Remy Rougeau

A lengthy Sabbath entry

Post Sunday mass, a stimulating lunch, ideas emerging, possibilities becoming a reality. Adult in formation, I feel prayers are being blessed, grace extended. My lunch appeased, stirring upon satisfying depth. The gentleman sharing lunch, designing his demise, intrigues upon an intellectual level that will be pursued. I am trying to convince him to allow me to create a website for him. An amateur photographer, images centered upon religious architecture, worldly in travel, he showed me around Chinatown, talking of many things. He is old school in regards to his photographs, nothing digital. I want to convert the images to binary, allowing display upon the web. He has photographed monasteries and churches in Spain, France, Russia, Turkey, throughout the United States, not allowing his vision to rest solely upon Catholic institutions. I spoke with the gentleman before mass, praying intensely during mass upon the matter, convinced it was a design of God for me to work with the well-educated gentleman. I have been wrong before. I think he is leery about me as academic credentials equate esteem within his eyes. Possessing a doctorate, speaking of highly educated friends, a Cuban poet friend of advanced studies writing a history detailing the multiethnic nature of Peru.  Amusingly, conversation steered toward Pittsburg, Duquesne University, the focus being Father Adrian Van Kaam, a man who shaped his spirituality. I smiled, mentioning Susan Muto and Father Van Kaam joining forces through their efforts with the Epiphany Association, Academy of Formative Spirituality.  Previous post document my invigorated interest for the message of Ms. Muto. For my new friend, she is a former student, an associate, a person of individuality and knowing. Startled, interiorly I counted my blessings. It was amazing we were talking so flowingly. God is good.  Many more topics exposed, the potentiality of a meaningful relationship rests within Divine Will. I reflect upon tomorrow’s cook out with the associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, the meeting with the author Father Paul Bernier, and immediately after the commencing of the cookout travel to Fremont and the retreat at Our Lady of Pines. Something is in the wind, adults of spiritual formation are being brought to light, a revealing being experienced. Another woman from St Paul’s was brought into confidence. Last summer she enjoyed a week long retreat at Our Lady of Pines. She is excited for me, extending well-wishes and prayers.

The following part of the post, created in the morning, before mass, I decided not to post. Gathering my thoughts, I said no, I will post everything. I have been suffering awful dreams the past several nights. The blessings of the afternoon overwhelm the morning, yet the morning was important, especially coming after another nightmare involving Ann. It is an email to my Romanian friend Lavinia that exploded into many thoughts and directions. I think important matters were touched upon.  This blog is essential to cleansing. It serves a tremendous purpose. The spewing of thoughts and words provides psychic purgation. I move forward, progressing, means of regressing cathartically removed.  Lavinia has been there for years supporting in reading and observing my thoughts, ideas, and writing. Her friendship is a blessing, simple and sincere, absolutely nothing immoral regarding motivation or interaction. We expand one another’s spiritual life. We are better people through our interacting, nurturing growth. It is an elder to one younger, foreigners yet friends, equals in decency and respect.

Email to Lavinia:

Ann does mean well, yet she hides. Definitive, she hides from feelings, from emotions. On the deepest level, she is a stranger to herself. Growth, maturing, spiritual expansion only arises from love, learning to love we expand within.  Experience is the educator, the process of formation. You are growing into a new woman, Gabriel a new man, through being parents. Trinitarian, a family: father, mother, and child is a profound formation to be engaged within. Raising your son Calin, you not only know about a greater love, you experience a greater love, formation in progress. Watching Calin grow, knowing how much you mean to him as a mother and father forms you into a new person, a wiser more mature man and woman blossoms from your experience, an authentic mother and father emerges, individuals vulnerable to the tender mercy of God. You know commitment on the most profound level. Love, the greatest attribute of God, induces a growth that must be experienced. No book or high amount of intelligence can provide the grace. Ann will not allow a higher love to touch her, protecting herself, not knowing herself well enough to allow such splendor to immerse her being, not trusting God enough to allow the supernatural to transform through the ordinary, the extraordinary to infuse a metamorphism through daily reality. However God always acting, her state of immaturity saved my life. A woman of intensely high caliper, exceptional talents and intelligence blessed by God, should have been married to a man equal in Godly blessings; active in the lives of brothers and sisters, knowing and experiencing love, immersed within the lives of children, people bountiful in number through in-laws. However her brokenness, her inability to allow life to penetrate, an obstinate refusal to open herself, to become vulnerable, forced her into a loneliness. Her estrangement to proper love, or the seeds of love, allows an overriding immaturity to consume her inner most being.  I remember distinctly the night I knew things were futile, an effort of disgrace being intimately involved with her. She had the day off, a Monday, telling me she was spending the day with her girlfriend. She did not come home to well after midnight, never calling. Walking into her home, the look of a fifteen year old was imprinted upon her face. I could only fear what conniving and scheming her teenage mindset had put into action. In truth, I was dealing with a broken little girl exercising free will, manipulating her way through life, unable to intimately interact with others as an adult. Dr. Nichta stresses not only the importance of self-knowledge, yet also the proper identifying of others. I must accept others for who they are. I cannot expect people to be who I want them to be, or who I think they can become. I must accept people for who they are. No matter how gifted, Ann at her core is an immature woman unable to know the possibilities of love, or how to interact with others with respect to an adult comprehension of love and respect. The formation has just never been exercised. God does not leave us alone. She is too special. God never abandons his chosen ones. In her broken state, she drove to Toledo and picked me up, removing me in my awful condition from that hotel room, saving my life. Something potential, powerful in dimension was offered to both of us. Through self-discovery, self-awareness sets in, I am a holy man, gifted to a humble degree. I know that more and more, learning about myself on a level that only experience teaches. Formation occurs only through experience. Wisdom garnered through living. Reading, studying, teaching, and counsel cannot offer what life supplies. Prayers are essential, enriching interiorly. Sharing stories, parables, come the closest to embracing the graces existing within exterior communication. Jesus spoke through parables. Knowing I am a holy man is also knowing my weaknesses–the fact I am an alcoholic. I was thinking this morning, the third day of a ten day vacation, that if I were drinking, I would be drunk right now upon waking. Days would blend into a confusing loss of clarity, two or three drunks a day, the early morning drunk my favorite. By the fourth or fifth day, I would have lost track of days, even time itself, not sure if it was morning, night, or day, not caring, consumed within an overwhelming misery that physically makes the flesh crawl. Insane, extreme adventures would have ensued, writing to you a part. God always protected me during these awful times, yet the dreadfulness was dangerous. Experience can also be a teacher of horrible things. Grace abounds were sin increases. Wisdom exist within depravity, however its lesson is so tremendous it can crush eternally. Becoming a parent forms through love, wretched things teach through excruciating terror and despair. Watching ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’, I marveled at the fact, these royal, extremely wealthy individuals living life on an extravagant materialistic and social level did not revel in the majesty of their elevated worldly status, rather self-absorption captured them in lives of gloom, despondency overwhelming individual experiences through intense emotion and intricate designs, love a phantom being chased, life a drama being acted upon a stage, the end pointing to an unseen force, Divine Will, always subtly playing within the tenderable conniving of men and women. Ann’s brokenness, her self-willed attempts to be a heroic figure acting through reason for the benefit of God, underestimated God. God is above, while within our schemes reposes the potential for a revealing upon the divine level, a step forward upon a path of perfection.

Second daily reading 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters: that I, Paul, might not become too elated because of the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

DIALOG: ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’.  Something is there, many thoughts regarding matters. I just present the words shared between characters, stories in the telling.


Joao: Can I help you?
Blind Beggar: Oh, sir, please…Are we in the eastern part of the cemetery?
Joao: Yes…We’re in the right place…it’s here…
Blind Beggar: Thank you very much. I’m looking for the mausoleum where my daughter is…
Joao: Mausoleum?
Blind Beggar: My friends assure me it is monumental. My friends say it is the most beautiful in the entire cemetery…I’m unable to see it. With the last money left from my fortune, I had this mausoleum built…Would you be so kind as to describe it to me? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I don’t know if I would be able…I am the Marquis of Montezelos. What is your name?
Joao: I am a simple student, Marquis…my mother died and I came to visit her…
Blind Beggar: So your mother is also in a mausoleum, right?
Joao: No, Marquis, my mother is in a common pauper’s grave…
Blind Beggar: Poor woman. Had I mentioned to you that I was a bad father? No. I hadn’t. This head of mine, and now, as you see I am a beggar, and now that we’re having this conversation, would you happen to have a small coin, for the love of God?
Joao: Of course…
Blind Beggar: Thank you very much…
Joao: Marquis, your friends are waiting for you…
Common Beggar: Poor Marquis. He’s lost his mind…The accident…
Joao: He had an accident?
Common Beggar: It wasn’t an accident…more of a failed suicide attempt…His daughter’s dishonor…What to us are the things of life, are enormous tragedies to the nobility…He fired the shot as they left the Mass. He didn’t kill himself, but he was blinded. He wasted away the fortune and people were moved by this sadness. They were moved by a beggar Marquis and still give him a lot of money. That’s the blessing of beggars…Even in disgrace, the nobles are favored.
Joao: And the mausoleum?
Common Beggar: The mausoleum doesn’t exist. It was an invention of the Marquis…
Blind Beggar: Where are you , Manuel?
Common Beggar: I’m here, Marquis.
Blind Beggar: I’ll be right there! Please excuse me…


