The Nothing Box

Blank space

Troubled thoughts

Can’t see the color here.

Vision clouded

Little details binding down

That is called the nothing box.

Thanksgiving is a cure

Saying the need

Voicing so others can say

You are in your nothing box.

Negativity

I am not gifted

I can’t

I don’t

I am not good at that!

I am horrible at X

These come from your nothing box.

Open the box.

Think of what you have.

Objective prospective

This is…

Your SOMETHING box.

Little treasures hidden within

Waiting to be uncovered.

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When you find yourself

In your little corner

Hemmed in by the henchmen

Cry…HELP

I need to see in my box

It isn’t empty

Oh nothing box go away!

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Embrace

Pray, trust, and don’t worry. These are wise words from one of my favorite saints. It is a lot harder to do than you would think. So then what should be done to find that happiness and joy and peace one desires?

LIVE in the NOW. So much of life is spent either 1/regretting the past 2/worrying about the future that the present joys of today slip right by unnoticed and unappreciated.

STOP stressing over NEGATIVE. One can notice so many things wrong that what is right is overlooked. A cloud of negativity can quickly poison your outlook and steer you in a direction not worth going.

THANK God for his HANDIWORK whether you like it or not. ie pretty flower, standstill traffic, complement from a friend, achievement at work, frustration in self-growth.

PRAY EVERYDAY. Life is a relationship with the Creator and Savior. Life is so empty unless we are given the opportunity to be more than we think possible. This can only be done with daily communication not just empty words but really saying things as they are and learning to listen to what is given us in the day-to-day and in scripture.

BE HEALTHY. Eat balanced meals 2/3 complex carbohydrates and 1/3 lean protein. Exercise. Even if it is as simple as going for a walk around the block.

BE HAPPY. Look for little treasures. Thank God for them. Try to receive the fulfillment He desires to give.

ADORE. Often sit in God’s Presence in wonder and awe. Lay stuff out on the line for him. Leave your burdens and move on.

EMBRACE what life is currently offering you whether suffering or joy.

Embrace

The Red Carpet

Life matters.  Those aha moments that keep the clock turning.  It seems that life wouldn’t be able to role without the little interventions that keep our feet moving. How would you like to explore this more deeply with me?  Grace Godcidents I like to call them.

What do you mean by that?

Grace moments to shape and form us into better people or to bless and guide us. But I suppose this doesn’t exactly make clear what I’m driving at.  Perhaps it would help if I go a step deeper. GRACE.  This, as St. Paul says, is a free gift. This is a direct intervention of something beyond ourselves to grant power and strength beyond natural capability. It is TRUTH that shines brightly to give a heightened understanding and knowledge of something.

So what does this “free gift” of direct intervention do to me?

The simple answer to this is it gives us clearer vision to see how life is.  But it is not always an easy aha.  Sometimes the truth hurts dreadfully. Life is meant to be more than the natural day to day. We were made for more. To be more means to purged, cleansed, set free. We want a perfect paradise with red carpet and all the trappings.

Wait, RED CARPET? Luxury? Some fairy godmother to grant my every wish?

It’s true. I know that I would like life handed to me at times but that isn’t how it works. Paradise exists and it will come but we have to be made worthy to become partakers in this grand place.  But this isn’t a place of materialistic pleasure and sensual lusts.  It’s deeper than that. This side of Heaven is not easy.  It’s not that we have to just work work for this attention and generous beneficence.  We already have the attention and generosity of the Unmoving Mover…the Creator. We are infinitely loved and made in His image and likeness. We were created to share in this divine life. He gives it…and desires our participation and communion.

But I’m not a god. Far from it. I fall very short. How can I be in communion with GOD?

Good question. You can’t ugly sinner on your own effort. That is where graceful merit comes in. This God loves us so much that he desires our co-operation. He desires to help us get there. On our own we fall short by a weak nature. But God desires to make us into new creatures. Intervention is granted to assist us in becoming that fit royalty. But we have a choice though.

Red carpet

Bring it on! Camera flash and limousine is exactly what I’m looking for if I have a ticket in.

Choice is a lot harder than it sounds.  When we open ourselves to the Divine Beneficiary we must be a pure vessel.  Vain delights do not bring pleasure but an aching emptiness and objectifying of people and things. They bring a small distorted and blind reality. We see then that we were created for more. It is precisely in those moments of painful clarity of our sinfulness that we have the chance to receive divine assistance and little by little become better. This existence is more than just a pleasureful experience. We are given a ticket. But how would your host feel if you showed up at an special event in junkie jeans and a shirt of rags? That is exactly what we are. We have to get ready and work out as well as receive help to be fit for the King. That means a little suffering now for glory later.

