Friday, October 16, 2015

I Pierced the Side

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a lance, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

My heart knows that He is the Lord.  My mind knows that I have no right to even draw near to this God-man of love.  I see this man and how He loves; fully, no matter the consequences…specifically, even through rejection…humbly, although He is the Anointed One…and I’m afraid to let Him know me. 

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

I encounter this man on many roads, and with many companions.  In these moments He turns His gaze on me, I can’t help but weep.  The tears that I shed beg the question, where should I go?  Countless times the Lord has said, “Come and follow Me” and countless times I have said, I know a less bumpy road we could take.  At those words, I step away from Him slowly but with a spirit of rebellion.  Why doesn’t He go my way?

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

I have seen Him perform miracles.  In the simplest moments I have seen the healing power of His presence.  I have watched many give everything for Him.  I have seen the broken hearted cry out in joy with their whole selves for no other reason than that He looked at them and loved them.  I know that He is a fount of love, but I can’t get too close.  I can’t let Him see my brokenness, even if that would mean healing.  I can handle this.

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus. 

Man has chosen to hate this God-man.  I don’t know why, but they’re calling for His head.  The many things even I, a lowly foot soldier, has seen raises many questions about the level of this man’s greatness.  But I am afraid.  I can’t argue with the others.  I don’t want to enrage them and turn them upon me.   I must join in their jeering. 

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

He was killed.  I just watched them take this Lord with the healing gaze, beat Him, spit on Him, and hoist Him up on a cross.  On the walk to His place of death He shed tears for the many He encountered.  He looked to me as a tear fell, and I knew that He was crying because of my choice to walk on my own path.  He was killed. 

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

I didn’t have a hand directly in that death; I could’ve written it off.  But as He hung there another soldier threw me a lance and said the words that still rock me to the core, “Finish it”.  I became angry with this soldier, angry with myself, and I took the lance and I slid it fast into this Lord…

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

Blood and water poured out upon me.  Those around me were weeping and screaming.  In that moment this Lord, this God-man became my Lord, my God-man.  I began to weep, and through my tear filled eyes, and through the wound that I had opened, I saw His Heart.  His Heart had flames surrounding it, and my own heart began to burn.  Immediately I knew what was next.

I am the soldier that pierces the side of Jesus.

I have fallen.  I have chosen wrong.  I have rejected my God.  Yet, by my piercing of His side, He has asked me to draw closer.  I hurt Him…and He wants to love me more.  He wants me to be His soldier.  Today I choose. 

I was the soldier that pierced the side of Jesus.

But today, I revel in the mercy that flows from His heart.  I am His soldier now.  Some days the path is rocky but I know that I never want to leave that burning Heart that I witnessed in the day I was furthest from Him.  He never forgot me and I want to learn to gaze with Love like He gazes upon me.  I thought I wasn’t worth love.  I hurt Jesus. But today we are blessed.  He speaks the words I know all too well, “Come and follow Me”.  He calls me to be a cause of the outpouring of His mercy.  Who am I to be in such union? 

I am a soldier for Christ.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Daughter

Dear Daughter,
            
Countless hearts rest in your goodness.  When they see you smile, they encounter true joy.  When I see you smile I too find consolation.  Often amidst the journey to the heavenly Kingdom the path seems less life-bearing and I know in certain encounters on this road it seems that continuing to walk isn’t worth the effort anymore.  My little one, I long for you to find rest in me…but not rest from the pain of being misunderstood or rest from the sacrifices caused by blessings…I desire for you to know my rest always.  You have seen glimpses of this rest in certain souls I have placed before you, but I have more planned for you.  You are starting to see that I have created you special My sweet daughter. 

With every step you take, I love you.

With every breath in and out, I love you.

With each passing moment in sorrow or in joy, I love you.

In my love for you I know that your heart desires to share in my Kingdom on earth in peaceful prayer and understanding relationship.  That I can give to you but again I have made you special.  You will know the weight of my Son’s cross, which will bless you in community with the saints above, and those that walk beside you.  You will realize the gift that your feminine heart is to my Church.  And if you call to me in faith I will rest my healing hand upon that very heart.  Do not be afraid to draw near, I will not leave you.  My Spirit of freedom, trust, and courage resides deeply in you. 