Joao (Voice Over): I’ve heard that Alberto de Magalhaes (his savior at birth, the man he challenged to a duel, a man of many identities who saved his life a second time) has enjoyed excellent health. You lacked courage my dear. And I, whose heart you once possessed…My life no longer made any sense. My only thought was to disappear, to lose myself quickly, completely…and without a trace…I caught the first boat I found, bound for Tangiers, which allowed me to board for the coins I still had in my pocket…One soon discovers that it is not difficult to disappear from the eyes of others, but that our own eyes follow us wherever we go. I continued to travel randomly, aimlessly, to lose myself. I don’t know how, but the representatives of Alberto Magalhaes never lost my trail and I continued to regularly receive the money intended for me. My footsteps have finally led me here. I don’t think I can go any further. My condition doesn’t allow me many illusions.
Joao (to hotel assistant): Excuse me, could you kindly direct me to an inn that is far from the center of town?
Hotel Assistant: That won’t be easy. Most of our inns are right in the center.
Joao: In that case, I’ll have to settle for the closest.
Hotel Assistant: This is the closest.
Joao: Thank you.


Joao (voice over): I was fifteen years old and I didn’t know who I was at all…Sometimes, the others would ask me if I was Father Dinis’ son…I didn’t know how to answer them. They all had surnames…four, five, even more…I was just “Joao.” Unlike the others, I went on no family outings, had no holidays, received no presents. I don’t know how long had passed between the time I lost consciousness…and the moment I opened my eyes again…I thought I had dreamt it all.
Nun: Dona Antonia…
Father Dinis: Help him lie down.
Nun: Father Dinis! He is cold.
Father Dinis: We’d better find a doctor! I’ll order the coach to be readied.



Mixing everything together into a prayer, a final offering is made.  Within the novel by Remy Rougeau ‘All We Know of Heaven’, the author strikes moments that absolutely pierce me. This is one. Regarding identity, the pursuit of the spiritual life, a glimpse of clarity within uncertainty, Antoine reflects. He has just suffered a serious face injury due to his mislighting of a gas burner in the kitchen. His accident is put on the backburner as he is rushed by a brother monk out to witness the uncorrupted body of Brother Bernard. Forced to dig up the monastery graveyard during a government forced move, Cistercian monks buried simply in their habit—no casket, the gravediggers discovered Brother Bernard’s body intact, appearing as if he was buried for only days.  Three years the body of the holiest and profoundly prayerful brother laid buried in the soil.

A sudden breeze cooled Antoine’s bandaged face and rushed like a sigh in the leaves above him. For a moment he felt as though he would float away, as though his spirit might leave his body and travel away to where Bernard had gone. He wanted to disappear. But when he looked at the faces of the living monks around him, he knew he could not go. A chasm existed between the living and the dead, and he was not ready to cross it.

These odd faces he knew so well, men in search of God, no different from St Anthony or all the holy monks of old, these men had come to a remarkable place called the abbey, not connected to earth by geography. The holy desert. ‘We have come to find God here’, he thought, and ‘we are breathing God. The holy desert is full of God’.

