Saturday, March 30, 2024

 Easter Tridium----Holy Saturday 2024.

         After the large stone was rolled to the entrance of the tomb, " Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary sat and watched.." So The Gospel of Matthew tells us. We are in watching time, and waiting time. One event in the life of The Historical Jesus is ended, and the next episode is still to happen. It is Not "wasted time", all time is full of the revelation of the mystery of life and living. The Gracious Creative Power is as present now as at any time during our tumultuous last three days. It is so challenging to watch and wait. The time spent between jobs can be so devastating for some. No knowing is tough. I like you want to know where I am going, how long the journey, and all other pertinent information to make my journey through liminal time being secure and safe, with the certitude of The Divine being my constant companion. Joe, dream on. The Unknown, The Ineffable , is present in liminal space as in all so called inhabited moments. We do not hear too many sermons on liminal space so it is incumbent on us to develop  a healthy theology of liminal space, so we are as certain of the working care and presence of Gracious Caring One as with the hectic and challenging moments of my life. Even though I walk in the  dark valley of darkened faith I will not fear for Your power full Presence, and the guidance of The Spirit of Truth are there to guide, me every step of the way. I never take a step on my own. The Good Shepherd is keep a watch-full caring eye on al my movements. " Your eyes are watchful, Your ears are listening Your lips are speaking,  Friend at my side " ( a favorite bromide for liminal space.). 

              Liminal space affords the opportunity to look back and embrace the lessons learned from the journey up to this point. As we watch and wait these last few days have afforded us a great opportunity to see, embrace, and be prepared to accept more readily the following. All my reality is imbued with the reality of The Paschal Mystery, a reality we will spend our whole life coming to terms with. The Scourging at The Pillar, is a decade of the rosary, but has not made it to the stations. How am I to personalize this  gospel reality ? We, this is hard to write, when we flog ourselves trough harsh judgements, and condemning mind we are in actual fact living out our personal, Scourging at The Pillar. We are however ,The One Who is scourged, and it is us who are doing the scourging. We are Body of Christ. Let us shift gears and made a resolution that when we face failure, rejection, disappointment, resentments we will get in touch with the Veronica within, and lean  heavily on Simon. We must not add, willingly, to the agonies of The Paschal Mystery. Compassion, understanding, forgiveness, etc. must be our first choices when meeting circumstances ,which appear to our wounded minds, to somehow deserve a flogging. " In God there is no condemnation", right ? Then what right have we ?

                     " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing." As life ebbs out of The Crucified Jesus His concern is for the others. The soldiers were following the orders of their Roman superiors, who conspired with the religious leader to end the life, mission, and ministry of The Reformer Rabbi Jesus. The life He led, the people He touched, even when it made Himself  unclean, the teachings He espoused were antithetical to their way of seeing and thinking. Rabbi Jesus threatened their money making schemes, their envy and greed triggered jealous fears leading to the,  crucifixion of The One Who least deserved the death Tha was reserved for a runaway slave. Rabbi Jesus ended up in the place of cursedness, as He hung on the wood of the cross. "Cursed is he, who hangs upon the wood." What place of ridicule, dehumanization, bigotry, jealousy, was there left for The Human Manifestation of The Divine to visit, and fill up with His Presence. A Loving Presence  that is WAITING for you and I to be "our refuge and our strength". When we get to our place of abandonment, cursedness, alienation, disconnectedness, raw naked fear, we are mysteriously blessed. It is through our encounters with the above can we have a strengthening encounter with The One that can do for us what cannot do for ourselves. From his tape "Suffering", " It is only through our weaknesses and brokenness CAN we have an audience with a God, of faithfulness and compassion " Karl Steuhmiller. The Prodigal Father/Mother God who is waiting for us to plunge the depths of what it means to be loved, "without condition, restriction , or reservation" (Rohr). Let liminal space stretch the horizons of our understanding so we may live more freely, the life that has been chosen for us. Unfortunately we have free will. Let us bring the wounds of past trauma to 'The Spring of Living Water' where we can be bathed, soothed, and given the freedom of "beloved daughters and sons" to live life and have it to the fullest. That is the wish of The Human Incarnation of mercy and compassion. " Lord, help me to believe the truth about myself ,no matter how beautiful it is".  When your liminal time is over, for now, may you be awakened to the fullness of prodigal waiting in the tabernacle of your depths, to set free. Let  loving freedom be our fundamental option as we embrace The Resurrected Life.



Friday, March 29, 2024

 Paschal Tridium 2024.... Good Friday

Our encounters with The Good Fridays of our existence leads us to a new way of seeing, being and in the end a more authentic presence of The Living God, of Jesus Who became the Christ. I was cogitating on my own journey with the Stations Of The Cross. I was about nine when I started to do the Stations on my own. I went around and looked at the  individual Stations. Those stations from the church in Castletownroche are embedded in my memory. They are the standard by which all other stations are judged. As I have visited a number of churches with different artistic efforts I have come to realize each one has within their depths their own authentic journey with The Condemned One. Our lives are living stations of the cross, each moment is presented as our encounter with some moment of the journey of The Historical Jesus. This moment to moment encounter  is a sacramental moment, as with all sacraments life, and its living provides us with a walking tableau, for our visitation, reflection and spiritual renewal. 

                  The Historical Jesus of those early years sure has changed. He is now, the example, of sacrifice and pain as well as, the source, of encouragement for those who follow the challenging truths of The Gospels. I am now aware of the pain that came from His betrayal, scourging at the pillar, the mocking and dehumanizing moments He choose to endure. Choosing to be faith-full to the call of The Suffering Servant He walked the walk of His truth. We sometimes, like right now, talk the talk, but as regards walking the walk that will be a choice we make, under grace. As it is grace filled, whatever we have to face in being true to The Truth we will be provided with all necessary courage, and spirit of perseverance. From my encounters with my given Stations of The Cross two people have become a part of my living stations. Those two are, Simon of Cyrene and Veronica. I hope this will lead to your own personal reflections, that lead to  the reassurance to continue our  existential encounter with, our personal Via Dolorosa. Simon had NO CHOICE to carry the crossbeam, that was going to be used in The Crucifixion of The Just One. He was having a good day reflecting on his visit to his farm. Then within moments his life was changed, forever. He had to walk behind The Intended Victim all the ways to Calvary. Even though Simon helped Jesus fell two more times, on the way, to make it three falls in all. We on our journey fall, again and again. The important thing is to make the effort to get up. Sometimes are efforts are not enough then we are open to the help of Simon, and the ministering of Veronica. Many times it is the same person who is, depending on the occasion, Simon and Veronica for us.

 Here is what happened on a recent hike. I now have spinal stenosis in two places. (My back is not doing good.) I was was tired and my back needed a rest. So I sat down on this large stone and rested. When I was ready to get up, my legs would not cooperate. I tried different approaches to getting up. They did not work. I made some movement and I ended flat on my back, unable to move. Not looking good, would be a great way to sum up the situation. So I had to lie on my back, unable to move. I now hike/walk where there is traffic. So after lying there for a few minutes, a mountain biker came along. He heard my cry for, "Help", and responded quickly. He became my Simon, and after I was somewhat erect, he showed the concern of Veronica for the " suffering Christ". Right there slightly off the trail I experienced the physical help of a contemporary Simon. This Simon was a real human being and show real care and concern for this octogenarian. His "Veronica" broke through and I sure began to feel rescued and safe. Thank The Gracious  Giver of all that is good,I continued on for another 25 minutes.

                      For us, we fall many many times under the weight of our cross,  our wounded and broken humanity. A cross we are, to take up EACH DAY, and follow in the footsteps  Jesus,The Christ.  Where He had gone, we are to follow. It is essential then that we connect with the Simon and Veronica that are making their dwelling within our depths. We must minister to The Suffering One within, otherwise we are not going to be the best Simon and Veronica for others. "A healthy love of God, and a healthy love of another person begins with a healthy love of self".You cannot give what you have not got. My favorite penance to those beautiful,smiling, vivacious, smiling, but so  resent-full, young mothers was  take 20 minutes for themselves to chill and do nothing. Then my penance evolved to a hot bath, candles, music, and glass of wine provided there was no alcoholics in the family. It does not matter how close they were or are. Alcoholism, is alcoholism and that gene must be respected of all hell breaks loose. Now is/was that penance performed, in most cases NO, these "Simons" were not prepared to be the ministering presence of Veronica to themselves. I was not going to offer that, self neglect, needed to be part of their examination of conscience. They are/were carrying enough of "the cross', and there was no need to pile on.

      Oh ! Oh ! O ! I, the above reminds me that I have forgotten to reflect on, The Scourging at The Pillar. ( Here I am going to take a break, and will be back ..... )


Thursday, March 28, 2024

                                              The Tridium, 2024.  Holy Thursday.

