June 18, 2004

Another Oratorian

The way they're cropping up around here those Oratorians and Domincans are a real threat to Carmelite domination of St. Blogs. Yes, well, we'll just see about that won't we my pretty. . .

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Liturgy of the Hours

Want to pray the liturgy but lack the money for the books or time to get them.

Everyone probably knows about Universalis. But I found one that is one step better in some ways:

Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate which daily offers screen-readable or printable booklets for all the hours of the day.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Oswald Chambers

One of the great treasures of the Church that is often lacking in the circles of protestantism that have wandered far from liturgy is the richness of liturgical prayer. And honestly, sometimes it is hard to think of things to say and pray about on my own, so I rely heavily upon Liturgy of the Hours to open up the floodgates of prayer, both petition and meditation.

However, the Protestant churches have given rise to numerous devotiionals that are nearly always better than their Catholic counterparts. My thought is that lacking liturgical prayer, God raises up for them certain people who offer the food for meditation and prayer that Catholics have as a natural part of the faith. Catholics, not needing this, aren't particularly good at supplementing the richness of the treasury of faith.

So with Oswald Chambers, about whom I know little, but from whom I have gained much refreshment and much food for thought.

If you would like daily access to the devotional, you can bookmark this site.

I found yesterday's mediation following on the writing of St. Cyprian below most thought-provoking. Perhaps it is meant for me alone, but the question of unity among Christians and what I particularly am doing to foster, nurture, and encourage it has been on my mind for the past couple of days (since an interesting ecumenical discussion of the Eucharist over at Disputations). Particularly, I must consider the delicate issue of how to foster unity without conceding error or becoming indifferent to the profound divisions amongst us. Nevertheless, it is crucial to enter into respectful dialogue and to share the riches of the Catholic Faith, while participating in the varied richness of Protestantism.

from My Utmost for His HIghest
Oswald Chambers

Jesusí instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, "Donít." The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:53 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Prayer Requests--18 June 2004--Solemnity--Sacred Heart of Jesus

As sons of God, we are to abide in peace; as we have one Spirit, we should be one in mind and heart. Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of one who lives in conflict; and he orders us to turn back from the altar and be first reoconciled with our brother, that God too may be appeased by the prayers of one who is at peace. The greatest offering we can make to God is our peace, harmony among fellow Christians, a people united with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Treatise on the Lord's Prayer--St. Cyprian


Requests
Please continue to pray for Dylan

For Akim, a blogger (not of St. Blogs, so far as I know) perilously close to the edge and calling out for help.

For Chris, of Maine Catholic and Beyond, who vanished from our midst with nary a word and has not been back since, that all goes well for him and for his family.

For Peony Moss's Grandmother, may she rest in peace; and for her family that in mourning this loss, they celebrate this renewal of life. (Suffrages for the repose of the soul of Ms. Moss's grandmother requested.)

For Franklin, Katherine, and family as they travel, for safety, comfort, peace, refreshment, and renewal.

For Linda against discouragement under difficult circumstances

For Chris K. who is undergoing experimental treatment for her cancer and who is in poor spirits (more deadly than the cancer).

For the respose of the soul of Alicia's Sister-in-Law and for peace and comfort for the family she leaves behind.

TSO request prayers for a friend Ham, who presently seems to be in difficult circumstances.

Prayers for Jeff Culbreath and the renewed success of his printing business.

For Brain Savio O'Connor, victim of conscience and Christian Witness in Saudi Arabia

For Louis as he considers his options today.

A special request from two gentleman battling particularly troublesome and besetting sins for grace and help as they continue forward.

For Nathan who continues to struggle that he be granted the strength to endure and the serentity to accept God's all-loving embrace. May the Good Lord bless and keep him and lead him to the fullness of truth in which resides peace, love, and joy.



For J.H., newly named regional coordinator for the East Central Florida Carmelites, that she may rise to the task and help to renew, refresh, and revive the order here.
For Christine, Gordon, Heather, and Ray as they set up house and get used to new surroundings.

For those struggling against self to attain holiness, that the Good Lord will raise up new Saints for our times, visible beacons that draw all people toward Christ.

