Monday, April 8, 2013

For the gift of faith

"Lord Jesus Christ, you offer us a new birth in the Holy Spirit. Renew in me the gift of faith and new life in your Holy Spirit. Help me to draw near to you and to believe in your life-giving word. May your kingdom come and may your will be done in my life today, tomorrow, and always."

On the Annunciation -- a struggle of faith

Well, I am not posting as much as I had desired. A mixture of being lazy and also still struggling with the spiritual side ... more moments of emptiness than the spiritual aha. Yet I continue to work through the things to gain a vision of what was and what can be. I guess I feel I will have some enlightenment or a great spiritual hug. Time, Time and Time. Today we celebrate the Annunciation when Mary had the faith, trust and courage to say YES to God's call to be the Mother of God. It is hard to understand such faith...obviously she was so full of grace and also God was not an afterthought for her. She was so enveloped in the love of God that she did not even have to think twice. The funnel of grace poured from her lips. I can only hope for such faith and openness. The desires of my physical being keep dragging me back to old ways. It is so much easier to just live the comfort of pleasure no matter how little or mundane they might be. Sometimes I give in without even knowing it... certain things have become so routine that they constantly pull me from the divine -- and then I get caught in the rationalization of -- "Oh it's ok.." I will do better next time the voice in my head speaks. My inner soul longs for peace and love -- longs to feel the warmth of LIGHT. Yet, i wander more in the darkness, I do not realize the warmth is there but I will need to take that ultimate leap of faith. The leap that will cause an uncomfortable spark at first but ultimately the peace I want. I am frustrated but never seem to rise above the now. The path is strong for a few days and then the old lazy self takes over. Lord, let me have the faith of your mother...let me live for You and not myself. The journey of running towards you must be constant but I realize in order to run I must learn to love myself. Somewhere in the past few years I have crawled deeper into a loneliness that has taken control. Am I the cause of this -- have I failed to take the actions in order to move from it. I so want peace. I want to turn from as waste of time to a productive time -- not just lay and do nothing at times but to activate the inner grace of faith. It is not just the spiritual side that needs a spark but my total being. Mary walk with me that I might know the inner trust you had of the divine. Hold me so that I am not guided by fear but by grace to find your Son again. You are the ultimate example of faith, let me follow you. Hold me my mother. Amen

Monday, April 1, 2013

And so we find...and risk ...

The past year has been one of feeling lost and unloved. Not just on the physical level but also on the spiritual level -- I have been wandering and getting no where. The stress of having my elderly father has added to it as well. It is not so much what he does or doesn't do as it it my own personal worry and at times being over protective. My temper is short and my moods unreal at times. I am glad I can help my father, but feel an obligation to make sure nothing happens to him. He sees my love and concern as being over-protective -- ergo -- the arguments. But more than that it has been a year of wondering who do I really matter to? Is there value to me and what I do. There have been times when I wondered if I even loved myself anymore. I had forgotten how to smile and laugh, the expression on my face has been... I have constantly looked for answers -- long to hear a voice of direction but in reality I know I did not listen when it came. It did not fit into my mold of what was right. And so I wandered and stayed in my own self pity world. There were times that my motivation level was almost zero. I certainly did ok at work but when I came home I fell into a world of hopeless loneliness. I longed and at times I think I begged for companionship -- just to have someone to do things with, to talk, to take a walk to just be crazy if the moment allowed. It has been a year of a lack of inner sunshine and light. I had no real spirituality in action and my prayer life was for all piratical purposes gone. I was a wandering soul getting further and further lost -- then there was the election of Pope Francis -- ok the election of a Pope speaks to you? Rather it was the fact he took the name Francis and the look of love in his eyes. One could see he was a man of faith and truly live his beliefs -- ergo my personal transformation. I had not been to confession for years, never really felt it mattered. Then one recent Friday when I was going into Chicago for a opera with a friend I felt drawn to the Franciscan church in the loop. This was followed by a grouping religious ceremonies and manifestations that re-lite the fire within. No, I am not a perfect person with ferverino but i feel the necessity to have a spiritual balance and for now it it heavily focused in the catholic dimension -- not the laws and rules but rather the message of Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis. The past Holy week has allowed me several opportunities where I once again felt I was in the hands of God and could feel his love, protection and hugs. As I said it has not all been the perfect Bob -- the old way struggles to rise to the surface but I seem to have a magnetic pull to a new belief or maybe its a rebirth of an old belief. I have been to the Benedictine Abbey near me on two occasions near me for unbelievable liturgies that just call one to want more -- it is hard to explain the total atmosphere of the ceremonies. My soul felt at home and a wonderful peace for the first time in many years. Thus, a new journey has begun and I pray I have the grace and strength to continue down the road and the courage to accept the unknown that lies ahead. He is Risen, truly Risen. Amen