I know from my inhabitation of the human condition ,education, and formation are essential for a healthy journey. A  journey that can only be taken one step at a time, lived, experienced one moment at a time. That now moment is my journeying, living both with, and within The Eternal. We are ,as DeChardin reminds us, " not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings immersed in the human condition". Wow !!! was the first reading of that quote an epiphany moment. My whole view of life and spirituality was " Turned upside, right." (Chesterton). Our unique personal, and communal  celebrations will be colored by our ability to journey into the depths of what it means to inhabit and journey with the human. 

   "We are born human, and we spend the rest of our lives coming to know what, human, means", as you know by now is one of my favorite quotes. I have not too much of an idea  of what that means, but I hope I am able to cooperate with The One Who is guiding me into an ever deepening understanding. A ever deepening understanding of The Paschal Mystery is the threshold over which I have to step. " O God help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how, beautiful it is."

  The Gospel of Mark give a brief description of the happenings, as The Last Supper, The First Mass, was celebrated. The celebration did not end well, for a celebration The Holy One had looked forward to celebrate with His friends. As we journey from the Upper Room's celebration, to The Garden of Gethsemane, the atmosphere sure changes. Rabbi Jesus takes His best friends and goes forward alone to pray. Prayer is our journey from illusion to reality. Not a journey we are always ready for. Jesus knew of it's coming but when it arrived was not ready to face such reality. Jesus prays to His Father that the cup that he was destined to drink would pass him by. He got into a stage of such anxiety that He broke into a sweat of blood. I have asked this question so often over the years,"How many here can break into a sweat of blood ?" In the early years there was rarely a one. Who can claim to enter such  an anxiety  level ? ALL of us human beings can break into, a set of blood !!!! Look it up. The medical name for this is called hematidrosis . It is documented in history.Especially in the case of soldiers preparing to enter battle. There was no part of the human condition The Historical Jesus did not enter. If He neglected any, did His human journey would  not have been, authentic. His life would be a life we could ignore. 

  The events of these days reveal to us how deep was His drink, from the chalice of suffering. There was not a drop left. He drank it to the dregs. 

            Judas and Jesus !!!! Why did Jesus choose Judas to be an Apostle ? How did He feel to see Judas at the table for His Last Supper ? It was known Judas was not honest, how could Jesus have ignored that fact ? The Compassionate One had just another way of seeing. We are growing into the adjustment of our sight, so we too able to see as, The Fully Human one did. What changes are going to be a surprise to us ? It was not just Judas. Not too many hung around to see what was going to happen, up close. From a distance was safer. We all like safety, do we not ? It is one thing to pray to Jesus The Christ, it is something altogether to take up his cross and fully follow in His footsteps. How heavy can that cross be ? How can we ever take up our cross daily and walk in the footsteps go He Who has trudged the road to ignominy and death? He journeyed into the place of abandonment and cursedness. Why such sacrificial love ? The Great Teacher was to use His final hours on earth to reveal to  both you and I the depth of love that is offered to us The Beloved Daughters, and Beloved Sons. That is our inherent worth. That love  reveals a beauty, so awe-full, wonder-full we are not ready for its acceptance. With that acceptance comes the challenge to live a life that authentically reveals to all such eternal love. Our encounters with the Good Fridays of our existence leads us to ..........


Monday, March 25, 2024

                         Palm Sunday--- Holy Week 2024.

 " For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing, by works of charity, love, for the celebration of Our Lord's Paschal Mystery. Christ Jesus entered in triumph into His own city---to suffer , to die, and to rise again. Let us remember  with devotion this entry-- and follow him with a lively faith. United with Him on the cross, may we share His Resurrection and new life." Opening prayer for the Palm Sunday Liturgy.

                 As we journey with a sometimes dark faith into he days of Holy Week it will be only through the gift of real, radical honesty will we be led to this understanding. It will only be because I am honest about the events of the here and now, THIS moment, this day, this week, will I make the mind blowing realization, MY EVERY MOMENT, HOUR, DAY, WEEK are the events of Mystery. I do not lead an ordinary life, because of my lively faith, I am being led into a gradual understanding of this revelation,  my own sufferings, passion, deaths are not endings, but the stepping stones, thresholds, always leading to a new and a more vitalized life. With these new lenses we can begin to accept, "Life, is not a problem to be solved. It is a mystery to be lived." That mystery is always, some thorn from the crown of thorns, some splinter, from the wood on which The Historical Jesus, was crucified. Yes, " we are Jesus's story today" (O' Shea). Yes every moment a contemporary gospel is being written, by flesh, and bones human beings.