In this moment, in every moment, my heart pours forth love because of you.  In the beginning, in the creation of Eve, your beauty shown through.  As you walk forward in this journey, raise your eyes to me, and walk with the pride of being created by a Father who loves you.  I promise to turn my glance to you, and radiate eternal joy in being your creator.

I know the hurts and wounds of this world.  I know especially the pain of rejection and ignorance found in those who are called to love you most.  I will continue to draw them to my heart, but the sting of your burning desire to love them more fully is preparing a place for my glory. 

Perfection with Me is worth it all.

You are worth My all.


-God your Father

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Don't Wanna Fall In

I’m afraid to fall in.

I walked down to the river near my house to find a chill spot to pray and there were no boats in the water so I decided the dock would perfect.  I had a seat, took my socks and shoes off, and let my feet hang over the edge.  With where I was sitting my feet lightly sat on top of the slowly flowing river.  I began to talk to the Lord about how I want to trust Him more…How I want to have a greater faith of His working in every aspect of my life…How I desire to learn more about His will for me. 

As I relayed all these things from my heart to Him I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders and my head dropped down in relief.  He didn’t give a clear and radical revelation in that very moment but with my eyes down I started to really notice the water flowing beneath my feet.  I felt the coolness kissing the bottoms of my feet and my mind turned to Peter. 

The Lord asks of us radical things…Radically simple things.  He wants us to love Him.  He wants us to love the people around us.  He wants us to love us in the beauty of His creative hand.  How we reach this level of love, this level of Christianity, is by growing in faith.  I’ve struggled with the term faith at different points in my journey because I feel like it’s so vague I’ll never be able to obtain it, and even if I did, would I realize it. 

I looked back to my feet and asked the Lord for the gift of faith.  I put more pressure down and my feet went under the water.  Dang it.  I was hoping to go for a walk… But anyway, I remained there silently for a time with Him, slowly and continuously handing Him my heart that I may be made more receptive and aware of His love.  It was a peaceful moment, nothing incredibly deep as far as my fuzzy spiritual vision could tell but I got up with a rested heart. 

My feet being soaked by the nasty Rock River water I decided to not put my socks and shoes back on.  I began to walk back home through the parking lot of the park and my eyes were drawn back to the ground.  When I began the walk I didn’t think it was going to be difficult at all.  I thought it’d be a quick 7 minute walk back up the hill but I realized otherwise quickly.  Certain areas of the road were well laid, and the sun had warmed it and it was pleasurable to move forward.  Other areas had larger pebbles that I needed to avoid, because I knew if I tried to go that way I would most definitely hurt myself.  It took a few moments longer but it was necessary.  Other areas seemed to be perfectly okay to walk on but tiny little rocks cut into my feet.  I lifted my feet, shook of the rocks and kept walking forward.  I wanted to turn around and find a different route or stop and put my shoes on to shield myself on the rest of the walk but I knew I should just step forward.  After a few steps of pain, it was gone and the path was clear the rest of the way home. 

The Christian journey to heaven is a difficult one.  I want to have the faith to walk on water…but being as I’m not there yet I know I just need to walk forward and trust Him; when it’s comfortable, when it’s difficult, when I want to turn around, He is leading me and I can walk forward. 

Many of you may be on the right track in faith with high hopes of going to our final home in heaven.  I know how the smallest pains hurt you.  I know how heavy the continual yeses are.  I know how sometimes the destination doesn’t seem real enough to keep walking.  I know how easy it is to fall into being judgmental and prideful.   I trust He is guiding you.  I trust He is guiding me.  The walk is worth it. 

Many of you may be ‘pretty Christian’, you know the Lord and you try to be a good example of love to everyone.  I know how sometimes you don’t feel good enough.  I know how sometimes you feel weighed down by those who seem further ahead in the walk.  I know how you want to take detours for fear the destination of faith may make you empty of yourself in a way that you no longer have clear understanding and control.  I trust He is guiding you.  I trust He is guiding me.  The walk is worth it.

