Reaping the rewards

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  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” – John 20:29 It is with his scientific mind that he has proven black holes, gravity, and wrote the book a Brief History of Time, Steven Hawkings absolute cannot reason … Continue reading

Wandering Wonders

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Somewhere in Canada, I was given four glorious days to spend time at Victoria, BC. It was a gift for being part of belonging in a delegation to make a better British Columbia for the working class. The timing was … Continue reading

Human Race

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  I am here, Jesse, where it seems there is only the dry sand and the wet blood. I do not fear so much for myself, my friend Jesse, I fear for my woman who is home, and my young … Continue reading

Claims

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Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God. Buddha simply said, “I am a teacher in search of the … Continue reading

First Thing First

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Denzel Washington recently gave the Commencement Address at Dillard University in New Orleans. He broke his speech into four takeaways for the new graduates: Put God first: “Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s … Continue reading

“When God Created Mothers”

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When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And God said, “Have you read the specs on … Continue reading

Psychiatric Help

And the very best thing in this journey of losing my mind is that God stayed by my side and I am forever grateful for that. Furthermore, my sense of humor returned.

Facebook: Snoopy

Facebook: Snoopy

 Go ahead and hug a dog, a cat, a tree,
Let me know how that feels for you.

Father and Son

Father and Son

“A little boy who had been to Sunday School told his father that he learned that God the Father and Son were equal.

The father said: “That is ridiculous. I am your father; you are my son. I existed a long time before you.”

“No,” said the boy, “you did not begin to be a father until I began to be a son.”

~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Happy Father’s Day To One and All.  Blessings.

Rest

Open Sea Victoria, BC Canada

Read these words aloud as a prayer for this stage of your life—the fullness and generativity of your being.

Rest: A Poem

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
(Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

via Richard Rohr

To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that ,,,,, “

We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

“In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite.”

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” ― Charles Chaplin

Source

This is love and nothing else.

spring flowersA Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

 

Robert Frost, from Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays (Library of America).

Thank you David Lose for sharing another inspired poem.
Photo Credit: Karma Tube

Inside my mind: A human hunger

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What’s inside our skull?  Is it our brain or our mind? This is a real brain floating in liquid to keep it intact as a specimen, and undoubtedly it’s not mine.  Our brain is divided into two hemispheres and it … Continue reading

This is how it is

sunday snippet

As my prayer become more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen
– which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
not merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking,
Prayer involves becoming silent,
And being silent,
And waiting until God is heard.

–Søren Kierkegaard, quoted by Joachim Berendt in “The Third Ear,” translated by Tim Nevill (Shaftsbury, England: Element Books, 1988).

Wisdom from our summer 1990 issue on attention |Parabola Magazine
Photo Credit: Randy P. Martin

I can show you God

Thank you, John, for sharing your words of wisdom.

“The places of peace

Ancient places and secrets hidden.
We allowed ghostly views of life and death.
I search for beauty hidden from the normal eyes.
Rare places to find peace.
I find cliffs to sit with Eagles.
I talk with the Gods of the wind and water.
I touch the soil and feel the energy and life.

The ancient Gods are fair.
They do not disturb or change our journey.
They just whisper. Life is fair.
Take what you need. Don’t abuse the land.
Love and respect your neighbors.

read more…

johncoyote

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I can show you God

A Poem by Coyote Poetry

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Just thoughts and things to ponder on

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                                  I can show you GodThe great search for God is fruitless for some.
I knew a woman from  Santa Cruz.  We sat together often drinking hot and tasty
coffee on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Her heart was cold and dead.

She  told me God is dead and forgotten.
We are just people struggling with no place to go or reasons to be alive.

I smiled and pointed to the sea.
I told her God is alive.
Look at the dancing sea.
The sun above us. Gifts for us from God.

God isn’t our master or guide.
Life is for us to decide.
She looked frustrated and asked.
Don’t God support to protect and save us?
Look at this world. War, murder, violence and dead-ends.”

I requested her to travel with me.
I…

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The Lucky One – Black Mother

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Someone told me to read the lives of the saints to help me in times of dark night of the soul.  Not just the saints but as well as people who had the courage to come back.  These are ordinary people who managed to crawl out of their darkness with the help of others and divine intervention.

She was born in Sudan in 1869, kidnapped by Arab slave trades at age seven, sold and resold, suffered much trauma, abuse and brutality during her captivity that caused her to forget her own name. She was named Bakhita, meaning “the lucky one”. Life as a slave terrified her.

St. Josephine Bakhita

Click on the photo to view a brief story in video.

Forgiveness: 
“If I were to meet the slave merchants who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands. If what happened to me had never taken place, how could I have become a Christian and a religious?”

Eventually, in 1883 an Italian consul bought her, treated her kindly in his household, took her to Italy and was given as present to a wife of friend.  When the new owner left for Africa to attend to business matters,  she gave the  Canossian Sisters of Venice  custody of Bakhita. Here she found out that she is a free person and remained with the Sisters, became a nun and known as the “Black Mother.”

Bakhita, what a life story she had at a tender age.  How does one get over the abuse she received as a child?  With the help of others that cared about her and discovered that she has a new Master, her God, she recovered.

During the millennium year 2000, Pope Paul II canonized Josephine Bakhita.

