ST PAUL OF THE CROSS

Lent 35 ~ Obey

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As the wax which we place near the fire assumes any form we wish to give it, so the loving soul ought to obey as soon as her Beloved has spoken.   ~   St. Paul of the Cross

 

          This entire week, the word ‘obey’ has been before me. I spoke to my children about it, taught them its meaning, admonished where necessary. I met a friend at church. She was struggling with her marriage, planning to carve out a ‘new life’ for herself through social work that would give her the separation she needed from her husband. As I listened to her, I felt her pain. But I wondered too, What if, in trying to reclaim her life, she is moving away from the Will of God?

Obey.

          I had a brief encounter with a troubled boy who had no need of God in his life. With my sister-in-law who chose to live life on erring terms.

          I was more than troubled by the various disobedience. I was angry. I certainly had a lot to say about it.

          Yet, today, as the rose awakened the slumbering sable veils, St. Paul of the Cross came to tell me, the loving soul ought to obey as soon as her Beloved has spoken. I had been so preoccupied with the disobedience of other people that I forgot to examine my own conscience and check my own disobedience. I have a great decision  before me – amare nesciri to love to be unknown – and I have yet to make a firm commitment to it. It is my obedience to the Will of God that I need to focus on – first and foremost. When I see people around me rebelling, if the Spirit presses me to an action, then to it I must go.

          But that does not exempt me from placing my own obedience beneath His gaze, so that I too may not be found wanting.

          I turn the eyes of my spirit towards amare nesciri. Those are the words that will seal my hermitage. Even if I am not discernibly moved, I know that the moment I say the words, there will be no turning back.

          I feel no resistance within me and yet, I stop at the gates, unable to go on.

          And then, going past myself, I say the words that don’t want to come forth.

Thy Will be done.

 

 

 

 

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Lent 33 ~ Build An Oratory

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Build an oratory within yourself, and there have Jesus on the altar of your heart. Speak to Him often while you are doing your work. Speak to Him of His holy love, of His holy sufferings and of the sorrows of most holy Mary.   ~   St Paul of the Cross, writing a reply on Jan 9, 1760 to a busy married woman who felt that she couldn’t seem to find enough time to pray.

 

          So this is where the journey of close to two decades, likely more, has led to.

Begging God for death

Pre-dawn vision of Jesus

Wipe My Blood

St. Philip Neri

Rosary

Grief

Padre Pio

Abuse

The Invisible Scar

St. John of the Cross

Seek Counsel

Blow the Breath of My Mother into the realms

St. Francis of Assisi

Quieten Down, Listen Up

St. Germaine Cousin

Holy Eucharist

A Coming Flood

Prepare

Mercy

Confession

Rosary of Atonement

The Miraculous Image

In Sinu Jesu

Adoration

Into Your Hands I commend my spirit

          This odd inner excitement from last week. Just like in the old, old days of childhood. An excitement that is vaguely familiar. I press and probe, What excitement is this? What joy is this?

          The little pod un~buds itself.

It is the excitement of waking up in a new home.

          Not the going to a new home. But having arrived, the excitement of waking up in it.

What new home is this?

An oratory within myself.

 

 

No Die

         Everybody is against us. I rejoice in this, for God will be more favorable to us. . . If we be faithful, God will not fail us.     ~     St. Paul of the Cross

 

          We are walking on fire, my family and I. It has been a bloody month, woundings that draw blood. One after another, the hits are stronger than before, relentless. If we have one happy day where the breezes twirl in joy~dance about us, then come more days when a dark wind stirs up stones against us.

          Not everybody is against us, but our camp is dwindling.

          I rejoice in this? No, I don’t. Not a bit. No part of me understands that prayer line. Who rejoices when your innocent, hardworking children are hit and torn apart by teachers for no real reason? Who rejoices when the boss who has bullied for more than twenty years, drives into us yet another dagger to tear us away from God and family? Who rejoices when our work is rent to nothing?

          I cannot rejoice. Not even for God. Because I don’t know how.

          But I do know how to bind up my loved ones’ wounds with the bandages God has provided. As I pray them not to depart the Cross, I will them to believe that even if the world sneers and discards the work of their hands, honest toil never falls unheeded to the ground, to be trampled by those who do not know better.

          No. Work from the heart, work done for Jesus is never forgotten. Wherever pure love and sacrifice is cast aside in derision, angels tread softly among the broken and the torn, picking up every little bruised head and crushed stalk, bloom after bloom. They are saved for the gardens of heavens, where they will live on.

          Ten years ago, grief winds brought the words, “…. no die.” They come before me yet again as my family pick themselves up from the ground and turn their faces to the sun once more.

          To remind me that nothing for God ever dies.