        The gospel ,you are in the process of writing, may be the ONLY bible some individuals will ever read. The more honest we are, in this honesty we are empowered, by Grace, to connect with the human journey of, the other. In this sacramental encounter The Wounded, Jesus The Christ in you, reaches out, and connects with The Wounded, Jesus The Christ right there in front of you. A story, a gospel story is shared and new life is channeled. It is a unique sharing in The Resurrected Life, that will come to consciousness, in "the fullness of time". A time which is not Chronos, measured, controlled,  but Kairos, wild uncontrollable time, un-measurable,  much to our chagrin of the false self and to the liberation of the true self. The deep paradoxes of the spiritual journey will be always front and center this week, in particular. Paradoxes, are sacramental, and so have to be reverenced.

          Another prayer from the present past, " May the changing moods of the human heart never blind us to the love, that is ,always offered." Being Irish we are blessed with serious mood changes. There was a chapter of a book I once read with this headline, "The black mood of the Irish." On Palm Sunday we have the crowds shouting, chanting their greetings of welcome, and recognition  to rabbi Jesus. Just a few days later, they will shout "Crucify Him, crucify Him". Peter was prepared to go and die with his Master, given the right challenging circumstances, Peter "cursing, and swearing" denied that he ever knew This Jesus of Nazareth. Let us remember became the first pope ?? "the ways of The Gracious Mysterious One are definitely not our ways." We are during this tumultuous week, be buffered by our thoughts of our changing moods and the resulting actions and consequences that are so hard to own, accept as part of our reality. Good Friday will be a tough slog. As it was for Jesus's , so it must be for you and I. We will encounter Simon and Veronica ,  an encounter which will lead to our awakening acceptance of the Simon, and, Veronica  who journey within our depths. Always ready to be called on, sometimes in the darkest of times. They are never too busy, to distracted to hear our pleas for help.

           Each day, is a new day in  the mysterious life which has crammed within it, ALL the events of Holy Weeks, and we can live it one moment at at time. "Now is the acceptable time " for us to pray for the grace that the new awakenings may bring to us a deepening of radical faith, hope and prodigal love. I cannot say when we will meet again, "The Spirit blows where it wills," not according, to my changing moods.   


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

 I was thinking, if the spiritual world had Tsunami watches, the warning flags would be flying, and the warning sounds tested.  Spiritually speaking, a Tsunami is on the way. It is named Holy Week. We have been preparing for this encounter for almost 40 days, and there are now, only, a few days left. Theses days afford us the opportunity to refocus on the meaning of our Lenten Journey into the desert with our, Good Shepherd. The Historical Jesus was forced into the desert by the Holy Spirit. We are graciously led, each year, into 40 days during which our  moment to moment lived lives are placed under a spiritual microscope. When one looks at a so called static, outwardly static reality we can be  wonder-fully shocked at the life forms which the microscope reveals, for our education and edification . There is always a  hidden, mysterious life hidden in the reality of the seen. I have been shocked at what microbes really look like when exposed by a microscope. I have been equally shocked, by what has been, and is being revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, as I am guided along " the road less travelled" (Peck). This really is just a trail, and it wanders ever new through the desert wastelands of my lenten Journey. 

              Our Holy Week unique celebrations, will again draw us, anew,  and ever deeper into the celebration of  The Paschal Mystery . Our individual and faith community celebrations will begin on Psalm Sunday, and extend through the week bring   to us, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, The Tomb Time of Holy Saturday,  the awe-filled Easter Vigil. These latter celebrations must be seen as a single celebration of The Paschal Mystery,  NOT ,as four separate and distinct liturgical celebration. The celebrant blesses himself to begin mass on Holy Thursday, and does not bless himself again until the end of mass on Holy Saturday. The Paschal Mystery has its blowout celebration on Easter Sunday. This is NOT the end. We will continue the celebration of The Mystery of our faith until Pentecost Sunday.  Why such a long  reflective time ? As we live  anew, our moment to sacramental moment  life we must become to a deeper awareness of what is occurring in our depths. We must allow the workings of The Holy Spirit to come to consciousness. For the "Good News" to journey from, It's Tabernacle in our depths, through the layers of human brokenness , into the light of human consciousness, in other words, The Kairos time deep within Chronos time must aided by, reverence. "The Prisoner of our finiteness"(Rahner) is always making a mysterious journey. That journey is revealed through the events of daily living. This journey is always revealed through the lens of The Paschal Mystery, The Easter Mystery.

