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Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Pastor: A Story of Love

I was reading through random blog posts and found this story.  You should read it!

The Pastor

There was Pastor walking along the street one day when he saw a boy walking towards him carrying a cage with 3 frightened birds huddled in the corner inside it. The pastor approached the boy and said “What have you got there son?” looking down at the cage.
The boy looked up and said “Just some old birds.”
“And what do you plan to do with those birds?” asked the Pastor.
“I’m going to have fun with them. First I’m gonna pull out their feathers and make them fight and then I’m gonna feed ‘them to my cat” replied the boy.
The pastor looked down at the bird and smiled warmly.
“How much do you want for those birds?” he asked.
The boy looked up at him and said “Oh sir you wouldn’t want these old birds. They’re old and ugly, what use would you have for them?” The pastor was persistent, “how much do you want?” he asked.
The boy sighed and said “10 dollars”
“Done” the pastor said and he flashed out a 10 dollar note, the boy took it and then was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and took it home where he cared for the bird and aided them back to health.

At the next church service, the pastor bought the cage into the church and it on the floor by his feet. The people looked at the cage with 3 birds sitting peacefully inside it. The pastor began preaching and he told the story of the boy with the birds. And how it is in most ways related to the story of what Jesus did for us.
Heres how he put it…

Satan was walking down the street carrying a cage full of people, when he saw Jesus coming towards him. “What have you got there?” asked Jesus.
“People, I’m gonna play with them. Teach them how to fight, show them how to kill each other. Teach them how to hate and be evil.” Satan replied.
Upon hearing this, Jesus looked down and smiled warmly at the people in the cage.
“How much do you want for these people?” he asked. Satan looked at him wide-eyed,
“You wouldn’t want these people, they’d only disrespect you and hate you.”
But Jesus was persistent, “How much do you want?”
Satan grinned evilly, “All your blood and tears.”
And with that, Jesus looked at Satan and said…”Done”
Once the pastor had finished the story, he leaned down and opened the cage door and the birds flew out… they were free.

 After reading this, I was left with a wow feeling inside of me.  It is amazing the love Jesus has for us.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Random Things

 

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Running into Love

I wrote these two little poems in response to a reading from the Gospel.  If you would like to read the passage, it is Luke 19:1-10.

Lord, when I come running

Willl you still take me

Hold me in your loving arms

Never letting me leave

I wish to lose the pain

To live in  your endless love

 

Oh child, you do know

Always I am waiting here

My arms are wide open

To take you in embrace

HEaling this deep hurting pain

So you can live endless love

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

At the Feet of the Gentle Healer

*This reflection was written while in adoration early tonight*

One would imagine that as you gaze upon Jesus in adoration, your heart will immediately calm and all will be clear.  This, my friends, is not always the case.  When we meet with the Lord in this intimate setting, we are to bring all of us to Jesus.  No, you are not bringing just the greatest of things your life holds.  You see, your Heavenly Father gave those to you, so Jesus needs but only a thank you for those.  What He wants also is the sorrows, worries, pains and such of the like from your life.  Jesus wants you to lay everything at His feet that holds you back from full communion with the Blessed Trinity.  Who better to give all of that to, than Jesus?

As I entered into adoration, I felt something in me changing, reacting to this intimate setting.  “Gentle Healer” was playing as Jesus came into my sight.  The urge to give Him all that has been holding me back created chaos as my whole being sorted and moved with me.  Now as I write this, I pray all that holds me back leaves.  Similar to what I said before, what better place to bring the difficulties of life that to the feet of the Gentle Healer who is so intimately present in adoration.

Have you visited the Gentle Healer and laid all you are at His feet?  Until you do so, realizing the fullness of the love of the Trinity will remain difficult.  Give all you are to the Lord, then great will be your reward.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Inspirational Music

 

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Massive Amounts of Dust Bunnies Congregating for Mass

I have hit the discovery of all discoveries!  It was brought upon by the wisdom of a fellow aspirant.  We are all indeed a massive amount of dust bunnies who are congregating for mass.  We have fluttered all over the world living various lives before coming here with the Salesians.  I am not sure we are massive, but there is no doubt we are somewhere when we are there.  Now, while the dust bunnies being refered to initially were all hiding in a massive clump under a bed, we too are in a sense hiding.  What in the world, though, are we hiding from?  We are hiding from the fact the we indeed, might need to be formed.  We are hiding from the fact that there is indeed, not good things about ourselves.  We are hiding from the fact that we indeed, need to face our lives and what God has given us in them.  In the same sense, we still have congregated together to celebrate Jesus. 

In case you are still confused…here is the story.  I was up in the hallway talking with a fellow aspirant, when another fellow aspirant was trying to fill in the sentence “there is a massive amount of dust bunnies ______ under my bed.”  I proceeding to say “congregating.”  She exclaimed “YES” and continued to get a swifer to go clean her floor.  Before you know it, she is saying that they are having mass under the bed.  Thus…the humor of the day.

I have determined, in all our dust bunny sides of ourselves, that we really need to take better care of each other.  We need to be able to trust each other more, know each others boundries, know when to tell people you need space, and such.  Basically, it is a general we need to be comfortable with each other if we are going to make certain things work.  We don’t have to be great friends.  We just need to have each others trust and each others backs.  This way, we can deal with the dust bunnies and celebrate Jesus together. 

Peace, happy cleaning of your room (outer room, and inner room.  material, and immaterial)!

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh Christ, I Adore You

These lyrics were inspired from a night of adoration and worship.  Please enjoy!

I lay all that I am

At your feet in adoration

Only because of you

I have something to live for

Oh Christ, I adore you

 

Christ, you alone understand

The makings of my entire being

As I gaze upon you tonight

Fill me with all the grace I need

My inner being dances for joy

 

I lay all that I am

At your feet in adoration

Only because of you

I have something to live for

Oh Christ, I adore you

 

Christ, I could never express

All the gratitude I have for you

So with you in your presence

I give myself to your own will

Lead me to share the joy with all

So everything I am becomes yours

 

I lay all that I am

At your feet in adoration

Only because of you

I have something to live for

Oh Christ, I adore you

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Creative Corner

 

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A Rose-Filled Response

The day after my novena to Saint Therese ended, I started to write some more.  In my writing, my hand just moved across my paper.  I am still not sure what to make of what I wrote.  Initially I was just going to let it go and not post it especially since  I was not sure what to make of it.  Rather, I have decided that I will share it with you all.  If you do not know to what I referring, check out my post about a goon full of roses and you will hear all about my Saint Therese experience.

Are you now able to see

The love that comes from me

You had a prayer in your heart

Form me you wish not to part

So to Therese you did pray

A novena that here you will stay

Clarity to be sure you heard right

That all is worth the fight

So my beloved, I had her send

A shower of roses with no end

Those nine days you gave in devotion

I know leaves still much emotion

But I hope you understand

It all came from my own hand

You are filled with fear

To you it is not all clear

I also see deep within you

Something I have desired you do

This yearning you feel in the soul

For what will make you full

It is as you feel, blessedly great

Patience you will need in the wait

This will not be a breeze

Sometimes you will surely freeze

Do not let yourself be defeated

Even when Satan attacks so heated

Remember the signs I have given

Strive for eternity in heaven

Over you I am always watching

Loving you my child, I am rejoicing

Take from it what you will.  It is a reminder of me to just trust everything is going to turn out how it should turn out.  Take this for what you will and thanks for reading.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Creative Corner

 

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Polishing the Stone: A look Within Ourselves

The other evening during our spiritual reading, I happened across something quite interesting in the book I have been reading.  The book is titled “Against an Infinite Horizon: The Finger of God in our Everyday Lives.”  It is written by Ronald Rolheiser.  There is a chunk of it that I would really like to share with  you all, so I have typed it out for you to read.

The beginning of this little section within the chapter it is in starts with the talk of polishing stones.  There was someone who would place small stones he found in a barrel-drum, add some water, seal it, and have it on a rotator.  After several weeks, he would open it up.  If it was gone, it was of sand and gravel.  If the stone had value, it was polished and gleaming with all the rough edges off of it.  It was written that this could be related to family and community life.  It says this.

