Monthly Archives: April 2016

Detachment centered in love

Perhaps few things are more misunderstood then this idea of detachment.  People sometimes think that it means not caring: it does, but, as we have seen, only if you add that it means caring too.  The detached man will care more for things then the avaricious and rapacious man; but he will care in a different way.  He will not clutch and cling, and self-worship; his possessions, his desires, his attachments, will not fetter his freedom and destroy his power of love, will not forever be an anxiety and an agitation of spirit.  His is the prayer of the poet,

Teach us to care and not to care,
Teach us to sit still…

And so he learns to be a peace.

Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’



by P.H. Pearse

Naked I saw thee,
O beauty of beauty!
And I blinded my eyes
For fear I should flinch.

I heard thy music,
O sweetness of sweetness!
And I shut my ears
For fear I should fail.

I kissed thy lips,
O sweetness of sweetness!
And I hardened my heart
For fear of my ruin.

I blinded my eyes,
And my ears I shut,
I hardened my heart
And my love I quenched.

I turned my back
On the dream I had shaped,
And to this road before me
My face I turned.

I set my face
To the road here before me
To the work that I see,
To the death I shall meet.


Personal severity

God is good and all giving. I took an intentional break from posting yesterday. God struck hard with a severe test upon my state of being, my establishing of a new way of life enduring a rigorous examination of conscience. Tuesday my woman hungry for God and I shared lunch together at a beautiful park off Euclid Rd after noon Mass at Sacred Heart. I picked her up at headquarters, sharing a midday adventure. Our level of communication is astounding, both of us feasting upon mature spiritual and natural aspirations. Our conversations penetrate deeply toward marriage. Both fueled by failures and struggles, identify something consequential developing between us. Dropping her off at work amidst kisses and cuddling, she told me she would check if her schedule would allow the same lunch pleasantries the following day. Once at work, I sent a text inquiring if lunch was on for tomorrow. I never heard back from her. I was befuddled and hurt. As usual–per the chaos, work proved overwhelming, demanding hours of attention. I could do nothing but wonder why the silence. The work day drew to a close and still nothing from my woman hungry from God. Leaving work, I was deeply wounded. A myriad of thoughts wrestled in my mind. I was angry, wanting to lash out. I was disappointed in the callousness and irresponsibility. I was convinced everything was over. I sent her a text, apologizing for coming on too strong, explaining I am who I am and if I demand too much attention then we must part ways. I was convinced we needed to go a week without seeing each other. I struggled mightily with sending harsh words intended solely to hurt. Finally arriving home, feeling overwhelmed, I sent a text through tears that I could not take another relationship with someone constantly throwing punches at my head. I stated I made this clear that I possessed a certain vulnerability. I would not endure another intimate relationship with someone intent upon throwing punches at my head. I put myself to bed, tossing and turning unable to sleep soundly. I thought about drinking, numbing myself, yet realized the alcohol is truly done–the devastating destructive effect is clearly recognized and feared. All I could do was concentrate upon the will of God, attempting with the best of my discernment why this was happening. Closely examining my conscience, the realization struck she discovered my blogging efforts. I once briefly mentioned the blog, yet I tell no one. Those who read, read by the promptings of God. I have written in depth regarding her life in this blog, exposing and revealing. I have not been paying attention to the number of readers, and then researching I discovered a sharp increase has occurred. Over thirty a day have been reading my personal journaling through my recovery from severe alcoholism through the passionate embracing of my beloved Catholicism. I was sure my woman hungry for God was led to the blog and felt betrayed. I prayed deeply regarding my efforts, not comfortable, yet preceding, always I work with a slightly veiled anonymity. I am convinced God has worked stronger in my life through this blog, however now reality dealt the blow that it would cost me my woman hungry for God. There could be no other explanation for her silence, for the fact she would eliminate contact between us. I stared into deep hurt, blank and numb, yet still trusting God. I would not judge nor analyze her decision. I knew I could not let her go without a fight. The reality of how strongly I cared for her urged me on to greater heights. This one was not getting away without a fight. Through the hours of the night, I thought about everything, clearly establishing I must make the effort of righting the ship. I must caringly state my case why we must endure toward permanency, loving one another within the temporal, hearts focused eternally. I knew she woke at 5:30 AM, with her sister departing a bit earlier. I was knocking on her door at 5:30. I drove to her home with dread dominating my heart. My last texts to her at four in the morning stated I loved her, while announcing the fact I was devastated and sick to my stomach. She opened her door to me lovingly, inviting me in, expressing the fact she recognized I was a mess. She begged to know what was going on for she could not recognize where my mind was at in my text. She trusted me. She needed to talk. She exclaimed I was ignoring her text, talking around her, ignoring all her words. I was stunned, asking ‘your words?’ I showed her my phone, the fact I had not received a text from her since two in the afternoon the previous day. She was puzzled showing me her phone and the text she had been sending me throughout the day and through the night. I laughed, recognizing the work of God, confident I did ok. Through a morning of research, I still have not determined why she is receiving my text and I am not receiving hers. I receive other text and she properly sends text to other receivers. We are not sure why this technical difficulty came about and still exist. It will be worked out. She gave me her phone, instructing me to fix the problem. She is able to utilize her work phone in the meantime. Severely tested, I did well. I did not think of alcohol. I did not resort to anger, recusing into self-righteousness and hate. If my woman hungry for God determined to move forward without me I would allow her to go. I would set her free with only love in my heart. Now face-to-face, she was mine, giving herself freely, calling me forth into cuddling, continuing the conversation in whispers, holding, and kisses. I told her of the blog, the way I wrote about her, leaving nothing unknown between us. She stated she trusted me, feeling no need to explore the blog. If it helps you heal, continued forward she encouraged. I knew within my trust in God, my trust in her grows stronger every day. Within our imperfections, we are focused acutely upon perfection. She expressed a favorite Kahlil Gibran quote regarding love: And think not you can guide the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course. Love will shape and form when one is worthy. God is good and all giving.



