Monthly Archives: March 2016

An Easter Prayer

By Michaela Youngson

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.

Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.




The Hunters

Ruth Temple Lindsay

“The Devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour.”

The Lion, he prowls far and near,
Nor swerves for pain or rue;
He heeds naught sloth nor fear,
He prowls—prowling through
The silent glade and weary street,
In the empty dark and the full noon heat;
And a little Lamb with aching feet—
He prowls too.

The Lion crouches alert, apart—
With patience does he woo;
He waits long by this shuttered heart,
And the Lamb—He waits too,
Up the lurid passes of dreams that kill,
Through the twisting maze of the great Untrue,
The Lion follows the fainting will—
And the Lamb—He follows too.

From the tickets dim of the hidden way
Where the depths of hell accrue,
The Lion leaps upon his prey:
But the Lamb—He leaps too.
Ah! loose the leash of the sins that damn,
Mark Devil and God as goals,
And the panting love of a famished Lamb,
Gone mad with the need of souls.

The Lion, he strays near and far;
What heights hath he left untrod?
He crawls nigh to the purest star,
On the trail of the saints of God.
And throughout the darkness of things unclean,
In the depths were the sin-ghouls brood,
There prowls ever with yearning mind–
A lamp as white as Blood!



I am not
Am I

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in. The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself……Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”

I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”  They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.”

And He (Jesus) answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?

Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”


Good Friday

Last night Mass, followed by a two hour Adoration of the hidden Eucharist, at St Paul Shrine proved profound.  Closing, Night Prayer from the Divine Office was conducted with the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.  A sincere bond has been formed with the cloistered sisters.  Religious service with them deeply edifies the soul.  Within the event a silent commitment filled my heart and mind, blossoming within prayer.  It remains anonymous and secret.  The four hour bedside Hospice vigil proved interesting yesterday. The man was actively dying within his home, surrounded by loving family.  I honestly felt in the way, attempting to remain unburdensome, flexible and soft, demanding as little attention as possible.  There were so many people about I simply spoke kindly when someone close addressed me directly.  The oldest son took impressive charge of his father’s passing, holding his hand, a source of strength for those surrounding.  He was quite an interesting man, a swimming coach, a celebrated swimmer competing at Orange High School.  Coming out of high school, he rejected scholarship offers from Ohio State and Michigan in order to swim for a nonscholarship Division II California school.  He felt a great longing to travel west after graduating from high school in 1986.  He is now a swimming coach for a high school in Bakersfield, California—the home of Buck Owens.  Currently, he is on sabbatical from that position in order to coach in Thailand for two years.  He hosted an exchange student from Thailand, a gifted swimmer and followed the boy back to Thailand, taking his two daughters and wife along with him.  His family is loving Thailand and Southeast Asia.  He was telling me how many foreigners from Germany, England, and the United States retire in Thailand for the beauty and the fact the exchange rate is so ridiculous a serious retirement savings turns into great wealth in Thailand.  Throughout Southeast Asia, he informs me there are English speaking international schools.  He himself is not fluent in the language of Thailand, although his daughters are doing pretty good.  Something funny he spoke about was the fact that the Thai people are childlike, stubborn in their refusal of improved ways.  Many times he makes suggests of improvements, simple practical ideas, and almost always he is met with obstinacy.  The refusal always: ‘we have been doing it this way for centuries why should we change now’.  The childlike innocence he admires in the Thai people he admits can also be frustrating.  They are so polite and friendly in refusing everything you present to them.  As I was leaving, everyone was waiting for the eldest son’s son arrival.  He was flying in from Hawaii, attending college at the University of Hawaii on a swimming scholarship.  The Hospice would call and tell me the grandfather died an hour and a half after I left.  I realized it must have been shortly after the arrival of his grandson.  In terms of fellowship, God graced bountifully.  I must be going.  Mary is waiting on me.  The two of us will be going to the Jennings Center to visit with the retired priest and another patient, then lunch followed by Stations of the Cross at St Paul Shrine.  The car rental mix-up earlier in the week was made up for this morning when the agent offered me a brand new Charger with a Hemi. The decked out car is a beast of a race car.  Driving will be an extravaganza this weekend.  God is good and all giving.


Listening with patience

St Peter of Alcantara ‘Treatise on Prayer and Meditation’

Strain not after tears, strive not for sentiments of devotion, do not force your heart.  Rest rather in interior solitude.  Dwell therein quietly, waiting until God’s will be accomplished in you.  When it shall please him to send you tears, oh, how sweet will those tears be, for is not your impatience that has secured them: they are the fruits of humility and of peace.  On your part, then, you must receive them with the deepest self-effacement, allowing God to work in you.  Note well, that if ever you fancy this desire or the securing of these affections to be in any measure due to yourself, you will infallibly expose yourself to the losing of them.

If you wish, in all sincerity, to advance along this way (the path of perfection) and reach the goal you have proposed to yourself, have no other intention and no other desire than that of seeking God.  Whenever you meet Him and he shows Himself to you, quit there all the rest, and advance no further tail He allows you.

Canticle of Canticles

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.

