17 January 2011

So close your eyes and look!

"It's not hard to see that it isn't half of what it's going to turn out to be."
-Fr. Gary Bagley quoting "It's Getting Better" a song popularized by Mama Cass Elliot

give all.


Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, “Prove that you are a good person.” Another voice says, “You’d better be ashamed of yourself.” There also is a voice that says, “Nobody really cares about you,” and one that says, “Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.”

But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, “You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.” That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.

That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us “my Beloved.”

— Henri Nouwen from “Bread for the Journey – A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith”

Why spend your money of that which is not bread?

In a book called, “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair,” is a chapter titled, “Remind Yourself That It’s Already Broken.”

In this chapter are these two sentences:

“The nature of things is that if they don’t get lost, they get stolen, and if they don’t get stolen, they get broken, and if they don’t get broken, they fade or fall apart. This law applies to teacups, cars, people, sweaters, pets, computers, earrings and just about everything you can touch or buy or have.”

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

"If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days."

For a bad day...

"God does not abandon us...his love comes to us where we are, with our misery and our weakness, to offer us a new possibility of goodness."
Papa Bene - Letter to Romans on Education

“Blessed are you when you when they insult you.”You do more good than you know. You are the ones in the trenches. You are the ones who love despite the odds. Please do not be discouraged. Be true to God and to yourself and may He bless you abundantly in return for the sacrificial love you show Him." - Fr. Valencheck


Tell me, what is it you plan to do, With your one wild and precious life?
--Mary Oliver

remove the bubblewrap

“A sense of deep sadness comes over me when I thing of how Christians sit on the fence. What is the matter with us? Have we forgotten that we are the followers of a crucified Christ? Have we forgotten that he was just the son of a carpenter, himself a tradesman, a strange itinerant preacher who crisscrossed the tiny country of Palestine, preaching his gospel to the poor? Have we forgotten that from the moment he began preaching he walked in the shadow of death? Have we forgotten that following him means to take the greatest risk that one can take? Have we forgotten that following him means living dangerously?

It seems that we have spent centuries trying to eliminate the risk and the danger of his call. It seems that we have cushioned the risk and practically eliminated any and all danger by drawing up a set of moral rules that give us security instead of holy insecurity; rules that lull our conscience to sleep instead of making it wide awake and ready to undertake the risks of being a Christian…..”

Saint Augustine

"Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being humble. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.”

St. Augustine

The house of my soul is too narrow for thee to come in to me; let it be enlarged by thee. It is in ruins; do thou restore it. There is much about it which must offend thy eyes; I confess and know it. But who will cleanse it? Or, to whom shall I cry but to thee? Cleanse thou me from my secret faults, O Lord, and keep back thy servant from strange sins. I believe, and therefore do I speak. But thou, O Lord, thou knowest. Have I not confessed my transgressions unto thee, O my God; and hast thou not put away the iniquity of my heart? I do not contend in judgment with thee, who art truth itself; and I would not deceive myself, lest my iniquity lie even to itself. I do not, therefore, contend in judgment with thee, for if thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? -Confessions

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."


There was a point in Chinese history when you paid the doctor when you were healthy. The moment you got sick you stop paying. If the local doctor wanted to get paid, it was his job to bring you back to full health.

Albert Einstein

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

Arthur Middleton

Priesthood is not a convenient, historically conditioned form of Church organization, but is rooted in the Incarnation, in the priesthood and mission of Christ himself.

fr. michael himes

"We live in a society that measures "maturity" by how well we have mastered the art of moderation. But our God is not moderate. In fact, he is wildly immoderate... both in what he gives us... and in what he asks of us..."


Spiritual writer Brennan Manning reminds us of that wonderful scene in the play, Gideon, written by Paddy Chayefsky. Gideon is out in the desert in his tent a thousand miles from nowhere, feeling deserted and rejected by God, a feeling that is no stranger to many of us from time to time, and others most of the time, maybe even all the time. One night, God breaks into the tent and Gideon is ravished and overcome, burnt by the wild fire of God’s love. He is up all night, pacing back and forth in his tent. Finally dawn comes, and Gideon cries out, “God, oh God, all night long I’ve thought of nuttin’ but You, nuttin’ but You. I’m caught up in the raptures of love. God, I want to take You into my tent, wrap You up, and keep You all to myself. God, hey God, tell me that You love me.” And God answers, “I love you, Gideon.” “Yeah, tell me again, God.” “I love you, Gideon.” Gideon scratches his head and says, “I don’t understand. Why? Why do You love me?” Then God scratches His head and answers, I really don’t know. Sometimes, My Gideon, passion is unreasonable.”

work: innie or outie?

“The basic theme is the one that you have noted: Do not become utterly absorbed in activism! There would be so much to do that one could be working on it constantly. And that is precisely the wrong thing. Not becoming totally absorbed in activism means maintaining consideratio -- discretion, deeper examination, contemplation, time for interior pondering, vision, and dealing with things, remaining with God and meditating about God. One should not feel obliged to work ceaselessly; this in itself is important for everyone, too, for instance, every manager, too, and even more so for a Pope. He has to leave many things to others so as to maintain his inner view of the whole, his interior recollection, from which the view of what is essential can proceed.”

--Pope Benedict XVI
Light of the World, with Peter Seewald

01 January 2011

Like, always...


So trust...

Palm of His Hand

Grand Central

Christmas 2011

Advent: It's not over. It's never over.

12 life lessons

From Fr. James Martin at the Huffington Post, who marked his 50th birthday by tweeting these life lessons to his friends:

1. First up: Stop worrying so much! It’s useless. (I.e. Jesus was right.)

2. Being a saint means being yourself. Stop trying to be someone else and just be your best self. Saves you heartache.

3. There’s no right way to pray, any more than there’s a right way to be a friend. What’s “best” is what works best for you.

4. Remember three things and save yourself lots of unneeded heartache: You’re not God. This ain’t heaven. Don’t act like a jerk.

5. Your deepest, most heartfelt desires are God’s desires for you. And vice versa. Listen. And follow them.

6. Within you is the idea of your best self. Act as if you were that person and you will become that person, with God’s grace.

7. Don’t worry too much about the worst that can happen. Even if it happens, God is with you, and you can handle it. Really.

8. You can’t force people to approve of you, agree with you, be impressed with you, love you or even like you. Stop trying.

9. When we compare, we are usually imagining someone else’s life falsely. So our real-life loses out. I.e. Compare and despair.

10. Even when you finally realized the right thing, or the Christian thing, to do, it can still be hard to do. Do it anyway.

11. Seven things to say frequently: I love you. Thank you. Thank you, God. Forgive me. I’m so happy for you! Why not? Yes.

12. Peace and joy come after asking God to free you — from anything that keeps you from being loving and compassionate.

2011 Motto

We are the shepherds.
We are keeping watch over our flock the best we can.
And the angel of the Lord says to us:
"Do not be afraid..."

via WR

New Year's Resolution