Thursday, August 28, 2014

*Awesome* Catholic App!

Attention my Catholic brethren and sisteren! :)

Awesome new app I just downloaded called "Discerning Hearts." Tons of beautiful novenas, prayers, talks of every topic conceivable from some of the best spiritual teachers of our time, etc. all with audio available feauturing beautiful accompany music. Also other daily readings and cool stuff!

Their website is and is worth a look, too! If you ever want something good to listen to over a private meal or maybe you want to listen to a great talk in the car this is the app for it! Check it out!!!

Last summer I listened to Dr. Anthony Lilis' reflections on the retreat which Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote.  I listened to these reflections over several quiet meals and it was awesome.  What topic are you interested in? Marian devotion? Discernment of Spirits? Contemplation? There's something here for you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What has flesh and blood revealed to you? Broken mirrors and the perfect Mirror

I was struck by Christ's words to Peter in this past Sunday's Gospel reading at Mass.  After I found myself focused on the words "...for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father Who is in Heaven."

Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you...

My thoughts wandered to a question, "What has flesh and blood revealed to you?"  What I mean is "What have you learned about God and His ways from other human beings?" More to the point, "How has your image (concept) of God been damaged by the images of God (other people made in His 'image and likeness.'")

While not exactly where Jesus was going with Peter at the time Christ's words are nonetheless Divine and so transcend time - they speak to all times and to where I was at at the time.

God's Word (Jesus) says something about God.  In fact, it (He - Jesus) says everything about God.  Jesus reveals God totally.  He's the perfect image of God His Father because He is the full expression of God's Mind.  The Father has a perfect, eternal thought and it is of Himself.  This utter perfection (perfectly uttered through and in His love, the Holy Spirit) is perfectly like the Father but is distinct from the Father.  The Word of the Father is the full and perfect expression of the Father yet is not the Father.

Jesus, the Word become flesh, is Himself a perfect and constant "vocalization" of Who the Father is. (If you need to hear what the Father is like - and you do - listen to Jesus and listen to His Sacred Heart because it beats to the same rythym as the Father's Heart.) Jesus is the living, mirror image of the Father.  To see Jesus is to see the Father reflecting on you.  (For the Father always thinks of you and always shines His face upon you.  He reflects on you in both of these senses. That is His delight and you, therefore, are His delight.)

But flesh and blood - our earthly fathers, our mothers, our friends - though made in God's image - are fallen and broken mirrors.  The "Adams" and "Eves" in our lives (those who are supposed to show us God's love and true nature reflecting and shining through them) have not fully and faithfully imaged God to us.  How could they have? A cracked mirror will, of course, give a distorted image of anything it reflects.

This is one reason why the Father's Word (His perfect, eternal self-expression) became manifest as "flesh and blood."  The Word became flesh and blood so that we could see what the Father is really like.  Children need to see.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14

  "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." - 1 John 1:1-4

That Word, the very LIFE of the Father, became tangible, visible, sensible.  God wanted us to know Him so intimately that we could taste Him.  Indeed, that was Christ's plan all along.  To give us His flesh and blood that we might "taste and see" Who God really is:  Good.

The "flesh and blood" people we've encountered have taught us in various ways that God cannot be trusted totally; that He is not good.  We have been hurt by His "images" and so why would we not be hurt by the One being imaged?  Our concept of God has been broken by broken images.  

But Jesus gives Himself to us - His very flesh and blood - in the Eucharist to SHOW us that God IS good.  The Father is good.  The flesh and blood of the Word of the Father (The Word of the Father became flesh - think about that) proves this.  God swears He is trustworthy and good.  He gives His Word.

So what has flesh and blood revealed to you?  Whatever faulty and incorrect concept you have of God may you allow Jesus to show you the Truth - Himself.  May God reveal to you - as He revealed to Peter - Who Jesus really is and, when you experience (encounter and live with) Who Jesus really is you will know and experience Who your Father really is: Good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Feeling overwhelmed?

Sometimes that's how we feel inside.  We feel like screaming our faces off.

Luckily we don't have to do that.

Even though the demands of life (both from outside influences and inner pressures we place on ourselves) can be overwhelming at times we have to remember that we're made to experience a continual peace and joy even amid the sufferings that at times rise up in our lives.  This really is possible through our continual outpouring of love.  We have to be generous especially when we feel that much is being demanded of us.

The one who truly gives will truly receive.  However, even in the good that we do  oftentimes we *raises hand* often have motivations in our hearts that aren't "true" or pure.  We can get resentful when our efforts aren't apreciated or we can feel angry that our turn doesn't ever seem to come around when we want it to (or as we think we deserve.)

But what if we always gave love without ever counting the cost. As cliche as that may sound it really is among the deepest desires of the human heart: to totally forget ourselves out of love.

Imagine loving so much that your life was a constant delight. Imagine having a heart so full that you would willingly suffer anything for love of another.  Imagine forgetting yourself for a second...

That would be the first second of Heaven..

Remember that the fall happened when man and woman stopped looking at God and each other (love) and started looking at themselves (selfishness aka sin.)

So if you're concerned about your own happiness...forget about it!

Your heart will begin to remember the thrill of love.  And it will smile.

"Forget not love." - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Are you pretending to be what you're not?

"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10

How counter intuitive that in a time that calls for action we ought to not act but let God act.  And more than let God act.

We have to let God act.

We love acting, don't we?  (I mean that in a double sense.)

We love to do and we love to pretend that we're in control or ought to be in control.

Ever since the fall we've tried to grasp at what we think is best and we've put ourselves in God's place (which never works for us.)

Gods response to our active usurping of His role?

"Be still - and know that I am God."

When God is God we don't have to try to be.

We need to know that God is God down in our very bones.  When we know that God is God then we'll know that we are not; that we are dependent on Him for everything.  I've heard this attributed to both Julian of Norwich and St. Catherine of Siena but God said to one them in prayer once , "I am He Who Is - you are she who is not."  Was God being mean?  No, of course not.  Our pride always tries to put ourselves in the foreground in order to say "Look at what I am!!"  But the Lord knows what we really are of ourselves without Him (nothing at all) and He says to our self-exertions, "No, I am!" 

We need to experience God as He is - our Father. Otherwise how will we ever experience ourselves as we really are - His children?

We don't have to be anything more than that and we're not meant to be. 

If we try to be more than the child that we are then we'll just end up unhappy.  To solution?

Be held by and listen to the Father, "Be still - and know that I am God."