Monday, April 30, 2007

Thankful Sunday

Its early Sunday evening and I’m standing in the kitchen doing a mental run through of the meal I am going to prepare. I love to cook but today I’m being a bit of a grump, cranky cause I can feel a cold coming on. Gather up everything for the dishes which takes countless trips to the fridge, freezer and pantry. Darn, I forgot to get the beans. Not too pleased I head back to the fridge, which is not that far away but I’m grumbling to myself. Get the beans and put them in the sink and look at them and it hits me, here I am grumbling about the very short walk to get the beans when there are so many folks out there who have nothing to eat, starving and dying of hunger. I mean all I have to do is walk to the fridge to get the beans, I have food, and some don’t even have food to prepare a meal. My grumpy outlook starts to disappear. I have food to eat and if I’m hungry its not for lack of food its cause I don’t want to prepare something. Thank You God.

I start to prepare the seasonings to marinate the chops. Mortar and pestle in hand I begin to combine everything. I look out the window. The sun is now beginning to peek out, had been raining earlier. I see the light being reflected off the droplets of water on the trees and grass, it looks like tiny flashes of light, like someone is trying to take my picture. I smile. The birds are chattering in the trees, I see a butterfly on one of the bougainvillea and would you believe it I see a humming bird. Geez, it has been so long since I saw a humming bird and there it is just hovering in front of me. Beautiful. I see my two dogs rolling around on the lawn. I whistle them and they spring up and look in my direction. They are smiling at me, and yes dogs do smile. They can be a handful at times, especially when they try to dig to China in the flower beds but I would not trade them in for anything. Beauty surrounds me, I don’t have to look very far to see the splendor of creation, its right before me and I fail to notice it sometimes. Some look out their windows and see nothing but destruction and barrenness. Picturesque beauty before me, created just for me to enjoy. Thank you God.

Pots are a bubbling, oven is a broiling and my hands are going a mile a minute, grating, pounding, rubbing. The phone rings, hands are dirty and everyone else is either sleeping or not home. Let the machine get it. Its my friend and my goddaughter. I hear them both giggling, I know its cause of the silly jingle I have as the message on the machine. ‘That will never get old, only you would have a singing message on your machine.’ I giggle too and walk over to the phone and put it on speaker using my elbow, don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner. They called to say hello. Finish the conversation and smile. Go back to cooking and I hear that very distinct whistle. Its my cousin who I have not seen for going on two months trying to get my attention from his kitchen window next door. He moved out last year but still remains ‘the official taster’ as he calls himself. He says that he will be right over, he can see that he is needed. Its amazing how a guy can smell food a mile away (not that far in this case) but cant hear ya if you are standing right in front of them. He comes and sits himself on the counter and we start to talk. I love these moments. He tastes and I stir. It passes the test. Perfecto. People who care, people who are there, I’m thankful. Thank You God.

Time passes, tummies get filled and pots get empty. Family, friends and food. Beauty, magnificent beauty before me. What do I have to complain about? Yea, I may not be feeling well but I really don’t have anything to complain about. I have much to be thankful for. Goodbye Mrs. Cranky, hello Mrs. Thankful. I don’t have to look very hard, don’t have to look very far, just have to open my eyes and be attentive.

Fact is that we, the vast majority of the world, focuses so much on the negative that we don’t see all the positive that surrounds us. So the kitchen could use a make over but hey at least you have a kitchen and food to cook. So your clothes are so yesterday, least you have clothes, some have nothing but what is on their back. So your car breaks down, ole Betsy has seen better days so you have to foot it. Well think about those who never had a car or cant walk cause they are paralyzed or its just not safe to go out walking.

Today take a moment and open your eyes and look before you and see all that you have to be thankful for. Finding it difficult? Try being thankful for the things you have not!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I read this article that said

the typical symptoms of stress

are eating too much, drinking

too much, impulse buying and

driving too fast.

Are they kidding?

That's my idea of a perfect day!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saint Quote-Saint Francis de Sales

"Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, not even if your whole world seems upset. If you find that you have wandered away from the shelter of God, lead your heart back to Him quietly and simply."

~ St. Francis de Sales

Rain Glorious Rain

I am one of those 'weird' people that love the rain. I love it most at night as I lay in bed and hear the rain thud down on our old tin roof, for some reason it fills my heart with peace and a feeling of being blessed. Perhaps it is also from childhood memories of drinking a cup of hot chocolate which our mother had made for us then snuggling under the covers as Mum turned off the light.

Or it could come from the fact that I live in a desolate landscape at times when the rain stops and the land becomes parched. My heart goes out to our farming families as they struggle to make a living in these drought driven days.

A few weeks ago our Bishop asked the citizens of this country to begin to pray for rain. Despite many doubting the power of prayer, including some Priests, still we all joined in praying that this dry parched land would feel the blessing of rain upon its scorched landscape.

Prayer is more powerful than any doubts, it not only comforts us it also restores our belief that God hears our cries and when it is aligned with His Will He will answer them.

In Australia this week our prayers have been answered, it has rained consistantly now for four days straight and more on the way. We need a down pour of many more days in order to fill our dried rivers, creek beds, lakes and Reservoirs.

So this is a reminder that God always hears our prayers and petitions, but answer's them in His time in & in His Way but always for what we need rather than what we want.

I would be most grateful if you all could join in praying that our land will receive the water it needs for our land to flourish and our so our farmers can also make a decent living.

Thankyou kindly.

'when it's a glorious day

I pray


it's a glorious day

when I pray.'

Yours in Christ,


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Cold Within

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

James Patrick Kinney

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A New Age View of Carmelite Spirituality?

Medical intuitive and renowned author Caroline Myss and I have a few things in common: we both have studied theology, and we were both taught by nuns. But when it comes to interpreting sacred texts, like Teresa of Avila's classic "Interior Castle," we must have been in two different classrooms.

Because our two castles have some major structural variations. And I'd like to think mine would be the one standing after a hurricane.

I applaud Myss's efforts in the field of human consciousness and holistic health, Even if I do have a few issues with her philosophies. But I'm feeling a bit defensive and protective with Teresa of Avila(John of the Cross and Therese of Lisieux)since they are key players in my faith and in my recovery from depression. And because one of my dearest friends and mentors, Keith Egan, is one of the country's most prominent Carmelite scholars.

When I read parts of Myss's book "Entering the Castle" (inspired by Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle"), I shook my head wondering if I had dozed off back in theology class, or if she was trying to advertise a banana-split without the banana, offer a burger without the meat, or sell a mansion with no foundation.

The Spanish mystic's message is poignant and powerful. One of the most celebrated books on mystical theology, her "Interior Castle" is an important text. Which is why it needs to be understood properly.

The "Interior Castle" and all Carmelite Spirituality is about God transforming the human heart and soul in love. As my mentor Egan explained to me in an e-mail yesterday: "Teresa focuses on God, who is the center of our existence. He calls us into that center where we can meet God in love."

Nothing in Teresa's "Interior Castles" suggests that the transformation of heart and soul is of our own doing. We aren't divine. No. No. No. Only God is divine. All of the blessings we receive are received through grace, are God's doing. That's what keeps us humble, and that's where Myss is missing a few (essential) pillars.

"[The soul] waits impatiently for the opportunity and avenue to unveil itself to you--your own divinity, the God within you," writes Myss in "Entering the Castle" "What does 'unveiling your own divinity' really mean?... In the Castle you will connect to your divinity--and give your soul an opportunity to stretch out a bit."

Major crack in the foundation there! Everything I have read about Carmelite prayer suggests the opposite: that union with God comes when we begin to comprehend our nothingness, when we completely empty ourselves before the Creator, when we acknowledge that God alone is Love, Truth, Wisdom, and Peace.

