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Monday, February 6, 2023

Cry of a Baby

 One of my "cloistered brothers" has been released.  He told me that he went to Mass on Sunday and he doesn't know why, but he heard a baby crying.  He also started to cry.

He hadn't heard the cry of a baby in fourteen years.

It's the simple things that make up a life and that's what we miss when they're taken away.  


Wisdom is Spiritual Awareness

 

Brothers and sisters:
We speak a wisdom to those who are mature,
not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
Rather, we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden,
which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
and which none of the rulers of this age knew;
for, if they had known it,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:
What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,

this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.

STUDIUM:

Wisdom isn't a common word.  It's not a difficult vocabulary word, but not a word thrown around haphazardly.  It is used often in the Old Testament.  It is even personified and a whole book is dedicated to it.  St. Paul's relies on his audience knowing the wisdom in Torah and associates it with the work of the Holy Spirit.  Paul relying on traditions contrasts the wisdom coming from God, from that of the Greeks and the philosophical wisdom celebrated by the Gentiles.  For Paul, Jesus is divine Wisdom and it is given to believers through the inpouring of the Holy Spirit.  As such, it is far different than what philosophers, politicians, and others think.

MEDITATIO:

Paul says Wisdom is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Hence, I need discernment.  And Wisdom comes to those who love Jesus.  I love Jesus and should pray to love Him more.  Belief in Jesus=Love Jesus=Wisdom.

ORATIO:

Holy Spirit, pour out Your Love on and in me.  I need to love.  Help me to love others, too, as You love them.

CONTEMPLATIO:

Lord, help me to love You better.

RESOLUTIO:

Spiritual awareness involves loving as Jesus loves.  I need to love my neighbors.




Sunday, February 5, 2023

Loving the Word

 

LECTIO:

Responsorial Psalm

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

STUDIUM:

Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter. 
       This psalm is the longest of the 150 psalms and wasn't composed in one sitting.  It is a famous psalm about God's Word.  Look how often the palmist refers to God's Word, i.e., law, statues, words, precepts, and decrees. 

MEDITATIO:

This psalm is perfect for Dominicans and lovers of the Word.  Just about every verse sings praise for God's voice.

ORATIO:

Lord Jesus, I love You and Your Word.

CONTEMPLATIO:

Holy Spirit, open my eyes, so I may hear You.

RESOLUTIO:

I promise to read scripture every day. 


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Hear, O Israel

 Now I can resume life.  I finished James A. Michener's The Source.  I've been reading it for about 3 weeks.  Yesterday and today the weather was too cold to leave the house.  The wind chill factor brought the temperature to below zero.  I welcomed the chance to stay in, nice and cozy, with a cup of tea and The Source.  I finished it today.  I feel a loss, now.  I want to go back to the dig in Israel with the characters I've grown to love.

sigh...

Michener has the usual "This is a work of historical fiction...any semblance to current events or locales, or to living persons, is entirely coincidental."  But imagination being what it is, belies that statement.  The story begins with Ur, an early man or prototype of what man will be.  We read about the beginnings of mankind.  We read what man worshipped.  We see how religion developed.

Then we begin another section of the novel where we find ourselves at an archaeological dig.  As the archaeologists dig down level by level and find artifacts from different civilizations, another story develops among the archaeologists.  They discuss and argue religion and politics and of course there's the tension of love hovering over the team.

I can't summarize this saga.  Michener wrote over a thousand pages.  It encompasses mankind from the beginning to about 1970.  Some might say, it's dated, but I disagree.  The story helped me understand the Israeli/Palestine conflict, a little better.  As Michener warned, this is a work of fiction and not to be taken as sacred scripture.  But it sure as hell is better than the ideas I had before I read The Source.



Friday, February 3, 2023

Collarboration

The article my TOPS chapter is submitting to our magazine is finally complete.  The idea was Pat D'Amour and agreed to write by TOPS 9463 led by our president Val Tessicini.  Betty Cirotski's daughter, Jen Giannetti provided some dates and I did what I could with Jen's pictures and information.  That was the article on January 28, 2023.  Since then, I had input from the chapter, Jen, and finally Betty's granddaughter, who completed the article.  Voila! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J6c2coFz4UHpkZbMlsrZ8Ea3kqwyI_9hpH7Ix_XqIwU/edit?usp=sharing




Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ciudad Juarez

 Lately, I've become aware of the killing of teenage girls in Juarez.  It's been going on for at least 10 years.  The girls are poor, Mexican, long hair and young.  Their families report them missing and they are either never found or found dead in the desert.  

I feel moved to pray.  Lord have mercy on these girls and their families.  

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — A Mexico City think-thank is ranking Juarez as the second most dangerous city in the world. Juarez earned such distinction from the Citizens Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice for its homicide rate of 104 per 100,000 inhabitants, second only to Tijuana at 134.Jun 3, 2020



Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pray, Think, Act

 

LECTIO: 

If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
The eyes of God are on those who fear him;
he understands man's every deed.
No one does he command to act unjustly,
to none does he give license to sin.

STUDIUM:


God in His Wisdom has given us free will.  Life is about the choices we've made.  Good or bad sometimes just happens but afterwards, we evaluate and make a choice.  Some say when we die some poor souls even choose hell.  We had better keep our eyes on God.  He understands why we choose and judges accordingly.

MEDITATIO:

Lord, how many times have I asked You to take away my free will.  I only want to do Your Will.  I don't even want to think of any other choices.  But I trust Your Wisdom and know best, so help me to always choose You.

ORATIO:

Lord, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil.

CONTEMPLATIO:

Thy Will be done.

RESOLUTIO:


Since I don't want to sin, I need to not act impulsively.  I need to remember to pray first, then think, and finally to act.

Cry of a Baby

 One of my "cloistered brothers" has been released.  He told me that he went to Mass on Sunday and he doesn't know why, but he...