Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quiet Resonance

Silence works marvelous miracles for the blindly complacent soul,
For there he discovers the empty abyss which once he thought was whole. 

In the quiet of memories forgot, there rings a familiar tune,
Of love disposed and joy suppressed, to loved ones' pleas immune.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Freedom

 She ran her left hand through the grass beneath her, feeling the small blades softly bend between each finger and stand upright again, like short hairs on a head. The setting sun cast its bending beams over the hillside as she twirled a small flower she had picked up on her way up the hill that smelled of the sweetness of autumn. The orange sky tinted her dress with the color of the evening as she folded her hands in her lap and raised her head to gaze upon the horizon.

 Soon the sun would set, and Night would cast her darkened blanket over the earth and scatter diamonds across the seamless quilt of the sky. The wisps of clouds elongated with the light wind, like scattered hair over the vault of the heavens neatly arranged by the dying Day. The pain of the girl's memories would fade with the dimming light, with her mind refreshed by the cooling air breezing by her head.

 She didn't need him anymore, and the thought of being free filled her entire being with a jolt of excitement that would seem to spawn endless peace. The flower she held in her lap began to soften, and she set it off to her right near the folds of her dress.

 Breathing in deeply the evening air, she smiled a smile that smirked of independence. She crossed her legs and set her bare feet in front of her in a small patch of taller grass that slightly tickled her feet, mixing the smile of independence with the joyful flutter of a small child's heart.

 Rising from the flattened hair of the earth, she brushed off the dried blades of grass that had stuck to the backside of her dress. She bent down and picked up the wilting flower from the ground where she sat. "Come now, little flower," the girl whispered, "it's time to go home." And she skipped down the hill in the setting sun.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Drown my Soul

Dark brown hair moved gently with the wave of the river current, disturbed by the frantic struggles and violent splashes of the soft hands that would never feel the grasp of the young boy that loved her. She had been engaged by her parents to a young boy that lived several yards away from her home. She, on the other hand, had made other plans.

When she found out about the arranged engagement, she couldn't hold the tears behind her eyelids that dropped like evening rain on sunflower fields. That day, while her parents were out in the vegetable fields collecting the harvest of corn that had waited so long to be picked, she had ran out without sandals into the forest, wearing only a white morning gown, hoping to find the monastery of Augustinian nuns who she had discreetly contacted before without her parents knowing. She wanted to beg entrance immediately before she had to marry someone she didn't even know, or love.

Her tears dropped like crystals along the fallen leaves in the forest path, her feet cut by the sharp, rugged stones that lay carelessly in front of her and by the thorned rosebushes whose branches gilded the path. When her bleeding feet made their way to the small pathway that lead to the monastery, the path that caressed a river with an old wooden bridge, she laid her eyes upon a small, golden haired boy who sat on the bridge while dangling his feet over the water. The rustle of the leaves in the pathway and the faint moans of pain made him turn his crystal blue eyes towards the tall feminine figure in white.  The boy said nothing, and only turned a surprised look at her, with his blue eyes opened wide at the sight of the wounds on her feet. Rising gently from the arched wooden bridge, he spoke softly, "Do you want help?" The girl, confused and grief-stricken, ran past him on the bridge and ran deeper into the forest.

 She had made her way to the large iron door of the monastery, surrounded by rosebushes, and knocked loudly, hoping that the noise would catch one of the sister's attention. Within several moments, a stout black figure appeared through the cracks of the door and peered its eyes through to see the young lady in white standing in the brokenness of her soul. Quietly opening the cold, iron door, the Mother Abbess' compassionate eyes laid eyes on the young girl once more. "Have you finally come, my daughter?"... "Yes, Mother, for I have been betrothed by my parents to a man I know not."

 Knowing the importance of the moment, the Mother Abbess bid the young girl to quickly run back to gather some clothes from her home, of course, and to do this without her parents' noticing. Smiling with the sweet grin of a rebel herself, the Mother Abbess' smile raised the meat in her cheeks, wrapped tightly by the white wimple and covered slightly by the long black veil over her head.