Ouch!

Yes at times ouch. I agree. Sometimes though the ouchness is a result of our own choice to take the easy way. Sometimes it is the consequence of choosing a life that is self-sheltering and focused on gain. But couldn’t we enjoy the reward MORE if we didn’t have all that clouding our vision to act? It is a pretty empty life focused on the reward only. What about the giver? He won’t give if we don’t open up and we will not become better unless we ask and try to work at being better recipients who don’t squander the richness of his love.

Purifying the Soul

Here is to challenging that part of us that has disquietude. Here is to those crying out “Lord Help me grow from my imperfections!”

Meditation (3) taken from ‘An Introduction to the Devout Life’ by St. Francis de Sales.

Almond tree in flower in southern Spain Almond tree in flower in southern Spain

“THE flowers appear on the earth,” says the Heavenly Bridegroom, and the time for pruning and cutting is come. And what, my child, are our hearts’ flowers save our good desires? Now, so soon as these begin to appear, we need the pruning-hook to cut off all dead and superfluous works from our conscience. When the daughter of a strange land was about to espouse an Israelite, the law commanded her to put off the garment of her captivity, to pare her nails, and to shave her head;even so the soul which aims at the dignity of becoming the spouse of Christ, must put off the old man, and put on the new man, forsaking sin: moreover, it must pare and shave away every impediment which can hinder…

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The Voice

I’m here again the lonely voice. God has sent me to say “I love you and I have a plan for you.” So what is this plan you might be saying. I’m just sitting on a bench. I’ve seen pretty much all my friends go off and do amazing things and I’m stuck here dishing pizza. You know what? I’ve been there. But i have discovered something. It isn’t going off and doing amazing things. It is about doing what you have well.  It is about being who you are right where you are. No matter how dumb it may seem God has something for you. Just wait and see.  It is the experience now that gets you to your calling. Where you are now is building you for the next step.  Please hang in there and know me, your sister, is praying for you. God will soon show you the next step. But it will come in the way and the time it is meant to. Not a penny sooner.

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Pondering

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.…” (Galatians 5: 16-17)

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So much happens when we journey down the road of holiness. Some things we like others we don’t. The flesh pushes very hard to receive its own will. It is the age old struggle since Eve.  The apple was very good to the eyes and she took it. It is pretty much the same for us. Yet we don’t want to hurt God outright. For those of us who are serious about the walk in holiness the evil one has to find a way to stop progress that goes under radar.

How about distorting holy reflection? Pondering is a good thing when it is done in the spirit of joy like Mary pondering these things in her heart. But here’s the catch. Is it a mistrustful doubting of ones capacbility and Gods  power? How about an over zealousness to do the right thing? Pretty soon one’s peace of mind can be lost and we find ourselves in a place that is dark, mistrustful, and depressed. It can be so subtle almost unrecognizeable. God is present deep down and the path he directs is true. Are my thoughts true?

Being disconsolate is a sin against God’s goodness. It means either 1. God is trying to get our attention 2. As a consequence to choosing something other than God like sin.  The remedy is contrition and thanksgiving. Keep walking and frequent yourself with prayer and the assistance of loved ones to hear what it is you are telling yourself and challenge you to be better.

New Horizons

Roots go deep.  Patterns go deep.  We are all Methodical people that live from day to day doing the same things. Going the same places and even eating the same things.  Guess what?  Life will continue to roll onward. It will be droll and uncaring if we just go from day to day.  Jesus invites us to something deeper.  Have I peaked your interest?

So much of life just is same old same old.  We get bogged down in that and desire something NEW deep down.  The problem in this day and age is to just keep looking for a quick fix. Instant download of music, netflix, facebook, texting…Google. These are tools not existence!  GO DEEPER!  You are hungry for life.  Start living it with a new perspective.  God wants to walk WITH you every day. He wants to direct your steps to a deep intimacy with HIM!

He is bigger than your problems. Don’t keep looking at them but at him. If my eyes are constantly looking at me I fail!  It takes a broader perspective to keep my focus and my interior drive. Look at the battle of Jericho!  That was a pretty big wall!  How did they win?  Trusting God’s promise. Not just the past but the FUTURE!

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Complaining just makes life miserable.  Listen to that interior voice/conscience and step towards these things in faith.  God blesses even our tiniest steps!  With thism life starts to roll SLOWER and with LESS tension and MORE PEACE.

