Christ: The King of Wreckage & Re-creator of Broken Things.

Preface Note: This is part of a family email chain that I wrote during Advent 2014. I want to add that the re-creation that Jesus works in us through our Baptism, that lives in us, isn’t just a remaking but a NEW making. We are a NEW creation, and this describes what I meant by re-creation! In being made new in our Baptism there is being (soul stuff and whatnot) added to us that we did not have before, that Jesus added to us for his glory, for our participation in his love.

Cross that arose in World Trade Center Wreckage.

Advent 2014: Christ is the king of wreckage and the re-creator of broken things. The way of the world is to swim in wreckage, rearrange it, shine it, and ask people to come and buy it, or approve of it, or laud and honor it. The re-arranged wreckage is the idol of the self, that part of us that sees the wreckage and says “there must be some way to salvage this. It can‘t really be as bad as it looks. Lets rearrange, recast, re-frame!” And the people who are best at this sort of thing are the idols of this world, and no matter how much we hold them up they always seem to fall apart in the end.

In the worldly sense wreckage is only rearrange-able, but God doesn’t have to try to rearrange that which he can re-create. That is why he hung on a broken tree, nailed to it by broken people. This is why he reigns from the throne of wreckage, because he already knew how beautiful his re-creation would be, he already knew how beautiful his creation already is. The king of wreckage ordained every piece of wreckage for a particular purpose in his plan of re-creation. Every piece is invaluable, unnecessary in worldly terms while at the same time irreplaceable in terms of God’s love.

Those being remade differ from those who are suffocating in the self. Those who are being remade suffer the revelation of just how broken they are while those who are perishing hide in their wreckage, preferring a worldly shine to a remade heart. There is a kind of camouflage working in this process of dying and of being remade. The one dying appears as though they are thriving while the one being remade appearsas though they are dying. And God makes those to whom he is near appear to the world as all wreckage, and this is for their protection. Without appearing as such they would fall into pride, and if they appeared in their glory they would be murdered on the spot.

Appearing in glory as Stephen did would mean to unveil to those worshiping the self just how worthless they had made themselves by revolting against God’s plans. This is why the lot of the saints is often but not always an early death, because the flesh wars against the holiness of their souls, the world does not stand for it, and the worldly rage against it. So often we apply a worldly measure, a surface assessment, in order to make an assessment of fruits. But God works in the depths of the heart and it is only in personal relationship that his work can be shared with others, revealed. In the intimacy of our hearts he opens our vision to see the vanity of our labors while at the same time showing us the efficacy of his grace that ushers even tragic events for our welfare.
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Mystic Chapel Music

Here is a nice music cooperative that is putting out some good spiritual music. It is called Mystic Chapel, and they are writing songs about particular Martyrs. This one is about Becket.

Here is their website: The Martyr’s Project

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St. Ignatius’ Eighth Rule On the Discernment of Spirits

Eighth Rule. The eighth: When the consolation is without cause, although there be no deceit in it, as being of God our Lord alone, as was said; still the spiritual person to whom God gives such consolation, ought, with much vigilance and attention, to look at and distinguish the time itself of such actual consolation from the following, in which the soul remains warm and favored with the favor and remnants of the consolation past; for often in this second time, through one’s own course of habits and the consequences of the concepts and judgments, or through the good spirit or through the bad, he forms various resolutions and opinions which are not given immediately by God our Lord, and therefore they have need to be very well examined before entire credit is given them, or they are put into effect.

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Baby Boy

I got the chance to be with my baby boy for a long time today. I haven’t spent that much time alone with him since he was born about ten weeks ago. I went to pray with him in an Abbey Church. It is a special thing when an Abbey Church somehow intermingles with your day’s events. I was slightly weary from many hours of caring for him alone, of trying to provide with bottles what my wife does in her sleep. At first I wished he would sleep through, that I could pray in silence. But soon his cries began to echo through the stone church, and I was struck with thoughts of our infant Lord as he lay there in the tabernacle.