         As you face the reality of your moment to moment existential life what are the fears to be faced ? We are all "perfectly imperfect ," am I handling, with understanding and compassion the many manifestations  of my human frailties ? As I scourge myself , am I aware I am scourging The Body of Christ, and the events of history are being lived again ? We are BOTH the scourged and the scourger ? When life has left me, bruised, beaten, betrayed, abandoned,  disheartened, discouraged, disconnected, am I able to grasp, the hem of garment of The  Suffering Servant, my Brother ? That will be more than enough, for the true self. The false self is in the deep panic mode. The world of darkness is not the false self's world of choice. When the dark clouds of Calvary appear on the horizons of my life, am I prepared to shout out with the crucified Jesus, " My God, My God why have You abandoned me" knowing that will be enough ? The Crucified One offers His bloodied body, to be our place of rest, as he says to us " come rest in me". Can we look at The Abandoned One and with both fear filled and faith filled voices cry out " into Your Bloodied hands I commit my spirit ". 


Wednesday, March 13, 2024

    Tuesday March 12, 2024 ----- Boredom.

      " In order to live a free and happy life we must sacrifice boredom. It is not an easy sacrifice " " Running through things because you are familiar with them breeds routine" and with routine, boredom can become an, unwelcome presence. Fulghum " I fear the boredom that comes with not learning, and not taking chances." Refresh: there are two understanding of time. The one we are most familiar with, and at times controlled by it is, Kronos time that is watcher, clock, computer time that is measured. Then there is Kairos Time, The Creator God's time. This is eternal time os which we have been part of since the beginning of creation. This time is unseen, cannot be measured, it is the time behind the time we measure. Kairos time has no seconds,  hours etc. only the, eternal, now. We have been part of that eternal now, since it had existence in The Eternal.

            The Season of Lent is the great antidote to, boredom. It demands of us to each year to face the familiar, seek what is yet, unseen,  hidden in the orderliness , of routine . We are again challenged to come to know and accept our powerlessness  over what is revealed . This yearly journey into The Easter Mysteries awakens us to the reality of our moment to moment encounters with these same Mysteries. This happens in Kairos time, The Eternals  time.Kairos time is many times hidden behind the ordinary, the so-called mundane, seemingly boring time. Oh how wrong we are. We must make every effort not to life the lie, but to live in the truth. Every encounter with The Truth sets us on a new level of freedom.

     Each and every moment of the lived year is lived in the reality of suffering, death, burial, the  birth, emergence of new life, and a  growing attitude of gratitude for the grace-filled moments of rebirth. We are always in the process of being re-birthed. We are never the same from one moment to the next. How often do we ever stop and welcome the as yet unmet stranger emerging from our depths. This stranger, and The Paschal Mysteries are inextricably liked. How exciting, fear-filled, mysterious, and always enlivening this encounter is. These days of Lent challenges us ever anew to be prepared to embrace,  to live The Mystery Of Our faith. We are in the process of spending 40 days in preparation, four in celebration, and fifty to understand ever anew The Kairos Time, to be discovered in so called, ordinary, Kronos time.

          Does this encounter and revelation occur without effort. Again we must always keep before us ,this uncomfortable fact,THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY DEMANDS OF US HARD WORD. This hard word is always wrapped in the mysterious mantle of grace. Grace is another word for The Gracious Spirit Love ,in action. We never have to face the unknown on our own. It will be through moments of meditation, and contemplation we will be brought to an ever growing awareness of the seeds of transformation and transfiguration sewn within our depths. Seeds that require a nourishing care, and the freedom to grow and mature. All of this leads us to an acceptance of the fact,"life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived." We then are living mysteries, through whose lived experience The Easter,Paschal,Mysteries are revealed as light to brighten with hope, a darkened world. You are light. Light has different levels of intensity.  "This "little light of mine shine I got to to let it shine" and shine and shine. The results of its shining are none of my business. We must be able to concentrate, focus on the sacramental now where excitement and joy are gifted to us. There is no repetition, no doing-over, each moment is unique filled with the excitement of  a new birth........ ( This is long, but there is more. ???? Gramps)




Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Warning, another blimp, this required an ambulance ride to the ER. We are behind schedule, so understanding please. How appropriate that the letter " R" For our purpose "R", stands for, resentment, and I am battling resentment,BIG TIME.

