A number of my friends and associates have had their marriages end in separation and divorce. It is epidemic in this society. Why? Because of a lack of commitment going into it? A lack of support once one is in marriage? What is it? How can marriage be so unimportant, unvalued? How can we as people enter into these commitments and then walk away? I guess all I can hope is that I can remain faithful to my own commitments. I mourn the end of another marriage, the marriage of two friends very dear to me. God, help us and heal us. We are in such a mess but you are with us Emmanuel. Amen
Today is the feast of Jesus' birth as celebrated in the Western Church. Praise be to God - Father Son and Holy Spirit, and honour to Mary our mother and Joseph her holy spouse.
This is our first Christmas without our beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, and aunt Sheila. However, in Christ, in the heart of Our Father we are all one. There is no separation in life and death in the Heart of Our Loving Father.
These days I work in a big city. Every day I listen to up to ten or more languages spoken by people on the train... these are amazing times.
Loving Father, have mercy on us as we seek You. Forgive our shortcomings. Help us to see all things for what they are; Make us live in Reality. Amen.
I have at long last, after years of searching, found one of my spiritual Fathers, one Ukrainian (Byzantine) Catholic priest by the name of Fr. Mark. He formed me in the tradition of the Eastern Church when I was a teenager and he was the chaplain of my highschool.
Little did Fr. Mark know that when I commenced studies toward the priesthood I would end up a hermit hidden from the world and at the same time sharing the faith of the Eastern Church wherever I go in the world, whether Africa, Asia, Europe or here in N. America.
The Eastern Church has been a mother to me, her teaching and way mediated to me through her priest, God's Servant, Fr. Mark. His pastoral care in my youth has allowed me to grow into the Christian that I am today and I am eternally grateful to my loving Father in heaven. Amen Amen Amen.
My Aunt went home to Jesus on 17 August, the 'Leave-taking of the Feast of the Dormition and Assumption of Mary the Theotokos'. The Lord seems to have seen fit to bless my family with many many days dedicated to Mary (and other saints) as significant dates in our lives ... birthdates to earthly life, birthdates to eternal life, anniversaries, and others. Even my own life as a hermit brother has its Mary connexion. I am living under the Rule of St. Albert followed by the Carmelites who are dedicated to Jesus under the maternal care of his mom Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. St. Albert of Jerusalem wrote the Rule for the hermits "who lived by the spring on Mount Carmel" in what is present day Israel.
Oddly enough I was never really a "Mary guy" at all until I asked the Holy Spirit to show me where and if Mary should have any role in my spiritual life. Gradually the Lord revealed to me the role of maternal care that Mary can have in our life's journey if we need or want her support in Jesus. As an old priest friend of mine told me some years ago, "There is no competition between Jesus and Mary". Jesus is God and He is the one who gave her to us to "take into our home" as he hung upon the Cross. She has a ministry of helping us to know God's Love. Remember at the wedding in Cana, she told the servants there and she tell us too today, "do whatever He tells you."
Here I sit, a hermit. What's that? I don't really know. Merton said, "The hermit life is a kind of walking on water, in which one no longer can account for anything but one knows that one has not drowned and that this is to nobody’s credit but God’s …". I'm not sure if I'll even continue to try to blog as I'm concerned it may be an abandonment of my solitude...
Anyways, I was helping care for my aunt over the last year and she passed home to the Love of the Trinity on 17 August. It's been 3 weeks as of tomorrow. Her last words, given with her very last breath were "I love you" to her family. I was there at her side, I heard it, I saw it with my own eyes. She was a woman who loved much, and now she's in the Lord's heart and with us in Him; Alive, very much alive.
I tried to start my blog some time ago, but it was too personal I thought, so here I'm trying to be a touch more... private. Deo Optimo Maximo!
It was the feast of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta yesterday. She led me to Jesus in so many ways. It was yesterday too that two of her Sisters in India were arrested for caring for orphans. They were accused of forcibly converting children. Sr. Nirmala, head of the Order, says that suffering with Christ is the reality of the Christian life and is to be expected. Meanwhile the Sisters never have in their history coerced conversions.
I am a consecrated Christian solitary brother (CCC 920-921), serving the church in fraternal community with the Order of Preachers (Rom 11:17).
Please pray for us in our call and mission to serve God and His church. / The monks here depicted are of the eremitic Order of St. Jerome (Hieronymites) to whom I was introduced in Lisbon, Portugal through the 'Mosteiro dos Jeronimos' world heritage site.
The blog title page features an image of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne who gave their lives for the peace of God's people during the French Revolution's reign of terror.
Holy Carmelite Saints & Martyrs please pray for us +