For my isolate Carmelite Brother and Sister in NY (Mr. and Mrs. O) one of whom is battling cancer, the other who has Parkinson's and has recently broken a bone, may God be with them in their trials and in their healing

For Father Joe who has left the active ministry of Priesthood after a number of difficult experiences, for discernment, strength, and a renewal of heart, mind, and spirit

For all those in the process of discerning vocations to the religious life, for guidance, prudence and good counsel

For our children, that they grow up in security, comfort, and the certain knowledge that they are loved and that they be released from any bonds of darkness, fear, anger, or sadness that bind and threaten them

For Amanda and the success of her book-designing business

For all those living under the curse of generational sins, that they may have protection and the inheritance of the past may be made void in their lives.

For all who are suffering from marital problems, most particularly those in our own families or communities, that the Lord may intervene and remind them that a marriage is of three persons.

For mothers and families that struggle with autism and autistic-related disabilities: particularly for M'Lynn, Melissa, Christine, and Betty.

For families that desire more children

For the conversion or return of spouses and loved ones to the Catholic Church, most particularly for Amanda's husband

For the men and women of the American Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families, may the Good Lord provide sustenance, support, compassion, and love that these separated families might continue to grow in strength and love.


Special Prayer Projects:


(1) Chris Keith, the young lady whose biopsy went poorly got the results of that biopsy--carcinoma of the liver. The cancer is metastatic from colon cancer. Surgery has taken place to treat the colon cancer.

I paraphrase her mother:

"We [members of the family] are standing on the Rock and are rock solid. We are all okay and we are looking for a few prayer warriors to help us in this battle." Because this mother means so much to me for the great good she has done for my friends, I plan to stand with her and her family in this battle, and I invite you all to join me. Expect to hear about this on and off over the next few months.

(2) For Katherine and Franklin, Janet and Louis, Peter Kucera, and for all who are seeking employment and suffering through difficult times as they wait.

(3)Healthy Pregnancies and good and safe deliveries: From Davey's Mom: I am with child once again and could use prayers for a healthy pregnancy. For Suki, for a healthy pregancy and a safe delivery. For JCecil3 and Wife. For Pansy Moss. For Mts. White and child. For Katherine and her friend Corren, both of whom are having difficult pregnancies. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, pray for us. Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

A very important request from a St. Blogs parishioner--"I found out recently that my friend's sister is pregnant for the fourth time. Her other three children have autism, and I know it would make her very, very happy to have a normal child." Please pray for this poor woman that she might have the joy of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy delivery and new infant. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, Pray for Us.
Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2004

A Sinner's Prayer

Lord,

The only thing I'm really good at is resisting you,
and now I'm at an age when resistance doesn't have nearly the attraction
it once did.

So I ask you humbly Lord, make the path to agreement smoother,
help me not to resist your grace,
because left to myself, I will always choose what I want
over what I really need.

Open my eyes and my heart,
let me see and love you.
And in seeing, let your light shine through me.
May I become light in light for those around me,
for the salvation of souls
and for the betterment of life here on Earth.

O Lord, do not abandon me as I deserve,
but make haste and help me,
transform me into what you would have me be.
I cannot even will it fully,
but what I can do, I shall do.
I am weak, make me weaker that you might
be in complete control.

Amen.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 04:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I Wrote Four or Five Entries for the Day. . .

and they were either too negative, too self-centered, or too blahhh to bother with. And so, seeing as it is better to say nothing and allow people to think you an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, I commend your attention to the passage from 1 Peter in the prayer requests below. Derived from Morning Prayer, it is fruitful for individual meditation. There is a richness to the words that only comes forth with serious consideration.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 02:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Prayer Requests--17 June 2004--Thursday Week 11 of Ordinary Time


For Christ is the bread of life; this bread does not belong to everyone, but is ours alone. When we say, our Father, we understand that he is the father of those who know him and believe in him. In the same way we speak of our daily bread because Christ is the bread of those who touch his body. Treatise on the Lord's Prayer--St. Cyprian.

