the love between a man and a woman. It is absolutely necessary. It allows them to reconnect to the passion which caused them to "fall in love" and commit their lives to each other. If the marriage is based upon eros then the marriage will not endure. The energy will dissipate and the selfishness will kill what passion is left. Philia is needed.

Philia-brotherly love or friendship. Philia is a higher form of love than eros, because there is a commitment and the benefit is usually to the other person. The central idea of Philia is that of doing well by someone for his own sake, out of concern for him and not, or not merely, out of concern for oneself. We like the other person and want to associate ourselves with them because of a quality that person possesses. These feelings are usually reciprocated, but does not have to be in order for Philia to occur. Philia endures. It is able to stand the test of time due to the semi selfless nature of the friendship. One does things for the other for the benefit of the other, there is sometimes an expectation for reciprocation, which if this expectation endures can be the downfall of the friendship. Philia is absolutely necessary for love to endure. It is a cleaving of oneself to another. There is no romance or passion to it, it is simply enjoying being in the presence of another person and having goodwill toward them. In my opinion the best kind of love, yet the difficult to attain. Our selfishness usually gets the best of us and we begin to demand equal reciprocation which then destroys the foundation of Philia because the benefit is supposed to be to the other person.

Agape-love for your fellow man, a christian love, charity. A simplified version would be to think of charity. We are charitable in some fashion or another. Charity can be easy when we give something of ourself, possession or time. At a very basic level agape is easy. But one definition which gets little attention is the definition of unconditional love. We give without expectation of reward, reciprocation or acknowledgement, irregardless of who the person is. On the surface that seems to be the easiest love of all. Dropping $10 into the church collection, giving the beggar on the street some of your loose change, easy! With little effort we get great reward for our simple actions. No commitment. We can walk away from those we serve with very little repercussions in our life. Face it, the purpose of charity is to give without the expectation of reward or acknowledgement, that is where the satisfaction comes from. Knowing you have done something for someone and somehow making their life better for just a moment. It warms our hearts, and that is where the reward lies, in our hearts. To acheive a higher level of Agape it is necessary for us to learn to give of ourselves, ultimately to learn to give without expecting a reward. Giving what we do not want to give. For some that would be giving away money, others that might mean giving away possessions and for others it might mean giving of their time.

Agape is necessary for marital love. This is the selflessness, giving up of ourself for the complete benefit of the other person. Philia matures to Agape and Eros allows each person to renew the passion which attracted them to eachother in the first place. Life and love move through these types of love. The waxing and waning of love constantly changing, renewing and beautifying itself.

We do not love any two persons the same. As any parent will tell you, they love their children, but the love for each child is different. That is because what attaches or attracts us to one person may not be what endears us to another person. The depth and breadth of the love may be the same, but the actual quality of endearment may not be the same.

Love is an incredible gift from God. He created love and He created us from His love for us to love one another. He gave us different ways to love each other. God's ultimate gift of love was sacrificing His own son, so that we may live. He took His love and poured it out upon the earth. This Easter, move beyond the superficial and realize that Easter is more about love than Valentines day or any other day. God's love given to us so that we may know love. Go forth and love! <3

Thursday, December 31, 2009

My heart tonight is repeating the beautiful and intimate lyrics of the song, "Set Me as a Seal" Do we not all dream of a beautiful, intimate relationship. We are so blind sometimes. We have the most incredible love off all with Christ and God and it is exquisite and the most intimate of any love we will ever know. No human is capable of the love that is found in Christ. And best of all, we are capable of love and intimacy because we are loved that way by Christ.

Set me as a seal on your heart. For strong as death is love, unyielding as the grave. Nothing will quench its flame. Kiss me, my love, that your name be on my lips. You intoxicate my being with the fragrance of your presence. How beautiful you are, my darling. Show me your face, let me hear your voice. Sweet as the dew in the early morn, like a lily among the thorns. I looked for you, the one my heart loves. I looked for you, but did not find you. I searched through the night until I rested in your sight. Now, I will never let you go. You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes. Your lips so sweet, adorned with honey. My hands, they drip with myrrh. Set me as a seal on your heart. For strong as death is love, unyielding as the grave. Nothing will quench its flame.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who am I?

