To Jesus with love…..

jesus-resurrection-mary-tomb

To Jesus on the Feast of His Resurrection

Longing, longing for You
my Beautiful One,
yet not ready for our
Face to face encounter.
I have only just begun
to love You.

This time on earth is
so precious.
Aching for You,
yet delighting in
Seeking
Your Hidden Presence

Weary of suffering,
but treasuring the privilege
of offering it all up to You,
in total trust of
Your Faithfulness
Your Goodness
Your Love.

It seems all I have
to give You.
And what shall I do
when it all comes to an end –
this life in the darkness?

Ah, but I know the answer:
It is to trust again
that You Yourself
will choose
the perfect moment of our meeting,
when all will be prepared
and all will be well.

At last I shall behold
the Beauty
that I have long known

in shadows,
and which has so
enraptured my heart.

To encounter You in Glory
Your Face unveiled at last-
Kneeling in Your splendor
will be
Easter morning eternally.

Seek the Lord while He may be found….

Call to Him while He is still near. Isaiah 55:6 (NAB)

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Joseph von Führich (1800-1876)

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on, but they pressed him to stay with them saying, ‘It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.’  So he went in to stay with them.  Luke 24: 28-30  (NJB)

Yesterday’s gospel of Jesus on the road to Emmaus with His disciples is one of my favorites.  At Mass, Father said that it is considered the most significant of all of the gospel readings after the Resurrection.  What a rich passage for meditation!

One of the points which Father made in his homily was that Jesus did not appear in front of the disciples, to lead them.  Rather, He met them where they were. He joined in with them.  He asked questions, and patiently listened to their responses.  Only after He had heard all they had to say did He begin to instruct them.

My favorite part of this gospel story is Jesus acting as though He was parting ways with the disciples, and going on further by Himself.  It is only after they entreated Him that He agreed to join them where they were staying.

Oh the Divine Charm of Jesus Who wishes to be invited into our lives!  As we long for others to love us and to desire our companionship, infinitely more so does the God-Man.  Back at the Garden tomb, He approaches Mary Magdalen as a stranger and asks:  Woman, why are you weeping?  Who are you looking for?

He knew, of course.  But it seems He wanted to hear her say that she was searching for Him and that she would go and take Him away if only she could find Him.  How welcome those words of love and concern must have been to Jesus, after so much suffering, rejection and finally death, only a few days before.

And so it was on the road to Emmaus:  ….but they pressed Him to stay with them…

And so it is with us.  Jesus is always peering between the lattices (Song of Songs 2:9).  He is always asking us:  Who are you looking for?  He walks beside us, hoping we will notice He is there, that we will seek His company and beg Him to stay with us.  And if we do, He will surely make our hearts burn within us, just as He did to those on the road to Emmaus..

It is interesting to note that after Jesus rose from the dead, He did not allow those He loved to cling to Him.  His meetings with them were usually brief.  It was not like before when He lived among them and they had access to Him almost always.

He was preparing to ascend to the Father.  His time on earth had ended, but His reign in Heaven was about to begin.  He took His place on a glorious throne as King of kings and Lord of lords.  But, Jesus is also a Bridegroom.  Yours and mine.  Like no other bridegroom we can imagine, Jesus is deeply, madly in love with His promised bride.

He hides from us to stir up our desire for Him.  When we least expect it, He may show Himself for an instant:

I hear my love knocking.
Open to me, my sister, my beloved,
my dove, my perfect one….

I opened to my love,
but he had turned and gone.
My soul failed at his flight,
I sought but could not find him,
I called, but he did not answer.   Song of Songs 5: 2,6 (NJB)

Yes, the Divine Bridegroom yearns for His bride, but He will not tarry now.  He is preparing a great Wedding Feast.  If we long for Him now, if we desire His company above all others, one day we shall be united with Him completely, never to be separated again for we shall possess Him forever!

I belong to my love, and my love to me. Song of Songs 6:3  (NJB)

 

 

She loved much….

(A re-post of a favorite, from May, 2011)

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov 

Mary Magdalene, what are you about,
as I follow your footsteps through the gospels?
You begin and you end with JESUS.