Our Lord would cry to ask his Mother for  milk just as any baby does, and his human infancy echoes in an eternity of Divine love. He is always an infant, always a young boy, a young man, and finally a grown man who would die for each of us. What does it mean though that he would cry? It means that he is hungry, that he became one of us, helpless, weak, begging for help from those he hopes will love him. It means that he thirsts not just for mother’s milk but for the milk that only Mother Church can give to him, the souls of the just, of those who love him as he loves them, of those willing to accept this screaming child. Our Lord asks us to hold him and to feed him, to keep trying to give oneself to him through all the failure inherent in the weakness and sin that he took upon himself for our sake. He is a screaming child, screaming for the souls that are being taken from him through sin. He is a beaten, bruised, and bloody man. He is tortured and yet says “I thirst” for you who have done this to me.

Until we seek to feed him even as he feeds us, with the bread of eternal life, until we offer back to him what he gives to us without considering the price, he will come to us crying, hoping, screaming for milk. He will come to us beaten, bloody, bruised, asking for us to feed him. He will come to us with cries echoing in a Church of stony hearts, and the harder our hearts become with sin the more his cries echo in the emptiness of our inner being. Let us seek to comfort him, no matter the cost, let us live to see him still, happy, smiling, and cooing with delight that he has found his Mother’s face.

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Yosemite, Steel Wool Photos, & God’s Loving Plans

As I stood at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park on my honeymoon with my wife, I pondered God’s creation. I thought about how he knows every molecule of the entire scene and everything that had to happen over perhaps millions of years to make it the way that it is. He literally made it for us, to behold it, and in beholding it, to behold him. I began to have a profound gratitude for what God had done for us, for what he continues to do for us in creating us in all our particular relationships and circumstances. This might sound strange, but I had a similar experience when I first discovered time lapse photography.

California, Yosemite National Park, Taft Point, El Capitan and Yosemite Valley, USA Photographic Print

At first I didn’t understand it until my wife explained it to me. It is like a prolonged picture, instead of a picture of a moment it is a picture of a longer period of time. Most things in the picture stay the same but the lights that move layer through the open lens, creating a magnificent display. A good example is the picture below that was created by spinning burning steel wool. It struck me that if you look at the light produced by the burning wool in real time it seems insignificant, but if you look at the picture of the layered light it is magnificent.

Then it occurred to me that God sees every moment in time from eternity; he planned every moment and knows them all intimately. And he knows how they all relate and how they all layer next to each other. To see time as God sees it, from a point outside of time, we need to allow ourselves to transcend the current moment by viewing many moments from the perspective of eternity.

In other words, God’s plans do not present themselves to us simply in a moment of time, but rather by an intersection of the eternal moment with a moment of existence that is within time but at the same time unbounded by time. Such a moment is tied to all other moments in time, tied to a continuum of moments, but by being tied with other moments it points by its very nature to a moment outside of time. Every moment asks, “From where did I come?” Every moment is tied inextricably to the next, inextricably to the plan and creation of God that plays out in time but that fundamentally transcends our natural temporal existence.

When life seems so insignificant, when the light we are able to muster seems so small, and when our view of things seems totally imprisoned in an endless struggle, we can take heart that God has a different vision of things. God at times withholds a view of his plans for our welfare. He doesn’t allow us to see our little lights the way he sees them, but instead at times he just keeps whispering to us in what seems like darkness: “I have plans for your welfare,” “I am fighting for you,” and “I am with you.”

God wants us to trust him in what seems like darkness, that he is weaving our little inspired lights into something magnificent, a masterpiece imbued with his own life, a light so blinding that we cannot yet fully see it with our eyes marred by sin. If we stay true to him, trust him, follow him to the Cross, believe in that which we cannot see, God will come to us in those moments that seem to transcend and in those moments that seem not to transcend at all.

Just as he gives us life, he gives us unseen inspiration that shows forth in our souls in a darkness as dark as dark can be and a light so bright that eyes can’t see. This is the Cross, darkness beyond any that has ever been experienced and, at the same time, a blinding light of love revealed in all its glory.