It's the virtue of humility that I believe is at stake here, and humility is central to Teresa's spirituality, as she writes:

"I was wondering once why Our Lord so dearly loved this virtue of humility; and all of a sudden...the following reason came to mind: that it is because God is Sovereign Truth and to be humble is to walk in truth, for it is absolutely true to say that we have no good thing in ourselves, but only misery and nothingness; and anyone who fails to understand this is walking in falsehood. He who understands it is most pleasing to Sovereign Truth because he is walking in truth."

According to Teresa, we are nothing next to God, but have great potential because of God. Says Egan: "Teresa does have a positive notion of the human person despite her call for humility. We are a castle, a pearl, and much besides. But we are created and we do fail to accept God's love. Teresa speaks of our nothingness because she knows the difference between ourselves and God--she sees the wide chasm."

Recognizing this wide chasm and separateness allows the union between our souls and God to happen. Deification--an Eastern theological theme taken up by Thomas Aquinas, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and others--means that God created us in God's image and likeness and by our baptism calls us to become, through grace, God-like. Not God--God-like, and only by grace, another principal concept missing in Myss's castle. "We impoverished humans are called to union with God and that union makes us like God but we remain always the human that God created us to be, created to love God with all our hearts," explains Egan.

Without grace, without the clear distinction between creation and Creator, we get dangerously close to pantheism--where there's little or no separation between God and the world.

So, while it's wonderful that Myss is introducing the world to the Carmelite nun and Spanish mystic who offers us some clear directions toward a deeper union with God, I believe that she'd better get an architect in her castle asap, because some serious renovations are needed.

By Therese J. Borchard

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks this day for the peace and security we enjoy, which was won for us through the courage and devotion of those who gave their lives in time of war. We pray that their labour and sacrifice may not be in vain, but that their spirit may live on in us and in generations to come. That the liberty, truth and justice which they sought to preserve may be seen and known in all the nations upon earth. This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord.



The Ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Laughter Quote

‘Laughter is a divine gift to the human who is humble. A proud man cannot laugh because he must watch his dignity; he cannot give himself over to the rocking and rolling of his belly. But a poor and happy man laughs heartily because he gives no serious attention to his ego.’

How about you? Are you making the most of this divine gift? I’m very grateful that God gave me a father with an unusual gift of humor, who taught me to laugh at myself (there’s certainly no lack of material). Time and again laughter has provided much-needed help in my ongoing battle against pride.”

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall

Laughter- The Spark of the Soul

Have you ever sat and pictured Jesus laughing? Jesus having a good laugh till he is weak kind of laugh?? Why is that? Most of us have pictured Him praying, preaching, suffering and dying, but what about Jesus laughing? How come in children’s cartoons we see the soft and tender side of Jesus, Jesus smiling and laughing with the children but when it comes to the shows geared towards a more adult audience we don’t see this side? Why is that?

I have heard people speak about the “cultural humor” in some of Jesus’ parables, but I had just never imagined him laughing out loud because something struck him as being funny. Yet, isn't laughter one of the most basic things that makes up our humanity? I believe that Jesus knew how to laugh and did so! I also believe that he fully expects us to do so also.

Why is it that people think once you are “religious” you should go around all serious not smiling or laughing? Yes religion is nothing to be taken lightly but honestly if we are ambassadors of Christ and our faces look like prunes, what sort of advertisement is that? Some folks are downright against humor in religion. For those who think that we are supposed to walk around all somber and clad in sober piety, they have obviously not thought about a Jesus who laughed.

Jesus wanted us to share in his loving and laughing heart. Notice some of what he said about this: “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have many troubling times; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33. If we look through the scriptures we can see references to laughter. A cheerful heart is a good medicine but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22. Laughter is even used as a key part of the description of the worthy woman. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25.