I see you at Simon’s house
with your perfumed oil,
and I find you again at the tomb,
carrying fragrant spices.

What are you about Mary?
You are unique in the gospels,
 always at the feet of Jesus.

At your home, where Martha busied herself.
at the Cross with Our Lady.
I never find you when you are not in adoration of Him.

Such faithful love did not go unnoticed.
You were the first to see Him after He rose.

“Mary,” He said,
And you were at His feet again.

Mary Magdalene, what are you about?
Tell me please,
that I too may follow in your way

And anoint today
the Adorable Face of JESUS,
with grateful love.

And sit at His feet,
washing them with
tears of repentance

And stand by the Cross,
consoling Him as I bear
my own little crosses.

And someday, behold Him
resurrected as you did,
and fall at His feet in worship.

Where are you going O Mary?
Take me along please!
For no greater words could I hear
Than those JESUS spoke of you:

“She loved much.”

Happy Easter to all….

Artist unknown

Artist unknown

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead, but he laid his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid, it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and look..I am alive for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades…” (Revelation 1:17-18)

An Easter gift to the world….

Can we ever really tire of this beautiful scene? Below is young Dominic’s father’s account of this unforgettable moment, in his own words.

Paul Gondreau is a theology professor in Rome. He and his wife and their five children had come to St. Peter’s Square for a glimpse of the Holy Father. The Swiss Guard allowed his handicapped son, Dominic, and one other family member, his mother, to move to the front of the barricade. Dr. Gondreau and his four other children watched the jumbotron in joyful disbelief, as Pope Francis and Dominic unexpectedly embraced.

Vatican Pope Easter

“Small acts with great love,” Mother Teresa was fond of saying. Yesterday, Pope Francis bestowed an extraordinary Easter blessing upon my family when he performed such an act in embracing my son, Dominic, who has cerebral palsy. The embrace occurred when the Pope spied my son while touring the Square, packed with a quarter million pilgrims, in the “pope mobile” after Mass. This tender moment, an encounter of a modern Francis with a modern Dominic (as most know, tradition holds that St. Francis and St. Dominic enjoyed an historic encounter), moved not only my family (we were all moved to tears), not only those in the immediate vicinity (many of whom were also brought to tears by it), not only by thousands who were watching on the big screens in the Square, but by the entire world. Images of this embrace quickly went viral, and by Easter Sunday afternoon it was the lead picture on the Drudge Report, with the caption, “Change Hatred into Love” (a paraphrase of Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi message that followed shortly thereafter), where it remains even as I write this. Fox News, NBC Nightly News, ABC Nightly News, and CNN all showed clips of it. Lead pictures of it were found in Le Figaro, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, inter alia.

It is often difficult to try to express to people who do not have special needs children what kind of untold sacrifices are demanded of us each and every day. And as for Dominic, he has already shared in Christ’s Cross more than I have throughout my entire life multiplied a thousand times over. What is the purpose in all this, I ask? Furthermore, I often tend to see my relationship with Dominic in a one-sided manner. Yes, he suffers more than me, but it’s constantly ME who must help HIM. Which is how our culture often looks upon the disabled: as weak, needy individuals who depend so much upon others, and who contribute little, if anything, to those around them.

Pope Francis’ embrace of my son yesterday turns this logic completely on its head and, in its own small yet powerful way, shows once again how the wisdom of the Cross confounds human wisdom. Why is the whole world so moved by images of this embrace? A woman in the Square, moved to tears by the embrace, perhaps answered it best when she to my wife afterward, “You know, your son is here to show people how to love.” To show people how to love. This remark hit my wife as a gentle heaven-sent confirmation of what she has long suspected: that Dominic’s special vocation in the world is to move people to love, to show people how to love. We human beings are made to love, and we depend upon examples to show us how to do this.