…real relationship, actual interaction within family and community, deflates our fantasies, makes us see reality, punctures our narcissim, and against every protest, denial, and rationalization we can muster, shows us how selfish and immature we often are.  We cannot live very long within any community […] without becoming aware of our faults and narrowness.

From here, Rolheiser goes on to tell this story and finish up the section on the polished stone.

I remember a young nun to whom I once served as a spiritual director.  Before entering the convent, she had lived alone in her own apartment and was quite popular.  She had many friends and was, to her own mind, quite a mature, giving, and unselfish person.  Not long after joining a religious community, where she lived in close quarters with other novices and those directing the novitiate, she began to experience major problems with her relationships.  She was often at odds with her peers and her directors, who, tactfully and otherwise, told her that she was somewhat self-centered and immature.  She was particularly frustrated because often the tensions arose over very petty things.

“It must be the community that’s causing this,” she told me during one of our sessions.  “I was never a petty, selfish person when I lived alone!”  Then, when I asked why she continued to stay in the convent if this was the case, she replied: “Because, in my better moments, I know that if I ran off now and got married probably most of the things that are happening here would begin to happen again!  Some of this stuff would catch up with me again.  When I lived alone it was lonely, but it was easier.  You didn’t have to live your life under a microscope.  But you could easily fool yourself too!”

What was happening to her in that community?  The stone was being polished!  She was being churned in the barreldrum that is called family, community.  The other stones were knocking some rough edges off her and rubbing her free of considerable useless gravel and sand.  It was painful and humiliating for her, but she was learning the most valuable lesson of all, how to share your life in reality as opposed to fantasy.  She was in a school of charity.  She was being purified. 

Family and community aren’t boring; they are terrifying.  They’re too full of searing revelations; there we have no place to hide.  In family life, our selfishness and immaturities are reflected back at us through eyes that are steady and unblinking.  Staying within them is often the hell that is purgatory and so leads to heaven.

When I read this, I had to stop right in my tracks.  How true some of that is to me and many of the aspirants with me in our little community!  While every aspect of this story may not coincide with me, or anyone here, it is something that makes sense to me and others who have also read this.  You never know what a community can pull out of you and the things that it teaches you.

Community is terrifying.  I have learned that indeed it is hard to find a place to hide from the world on your own.  Much of the day you are with others until you retire to your room for the night.  It is a part of this world I believe we all knew was coming.  The reality of life here is what hit us hard; the actuality of living it out is what struck us off guard. 

The last line struck me as interesting and very true.  Staying with a community can be like hell.  There are a lot of things pulled out of you that you never knew existed, good or bad, that can start to change you a bit.  If you take that, it is like penance, time in purgatory.  You are dealing with who you are and how to change what needs to be changed as well as nurturing the parts of you that need to grow.  All this work on yourself to become the best that God intended you to be leads to heaven.  Heaven and eternity with God is what we want.

I would like to know, what do you think of what Rolheiser has to say?  Have you seen any of this in your life?  Please comment with anything you have to say about this reading!  Peace!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh Lord, What do you Ask?

During the period of my novena to Saint Therese that I talked about a couple posts ago, I wrote these song lyrics.  I have a melody for them and am in the process of figuring out what notes I am actually singing.  With that I am hoping that a certain wonderful aspirant friend of mine can help by giving the song some life.  Here are the lyrics!

Oh Lord, my God

Where do you want me to go

Oh Lord, my God

What do you ask of me

 

In the depth of my soul

There is a stirring

I yearn for more

Than the world can provide

 

Oh Lord, my God

Where do you want me to go

Oh Lord, my God

What do you ask of me

 

I cry out to you Lord

For some answers

To my questions

That I have not yet found

 

Oh Lord, my God

Where do you want me to go

Oh Lord, my God

What do you ask of me

 

Take this my longing heart

And make it yours

Hold me in love

Please ease my weariness

 

Oh Lord, my God

Where do you want me to go

Oh Lord, my God

What do you ask of me

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Creative Corner

 

