Month: March 2021

Lent 36 ~ Close Your Mouth

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          It has been a wonderful, delicious two days of being on a break. To have it coincide with Holy Week is a coincidence not lost on me: God wants me silent and attentive. And today, He made sure I got the message.

          On a long evening drive today along country roads with the family, I wondered about God’s silence these past 2 days. The last I heard His voice on my heart was on the Feast of the Annunciation when He told me it was time I rested and let Him take over. I agreed. I was truly spent. But I needed to walk Holy Week right too and for that I needed to hear from my God.

          So, I began to search for Him and to listen out for His voice. So many, many little things came and went, pressing their sweetness upon my heart. Our family spent a lovely day in the sun out in the garden today. At one point, I heard the plaintive cries of an eagle high up in the sky. Its shadow fell fleetingly upon our front lawn as it crossed the sun’s eyes. Looking up, I saw two of them, swooping and soaring in the happy blue skies, watched by fattened white clouds, their calls bringing an immediate quietening to my heart.

          No Word did I hear but peace reigned strong as I cut and gathered gardenias for our Sunday altar. A good lunch and a short but deep rest afterwards filled me with all the energy that had been missing for a time. The kitchen put into order and meal prep complete, we piled into our car for that sunset drive.

          Just a few minutes out of town, a huge gold moon rose in the sky before us. The Passover moon, I thought to myself. The Feast of Freedom from slavery and tyranny, it had begun yesterday and would end on Easter Day. Again, a quiet descended into me.

Will You speak to me, Lord? I asked and released the asking into the purple~orange sunset.

          Once home, in a quick reading before I went to cook dinner, I felt a faint quickening within as an unexpected word came before me,

Pilgrimage

          I understood immediately and jumped to obey. Tell me what to do, Lord, I answered, all quivering-ly eager and ready. But nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

You need a spiritual pilgrimage.

Begin by closing your mouth.

   ~  Egyptian Desert Fathers

Lent 35 ~ The Meadow Beyond

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          The week has finally come to an end and not a moment too soon. I couldn’t have managed another day. From the light and energy of yesterday, without warning, I swung to the other end of the spectrum this morning: exhaustion, confusion, every gully within bone-dry. I clearly have nothing left to give where work is concerned.

          But I have a week off from work and after two brutal months, I sink into this promise with un-shuttered relief. I will close the gate to work and lock it behind me, for

there’s a meadow beyond to skip in

flowers to gather

and apples to share

Glory! Glory! Glory!

Lent 34 ~ Miracle of Motherhood

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The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.   ~   Luke 1: 35 – 37

 

          From yesterday, my heart has been filled with babies. This past year, I’ve truly carried my children close to my heart. For all the times work has taken me away from them, the past 12 months have returned me to them.

          But yesterday, babies clung tighter to my heart a little more than usual.

          As always, the realization came belatedly.

Feast of the Annunciation

Feast of the Miracle of motherhood

          I have been blessed with this miracle seven times that I know of. Some of my children are here with me, my heart’s delight. Some are hidden from sight, my unseen helpers.

And one leads the way.

          For a time, I struggled to have children. I know too well that everything the world says is right can instead result in disappointment after disappointment. The sun will never rise unless God grants us His love. Many women have trouble with this comforting truth – that God determines each dawn of life, the journeys each of our children take to come to us.

          But it is true. A child comes to know our love only in God’s time.

          Today, on this day sacred to motherhood, my prayers are for a dear colleague aching to have a baby after the sorrow of miscarriage. If it be the will of my Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady, may my friend know the miracle of motherhood again. May she be one with the others I place in the Divine Hearts of Jesus and Mother Mary,

Those who sit by the window of life, waiting and waiting,

Those who returned God’s gifts because He asked.

Those who said, Not now, Lord,

Those who turned their hearts away, saying, Never.

Those who loved and who had no choice but to release their loves to others.

          Today, I consecrate each heart, of woman and baby, to the Mother Heart that knows the seasons of motherhood only too well.

          May today be the Day of Miracles.

Lent 33 ~ Even When I Cannot

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You have a plan for me
Even though I cannot always understand
Beyond what I can see
I know that I am held within Your Hands
So I will trust in You
And I will lift a song a praise for You
And never ever change
No matter what I am going through

Even Here, Rebekah Dawn

Lent 31 ~ Daffodil Hope

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          It is something to rejoice over when spring fairies come back to life again. When my friends write about the signs of spring in the air, in their gardens, in the woodlands, it’s hard not to be sweetened to hopefulness.

          This year, one particular flower seemed to be in many places before me – the daffodil.

          On a whim, I decided to look up the symbolism of daffodils. What I read smote my heart gently yet strongly.

Daffodils symbolized rebirth and new beginnings.

