Christianity

LENT 13 ~ Be Patient In Humiliations

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          Yesterday was the day for me to burn in someone’s fire. I was asked to bow before someone and to submit to a will not mine and certainly not the Lord’s. Having lived most of my life in that exact same position, and only recently finding the courage not to, I wasn’t about to make another huge knot  that Mother Mary would have to undo all over again.

          So, I silently refused to step into the circle of human homage. And that unleashed the flames on me.

          I suffered in the tirade of thwarted intentions. Over and over, the flames leapt for me. I sat in the heart of it, unable to escape the line of fire. Any prayer thought was snatched away by the relentless flames.

          But by the waning rays of sunset, another, more unfortunate, fire had started in my beleaguered heart. I began to be consumed by fury at the injustice meted out to me. I made some weak stabs at prayer, but a more concerted effort went into planning fire darts to avenge this wrong to me.

          By nightfall, however, I had begun to weary. The anger raged as strong as ever, but this time, my soul fought back, refusing to bend in submission to this sin on my part. It raised a different tempest within me – the tempest of awareness. That tempest took away peace to teach me the consequences of my sin.

          I found that I could bear the searing pain of someone’s fire, but not the loss of peace in my soul. 

          So, I turned my heart determinedly to prayer. One after another, I called at all the harbours I knew, every prayer and bible verse, begging for respite from the storm. I know that no prayer is ever wasted, but I didn’t feel the soothing balm of comfort I sought. Restless and anxious, I learned anew then, the lesson learned over and over by wilful souls – everything in His time, not  ours.

          I ploughed on, nevertheless.

          It was then that I recalled my father, Padre Pio. I thought of his anger, how different it had been from mine. But he had known anger, understood the familiarity of struggling against it. He would know what help I needed to extinguish its wounding flames.

St Pio, help me, St Pio help me, St Pio help me.

          By the closing of the night’s Rosary, the winds died down. But in unfortunate possession of a nature that can seethe on demand, I remained suspicious of the calm.

          Awakening in the morning, these words came, brought on the dew wet breath of dawn ~

Be  patient  in  humiliations.

          Not trials. Not challenges. Not difficulties. But – humiliations. That alone pointed to the heavenly origins of the counsel, because the seed of the firestorm of which I was a victim was the very humiliating  public scourging I was receiving for daring to break ranks, and to stand apart and alone for my faith and principles.

Be  patient  in  humiliations.  Love from the heart of heaven for the storm in mine.

          I pick up my cross again, but this time, with a gentled spirit and a renewed strength.

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NO ONE DIES MOTHERLESS

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For every soul gone to rest, a mother weeps somewhere in the remembered loss of another child. Motherless, orphaned or abandoned, no one dies without a mother. A mother-heart grieves – for her children and for those born of other wombs. Her dirge is not a weakness, but that of love that burns through and transcends barriers of bloodlines and race, creed and time. Hence, no one dies unloved, un-mourned, by a mother somewhere, because no one is motherless.

A LITTLE WHITE HEARSE
by Ella Wheeler Cox
 

 Somebody’s baby was buried to-day

The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,

And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay      

As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,

And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track.

France Honours Attack Victims As The Nation Mourns

Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest, 

White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,

And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,   

And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed

With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.

 

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Somebody saw it go out of her sight,

Under the coffin lid—out through the door;

Somebody finds only darkness and blight

All through the glory of summer-sun light;

Somebody’s baby will waken no more.

 

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Somebody’s sorrow is making me weep:

I know not her name, but I echo her cry,

For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep,

The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep

In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.

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I know not her name, but her sorrow I know;

While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more,

And back to my heart surged that river of woe

That but in the breast of a mother can flow;

For the little white hearse has been, too, at my door.

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Pictures of Paris attack scenes sourced from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3318379/

LIGHT THE LAMPS

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          As the sun dips to his rest, and the purple night gently ribbons across the skies, our hands reach out for light. However welcome the night in its cool flower-scented breezes and hushed life sounds, we seek the light to see and live.

          And so it is with the soul. Even in the wilful pursuit of all that chokes and stamps out the breath of God within us, the soul in loneliness seeks the Light. In every straying heart, the soul stands in diametrical solitariness, longing for that which gives True Life.

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          So as the indigo mists of night drop their veils, heed the urgent whisper of the Spirit:       Go forth and light the lamps.

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          Seek the barren streets, seek them in compassion. The paths where lonely snow drifts. In love reach out to those whose heads are bowed against the snow, intent on their cold aloneness because they think no one cares enough any more. Let love warm and melt the snow that they wear around their hearts, kindle unseen embers long dormant.

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          Have courage. In patience, search for homes locked from within. Shutters clamped tight against the light, soil tilled no more, gardens listing to neglect. Walls adorned by sadness, loss of hope. Seek these homes of a thousand gray memories, dwelling place of souls fettered by the past and present. Seek them and let the Light stream in, for it’s only by His Light that the soul heals.

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          Seek the faces on the streets of hardness, despair, fear and shame. Seek in earnest the faces of those who earn their living by the barrel of the gun of violence and drugs. Search out the souls who offer spousal comfort to those not theirs. In mercy and love, part the thorns that hide and protect those who choose to sever the bond between a mother and her baby in the womb. Go forth and light the lamps on those darkened streets of a thousand shadows. Give hope where hope has gone. Share love where hate has reigned too long. Light the lamp so the soul may be healed.

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          Light the lamps in souls who choose their end before His time. Those so bereft of hope, who suffer the poverty of relationships true and strong. Those for whom love has fled. Let their grief light your path to them. Illumine the darkness of their agony with Christ, that they see in their sufferings, purpose amalgamated with the Divine Will.

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          Go forth and light the lamps in lands where faith slumbers in peril. In prayer and deed, in a life lived true, guide hearts to the Pearl of the Blue Mantle.

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          Shine the Shepherd’s Beacon in every pilgrim soul, away from the precipice of death, steer each one safe.

MESSENGERS

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There is a Call going out, far and wide, streaming over hills, echoing through valleys. The One seeks messengers for His vineyard of daily toil, to trumpet His call through prayer, word and deed.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,

I have heard My people cry;

All who dwell in dark and sin,

My hand will save;

I who made the stars of night,

I will make their darkness bright;

Who will bear My light to them?

Whom shall I send?

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Do you hear the Call? Do you sense it deep within? Do you feel it written on your heart?

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What answer will you give? Will you turn away? Will you ponder? Will you shrink back in fear and doubt?

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Or will you inch open the door, your heart you give?

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Here I am Lord,

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night;

I will go Lord,

If You lead me,

I will hold Your people in my heart.

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Oh, messenger, with courage, joy and faith you step out, searching for this vineyard of His choosing, love for the suffering human race burning deep within. You make your way through doubt and darkness, your light – His Love and Truth. Nothing else matters.

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Striving to attain the heights,

Turning in a new direction,

Entering a lonely place,

Welcoming a friend or stranger.

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The sun dims, and the moon a fading somber glow. Soon, weariness weaves into the fabric of each day of service, a tiredness prayer cannot seem to dissipate.  Rejection, mocking, derision… your constant companions. Slowly, you look back on the life that was before, and the comfort of old life familiarity beckons.

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Silver is of passing worth,

Gold is not of constant value,

Jewels sparkle for a while,

What you long for is not lasting.

 And when the turmoil peaks and tempests wild, when your step falters and it’s too dark to see….you feel a Voice.

I am here, I am with you,

I have called, do you hear Me?

I am here, I am here,

I am with you.

The Holy Spirit Comforts and Guides.

BUILD AN ARK

Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark

13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark…. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you…. two of all living creatures, …21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. ~ Genesis 6:13-22, New International Version (NIV)

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A storm darkens and burgeons on the horizon ahead. A new storm, one whose effects will stain and wound every living soul. A storm of many dimensions. Felt by all, manifested differently, and no escape is there.

Not for those who live in the Light, nor for those who have made darkness their abode.

The grief it will bring will surpass any pain suffered hitherto. It will be a storm that will build its strength on our personal weaknesses, things kept hidden brought to light, forcing us to confront every mist and cloud we have always run away from.

The angels have sounded the Lord’s call. Soul to soul, writing His message on every door, Build an ark for the flood of souls. The call chimes and resounds in every soul ~

The young for whom the sun shines every day, nary a cloud to filter the gold of joy,

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The old and worn, thinking their life’s work over, nothing more but to wait for the summons,

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The carefree never troubled by the groans of mankind.

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Build an ark for the flood of souls, Jesus pleads. And the angels in obedience go forth

To write the call on the widow’s broken heart,

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The happy farmers in dance of joy over bountiful harvests,

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Build an ark,  Build an ark, Build an ark

Come, He calls

both young and old, wounded and healthy.

Write the blogs, sing the songs, paint the pictures.

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Comfort the hurting, wipe the tears of grief.