Some of you may have no idea where you are on the walk of faith.  I know how confusing it is to have countless voices telling you a host of conflicting messages.  I know how challenging the teachings of Mother Church seem without a closer look at the source, Love itself.  I know how easy it is to want to pull your shoes on, and shield yourself from the hurt.  I trust He is guiding you.  I trust He is guiding me.  The walk is worth it. 

At this point I may be afraid to get wet but I want to walk, I want to run, I want to see the Father.   We are together sisters and brothers…Together we move forward in faith that no matter the obstacles, the pain, the lack of vision, we can walk. 

You may be beginning a new leg of the journey, with little clarity in what the next few months have in store for you.  You may be lost in the mundane day to day with hope of eccentric joy.  You may be saying “I don’t even know man…”  On all three accounts I just have one thing to say:


Put your eyes on the goal and take a step.    

Friday, August 21, 2015

Life.

I want to be fully alive.

While I was in Mexico, a priest asked me “If you had to tell me what you’ve done in your life in one sentence, what would you say?”

In the moment I gave a sarcastic remark but I’ve thought about this question for weeks…

I’ve studied for years, from shapes and colors to the metaphysical arguments for the existence of God.  I’ve played sports, and had great comradery with brothers from my back yard to the soccer field at the seminary.  I’ve met countless beautiful souls longing to know God more.  I’ve been given so many opportunities that a simple man like me could only hope to experience.

But these didn’t answer the question for me.   

I started thinking about my greatest desire...I want to be fully alive.  But I realized I’m not yet.  It can’t be my one sentence because it hasn’t happened yet.  Yet. 

I’ve always thought that being the man with the answers, or being someone who makes others comfortable, or being a great leader would make me fully alive…

God the Father has been lovingly kicking me in the face.  

I’ve been challenged.  I’ve felt like I’ll never have any answers to help others, let alone the answers to the questions in my own life.  I’ve felt like my abrasiveness can be a hindrance to relationships and so I’m learning to be quiet and patient.  I'm learning to be real.  This time is different than I thought it would be, but I know this journey is the only way to become fully alive.  When everything comfortable is stripped away, like it has been, I’m left with one main thought.

“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

I want to be fully alive and I finally have an answer I’m confident in giving to my priest friend. 

What have I done so far in my life?  I have loved little and I have sinned much.

There is hope.  

Albeit the phrase that describes my life points to my weakness, I can smile.  It isn’t easy for me to admit that I have weaknesses.  It isn’t easy for me to admit that I don’t have all the answers.  It isn’t easy for me to accept that I can’t do anything on my own worth any merit.  But it also isn’t easy to believe how loved I am.  It isn’t easy to trust in my identity as a beloved son…But it’s true.

A friend knew I was having a rough couple weeks and I was talking to her after mass and she told me to listen to the song ‘Good Good Father’, and the main lyrics are: ”You’re a good good Father…It’s who you are…And I’m loved by you…it’s who I am.”

I am broken as all get out but He’s a good good Father, and you know, even though I’ve loved little He has continually humbled Himself that I may be fully alive.  He gave His Son up to death for me.  He gives me countless sacramental opportunities to return to His heart.  He forgives me.  He revels in me. 

He paradoxically calls me to be crucified with His Son that I may be fully alive.  He not only wants to fulfill that desire in me, but He wants me to find my identity in Him. 

I have loved little.  I have sinned much.  He is a good good Father.  I’m loved by Him.  That’s who I am.   

And that my friends is a life worth living.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Unapologetic Love

While I’m in Mexico, a friend of mine has been giving me little challenges to do on the weekend.  This weekend one of them was to get caught in the rain (it rains hard for a short period of time most days).  My friend said, let the rain soak you completely, and know that’s how much God loves you.  Beautiful right? 