    Life plays some serious tricks on us ?. When we think, at least for me, we know something then we are confronted with real in-depth knowledge, and come to the realization we are really ignorant. Workin on a better understanding of resentment, I now question the value of what I have  previously written.( Time for my top "bromide', "I release, shame" then, "Gracious Spirit of Love, fill up the emptiness". ) Having accepted the limitations, well I have got to be honest, Joe has never have had real acceptance about anything, as acceptance is a process, consolation?  Let us, soldier on,  and see where ,The Spirit leads. It will be  led to, and through,  dark valleys, Son warmed mountain tops, harsh barren deserts, refreshing streams of revitalizing water, so !! after taking a deep breath, let's go !!!!

                  I am beginning to become more aware that resentment is  more than just one word, to describe one emotion, yet it has multiple  layers. Those layers are a mixture of disappointment, digest and anger. It is also considered a secondary emotion that can be elicited in the face of insult, or injury.  "Inherent  in resentment is a perception of unfairness." Robert C. Solomon " places resentment on the same continuum as anger and contempt, and he argues that the difference between the three are that resentment is anger directed towards a higher-status individual ; anger is directed toward an equal-status individual; contempt is directed toward a lower-status individual." Steven Stosny " Anger results in aggressive behavior ,used to avert or deal with a threat, while resentment occurs once the injury has been dealt and is not expressed as aggressively or as openly".  " Whatever is not transformed,  IS transferred" (Rohr)) I have had to learn that it takes twice the energy to keep anger in, than to let it out, openly expressed. Feel, experience, express, let go. When steps are not taken to express the resentment then all that can be expected is an ongoing war within ourselves, and those who share the journey with us, are the co- causalities of that war. 

                    There are all sorts of warning associated with resentment. Alcoholics are warned about the danger resentments are to recovery. I always used to warn couples preparing for marriage , "What kills a relationship is NOT what is on the table, but what lies under the table." I have this in front of me in the kitchen, " Expectations are, planned resentments." Does this mean I do not create expectations , I am after all, "A spiritual being, immersed, in the human condition. Not a human being having a spiritual experience" (De Chardin ) We then are immersed at creation, into the human experience, "but we will spend our whole lifetime discovering, what this immersion means."  How much has been discovered about what is experienced by each one of us during our journey in the depths, the darkness  of womb. There is an ongoing formation, using the adventures of coming to birth,  and being birthed. There is a great deal of pain, happiness and joy in the birthing process. We will return to the imagery of  the darkness of the womb,  again and again as we journey deeper into our personal understanding of The Paschal Mystery. We will be called to let go of preconceived idea and be led to experience the coming "of new Heavens and a new earth". From the  darkness of the  tomb new life appears. The tomb, in reality, is a womb !!!

 Our Prodigal Mother/Father  God has intervened in human history, and by association, our individual human histories to bequest the revelation of Infinite Love,Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy. That revelation is revealed to us,EVER ANEW, particularly during, the six weeks of Lent. Can we say, using the quotation of Hildegard of Bingen that , that the mission and ministry of The Historical Jesus, reveals to us EVER ANEW how we are hugged, "encircled by the arms of the mystery of God"( Hildegard.) In each human The Divine Mystery can only ,usually, be experienced through the mystery of the human encounter. Gratitude for this gracious gift will keep us free of resentment. I read " One cannot have gratitude and resentment at the same time." The wounds that reveal a spiritual void, can only be healed with the healing oil of Mercy-full love. Mercy-full love, like oil heals us ,soothes us, comforts us, protects us, then transfigures and transforms us. " The place of the wound, becomes the place of the gift." (May). The greater our wounds the greater are our gifts. Gifts ,that are not ours, until, we give them away." The consolation that comes to each one will be as the result of each ones unique Lenten journey. May  rigorous honesty be our constant companion. May a renewed Faith, the dawning of new Hope, lead us a revitalized love, of all that, is. 

