Friday, September 28, 2007

The too often the average Christian

James 1: 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Rev 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of My mouth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Upwardly Mobile Monk

While it is a given that most monks are indeed upwardly mobile in that their destination is heaven, yer monkster (gonna miss that moniker) is just taking the first step towards the mezzanine.

My mentors over at the Three Mass'keteers have extended an invitation (at sword point no less) , offering me joint posting with these three wise sages. I, of course, have accepted, and this blog will go into a somewhat dormant stage as I aspire to create thought provoking posts over at the new (and with God's grace, improved) Four Mass'keteers blogstop.

This is a multiple blessing, as I do truly respect these fine Christian men (and am honored and humbled to stand cyberly next to them), as well as trying to keep up my own blog with an increased work load has been a bit rough, also the new (and I pray, permanent) love interest God has blessed me with is of a tad more importance than my youtubing of caterpillars (O:

Please pray that I continue to let God type with my fingers, words that might inspire, affirm, or just(ly) entertain my fellow siblings in Christ.

1 4 all, all 4 1

Monday, September 17, 2007

One Question about Mary

As I learn more about our Blessed Lady, I have to again ask the question to those who ignore her (or worse).

If she was only to be the portal for Christ's Earthly entrance(which honestly is still of a huge magnitude), why would He keep her around until His exit?

If she were to play no other part in salvation history, it would appear that our Lord is quite cruel to have His own beloved mother watch him die on the cross, when He could have easily had her arrive in heaven before Him, like He did with St. Joseph.

Just a thought . . .and one none of my Protestant brethren have yet to answer, or worse, even considered.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Walkin' with God and a Devil

While my apartment is one step away from being labeled a hovel, it is also thankfully one step away from Rock Creek Park. I literally walk across the street and I am in the park.

As it is an amazingly beautiful day, I decided on a nice two hour hike as today's form of physical, as well as spiritual, exercise. Walking through the park while pondering the Joyful Mysteries, I bumped into a joyous natural mystery. The little guy above is called a Hickory Horned Devil, and I had never seen a buggie that big outside a zoo. Stopping to watch him make his way across a path, soon caused a little group of other hikers to form, all cheering the little guy on.

Oh dear God, thank you for these little,
and very precious, glimpses of heaven.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Antonietta of Jesus

One of the lovely people I was introduced to in Italia was Antonietta Meo, who went to be with our Savior a little over 70 years ago.

In the letters of this wonderful little child of 7, are to be found words of such a great love and faith in our Lord, that it left me longing to take Communion so I could meet this child of the Truth.

"Dear God the Father I love you so much!
Really very much!...
Dear God the Father!...make Christmas come soon and I'll receive Your Son Jesus in my heart!...
Dear God the Father, yesterday evening I didn't write to You because my mum wasn't with me, but this evening I'll write a beautiful letter to You.
Dear God the Father!...tell Your Son that I love Him and also tell Him that I'm waiting for Him in my heart.
Dear God the Father. I wish You set a lot of souls of Purgatory free so that they can go to Paradise and glorify You and I also wish You converted a lot of sinners, especially the Abyssinian.
Dear God the Father, tell Jesus I will make some room for Him in my heart, so that He can sleep well and rest in my heart.
Dear God the Father I ask You to grant me the favour of helping my father.
Dear God the Father make me good. Dear God the Father!...
Many greetings and kisses by Your daughte
Dear sweet Nennolina please pray for us
that we would live and speak with such a pure heart

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Roald Dahl Day

Today would have been the 90th Birthday of one of my all time favorite writers of children's literature. Forgiving the dreadful films like Matilda and Burton's Willy Wonka that came after his death, just as we try to forget the terrible crimes that are the post death cinema disasters of Dr. Suess stories, I would hafta say I prefer his books to most of the self-absorbed and pretentious crapola that passed for 20th century adult fiction.

Granted, I have a Shel Silverstein tattoo, so ya coulda kinda sorta guessed I would have such opinions (O:

Check out the Puffin Books/Random House celebration here

*thanks to new mom Stephanie, for the reminder and link!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In case any of you were under the misguided notion
that I am in any way mature

Friday, September 7, 2007

Italy Again !?!