How easy it had been, Antoine realized, these years in the cloister, to construct a sweet little program of the spiritual life. He had tried again and again to frame his spiritual growth within the safe boundaries of his own preferences and talents, his aptitudes and the means he had at hand. But the grand scheme brushes all human constructions aside. If he had succeeded, if his scheme would had worked, he would have led a pleasant, happy but small life, harmless and sunk in mediocrity. But it never came to pass. The abbey was being uprooted. His brothers on the move. All along, the real monastic life of a greater scheme had forced him to practice more than he had thought possible. Detachment, self-denial, charity, all things that make saints, these had come to him in unanticipated ways. The life of the cloister had overturned all his little plans and arrangements, as well as his opinions about others. The manner of death, the expression on a dead man’s face, the color of bones: Antoine knew that none of these things made a difference. He knew, also, looking at the faces of his brothers, that they would become saints, each of them. Either willingly or by force, God would make them saints.



Moments of understanding

The novel by Remy Rougeau ‘All We Know of Heaven’ swept softly upon a utilitarian path of perfection with the ending of a chapter in which the main character, Antoine, concludes his solemn vows.  After six years as a Cistercian monk, a vow of permanency is performed. He chooses his mother’s birthday as the date of the ceremony. She never accepted his religious choice. Grandchildren her imagined perfection, emotionally, she suffered tremendous angst over her only child giving himself to the cloistered life. During celebrations, Antoine’s mother’s mother, his grandmother takes center stage,weeping in gratitude, endlessly praising and hugging Antoine, stating how she suffered since none of her numerous sons entered the priesthood. His mother makes a grand speech, expressing her displeasure within her acknowledgment she was proud of her son. Within her overwhelming sorrow, she identifies joy. Aunts and uncles, cousins, many attend the ceremony. Antoine’s quiet farming father loses himself during the boisterous gathering after formalities. Antoine finds him in an alcove under a stairway with one of his brothers, the monk in charge of the cattle. The two men are talking of cows as if they have known each other all of their life. Antoine realizes his father would be content within the monastery walls, and not as a slight to his mother.  Everything comes together to allow God to grace him with the understanding his discernment is divinely pleasing.

He knew he was not responsible for the day; how could he accept credit for having come from a good French-Canadian family?  And he knew that it was not for his intelligence or virtue that the Cistercian monks had taken him in. Even after he swallowed several times, his tears stubbornly flowed. 

The emotion Antoine felt was broader than gratitude. He was appreciative, yes, but he also wanted to be better than he was: more virtuous, more sympathetic, more responsible to the world. He had an idea about what holiness meant–something the size and shape of Brother Bernard–and he struggled toward it.  He wanted to make that shape his own somehow. He wanted to wish that shape upon the world.

All We Know of Heaven


Overcoming ourselves to enjoy life and grow spiritually: Freedom over enslavement

The novel ‘All We Know of Heaven’ moved me.  The young man, having entered the monastery, enjoying a solid novitiate, suddenly struggles mightily with lustful thoughts, bringing to a halt his ability to sleep and the endurance of inner turmoil.  His days become drudgery and toil.  Even more devastating is the fact his severe temptation is homosexual in nature, calling into question his very worth as a man.  His fearful thoughts force him to nearly attempt self-castration, going as far as cutting himself before stopping himself.  Within our personal struggles, battling our deepest demons, exist the greatest opportunity for grace, within our wounds Christ comes at us the strongest, within our brokenness is the greatest opportunity to know the love of God.  “…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  (Romans 5).  An area Dr. Nichta and myself discussed in depth yesterday was the idea of self-knowledge elevating contemplative efforts.  To know who I am is to become a more effective seeker of God.  Brutal honesty is necessary in realizing my weaknesses, for within my weaknesses is the area for the greatest growth, and therefore the pouring down of the greatest graces.  Ultimate victory must come through the defeating of that within us which is the furthest from God.  Freedom comes from the expanding of faith, hope, and charity, opening ourselves to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, acquiring the understanding to know the things that take us away from God, the wisdom to to discern the difference between enslavement of the flesh and the freedom of spiritual expansion.  Immediate sensual gratification, the indulgence of all our wants, desires, fantasies and worldly desires is placing ourselves in slavery to immaturity, an undisciplined childish approach to life, a diet of candy and sweets. Everlasting freedom is spiritual warfare, the task of doing the things in our heart we know are righteous.  God’s ways are not foreign and unknowable.  We are gifted with a conscious.  It is the discipline, the accomplishing of the difficult that is our demanding task.

