Sunday, October 9, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Let us turn to a story...about a child born in an obscure village. Brought up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty, and then for three brief years was an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He covered far flung places yet never ever had an fancy car. He never had a laptop nor an iPad. He never had a cellphone. Nor all the trappings which we undeniably now enjoy.
He never held an office. Nor wore fancy raiments with gold trimmings to denote he is high up in the hierarchy. He never owned a home. He never went to college to obtain a degree in divinity.
While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.
Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across twenty hundred years and ask what kind of trail has he left across the centuries. No tire marks. When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life…
And all he had to transport himself was a lent donkey.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Texting is an element that is often the easy target for those who wish to do penance during Lent. One simple text message can lead texters into consuming a fortune for plain idle chit-chat. By simply not responding to a text joke or conversation could save a lot for something important. Much more than that, ignoring idle talk through text messaging can save one's soul from sins such as pride and bigotry, anger, hatred.
The silent treatment, however disturbs me, not because they do not respond to my messages, but because, like them I am supposed to be doing penance as well. I have long given up a lot since I had been admitted as a Franciscan - television, malling, movies, eating at my favorite restaurant. I am trying to be kinder, more generous especially towards the poor, loving my enemies, but there are a lot more that need to be done.
The season has just begun. I need to discover what else I need to do and give up (and texting is one of them, thank you.). At the moment, my cellphone is still open to receive messages but remains silent.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Here is something from Ignacio Larranaga, OFMCap on the brief guidelines on how to pray the Psalms:
Spend a few moments of silence. Let your soul be empty, open, tranquil, unperturbed, and calmly expectant, because it is the Lord who is coming, in His Word, to have an encounter with you.
Begin by not looking for any particular purpose, such as a solution to your problems, doctrine, or other truths. The Lord will manifest Himself freely, in accordance with His designs and plans for your life.
Pray the psalms slowly. Do not read. With a journal handy, write down the Psalms that say something to you. Identify different feelings you encounter within yourself, such as those of admiration, thankfulness, understanding, etc.
Make an effort to feel the meaning of each phrase with all your soul. Identify your attention and emotion with the content of the expressions, and express them with the same inner feelings that the psalmist had.
In the spirit of the Psalms, imagine yourself within the Heart of Jesus and try to feel what He felt when he said these same words. With the help of the Holy Spirit, try to identify yourself with His inner attitude of adoration, awe and gratefulness.