Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The gift of listening

"Can you hear me now?"

A slogan made popular in our day used for the purposes of selling a better phone, is a reminder of the importance of listening to a voice when it is heard clearly. The question remains, however, are we simply interested in 'hearing' one another (with our ears) or do we make an honest attempt to be present and listen (with our heart)?

In finding our way each day, through the many presentations of sounds and voices we hear, do we remain faithful to the individual vocation we are called to live, and learn to cooperate with others in communicating effectively by listening with our ears, mind and heart?

It is only when we are comfortable with our own identity (as Christians, spouses, parents, children, etc.) that we can allow others the freedom to be truly themselves, and to feel better, and become more comfortable with us.

When we listen with heart, we refrain from any agenda or expectations, and in this way we accept people where they are (and not where we believe they should be). This is the only true and honest way of listening where the answer to the question: "Can you hear me now?" might always tend to lead to an affirmative reply because we first - are listening with the heart (...con el corazon en la mano).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In the presence of an unfailing Light

God arranges a path (a vocation, a physical life, a life of grace) for each one of us. We must first (position ourselves so as to) stand in the presence of the unfailing Light of God’s Truth in order to receive the knowledge that is intended for our particular walk.

If we wish to stand within the illuminating ways of Truth, we must make silence in our hearts and bring ourselves down to our knees as we pray, pray, pray. Our sincere prayer without ceasing or an unceasing prayer (1 Thes 5:17) emanating not only from our lips, but from every pore of our being (be it in the form of our purity of thoughts, our charitable actions towards our neighbor, our good will to everyone we meet) will rise to the Father, through the Son and the Holy Spirit, and bring the unfailing Light into our lives.

We must also make time to read Sacred Scripture (the Bible) and listen intently to the unfailing Light in the living Word of God. In a most personal way, God speaks to us in our hearts when we are rooted in the Truth (1 Thes 2:13). This simple practice is a great aid as we seek to know the existence, nature, and worth of all things pertinent to our personal apostolate.

The celebration of the Mass on a regular (daily) basis gives us the food (our true sustenance) that we need to bring us ever closer to the unfailing Light of God’s divine plan for our lives and the fulfillment of our path in union with others (as the one body in Christ). If we want to present ourselves to God in His Light, we must also make ways towards meeting one another. With the Holy Eucharist within, how can we fail to live deluged in the unfailing Light?

As we continually strive to be in the unfailing Light of Truth, God invites us to an interiority of harmony - with self, with others and with all creation. Then, in this way, our very essence becomes one with the unfailing Light (Phil 2:5) allowing or bestowing upon us the grace to discern what is good and necessary from what is evil and detrimental to growth in the eternal (Rom 12:2).

Monday, November 3, 2008

In the amiable presence of Mary

We cannot cease to thank you Lord
for having given to us – at the foot of the Cross
such amiable and sweet presence
in Your Virgin Mother, Mary.

In her, you deposit (Your) great Mercy and Love,
Consolation and Hope
for all men/the entire humanity.

The sweet and unequaled presence of Mary
motivates and inspires us to continue searching for You in everyone
and in everything good we have received
(and continue to receive)
until the end of the world.

The sole pronouncing of her sweet name
with faith and devotion – Mary
permits us to receive sweetness in consolation, profound love,
constant joy, firm confidence and lasting fortitude –
that we live, in the soul and in the heart.

Even as we pronounce or listen to the name of Mary more than a thousand times,
the name has the grace – as in the name of Jesus
to be pronounced or listened to as ever new and beautiful
in a sweet spiritual softness.

As the enamored St. Bernard would say:
“Oh lofty Mary, worthy of all praise,
one cannot mention your name with devotion
without increasing the love in the heart.
One cannot think with faith in you
without feeling consoled, renewed in fervor and desirous to love you more and more.”

The presence of our good Celestial Mother
infuses in us the hope of forgiveness
and in this way we recover and remain in the grace of God.

“Oh Mary, Mother of mine
Oh consolation of mortals
shelter and guide me
to the celestial native land.”

For Your Marriage - Por Tu Matrimonio

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