As generous distributors of God's manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure he has received. The one who speaks is to deliver God's message. The one who serves is to do it with the strength provided by God. Thus, in all of you God is to be glorified through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4: 10-11a)

Requests
Please continue to pray for Dylan

For Akim, a blogger (not of St. Blogs, so far as I know) perilously close to the edge and calling out for help.

For Chris, of Maine Catholic and Beyond, who vanished from our midst with nary a word and has not been back since, that all goes well for him and for his family.

For Peony Moss's Grandmother, may she rest in peace; and for her family that in mourning this loss, they celebrate this renewal of life. (Suffrages for the repose of the soul of Ms. Moss's grandmother requested.)

For Franklin, Katherine, and family as they travel, for safety, comfort, peace, refreshment, and renewal.

For Linda against discouragement under difficult circumstances

For Chris K. who is undergoing experimental treatment for her cancer and who is in poor spirits (more deadly than the cancer).

For the respose of the soul of Alicia's Sister-in-Law and for peace and comfort for the family she leaves behind.

TSO request prayers for a friend Ham, who presently seems to be in difficult circumstances.

Prayers for Jeff Culbreath and the renewed success of his printing business.

For Brain Savio O'Connor, victim of conscience and Christian Witness in Saudi Arabia

For Louis as he considers his options today.

A special request from two gentleman battling particularly troublesome and besetting sins for grace and help as they continue forward.

For Nathan who continues to struggle that he be granted the strength to endure and the serentity to accept God's all-loving embrace. May the Good Lord bless and keep him and lead him to the fullness of truth in which resides peace, love, and joy.



For J.H., newly named regional coordinator for the East Central Florida Carmelites, that she may rise to the task and help to renew, refresh, and revive the order here.
For Christine, Gordon, Heather, and Ray as they set up house and get used to new surroundings.

For those struggling against self to attain holiness, that the Good Lord will raise up new Saints for our times, visible beacons that draw all people toward Christ.

For my isolate Carmelite Brother and Sister in NY (Mr. and Mrs. O) one of whom is battling cancer, the other who has Parkinson's and has recently broken a bone, may God be with them in their trials and in their healing

For Father Joe who has left the active ministry of Priesthood after a number of difficult experiences, for discernment, strength, and a renewal of heart, mind, and spirit

For all those in the process of discerning vocations to the religious life, for guidance, prudence and good counsel

For our children, that they grow up in security, comfort, and the certain knowledge that they are loved and that they be released from any bonds of darkness, fear, anger, or sadness that bind and threaten them

For Amanda and the success of her book-designing business

For all those living under the curse of generational sins, that they may have protection and the inheritance of the past may be made void in their lives.

For all who are suffering from marital problems, most particularly those in our own families or communities, that the Lord may intervene and remind them that a marriage is of three persons.

For mothers and families that struggle with autism and autistic-related disabilities: particularly for M'Lynn, Melissa, Christine, and Betty.

For families that desire more children

For the conversion or return of spouses and loved ones to the Catholic Church, most particularly for Amanda's husband

For the men and women of the American Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families, may the Good Lord provide sustenance, support, compassion, and love that these separated families might continue to grow in strength and love.


Special Prayer Projects:


(1) Chris Keith, the young lady whose biopsy went poorly got the results of that biopsy--carcinoma of the liver. The cancer is metastatic from colon cancer. Surgery has taken place to treat the colon cancer.

I paraphrase her mother:

"We [members of the family] are standing on the Rock and are rock solid. We are all okay and we are looking for a few prayer warriors to help us in this battle." Because this mother means so much to me for the great good she has done for my friends, I plan to stand with her and her family in this battle, and I invite you all to join me. Expect to hear about this on and off over the next few months.

(2) For Katherine and Franklin, Janet and Louis, Peter Kucera, and for all who are seeking employment and suffering through difficult times as they wait.

