Thursday, September 25, 2014

Go for a Walk

Stepping outside, the cold night air hits your face with a level of familiarity.  You see the outlines of a few others under the brightness of the clear night sky.  You begin walking without a word of greeting and the others follow.  You reach into your pocket and pull out a simple chorded string and begin reciting words that point to the reality of a loving God and in that remind yourself to be thankful.  You petition the heavens for an increase in virtue, that you can live a life filled with faith, hope, and love and in that a greater level of joy in being.  As your walk of faith continues, you recall and in some sense place yourself in another walk, a walk that ended in the defeat of death by death. 

Throughout an average week there are times that we are able to enter into leisure with loved ones and in that it is not unheard of that those who you find comfort in hurt you.  As you utter the words of love to our Mother you think back on those instances of your day where you felt rejected and point to the Man who, after being betrayed, continued forward in selfless love, not dwelling on the pain inflicted. 

In the distance you hear cars driving down the road but all you can see are the headlights.  You may start to wonder about the people driving by but the repetition draws you back in.  After the meditation of His agony and yours, you have the realization that something greater is coming but obstacles arise.  In the greater walk you place yourself as a spectator watching the whips come down on his back…this brings you to think about the lasting effects of this physical beating.  You may even question what effects could one find in you brought on by the abuse of others.  You look to the Man again and in His suffering He smiles for He is thinking of you.  This thought humbles you and you begin to thank the good God for the badges of courage that are your emotional scars, and you smile for you are thinking of Him.

The cold night air is beginning to make your face go numb but you have great comfort in the shuffle of the others’ feet on the pavement knowing that you are not alone.  You start to look back on how you portray yourself to others and the mocking that is sure to come if you are honest in who you are.  You look back at the Man and He is mocked and given a crown of pain because He is the King of kings.  A flame is lit in your heart as you gain a desire to be confident in every moment in who you were made to be, without a second thought of persecution.  Your walk begins to reflect pride in the one who made you. 

Your breathing becomes noticeable to you as you see the air in front of your face, your walk is coming near its final leg but as you return to the Man you realize His walk is seeming to just begin again as there is betrayal  and physical abuses.  They place a heavy beam on His back and He continues to walk towards more sacrifice.  In every moment they spit at Him and curse at Him but you can clearly see love present in His eyes.  He falls. You recall the many times we fall whether that be into sin or flat on our face and in either case the Man rises and continues to walk with His beam so we are called to do the same.  The flame in your heart is growing as you find the confidence to stand up after your own falling.  The Man reaches a hill and you know what is to come next. 

The Man gives Himself for you, that you may take this walk on this quiet night.  His head falls after hours of pain.  The flame that had begun earlier in your walk is now burning your heart with a desire to share with others about this Man.  This Man gave Himself completely and after this simple evening stroll, repeating words of honor to His Mother you long to give yourself fully, not on a cross but in daily conversion, in dying to our will for the good of others. 

You finish your walk with telling His Mother that you love Her and that you desire to obtain Her Son’s life within you by the simple act of meditating on the words of these simple prayers, and She in Her Motherly care does bring aid to you.
The rosary my dear friends carries much power.  Go for a walk.  Enter into His mystery.  He, and His Mother love you and are waiting for you. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dusting Love

Dusting.  The most desired of all chores. 

At my Seminary, on Saturday morning we have chores to keep our house in order and one of the seniors is in charge of assigning chores so that you are not doing the same thing every week.  After 3 years of being here I looked at the list after breakfast and my name was alone…under the heading of ‘dusting’.  God truly is good, all the time. 
Dusting is coveted because it is the easiest and quickest job and so your relaxing can start early.  However today, that simple chore hit my heart.  You’re probably thinking…what’s wrong with Blood…he hasn’t blogged in awhile…he must’ve gone off the deep end.  Bear with me.

I dusted the tops of some paintings, the bottom of some tables, but then I walked toward the front of the school and there stands a thousand pound statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Down the face of Jesus are faint lines, such as that of someone who had been crying.  The tradition has it that every time a man leaves the seminary and he shouldn’t of, our Lord sheds a tear.  In my chore of dusting I was supposed to take care of the statues as well, and so with my cloth I slowly wiped the face of Jesus. 
Maybe dusting a statue is just dusting a statue but as I wiped the face a flood of thoughts came into my mind from the past 6 months.  I have been reading a lot about the mercy of God, and how He loves me even when I don’t deserve it.  With that though, I’ve also realized that the Lord allows me to love Him, even though He doesn’t need it, such as the gift of being able to wipe His face.

God humbles Himself so much that we, lowly sinners, are gifted with the opportunity of aiding in His divine plan, His plan for us, but also for those of the whole world.  He gives us every moment, and with every moment He entrusts another step of His plan to us.  This reality has brought me a lot of consolation because on the rougher of days it is easy to think that you don’t have much of a purpose in the now.  ‘When I’m a priest I’ll…When I’m done with college I’ll…When I get my own place I’ll…’   But no, the Lord has given you a purpose, right here, right now.  Yes it does manifest in different ways but it all comes down to love.  In our loving of Him, we build up His kingdom.  In our loving of His children, our brothers and sisters, we build up His kingdom.  In any moment we choose the greater good over our own desires, we build up His kingdom.  Obviously we couldn’t do anything without Him but He loves us so much that our actions do make a difference.
If you feel like you have no purpose, or your days blend together and you can’t see why you are where you are, look to the Father.  He made you beautiful and you are on a mission for Him right where you are.  Whether you can point to it or not, your heart longs for the love of the Father, and to love the Father.  Ask Him to give you the courage to actively will that love to manifest itself in your daily life.  No matter if you are completely on board with your faith, or if you’re fighting hard to understand it, or even if you are adamantly opposed to it, God wants to be united with you in Heaven someday.  For me that brings a great level of hope, for maybe, just maybe if I trust God to show me what it is that I am supposed to do every day, and I do my best to complete those tasks with generosity and love, I’ll get to be in heaven someday…and that desire is greater even than that of a seminarian on Saturday to get dusting as their chore.  I’m praying for you dear friends, that we together may open our hearts to a love more consistent than we’ve ever experienced before.