I always look for clean humor. I really enjoy laughing and it helps keep my spirits up in what can sometimes be a very troubled world. Our sense of humor is part of what defines who we are. It's hard to be likable, warm or accepting if you can't laugh at the world around you as well as yourself. Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another, when they feel open and free. And the more laughter there is, the more bonding occurs within the group. I know for me, one of the things I can say about someone I consider to be my friend is that we can laugh together.

We should try to emulate Jesus not just his sober piety, but also in his ability to laugh. What soap is to the body laughter is to the soul. Laughing should be seen as a pious act when done appropriately. When we laugh it feels good, it lightens the atmosphere around us. Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart. Figure out what makes you laugh and do it. So as Carolyn Birmingham put it so nicely “A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.” So be funny every chance you get -- as long as it's not at someone else's expense!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sunday April 22, Mass Readings

In order to read the Mass Readings for Sunday please click here.

The Ultimate Motherly Act

This makes chilling reading when a journalist Ms Moran attempts to 'reason' that having an abortion is nothing more than getting rid of a problem. Her irrational attempts to suggest that in order to have a better society it would be best to murder the most vulnerable should leave everyone shuddering at her mind set.

Here is just an except from the site 'Catholic Culture'.

"Journalist Miranda Sawyer had made a television documentary in which she recounted her own personal journey from viewing a fetus "just as a group of cells" to understanding what it really is. "When you’ve experienced…pregnancy and birth, and the fantastic beauty of the resulting child," said Sawyer, "it’s hard not to question what a termination does, or is." In contrast, Moran claims that her own experience, after having two children, was just the opposite: she became less conflicted about abortion, and gladly chose to terminate her next pregnancy."

Read further on this most important issue which tears at the heart of our society by clicking here.

Yours in Christ,


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Feed the Hungry at No Cost

On a more positive note. Paula who runs her two blogs, 'More Light' and 'Receiving Light' has placed a post that deals with poverty and families that are going hungry. All one has to do is to click the links displayed on her blogs to help feed the hungry....So now helping the hungry is now only a click away.

Please visit her blogs and help in this worthy cause. Thankyou.

Peace to all


The Reality of Evil

Less than seventy-two hours have passed since the shootings that killed thirty-two innocent people and injured another thirty at Virginia Tech. Americans can relate to what Virginia Tech President William Steger said immediately after the killings: "I'm really at a loss for words to explain or to understand the carnage that has visited our campus . . . "

This is especially true as a frightening picture of the killer emerges: a young man, by all accounts a loner, who, according to the Washington Post, wrote poetry about death and "expletive-filled rants against the rich and privileged." Clearly, on the dark side.

As we seek to understand what happened and why he did this, it is vital that we not exclude an important part of the equation: evil.

Faced with this kind of horror, we automatically assume that we are dealing with a madman—a word the media has already used to describe the killer. That's because we can't imagine ourselves or anyone we know doing anything remotely like this. Therefore, we conclude that something must have been "wrong" with the perpetrator.

And, since our culture is defined by what sociologist Philip Rieff called the "therapeutic ethos," the "something" that's "wrong" must be a psychological defect. Mental illness, not human evil, is our preferred explanation for what happened in places like Blacksburg or Columbine.

I witnessed an extreme example of this therapeutic thinking during a visit to a Norwegian prison years ago. Throughout the tour, officials bragged about employing the most humane and progressive treatment methods anywhere in the world. I met several doctors in white coats.

That prompted me to ask how many of the inmates, who were all there for serious crimes, were mentally ill. The warden replied, "Oh, all of them." I must have looked surprised, because she said, "Well, of course, anyone who commits a crime this serious is obviously mentally unbalanced."

Stated differently, there is no such thing as sin and evil, and the only reason why people might commit serious crimes is that they are mentally ill. Thus, the best—and perhaps, only—response to crime is behavior modification and all of those other up-to-date psychological techniques.

While the Norwegian approach would strike most Americans as very naïve, the difference between them and us is one of degree not kind. We also blame crime on external factors, like mental illness, culture, dysfunctional childhood, and the like.

We are uncomfortable attributing events like this to human evil, much less to a kind of evil that seeks to undo God's creation—what Christians call the demonic.

Yet without this idea, events like this massacre can never be understood. We might learn that the killer was "mentally unbalanced" or on anti-depressants. But, absent evidence that he was clinically delusional, this knowledge will not explain why he walked onto a college campus, locked people in a lecture hall, and killed them.

Events like this not only horrify us—they unsettle us. We think of sin and the demonic as not-so-quaint relics from a superstitious age. And even more destructive, random events like this remind us how little we know about ourselves and what we are capable of, as well. But failing to call evil evil misleads us about the world we live in and our need for God's grace, the only real answer and hope for any of us.

Inspirational Thought

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."

~Peace Pilgrim.

Monday, April 16, 2007

In Our Thoughts and Prayers - For The Victims of the Virginia Tragedy

May the Angels lead you into Paradise:

at your coming, may the Martyrs receive you,

and bring you into the Holy City

May the Choirs of Angels receive you.

And may you have eternal rest.

As you mourn the loss of your loved ones, may our God of eternal love bring you comfort in your sadness, hope in the face of despair, and courage during this difficult time with the knowledge of everlasting life.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace.


For those affected by this tragedy, may our God of comfort strengthen you, give you blessed and patient hope, unshaken trust and peace.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Prayer to the Divine Mercy

O Lord, behold here before You a soul who exists in this world in order to allow You to exercise Your admirable MERCY and manifest it before heaven and earth. Others may glorify You through their faithfulness and perseverance, thus making evident the power of Your grace. How sweet and generous You are to those who are faithful to You!

Nevertheless, I will glorify You by acquainting others of Your goodness to sinners and by reminding them that Your MERCY is above all malice, that nothing can exhaust it, and that no relapse, no matter how shameful or criminal, should allow the sinner to despair of forgiveness.

I have offended You grievously, O Beloved Redeemer, but it would be still worse if I were to offend You by thinking that You were lacking in goodness to forgive me. I would rather He deprive me of everything else than the TRUST I have in Your Mercy.

Should I fall a hundred times or should my crimes be a hundred times worse that they actually are, I would continue to trust in Your MERCY.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Inspirational Quote

"Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life."

~Joseph Campbell

Dealing With Depression

Why depression hits some people and not others will never be known. The very illness itself is a deep mystery understood by few and suffered in silence by many.

It does not help when well meaning authors put pen to paper and make uneducated comments such as was seen on another website, "One of the most astonishing lessons of life is that there is never a good reason to stay depressed." There isn't a person on earth who chooses to 'stay depressed' but there are many who don't know how to overcome this debilitating and excruciating illness. From this same site come these ill informed words, "The keys are faith, love, and ridding ourselves of "self." Self is an anchor to the muck, and we don't need that! Meantime love shields us, smoothing over conflicts, or eradicating the source of antagonism, while faith erases fear, which is the cause of much depression to begin with."

Some of our greatest Saints suffered bouts of depression throughout their whole lives, do we dare level this same criticism at them? Of course not! St. Flora of Beaulieu, suffered intermittent depression throughout her life mainly at the hands of her over suspicious Mother Superior who, driven by envy made life very difficult for this virtuous and holy woman of God. In the end who proved to be the one who was self absorbed, selfish and egocentric, St. Flora or the Mother Superior? As a young girl St. Therese of Lisieux also suffered a 'mysterious illness' that had her bed ridden and in floods of tears as her family desperately looked for a cure for their beloved daughter and sister. Can any one of us say that Therese was selfish and self absorbed? Later when she was in the midst of suffering from tuberculosis the bouts of depression would return, would any of us dare point the finger and lecture St. Therese about the suffering she was enduring with blasé and patronising comments? The same can be said of St. Teresa of Avila who suffered for many years with bouts of depression as did St. John of the Cross, as well as St. Monica when her anxiety about her son would drive her to tears and she would suffer bouts of despondency?