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Bonjour Madame

Tonight was the most amazing night to end a day that was not as swell as one would hope.  One of our aspirants got a huge package of bags of cookies that had clues to them to make messages.  Want to know the fun part…they were all in italian.  Once we put all of them together, we ate ate ate them all up!  When we were done with that, a handful of us went on to play spoons.  After a couple of hands, we decided to move ourselves from the kitchen table to the table in the animator’s office.  After inquiring, we play some more rounds with her in as well.  After she had lost two hands in a row, she pushes the spoons aside and introduces this other game to us.  It is called Bonjour Madame.  You deal out all the cards to each of the players.  Taking turns you flip them over into a common pile.  Whenever an ace comes up, you have to slap the pile.  The last one to slap gets the cards.  When a jack comes up, you have to say “Hi Jack!”  The last one gets the cards.  When the Queen comes up, you say “Bonjour Madame.”  The last one gets the cards.  When the King comes up, you stand up silently and bow silently.  It is the most hilarious thing that one could ever observe.  Sr. Kim must have been dying watching us after teaching us this game.

This was exactly the community that I love to have.  When prayer is great together, we play games that are the most awesome, we get along with each other, and we are developing our skills and repertoire for being with the youth.   I just want to say that tonight was so awesome and I would not take back that time together for anything.  Thank you God for giving us this chance to hang out in this way.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Living Salesian

 

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A Goon full of Roses in the Arms of Christ

This post is one that has taken time and thought to explain what can never be explained fully.  Those who will understand the full capacity may be few, but could be more than I think.  There are some who have experienced this with me, and a couple who know me so well they can understand anything from me.  They may or may not have taken me forever to compose.  Either way, I hope this profoundly influences you or at least brings you to think a little harder about your faith.  (please note: pictures were found online, none of them are ones from what I am about to tell you).  This is a tad longer than my usual posting, but this one is extraordinary.

Since I have gotten here with the Salesians, something has most definitely felt right for this time being.  At the same time, though, there have been things trying to throw me off course and lead me astray.  On the eighth I was drawn to wanting to start the novena to Saint Therese.  Since my Pieta mentioned praying it the ninth to the seventeenth, I decided I would start that next day.  The novena was being said for clarity of my vocation and reassurance that this is indeed where I am supposed to be, at least for now anyways.  In case you did not know, Saint Therese promised to send a shower of roses upon the earth.  In saying the novena, she responds with a rose or some roses that come across your path.

 

Day one of the novena.  When I walked into the laundry room, there on the table with the clean clothes and some sewing machines was a bucket.  It was not just any ordinary round mop bucket with handle, but rather one that had a single huge rose sitting in it.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  Really, how could it be that a rose could already appear on the first day of this novena?!  I was most definitely beyond myself at this point.  When I started the novena, I had made the point to myself for this to be a private thing, but I could not help but share this with some of the other aspirants.

Day two of the novena.  I was not sure what to think after day one.  Part of me expected that what I had seen the day before was all that Saint Therese was going give me.  Then there was something I was not sure I could count.  We were watching the movie Adam.  In there, he had some roses he was bringing to give someone.  He stuck them in his coat to keep them safe (he never did, in the end, give the roses to her).  I was drawn to them, of course.

Day three of the novena.  We went to Stony Point to the Marian Shrine.  There was much to wander around and see while there.  To end our visit there, we went into the chapel that is there to pray our visit before heading back home.  In front of the altar was a beautiful, full, colorful bouquet of roses.  It surely made me smile. 

Day four of the novena.  So you know when you walk down one hallway and someone walks down the other hallway crossing your hallway, there is a limited amount of time that you actually could possibly pass each other.  So Sr. Colleen was walking with her mom one way from her office to her room and I was on the way to my room.  She happened to bring a huge bouquet of roses with her that her mom had brought here.  They ended up at the front dinner table that evening in celebration of someone’s birthday.

Day five of the novena.  By now I am starting to go a little more crazy and just not understanding completely what is really taking place.  At some point during the day, I walk into the aspirant community room and stop dead in my tracks, dropping my keys on the floor.  There sitting on one of the computer desks were some roses and some petals from them laying on the desk.  I just stood there semi shocked and semi not sure what was going on.  Halfway through at this point, I could really expect nothing.