Who am I?
Am I a child of this world or am I a child of God?
Who am I?
I know not.

I live in this world surrounded by my ambition, selfishness and greed, and I am seduced by it all. My appetite insatiable. I am in love with this world and this world becomes my lover and seducer. I fall deeper into the arms of my seducer. I turn back and see Him. He holds His arms out to me. I smile, laugh and turn away from Him and turn back towards my destruction. My lover is charming and cunning. I am swept away by my lover as he whispers empty promises in my ear and fills my heart with lust and desire. Everything is shiny and glitters. It is empty and leaves me wanting more. I want it all and my lover tells my I can have it all.

I feel that there is something more. I keep taking and taking. I never find what it is that I am searching for. I do not even know what I am looking for. I just want more. Sin fills every caveat of my life. I feel nothing but desire for more. I am jealous, angry and empty. My lover no longer finds favor with me for I have become what he has made of me. I am filled with bitterness and nothingness. He leaves me for another. There has to be something more. My lover and seducer promised me so. "Take it if you want it, it is yours."

My body slumps against the wall. I fall to the ground. Despair fills every crevasse of my soul. I feel the demons attacking me, biting at me, wanting their part of my soul. For I have had the devil as my lover, now he demands my soul as his. I don't fight back. I let the demons steal my heart and I grow numb as the devil exacts his price upon my soul. My mind is weak and I succumb to the nightmarish hell that is my life. My lover and seducer has reduced me to this.

He calls my name. I want Him to stop. I am safe in my numbness and despair. I do not want to find my way out of this fog. He calls again. I move further into my unfeelingness, wanting Him to leave me alone. Does He not know I want to be left alone. Despair is a comfortable companion. It doesn't demand anything of me, simply keeps me right where I am at. I never have to move again. He calls me again. He whispers my name in my ear, I feel His breath on my neck. He is so near. I am paralyzed with fear. He whispers to me "Be not afraid, I go before you always."

I open my eyes only to be blinded by the pure light of His love. He raises my face to His and He gazes into my eyes. I can not hold His gaze. His eyes see right through my lies, the games I play and the sinner that I am. I am ashamed. And yet, He holds me close to His heart. He holds a failure, a nobody, a lover of the world close to His heart. His saving grace embraces me. I feel His love. For the first time in my life, I feel real love. An everlasting love. A love that exacts no price upon me. I know "I am His."

He knows my heart and forgives me of my every sin and makes me new again. I give my life to Him and my soul is His. I have a new lover. He is a gentle lover. He does not lead me astray. He is with me always. He gently holds my hand when I am strong. He catches me when I fall and He carries me when I am weak. He rejoices in my happiness. When I am vulnerable or when my past haunts me and the demons are at my door, He holds me tight against his breast and loving heart and He covers me with His saving blood.

I know not where my path leads me. I can not see more than one or two steps ahead of me. I do not fear, for I know He leads me. He will not betray me. He will not forsake me for another. His love is great.

I feel His love everywhere. I see His beauty in everything I see. More and more each day I live my life the way He asks me to. He rewards me more than I can imagine. His love and grace is endless. I walk with Him and sit beside Him surveying the beauty of His world. I look at Him and smile. He looks at me and asks "Who are you?" I am taken aback. How does He not know who I am. My lover questions who I am. My heart is broken. With tears falling from my eyes, I whisper "I am Yours." He smiles a beautiful, gently loving smile and replies, "Yes, you are Mine, a child of God."

He touches my face and wipes my tears away. I hold His gaze. I am no longer ashamed to look into His eyes. I jump up, my heart is filled with joy. I shout "I am a child of God. I have been emptied out, made clean and made beautiful again. I am a child of God and the Lord is my saviour and lover. I begin to dance, the wind lifts my hair and the sun shines upon me. I dance to the Lord and He smiles and laughs with joy. I know I am His great delight and His joy and love reigns within my heart and soul.

