Saturday, March 4, 2017

7QT: Waterfalls, monasticism and coffee with Jesus.

Now here's an eclectic mix of quick takes!

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Last weekend mom and I went to Great Falls (Maryland side), which is a collection of rapids and waterfalls on the border of VA and MD. The water level was low but the falls were still pretty impressive. Lately we've been having some balmy early spring type weather, we even saw some trees with buds.

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I mentioned before that I'm reading the book In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart. For those of us who are trying to spend more time in prayer during Lent I thought I would share this bit of encouragement from Jesus to the author:
Your fatigue and your distractions in adoration are no impediment to My action in the depths of your soul. I have assured you of this before. Come before Me and remain before Me even when you feel that your adoration is no more than a struggle and a failure to remain attentive in love and focused on My Eucharistic Face. Here, your feelings are of no importance. What matters in My sight is your humility and your willingness to endure distractions, fatigue, and even sleepiness while adoring Me from the heart of your heart. Know that even when you feel that your adoration has been a waste of time, in My plan it is something fruitful and it is very pleasing to Me. I do not see things as you see them nor do I measure their value as you measure it.

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Recently I came across a post entitled When I prayed for vocations, I didn’t mean God could have MY daughter! where a father shares his initial struggle to accept his daughter's religious vocation with the Passionists, a fully cloistered community (i.e. they never leave the convent). Through his experience he learned to:
Pray for courage and love and generosity. You will need all of it. As our parish priest reminded us, we’re not giving up a daughter; we’re learning to hold her in a new way.
He also wrote a follow up article entitled So, your loved one has become a religious… now what? about the many blessing that have come through her vocation.
So often the witness of the saints tells us that what initially seems like a burden will, through age, and grace, and wisdom, become a most valuable gift. A loved one’s calling to the consecrated life can seem like that; there is pain of separation, but in fairly short order the gift becomes apparent, and then the privilege, which is paradoxically humbling.

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Here is another great article entitled I quivered in fear of the God who was going to “make me” a nun about a poor girl who had convinced herself that God would make her become a nun against her will. Spoiler alert: she eventually learned that God never makes someone become a nun.
Upon graduating from college I took my “discernment” to the next level, moving into a convent with religious sisters, motivated entirely by my “I might as well get this over with” attitude. I remember the mystified expression of the sister who first welcomed me into their home and heard me explain, “Well God is making me be a nun so I figured I might as well bite the bullet.”

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This article called How Monasticism Testifies to God’s Reality explains some of the ways that the religious cloister implies the existence of God.
I begin with a very simple proposition: man inherently desires pleasure. If this is correct, then the fact that so many men and women have throughout the centuries spent their cloistered lives shunning earthly pleasures points, in itself, to the reality of a superior, otherworldly pleasure capable of satisfying this intrinsic desire. “To be a monk,” wrote St. John of the Ladder, “is to know ecstasy without end.” The institution of monasticism would not likely last very long otherwise.

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Lesson learned from interacting with other scientists: Never fear social awkwardness. It is better to have an awkward conversation that conveys awkward love than to hang back and risk implying a lack of love. I heard a priest once say at the Shrine of St. Anthony, "your love might be awkward at first but keep loving and over time it will become more natural." Everything takes practice, I guess!

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Today I discovered the comic strip Coffee with Jesus by RadioFreeBabylon. Admittedly, I don't know anything about the group, but the comic is pretty awesome.

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1 comment:

  1. Funny Takes -- Socially awkward people need to hear that #6. And I love that comic strip. So funny!