Monthly Archives: July 2015

Weekend of stellar saints begins

The weekend of stellar saints begins. The congregation of the Blessed Sacrament kicked things off with a novena dedicated to the life of St. Peter Julian Eymard, a communal Holy Hour of song and prayer. God dealt my fixation upon maturity a slight of hand, an interspersing of adolescence his call of command. A stage of development prior to maturity leading the Holy Hour. Teenagers partaking of a three day Eucharistic retreat directed the novena. As an individual, the youths, stood at a sanctuary podium, leading the novena, reading a lengthy prayer defining a significant occurrence in the life of the founding saint. My heart and prayer intentions envisioned sanctity for the courageous young ones growing up in such a secularly demanding world. There were roughly twelve of them, mostly girls, a few boys. Overall, the turnout was decent. I did no socializing, realizing I will be spending almost ten hours tomorrow at the adult day retreat. This will be the second time they fed me, and tomorrow will be breakfast and lunch. I purchased an offering, lots of delicious looking red raspberries. I saw several faces I recognized, shaking a couple of hands and smiling at others.

The lasting impression is the depth of the Eucharist magnified by the magnificence of creation. A photo of St Paschal Baylon is posted after this paragraph. Noticed the towering window walls. The tallest are the backdrop of the sanctuary. Realize the view. The passing vista of a bordering on stormy cumulus cloudy sky–a strong background of pristine blue decorated with enormous cottony white clouds, serving as the milieu for the adoring of the Eucharist. Beautiful. Majestic. There would be a lengthy moment of reflection, silence between the prayer and hymn. The mentally quieted concentration into the Eucharist, while absorbing the enormity of the window framed sky was imposing. The clouds were moving fast, grand perceptible movement apart of ruminations. The time between the nine meditations allowed a different panorama to take center stage. A dramatic display of clouds and sky were a part of adoration. The Eucharist posed before the splendor of the sky.

St Paschal Baylon Highland Heights, Ohio

St Paschal Baylon Highland Heights, Ohio

I am porch sitting, watching night set in, welcoming my neighbors. There are four. I thought there were three. I do not know what to make of them. The house next door has problems, a Chinese owner. Dwelling in their attic is, count them, four, raccoons. I put the peanuts out I feed my squirrels to watch them. I knew they would come. As soon as the night set in, they came and ate, showing their numbers. They are definitely mischievous creatures of the night.

My sister has been calling lately, concerned, perplexed with my mother. I called my mother driving to visit with Dr. Nichta. She sold my father’s SUV, which means she has abandoned all plans of learning to drive. She wept tremendously regarding the decision to sell the vehicle. I became firm with her, scolding a bit. She cried harder, saying she was terribly depressed, not knowing what to do. My strong mother, the arrogant one of regress, the one willing to abide within delusion in order to maintain rationalizations–she admitted defeat. She surrendered over the phone. Graces from prayer and the Eucharist emerged, words pouring forth, strong and stern. I reprimanded my mother for negative ways. The suffering she endured the consequence of broken ways. God intended joy for her, not the wallowing state of self-pity she has become entrenched within. It is necessary for her to bottom out in order to purely start anew. I said everything clear and firm, dismissing her with the demand of attending daily mass, receiving the Eucharist every day, increasing a social life with a tremendous parish, structure and routine beginning her day. She whined about not being able to get there. I offered names. She offered excuses, willing to be a martyr rather than seek solutions. I hung up with a gentle good-bye, a salutation of blessings and love. I will spend next weekend with her. I preceded to call Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Temperance, Michigan. The secretary and I fell into a tremendous Holy Spirit inspired exchange. She is on the mission of finding someone to drive my mother. She connected me with Father’s voicemail. For a man who does not speak well words sprouted forth, clearly and distinctly detailing my desire for my mother to become a daily communicate. I ended with a plea: ‘Father please help me get my mother to daily mass, to receive the Eucharist every day’. Dr. Nichta offered insightful, caring advice, spoken words to be expressed. He is a Godsend.


St Robert Southwell

New Heaven, New War

This little babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
Though He Himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmèd wise
The gates of hell He will surprise.

With tears He fights and wins the field,
His naked breast stands for a shield,
His battering shot are babish cries,
His arrows, looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns, cold and need,
And feeble flesh His warrior’s steed.

Father Robert Southwell’s biography from the website ‘Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature’.

