….THE DEFINING MOMENTS….

IMG_1604G.0

 

There are certain moments in life that define us….

Some situations, some incidents, some actions, some words that when they happen we just KNOW are pivotal in our lives.  For some this may be that moment when eyes lock together and the heart sings….for some it is the birth and the first cry, or first words….and still for others it is the departure, and the loss.

 

I myself had one of those moments I call a “Shakkabucca”…the swift spiritual ‘kick to the head’ that alters a person forever.

 

When these moments happen we have to RECOGNIZE them…know their meaning. For me it was the death of a person whom I only knew A LITTLE, yet the amount of that person’s life when it ended struck a chord in me that resonated so LOUDLY in my being that I changed from the man I once was into the man I am today.

 

See friends, it is these types of moments that can make or break a person. How we handle these “Divine Intervention” moments determines if we are going to follow the path The Divine sets out for us, or strike out on our own and ignore them. Case and point: Had I not been so overwhelmed by the loss of this almost complete stranger I may have continued as I had been…happily being the person I was, what I was doing…instead I recognized the clarion bell warning that was being given to me and I became what you see before you.

 

A person of worth is not easily known by the world….just because their face does not appear on an advert….or in a movie…or in a sports program….just because they are not rich, or powerful, does NOT mean that they cannot be used to change the world.

 

Now, some may say “how did that one person change the world?”…he did not change the ENTIRE world…he changed MY WORLD…and I in turn by heeding that Divine Intervention have helped in my small way to change HUNDREDS of worlds.

 

This is what I mean by defining moments. 

 

When I die the world will still revolve…people will still pay their taxes…traffic signals will not stop working….flags will not be lowered to half mast…and no one will build a monument to my simple person.

 

HOWEVER…those who know me, those I have helped, those who understand what I am, what I do, and WHY (the most important reason of all!) I did what I did.

 

I will never appear on a lunch box…but I will appear in The Book my Master holds…

 

This is why when these moments that define us should be noticed…be HEEDED…because it is what is in THAT BOOK that should make each and every one of us sit up and take notice.

Will it be a love story?

A Tragedy?

A HORROR story? 

A Life changing biography?

 

THAT IS UP TO YOU!

Yup.  What you do today RESONATES in Heaven. EVERY detail, EVERY word, EVERY ACTION is carefully recorded in Heaven…

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” -Matthew 10:30

It is THIS that, in the end, is read and judged by God.

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” -Psalm 139:16

These defining moments are guideposts…signs from God…telling us, in no uncertain words, that THIS is the path He has laid out for you…HIS PURPOSE…what HE wants you to do.

He tells us what He wants of us…yes…LOUDLY He screams at us 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” -John 13:34

Why should we love one another? BECAUSE WE ARE ALL CONNECTED…we are ALL OF US part of one another.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” -1 Corinthians 12:12

 

When God points His finger into our lives He may decide to ‘Stir things up a bit’…it may not be what we want, or what we THINK we need, but it is without a doubt what HE wants from us.

Yes, sometimes He takes away from us…sometimes He gives to us…but it is for a REASON…to make us BETTER.

 

Now, many people will say how bad their lives have been, how unfortunate things have happened to them…how sorrowful their lives are….but if they took the time to look they would see God is MOLDING them…shaping their lives to teach them.

 

“But how can it be He allows some to fail and some to flourish?” you ask me…and to this I reply:

“that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” -Matthew 5:45

 

He is trying to make YOU become aware of YOUR potential…you cannot judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, so STOP COMPARING what happens to YOU with other’s lives.  The lesson in YOUR life is FOR YOU ALONE. If you do not heed His message, do not follow His path..if you say “I cannot” or “I will not” then YOU pay the price of it all…not the other person.

 

This is why when something happens to me I do not whine, or complain, or wallow in self pity…I merely say “This is God’s Will…what can I learn from this?” be it for good, or for bad, it is ALL HIS WILL FOR ME.

 

Sure, I am poor…I do not own a car…have no bank account..but I have made sure that what I do here on this planet stores up for me riches in Heaven. Those I help will tell you of “Miracles” they have had happen in their lives..or how they got through it all “Thanks to you, Friar”…but I shrug and say “I do but serve” because it was GOD’S WILL that I should become what I am…and it is HIS WILL that made them seek Him out through what simple office I am entrusted.

 

Everyone says I should acknowledge their gratitude…that if not for me (somehow) helping them that they would not have been able to get through it….blah-blah-blah…HOGWASH! 

 

They got through it because they, in their desperate hour, TURNED TO GOD, and HE sent them to ME to help…

 

I am not a prophet, nor a priest, nor a wiseman, nor a sage….I am JUST A TOOL used by God to show them that there IS a way out of their problem…that if they trusted HIS Will instead of their own judgement from the start they would NOT have gotten themselves into the situation.

 

Here is how it works..I lean on “The Rock that is higher than I” (ref Psalm 61:2) ..they lean on ME…and together we hobble along helping one another out in life.

 

How is it that I, the least of these, can bear all their pain? Bear all their sorrow? Aid them in whatever life problem they have? 

“Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–for we walk by faith, not by sight-” -2 Corinthians 5:7

 

Yes, when tragedy strikes ME, when sorrows hit ME, when difficulties arise in MY life I simply see it as a signpost from God saying (in no uncertain words) “This is done for a REASON, PAY ATTENTION!” and I let it wash over me and change how I see, how I do, and what I need to do to make it so…

It is easy, once you try, to just ALLOW His Will to follow EVERY footstep you take during the day.

 

I am not saying you need to walk around mumbling prayers, singing Psalms, or chanting…I am saying you need to OPEN YOUR EYES and RECOGNIZE when His Finger is touching YOUR LIFE.

By doing this the problems do not seem so insurmountable…the pain does not hit so keenly…the release of the insecurity is LIBERATING….

 

Try it some time….give it a whirl…

The next time something happens you cannot control simply sigh and say “It is by the Will of God”….and you will be surprised how much that little defining moment can change your life…

 

Peace be with you this day, and in all the days that follow…

 

Fra. Jeff…..

READING OF THE DAY: 22 JULY, 2014

4074

 

 

“On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.

And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. 

And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” 

When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” 

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.

Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.” -John 20:1-2.11-18.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 22 JULY, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalen

Saint Mary Magdalen

Penitent
(First century)

Of the earlier life of Saint Mary Magdalen we know only that she was a woman who was a sinner. From the depth of her degradation she raised her eyes to Jesus with sorrow, hope, and love. Covered with shame, she came to where Jesus was at table, and knelt behind Him. She said not a word, but bathed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed them with humility.

Then she poured on them costly ointment. The divine lips of her Saviour removed her reproach, spoke her absolution, and bade her go in peace. From that time on, she ministered to Jesus, sat at His feet, and listened to His words.

She was one of the family of Bethany whom Jesus so loved that He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead.

It happened that once again, on the eve of His Passion, she brought precious ointment, and this time, as His purified and beloved follower, poured it on His head; and we may say that the entire House of God is still filled with the fragrance of her anointing.

Mary Magdalen stood with Our Lady and Saint John at the foot of the cross, representative of the many who have loved much because much has been forgiven them.

To her, the first after His blessed Mother, and through her to His Apostles, Our Lord gave the certainty of His resurrection. When the faithful were scattered by persecution, the family of Bethany found refuge in the south of France.

The cave in which Saint Mary Magdalen lived for thirty years is still seen, with a chapel on the mountaintop, in which she was caught up daily, like Saint Paul, to visions and revelations of the Lord.

When her end drew near she was borne to a place still marked by a monument, where the holy Bishop Maximin awaited her; and when she had received her Lord, she peacefully fell asleep in death.

Reflection: Compunction of heart, says Saint Bernard, is a treasure infinitely to be desired, and an unspeakable gladness to the heart. It is healing to the soul; it is remission of sins; it brings back the Holy Spirit into the humble and loving heart.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)