What came to be

through him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race;

the light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not overcome it.

— John 1:3-5

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God’s Chastisement

In the wake of tragedy one often wonders whether God has allowed this or that suffering as a chastisement. This notion often meets with vehement disapproval or a tacit acceptance that can seem void of meaning. I’ve wondered about this, and I came to the conclusion that God does not allow a tragedy for the chastisement of one person or of even a few. When God allows some tragedy he does so according to his all knowing plan for the salvation of man kind. When we consider the interconnection of everything that God does we can see that there cannot be one reason for any one thing that happens. Everything that happens is connected and there are thus a thousand or a million reasons for everything that happens according to the mind of God. Of course we can’t know the mind of God, how he intends for us to suffer and the things that he does or allows to that end. But it might be helpful to consider that it is possible to be chastised by God without somehow taking the full brunt of some tragedy onto oneself. We need to accept God’s chastisements for whatever they mean in the particularity of our lives. We too often create a straw man saying “God could never allow such a thing because he is loving.” But the reality is that God does allow suffering in our lives even at times in the form of tragedy. This does not mean that God would seek to saddle us with the full weight of some tragic event, but it does mean that he intends to allow suffering in our lives for our good and the good of others. Any one thing that happens might have a thousand or a million causes and a thousand or a million effects, and God is taking all of this into consideration in his plans. It is not for us to fear God’s love by isolating one of a million reasons and making it the only cause or the only effect. The causes and effects that we need to worry about are the ones that God desires to communicate to our hearts in the personal relationship we have with him. God is speaking to us in the depths of our being concerning these matters if we would only listen. Allowing God to chastise us will alleviate our suffering as we become acquainted with his plan for us. Even a small insight into his plans for our welfare will give us great joy and consolation as we attempt to offer back to him with gratitude the sufferings he intends for us.

Mother of Sorrows, Pray for us

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A Sacred Heart Litany for Mercy

The projection of self condemnation onto others, “the judgmental,” in the creation of a false mercy, a false love. This is a brilliant explanation of this fundamental error of our age written by my wife on Mother’s Day!

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Spiritual Minute: Satan Thrives On Secrets

GlowingHands Satan thrives on secrets and secrets lead to lies, lies lead to distrust, distrust leads to broken relationships, broken relationships lead to fragmentation in the body of Christ, fragmentation in the Church leads to a decrease in the Church’s able unity to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit, a decrease in our ability to respond to the Holy Spirit leads to a loss of souls to Satan. Stop this ripple effect. Don’t be afraid to share your worst sins and your worst sufferings with your loved ones even if it means that they will know that you have sinned against them! If you can’t speak to your loved ones speak to a priest or a counselor. Satan loves to keep us fragmented, he thrives on darkness and secrets.

Do not be afraid to set out into deep water for it is there that Christ heals us!

“There is nothing…

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Plans For Your Welfare!

Early one afternoon my wife had looked through our store of keepsakes, the kind that we went through and really decided that we wanted to keep. Its contents make up a somewhat decent-sized old-fashioned-looking chest. She found a frame that my sister, her Confirmation sponsor and college friend, had give to her at some point. The words, written in beautiful calligraphy, read thus: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.” This was an important frame to her and to me as well, but it had been stowed away ever since we made a big move a couple of years ago. That day it surfaced as its message would be useful in communicating something God wanted to say to us.

After the day had passed and we…

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And He Dwelt Among Us!

Today the Church celebrates the day that God became man in the womb of our Blessed Mother. Happy Annunciation Day!

File:Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld - Annunciation - WGA21011.jpg

May God announce to you the good news of his coming, speaking to your deepest heart a language of eternal love to be received by you his beloved with tenderness and trust. We are all sinners so let us turn to our Mother to teach us how to become her brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us turn to our sinless Mother to teach us how to defeat sin that God might grow within us as he came to life within her, by unborn moments that echo in an eternity of Divine Love.

God became man. Every beat of your human heart echoes in an eternity of his love.



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