Some believed that daffodils bloomed when Christ rose from His tomb.

          Today was to be a busy work day, not necessarily one I looked forward to. I had very little sleep the night before and the morning at home was a wee bit busy. Yet, later, working alongside my colleagues, I was strangely unaffected by their raucous revelry. Slowly, I chipped away at my work and by the end of the day, everything that had to be done, got done.

          But those little accomplishments didn’t swell big for me. I was aware of something else slowly tree-ing within me from afternoon: a mysterious hopefulness. It lifted and lifted, bit by bit, as the bright gold afternoon winds swept higher and higher in some unseen joy.

          Shiny, new hope. Hope that is gentle, yet strong. Something that wasn’t there before.

Lent 30 ~ Milagro

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          At the Farmer’s Market yesterday, the heat stifling and sweltering, all I wanted was to get out of the sun and go home. So, my husband and I moved about quickly and got the few things we wanted.

          On our way out, we passed a small stand where fertilizer was being sold. On a quick trot and totally uninterested, my passing gaze fell upon the brand printed on the bags. Milagro. It meant nothing to me.

          Hours later, relaxed and contented, I was vacuuming the house floors, when slowly I became aware of a word being gently repeated in my head.

Milagro

Milagro

Milagro

          And with it a light. Milagro is Spanish for miracle.

Lent 29 ~ Her Name is N

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Your prayer intercession for N is pleasing to Me because it is an act of love.​   ~  In Sinu Jesu

 

          After a stretched and harried workday, the last thing I wanted was to make that long drive to the city. The only thing in favour of the trip was that I would have a chance to go to church, my first time since the 3rd week of January when my country went into lockdown again. That I would be able to spend the feast day of St. Joseph in a silent church before my Hidden Jesus, firmed my resolve further.

          The hot winds tossed and leapt in the blue skies above the seaside city as I got down from the car. I was so very happy to be back. It has been close to 2 months of hardly any quiet alone time and I was longing so much just to be alone. Entering church and settling down, for an hour, I got just that. No interruptions. Just the muted sounds of passing traffic and the chirping of happy birds in pursuit of living. Quiet and chatty in turns, I laid bare my whole heart to Jesus, even as I listened for His words. 

          Presently, barrel emptied, I picked up my copy of In Sinu Jesu, allowing the words to thread through me. Soon, it would be time to begin the journey home, to return to all that awaited me, the beautiful as well as the difficult.

Speak to me, Jesus, I prayed, if it be Thy will. Don’t let me go back without hearing You.

          Paragraph after paragraph, page after page, words flowed but nothing remained within me. I didn’t pause to try and go deeper either. Several times, I reminded myself that the words I was reading were God’s to the monk – not me – because I didn’t want to imagine that a word was for me. If God wanted to speak to me, He would make His voice heard and I would somehow know it.

          But God didn’t speak and yet, my peace was not disturbed. It was one of those rare times when I was fully trusting Him. I read on a bit more and then, saw that it was time to pack up.

          Just then, a thought occurred to me. So many lives would have been different had the people known of Jesus and felt His love. And I thought about my colleague from work who continues to make my life a misery due to the jealousy within her. Back in the day when we were close, on occasion, I used to share with her my walk with Jesus. Unlike the others whose eyes would narrow and lips tighten, my friend always listened earnestly. She knew I was not in the business of trying to convert her to my faith. She knew that I respected her faith and that she had nothing to fear from me.

          And yet, something in her faith was justifying what she was doing to me, a Christian.

          I decided I would bring my friend to Jesus. Shutting my eyes, I imagined her sitting beside me, right in front of the Tabernacle, before Jesus’ eyes. I offered her heart to Jesus. After a few moments, I returned to my book.

          Suddenly, without warning, a line appeared and shot its arrow right through my heart.

          Your prayer intercession for N is pleasing to Me because it is an act of love.​ 

          This monk, N, had been mentioned several times before and my spirit had never been moved. This time though, a jolt went through me. I knew then that this time, Jesus had meant those words for me.

          Because my friend’s name begins with N.

Lent 28 ~ Faith of the Fathers

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He believed, hoping against hope…   ~    Of Abraham, Romans 4:18

          Today, on this feast of St. Joseph, I ask for the gift of Abraham’s faith. May this asking go far, not confined merely to my heart and to those I carry in it, but to every corner of the world, to flowering fields and into shadows. Where hope is new. Where it is unformed. Even where it is strong and growing. Where it is shattered and dying.

          Joseph was bequeathed this very gift, and throughout his life, he burnished this faith – not by blind fanaticism – but by the oil of humility and obedience. Not by refusing to ponder or question what he did not understand, but by asking for illumination and waiting for it.

          We all have need of this faith, this faith of old, this faith of the Fathers.