Day six of the novena.  So the day is as normal and what not.  I went into Italian as usual with the sigh of here we go again, I really need another way to help me study here and I hope she does not ask me any hard things.  Partway through the class I notice on the table near the door, there was a vase with two roses in it.  I lean toward Megan and pointed them out.  We could not help but laugh.  There also were roses all over this YouTube video I watch, not to mention the ones for Sr. Kim’s birthday.  Mentioning all these incidences of the past days so far to Sr. Colleen, she asked me why I as saying the novena.  To my response she called me a good and reminded me of where I was found in the bathroom…the source of my vocation.

Day seven of the novena.  In the morning, I found out that God and Saint Therese have a wonderfully beautiful sense of humor.  My assistance in the morning is down in the locker room where the high schoolers are.  When everyone is kicked out to class, I go around locking the bathroom that is just outside the area, as well as turning lights off and locking the doors of the locker room.  When I went into the bathroom to turn the lights off and lock it, I found something.  There sitting on the floor so nicely in the middle of the bathroom was a single rose petal.  At that point, I really knew I was going crazy.  How in the world could this be was the question in my mind.

Day eight of the novena.  Not that I was already feeling like I was going crazy at this point, this day topped it off for sure.  It was our quarterly day retreat that was combined with the SDBs (our brothers of the Salesian Family).  I thought for sure there would have to be a chance of a rose here.  It was not that I was looking for one purposely, but rather that when you have received them thus far seven out of seven days, some part of you can not help but anticipate what is coming (yes, I know…participate don’t anticipate).  The first thing is that someone pointed out to me that there was a brother who was reading her book.  Sure, maybe it can count, but it is something that I had for the day.  The second thing came from when we were at mass.  Bear with me here.  I was looking at the huge Crucifix that hangs about altar.  From what I could tell, it was marble.  On the left side, the “cloth” wrapped around Jesus hangs out to the side.  There is a bigger piece kind of going downward and then a smaller one kind of straight-out/up a little.  That little part I kept seeing as a white rose.  I knew it was not as I have seen this chapel before and know it is just the “cloth.”  The thing is, I could not get out of my mind that it is a rose.  I was think many things, “am I crazy and just seeing what I think could be true,” “is this just what I want myself to see,” and “is this exactly what Saint Therese wants me to see.”  During consecration, I cried a tear or two when the host was held up, as well as when the cup was held up.  That is so unusual for me.  I ended the day not know what to think.

Day nine of novena.  This the last day, I was not sure what would happen after the prior day.  When I got up in the morning I knew I had to say the novena right away so that I could go through the day at ease.  I prayed that I just needed one more concrete sign, one more thing, that could really show me that this is now where God wants me.  I said that I know all these roses have been brought to my attention, but just one more will show me that I am supposed to be here, just one more.  This was my prayer because I am not sure how to comprehend what had happened the past days.  The day went on by and nothing.  On Sundays we have adoration in the community.  After the Exposition song, I moved over from where I was (as I was leading) into the main pews.  The first thing I saw was the one red rose in the new bouquet that was place in front of the altar below Jesus.  After prayers, I went and stood in front of the altar staring at that one rose.  There were others around, but all pink and ones that have been there.  Here it was, one red rose.

In that evening prayer of adoration that I just mentioned, I had picked a song that I love to use for exposition.  While this song has always meant something for me and I have always got something out of listening to it, the song hit me in such a different way.  This was, also, before I even noticed the rose.  Take a listen and you may understand why I am so drawn to it and that it hit me is such a strong way.

So, this the days of my novena.  Being that it is now past the last day of the novena, I have had some time to reflect on what has happen. For now, I will let you mull this over.  Keep an eye out for a post about what has come to follow.  This has been something hard for me to comprehend and to explain.  The words I gave you here can not possibly justify what I feel inside with all of this.  Be inspired.  Remember that you are loved and God is watching over you always, ready to protect you.  Peace.

 
 

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