In the novel, contemplate this episode.  After a community vote, the young man is accepted, personally by the abbot, to swear solemn vows.  Previous to the scene, the young man sat outside the meeting, slightly able to hear, distinguishing a heated argument.  The loud voice of Martin, the Irish monk the main character developed an infatuation with, experiencing an episode in which he expressed his feelings to Martin, became audible.  They had not spoken since.  Martin ignoring him intensely.   Martin could be heard yelling and arguing with the abbot.  Relying upon reason, self-conscious, the main character prepared to be rejected, dejectedly aware of his failings.

“This is the grand silence.  Forgive me,” Dom Jacques (abbot) whispered as he sat down at his desk, “but I wanted you to know that the lengthy chapter had nothing to do with you.  We took the vote before any shouting began.  In five minutes, that was all over.  We’ve accepted you.  Congratulations.”  He pointed to a chair, and Antoine (main character), shaking in the knees, went to sit.  Relief washed over him so suddenly that he nearly missed the chair and fell on the floor.”

“You should know,” the Abbot continued, “that Brother Martin and I have been at odds.”  His expression was sober.  “An argument broke out between us over the possibility of his transfer to another abbey.  I was thrown off balance.  I’m afraid.  Not prepared for an outburst in chapter, I lost my temper.”  The Abbot folded his hands.  “And as it stands, I think Martin is resolved to leave religious life altogether.”

Antoine’s mouth dropped.  Though tension had melted when he learned of his acceptance, this was now checked in thinking that he might have had something to do with Martin’s leaving.

“Reverend Father,” he said, “There’s something you should know.”  He blinked several times.  Straightening his back, he stumbled on, hardly knowing what to say.  “When I asked to be moved in the dormitory because of my mattress, I told you a lie.  My request had nothing to do with a mattress.  Truth is, I am strongly attracted to Brother Martin.”

“The matress?” Dom Jacques asked.

“Yes.  I told you that my mattress was shaped for someone else and kept me from sleeping.  But you see, it was really Martin who kept me awake.”


Antoine closed his eyes for a moment and tried to rephrase his tumble of words.  “Yes.  Please understand I’m…I think I’m attracted to Martin.  What I mean is…I think I’m a homosexual.”

The Abbot waited for more, but Antoine had nothing more to say.  A moment went by and the Abbot looked at his watch.

“Yes,” he said.  “Each of us has his burden to bear.  Listen, Brother, it’s getting late.  You’d best get to bed.”

Antoine stood and walked to the door on unsteady legs.  He hesitated, thinking the Abbot had not heard correctly.  Perhaps he should repeat the confession.  The Abbot spoke again.

“Antoine,” he said.  “Pray for Brother Martin.  Pray for God’s blessing upon him.  You of all people might be in the best position to do that.”

“Yes, Reverend Father.”  Antoine stood at the door for a moment, then he left the office and made his way to bed.  There it was, simple and straightforward: a request for prayers.  Nothing more.  His heart pounded as if it slipped into a higher gear.  He felt winded.  Even if the Abbot had completely misunderstood his confession, the deed was done.  He had claimed something sexual about himself, and what was more, had announced it aloud.  There was no going back.  He did not want to go back.  A new sense of identity had begun to bloom, and he felt he knew himself far better than before.  The confession left him stronger.  

That is a powerful scene.  The young man’s anxiety was unfounded.  His fears stronger than reality.  He would come to terms with Martin, understanding Martin’s clashing with the Abbot had nothing to do with him.  Even deeper the psychological healing of understanding himself, developing a profound sense of who he was allowed him to overcome his personal inclination toward sin.  Ambiguities replaced with certainty, self-knowledge allows for personal growth upon a deeply spiritual level.

Other thoughts mingle, yet I want to leave everything.  Let that resonate.  An ending with something lighter.  Now for something different.  My secret garden, Cain Park provided mesmerizing, tantalizing meditation, exotic in nature as Chinese acrobats entertained, beauty displayed, the joy of life played out upon the stage.  The Golden Dragon Acrobats.  Here is a video clip.  Wonderful night of observing physical grace refined.  These remarkably athletic and skilled young men and women naturally put a smile upon the face.  Spellbinding, this young lady was a personal favorite. I met her after the show. She was with a group selling memorabilia. Her beauty, exuberance, strength, joy, and innocence were captivating, disarming, invigorating and a blessing from God to encounter.