For your continued reflection, ''To the resentful eye everything is begrudged. People who allow the canker of resentment into their vision, can never enjoy who they are or what they have. They are always looking out towards others with resentment. Perhaps they are resent-full because they see others as more beautiful, more gifted, or richer than themselves. The resentful eye lives out of its poverty, and forgets its own inner harvest" John O'Donoghue. This blog has only one purpose, that is to always focus on The Gracious Creator's wish for us, to "happy, joyous, and free". We have the saboteur who works tirelessly within to screw  up this,Our lovers ,Aisling, dream, for us. This is a battle, the saboteur cannot win. " Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more"........ Love, prayers and blessings. As always, Great grandpa Joe.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

 Blown tire on freeway upset " Friday, snack" plans. Here goes "Saturday-- lights".

There is a certain incongruity about an Irishman writing about 'ANGER". I have to keep in mind this adage " We teach best what we need to learn most". That is me. The feelings of anger have a tremendous power. They are those feelings that impel those who fight injustice on all levels, and pay the price for doing what is right. There are those in positions of power, that act  with impunity, so as to  trigger righteous anger in those what are not prepared, disposed to be victims. I had to face this challenge all my adult life, "Am I going to be, become , a  victim, or a survivor ?" A healthy anger empowers one to live the life of freedom, not, wallow in victimhood, filled with un-dealth  anger". 

  I was taught the emotion that leads one to feel , empowers to to health action, F-eel, E-xperience, E-xpress, then let go. ' Whatever one does not feel, cannot be redeemed", "Whatever is not transformed, is transferred." both Fr. Richard Rohr jewels. " When I point my finger at someone, there are FOUR pointing right back at me." When I am angry at another person I am angry at that person within ME." I have to face that reality, and it is not very appetizing . In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not The Sacrament of obliteration, we are challenged to face the real inner truths. Truths we much rather deny, and so allow resentment to flourish. When a penitent confesses that they are angry at X,Y, Z, I ask " And now who else are you angry at ?" They will dig further, come up with more, but very rarely will "I am angry at myself " be owned and expressed. When I celebrated The Sacrament with little one from Catholic School, or Re ligious Education programs, The question of "who else" ? is always asked.

       Kids who have a good day at school will seldom, trip a sibling, express anger at a parent, refuse to cooperate, be sulky, etc, etc,. When I work it around so as the penitent sees the existence of anger with oneself  then the following happens. This happens with pretty much all those I encounter in The Sacrament of Freedom. I ask, " Have you ever said " I love you to yourself ", so, so, many times I am sad to say I hear the answer "no". That is true of adults, of all ages, the words " I love you have never been directed inward, at themselves. When those word " I, love you is repeated', there are many tears shed. Some say, "But I do not mean it, I cannot repeat those word to myself" Then that old bromide comes into play, " You fake it, until, you make it." " Act as if you have it, and it will come to you." We have to come to see that it always comes down to desire. "We become ,that which we desire.' d long as we have the desire, no matter how faint,The Creative Mercy-full, Spirit does find a way. Not in an instant, but over time. Now the next question "Have you ever said I forgive you"? the universal answer, sadly. In "no". Crossing the broad chasm from self hatred  to self forgiveness takes real effort.Again, we fake it until we make it. I encourage penitents, and all I work with outside of the Reconciliation Room, to repeat those word 10x,20x,30x ..... times day. Some days those word are addressed to Joe many, many times. Forgiveness is an action that takes place in moments, reconciliation is a process, and takes time to accept and forgive oneself. My daily struggle to be able to be in the solution, NOT, in the problem. The false self will do everything in its power to keep us in victim servitude. we must never underestimate the power of Graceland the mysterious way it works ever so silently in our depths.

               There is so much more to be written I hope this gets you started in self-education, leading to  an ever greater freedoms to enjoy the life gifted to you. We are called to live in the freedom of beloved daughters/sons, not eeking out an existence in the prisons, of guilt, fear, and shame. The toxic trinity. The following words, with which, pretty much all members of AA are familiar with, and on whose acceptance their recovery is dependent on: " And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed it is because I find some person place, thing or situation, some-fact of my life-  un acceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person,place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake..... unless I accepted life on life's terms I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes." This cost $100 way backlit is yours for freewill there is a price to read all of this," The ONLY thing I can changes my attitude towards myself". Of myself I am powerless, but there is One Who has all power, and that Power is already present within you and I.  This Creative Power of Creative Love, is in our depths, waiting for us to surrender ego centered false self. We do NOT find The Divine, when we search for The Divine Presence, it means That Infinite Power of Love has ALREADY found us. Love,prayers and blessings. Great Grandpa Joe.