One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus

Gospel of John



Day 1 of a vacation at home

Flexibility, patience, a willingness to detach from plans, seems to be the message early into an Easter vacation enjoyed at home.  In other words, nothing has gone right on day one.  After mass, Lilly never showed for our Spanish lesson.  Once, we made contact I was surprised to hear a tremendous level of stress in her life.  She was greatly agitated she forgot our lesson, apologizing over and over, explaining there are personal issues she is dealing with.  Determined to convince me this is not who she is.  I assured her I placed complete trust in her, explaining I had no doubt regarding her veracity, nor sincerity.  I refused to allow her to go on apologizing, informing her of my decision to delight in my vacation at home, allowing an ease of altering plans.  We will reschedule.  I then received a series of texts, apologizing formally, explaining she has been overwhelmed with mental issues involving her adopted child from Mexico.  More and more, I grow secure that within our Spanish lessons God is placing us to gather in order to exercise enriching fellowship.  Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong.  Speaking of respecting married women, yesterday I spent the day with the one I am leery of, or rather with her Jewish husband. It was the dago’s birthday.  She refers to herself as the ‘dago’ at times, enlightening me to the fact dagos and Jews marry all the time.  It is a common love of knick-knacks that brings them together.  Dago and Jews love to fill their homes with lots of knick-knacks that is why so many of them marry.  However, although she is a dago, she does not like knick-knacks, yet her Jewish husband does.  Those are some of the things she tells me.  It was her birthday yesterday.  Her and her friend Ruth spent the day at the casino in celebration.  My watching her husband allowed for her respite.  Leaving her home, her friend Ruth exclaimed what a wonderful conversationalist I am.  She exclaimed, ‘Oh him and I cannot stop talking once we start.  That man has so many girlfriends.  I cannot keep track of them’.  I could only think, ‘No I don’t’, chuckling to myself, adoring my time as usual with her and her husband.  The time with the husband was blessed, we talked quite a bit.  He kept pulling his glasses off, cluing me to the fact they needed cleaning.  Once, I put them back on his face, he managed a ‘thank you’.  I have conceded that everything is good with the couple.  Nothing improper is happening.  I do extremely enjoy my time with her, yet I perceive it is the fact she is such an adorable character.  I have always been drawn to characters.  People who are unique and odd attract me.  I will accept the fact she will call me even though the Hospice has asked her not to.  They have standards, regulations, and boundaries.  She does not make trouble, and they are trying to protect me.  Her resolution was that we just have to make sure they do not know she is calling me.  My next visit s already scheduled.  I will allow God to introduce friends into my life.  She is truly a remarkable woman.  Something that goes unstated is the fact this smaller woman takes care of her larger, standing about six foot three, husband alone and efficiently.  She does everything herself with an absolute love for her husband.  She has been doing this for almost a decade.  Through all this, I do not see the slightest sign of feeling sorry for herself, never exclaiming the virtue of what she is doing.  Her disposition is zestful, joyous, and upbeat.  Her good looks, her maintaining of a fashionable persona, are intrinsic.  She is not trying to be anything special.  There is a quality about her quirkiness she is not aware of.  She is strong in ways she does not recognize.  I see it and I am honored to assist her, to bring male companionship to her husband.  Her charm will not be reciprocated with undo emotion, nor improper admiration.  I often highly respect a person who is moral, doing the right thing, not through faith.  Lacking an overwhelming devotion to God, she does what is right and difficult without blinking an eye, simply insisting it would be wrong to do anything else.  Refusing an easy path, such as placing her husband in a nursing home, or God forbid divorce, she performs the demanding with not the least bit of complaint, nor declaration, verbalized or silent, that she is performing the heroic.  There is something of grace working within such earnest adherence–humble, natural, and simple–to ethics and morality.

I want to go to recent readings from Mass, reflections upon work intermixing with Divine Words.

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me…


Lord, in your great love, answer me.

For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Away from work, I was thinking about work.  My work environment is chaotic; ruthless in politics, survival, and vanity.  I am spiritually exhausted from the chicanery, feeling as if I cannot plan a long-term commitment to such nonsense, always simmering the thought of a religious life on the back-burner.  Basically, I simply do not enjoy working in a factory.  I despise it.  Within our department, there is a brutality, a constant maneuvering and harshness in order to maintain position with the pecking order.  I simply refuse to participate, thus I am open to being perceived as weak.  I am the ridicule of bitter and sarcastic words daily.  Yet I am no different than others for all are treated in this manner.  Others fight back, or are constantly finagling clichés and alliances in order to combat attacks.  Attacks are prevented by attacks, the best defense being an offense.  I refuse to play.  I do not respond.  It all wears me out, yet if my faith is relevant the above words of scripture are more than theoretical.  They are a living reality.  I do not fear, accepting the ways of the world.  If permanency were to develop it would be through these ways.  Already, I see some observing, comprehending I am authentic.

Enough, time for adoration and a jog.  Another note on my introductory claim nothing was going as planned on the first day of vacation.  The weekly rental car rate was out of the world expensive. There is a great demand for the Easter weekend, the weekly cost asked by Enterprise being a hundred more than I paid for the week going to Massachusetts.  Yet somehow it works out that a decent weekend rate was acquired.  Allowing God to alter, I am not going to attend the Tenebrae service in Toledo at the Rosary Cathedral.  I will wait for all travel to Toledo and Ann Arbor to occur on Friday through Sunday.  I called the Cleveland diocese, striking upon a wonderful conversation with a ‘Catholic living specialist’ who is making it her mission to find me a special Tenebrae service here in Cleveland.  I assume I could find one at St Stephen, yet I will be patient and see what she tosses upon my plate.  A further sign, the vacation is being launched under the command of Divine Will is a telephone call from the Hospice, presenting a four hour bedside vigil tomorrow after spiritual direction.  God is good and all giving.

For contemplative downtime, a video from favorite musicians, the amazing Penguin Cafe Orchestra.


Jesus in Gethsemane

“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

“So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew Chapter 26