Well last night I went to the supermarket to get a few things, and when I came out it was raining... I thought, ‘perfect, I’ll get one of these challenges out of the way!’ I flipped my hood down and started walking, getting soaked.  The problem was though that my hands were full.  I will walk miles this weekend with nothing in my hands, and I’ll be willing to bet that it won’t rain.  God is unapologetically loving.

His love is tough, refreshing, frustrating… during my walk I dropped my stuff three times, there was a crazy amount of deathly traffic whizzing by and it was dark, and yet right then, in that way, He said I love you. 

My whole life, all our lives really, are a journey to know the one who loves us most in hopes we can love Him forever.  It’s not easy… and in another sense it’s the easiest thing in the world.

Let me explain.  The Lord wants our hearts to stretch, and sometimes he lets us in on the plan and other times He just loves radically without even a warning.  The last two weeks have been that for me.  I spent a few months with my spiritual director planning how I was going to handle this summer in Mexico and the ways I thought He was going to love me into growth.  I planned on being alone a lot, struggling with a loneliness that would drive me to Him. I planned on hearing all about my friends’ summer events and being jealous of them, and longing to go home.  I planned on my prayer staying about the same in the day to day.  But no.  God had plans to love me in other ways, and with an even greater ferocity. 

I’m never alone here. I live in a dorm with other seminarians and so it’s been impossible to be alone, let alone lonely.  Amidst that the Lord has been loving me in the sense the Church is a family.  Living in this family is hard sometimes because it’s radical… but it’s His will.  He pushes me without a second thought of maybe I’m not too keen on carrying it… That’s how He loves. He knows best.  As far as hearing about my friends’ plans, and longing to be there, they’ve been too busy to talk to me about them.  I think this is harder, but it’s how He wants to love me.  In my down time I’m finding myself conversing with the big man Himself, not about crazy big things… just about my heart, His heart, the people I love.  Why? Because He’s placed a desire for intimacy in my heart that only He can fill.  He’s unapologetically driving me to Himself, and it’s a difficult ride, but in my core when I get up in the morning I know He is with me.  Prayer here is no longer a checklist of things to get done in a busy day of class, but conversation I couldn’t live without.  The rosary isn’t a long repetitive prayer, but a way I can walk with my friends to the Lord in His mysteries. 

Life is heavy.  A lot of times we have no idea what the Lord is doing.  It’s frustrating, a little scary, and sometimes the fear makes us want to close off to Him and His will.  We want His will to be crystal clear, and we want it to make sense with our plans.  But His creating love doesn’t make sense, the cross doesn’t make sense, His giving us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity doesn’t make sense.  He wants more for us than we want for ourselves.  It’s hard to be humble and receptive. 

I also said this unapologetic love is the easiest thing in the world though.  How?  God is always loving us.  That fact is never a surprise.  Nothing in the world is truer than that fact… and when we accept that truth in our hearts, the yes to love in its many forms, even if it’s inconvenient, is simple.  I don’t know how He’s loving you right now, because it’s specifically for you, but let us pray for each other.  Let us pray that we may have the courage to allow our lives to reflect the line from scripture, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

All.

Isolate and conquer…simple plan. Works against me every single time.  It’s easy to remove yourself from the lives of those you care about and usually we do that when we don’t feel like we are good enough or that no one will understand or care.  It’s true, our loved ones might not completely understand but the human heart longs to understand.  Those who know you greatly desire a deeper familiarity with your heart.  Do not be afraid.  His mercy is endless and flows through the hands of those who love us if we are open to it.  But I want to talk about another way that I’m broken down by isolation… it’s an even smaller degree of division.  It’s in the fact I divide myself.

Some days I wake up feeling like P Diddy… Everything goes my way: the water in the shower was hot, there was bacon at breakfast, class was cancelled… insert whatever things get you jacked about a day.  On those days I praise the Lord for my talents and gifts too.  God is so good.  I trust Him.  I’ve got it all figured out.  I even know what He wants from me in the long term.  I can see that I’m worthy.

What about a bad day: Had to get up early, rushed my shower, was late to class, cafeteria served liver… insert whatever ruins a day.  On those days despair rushes like water through a busted dam.  I have no gifts.  I don’t even know God anymore… why would he let me be so lonely?...I am so lost as to what I’m supposed to do.  I’m not good at anything anyway.  I’m not worthy of love.
My question in prayer lately is why is my heart so extreme in different situations?  For a while I chalked it up to stress and outside stimulation but it’s so consistently inconsistent there has to be a reason. 

I realized it’s because I’m afraid to let Him have all of me. I want to give Him only the parts I can see at any given time… but He wants all of me all the time, and the same is true of you.  I have a great fear of giving Him free reign in my heart, especially the parts I don't understand.

Because I have a fear of letting Him into the parts of me that I don't understand, the Lord has been showing me how to break my bad habits of having partial sight about myself; I want to talk a little about what the Lord has been placing in my heart. 

If you didn’t know I’m in Mexico and I will be until Mid-July.  It’s humbling to wake up and know that you are going to have to rely on others. I’m not running the show so to speak.  It makes sense though why He has placed me here now.  He wants me to have the patience, humility, love, and consistency to look upon myself with truth.  He wants me to see that I have gifts and talents that He’s asking me to use in a special way… but also He wants me to see that I’m broken.  I have a lot of faults and weaknesses that need correcting and sometimes He wants me to be alone with Him.  He moved me out of my cozy safe zone and in the silence and moments of confusion I’m learning to praise God for my existence as a whole. I don’t want to dwell on how good I am, nor how broken I am… no I want to dwell on the fact that I am… and I am with Him. 

That’s the example of the virgin martyrs.  They didn’t need crazy mystical experiences to find joy in the Lord, nor to recognize their smallness.  They just chose. Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  They didn’t one day draw near to God dwelling on their 'good parts' and the next day dwell on their 'bad parts'.  They were joyful, sacrificial, aware of how beloved they were, and aware of their many faults and longed to improve.  They died for love of Him, because they offered themselves totally in faith to the Lord even though giving Him free reign to dig and challenge daily is scary.  He loves us every day because He made us.  Let us strive together to know ourselves and act as though we know how loved we are.  May the mercy of our Lord flow from His side and penetrate our very being. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where?

“For where your treasure is, there also is your heart.”

It’s really easy to lose a spirit of thanksgiving.  I've spent the last four years being blessed abundantly in the seminary and most days I didn't take the minute and the slow breath to notice, and to praise. That lack of thanksgiving has been the center of my prayer the last few weeks. 

I've gotten the chance to talk to a few of my very dedicated Christian friends and I've been asked on numerous occasions this break, “How’s your heart?” 

How is my heart?  Overflowing.  Why?  Because of my treasures.  Each of us have so many treasures but we need, I need, to notice them and treat them as such.  It’s not just in the big things.  Obviously our heart is found with our family.  Without them we would have a much harder time finding a place to rest our head, let alone a place that has unconditionally loving people.  And of course our heart is found in close friends and in the consistency of education and work.  God has put all of us on baller journeys, with baller people.  We should take the time to praise God for those blessings, and to ponder the depth of those gifts. 

But there’s more…

My treasure is in the children singing with their whole hearts ‘Go make a difference” at Mass…is in the man on the street who raised his eyes for a brief moment and smiled…is in the college girl who had the courage to tell me my writing had touched her heart…is in the consistency of the sun rising…is in the joke texts from my seminarian brothers…is in the breeze that reminds me of my guardian angel…is in my friends, the saints...is in the people who ask how I am doing, and wait to hear the answer…My treasure…is abundant. 

So there my friends, is where my heart is.  I do my best to place every person I talk to into my heart, because I treasure the very opportunity to know a new soul. I don’t stop there though.  As I draw all of you into my heart, I praise God for you and your gifts and talents, and then I return you to Him.
 
My greatest treasure is our Lord…and that is where I want my heart to reside.  I have been, and will continue to place my weak and wounded heart on the altar in hopes of its unification with the Sacred Heart of our Lord, but it's not an empty heart…All of you reside in my heart, so I’m giving you to the King. 