In spite of his youth he was made prefect of studies in the English college of the Jesuits at Rome, and was ordained priest in 1584. It was in that year that an act was passed, forbidding any English-born subject of the Queen who had entered into priest’s orders in the Roman Catholic Church since her accession to remain in England longer than forty days on pain of death. Southwell at his own request was sent to England in 1586 as a Jesuit missionary… He went from one Catholic family to another, administering the rites of his Church….After six years of successful labor Southwell was arrested…He was imprisoned…where he was repeatedly put to the torture in the vain hope of extracting evidence about other priests….Transferred to the gatehouse at Westminster, he was so abominably treated that his father petitioned Elizabeth that he might either be brought to trial and put to death, if found guilty, or removed in any case from “that filthy hole.”…There is little doubt that much of his poetry, none of which was published during his lifetime, was written in prison. On the 20th of February 1595 he was tried…on the charge of treason, and was hanged at Tyburn on the following day.



Constructing a home


I am positive I am being tested right now. Detachment the only thing demanded. Within letting go, a lack of victory exist. Where I know I am right, without a doubt possessing penetrating insight, within the brutal honesty of knowing myself, I am positive in my discernment that God desires not useless efforts of battling immaturity. As Teresa of Avila stresses the importance of moving past interior rooms, as Christ was passing through this world to something greater—the sacrificing of Himself for the salvation of mankind, the defeating and destroying of the things we pass beyond is not necessary. To continue to allow immaturity a foothold upon my consciousness halts growth. It is not easy when one has been deeply attached. No one ever said it would be easy. The hidden nature, or if grace is even greater a pitiful image, is the outer expression appeasing interior growth. Exterior victories mean nothing. Superficial smiling, portraying arrogance, or extreme self-confidence means nothing for those truly maturing. A concern for others extends only through charity. Self-consciousness demonstrates immaturity. I am willing to look awkward and foolish for there is something deeper being concentrated upon. Confidence amasses with interior graces received. God is answering, encouraging, and providing. I am startled when I reflect upon my birthday awareness that concupiscence was absolved. I thought it would be a battle to the death. Within the awareness, I comprehend the emptiness actually subtly came into being, occurring over months. Lust was removed. I am humble in reception, recognizing the awesomeness of God. He is supporting my efforts. He wants something from me. Patience as Father Roger stressed, and also a vital message of St Francis de Sales—a mature voice that washes over me. Words of guidance are being presented. This morning I saw the St. Alphonsus Rodriquez volume of Christian Perfection and knew to pick it up and read. Aside from the message quoted in the earlier post–the entire section spoke to my current dilemma, the Spanish spiritual director pontificated upon humility in a purgative sense. I am at work right now, without the text, so I will paraphrase. He spoke of humility in a purging manner, the building of a home, the prebuilding and the laying of a foundation. Christ is the cornerstone, the illumination of an emptied soul. However before a cornerstone can be properly set a solid foundation must be established. Soft sand, quicksand, unstable ground must be removed. Never should we arrogantly believe we are so advanced we must not thoroughly examine our foundation. Time and weather, extreme temperatures, erode and alter a foundation. Humility is the tool for maintenance and excavating, the ridding of attributes that will not allow the cornerstone of Christ to stand and support expansion. Upon a soft, tenuous or damaged foundation the cornerstone of Christ will not be enough. Humility emptying, allowing self-knowledge—the realizing of deficiencies, fortitude established, the most difficult of interior battles waged, prayer a daily way of life, the Eucharist adored, the cornerstone of Christ can be built upon in the construction and maintenance of a stable home. Stability and strength, the ability to weather storms and natural disasters, the essential nature of the home. Beautifying, a deeper calling into the mystical, is all of God’s doing. I must be extremely grateful, satisfied, to shelter within a simple stout small home. It is enough.

Taken from Eastern Thought there is a poem from the Tao Te Ching, verse twenty, that always ruminates throughout my being. The first time I read it as a very young man, I knew it piercingly defined my life, my spiritual path. It is beautiful, wisdom portrayed.

Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsence!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting not knowing where I am.
Like a new-born babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.

Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused.
Other men are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Other men are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea.
Without direction, like the restless wind.

Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.