Be disciplined in acts that will stretch you to be a better person…whatever that is for you.  Like if you need to loose weight exercise.  If you can’t be on time for something set little goals and start being on time!  Messy? Then clean a little bit every day then the whole chaos won’t exist.

Too much of life is on the surface. I challenge you to enjoy life and take the time to smell the roses with me.  Commune with God and praise him for his handiwork.  Talk with him and listen.  He is waiting for attention from the frenzied way we can tend to live life.  WAKE UP!  START LIVING! A whole new horizon awaits!

new horizon

Pathways

Pathways

In order to make it a few steps

I have to take one.

In walking little by little

I will see

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

Where do I turn to?

Who do I listen to?

There is none but you.

How do I know, if it’s you?

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

if I run, you are there, . .

If I sink,you are there.

Pursuing me.

Why can’t I take a break?

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

Always up

Striving higher and higher

One thing sure

You won’t leave me…It is me who leaves you.

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

It’s a little voice.

calling me closer

Easy to drown out

but eventually I’m worn out.

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

Twisted Pathways

In my heart

It’s okay

You got it all figured out.(repeat)

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

Test the waters

I will see

You are the one

Lifting me up from the storm

 

Petrine faith takes courage

following the beckoning of the heart.

 

I step

On rough waters

I can’t resist you anymore.

Take me higher

Take me closer

OH

voiceless caller

I am yours

Take me higher

Take me closer

I take your hand

Following the pathways of my heart.

Stepping Out

A lot has been mentioned lately about faith, about stepping out, and having the courage to pursue the beckoning of the heart.  It seems that only God can speak to the deepest recesses of the heart.  The question is how am I to know what is the voice of God and the voice of myself.  He stirs the pot to catch my attention and teach me deeper truths. What once I did not recognize soon is seen and what was clear becomes fuzzy or even perhaps at times clearer.

That is where faith comes in.  Discernment is stepping out toward something with the faith that the answer will be made known.  It is not always just given in the lap what needs to be done.  It does take an active role to run toward our goals with a lot of prayer.  The danger is not stepping at all because of fear.  It is not failure when one finds closed doors but an invitation to walk deeper.  Perhaps with certain doors closing, an even greater option opens.

open door

You know what?  Sometimes it is even just an invitation to trust that we aren’t the ones in control but God is.  Humility…an open barren abandonment to just let God do as he desires.  If it takes isolation that takes work to come out of or sitting in the midst of a crowd so be it.  The Spirit moves as he wills to guide and direct us.  I am not saying this to be trite but to point out a truth that few ACTIVELY live out.  We may acknowledge his presence. But how much do we actually believe he can do and wants to do in us?  I have seen with my own eyes his quiet work and his noisy work.  I have seen the blind see the deaf hear the lame walk…and I have also seen him remove my own fears and change me even if it as simple as gaining a new confidence in the talents that he gives me or just a deeper appreciation of everyday life.

The Spirit is powerful. But he needs open channels to work.  Don’t be afraid of new opportunities that open up.   Don’t be afraid of the quiet possibilities.  God desires to move.  God desires to change.  What we have now is a great sleepiness an amnesia of the gifts of God.  Take time today to see how He has moved in your life and thank him.  Don’t refuse the quiet beckoning but step out in that new courage that he desires to pour out upon you.

Wind, Fill the Sails.

So then, here I am a writer.

Many words to put to paper.

A dime a dozen for all it’s worth.

But words are only letters.

So then, here I am a writer.

A sword, a rose, or a cello for the wanderer.

I desire to give flame to fire

and movement to the still feet.

But what does it matter?

My words will fade with the paper.

My hope is only in this fact,

That once begun my story will live on after.

For what are letters but squiggles on paper?

It is life that shapes the story and the story my life.

So take the quintessential challenge…

For me a wayfaring stranger.

Find the fragrance of my flower.

Be gentle to the bud.

Don’t blame me the writer if you find it hard read.

It takes work to squiggle.

Gargantuan the ocean tide to be limited to paper what moved my pen to write.

Be confident that I’ll keep my post,

If you the reader open ears and eyes

To see the world I see

And be better after.

The effort here given is not for me

But to move thee farther.

So then, here I am a warrior.

Truth be told to fight the foe.

Yes my foibles you will see.

But look beyond me.

For man is silly who doesn’t hear,

The senseless folly of sage or jester.

So then, here I am the writer.

It takes a little courage

And a whole lot of faith

Be kind to what I aim to do…

Move mountains and fill streams.

But it’s not the little letters you see

BUT DEEDS.

Letters are nothing and so are words

UNLESS

Wind fill the sails.

Wind fill my sails