But how can a disabled person show us how to love in a way that only a disabled person can? Because the Cross of Christ is sweet and is of a higher order. Christ’s resurrection from the Cross proclaims that the love he offers us, the love that we, in our turn, are to show others, is the REAL reason he endured the Cross in the first place. Our stony hearts are transformed into this Christ-like love, and thereby empowered to change hatred into love, only through the Cross. And no one shares in the Cross more intimately than the disabled. And so the disabled become our models and our inspiration. Yes, I give much to my son, Dominic. But he gives me more, WAY more. I help him stand and walk, but he shows me how to love. I feed him, but he shows me how to love. I bring him to physical therapy, but he shows me how to love. I stretch his muscles and joke around with him, but he shows me how to love. I lift him in and out of his chair, I wheel him all over the place, but he shows me how to love. I give up my time, so much time, for him, but he shows me how to love.

This lesson, to repeat, confounds the wisdom of the world. Heck, it confounds me when I, as his parent, so often fail to see my son’s condition for what it is. The lesson my disabled son gives stands as a powerful testament to the dignity and infinite value of every human person, especially of those the world deems the weakest and most “useless.” Through their sharing in the “folly” of the Cross, the disabled are, in truth, the most powerful and the most productive among us.

One more thing. Pope Francis’ embrace of my son, Dominic, indicates that we should not interpret the new Pontiff’s expressed devotion to the poor, already a cornerstone of his pontificate, in facile, purely material (let alone political) categories. His Easter embrace of my son stands out as a compelling witness to the kind of “poverty” that he urges us to adopt, the poverty that he pointed to in the opening line of his Urbi et Orbi message yesterday: “I would like [the message of Christ’s resurrection] to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest…” Parents of disabled children, stand up and find solace and encouragement in these simple yet profound words.

Source: Catholic Moral Theology: http://catholicmoraltheology.com/a-special-vocation-to-show-people-how-to-love/

Rabbuni!

(Re-post of a personal favorite)

Mary Magdalene, what are you about,
as I follow your footsteps through the gospels?
You begin and you end with JESUS.

I see you at Simon’s house
with your perfumed oil,
and I find you again at the tomb,
carrying fragrant spices.

What are you about Mary?
You are unique in the gospels,
as the one always at the feet of Jesus.

At your home, where Martha busied herself.
at the Cross with Our Lady.
I never find you when you are not in adoration of Him.

Such faithful love did not go unnoticed.                                                                                    You were the first to see Him after He rose.
“Mary,” He said,
And you were at His feet again.

Mary Magdalene, what are you about?
Tell me please,
that I too may follow in your way

And anoint today
the Adorable Face of JESUS,
with grateful love.

And sit at His feet,
washing them with
tears of repentance

And stand by the Cross,
consoling Him as I bear
my own little crosses.

And someday, behold Him
resurrected as you did,
and fall at His feet in worship.

Where are you going O Mary?
Take me along please!
For no greater words could I hear
Than those JESUS spoke of you:

“She loved much.”

The Lord of Glory is risen!

fra angelicoPainting: The Resurrection by Fra Angelico

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead, but He laid His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and look–I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades.

Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed
to receive power, riches, wisdom,
strength, honour, glory and blessing.

To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb,
be all praise, honour, glory and power,
forever and ever.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city.

(Revelation 1:18, 5:12, 5:13) NJB

Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Rabbuni…..

(A re-post of a favorite, from May, 2011)

Mary Magdalene, what are you about,
as I follow your footsteps through the gospels?
You begin and you end with JESUS.

I see you at Simon’s house
with your perfumed oil,
and I find you again at the tomb,
carrying fragrant spices.

What are you about Mary?
You are unique in the gospels,
 always at the feet of Jesus.

At your home, where Martha busied herself.
at the Cross with Our Lady.
I never find you when you are not in adoration of Him.

Such faithful love did not go unnoticed.
You were the first to see Him after He rose.

“Mary,” He said,
And you were at His feet again.

Mary Magdalene, what are you about?
Tell me please,
that I too may follow in your way

And anoint today
the Adorable Face of JESUS,
with grateful love.

And sit at His feet,
washing them with
tears of repentance

And stand by the Cross,
consoling Him as I bear
my own little crosses.

And someday, behold Him
resurrected as you did,
and fall at His feet in worship.

Where are you going O Mary?
Take me along please!
For no greater words could I hear
Than those JESUS spoke of you:

“She loved much.”