You are a treasure.  If you are having a hard day, struggling with knowing how special you are, I want you to know that I love you and I want to place you in my heart as I give it over to our Lord. 


This summer I am going to Mexico to study and my Spanish is very weak so I know that there will be times this summer that my heart is heavy and lonely and I’ll run to the one who speaks in the language of love, Jesus Christ.  If you’d like me to carry you in my wounded heart on this little journey, let me know.  I’ll revel in your beauty and praise God for your goodness daily.  You my friends are a treasure.  Thank you for letting my heart rest with you.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Draw Near

You are joining Him on His walk:

You come into the garden and sit down and begin to weep from behind Jesus who is kneeling, praying.  You do not truly see anything or anyone but Him…you know He is talking to the Father about the battle that is upon Him.  He notices you and slowly walks to where you are seated. He slowly lowers himself beside you, He places His arm tightly around you and holds you without speaking a word.  Jesus looks intently at you, His eyes so deep... the deeper you go, the more believable His love is.  He finds peace in knowing that the reason He was going through this agony is so that He can be with you forever. He smiles gently and His spirit of thanksgiving gushes forth as He looks at you from head to toe.  

He is taken to be scourged and you run after Him.  Before the first strike goes against His back He pulls you in front of Him so both of you are facing the same direction. He places His hands on your shoulders and as He is whipped He whispers into your ear how proud His Father is of you. He speaks of your joy. He speaks of your desire to bring many to His heart. He speaks of His hope for you and all those who look upon your beauty.

He is crowned with thorns, and again you began to weep. Despite the blood trickling from His head and the pain His whole body is feeling, He gets down on one knee by a little bush and plucks a few little white lilies and fashions them into a crown. He places it gently on your head and tells you that because of His crown, your crown was possible.  You are adorned with beauty because of His sacrifice.

He picks up His cross and begins to walk the way to Calvary but your heart burns seeing Him carry that cross.  You beg Him to let you help Him.  He pulls a sliver of the cross off of a corner and encloses it in your hand, it pricks you slightly and you begin to bleed. You thank Him profusely for allowing you to share in His sacrifice. Albeit His weight is much heavier, the love present in bearing that sliver consoled His heart and brought Him joy as He walked to His death.

You reach the hill and Jesus is nailed to the cross.  You wince as they slide the nails into his hands and feet.  The cross is raised up and many are taunting Him. You are with our Lady; both of you are silent as you ponder all of these things in your heart.
Before 3 o’ clock, Jesus calls to you and you float up nearer to Him.  In a very breathy tone He speaks the words, "Receive my Spirit", at that moment your eyes close and you fall back into the arms of our Lady.
And that is where you remain today.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Your first love

Dear daughter,

You are My lily among the thorns. I created you. I, love itself, created you. My dear daughter I want you to know how much I love you. This love I speak of does not fade, and at every moment you can count on the fact that I’m thinking of you. Why? You make me happy. I know you make mistakes but I’ve seen you pull yourself back up to see me time and time again. Don’t be afraid to grab on to me when you are falling. I’ll hold on tight and keep you safe. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are mine.

I have perfect plans for you.

Amidst the difficulties of life I have a mission for you. This mission I trust with you alone. I have written it in the desires of your heart. When it is time your heart will be set aflame in a special way and you will carry much responsibility. I see the great weights that you are bearing for the sake of My kingdom, but they will become heavier, so will my love.

You are going to bring many to Me. When you smile, I smile. Your joy radiates My own joy and My dear daughter that will cause many to search for Me in you. Daily you remind Me why I carried that cross. I want to see you in heaven forever. I want to love you in ways that you can not yet imagine. I want you to bring many souls with you. You have already grown My Church by your life.
 
I will share your heart with another.

I love you and you are mine. However, I have made your brothers strong. I ask them daily to give their hearts to me to be purified so that they are more worthy to be shared with you. They will make mistakes; they will love little, but they are trying to show love to My highest creation, you. Don’t lose faith in them for I am working day and night to make the man in whom you will share your life with holy and full of virtue. Don’t lose hope.