Weekend appraisal

I am looking forward to this weekend dominated by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Sunday is the feast day of St. Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Eucharistic community. The weekend presents three incredible saints for celebration. Friday, July 31st, honors St. Ignatius of Loyola. Saturday, the opening of August, the Doctor of the Church St. Alphonsus Liguori is granted acclamation. The weekend itinerary involving the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament presents a communal Holy Hour with prayer before the Blessed Sacrament Friday evening. Saturday will be a full day of instruction, concluding with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sunday, Jim Brown will preach during mass. The approachable, amiable gentleman made the initial impression of a mature intelligent man of faith, humble within worldly success and authoritative position. Sunday the community will also open its doors to the public as a part of the Diocese’s concentration upon the consecrated life. It is really edifying to experience the various religious communities existing throughout the Cleveland area. My friend Carol and I have developed pleasing camaraderie in pursuit of the Diocesan agenda. I will be privileged with her company this Sunday. I am also going to extend an invitation to my therapist/spiritual director. Another community opening their doors is the Poor Clares of Colettine. I have not attended their Sunday Benediction in quite a while. Since moving to the East side, I have lost touch with this blessed Sunday afternoon tradition. The Poor Clares offer a quaint, bright white, holy chapel, truly a Thin Place, a space naturally to lose one’s self within prayer. The final community to be explored is the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary at the St Adalbert Parrish of Cleveland. I must say I am really intrigued to explore the sister’s life. Originating from Uganda, the sisters in 2014 began ministering through the St Adalbert Parrish. I found a video online that absolutely melted my heart. It should be a splendid weekend.

I met with Father Roger, my favorite Tanzanian priest, yesterday. Hopefully moving forward in resolution of a complexity proving to be an obstacle in my prayer life. Every aspect of my life is focused upon greater efficacy in worship and prayer. Alone, I can accomplish the endeavor, however, in truth and reality that is proving to be impossible. Cloaking myself with maturity, consultation is embraced. A determination is made with the respected priest. I belong at St Paul’s Shrine. If the abiding religious men and women question my authenticity or my ways in any regard, I want to know. I am small before all, especially the consecrated. I know who I am. I know who others are. If I am not welcome, I will seek solace within another church. I was touched when one of the extern sisters, seeing me walk past with Father Roger, came out to thank me so earnestly for providing and assisting with the open house Sunday. How could she not know, she provided so much by allowing me to be of service. So I will continue worshipping and adoring at St Paul’s Shrine, absolutely unsure I will be able to contain my wrath.

St Alphonsus Rodriguez spiritually directs:

Another advantage which temptation brings with it is, that it makes us more attentive to our duties of obligation, hinders us from being remiss in them, and causes us to stand more upon our guard; like men who are every hour on the point of engaging.

…one day St. Gertrude, bewailing bitterly a fault she was subject to, and begging of God most earnestly to free her from it; our Lord, with great bounty, answered her thus; “Why wouldst thou, my dear daughter, deprive me of great glory, and thyself of great reward? Every time that thou art sensible of thy fault, and dost purpose to amend it for the future, it is a new merit thou acquires; and as often as one endeavors to overcome any fault for the love of me, he does me the same honor as a brave soldier does his king, in fighting courageously against his enemies, and endeavoring to conquer them”.

Video of the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary now stationed at St Adalbert’s Parrish in Cleveland.


Divine Will

The mind a creature is, yet can create,
To nature’s patterns adding higher skill ;
Of finest works with better could the state
If force of wit had equal power of will.
Device of man in working hath no end,
What thought can think, another thought can mend.
–St Robert Southwell

Made in the image and likeness of God, man has the ability to create, to enhance the wonders of creation. Man can create beauty. In my story clip introducing the scriptural Bleeding Woman, Naomi is given a small home. The home represents her life, disordered, disheveled, and in the process of decay. Possessing the ability to create, undergoing a process of purgation, she brings her gifted home to a state of beauty. The home attains utilitarian and ascetic appeal. Relishing within her accomplishment, Naomi observes the sea. Ruminating upon the words of her friend regarding the new teacher and healer, a process of illumination is experienced, a voice internalizing. She is being prepared to meet Christ, to touch the hem of His garment amidst the thronging masses.

Within man’s ability to create exist the birth of evil. Relying upon free will man introduces perversion. Perversion being that which is not aligned with God, a wandering away from all that is good, the exercising of free will. Pope Francis writes in his encyclical Laudato Si’: “Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.”

The subtleties of losing the ability to discern God’s Will is truly the challenge. A nonbeliever confronts nearly impossible chances of creating consequences that in totality will bring about goodness. An extreme example would be Marx or Hitler, who in their hearts were convinced their ways were for the good of the world, yet in truth their diabolic scheming introduced horrendous consequences, intense suffering, acute miseries. On a smaller more intimate level, the deviations of being unable to coalesce with Divine Intent, an inability to comprehend who we truly are, we hurt each other. Within families, blood relationships of love, we hurt and wound one another. Children are devastatingly damaged by their parents. Parents, loving their children immensely, inflict severe psychological damage. In friendships based upon faith, we hurt and wound one another. In attempts at romantic relationships, we hurt and wound one another. In community activities, we hurt and wound one another. I cannot identify the fact as evil, while recognizing the consequences as distressing. Imperfect beings, broken, needing, trying to bring happiness about, self-protecting and fearful, we operate through that which is easiest and that is our schemes and manipulations. I think of a drowning man within a rough and tossing sea attempting to grasp a life preserver. Anymore for me, it seems all the saints writings end up focusing upon unifying with the Will of God, learning to interact with the world through the love of God.