I know now,
Who I am.
I am a child of God, not a child of this world.
That is who I am!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Todays readings

Read this first.

All I need to say is that there is nothing that we can give the Lord that will ever match what He has given to us. For, everything we have has been given to us from Him. Everything!!! There is nothing you have that did not come from God. We hold back not wanting to fully give. We do this not just with money, but with our time, with our hearts in relationships, and with the gifts we share with the Church. May the Lord make you poor in spirit and you give of your poverty. God has given you everything you have with what little you have given Him. Imagine what you will receive when you give from your poverty, not your surplus.

Peace of the Lord be with you all,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christ is risen from the dead. There is hope again.

I was awoken this morning to a phone call that my brother in law passed away. He did not die of natural causes. He was successful in his attempt at suicide. At first, I was completely shocked. Grief overtook me. Like most people, I cried. Overwhelmed by sorrow for his wife, his two teenaged daughters, his mother and father, his brother and sisters and everybody who may have known him. An unnecessary loss of life. And then, I became angry.

I was angry because I would have to break this news to my children. How dare he. My children do not need to be exposed to this aspect of life, not yet! Angry that he was selfish and left his daughters to grieve his loss and no longer have a father. Angry that his wife was left alone, with two grieving daughters and left to pick up the pieces he left behind. Angry that his parents were suffering their unnecessary loss. Angry! Angry! He didn't solve anything by dying. He just didn't have to deal with it any more. He left the living to deal with his death and the remainder of his life which didn't end with his death. Angry!!!!! Suicide fixes nothing!

I will be quite honest, I hate death. I know that with life comes death. It is a never ending cycle. We all must die. I hate the loss or void which is left. As a nurse, I deal with death on a fairly regular basis. It doesn't get any easier the more you deal with it. It is a loss no matter if it is expected or not. Sometimes death comes quietly and peacefully. Sometimes it is violent, emotional and exhausting. Sometimes it is unexpected. No matter what, it is final. Those left behind have a void in their life. A rift which will have to heal.

I want to say my brother in law went to heaven. I don't know. I know he believed that there was a God, but that is where his spiritual life ended. He didn't attend a church and he didn't pray, that I am aware of. I know he suffered with depression and self medicated with alcohol. I know suicide is murder of one's own soul. A mortal sin. My son's want to know if their uncle went to Heaven. The best answer I can give them is hopefully before he died he made all things right with God. God offers us salvation up until the moment of death. I offered condolences to my sons and we offered up prayers for the repose of his soul.

My eldest son is angry that God took his uncle away. We discussed how God lost his one and only Son. God was angry! He darkened the skies for three hours after the death of His son. The skies opened up. He wept! God knows the suffering we experience. God gave his Son to us as hope, as a saviour from eternal death and we know that know matter how dark in despair we are, there is hope. God is hope. Christ is Hope. The Holy Spirit is hope. We are to lay our worries and anxieties at the feet of Christ and offer them up to Him. (I wish my brother in law had done this.) Christ will take them from us and ease our burden, but we must turn to Christ, first. Christ will give us rest. We must heed His call and follow. Living "of this world" leads to despair. It takes us away from Christ and places fears in our mind and we are overwhelmed. It is Satan at his best. The Holy Trinity is the only solution.

As my sons and I move through the stages of grief we also move to the rhythm of God's love. I pray that the rest of the family will turn to God and allow him to take their grief and move to the rhythm's of His Grace and allow healing and love to exist.

Christ is risen from the dead. He trampled over eternal death with His death. Death and Hell have lost their victory. He paid the price for humanity so that we do not have to suffer. But only through Christ can we be relieved of our sufferings. Hope! Hope springs eternal. Eternal is the Father's love for us. His love is intoxicating, greater than any drug or alcohol.

For those who despair, give Christ your sorrows, anxieties and failures. He will take them. He wants them. He wants to take you into His arms and hold you and love you. All you have to do is turn to Him and allow Him to work His grace in your life. I wonder how different today would be if my brother in law had done just that. How different his life and his families life would be. Despair and suicide are not solutions. God is.

Amen and Agape,
Peace be to all,