 As the girl ran back across the bridge, she no longer saw the stranger boy with his feet over the water. He was nowhere to be seen. "Good," she thought.
As her feet swiftly walked across the bridge, they were caught in an overgrown rosebush branch, and her toes were ensnared in the thorns of the bush. Struggling to get free, she pulled the branch with her hands, her feet were pulled up, and she fell unbalanced on the bridge. Slightly shaken, she made an attempt to rise up but fell into the running waters below her. The rosebush was still caught around her leg, hanging her from the bridge while the rest of her body dangled freely in the river. She waved her hands frantically in the river for what seemed to be an eternity in an attempt to come up for air, but to no avail. Very life passed before her, and the thought of death wrapped around her broken soul like it had never before. She stopped struggling for air at that moment. With a bride's gladness, she let go of her breath so that her soul may rise to see her beloved Jesus, the Spouse she so knew.

 The boy later came along the pathway near the river to fish and saw the body of a girl in white floating over the river. Cutting the branch around her leg with a knife he had planned to open fish with, he drew her body to the river's edge and pulled her halfway onto the shore. Clasping her soft, waterlogged hands in his, he gazed upon the beauty of her face and the brunette hair soaked with the river's tears and the blood of her feet.

 He later learned that this was his betrothed.
Two parents lost their daughter that day. A young boy lost his betrothed. A monastery lost their novice, and Heaven gained a saint.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Singing Over Me

The LORD, your God ... will exult over you with loud singing ... Zeph 3:17, RSV
God is always singing over me.

What is the song of God? It's the rustle of leaves in an autumn breeze. It's the rush of water traveling down a stream. The birds singing praise every sunrise. It's the buzz of a bee, and the sound of pouring rain. This is how He sings over me.

O! How great is His love for us!

God's song is never far. You need only step out the front door, and there it is—familiar, unlike anything you've ever heard.

Best of all, you can feel the song of God in your own heartbeat. The heartbeat itself is proof of God's plan for us...each heartbeat is a gentle whisper.

“Don't give up yet, My child...I have plans for you...yours is a happy ending.”

Your ending fills the Father with such gladness, He sings a song of it.

He's singing melodies of joy and hope. He sings because He loves you. What better way to comfort a broken child than with a lullaby?

Listen for His voice: He is always singing over His creation, for He is full of love.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Present Moment


We’re always thinking.
Sometimes it’s on things that have long passed
Realities that never will be real again
People that have since passed on
Friendships long forgotten
And memories that will remain just that. Memories.

Or maybe we’re fantasizing about the future.
On events that may never come
Laughs that may never be
Tears that will be shed
And desires that will never materialize and remain just that. Desires.

But what if we woke up and realized what was going on around us?
What if we were shaken from our dreams and given a dose of reality.
You are sitting here. Reading this.
The wind is blowing outside.
The clock is ticking.
You are breathing.
You are alive.

Then the question arises: what is the best way to live my life?
The past is gone and can never be changed.
The future will never come because it comes each second,
And there may not be a tomorrow for us.
What matters now is that we are in the present moment.
The present. Now.

Feeling the cool breeze blowing on your face
Hearing a child’s laughter in the distance
Reading a book while sipping a cup of tea
Decorating a statue with flowers
Taking a moment to reflect on how blessed you are.
Those small moments.
Picking up a piece of string
Giving a smile to someone who annoys you
Sacrificing something of yours for someone else.
Enduring an illness
Laughing.  Even when it hurts.

Enjoy and live each moment to the fullest. Even the moments that bring suffering.
We only have today. Tomorrow may never come.
 
~Written by Justin B.

See the video rendition here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgMilMQLvgE




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

O Son of Man, have pity on me!


O Son of Man, have pity on me!
These arid lips have poured forth malice, and these pale hands have sowed destruction.
The weight of envy and pride now crush the pillars of my heart. 
I beg, save me from the damp and wretched pit I dragged myself into.
My spirit grows faint in knowing it has offended thee, my Love.
O Son of David, have pity on me!
The scarlets of the forest recount the conditions of affairs between us.
Blankets of the snow covered hills reminisce the delighted memories of the past.
Withdrawn from even the glimmer of hope do I now reside.
O Son of Mary, have pity on me!
 My heart has grown attune to the hazardous storms of the arctic desolate plains.
Day is night, and night is now my day.
Although in the atmosphere of sharp heartaches does my soul sense the presence of this charming light.
The serene voice amidst the anguish of my soul crops up and makes out the melody of my old-time friend.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean… I will create a new heart in you and put a new spirit in you.”
From being petrified to being transfigured with the life giving waters of tranquility, am I transformed once more.
I am reminded of the hope-filled promise of the Consoler of my heart.
“Behold I make all things new.
With glee is my soul in song:
Glory to the king of ages, for His love is everlasting.
Give praise to His Eternal Splendor; the skies of night and day enchant the grandeur of His name.
Arise descendants of Adam, to enlighten all mankind.
Go teach all nations to play and pray. O only then, will mankind find peace.
Herald the Celestial Antiphon, the King of glory delights in His people.
Day, night, rain, sky, earth, beast, bird, powers, nor death can separate the love between God and man.
The Creator and the created, both intertwine themselves at the wedding feast of lights.
The Heavenly bridegroom awaits His bride, as stars linger in the sky.
Herald that glorious canticle, for Heaven and Earth kiss forevermore.
Mountains melt, roses swell up in scented hymns, and the seas blush at the sight of their Lord.
Milk and honey and the sweetness of the setting summer sky cannot capture the magnificence of the Prince of Peace's appearance.
O weary soul, give heed to the Savior of World for He has come to set the captives free.

~Written by Abraham C.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where are my children?

 I come to the Lord with anguish in my heart, with the bitterness of loneliness. I feel as if there is no one else who can understand my heart. "Lord, You have taken away my friends and have given sorrow for my bread." I, half weeping, bow my head to the ground on the wooden floor of the Adoration Chapel, trying not to draw attention to myself amidst the small group of people gathered here to pray this evening. I have come to pour forth my anguish and sadness to Him Who has suffered for the sins of the world.

 Kneeling in a pew with my hands clasped in front of me, I silently whisper, "My Lord, words cannot express the pangs of my heart as it beats in its loneliness... I know that You are always here with me, but my heart has become numb to the sweetness of Your presence and can only concentrate on how my friends have neglected me... You see, Lord, I know that my friends cannot always be there for me, and I cannot always be there for them, but alas, I feel alone and in need of someone to understand and love me."

 As I speak, an unspeakable bitterness overwhelms me, and as I close my eyes in deep sorrow to weep cold tears, I see with my mind's eye Our Lord in all His sufferings, carrying His cross on the sorrowful way of Calvary. My senses have been taken to the scene of a large crowd mocking and spitting at the belittled figure of a man with the enormous burden on His shoulders. As He carries His cross, amidst the cries and fresh tears of the afflicted women, the mocking of the cruel Roman soldiers, the chaos of the great crowd as each person attempts to catch a glimpse of the bleeding Lord, and in the midst of His great pains in which even His bones can be seen, He moans and raises His muffled voice and cries out, "Where are my children?" It is as if a sharp sword has been driven into my heart and is being rammed in with a fuller force at each word being pronounced. He cries again and again "Where are my children? Where are my children? Is there not one to console me?" My heart will burst and its blood gush forth onto the dry, dusty ground of the road on which He walks, and I will die of sorrow if my ears are again pierced with His lamenting cry. My loneliness is turned into a sea of bitterness, and I have nothing more to do than to bask in the emptiness and pain of my heart. No one is here to console me; no one is here to console Him. We are two wandering souls bathed in a river of tears. Yet I now understand that I am not alone in the bitterness of desolation. There is another soul whose void of heart longs to be filled with love.

 I open my eyes to escape the horrible images of His suffering and see the flicker of white candles held in clear glasses below the bloodied crucifix next to the monstrance in the Adoration Chapel. As I attempt to gather myself together once more, I hear the loud whisper of a small child next to my ear: Come closer. This chant is repeated for what seems to be a thousand times with each successive chant becoming slower and more elongated. At each time those words are said, the beating of a heart becomes louder and louder until my ears become overwhelmed with its sounds and the eeriness of the child's whisper. With so many emotions, tears, and images, my heart buckles under the weight of it all and collapses interiorly.

 "I will console You, O Lord." I whisper in the utter brokenness of my soul. "Your children are not here, but I am here. I will console You, O Lord." My voice is mingled with the voice of the child, and it is as if though I myself have become a child. Mustering the little strength left within me, I kneel in front of the monstrance, thus drawing close to the Heart that beckons me to love It. 

 After a brief moment, walking to the back of the chapel, I take a piece of paper next to the petition box and write quickly "Jesus, I resign myself into Your hands", signing my name at the bottom of the paper and dropping it into the petition box.

 My heart, though filled with an aftertaste of an intense fraught, leave with the little knowledge that I have at least given some small comfort to my Lord, and I now know that loneliness is not confined to my heart alone.