Monthly Archives: January 2016

San Juan de la Cruz

a oscuras y segura
por la secreta escala disfrazada,
¡oh dichosa ventura!
a oscuras y en celada
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised
Oh fortuitous chance!
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.



In haste, a Saturday morning reflection

“Let us cross to the other side.”
A storm awake,
Waves of fear,
Waves of doubt,
Waves of mutilation,
Waves pounding,
Waves thrashing,
Waves announcing,
Upheaval unable to pronounce,
I drove my car into the ocean,
Ceasing to resist, I call out,

One sleeping in peace,
One dreaming onto the Father,
Notices the disruption,
“Quiet! Be still!”
“Why are you terrified?”

Sitting during early mass at Sacred Heart, aware of no men’s meeting this week, aware many of the men were still attending, a strength germinated within. Several of the men sitting in silence inspired. I admire the success coupled with the ability to remain quiet. A strengthening, a receiving is attained within their religious experience. Warriors in life, they come to mass for nourishment, bringing to the sacrifice of Our Lord what He truly adores: a humble soul needing the Eucharist. A sentence from Abbot William’s autobiography detailing his founding of the Maronite Monks of Adoration: This predicament of life could easily discourage one, or hopefully, bring one to turn more ever readily to the Lord in submission and abandonment. I am privileged to perceive prosperous men leading families, humble to the world of employment, active within the Church, utilizing their faith in order to embolden themselves within active lives of personal success. Within the storm of life, within the privacy of their own life, unseen for the most part, they are accomplishing something substantial. It is so diametric to the recovery world where the majority of individuals lack the ability to surrender to family, employment, or others, while always demanding attention and recognition within the church and world of recovery, constantly demanding to be perceived as superiors within their religious and secular interactions. Quick thoughts. More words from Abbot William: Over the years I was able to see how the Lord was training me. He was preparing me for something, instructing me what to do and what not to do, how to be and how not to be, as a religious, priest, monk, and superior. To move into the religious world, the mindset of anonymity within a sound psychological temperament, one incurred through hard knocks and self-knowledge, I am able to be strong within servitude, the subtlest forms of self-aggrandizement an affront to the degree they are detected, continual progress graced through an ever-growing peace and Presence.


Simple unromantic adroit words followed by a fantastic image and then words of a journey

Saint Francis de Sales used to say that we did not know what was the true service of God; that the true way of serving Him was to follow Him and walk after Him in the highest point of the soul, without the support of consolation, or of feeling, or illumination other than that of bare and simple faith. – – St Jane de Chantal writing about her spiritual director.


THE better known a road is to us, the more we frequent it; the more people we know therein, the more willingly also we journey thereby and the more easily: but still by such roads we are more slow in arriving at our journey’s end, because, having many acquaintance, here we speak to one, there to another, here we enter into somebody’s shop, there we stay to talk with a friend. For the consideration of God no track is more beaten, known, or familiar than that of corporeal things, amid which we live; no way is more easy in itself, but also no way has more distractions. When I meditate on God in the angel, who is an invisible thing, and one in no way familiar to me, it produces in me but few fancies and distractions: but if I consider God in man, my imagination descends from the universal to the particular, and under the name of man represents to me Peter, Paul, or somebody doing with me this or that thing. Hence while in this way which is so familiar to us we stop at all the shops of our acquaintance, we arrive at our journey’s end either late or never. – – St Francis de Sales on the Canticle of Canticles



What if my silence is internal chattering?
Nervous energy, a need to babble to myself,
What if I am so tired?
Fighting sleep throughout prayer,
Sitting listening to the body,
I am still, yet still I am running,
Reacting, knee-jerking, reflexing,
The head lurches, a jolt, nervous portending,
Cater a cost to the eternal,
All our welcome amidst the enduring,
Nothing comes near,
Not even a small quiet voice,
Holding on, letting go, releasing the fight,
In order to fight stronger,
Smarter without knowing,
Delusion dominating decades,
Broadcasting a mind focused, yet wandering,
Nothing unfolding, unfolding within,
A steady stream, cascading water,
Ever present within Presence,
Purity, a lacking internal and external,
Peace, the removal of desire,
Apophatic, theology of negation,
No longer needing to learn while learning,
Remaining maleable,
Moments unfolding, truth revealing,
Opening a new expansion increasing,
Please, whisper softly, answer,
Lord, who am I?
What am I to do with all this love I am harvesting?


Casa Dolce

I spoke with the owner of Casa Dolce.  She is allowing me to conduct a photo shoot next week in her bakery/cafe.  I am so pleased.  The little eatery has become important to my morning prayer life, meditative and social.  Reserved, quaint, I admire the locale as a visual treat.  I noticed information for a Catholic elementary school, drawing me closer in tune.  The Hudson Montessori postcards sat next to the display of handmade greeting cards I admire so much, a peacock favorite recently mailed.  The baked goods: iced cupcakes, cookies, small cakes, and donuts colorfully present a soothing image.  Intelligence, quality, a respect for detail, fine taste, and a bit of a carefree whimsical nature I find within.  The prepared foods are not only marvelous in taste, yet splendidly prepared for visual delight.  I will post the photos as their own page.



