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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2 A.M.

Have you ever opened yourself in love to another, completely exposing your heart - offering your vulnerability, and been rejected?

Within a second, it occurred to me:  Yes, Lord, you have been here.  And how many times have you opened your heart to me, and I have rejected you?  How many times a day do you open your heart to the world, and how many times are you rejected, scorned, spat-upon, ridiculed?  And yet, you respond with Love.

I'm not a fan of the 2am awakening, but when the Lord reminds me to love others as He has loved me - when He reminds me that I need to keep focused on Him, following his footsteps as He carries His cross and I shoulder my very small one - then, I feel blessed to have been awakened from sound slumber.  Blessed and so very unworthy.  Blessed and completely unequipped for the task at hand.  Blessed and so very thankful.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Year of Faith

One of my favorite Dominican friars :-) wrote a short post on his blog noting three suggestions for the Year of Faith (which began yesterday): http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com/2012/10/your-year-of-faith.html .
I've wanted to write something on 2 of these suggestions for some time, and reading his post this morning gave me the impetus to finally do so. 

First suggestion:  1).  Commit to making more and better use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (aka "Confession")  To this suggestion I give a hearty "AMEN"!!  In a previous post I wrote of my own difficulty with this sacrament.  It has gotten easier.  But, still, I find it challenging to approach this sacrament without some level of fear and anxiety.  But I don't let that stop me.  One thing that really helps is a daily examination of conscience.  Another is keeping my focus on Jesus - which is a double edged sword.  One the one side, as I keep my gaze focused on Him, on the Light in which I long to be enveloped, my many failings and faults and shortcomings and sins are so easily seen against the backdrop of Him.  But on the other side is the enormous, unfathomable, indescribable LOVE He has for me.  Just look at the Cross - look at Jesus on the Cross:  there is Love beyond all attempts at description.   I know, really I do, how intimidating that Love can seem.  But that feeling of intimidation does not come from God.

Also, in preparing my older son for his entry into the Church (we have no religious ed available here, so I took on the job of preparing him for Baptism, First Eucharist and Sacrament of Reconciliation), somewhere between the Baltimore Catechism and his old-fashioned (ie all pictures showed kneeling to receive) Eucharist prep book, he decided of his own volition that weekly Confession was the only way to go, and always prior to receiving Eucharist.  He made me think and pray, and now I, too, prefer frequent (weekly if I can get it) Confession.  What I've found is that there seems to be a grace to avoid sin included in the sacrament, for when I have contritely and completely confessed it is much easier to avoid sin...at least for a day or two!  So, yes, please, frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  You will notice a distinct difference in your spiritual life if you commit to regular use of the Sacrament.

Fr. P, in his post, noted he hears confessions daily.  Would that more priests did this!  My territorial parish does not offer confession times.  You have to track the priest down.  Neither does he preach on sin, confession, etc....  Neither is there a choice for anonymity - confession takes place in the little (maybe 8' x 8') Eucharistic chapel which contains our tabernacle.  It is face-to-face ONLY, even for those of us who  requested an anonymous option - this option was not rejected as much as it was ridiculed (I know, because I was the one who asked).  I travel a considerable distance to receive this Sacrament, but even with all the challenges involved...IT IS WORTH IT!!

Go to confession!!

(I'll continue with his point # 2 later).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Prayer

I have ceased to question you, My Lord,
except to know Your Will.
These tears within my heart
are reminders of the wall You have dismantled,
leaving me open and vulnerable
to Your mercy and love.
Protecting myself has only kept me far from You.
The Way I have traveled to Your arms
has left me bruised and bloodied,
but in Your Presence my wounds are healed,
my heart made pure.
With each step taken closer to You,
each opening of my heart in trust,
I tremble with fear.
Yet, You know my heart.
You know my desire.
Take me and mold me;
hold me in the warmth of Your hands
until my heart is pliable
and ever ready to be made into
that which you desire of me.
Amen