Yep, it is a hard life I lead, but I suffer through it with all the humility you'd expect from a son of Baltimore (O:

Thanks to the advice of a wonderful friend, I will be visiting, and ascending, the Scala Santa on Sunday. I will be saying a special prayer for each step, so please send me any and all prayer requests, and I will dutifully offer up you/our petitions.

Please also pray for a safe and fruitful trip for me,
thanks and God bless,

Brothers and Sisters of the Street

My dear friend, and a spiritual mentor, Richard wrote me this nice letter about the Bobs in his life, and I thought I'd share it.

"I hope Bob and you continue to bless each other. I've had many interactions with people who were homeless/ mentally ill and often things cut to the truth quickly. Once I spent an entire night hanging out with homeless folks in O'Hare airport (when they were tolerated there) playing guitar and talking with people. Finally, at about 4 in the morning, this guy who I had been talking to (he claimed to have once been a writer and well to do) asked me "Richard, do you trust me?". This appeared to be an obvious lead in to a request for something. I replied "To be completely honest, I just met you and I don't trust people until I've known them for a while." He was set back by this a little and apparently gave up on whatever he was trying to get from me and left. I guess I learned that plain honesty is an important ingredient in any interaction; that it leads to resolution, comfortable or uncomfortable. It is sad that most homeless are mentally ill and have burned out or rejected the supports that most people have to keep them in any kind of structured lifestyle. Mental illness, addiction, and sin are often dark partners; one leads to the other and which came first? which is the dominant force? It's hard to discern with any individual. God knows and we don't.
God Bless you

New Designs for My Houston Brother

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Q & A o' da Day


Question :
How do you say "Nazi" in spanish?

Get Dignified

Oh Good Grief, are you going to tell us how to dress now?

No faithful imaginary reader, I am talking about about a slightly higher calling, which may, or may not, affect your attire.

I have been praying a lot about dignity lately. That my new friend Bob would know his own God given dignity, and that those who pass him would be given the grace to see it. I have also been praying for a restoration of my own sense of dignity, something that I only fully realized I should/could posses when I became a Catholic.

One of the main, although less focused on, differences separating the Catholic church and most Protestant denominations, is the belief on whether or not we are born basically good, or rotten from the core. The Church teaches that we are born broken, but basically good; whereas many non-Catholics have bought into Luther's idea that we all kinda suck, but that through Christ's eyes God can see us as good (Luther also gave sermons on his bowel movements, so whadaya expect).

As one who's own self loathing could have garnered a Gold medal at the International Whine Festival, I must confess that it was easy to believe that I was incapable of being good without Christ's intervention (but instead through the image of Himself we were born of). The problem is that of all the absolutely wonderful non-Christian people I have met in my life, who I honestly saw Christ in.

I have seen God's love in the actions of a wonderful Jewish girlfriend who was the first to truly show me unconditional love. I have seen it an AIDS infected friend, who walked with more love and peace for others than I have ever witnessed. I experienced God's love from a "Spiritual" woman I dated who fully respected my desire to be chaste (sadly, in contrast to the first Christian I dated, who accused me of homosexuality, because I wouldn't respond to her physical advances).I saw it in a Muslim customer, who was one of the few people who knew me (barely) that sent flowers to my mom's funeral.. . . .and I could keep going too.

If we are born in God's image, than that must mean that we are born with some of the goodness and love of the Creator. God didn't make us bad, we did. We choose to let the world mold us, and so we develop a worldly mold of self-centered-ness that is not part of God's image of/for us.

Anyhow, my daily struggle is to see the dignity that God sees in me, and to see it in others. To walk in that dignity, and to carry a mirror to help others see their own. Worrying about how others view me ain't gonna do it, and checking out a cute wiggle ain't exactly doing it either (the wiggler has dignity, the wiggle not so much, nor my focus on it).

So today, see yourself as God sees you, and get Dignified!

