Wednesday, July 30, 2008

just a note

I want to let you know that I'll be taking a break, starting tomorrow, at Blue Cloud Abbey near Marvin, SD. In addition to enjoying fellowship with the monks and filling my head and heart with praying the Psalms, I'll be taking photos of birds in the Big Stone Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding countryside. You will see my photos in about a week on my bird photography blog.
Remember me in your prayers and may the Lord bless you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

spiritual dryness

Sometimes we experience a terrible dryness in our spiritual life. We feel no desire to pray, don't experience God's presence, get bored with worship services, and even think that everything we ever believed about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is little more than a childhood fairy tale.

Then it is important to realise that most of these feelings and thoughts are just feelings and thoughts, and that the Spirit of God dwells beyond our feelings and thoughts. It is a great grace to be able to experience God's presence in our feelings and thoughts, but when we don't, it does not mean that God is absent. It often means that God is calling us to a greater faithfulness. It is precisely in times of spiritual dryness that we must hold on to our spiritual discipline so that we can grow into new intimacy with God.

-- Henri Nouwen Society

Sunday, July 27, 2008

the real God

Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage) will you know that you have gotten a hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination.
-- Tim Keller, Belief in God in an Age of Skepticism

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Who is Christ to us?

There are many other titles of our Saviour... But Christ comes in various forms to each one for his profit . For to those who have need of gladness he comes as vine; and to those who want to enter he stands as a door; and to those who need to offer up their prayers he stands as and High PriestMediator. Again, to those who have sins, he becomes a lamb, that He may be sacrificed on their behalf. He is made all things to all men, while remaining what he is in his own nature.
-- Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350), Bishop of Jerusalem

Friday, July 25, 2008


“Some things are true whether you believe in them or not.”
-- the character of Seth in the movie City of Angels (1998)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood: swings from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children.

-- Henri Nouwen Society

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Let us find evils distasteful, even if we have experienced them. Almighty God freely forgets that we have been guilty; he is ready to count our repentance as innocence. If we have become dirtied after the water of salvation, let us be born again from our tears... Our Redeemer will solace our fleeting sorrows with eternal joy.
-- Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604)

Monday, July 21, 2008

crossing the road

We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics.

There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.

-- Henri Nouwen Society

Sunday, July 20, 2008

heavy metal to understand life


Saturday, July 19, 2008

do not be afraid

Take heart and don't be afraid of anything. Don't allow yourselves to be frightened by the imaginations stirred up by the enemy. Don't give in to a confused restlessness in prayer by multiplying unnecessary petitions, but receive the Lord's grace with contrition and repentance... Take heart, be comforted, hold fast, concern yourselves with your souls, persevere in prayer with all zeal... For all those who seek God in truth will receive divine strength in their soul and, in receiving this heavenly unction, they will feel within themselves the taste and sweetness of the world to come. May the peace of the Lord, that peace which was with all the holy fathers and kept them safe from every temptation, be also with you.
-- Saint Macarius (?-405), monk in Egypt

Thursday, July 17, 2008

grace, joy, and peace

You say: "My life is full of suffering." But I say to you or, rather, it is the Lord himself who says: "Be humble and you will see that your troubles will turn to rest" to the point that you will be amazed at yourself and will say: "Why on earth did I used to be so distressed and afflicted?" Now you are happy because you have become humble and divine grace has come to you; now, even though you may be alone in your poverty, joy will never leave you since you have that peace in your soul of which the Lord said: "My peace I give to you." (John 14:27) This is how the Lord gives peace to all humble souls.
-- Saint Silouan (1866-1938), Orthodox monk

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

all of us are one

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
-- Galatians 3:28

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the word of God

Whether the Word of God is between two pieces of leather, or on a piece of paper,
or up on a video screen, it’s still the Word of God and it’s powerful.
-- Rick Warren

Monday, July 14, 2008

hasten to seek

Entire human race, kings and princes, rich and poor, monks and laypeople: listen to me as I now tell the greatness of God's love for man! I have sinned against him as no other... And yet, as I know well, he called me and, at once, I answered ... He called me to repent and straight away I followed my Master. When he drew away from me, I chased after him...; so he left, he came, he hid himself, he appeared, while I did not turn back, did not lose hope, did not forsake the course...

When I could not see him, I sought for him. I wept copiously, questioned everyone, all those who had caught sight of him. Who did I question? Not the wise and learned of this world but the prophets, apostles and fathers – those wise ones who truly possess the wisdom that he, Christ himself, is: the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24). Weeping and broken hearted I begged them to tell me where it was they had seen him that time... And, seeing my desire, seeing that I considered everything in the world, and the world itself, to be nothing in my sight..., he manifested himself wholly to the whole of me. He who is beyond the world and who carries the world and all that is in the world, holding them in one hand, both the visible and the invisible (Col. 1:16), he it was who came to meet me. From whence, and how, did he come? I know not... Words cannot express the inexpressible. Only those who contemplate them know these truths. That is why it is not with words but with deeds that we must hasten to seek, to see and to learn the richness of the divine mysteries, which the Master gives to those who look for it.

-- Saint Symeon the New Theologian (c.949-1022)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

this applies to evangelism also

Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I may remember; but involve me, and I'll understand.
-- Harvey Mackay

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Encourage one another and build up each other.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

our choice

In the world you can choose to be lonely or to be tolerant.
-- Rev. Juris Rubenis, Finding God in a Tangled World

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


It is claimed that an ancient tablet shows the idea of the resurrection of a messiah after three days was part of Jewish tradition before Jesus' birth. "This text could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition," states Israel Knohl. The full story is here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Behold, the ears of my heart are before you, O Lord: open them, and say to my soul, "I am your salvation." I will run after that voice, and take hold of you.
-- Saint Augustine (354-430, Bishop of Hippo (in North Africa)

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Christ begets children in the Church through his priests, as [apostle Paul] says: "I became your father in Christ." (1Cor. 4:15) And in this way Christ brings the new man to birth, formed in his Mother's womb and sent into the world in the waters of baptism through the hands of the priest, with faith for witness... So we should believe that we can be brought to birth... and that it is Christ who gives life to us. As the apostle John says: "To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God. (John 1:12)
-- Saint Pacian of Barcelona (?-c.390)

Friday, July 04, 2008


Happiness does not depend on some great accomplishment
but on tolerance of your own insignificance.
-- Rev. Juris Rubenis

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I don't understand

We often do not understand [Jesus]. Let us be brave enough to say: "I do not understand you, Lord; listen to me, help me to understand". In such a way, with this frankness, which is the true way of praying, of speaking to Jesus, we express our meager capacity to understand and at the same time place ourselves in the trusting attitude of someone who expects light and strength from the One able to provide them.
-- Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

see the Lord

Pursue peace with everyone,
and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
-- Hebrews 12:14

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Holiness consists not in extraordinary actions,
but in performing your duties towards God, yourself and others well.
-- St. Maximilian Kolbe

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