Welcome !

Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh Jerusalem! Jerusalem! A Lament for Spirit Haunted Souls

Sometimes I am so disturbed by an event that I have too many thoughts to put into a straight reflection, and though I am not a trained poet ,(any constructive advice is appreciated) it is the only way to relate the emotions that I feel.  I originally wrote this  lament as an assignment for our Biblical School in Omaha. I choose to write about my disturbance over a few horrific events in 2008 and 2009, namely the horrible Von Maur shootings and the events surrounding the Boston Craigslist killings.  Two young men, created in the image and likeness of our Lord, whose moral and spiritual weakness completely undid them.  As individuals they were completely different, there corruption, however, was diabolically similar. While our  post Christian, scientific humanistic culture removes moral barriers, these young men progressed into selfishness and darkness that left their souls empty of hope. And we our stunned; we fool ourselves, by trying to remove the weapons that destroy the body, while complacently allowing these philosophies that subtly numb our yearning for transcendence and bind us to finite earthly hope.  Paving a rocky pathway to a desolation so dark that it claims you past, present and future. Destroying both body and soul! I still pray for their souls; I wish not one to go to Hell, particularly youth whose debasement was added and abetted by our toxic culture. I now add another young man to this lament!

Oh Jerusalem! Jerusalem!

My soul is sorrowful, even unto death
Take pity on our children
For we have lead them to darkness
Progressed them to the edge of Sheol;
We despised archetypes,
Gave them platitudes, de-mythologized their world
Diminished hopes, famished souls
God, you would be their strength,
Their beauty!
Little souls now claim their weaknesses as their identity;
In the beginning it was not so!
Exchanging glory for shame, and call it freedom;
Post Christian,
trans-gendered slavery.

My soul is sorrowful, even unto death
Our children cry for strength,
They cry for meaning,
Purpose, dignity and honor;
Deathly emptiness haunts
They grasp at pleasure, wealth, and fame
Debased yearning for transcendence, hearken to the siren song of
We have ignored eternal truth;
We have told them to find their own truth;
Founded in philosophies that have roots in
In weakness;
In darkness.

Why are we surprised when evil overtakes them?
(Let your mighty wind blow over the abyss)
Why are we surprised that they have no strength?
(Let your mighty wind blow over the abyss)
When darkness debases and seduces them?
(Let you mighty wind blow over our souls)

My soul is sorrowful, even unto death
We are bloated with hedonism
Deprived of true joy
Darkness stalks us
We lack stamina, mere phantoms we go our way
Our eyes grow dim
Why are you sleeping?
Our young men are emasculated;
Seeking immortality through robbery, rape and murder
Why has no one told you?
Our young women are barren;
grasping at their beauty, ignorant of its meaning.
They have bought and sold you!
Empty bombast!  Slaves of corruption!
Why are you still sleeping?

My soul is sorrowful even unto death!
Within our midst kindle a blazing heart, multiply virtue
Awake Fear of the Lord
We fly to your protection in our desperation.
Let no more of our children be devoured by Leviathan,
ensnared by their own hunger;
The serpent who removes the small snares,
lures us to a bottomless pit.
Slaves of corruption!
Gratifying every desire of the flesh,
To become like rotted loincloths.
No longer clinging to you
Rotted loincloths!

In the beginning it was not so!
(Let your mighty wind blow over the abyss!)
Oh Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
(Let you might wind blow over the abyss!)
Do not fear what harms the body!
(Let the mighty wind blow over the chaotic abyss!)

Give us the strength to endure your justice;
Give us the heart to endure your mercy.

Peace and Grace,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summertime Shambles

What have you done this summer?  This has been an off year for me, I have not even tried to develop a schedule for the kids, so that I can remain a little sane, and the house can at least get the minimum maintenance. I am not sure what has happened to the time, but as usual, there are many things that I wanted to accomplish that I have not - this year is even more so.

Like for instance, figure out what exactly is my vision for this blog is, or have my 11 year old finally memorize all her math facts, read the Iliad and work with my rowdy hooligans so they are completely prepared for school which is right around the corner. I did not even get my kids to the summer library program, which is the first time that has happened since ....1994.  I am plodding away, but even when I accomplish something, the stuff I have not done looms even larger, and the days are slipping away! I feel completely out of control!

This past week (is it really FRIDAY already????), I have..... read to my kids...made Miranda read to her siblings, weeded the overgrown gardens, started my 16 year old on his summer reading, looked at Facebook, email, blogs email, blogs ect, ect... had dinner ready for my husbandorganized... looked at my vacation pictures, threw in a couple loads of laundry, ironedattend daily mass...went to one daily mass (don't be impressed, I went this morning and it is the one and only daily mass I have made it to all summer). I could go on and on, but I am tired of hitting the strikethrough button.

Sigh.... I also did manage (barely) to remember to get that Sass Master Sophia to her community center dance class, and though I did get her hair brushed and put up, I failed to make sure that she had some shorts on under her skirt so the entire class now knows that, unbeknownst to me, she was wearing her brothers underwear. I should be glad that she had underwear on at all, because that is not a given.

I have not only failed in quite a few of my cultural pursuits for myself and my children, but I have failed to get down and serious about my prayer journal, about my Scripture readings. Which is really frustrating, because the summers usually give me at least a little quiet time in the morning while the rest of the kids sleep in to go a little deeper. This year the baby has been up before me almost every morning, except when we were on vacation. At this point in my summer, I am beginning to feel hopeless, any effort to pray gets diffused by so many distractions, so, consequently I feel far away from the Lord. Here is where I usually give up.

My spiritual director would remind me to keep praying when I can, and, in true Ignation style, when I am beginning to feel hopeless and far away from the Lord, to pray just a wee bit more. God first, always even when I do not feel like it - especially when I don't feel like it - and most especially when it feels like I am wasting my time. Which is why, after my very distracted and interrupted morning prayer and Scripture time, I moved heaven and earth (I got 16 year old Stephen out of bed by 8am) to get to mass by myself. And what do you suppose the 1st reading was?

Isaiah 38:1When Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Amoz came and said to him: "Thus says the Lord, put your house in order, for you are about to die..."

Well. that was distracting! My thought was: "I know, I know, I am drowning in disorganization,but really, I am hopeless, I can't even see how to get my rag-tag household in order!"  But the readings continued, and we heard that Hezekiah prayed to the Lord and his hopeless illness was healed by the Lord.

 And then the Gospel of Matthew:

Mt 12:1-8  Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.  His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."  He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?  Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate that sabbath and are innocent?  I say to you something greater than the temple is here.  If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.  For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."

He is greater than my messes, He is greater than any of my successes, He is Lord of my ambitions, Lord of my desires and Lord of my failures. And it is my failures that allow me to begin to see the tremendous gulf between me and the Lord; not in selfish self-conscientiousness, but with awe and reverence. Because I am the lowly, rag-tag disciple hungering for more, and He defends me against the savvy accusers. I am cast down so he can lift me up and I am weak enough for His glory to show through me. If I let Him. If I push my ego out of the way and take up His yoke, as we heard in yesterday's Gospel. Pray that I do so, I will pray for you also.

As I was coming back from receiving Him in the Eucharist, I felt Him ask me if I felt any better.  I said yes, I think I can take on my day, and the rest of my summer. And I will trust that He will reform it into something only He could accomplish....now to get started on those vacation pictures!

Peace and Grace,