(3)Healthy Pregnancies and good and safe deliveries: From Davey's Mom: I am with child once again and could use prayers for a healthy pregnancy. For Suki, for a healthy pregancy and a safe delivery. For JCecil3 and Wife. For Pansy Moss. For Mts. White and child. For Katherine and her friend Corren, both of whom are having difficult pregnancies. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, pray for us. Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

A very important request from a St. Blogs parishioner--"I found out recently that my friend's sister is pregnant for the fourth time. Her other three children have autism, and I know it would make her very, very happy to have a normal child." Please pray for this poor woman that she might have the joy of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy delivery and new infant. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, Pray for Us.
Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2004

Found Via Fiat Mihi

Ladies Against Feminism Promoting Beautiful Womanhood.

I don't know quite what to make of it, but I thought you all might like to check it out.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to Improve Your Prayer Life

An interesting thought to ponder. I wonder, is it for Carmelites only?

from Prayer Life in Carmel
Fr. Redemptus Valabek, O. Carm.

[quoting Michael of Bologna, O. Carm]

"Whatever you are about to offer, my brother, certainly remember to commend it to Mary; just as every sentence contains a noun and a verb, so every prayer of ours should include Christ the active verb and Mary the noun, just as She became the Mother of the very Word."


Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Meditation and Its End

from Prayer Life in Carmel
Fr. Redemptus Valabek, O. Carm

Rumination on the words of God in the medieval sense, translating them into concrete action, is the final goal of meditation. The author warns that meditation of the Word without its observance will not save a man. "It is not enough to read the Scriptures and commandments of the Lord; the fruit of (resultant) action must be manifested." A mechanical type of meditation that may even commend to memory the whole of the Bible, does not justify a man. Authentic prayer must be animated by operative charity; mediation with no concrete results to show for it is worth nothing.

What might be the fruits of meditation--the concrete results that are so essential to its foundation? I do not think we need to consider this in terms necessarily of "action" as we might consider it, but in terms of "actions" as St. Thérèse might do so. A smile at someone you don't particularly care for, a helping hand where it might be easier not to lend assistance, a kind word, or a private word of warning where something is not going as it should. All of these things can be the fruit that should come from meditation. If meditation is more than memorization and an exercise of the imaginative faculties, it will always result in the desire, perhaps even the need, to do good for others.

You cannot dig very deeply into the word of God before it starts digging into you. It removes years of built up protections and exposes the heart for renewal. And a heart renewed is a heart rejoicing in the freedom to love in substantial ways. All prayer is about loving the Lord and entering into conversation with Him. One sign of the substantial effects of prayer is that one begins to engage in conversation with Christ in other people--people who show no signs whatsoever of knowing Christ reveal Him to those who are immersed in His word.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

To Celebrate This, Our Bloomsday*

An endorsement from his significant other:

from Ulysses "Penelope"
James Joyce

. . . and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and L thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will

Yes.

From Molly Bloom's monologue in which she makes the decision to stay with her rather staid and proper husband rather than run off with her lover. Some people need no excuse for a pint or two, but the celebration of a a marriage reaffirmed certainly seems to be one good reason.


*And a special one it is too. Bloomsday celebrates 16 June 1904, the day of the events of the Novel Ulysses. Named after the novelists protagonist, a Dublin Jew by the name of Leopold Bloom. As you can readily see, this is the 100th anniversary, although, because the book was published in 1922, and one assumes such celebrations did not start until afterwards, it is not the 100th such celebration. Nevertheless, a very cheery Bloomsday to you all.


And now, a word from Mr. Bloom himself:

from Ulysses "Eumaeus"
James Joyce

Preparatory to anything else Mr Bloom brushed off the greater bulk of the shavings and handed Stephen the hat and ashplant and bucked him up generally in orthodox Samaritan fashion which he very badly needed. His (Stephen's) mind was not exactly what you would call wandering but a bit unsteady and on his expressed desire for some beverage to drink Mr Bloom in view of the hour it was and there being no pump of Vartry water available for their ablutions let alone drinking purposes hit upon an expedient by suggesting, off the reel, the propriety of the cabman's shelter, as it was called, hardly a stonesthrow away near Butt bridge where they might hit upon some drinkables in the shape of a milk and soda or a mineral. But how to get there was the rub. For the nonce he was rather nonplussed but inasmuch as the duty plainly devolved upon him to take some measures on the subject he pondered suitable ways and means during which Stephen repeatedly yawned. So far as he could see he was rather pale in the face so that it occurred to him as highly advisable to get a conveyance of some description which would answer in their then condition, both of them being e.d.ed, particularly Stephen, always assuming that there was such a thing to be found. Accordingly after a few such preliminaries as brushing, in spite of his having forgotten to take up his rather soapsuddy handkerchief after it had done yeoman service in the shaving line, they both walked together along Beaver street or, more properly, lane as far as the farrier's and the distinctly fetid atmosphere of the livery stables at the corner of Montgomery street where they made tracks to the left from thence debouching into Amiens street round by the corner of Dan Bergin's. But as he confidently anticipated there was not a sign of a Jehu plying for hire anywhere to be seen except a fourwheeler, probably engaged by some fellows inside on the spree, outside the North Star hotel and there was no symptom of its budging a quarter of an inch when Mr Bloom, who was anything but a professional whistler, endeavoured to hail it by emitting a kind of a whistle, holding his arms arched over his head, twice.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Prayer Requests--16 June 2004--Wednesday Week 11 Ordinary Time

However, my dear friends, it could also be that the kingdom of God whose coming we daily wish for is Christ himself, since it is his coming that we long for. He is our resurrection, since we rise again in him; so too he can be thought of as the kingdom of God because we are to reign in him. And it is good that we pray for God's kingdom; for though it is a heavenly kingdom, it is also an earthly one. But those who have already renounced the world are made greater by holding positions of authority in that kingdom. Treatise on the Lord's Prayer--St. Cyprian.

Requests

Please continue to pray for Dylan

For Peony Moss's Grandmother, may she rest in peace; and for her family that in mourning this loss, they celebrate this renewal of life. (Suffrages for the repose of the soul of Ms. Moss's grandmother requested.)

For Franklin, Katherine, and family as they travel, for safety, comfort, peace, refreshment, and renewal.

For Linda against discouragement under difficult circumstances

For Chris K. who is undergoing experimental treatment for her cancer and who is in poor spirits (more deadly than the cancer).

For the respose of the soul of Alicia's Sister-in-Law and for peace and comfort for the family she leaves behind.

TSO request prayers for a friend Ham, who presently seems to be in difficult circumstances.

Prayers for Jeff Culbreath and the renewed success of his printing business.

For Brain Savio O'Connor, victim of conscience and Christian Witness in Saudi Arabia

For J.H., newly named regional coordinator for the East Central Florida Carmelites, that she may rise to the task and help to renew, refresh, and revive the order here.

For discernment for a good friend making an extremely difficult decision.

For Louis as he considers his options today.

A special request from two gentleman battling particularly troublesome and besetting sins for grace and help as they continue forward.

For Nathan who continues to struggle that he be granted the strength to endure and the serentity to accept God's all-loving embrace. May the Good Lord bless and keep him and lead him to the fullness of truth in which resides peace, love, and joy.

For Katherine and Franklin for special needs and for comfort, joy, and peace as they prepare for their trip across America. And for Katherine's Father that his heart and spirit may be gentled to receive fully the Lord of Life. For Katherine's mother in the hospital with CHF that the doctors are guided to the right course of action.

For my isolate Carmelite Brother and Sister in NY (Mr. and Mrs. O) one of whom is battling cancer, the other who has Parkinson's and has recently broken a bone, may God be with them in their trials and in their healing


For Christine, Gordon, Heather, and Ray as they set up house and get used to new surroundings.

For those struggling against self to attain holiness, that the Good Lord will raise up new Saints for our times, visible beacons that draw all people toward Christ.

For Father Joe who has left the active ministry of Priesthood after a number of difficult experiences, for discernment, strength, and a renewal of heart, mind, and spirit

For all those in the process of discerning vocations to the religious life, for guidance, prudence and good counsel

For our children, that they grow up in security, comfort, and the certain knowledge that they are loved and that they be released from any bonds of darkness, fear, anger, or sadness that bind and threaten them

For Amanda and the success of her book-designing business

For all those living under the curse of generational sins, that they may have protection and the inheritance of the past may be made void in their lives.

For all who are suffering from marital problems, most particularly those in our own families or communities, that the Lord may intervene and remind them that a marriage is of three persons.