In order to truly try and understand depression we must first recognise it as an illness, for instance do we blame those who are suffering from cancer for their disease? Do we point the finger at those suffering from Alzheimer's and blame them for their condition? Once again of course not! Yet there are many who with great ignorance blame the sufferer of depression as the main cause of their own illness, how obtuse! Let us look at what the late great Pope John Paul II said about depression when he described it as a 'spiritual trial, and continued in these words, "The illness frequently is accompanied by an existential and spiritual crisis that causes one to no longer see the value of living... the spread of depression has become worrisome," and suggested that the disease "at least in part is induced by society."

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly secularized, where people are treated as commodities where profit is more important than a working man or woman's dignity. In other parts of the world we are inundated with images of murder, mayhem, political scandals and corruption. Where children are becoming less and less protected as the law courts seek to protect the transgressor rather than the victim and natural catastrophe's afflict different parts of the world. Yet we are supposed to remain immune from these devastating news and continue on with life as if we were popping zippy do da pills.

Who is anyone to say what a person can and cannot feel or how long one must feel pain and anguish? We read all these calamitous stories via the media, as if it is having no effect on us until one day a person may become immersed in one personal tribulation after another which afflicts their very being and leaves them drowning in a sea of doubts as their feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness increases. Do we tell them to just 'think happy thoughts and everything will disappear'? When a soul is immersed in this dark night, words become meaningless, but their pain and anguish is not without hidden meaning. Rather than dismiss depression as a 'self obsessed illness' it would behoove us better to understand it without a patronising attitude.

There is no worse feeling than that of abandonment, yet many sufferers of depression do feel this sense of abandonment by God as they feel their prayers going up into 'thin air' unheard. Yet did Jesus also not suffer in the garden of Gethsemane? Our Lord also suffered that abandonment that the sufferers of depression endure, is this not a validation that depression like all other illnesses has a redemptive quality and that by offering up their particular suffering the sufferer is then ennobled through the Power and Love of God.

No suffering whether it be physical, emotional or mental is meaningless. We find meaning through our anguish and doubts with the realisation that Christ walked the path of suffering and therefore He calls others to also walk this same path. It is described as 'the Kiss of Christ' and so it is, as we journey the same path without knowing the reason why. The mystery of redemptive suffering lay not in our love for God but in His love for us, for it is God who strengthens us to persevere through this dark night trusting in His Promises even though our very feelings prompt us to harbour feelings of severe doubt, still the sufferer endures relying on their faith in God's Goodness alone!

In order to overcome depression one has to learn to utilise mental discipline, so when we are overcome with severe doubts and feelings of unworthiness we then apply mental discipline against these debilitating thoughts. Rather than allow our thoughts to continue on the downward escalator we put into practice this discipline and change our thoughts onto more productive one's and thereby stop the downward spiral into negativity. This takes time and patience so none should become disheartened if their thought process continues to torment them, as the negative 'inner voice' tries to convince the soul that it is somehow unworthy to exist.

Prayer is also an essential key even if the soul feels it is going into 'thin air' still we persevere not relying on our feelings but on the Promises of God and His very goodness to each of us individually. It is prayer that will strengthen the soul as it struggles to escape the deep morass that leaves a person grasping at shadows as it tries valiantly to overcome this terrifying illness alone.

When you are in the company of a sufferer it is wise to know you are in the presence also of one who is enduring their own passion, therefore rather than offer empty words of advice, compassionate with them in silence. Remember if you had been present in the garden of Gethsemane would you have advised the Lord that 'it will be all over by tomorrow, so just think positive' I think not!