Golden Dragon Acrobats

Golden Dragon Acrobats


Spiritual Direction

We read in the Chronicles of St Francis, that a secular asked a good religious, why St John Baptist, having been sanctified in his mother’s womb, should retire to the desert, and lead there such a penitential life as he did. The good religious answered him, by first asking this question: pray why do we throw salt upon meat that is fresh and good? To keep it the better, and to hinder it from corruption, replied the other. The very same answer I give you, says the religious, concerning the Baptist; he made use of penance as of salt, to preserve his sanctity from the least corruption of sin as holy Church sings of him, “that purity of his life might not be tarnished with the least breath.” Now, if in time of peace, and when we have no temptation to fight against, it is very useful to exercise our bodies by penance and mortification, with how much more reason ought we do so in time of war, when encompassed with enemies on all side? St Thomas, following Aristotle’s opinion, says that the word chastity is derived from “chastise,” inasmuch as by chastising the body we subdue the vice opposite to chastity; and also adds, that the vices of the flesh are like children, who must be whipped into their duty, since they cannot be led to it by reason. –St Alphonsus Rodriguez ‘The Practice of Christian and Religious Perfection’.

Chastise: 1. To discipline, especially by corporal punishment. 2. To criticize severely. 3. Archaic to restrain; chasten. 4. Archaic. To refine; purify.

St Alphonsus Rodriguez writes guidance for the religious, yet I find his harsh, demanding perspective practical in contemplative pursuits as a layperson, while also touching upon a consideration into living a fully consecrated life. We are either fully in, or we are out. No dabbling. This is not a game of casualness, times of allowing explorations into the secular and nonreligious without salting ourselves. If we are not fully in, we must respect those fully in. Consideration and kindness are deeper than being casual and brash. Defenses must be up, ramparts in place, when journeying through life. I am reading a novel, ‘All We Know of Heaven” by Remy Rougeau, a Canadian Benedictine monk writing about a nineteen year old entering a Cistercian monastery. The novel captures me with its concise matter-of-fact, drab delivery; a boringness to the entire endeavor that pleases. Brutally honest realism, I suppose, with respect to Thomas Merton’s ‘Seven Story Mountain’. Poignantly ironic, I find the work of fiction realistic, and the biography delusional. In the novel there is not an underlying need for the author to establish himself as a recognized intellectual, an academic authority, a pop culture religious/literary celebrity. This is simply a monk telling a simple story. There is no great exploration of larger than life ideals, no religious history, nor romanticizing through flowery language, no desiring to expose the mystical and supernatural (a criticism I should consider reflectively), no tendency toward psychological self-absorbing introspections, no exposing of one’s inner-most being, no long sentences—saying so many things in a quick spewing. It is a simple realistic view into the occurrences within the life of a young man entering a Canadian Trappist monastery. Ordinary, yet set apart, an original thing in the world. Things can be defined by what they are not. “He walked into the house (his parent’s home after a week at the monastery) and felt as though he had returned from a foreign country; the television seemed a very odd contraption.”

No time, and thoughts are not coming out. I was aiming for the idea that God did not sacrifice His Son over two thousand years ago, and aside from the Church, basically disappear from the ways of man accidently. A God of order, there is a divine plan in place. It is difficult, demanding penance, mortification, and dedication, obviously trust and confidence, as well as obedience and surrender, the following of the ways of the Church if serious depth is to be achieved. Within and through the ordinary, the boring and mundane, we come into actualization, yet the process is difficult, the ways of the saints rigorous, brutal, and nearly impossible in regards to application.  Divine assistance please subtly abide. The extraordinary existing within the ordinary takes a fine process of revealing; romantic traps, emotional enticements, egotistical needs, the desire for intellectual gratification, artistic expression, boredom, and the flesh are always posed for a gradual or immediate devouring.  Not sure I am pleased with this entry, struggling personally with respect to perfection and longing for Ann–some days are difficult, yet never will I fully concede defeat, for as St Liguori teaches, the greatest defeat is to lose hope. My friend with the Catholic bookstore has a sign above her front door, above a holy water dispenser, ‘All yee who enter, abandon despair’. Always through faith, hope, charity and GRADUALNESS within fortitude, perseverance, and understanding–‘gratefulness for progress achieved’ maintained as a driving force, I move forward. To dabble or sit casually still is to die.  The sitting still must be done with precise purpose, adorably and prayerfully in the presence of the Eucharist. Dentist appointment this morning, natural world calls, salting performed.

All We Know of Heaven