For mothers and families that struggle with autism and autistic-related disabilities: particularly for M'Lynn, Melissa, Christine, and Betty.

For families that desire more children

For the conversion or return of spouses and loved ones to the Catholic Church, most particularly for Amanda's husband

For the men and women of the American Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families, may the Good Lord provide sustenance, support, compassion, and love that these separated families might continue to grow in strength and love.


Special Prayer Projects:


(1) Chris Keith, the young lady whose biopsy went poorly got the results of that biopsy--carcinoma of the liver. The cancer is metastatic from colon cancer. Surgery has taken place to treat the colon cancer.

I paraphrase her mother:

"We [members of the family] are standing on the Rock and are rock solid. We are all okay and we are looking for a few prayer warriors to help us in this battle." Because this mother means so much to me for the great good she has done for my friends, I plan to stand with her and her family in this battle, and I invite you all to join me. Expect to hear about this on and off over the next few months.

(2) For Katherine and Franklin, Janet and Louis, Peter Kucera, and for all who are seeking employment and suffering through difficult times as they wait.

(3)Healthy Pregnancies and good and safe deliveries: From Davey's Mom: I am with child once again and could use prayers for a healthy pregnancy. For Suki, for a healthy pregancy and a safe delivery. For JCecil3 and Wife. For Pansy Moss. For Mts. White and child. For Katherine and her friend Corren, both of whom are having difficult pregnancies. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, pray for us. Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

A very important request from a St. Blogs parishioner--"I found out recently that my friend's sister is pregnant for the fourth time. Her other three children have autism, and I know it would make her very, very happy to have a normal child." Please pray for this poor woman that she might have the joy of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy delivery and new infant. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, Pray for Us.
Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

Prideful Contours

The vast noise in my head alerts me to the fact that some of the discussion at Disputations have touched upon areas that I need to work on. It is incredible how resistant we can be to the truth when it comes too close to home. But when I begin to ask important questions I find that the answers according to my present way of thinking end up incoherent. Hence, it is my notion that must change once again.

Just when you think you have a handle on reality, someone goes and throws a wrench in it.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 12:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My Wants and Needs

You may be aware that I write a scriptural meditation that is posted elsewhere Thursday of each week. As I was composing this week's meditation, a thought occurred to me. The Gospel Reading for Thursday had a particularly provocative lilne, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." It followed in thought--He knows what I need better than I do myself.

I am confused between my wants and my needs. I want to be in union with God's will. Is that presently a need? It seems desirable in this world to be so, and it will ultimately be necessary to enjoy the beatific vision. But do I need that, or is that merely a desire on my part? Do I need the food I eat, or do I merely want it? I'm not speaking about sustaining life, but about eating as Americans tend to eat here and now--enough and more.

I do not know what I need, except ultimately I need God. I think that is called a remote need or perhaps a final need, if I understand the terminology. But what are the proximate needs or means to that end? I don't know.

And this not knowing is in come way culpable. I have not looked hard enough, nor have I spent enough time discerning what it is I need. I do not know the interior landscape so well as I thought I did, and perhaps I need some time wandering this howling waste to make out the contours--what gives life to desires, what calls me home to God. I do not know.

But what I do know about the matter is a great consolation. My Father knows what I need and if I humble myself before Him (and perhaps even if I don't) He will provide it. However, if I do humble myself before Him, I will begin to recognize what I need, embrace it, and live the life of joy that comes from true service and true alignment with God's will. So long as I continue in my prideful way, I will fail to see anything and continue not to be able to separate my needs from my wants--and this way is purgatory here and hereafter. Directionless, waffling, pushed by every minor breeze. And as a son of the Living God, I do not need to accept that fate. Instead I can claim my inheritance by relying upon His grace.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 09:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Debatable, But Interesting, Points

Father Redemptus Valabek raises some interesting points about the Liturgy of the Hours, about which I have some questions.

from Prayer Life in Carmel
Fr. Redemptus Valabek, O. Carm.