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Still the tempests, instruct the ignorant,

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Feed the poor, nourishment give to body and soul,

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Look up the friend, the stranger welcome.

The Word of the Lord take to each wound and shadow.

This is the time of Mercy

Build an ark for the flood of souls.

LISTEN FOR THE ANGEL’S CALL

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Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen hard, listen always

For the chime that comes

When the human will is at obedient rest

And the soul is stilled in wait,

Welcome the leading that buds

In the voice and light of understanding

Guiding to Wisdom never wrong.

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Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen all through the hours given to earth

For the silver whispers that breeze in

When life is a skip and dance of joy

And even when hearts are downcast and scattered

For human frailties and misgivings, no barriers are they

To the angel who heeds only the Master.

 

Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen at rest and whilst at work

Discern whispers to sacrifice, prayer and mercy give

Stilling tempests within souls

Resting beauty’s balm on troubled hearts

Quickening pilgrim spirits weary yet hopeful

To heed in humble obedience,

Heaven’s call to Love.

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FOR WEARY SOULS

A Sunday gift for those who see the road ahead as a bit much:

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Life’s Lessons

by John Henry Newman

I learn, as the years roll onward
And leave the past behind,
That much I had counted sorrow
But proves that God is kind;
That many a flower I had longed for
Had hidden a thorn of pain,

rosee[1] And many a rugged bypath
Led to fields of ripened grain.

 The clouds that cover the sunshine
They can not banish the sun;

708cd-img_5101252822529[1] And the earth shines out the brighter
When the weary rain is done.
We must stand in the deepest shadow
To see the clearest light;
And often through wrong’s own darkness
Comes the very strength of light.

in_the_shadow_forest_road_nature_light_dark_1600x900_hd-wallpaper-1048196[1] The sweetest rest is at even,
After a wearisome day,

Noonday Rest by Jean Francois Millet

Noonday Rest by Jean Francois Millet

 When the heavy burden of labor
Has borne from our hearts away;
And those who have never known sorrow

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 Can not know the infinite peace
That falls on the troubled spirit
When it sees at last release.

_MG_6996[1]We must live through the dreary winter
If we would value the spring;

And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robins sing.
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom,

wallpaper-crocus-flower-buds-violet-primrose-snow-spring-flowers[1] And the sweetest, warmest sunshine
Comes after the storm and gloom.  

BANISH WAR, A WARRIOR BE

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When weariness binds each step, and people’s shenanigans get a bit much,

When every good done seems to come to naught, and hope begins to dry,

Another gentle hand on the arm, urging us up…..

The Peacemaker

by Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886 – 1918)

Upon his will he binds a radiant chain,

For Freedom’s sake he is no longer free

It is his task, the slave of Liberty

With his own blood to wipe away a stain

That pain may cease, he yields his flesh to pain

To banish war, he must a warrior be

He dwells in Night, eternal Dawn to see,

And gladly dies, abundant life to gain.

What matters Death, if Freedom be not dead?

No flags are fair, if Freedom’s flag be furled

Who fights for Freedom, goes with joyful tread

To meet the fires of Hell against him hurled,

And has for captain Him whose thorn-wreathed head

Smiles from the Cross upon a conquered world.

  

June 14, 1918

WHICH HAND?

This delightful poem – beautiful in its simplicity, beautiful in its truth, tender in its reminding – was posted in http://www.acountrypriest.com. It was God reaching out to me in a Sunday lesson straight from heaven.

Which Hand?

The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion,
looking for someone to eat.
Stand up to him,
strong in faith.

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The beast is clever; he knows our weaknesses
and he knows how to push our buttons.
But God is Wisdom; He knows our strengths
and He gives us the grace to overcome temptation.

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The beast is full of hate; he wants to trap us
and leave us devoid of hope.
But God is love; He reaches out his Hand
and pulls us out of darkness.

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The beast is sadness; he wants to drag us into the pit
and keep us away from light.
But God is joy; He wants our ultimate good
and our presence in His light.

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The beast is cunning; he knows how to use us
– our weaknesses, our brokenness, our hopelessness –
to stray.
But God is infinite. He is Truth;
He knows how to use weaknesses for Good,
He uses our brokenness to show Beauty,
He uses our hopelessness to manifest Truth.

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The only condition is that we cooperate with Him.

When God reaches out His hand, we decide whether we take it.
When God grants us His grace, we choose what we do with it.
When God gives us His own self, we can take it or we can leave it.

The devil puts out his hand;
So too does God.

To which hand will you hold?
The one that will push you into the pit

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or
The One who will pull you out?

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