Father Gerald Vann is such a phenomenal spiritual director.  I want to post an entire paragraph from his book ‘The Divine Pity’.  For myself, he drives away from a focus upon a contemplative approach, hammering away at the intricacies of living an efficacious imitation of Christ.  I find I can only take his writing in small doses for the ideas presented take deep consideration, an exploration of why he would write the things he does, playing out examples and situations in my mind.  He properly advances spiritual thought from the accumulation of knowledge to the deepening of his reader’s faith.  It presents the potential for a penetrating self-examination for those advanced in years and experience pursuing a deeper faith. This paragraph swept me away.  Maybe it will mean nothing to you.

 …we shall not mediate as we should, we shall not spread the light in the world, unless we have ourselves first seen the light truly, learned the true faith and not a travesty of the faith.  We believe not in propositions but in the reality which is expressed by the propositions; we believe, not in a creed, but through a creed.  The expression of divine reality in human words is necessarily inadequate; the understanding of the divine reality by the human mind is necessarily groping, and we may well make mistakes.  It is possible to accept the formulas of the creeds and still to have a quite wrong idea of the nature of God and of His providence; it is possible to worship God and still to fall into a sort of practical idolatry.  If you turn your religion into magic: if you expect an immediate and literal answer to all your prayers, if you expect the grace of God to do for you by miracle what only demands a little hard work, you are misunderstanding the faith.  If you think of God in such a way as to project on to Him the human emotions of jealousy, anger, spite, you are misunderstanding the faith.  If you allow yourself to accept the assumptions of the pagan environment as far as conduct is concerned, and keep your faith in abstraction from practical affairs, you are betraying it.  And you are betraying it, too, if you think of it simply as something received from without, a static deposit, which you have only to accept and guard but without making it your own, without becoming it.  –Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’




“My Lord and my God.” The prayer of awe can do two things for us. In the first place it will lay the foundations for our own lives. Learn to live habitually in the thought of the omnipresent Majesty of God, the imminent Transcendent: learn to realize habitually that all you see and touch and handle is God’s handiwork and still more the habitation of His glory: learn to see every event and action in the light of the Eternal present, and every decision you have to make as a decision of love, and the whole tissue of your life as a single prolonged act of worship: learn to say ‘Our Father’ with the thought in your mind that you are a son, a prodigal Son, and then you will be humble and poor in spirit and be living in the Kingdom.  –Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’


On fire

“I long to see you so totally ablaze with loving fire that you become one with gentle First truth. Truly the soul’s being united with and transformed into him is like fire consuming the dampness in logs. Once the logs are heated through and through, the fire burns and changes them into itself, giving them its own color and warmth and power.” –St Cathrine of Siena

burning logs image 2 Guide 2015