ANOTHER YEAR GONE BY…….

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“Sitting here alone
In my Father’s hall
Tomorrow I’ll be leaving
I’ll be on my own.

To the hills as a child I’ll go
But I’d rather be a wanderer
than to never go at all

Pity there’s just emptiness
but with sorrow there comes joy
And I would rather die in a hurricane
than to never know the storm

Fears I know I faced them
as my castle walls would fall
oh but I would let those castles tumble
for I’d never love at all

In my soul a song lies sleeping
waiting to be born
I can hear it a weeping

Deep inside I can feel her dance
gonna run to be loving
touch my innocence

I see that life is an open road
there’ll be people who stay
there’ll be people who’ll go

And though at first
it pains me so
I think I’m just learning
how to let go.

Pity there’s just emptiness
but with sorrow there comes joy
And I would rather die in a hurricane
than to never know the storm

Fears I know
I faced them
as my castle walls did fall
Oh but I would let those castles tumble
or I’d never love at all”

Song: ‘I’d Rather Be a Wanderer’ – Donald Rubinstein

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLmjSo7LGU4

Another year is gone.

It is another year of my Ordination and I take time to pause and reflect on the passage of time…those left behind…those still here…and those who are lost….

Do the lost know they are lost?

Usually, this time of year, I take a breath and ask myself a simple question: Has it all been worth it?  Has the sacrifice I made REALLY made any difference?

The answer usually makes me maudlin, but this year is different…this year I CELEBRATE my service to God.

After much prayer and contemplation (coupled with BUCKETS of tea and bouncing my diatribes off the wife’s ears, 😀 ) I have arrived to the somber and sobering conclusion that yes…yes it has been.

I have seen much sorrow, pain, hands reaching out to the sleeves of my simple green robe needing reassurance, comfort, succor during their life trials and tribulations, untold numbers of prayers asked of me, counsel by the hours for their suffering or sorrow….and it made me pause the other day and ask myself: If they had not gone to me…if they had not reached out…WHO would they HAVE gone to?

Would they have sought out another cleric, pouring out their hearts in bleeding pain to another priest, or rabbi?

The answer that shocked me came from the wife’s lips…a sobering “No, they wouldn’t have…for they would have had nobody they WOULD have gone to’

I realized how NECESSARY my ministry has been to those who shelter with me under my cowl.

I have lost some along the way…death…change of mind or heart…anger…fear..

I even had my faith tested in a way I never thought possible a year ago… to walk away from this path I was led to, or to strike off into the deepening forests of this world, blazing a NEW path in my wake.

So, to those who somehow did not find their feet on my path, or those who simply did not wish to continue on this journey with my sandals, I will do this for them…I will pray.

It is not an easy task to remain faithful in prayer for a lost soul.

Though we may know the need, feel the burden, and even have some indication of what God must do in order for them to come to His feet before the Throne of Heaven, it still is a difficult task to keep at it and not grow weary, or bored in the task.

After perhaps a week of prayer I began to wonder “What more can we pray for?”

Then I remember the words of Brother Joseph (one of my teachers from Our Lady of Sorrows School I attended as a youth….)

“Too often we pray with prepared lists of requests in our hands.

There is a place for the lists as reminders of immediate needs, but too much leaning on the fleshly mind will miss the mind of the Spirit.

The Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be articulated (or listed). Seek to pray the heart of God – which is the mind of the Spirit.”

I think of those who lost their fight in this world, and sorrowfully, took their own life…who would they have gone to, the survivors? Could they have trusted ANOTHER cleric to do the same job I do for those who have come to me?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide” (2282).

It goes on to say, “We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to Him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives” (2283).

And yet I saw few clerics ‘step up to the plate’ as I do so often….

So, for those either lost on their way, or for those lost IN their way, I offer this simple prayer…..

Dear God, your understanding and spiritual guidance fills my heart and mind completely.

Your guiding Holy Spirit directs my every step.

In all that I do, I acknowledge your holy presence and give thanks for the wisdom, strength, and serenity you give me.

With gratitude, I turn to you, God, to receive spiritual guidance, communication, and direction.

In the quietness of my Right-Mind, the place within me where our minds are joined as One, I listen to your Voice of wisdom and truth and I know what to do.

As I feel and experience your constant Presence in my life, God, I joyfully receive your communication, insight, and inspiration, gently guiding me on my path and making my way sure.

Your loving Holy Spirit, dear Father, is the guiding light that illuminates my path.

Your voice within me gives me the understanding, insight, and spiritual guidance I need to make wise and compassionate decisions.

You, dear Father, are my Infinite Source of Peace , Love, and Wisdom. Your Holy Spirit guides and directs me. Your Love enfolds me, and Your Light illuminates me.

I am eternally grateful for your spiritual guidance, dear Father.

O Lord, In this time of need, strengthen them.

You are their strength and their shield;

You are their refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I know, Father, that Your eyes go to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts long for You.

The body grows weary, but their hope is in You to renew their strength.

I do not fear for them, for You are with them.

I am not dismayed or overwhelmed, for You are their God.

I know You will strengthen them and help them;
that You will uphold them with Your righteous hand.

Even as the shadows of illness, depression, sorrow, pain of loss, worldly troubles, bodily afflictions, or doubts and fears of their lives, I feel the comfort of Your strength flowing to them, O Lord.

Thank you for always being with me.

And Dear Master, thank You for being there with them as well

Amen

-Fra. J.L. Wallace-

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READING OF THE DAY: 22 MAY, 2013

preached-jesus

“John said to Jesus, «Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.»

Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.

There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me.

For whoever is not against us is for us.” -Mark 9:38-40.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 22 MAY, 2013

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Saint Julia
Virgin, Martyr
Patron of Corsica
(Fifth century)

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria.

In the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in household affairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to take her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul.

When he reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned.

The governor of the island, Felix, a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods.

The merchant informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail upon her to renounce her religion; nonetheless, he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her.

The governor offered him four of his best slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, No; all you are worth will not purchase her; for I would lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her.

Nonetheless Felix, while the inebriated merchant was asleep, attempted to compel her to sacrifice to his gods.

He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply.

The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be, as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ.

The pagan, offended by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of her head to be torn off.

Finally he ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she expired.

Certain monks from the isle of Gorgon transported her relics there, but in 763 the king of Lombardy transferred them to Brescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion.