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Here!

I have arrived here safely in California!  It is good to be here and in the house.  I am finding already that I like the feel of a house over being really attached to the school.  The first night was good, I slept well indeed.  There is a lot to think about and process.  Today I got to water the flowers and got all wet and squished tomatoes in my apron pocket.  We met the faculty of the school.  We have receives keys.  I am in the process of taking pictures of everything.  I talked to the music teacher and hopefully I am able to work with her some.

Yes, this was randomly said, but it works for the time being.  Please continue to pray for me and others! 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Living Salesian

 

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Long Awaited Update

It has been a while since I have posted, as those faithful readers may have noticed.  Life has been an abundance of things going on and emotions to peel through.  I would have these awesome thoughts that I would want to share with all of you then it a time would come where I could post them and the inspiration would disappear.  This is just a few things of the past days and days to come.

Camp ended great, though clean-up was interesting.  It was hard because I am so used to the way my old camp ran, which was always great.  I will miss some of those kids, but for me it was not the same.  I could not get into it as I could before.

We got to go to the evening prayer/ceremony for the postulants becoming novices.  It was so amazing to see the joy on their faces.  I got a chance to talk to a couple of people I wanted to talk to, which was great. 

Professions were beautiful.  I was a part of the instruments of the choir, the only blueberry doing that part.  It was kind of nice, though the instrument practice was a little frustrating at time.  It is what happen when musicians get together.  The sister who conducts is amazing and I absolutely love her.  The five who professed were radiant and glowing with the love of Christ.  One could not believe how happy they were unless they really knew what it meant to do what they are doing.  An old companion of mine and a very dear friend was able to come, so that was indeed a great blessing for me and for her too I would imagine.  The day was good and many blessing came that day.

Since then we have been busy in development helping out the sister in charge over there and her crew, as well as with tasks/projects around the house and school.  There have been there tensions, but also those good times.  Lessons are certainly still being learned, hopefully by all.

I am excited for next year and ready to move on (minus the lack of packing).  There are a good handful of things that I am nervous for, but most of them have to deal with things around me going on and relationships with some others.  This life is not easy and as I have been told many times. these things are normal going through formation.  With all the comings and goings, changes in people, and all sorts of stuff; it can send you into a spin.  Patience is needed, but hard sometimes.

Trust in the Lord.  I have been talking to Jesus more and making more of my journal entries as letters to HIm, laying everything down.  I still reflect on that past experience I had with Him during my spiritual direction.  I play my two songs inspired be the Holy Spirit often as they remind me of why I am here and what I must do. 

Sweet Jesus, brother and friend, transform each and every moment of my life.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Inner Reflection, Living Salesian

 

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Laughter by the Gallons

Last night Ana and I had the best of laughs singing and playing guitar.  I was trying to practice my song, which I have been doing over and over and most likely driving some people crazy.  She was doing stuff on the computer and then decided to mess with me by playing as well.  Between the crashing chords, “In the Jungle,” and all other crazy wild singing, we were laughing none stop!  I was so happy and excited about my song and I was enjoying time with a companion.  What could be better?

It is nights like those and moments like those that keep me on track with God’s plan for me.  It’s those things that I hold onto when the times are harder with everything that goes on around the house.  It is the laughter that comes by the gallons that I spread across my life of love of God.  You should try it sometime.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Late Night

As I sit on the couch, at current about 12:45 central time, I am lost amidst the packing and reflecting on my time home.  Was it what I had hoped for?  I saw some of the people I wanted to see, I went camping, saw family…but what else did I do?  My room did not get cleaned and organized, a friendship was not patched, all music was not updated, didn’t get tubing on the lake, and various other things.  Then I think about it again and tell myself that what I did do and get done was worth all the time home, even if sleeping was part of that.

I learned some things along the way, I reaffirmed other things, and I spent time with that which is everlasting.

More to come later…now I might sleep, maybe.

Did I mention I am showering in 3 hours and how my flight leaves in 5 hours?

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Cape May Point Part Four

Yes, this post it a little late, but it has finally come. Last night was busy, so I did not have time. Here is what we have been up to.

Our rosary walk Saturday night was as it we had been doing.  We strolled about the streets of the point saying our rosary with as much Italian as we could manage by memory.

When we got back, it was as things tended to be at night, playing scrabble.  It was good.

The next morning, well…not any different.  Waking at some odd hour not wanting to look at the clock and getting into the shower just before seven.  Again, we helped with the mass Sunday morning as we did Saturday morning.  I thought it was fun.  Hopefully Jen enjoyed it too. 

From mass, we did the usual clean-up of the house.  I was assigned to the women’s bathroom.  After all that time only doing the supervisig of whateer floor, it was finally payback time.  I enjoyed it, no worries.

There was also a breakfast cooked that morning.  We had some egg bake and fruit and such.  The sad part was that there was no corn bread with applesauce and syrup.  I survived and all, don’t worry.

We decided that we would walk down to the little Catholic Church on the circle.  Ironically, we did not take a picture of it.  It was closed, so we could not go into it.  Despite how I already have these pictures, I took them again anyways.

Oh yes, we did something else.  We went to CVS so get cash.  I also walked across the street to the bakery.  Sad part there was that there were no croissants to purchase to put in my mouth.  I survived and we drove back to Mary’s Point.

We finally discovered another game to play…Skipbo!  You have to admit, that photo is pretty darn adorable and wonderful!  We are cute.  After the whole weekend we discovered this game in a drawer in the main hallway of the main house.  At least we had time to play it!  We play all the way up to dinner.

Carol invited the Marianists sisters as well as Jen and me to join her for dinner.  She got these sandwich things from a store somewhere then we pulled out some leftovers too.  There was also a salad or two.  With dinner, we had a little wine.  After dinner, ice cream and pudding!  Jen and I did the clean up of the dirty dishes since we did no preparation.  It was good to had a sit down meal with just a few people.

After dinner, Jen and I went up and half changed so that we could do our rosary walk.  Sunday night the walk took us to the beach.  It was like I was working out while trying to say the rosary.  I liked it though.  The sight was beautiful and wonderful and I could stand there and admire it forever.

When we got back, we asked one of the Marianist sisters, Sr. Nicole, to play a game with us.  We played a whole game of Skipbo!  It was wonderful.  Of course, by time we finished, it was late and there was no time to post.  I did, of course, go and print the boarding pass that is vital to having less troubles going through the airport.

Bedtime.  You know what that meant?  Scrabble!  We like playing scrabble. 

Monday morning.  Only just this morning.  We had our usual morning.  Mass was at eight.  We ate breakfast real quick and headed off to the airport.  It was a decent drive.  We hit a little traffic at the beginning, but survived.  Getting out of the car, I hugged Jen and headed off as she drove away. 

The flight was good, I arrived home early, I got picked up, sat at home a bit, went out to eat with the family at TGIF, and have been sitting around here at the house.

Wait, wait…I played scrabble with Jen!

Twas a good vacation beginning.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Photos, Travels

 

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From Fantasy to Fulfillment.

*Note: This reflection is based of Ronald Rolheiser’s book, “Forgotten Among the Lilies: Learning to Love Beyond our Fears.” I reflect on chapter five, the subsection it titled as my blog post is.*

How many of you daydream?  I bet not a single person said no.  Why?  In our dream we can be whoever we want to be, do whatever we want to do; everything we could possibly wish for is true in our dreams.  Why?  We are able to escape the life here that has tears, limits, and failures.

In fantasy we achieve salvation, consummation and vindication.

Many people don’t even admit that they escape to daydreams anymore.  The thing is, a certain amount of daydreaming is actually healthy and natural.  It is a way of relaxing.  For me, I like to imagine all the possibilities for me life, and all the good they have for me.

There is little difference between a tired person inserting a musical cassette tape into a stereo and sitting back to forget life’s problems and another tired soul inserting her favorite daydream into her imagination and sitting back to relax.

Interesting, huh?  Listening to music or getting lost in a daydream, either of them as good as the other in order to relax.  Both of them provide an escape from the intensity of life.

A healthy fantasy life can positively help spawn creativity because our daydreams put us in touch with the goodness and potential that is inside us.

Daydreams are good things.  In them we are never small people, but those who do great things.  We become special people who really live in God’s presence and live up to our life’s potential.  Even with all that, daydreams can also be bad.

If we daydream too much we become unhealthily self-preoccupied. 

Too much fantasy dulls full attentiveness to the present, to others, to prayer and to God.  Too much daydreaming leaves us distracted and dissipated with too much of our perception and thought centered upon our own agendas and our own obsessions.

We can become so preoccupied by what is around us if we stay too much in our daydreams.  I know I have been caught so many times in doing that.  It has become at times, something that has distracted me from God and His will for me.  There needs to be a balance.

To the extent that our daydreams our healthy , we may enjoy them.  However, more and more, as we mature in life and prayer, we must actively work at turning away from fantasy towards prayer.

Towards prayer.  While prayer has always been in my life in some way or another, this is something that really has been in my heart these past two years out of school.  I would always dream of what was to come for my life, but now I am in that future.  Prayer is so vital, asking God what He wants of me and listening to His response.  Here is a little about prayer and contemplation.

Prayer is more than just saying prayers.  Radical prayer is contemplation, and contemplation itself should not be understood simply as good feelings we have when we gaze at something which moves us.

We contemplate every time we see something as it really is, nakedly, face to face.

When we genuinely perceive, when we see, hear, smell, touch or taste anything that is other than ourselves and do no manipulate it, we are contemplating, we are praying.  (This of course does not preclude other methods of praying.)

Contemplation is awareness without manipulation.  Such awareness, as great spiritual writers have always assured us, is prayer.

Amazing, isn’t it?  I wanted to leave you with just this last chunk, but I felt the pre-stuff was important to backing it up.  A lot of people in the world know praying as the saying the rope prayers that are commonly said.  Really, prayer is so much more than that, as we have just read. 

Are you aware of how many times you manipulate the senses and what is around you?  I find that people like to deny that they do anything of that, but most of the time people are not even aware that they are doing it. 

Do we take the time to see (or any other sense/feeling for that matter) something as it really is?  The challenge I am presenting myself with once again is living in that simplicity of seeing things so that it becomes prayer. 

There are many things that my heart contemplates with this section of the book I am reading, but I am unable to express it all to you.  Take to heart especially that last part quoted on prayer and contemplation.  See what is means for you in your life.  With that, I leave you with one more line on your way out.

It is enjoyable to daydream but it is ultimately more enriching to pray.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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TobyMac’s “Get Back Up”

Upon finding this video, I found so many different things to reflect that I am not even sure what to say.  Here is the song, “Get Back Up,” by TobyMac.  Take from it what you can.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Inspirational Music

 

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Music of the Soul

The melody, it sings

The harmony, it rings

The music, it brings

 

All of my heart

And all of my soul

Down to my knees

With praises so full

 

Sweet songs pierce the air

Filled with love and care

The music brings Jesus there

 

To all of my heart

And all of my soul

Down to my knees

With praises so full

 

All else is stripped away

There’s music to play

I am left only to pray

 

With all of my heart

And all of my soul

Down to my knees

With praises so full

 

Oh music, harmonies

Fill me with praise

Through music

Music of the soul

 

Now that you have read through this, I want to share with you the little I can of what is inside of me about this song and how I imagine it to be.  There are two voices for sure (maybe more!), a piano, and some wind instruments.  I was thinking maybe flute, oboe, clarinet.  There was also the thought of soft drumming, bongos maybe, but I have not got that far.

