Monthly Archives: October 2016

World serious

Spent Saturday, alone, visiting Toledo. Significant in symbolism, road construction dominated driving around the city. Interstate Seventy-five is a nightmare. Departing, returning to Cleveland, the entrance to Seventy-five was blocked. I routed myself through downtown, bound for interstate Two-eighty, forsaking Seventy-five. Arriving at Two-eighty, another road block greeted. The ubiquitous road construction represented well a feeling of frustration and sadness. Memories surfaced of futility, various incidents emerging in detail. Overall, the realization became concrete I never stood a chance. It was inevitable my life would crash, even within a concrete devotion to God. Mary guiding, then and now, I hold no bitterness, accepting and understanding my path to understanding. I recall the Rescuer driving me out of the city of my rearing, announcing my time in Toledo was done: ‘take a look around for your never coming back’. Tonight, I sit in downtown Cleveland, watching the World Series at Progressive Field, huddled amongst a packed house, cheering on the Indians playing the Cubs in Chicago, typing this between innings. Traveling eastbound on the Turnpike, during morning prayer, the comprehension Cleveland is home arose relevant. It may not be a permanent home, yet for now it is a good home. Through grace and hard work, I have matured into peace. Today, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at St Paul Shrine conducted their annual fundraiser. The Bishop celebrated Mass. The Church was full. Many friends attending. The food was good and the auction entertaining. I purchased two ponchos knitted by the sisters. It is good to have a sober home, allowing authentic worship of God. Now let’s concentrate on winning a World Series tonight. Indians just pulled to within one, score three to two.

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Prayer For Ordering Life Wisely

St. Thomas Aquinas

Grant me, O merciful God, ardently to desire the things that are pleasing to Thee, prudently to study them, truthfully to acknowledge them and perfectly to carry them out to the praise and glory of thy name. Put my house in order, O Lord, and grant me to know what thou dost require me to do; grant that I may then do it for the salvation of my soul.

O Lord my God, grant that I may not fail in prosperity and adversity so as not to be inflated by the one nor depressed by the other. Let nothing gladden me or sadden me except what leads me to Thee or separates me from Thee. May I desire to please and fear to displease no one but Thee.

Let all passing of earthly things cheapen in my sight, O Lord, and all eternal things be precious. Let joy that is without Thee bore me and let me not desire anything outside of Thee. May the labor that is for Thee, O Lord, delight me; and all rest that is without Thee weary me.

Grant me, O Lord my God, to direct my heart to Thee and ever to sorrow for my sins and make amends for them.

Make me, O Lord my God, obedient without any back-talk, poor without abjection, pure without puritanism. Make me patient without repining, humble without being a fraud, happy without being fractious, mature without being a bore, keen without being frivolous; let me fear Thee without despair, be truthful without double-talk; let me do good without presumption, correcting my neighbor but not pompously, supporting him by work and example without flattery.

Give me, O Lord, a watchful heart which no curious thought can wean from Thee; a noble heart which no unworthy affection can seduce; give me a righteous heart which no sinister intention can twist away from Thee; a firm heart which no tribulation can break; a free heart which no violent affection can claim for itself.

Grant me, O Lord God, intelligence to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, conversation to please Thee, perseverance faithfully to await Thee and confidence finally to embrace Thee.

Grant me, that through penance I may accept Thy punishments, through grace I may employ Thy blessings and through glory enjoy Thy heavenly delights. Who livest and reignest God forever and ever. Amen

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Hold On

Afford the grace to see beyond,
The veil of Your Eucharistic face,
Interior dark, buffeted by passions and desires,
Self-inflection pounding, battering, and banged,
Sitting at the foot of the Cross,
I barely hold on to a bloodstained toe,
Desperation locked hold, I cannot let go,
I will not let go,
The plundering descent pulls strong and hard,
Forces determined, exterior and internal,
Hurricanes whipping, fires searing, a roar deafening,
Sensual upheaval, mind reeling,
I will not let go
I will to cling to love,
I know nothing more,
I will not let go,
All through sanctifying grace.

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Two confronting the Cross

There were two men crucified by the side of Jesus. The same torments made a saint of the one and a reprobate of the other. Ah, if we could only carry our crosses, not merely with patience and resignation, but with love, confidence, and filial affection. –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey ‘Holy Abandonment’

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Intensity and propensity of prayer

All this is a dark mystery. The work is laborious, and the results, even where tangible, are so slow, so intermingled with checks and reverses that one is tempted to wonder what will be the eventual outcome. What a cruel vision for Him who is come “to cast fire upon the earth”!

Finally, multiply these sufferings by one another. Imagine this body in its sweat of blood, His soul a prey to weariness and to the presentiment of horrors to come, a heart stricken by His children’s refusal to love Him, His energy exhausted by the apparent futility of effort — and then say how far torment can go.  –Father A.G. Sertillanges ‘What Jesus Saw From the Cross’

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Profound appreciation

We are concerned with the virtue of temperateness…the word has become attenuated and degraded in our modern speech, and the nature of the virtue seriously misunderstood.  It is not synonymous with total abstention from alcohol; it is not, in any case, restricted to a right use of food and drink; and, most important, it is not simply a negative thing, a restraint, but a positive and creative quality, an essential quality of love.

Temperateness has two aspects.  First of all, it is what gives the quality of humility and reverence to our attitude to material things.  It is what enables us to love things instead of grabbing, mauling, and battering on them; it is what enables us to contemplate and not to devour.

You can see an example of what this means—through the example of a man who is alive to beauty and how he savors a glass of wine: the Christian virtue of temperateness differs from this because the motive is different—not the appreciation of beauty as an end itself, but the curbing and training of the appetites for the love of God and His justice and therefore the restoring of the rule of spirit over flesh…(material things) are not just the means to man’s pleasure; they are of value in themselves as the handiwork of God, created to glorify Him; and so we have to learn to love them without greed and treat them with reverence.

–Father Gerald Vann ‘The Divine Pity’

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