Please also, pray that Bob and I can reclaim that dignity
which we have freely given away.
thanks and God bless,

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blessed if you do, Blessed if you don't

One of things that struck me as odd about the whole "was Mother Teresa a hypocrite for serving during her periods of doubt?" which the media is perpetuating so as to deflect awareness from the fact most in the media are talentless buffoons working for "the man" they supposedly despise, is that if she was always in love with her faith and constantly full of happy, happy, joy, joy . . . .than they would instead be writing that she only served God, and his people, for the feeling, or "buzz", of faith.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would
not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for
their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had
not done among them what no one else did, they would not be
guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet
they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill
what is written in their Law:
'They hated me without reason.'
John 15:22-25
Remembering that she was in fact human is important, just as remembering that our Lord was fully man is important, but in both cases that should serve to give us hope in the knowledge and confidence, that all of us can be better than we are now (even silly over paid Newsweek writers, or wacky notso wannabe monks), when we call on the heart of God to illuminate our paths.
Mother Teresa pray for us!

More Wacky Designs : Comments/Opinions?

Any and all comments/suggestions are welcome.
Other ideas I am still working on can be found here

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Bob

I shared a Mickey D's Deluxe Breakfast this morning to celebrate the birthday of my new brother Bob, and I ask, I beg, you all to keep both of us in prayer . . .that God may use me to help our homeless sibling, as God may hopefully use Bob to teach your self centered monkster to give and receive with equal grace (remembering that nothing I have, but my sin, is really mine anyway).

Thanks and God bless, mike

More than a Quote

"His love for us has made Him quite defenseless
against our hurting Him,
and so temptation is no longer an urge to do a bad thing
but an urge to hurt a loving Person."

" . . .But if all you have found is advantage, whether it is fun or profit or security, then you haven't started following Him yet. His way is the way of the Cross. The world can be very hard on those it hates. If it is not hard on you, perhaps it sees nothing in you to hate. But then it doesn't see Jesus in you, for it hates Jesus with an undying hatred. While your way is still all fun, all easy, all jolly, it is only your way: when you turn from it to follow His way, it will cost. It may cost you everything you have. That is what it cost Him."
Robert MacColl Adams
I suggest a reading of the full essay "Rice Christians"

Monday, September 3, 2007

the Greatest of the Least

"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions,
but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself.
To renounce what one has is a minor thing;
but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot"
St. Gregory the Great

I can only surmise that by living out these words, Gregory did in fact become "the Great"

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and he who humbles himself will be exalted

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sea of Faces - Kutless

A song for my new friend and brother Bob,
and for the everyone who passes him by

"I am not just a man, vastly lost in this world
Lost in a Sea of Faces
Your body's the bread,
Your blood is the wine
Because you traded Your life for mine"

To Be Fed, or To Be Fed On?

Anyone familar with the Psalms is aware how one verse can speak of joy and trust, and than literally the next few lines be full of doubt and despair (which is in all honesty, the very fact of life) . Today while praying over a bit of anxiety I am currently battling, I read the wonderful lines in 1 Peter 5:7
"casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you"

Beautiful words of comfort, strength, and trust. Then I continue with the next lines which read

" Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

and suddenly, I am anxious again.

The whole of 1 Peter 5 is what needs to be read, as it defines the true things we might have reason to be anxious about, and takes away the worry by promising both that we will in fact suffer, and that Christ will "restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

The last line
"Greet one another with a loving kiss", also gives me insight on another thing that makes me a wee bit anxious, that of being kissed on the cheek by other men while in Italy.

Not being anxious ain't an easy thing for this monkster, but reading again the lines that confused me, I realized that it is that very sin of worry which the enemy wishes to get drunk on. Instead, if I do, in fact, lay down my worries at the foot of the Cross, than the evil one has to deal with Christ instead . . .and I think we all know how that'll go.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear."

Bright New Crowns

"The Church, spotless bride of Christ, became resplendent

with bright new crowns of martyrdom”

Quote taken from today's Saint(s) of the Day e-letter, on Blessed John Francis Burté and Companions, about their martyrdom during the French Revolution. Again, as I ponder the word martyr, I realize that we, in reality are all called to be these "bright new crowns", by daily giving up ourself for the One who alone knows our true self.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1