Sources:
Wikipedia: Josephine Bakhita
UCatholic: February 8 Saint of the day
Depressed and Catholic: Bakhita, hope for those abused in childhood

On Being Thankful

Being Thankful When Depressed

Sometimes it can be difficult to be thankful when you feel miserable.  That misery usually becomes worse when well david-and-bathsheba-chagallmeaning people remind you of what you should be thankful for.  So, let me offer a prayer of gratitude for all who struggle with depression, or any other mental or emotional condition.

Dear Lord,

  • Thank you for giving me the courage to get up and face another day, and the stamina to work for health.
  • Thank you for holding me close when I have wanted to end my life, and for holding others who did die from depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.
  • Thank you also for understanding when I couldn’t get myself out of bed to go to mass or feared confession because the very thought of facing my sins only made me feel more unworthy of love.
  • Thank you for providing the ability to hold up my head when people judged me, gossiped about me, or backed away during the times I became ill.  Likewise, for granting me patience and understanding when those who saw me at my worst could not accept my health and so treated me as if I were still “fragile.”
  • Thank you for teaching me how to carry my cross for love of you, focusing on you rather than my specific pains.  I know I don’t do that perfectly but you don’t care and for that I am most grateful.
  • Thank you for modern medicine, competent therapists and spiritual directors, understanding clergy, and Saints who had mental health difficulties.  These can bolster my hope, lessen my sense of isolation, and even make me healthier.
  • Thank you especially for those moments, days, and sometimes months of remission when joy and a clear mind return.  These are a foretaste of what heaven will be like after I have finished fighting the good fight in faith and hope.
  • Most of all thank you for accepting the offering of my imperfect, broken, and sick self at mass and responding by feeding and strengthening my soul with the Eucharist.

For all these things I thank you.  Amen.

 

Credits:
Article: Depressed and Catholic
Image: Friar Musings

 

Instagram of Gratitude

A weekend lost was a weekend found

becca
I learned that vulnerability is okay,
to unmask myself,
I am not the only one who faces obstacles in life,
to make the most of time,
to “just be,”
and that I am more than ordinary.

God has numerous wonderful plans in store for me.
His love is the most selfless and everlasting love.

I cannot put into words how thankful I am
to be surrounded with people who love me
and go that extra mile to make me happy.

Sometimes the adults wonder what the children are thinking.  Most importantly, sometimes we wonder whether we have raised the children well.  We can only hope that they are safe and sound when we are not around to protect them.

This is an instagram from “becca”, my youngest brother’s daughter who is more than happy to share it with me.

These are her words, the breaks and italics are mine.

Letter to your future self

Have you ever written a letter to yourself only to be opened in the future?  I did.

In one of the retreats I attended, I wrote a letter to myself, sealed it in an envelope, addressed to me, left it at the retreat office and mailed it to me a year later.  I completely forgot about the letter until I received it.  Excitedly opened it, read it, put it back in the envelope, stored it away and cannot recall the content of the letter.  Currently, I don’t know where I have hidden it.  Maybe one day, I’ll find it before I die or maybe my family will.

What brought me to write this is due to Taylor.

Taylor was a vibrant 12-year old girl.  She died young due to pneumonia-related complications.  When her parents were going through her things, they discovered a sealed envelope addressed to her future self:  “To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023, only unless said otherwise,”

The letter reads:

little girlDear Taylor,

How’s life? Life is pretty simple right now (10 years in your past). I know I’m late for you, but as I’m writing, this is early, so; congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn’t go back and keep trying. Get that degree! Are you (we) in college? If not, I understand. We do have pretty good reasoning, after all. Don’t forget, it’s Allana’s 11th birthday today! Sheesh, 11 already? In my time, she just turned 1! I didn’t get to go to that party though, because I was in Cranks, Kentucky for my first mission trip. I’ve only been back for 6 days!

Speaking of, how’s your relationship with GOD? Have you prayed, worshipped, read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!

Read the rest of the letter here.

Related articles: WJHL story ~ Johnson City girl’s life remembered

“I am only a man, just like you.”

Andre Bessette

Trait D’espirit / Drawn by the Spirit

“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures,” said St. André Bessette.

He is just another man, a real person that I would have very much wanted to meet personally.  Unfortunately, he was born way ahead of me and died 20 years before I was born.  If you ask him who he is, the response was “I am only a man, just like you.”

André Bessette is a native of Canada born frail in a poor family in Quebec.  He became an orphan at the age of 12 and had hardly any education at all.  In his early twenties, he entered the Holy Cross congregation in Montreal.  Nobody wanted him.  The main task given to him was menial as a porter, someone who opens the door and greets people who come to visit the Oratory.  Yet he did his duty for 40 years accepting the little he had and turning it into a holy act.

One would not think that he lacks formal education when he is an effective teacher of faith by his action, love, kindness, and example.  He used the simplest means.  It is his complete trust with divine providence is what made him an exceptional person.

His dream was to build a church devoted to St. Joseph.  He trusted that if he is really doing the Lord’s will the Lord would bring it to fruition.  And it did happen.

How I would have wanted to see him open the door for me when I visited the Oratory in Mount Royal.   I felt small as an ant standing at the first rung of the steps looking up at the Oratory.

In a world filled with educated minds and an era of countless celebrity, glitz, and glamour, I am amazed at what a simple man can do.

Brother André is what I call him and has left me a legacy to place my trust in Jesus.