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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

C.S. Lewis...there's an app for that too

And I found it yesterday on my Iphone. Joy! A happy Lenten consolation considering the oodles of chocolate I have surrendered.  This priceless gem of Lewis' below reminds me to once again consider abandoning myself--every last ounce & freckle of myself--in order to find myself.  And when I do that, I  find God.

"Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it.  It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sounds strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters.  Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.  Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.  The principle runs though all life from top to bottom:  Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being and you will find eternal life.  Keep back nothing.  Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours.  Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead (emphasis mine). Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." (C.S. Lewis)

I had a bit of a taste of this musically, tonight at our Schola rehearsal.  We usually rehearse our schola cantorum 'in the round' so that we can hear ourselves better.  Circled around the piano, we arrange ourselves by parts...sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.  Tonight, however, Adam suggested that we try what Stile Antico does when they sing:   Mix all of us up so that we are not singing next to our respective part:  Tenor next to soprano next to alto next to get the picture.  The start was tenuous for me as I was self conscious; SELF conscious.  Did I know my part well enough?  Would I get lost? Will I stick out like a sore thumb? I, I, I, me, me, me. But after we sang a few measures, something beautiful and unique happened...we sang together, differently.  It was a most beautiful, polyphonic mixing of our voices. We sang with each other. The individual parts seemed to recede into relief while the music (the Beauty) was allowed to soar. Yet each voice was still clearly heard....we lost ourselves to find the music.  We became, in essence, OTHER conscious. What a glorious God moment.

Someday I will figure out how to post these recorded gems up on the blog for your listening pleasures. Until then, you'll just have to take my word for it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Please pray for some friends of mine

Some of you, perhaps many of you, may know Nik and Melinda Nikas of Bioethics Defense Fund fame.  We have been friends for several years and I thought I should pass this on here to request your prayers...

Nik's Uncle Ted - a Foster Father of sorts to Nik -  recently passed away and the family was en route to California today to meet up with Nik for the funeral.  Due to unknown circumstances, Nik's daughter, Anastasia lost control of their Suburban just outside of Indio California.  The vehicle was traveling on the highway and rolled.  Anastasia and the other passengers: Nik's Mom-Violet, Father in Law-Ed and son-Nik Jr., were all air-evacuated to a local hospital where we have just learned of Violet's death.  The other family members have been stabilized with non-life threatening injuries however they are very distraught over the tragedy.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Violet (and Nik's Uncle) and for continued prayers for their entire family.

May their souls rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them.

Takin' It To the Streets

And there's more where this came from. Stayed tuned for continuous coverage about Our Lady's Mantle, Sidewalk vigils and what the Diocese of Phoenix is doing about the the "Big Pink Goliath" in our neighborhoods.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What we can learn from Labradors about guilt

1. Guilt is painful
2. Guilt is hard to hide
3. Guilt can implicate others
4. Guilt can separate us from the ones we love
5. Guilt can lead us to remorse for past behaviors
6. Guilt is best followed by action to repair wrongs
7. We need not remain in guilt; in fact, it is ill advised to remain in the doghouse of guilt
8. Guilt can make our spirit droop
9. Guilt makes us feel bad but does not mean that we are bad (now shame is a different story)
10. Guilt can pave the way to repentance
11. Guilt is a signal that we have a conscience
12. Guilt can be a (doggie) door to God

This pupster is an irresistible example of guilt. Right down to his little grin...c'mon, be honest...don't we try to downplay it too?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giving up alcohol for Lent?

Here is reason #618 why that may be a good idea.
I found it interesting that these monkeys were introduced to alcohol due to the slave-driven rum trade that took place in the Caribbean.  So alcohol created slaves to taskmasters who were human and slaves to the taskmaster that is a distilled spirit.

"Take care not to forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. The LORD your God, shall you fear; Him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear."

These entertaining little monkeys remind me of some people in Hollywood.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Into the Mystic

To be buried with Christ...
My soul needs to tell you that it is wholly in communion with yours, letting itself be caught, carried away, invaded by him whose charity envelops us and who wishes to consummate us into "one" with Him. I thought of you when I read these words of Pere Vallee on contemplation: "The contemplative is a being who lives in the radiance of the Face of Christ, who enters into the mystery of God, not in the light that flows from human thought, but in that created by the word of the Incarnate Word." Don't you have this passion to listen to Him? Sometimes it is so strong, this need to be silent, that one would like to know how to do nothing but remain like Magdalene, that beautiful model for the contemplative soul, at the feet of the Master, eager to hear everything, to penetrate ever deeper into this mystery of Charity that he came to reveal to us. Don't you find that in action, when we are in Martha's role, the soul can still remain wholly adoring, buried like Magdalene in her contemplation, staying by this source like someone who is starving...Then both can radiate God, give him to souls, if they constantly stay close to this divine source. It seems to me that we should draw so close to the Master in such communion with his soul, to identify ourselves with all its movements, and then go out as he did, according to the will of his Father. Then it does not matter what happens to the soul, since it has faith in the One it loves who dwells within in. During this lent, I would like, as Saint Paul says, "to be buried in God with Christ" to be lost in this Trinity who will one day be our vision, and in this divine light penetrate into the depth of the Mystery.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity