Trust fall into the peace of God

How can we show God we love Him? How can we console his heart of infinite love? Well, trust is the answer.  As we contemplate the heart of God and his beauty in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us, let us take a trust fall into the peace of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  Praise and thanksgiving go hand-in-hand in our total act of trust in our Lord.
Visualize this, you are walking in your favorite type of natural setting–whether it be the trees and highlands of Ireland, or the cool breeze, salty sea, and warm sand of the Hawaiian coast.  Do you feel God’s presence? What is your first instinct? To be joyful and grateful for the present beauty all around you? Well, our Father in Heaven loves us so much he created this beauty and it completely reflects him on a level.  He is nothing but love, nothing but pure beauty and peace itself.  You are experiencing your wonderful God in the peace of nature.  When you understand this, it’s only natural to respond with an outburst of thanksgiving and praise!  And God perfectly receives our love back, although we may not always see him and receive the joy and peace he has to offer us everyday.  But, this is how we can console and love him back—through our gracious and trusting response to his constant flow of love on us and in our lives.  No matter the degree of gratitude and trust we show him back, he receives it perfectly.
Opening our hearts and understanding who we are as God’s beloved children is the first step.  Acknowledging God’s presence in our hearts and lives is the next.  And finally, responding to the effects of his constant and pursuing love with a spirit of warm praise and thanksgiving.  Sometimes it’s hard to trust that God loves us and is completely devoted to guiding us through a meaningful life, due to whatever given circumstances.  It is our role to just trust in him and receive, like a child.  Jesus is right behind you with open arms waiting for the surrender of your heart, mind, body and spirit!  So keep thanking him for the beauty that he is and the beauty he wishes to reveal to you.   What abundant grace we would receive.
Fall into the peace of God with me.  Ask him to show you how he loves you each day, and he will reveal his beauty and give you the peace and actual joy you are looking for.  Fall into the arms of your maker, into the arms of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Trust in him.
O Blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you.
Litany of Trust:

From the belief that I have to earn Your love … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear that I am unlovable … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the false security that I have what it takes … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear that trusting You will leave me more destitute … Deliver me, Jesus.

From all suspicion of Your words and promises … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the rebellion against childlike dependency on You … Deliver me, Jesus.

From refusals and reluctances in accepting Your will … Deliver me, Jesus.

From anxiety about the future … Deliver me, Jesus.

From resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past … Deliver me, Jesus.

From restless self-seeking in the present moment … Deliver me, Jesus.

From disbelief in Your love and presence … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being asked to give more than I have … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the belief that my life has no meaning or worth … Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of what love demands … Deliver me, Jesus.

From discouragement … Deliver me, Jesus.
That You are continually holding me sustaining me, loving me … Jesus, I trust in you.

That Your love goes deeper than my sins and failings, and transforms me …Jesus, I trust in you.

That not knowing what tomorrow brings is an invitation to lean on You … Jesus, I trust in you.

That you are with me in my suffering … Jesus, I trust in you.

That my suffering, united to Your own, will bear fruit in this life and the next …Jesus, I trust in you.

That You will not leave me orphan, that You are present in Your Church …Jesus, I trust in you.

That Your plan is better than anything else … Jesus, I trust in you.

That You always hear me, and in Your goodness always respond to me …Jesus, I trust in you.

That You give me the grace to accept forgiveness and to forgive others …Jesus, I trust in you.

That You give me all the strength I need for what is asked …Jesus, I trust in you.

That my life is a gift … Jesus, I trust in you.

That You will teach me to trust You … Jesus, I trust in you.

That You are my Lord and my God … Jesus, I trust in you.

That I am Your beloved one … Jesus, I trust in you.

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Beautiful insights of my mother

Today my mom and I took a walk in a hidden canyon just outside our neighborhood.  It being a few weeks after rainfall, the dirt road was cracked and dried.  It looked like the rough and scaly skin of Mr. legendaryimg_1196 “Thing” from Fantastic Four! That was my thought, but my mom experienced a profound insight.  Her eyes welled up as she spoke of the relation between this brittle ground and the thirsty souls deprived of the love of Christ.  This became an interior spiritual pang, driving us both to set our concerns to a greater perspective.  We began to pray for those who have not yet discovered the life-giving water of God’s love, in what we know to be the source of our own nourishment and security.  Coincidentally it happened to be the 3 o’clock hour.  What better time could it have been to ask Jesus to shower souls with His merciful love?

Father God see to those who do not know you.  Give them the graces they need to know your love, for it is in You true peace and joy flow into our hearts. By the Most Precious Blood of Jesus shed at Calvary and through the intercession of Mary’s most tender and motherly Immaculate Heart, we pray.

Amen.

Wash out the bitterness

tumblr_mll1mgleyj1so65tpo1_500Wash it out.  You know, that bitter feeling, that resentment, that gnat in your eye.  Wash it out with the love of God.  It’s okay, life goes up and down, pain is inevitable.  Those painful moments of deep hurt, the scourge of betrayal, irritation, and bitterness only hold you down.  I’m here to tell you, God is here.  He is close.  He is listening.  Open your heart to the Holy Spirit, whether you are the afflicted or the one who is inflicting the pain in a moment of weakness, know God loves you. He is mercy, and He is love itself.  Turn to His Mother for comfort and guidance.  Turn to the saints for a lesson of strength and joy.  Turn to the face of Jesus for ultimate peace.  With an inner recollection, see with the eyes of your heart what God is trying to tell you.  Do not make up false illusions and build up hate.  See that His grace might touch all hearts, even the hearts of your betrayers, especially the hearts of your betrayers.  See the struggle and insecurity, the search for love in the faces and hearts of others.  With grace you will see the true concern, the true need of the other.  Turn your eyes from yourself and look at the other with the eyes of Love, with the eyes of God.  By the strength of His love you can forgive.  Forgive others and yourself.  Dwelling on yesterday’s shame, regret, pains, are the death trap to despair.  It’s most important to give praise and thanks to God in suffering times.  And to fervently pray.  Only joy will keep flowing into your life.  You will see.  Jesus, have mercy, it is your face we seek.

Here’s a prayer I started to say a couple years ago that I believe helped me find my way to faith and Love.  I feel closer to the Holy Spirit.  I’ve found a trust in Jesus and the intercession and guidance of our Little Mother, Mary.  I’m as sensitive to His love as a butterfly to the wind.  Nothing but a constant rain of blessings on my life right now, even in the midst of passing pains.  Life with Christ, with Mary, with the saints, is beautiful.  Open your heart to the Holy Spirit and allow yourself to be lead.  Here you go:

“O Holy Spirit most beloved of my soul, guide me, strengthen me, enlighten me, and console me, tell me what to do and I will do it according to your Will.  Amen.”

Another thought at 2am in a moment of quiet from a busy day.

Jesus be with you.

Do I sense a wedding in the wild?

This morning with my cup of coffee and a bagel I witnessed a landmark in the world of the wild.  In our neighboring continent, Europe, there in the country of Germany, is an outstanding photographer.  Her name is Tanja Brandt.  Through the eye of her camera lens, she told a story of a very unexpected love between a sweet doggy and her handsome little owl friend.  The pictures show the couple on an adventure in the woods, tenderly nuzzling into each other’s warmth, and even leaning in for a smooch! —>

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Ms. Tanja Brandt, expresses the purpose of her life’s work on her website’s bio.  In her indigenous German language she writes:

Ich liebe die Tiere mehr als die Menschen und ich liebe es, mit ihnen zu kommunizieren, Abenteuer zu erleben und sie zu fotografieren.

I may know a smidgen of Spanish and a few German words here and there, but I definitely can not translate this on my own.  Luckily, she left an English translation:

I love animals more than people and I love to communicate with them, to have adventures and to photograph them.

Her photography speaks of this itself.  It justifies her passion for adventure and fond friendship with the wild!  Thank goodness she allows us to take part in these exclusive adventures and wonders through the art of her story-telling photography!  Begin your next journey with Ms. Brandt at her website: https://500px.com/tanjabrandt

Back to this particular story, I sense a future wedding for these two love birds! (no pun intended)

!Warning! Turn off your heaters or take a step into the winter cold, these pictures are likely to melt your heart:

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Secret santa, secret saint!

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“I prayed for you”

We all know the good-old classic game of Secret Santa.  I am sure many of you have taken part in this timeless, good-natured holiday tradition!  What fun, what smiles and good memories of this friendly game. Well, have you ever thought of being a secret saint for someone, just as the “secret santa” provides uplifting and lighthearted gifts and treats of good pleasure?

Here’s the name of the Secret Saint game: Give the gift of prayer.

Don’t be let down by the prospect of being a “saint” which may seem to be far out of an ordinary person’s reach.  Not true.  Saints were ordinary people, turned extraordinary because they opened their hearts to be lit with the light of Christ’s love.  We can light our advent candles and Christmas lights, as well as the wick of faith that awaits to be ignited by the love of God in our hearts.  Just kindly welcome the Holy Spirit.  Then, we can be a channel of peace and joy for others in union with our Lord—apostles of love and prayer as the saints were.  The most perfect gift we could give this Christmas season is the gift of prayer and the witness of this authentic peace and joy in Christ.  With our silent prayers, we can be a “secret saint” and give the gift of heavenly grace.  A gift that surpasses all material gifts of any value.

Now, we are not limited to being a “secret saint” to just one person or to our dear family and friends.  Share this quiet apostleship of prayer and love with everyone you encounter.  Let the light of faith shine forth at work, at school, in the grocery store or post office.  There is always someone you can love and pray for.  The smallest, ardent prayer said in love throughout the day can outpour a reservoir of grace on you and whomever the prayer is for.

Give it a try! Be a secret saint for everyone you encounter, even the faces on the other side of the comments and likes from this website left in your inbox.  In every encounter with another, there is always the opportunity to give the silent gift of prayer out of the love of God in your heart.

Share a laugh with a saint

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Smiling Kolbe (upper right) with young candidates for the Franciscan Order.

St. Maximilian Kolbe is known to be this extraordinary holy saint, which he is, but in his outstanding virtue he had an illuminating, cheery joy.  His fellow Franciscan brothers spoke of his beaming “radość życia” (joy of life).  His fervent love for God and for his beloved Mary Most Holy, produced an ecstatic effect on his heart.  These graces he did not fail to share for he would in part, express them through simple jokes.  Brother Severin (John Dagis), the main typist for Maximilian’s printing apostolate and his friend of many years, remembers a couple of these witty jokes in the early days of their monastic life in Grodno, Poland:

Because it’s the practice in all friaries, we had many hours of silence, but during our recreation periods each day, Father Maximilian was very good-humored.  He loved to tell us little jokes, usually in the form of anecdotes.  All these jokes of his were innocent and merry.  I remember the one he told us about the town in Italy with three tailors all on one street.  The first advertised, “Best tailor in this town.”  So the second put up a sign, “Best tailor in the world”.  The third made a small plaque, “Best tailor on this street”. 

Another time he told us about the absent-minded professor who was reading when the servant brought him a fish for lunch.  The professor became hungry after awhile and closed the book, marking his place with the fish.  Then he called to the servant, “Where’s my lunch?” “I’m afraid it’s reading your book” was the reply.

(Treece, Patricia. A Man for Others: Maximilian Kolbe, Saint of Auschwitz, in the Words of Those Who Knew Him. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982. 27. Print.)

The first is my personal favorite!  Clever and funny jokes were a normalcy from the dancing heart of Father Maximilian.  Point is, he was a funny and relatable dude.  He shared the beauty and happiness in having a loving relationship with God. Beneath his pious, humble disposition was a universe of magnifying joy, reflecting Heaven itself.  Why don’t we ask St. Maximilian Kolbe to share his lighthearted joy with us?—for it is now multiplied to infinity as he is forever smiling upon the face of our Lord in the Kingdom of Heaven.

2am with the owls 

I lie snug in my bed, amid mounds of blankets and pillows.  It is the middle of a California winter night.  I’m nearly asleep, my eyelids are drooping and my thoughts are slowing, yet by the enchanting song of the owls outside my window, my heart finds the energy to dance with anticipation and delight.  I wait to hear more of their song, hanging on to every soft and melodious hum of their voice.  My soul is sensitive to their every movement.  I have a tender love for these birds.  A tsunami of great joy, peace, and gratitude whirl in the trenches of my heart.

In admiration for my beautiful, gentle friends, I am drawn into an inner recollection of the face of my Lord.  It is His face I experience in moments of beauty and peace like this.  Given the wonder and beauty of my little owl friends, just imagine the magnitude of peace and joy and utter contentment to be encountered gazing at our Lord God in Heaven.  That is the pinnacle of our existence.  That is what we are made for, for eternal happiness and peace.  My owl friends and their sweet song are a prelude to the joy of our ultimate fulfillment, which is the joy of forever gazing upon the face of our Father in Heaven.