The first line, one voice.  Add the second voice in on the second line.  Add in instruments during the third line.  Piano can play lightly, not too many things, to start with the one voice.  The refrain is all that there is playing and singing.  Second verse is just beautifully done with such passion, dropping some instruments.  Refrain is again full and filled with life.  Into the third verse we reverse that of the first in some respects.  A little fuller in the first line, drifted to two voices in the second line, finally solo voice in the third line.  Piano continual, can drop a few notes here or there.  The final refrain is not as lively as the others, all voices are there, a bit more calm.  Two or three wind instruments stick around.  Into the ending, the wind instruments fade one by one.  Piano fades as well.  All voices are singing.  A little drumming may continue.  The last line singers only.

This is what I have in my head, roughly.  It needs work and altering.  It also needs someone who can bear with me and make sense onto paper the things I feel in my heart and soul.  Take it or leave it, but gain something from it.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in Creative Corner

 

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Mass to Cemetary to Adoration

Today was a day of a few good things.  For me, this was great since the last week has been a little harder.  Mass this morning was a success.  We had the little aspirant band plus a sister.  My musical fellow companion has really got me to enjoy playing at mass again.  We work real well together.  I always wonder if she knows how much I look up to her; also how much I want to make sure she is alright and like to take care of her if she needs anything.  Needless to say, mass was wonderful and she is amazing.

We had a half day silent retreat today.  What that means for us is going about the afternoon how we choose, but in silence.  I started my bit, after we all prayed the visit together, with a walk.  I wandered my way up to the cemetery, where I love to go to just be, think, ponder, reflect, and such things.  I sat on the ground at the foot of the cross part of the graves in the wall.  Leaning against the wall, it was an interesting feeling to know that the bodies of many sisters lay behind me in there, as well as in the ground in front of me on either side of the little path.  As I was journaling, this is the poem that came to me.

Past Sisters at my Side

Among past sisters I sit

Praying the best I have

For much wisdom lays here

In this holy ground forgotten

Maybe they will hear my cry

The tears shed in this place

In comfort myself let loose

To those who will to me listen

So I come here and pray

That they are with my Lord

Enjoying paradise in heaven

Laughing, talking with Jesus

I ask always for intercession

To guard and protect this soul

Throughout each and every day

For they too, have their stories

Perhaps just like my very own

That they may understand

Sitting with them here, now

I pray they see who I am

That they may help me to see

To become that special person

In their comfort I do give

All of myself to God’s will

As I leave their resting place

I pray they are at my side

It was very good to be up there in the cemetery.  When I got back down, I curled up in another aspirant’s really comfy and warm blanket until adoration.

At adoration tonight, I got to do the exposition and reposition, as I had written about yesterday when I learned how to do it.  There was something different I felt in me, even though most of me felt the same.  It was what I needed at this time and I could not have asked for better timing to be asked to do it tonight.  Thank you Jesus for giving me the chance to share you with this community.

 

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Missing the Magic of Music

Tonight was the concert for the Middle School and High School choirs.  Of course I had it in my mind to be attending even if we did not have to.  Then, of course, I was helping out with it as well.  How, might one ask.  Did I play an instrument?  No.  I turned pages for a companion of mine, who is a musical wonder (in my mind at least), who has been teaching eighth grade music.  She served as the pianist for the concert.  It was beautiful concert and many people left proud of their daughters. 

As the concert ended and people stood to clap and to go greet their daughters, I had this feeling rush over me.  I miss the magic of  music that was always in my life, for most of it at least.  It is not that it is not here now, but I am not in a band or of the like.  Being a part of a concert, even if it was the odd runs I did a few times or being support to the teachers (my companion and the paid teacher) or turning pages or feeding my companion with all the rehearsing, was amazing and wonderful.  No one needs to really know I was a part of it, but I know that I made a difference somewhere.

When all this set in, I felt a multitude of tears inside of me for all the memories that I have.  This of course was aided by all the other things I miss as well.  It is amazing the impression and good we can do for the people we come across, especially youth given the vocation I am discerning now. 

I do not have to always be missing the magic of music.  There are plenty of chances still for it.  Yes, there will be the memories and the things I will always miss and never forget.  There also can be new endeavors and challenges.  The magic of music is all around, I just have to know where to find it and create it and be a part of it.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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