Showing posts with label Cloistered Heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cloistered Heart. Show all posts

4 Jun 2017

Help Me Make Time


"Lord, help me to make time today to serve You 
in those who are most in need of encouragement or assistance."

St. Vincent de Paul

Painting: Rostislav Felitsin

28 May 2017

My Life on the Fence



The life of a nun would be impossible for me, because I don't have grace for it. Sometimes, however, I long for the framework of such a life. I long for physical structure to securely fence me in and keep me from getting sidetracked by things that are unimportant, frivolous or even sinful.

In the midst of a society that finds the very thought of living "for God" repressive, fanatical, and politically incorrect, I find myself not securely fenced in, but camped out and living on the fence. I don't intend to embrace the world's standards, but in my attempts to blend in with the rest of society, sometimes I just might find myself compromising.

The fence is where I settle in to watch a PG-13 movie while trying to close my ears to the language and my eyes to "those scenes." It's where I enter a party determined not to gossip, but wind up laughing along with those who do. It is where I know I'm to stand up for Christ, for life, for morality, for biblical truth - yet I pull back for fear of what others might think.... (continue reading)

21 May 2017

Holy in the Midst


'Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the manna. 
Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the Eucharist, 
and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world' 

St. Peter Julian Eymard
 
 

6 May 2017

When We Are Mystics

"Is this life of union a special vocation for priests, religious, Saints, privileged persons, and mystical souls? Not at all.   


This trusting and tender union with God is the very foundation of the spiritual life...." (read more)

27 Apr 2017

This Unchosen Cloister

You may have noticed that lately I've been absent from behind these cloister walls. I wish I could say I've been away on a long vacation, but the truth is far less glamorous. I've spent the last few weeks in a cloister not of my own choosing... 
 
'Thank God, there still remains one sanctuary, the sacredness of which no earthly power may violate…  It is the sanctuary of the human heart.  It needs no fixed place for its confines, no stated time for the opening of its gates, no particular hour of silence for its prayer.  A thought, a word, a moment of reflection, and by faith and by love, the soul is within the blessed refuge, and the gates are closed on the confusion of life with all its noise and tumult. It is secure against the bitterness and the pain of persecution, or hardship or trial, or hurt of body, or wound of earthly pride, or failure of worldly ambition, for there she is inviolable, sacred, impregnable in the fortress of her own spirit.' (From The Living Pyx of Jesus)
 
(continue reading...)

26 Mar 2017

Revisiting the Real Jesus

Recently I read something touting a "politically correct" (but unmistakably warned against in Scripture) lifestyle as being something Jesus would applaud. 

I immediately thought:  "Oh, really?"  

Just who, I asked, is this jesus of whom the writer is speaking?  It's definitely not the Jesus quoted and taught about in Scripture and 2,000 years of the Church.  The real Christ clearly taught against what the author was endorsing.

This is extremely important.  Nothing in our lives could be more important.  If we intend to respond to the world through the "grillwork" of God's will, a knowledge of the real Jesus is critical. 

If I am going to see the world through Scripture and the teachings of the Church, I must have a working knowledge of what these are. I cannot make them up for myself. And certainly I can't invent my own jesus, one who will approve of everything I do.. even sin. The real Jesus loves me; He genuinely loves me. He cares enough about me to correct my missteps.  

The real Jesus does not overlook the cliffs I'm blindly frolicking about on. He is not afraid of warning me about them lest He interrupt my fun. Because He loves me, He wants to protect me from the enemy of my soul... (continue)

5 Mar 2017

Cloistered at the Carnival

I once had a dream about a carnival. Specifically, I dreamed I was living in a little house on carnival grounds. It was night, but the light streaming in through my windows was bright and garish. It flashed bursts of purple and white and blue and yellow, ceaselessly, across walls and floors and faces. There were other people in the house... (continue)

19 Feb 2017

The Nights of Many Bells

In some monasteries, the new day begins in the middle of the night. "Not long after midnight," writes Mother Mary Francis PCC, "Sister Sacristan...sets her jaw for what is at once a beautiful and a grim task:  to rouse all the other sleeping nuns.  It is a beautiful task because the sacristan's bell is summoning the community to a midnight tryst with God.  It is a grim business because Poor Clares unfortunately carry their souls about in the same clay casing found on the rest of humanity..." (A Right to Be Merry, pp. 115-118)

Out here in the world, I can't identify with bells that rattle me from sleep in the middle of the ni...

O but wait. O yes. Yes, I can. The nights of many bells were several decades ago for me now, but some of you are reading these very words between two such nights.  We know what it's like.  We're deep into a sound sleep, having finally fallen exhausted into bed, when the baby cries.  Is it time for her to eat again?... oh, it can't be!  We drag to our feet, get the baby, feed her, and now she needs a diaper change.  Three hours later, this sweet voiced little "bell" rings again.... (click here to continue) 

29 Jan 2017

A Saint for Bloggers

I like to imagine that, were he living in our age, St. Francis de Sales would be a blogger.  After reading the following on Catholic Online, I suspect my idea may not be all that far-fetched.... 

"Francis' unusual patience kept him working.  No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door.  So Francis found a way to get under the door.  He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors.  This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people." 

It is primarily because of his tracts, copied tirelessly by hand and slipped under doors, that Francis de Sales has been named patron of Catholic journalists. I cannot imagine a more appropriate saint for bloggers.

May he pray for all who slip faithful, God-honoring, blog posts through today's cyber-doors...


Inside Out is One of Pixar's Best

Typically, when I sit down to watch a Pixar movie with my toddler (or in the past, by myself or with my husband...), I know it's ...