Since the beginning of time I have loved you. This love will never cease.

- God, your Father

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I See Hope

Dear son,

have seen you hiding... Those that I have loved have always tried to hide from me.   You hide in your fear. You hide in your anger. You hide in  your imprudence.   Let me tell you dear son, I see you, and I love you.

I have seen you in moments of victory. I have seen you overcome great odds.  I have seen those moments of success that have seemed to go unnoticed.  I have seen your longing for approval.  Let me tell you dear son, I see you, and I love you.

You can aid in the carrying of the cross of my Divine Son.  You can make an eternal difference.   Receive my Fatherly care.  I want to correct you yes, but i want to teach you and I want to give you everything. 

You have spoken too freely. You have hurt my beloved daughters. You have wasted precious moments, but when I look to you I see hope...I see a strength that can care for a woman, one woman, forever.  I see a strength that can care for my little ones with generosity and joy.  In you my son I see a hero...

As you look back on your life only dwell on your failings as far as they drive you to Me. I will build you up and send you out.

will send you out to be my hands and feet. I entrust to you my love.  Do not hide it.  The abundance in your heart, deep below the fear, is enough to bring countless souls to me. 

Come to me.

Trust in me.

You do not deserve more. You deserve most.
-God, your Father

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Give Me a Drink

Give me a drink.

Prayer...that's what holy people with no life do...Nope.  Prayer hasn't always been easy for me because I give it a million expectations and hopes and rules but what is prayer?  My little buddy Therese says it is “a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”  

A lot of times I feel like prayer is to much of a commitment and I know I'm not alone in that.  Some of my former 'every Sunday' Mass going friends have told me since college they don't have the time for Mass on Sunday because of school work or whatever else college has to offer.  Some friends who used to belong to youth group with me have told me they don't have 20 minutes to set aside in their day to pray the rosary.  I've said that during break I don't have an hour to set aside for the Lord everyday.  I realize that in practice these things may seem like too much amongst the stress that we face but I have a claim that the Lord isn't asking for these practices for their own sake...He's asking for something much greater.

He wants you.  I've spent weeks offering different prayers in the chapel and that is a very good thing but in those same weeks I've forgotten that God is alive and wants my heart and my desires and my fears and my joys and my sorrows.  I would become burned out and feel like I wasn't doing enough for the Lord.

I had to come to the realization God doesn't just want me to do good things for Him and for others, He wants me to do His will...and what is His will?  For me to give Him myself completely.  How does that work though?  Maybe you've had a wake up in the morning, give myself to Jesus today type moment, or maybe you've met people like that, and that is beautiful but for me the Lord had/has to sneak up on my heart a little bit. 

In John 4 Jesus asks a woman from a different social group for a drink of water...simple enough, except her group doesn't associate with that one in which Jesus belongs.  She becomes closed off at first but as He does, God does work. 

In our own lives Christ may be calling you to do something simple for Him, but it can come in the form of an awkward encounter with another person or a risk in faith.  You'll have to say, hey you know what...I don't care how this makes me look I'm going to try to do the right thing.  At the point you've opened up communication...on your end at least, His end has always been open, He's been calling out to you for all time.  If you keep reading about Jesus's encounter with the woman at the well she goes from being shocked at this random Jew speaking with her, to being a little girl longing for the love that will allow her to live forever.

If you give Him small yeses, clarity comes, bigger questions follow, more love is poured.  The spiritual life is a battle for love and He longs to give you life greater than you can imagine, all it takes is a little cup of water, a little offering of oneself.

The Lord wants all of you but it isn't like a stripping away of who you are, no it's a fulfillment of who you were made to be. 

You aren't alone in the desire to keep each drop of water to yourself, but you have fellow Christians, angels, and saints all rooting for you to say a little yes...a yes that will ring true into eternity.  Do not be afraid to sacrifice to go to Mass on Sunday, to pray your rosary, to do a holy hour, to have an awkward conversation.  He, the creator of all, revels in your turning toward Him.  Give Him a drink from your simple and beautifully made heart.