Creation feeding upon an enhancement of man

Creation feeding upon an enhancement of man


Start of a week, the wise St Francis de Sales to guide

But be of good heart, I beg you; little by little train your will to follow God’s will, wherever it may lead you; see that your will is strongly roused when your conscience says: God wants this. Gradually the resistance you feel so strongly will become weaker and soon disappear altogether. But especially, you must try to stop acting out your inner struggle or, at least, to do so in moderation. There are persons who when angry or annoyed, show their displeasure by simply saying: “What is all this?”; but there are others who speak sharply and show, not only displeasure, but a certain arrogance and spite. What I mean is that you should gradually correct such outburst, moderating them every day.  –St Francis de Sales

Within the quote, the idea of the gradualism Dr. Nichta introduced is gently dealt with. Yesterday during and shortly after mass a confrontation exploded. Wrath dominated my being, an absolute conviction I was justified in venting anger. Following the will of God, surrendering through self-awareness, in a certain sense, only means we are vulnerable to the immaturity of those living entirely on free will. I possess confidence in my efforts, sincere in humility and charity. Consolations are not sought, yet they are being received. I am proud of who I am and where God has taken me. I have the strength to stand up for myself—the determination to preserve my energy in spiritual pursuits. I fear nothing in regards to taking my every thought, action, and interpretation of experiences to the church for validation or correction. I am fearless in my pursuit of God, understanding I will make mistakes. I do not fear the mistakes for my heart grows bolder through, with, and in Christ. I know who I am. I know my weaknesses. I see the weaknesses of others. If I do not know myself, I really have no chance of knowing others. I see others through delusion, brokenness, and manipulation. I am a spiritually immature person incapable of grasping the world honestly, rationalization riots. It takes such an incredible amount of energy to live a life dominated by free will that truth becomes inaccessible. The truths I do come upon are all of my doing. I may as well be watching TV evangelists for that is all the further I will be able to advance. My spiritual life is limited to what I can bring into being, fullness forsaken. I place myself in the role of creator, perversions pervading. Imagination, reasoning, scheming, plotting, making plans, conducting mental debates, arguing within exhausts profound potentialities. Infusion is impossible. The Holy Spirit is blocked. I cannot quiet myself during prayer since I am so busy accessing my imagination in order to interpret, dominate, and impose my will upon the world. Even during prayer my mind is busying putting into action scenarios and happenings in my favor.

Exclude the world from traffic with the mind:
Lips near to God, and ranging heart within,
Is but vain babbling, and converts to sin.
–St. Robert Southwell

There is no peace of mind when I am left alone. When I am alone my mind is constantly racing about putting everything in my order, the controlling unceasing. I praise God I have been lifted from such a mindset. A psychic change. I was so proud that during and after the confrontation I did not allow my imagination to run away with me. I easily calmed myself, upset I allowed the outburst, yet I will not beat myself up. The inner-turmoil concerns more than exterior events. I concentrate upon progress. Within imperfection, I seek diligently for perfection. I utilize the experience to strengthen resolve, to know myself even deeper. Peace reigns in order to drawer closer to God. Garnered and graced growth relied upon not to build pride, yet to instill confidence. I end with another St Francis de Sales quote:

In all things and everywhere we must live peacefully. If troubles, either interior or exterior, come upon us, we should receive them peacefully. If joy comes our way, we must receive it peacefully, without getting all excited about it. If there is some evil to avoid, let us avoid it peacefully, without anxiety; for otherwise, in running away from evil, we could fall and give the enemy time to do us in. Is there some good to be done? Let us do it peacefully, “Thus is my bitterness transformed into peace,”…

St Francis de Sales



Mercedarians profess four vows: obedience, chastity, and poverty, plus the fourth of ransom. The willingness to give oneself as ransom for a hostage. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, the order was founded to intervene in the release of Christian prisoners held by Muslim forces. Mercedarians vowed they were willing to sacrifice their freedom in order to allow a Christian to return to their family and home.

Our Lady of Ranson

Our Lady of Ransom

Our Lady of Mercy

Our Lady of Mercy