Depression is a much misunderstood illness even to those suffering through it including some of the Churches greatest Saints. Let us then in a spirit of compassion simply listen to those who suffer this lonely journey..and hopefully we will learn from them how to live our lives with true meaningfulness.

Copyright © 2007 Marie Hill. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Uniting With Jesus


When Mother Theresa of Calcutta addressed a group of major religious superiors from all over the world, she made this salient point:

"To be really united to Jesus we must all strive to be united with him in his passion. It is his passion to be intensely aware of the suffering of others. He unites with the suffering of the poorest of the poor, and wants to help them. He wants to bring his love, peace and joy to them, and he needs us to do that. And that is why we must radiate joy!"

Her emphasis on joy was striking! And her interpretation of Christ's "passion," as "a yearning to help others," was enlightening. If his passion was to help the downtrodden, maybe the emphasis many of us put on Christ's physical pain misses the point.

Ultimately it was his love for the poor that led to his crucifixion. He told the outcasts that they were blessed. The Pharisees told them that they were defiled. The Pharisees were furious when Jesus defended the poor.

According to Mother Theresa, being united with Jesus means entering fully into his passion to help others. To do this she asks us to radiate his joy, which is the "Joy" of the Blessed Trinity. Joy liberates us all from sorrow.

At times suffering is unavoidable. When it comes it purifies the soul and wins us grace, but we do not need to increase our physical pain in order to grow closer to Jesus. All we need to do is unite with his passion for helping those in need.

The Lord wants us to communicate his love and his joy.

When I write about the importance of joy, some people think that I am watering down the faith. They think I should preach Christ crucified, but I do. Preaching Christ crucified does not mean focusing on his physical suffering. It means being united to his passion. This involves the deepest level of love and self-surrender.

The sacrifices we make in the name of love do not diminish us; rather they serve to intensify our joy. Joy is the by-product of love.

If we are to bring "joy to the world," as Jesus did, we must understand his mission. Helping others to triumph over their sorrow requires an abundance of love and joy on our part, and that is why Mother Theresa insists that we "Radiate joy."

Christianity is not primarily about sadness and suffering. Quite the opposite! All Christians are all called to the fullness of God's joy. Mother Theresa continued, "We are called to be carriers of God's peace, love, and joy." Sacred Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit is nothing but "love, peace and joy."

Mother Theresa said, "You can't give what you do not have, so it is important that we ask for God's joy. We must pray to grow in joy."

The Lords loves us so much that he wants to liberate us from pain and suffering. He died that we might live; he plans a brighter tomorrow for all of us. The hope of heaven permeates our lives here and how. Jesus frees us from fear and self-pity.

The demands of the modern world take a heavy toll on our bodies and our souls, but Jesus said, "Do not be afraid. . . I have told you this that your joy may be full."

by Father John Catoir

Peace Quote-Bl. Mother Theresa

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~Blessed Mother Theresa


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Monday, April 9, 2007


The importance of the written word is a way of reaching the many people who are bored with religion, disillusioned with the Church but are hungry for God. We are living in a climate in which is it difficult to think about God, to pray, to have an interior life. Indeed today it seems that the very air we breathe is not conducive to the spiritual life.

Reading and writing is good for the soul. It makes us reflect more and spend more time in prayer. It makes us more open to those who say that they are bored with religion but want God yet fear they will lose out if they do. They are afraid of letting God into their lives, their everyday living, because they think all the fun will end and life become a bore. The reasons for this state of mind are varied and complex.

We can however say without fear of contradiction that God, the creator of fun and laughter is NOT boring! Life is meant to be lived to the full and without an interior life we are only half-living our lives. God is not an old hat! When we take God for granted we are dead.

These writings are a witness to the Good News and the Gospel of Grace. They are an invitation to rise above our situations and surroundings and live the higher life because that is the life we are born to live. We don’t have to run into a burning building and save a child to be a hero. We only have to be in touch with God dwelling in us.