Insouciant: free from concern, worry, or anxiety, carefree, nonchalant.

Quote: But for his thoughtful diagnosis of the perils that lay before me, I should at this juncture have been deep in the mulligatawny and no hope of striking for the shore. As it was, I was able to be nonchalant, insouciant, and debonair. I was like the fellow I once heard Jeeves speak of who was armed so strong in honesty that somebody’s threats passed by him as the idle wind, which he respected not.  — P. G. Wodehouse, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, 1962

The above definition and quote originates from my word of the day emailed by  The message coalesced nicely with spiritual meditations.  Easy does it as the ways of God call forth not a forcing.  Purity, peace, and prayer; maintaining in order to allow my relationship with Christ to define discernment.  Purity in the sense of behavior, thought, and internal peace.  I feel the need to bring a spiritual director into my life, one focused acutely upon the paths of a religious or lay person life.  There is a fork in the road and a path must be chosen.  I want a choice made by the start of the coming year, eliminating one or the other. I do not want to vacillate, living with my foot placed in two doors, serving two masters in direction.  I met with Father Roger from St Paul Shrine today on the subject.  We have not spoken for some time.  We centered conversation upon the direction of my life and confession.  His spiritual direction, adhering to the advice of John the Hermit, placed purity, prayer, and presence at the heart of the matter.  Presence in the continual keeping of God within daily activity could only be accomplished through purity and prayer.  Father Roger kept using the word unfolding, allowing the direction of my life to naturally proclaim itself.  I am not reacting.  I am not doing things based upon imperfect self-will.  Holding to the awareness gifted recently in mass that an elevation would occur, I allow patience within a choice to guide, moving forward slowly and surely in action.  John the Hermit emerges as a voice calling forth the religious life–the consecrated life of a cloistered man of prayer.  The communal aspect of a working man amidst a parish of families develops through my interaction at St Clare and Sacred Heart.  The men’s group biweekly providing intimate challenging fellowship.  During the quickly advancing Lenten season, I have signed up for a weekly meeting, Arise Together in Christ, a small gathering of people to discuss, well lets allow the St Clare bulletin to define:

What is: ARISE Together in Christ? It is an opportunity to come together in a small group, 8-10 adults, in an informal setting to grow in your faith, to experience meaningful relationships and discover connections between faith and your daily life.

The 6 topics for the Lenten Season: Change Our Hearts are: 1.) Repent and Believe the Good News, 2.) God’s Beloved, 3.) Thirsting for New Life, 4.) From Darkness to Light, 5.) Bound Together by a Promise, and 6.) Into Holy Week with Christ.

Why Small Groups? They help us find time and space to sort out the demands of our complicated, busy lives through prayer, Scripture readings, reflection, community building and by deepening our faith together. You gather as a sharing group, open to the Spirit of God, seeking to grow in faith and in your relationship with God and one another.  

Overall, the elevation announced by God in a small quiet voice is sought through maturity and refinement; an eliminating as well as an expanding effort.  The Hospice called today placing a bedside vigil upon my plate.  The ability to serve reemerges, a period away allowing reinvigoration and proper nurturing of myself.  I will be going to Chardon, Ohio tomorrow, celebrating an early mass at St Mary’s before spending the morning and afternoon in prayer with a Jewish woman of faith.  All I know beyond her faith is that she is dying and alone.  She is in her nineties and her only daughter will not be in town until she passes.

Preparing to leave for work, a voice mail calls out.  Vigil tomorrow is cancelled.  The patient passed away.  Even the thought provides depth; a reminder of death, mystery, and uncertainty within the following of God.  Returning the call,  I was pleased to learn I have been scheduled for hands-on training, the attaining of certification allowing me to bath and feed patients.



The Man of the House

A poem by the turn of the century Irish poet Katherine Tynan

Joseph, honored from sea to sea,
This is your name that pleases me,
“Man of the House”

I see you rise at the dawn and light
The fire and blow till the flame is bright.

I see you take the pitcher and carry
The deep well-water for Jesus and Mary.

You knead the corn for the bread so fine,
Gather them grapes from the hanging vine.

There are little feet that are soft and slow,
Follow you wherever you go.

There’s a little face at your workshop door,
A little one sits down on your floor:

Holds His hands for the shaving curled,
The soft little hands that have made the world.

Mary calls you: the meal is ready:
You swing the child to your shoulder steady.

I see your quiet smile as you sit
And watch the little Son thrive and eat.

The vine curls by the window space,
The wings of angels cover the face.

Up in the rafters, polished and olden,
There’s a Dove that broods and his wings are golden.

You who kept Them through shine and storm,
A staff, a shelter kindly and warm,

Father of Jesus, husband of Mary,
Hold us your lilies for sanctuary!

Joseph, honored from sea to sea,
Guard mine and my own roof-tree,
“Man of the House”