[quoting from St. Gregory the Great]

"When the sound of psalmody is guided by the heart's direction, the way for the Almighty to enter man's heart is being prepared, so that He is able to pour into the attentive mind either the mysteries of prophecy or the grace of compunction. Thus it is written: 'The sacrifice of praise will honor me, to him who walks on the right path, I shall show the salvation of God' (Ps 49:23). What 'salvation' means in Latin, 'Jesus' means in Hebrew. Therefore in the sacrifice of praise there is the path of revelation in Jesus because, since compunciton is roused by means of pslamody, the path to our heart is laid out for us, by which we are able to reach Jesus. He says this about his own Father. 'I too will love him and will manifest myself to him' (jn 14:21). And so it is written: 'Sing to God, make music to his name, build a road for the Rider of clouds; his name is Lord' (Ps 67:5). He who rides the clouds is He who by his resurrection trod death underfoot. When we sing we strew a path so that he may come into our hearts and inflame us with the grace of his love."

The interiorization of pslamody is an obligation for the follower of Jesus and follows on the prophetic dimension of his charism.

Lay aside for the moment the unclear antecedent in Fr. Valabek's gloss on the passage from St. Gregory, is the essence of what he has to say true?

Now, I assume the prophetic dimension of his charism, refers to Jesus' charism and not to the follower of Jesus. Does this necessitate the "interiorization of the psalmody?" And what precisely might be meant by "interiorization of the psalmody."

Perhaps Fr. Valabek wishes to suggest that is is a peculiarly Carmelite obligation to interiorize the psalmody. However, the passage says unambiguously, "for the follower of Jesus." This seems to suggest an obligation that transcends that of Carmelites.

Another question must be asked. Is Father Redemptus making this claim, or does his gloss suggest that St. Gregory makes this claim on the attention of Christians? I read in St. Gregory suggestions of the efficacy of this pursuit of prayer, but not overtones of its obligation for all.

Finally, in medieval times (and I may have my history of the rosary confused) the rosary arose in part as a substiture for the psalmody for "those who lacked letters." 150 Hail Mary's stood in place of the 150 psalms. If this interiorization of psalmody is really an obligation, is its spirit captured in the praying of the Rosary?

Just thought I'd ask in case others had some thoughts on the matter. I don't know quite what to think at the moment, because while I do pray the hours, I must wonder whether the psalmody is "interiorized."

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Prayer Requests 15 June 2004--Tuesday of Week 11, Ordinary Time

We go on to say, May your name be hallowed. It is not that we think to make God holy by our prayers; rather we are asking God that his name may be made holy in us. Indeed, how could God be made holy, he who is the source of holiness? Still, because he himself said: Be holy, for I am holy, we pray and beseech him that we who have been hallowed in baptism may perservere in what we have begun. And we pray for this every day, for we have need of daily santification; sinning every day, we cleanse our faults again and again by constant sanctification. Treatise on the Lord's Prayer, St. Cyprian.


Requests

Please continue to pray for Dylan

For Linda against discouragement under difficult circumstances

For Chris K. who is undergoing experimental treatment for her cancer and who is in poor spirits (more deadly than the cancer).

For the respose of the soul of Alicia's Sister-in-Law and for peace and comfort for the family she leaves behind.

TSO request prayers for a friend Ham, who presently seems to be in difficult circumstances.

Prayers for Jeff Culbreath and the renewed success of his printing business.

For Brain Savio O'Connor, victim of conscience and Christian Witness in Saudi Arabia

For J.H., newly named regional coordinator for the East Central Florida Carmelites, that she may rise to the task and help to renew, refresh, and revive the order here.

For discernment for a good friend making an extremely difficult decision.

For Louis as he considers his options today.

A special request from two gentleman battling particularly troublesome and besetting sins for grace and help as they continue forward.

For Nathan who continues to struggle that he be granted the strength to endure and the serentity to accept God's all-loving embrace. May the Good Lord bless and keep him and lead him to the fullness of truth in which resides peace, love, and joy.

For Katherine and Franklin for special needs and for comfort, joy, and peace as they prepare for their trip across America. And for Katherine's Father that his heart and spirit may be gentled to receive fully the Lord of Life. For Katherine's mother in the hospital with CHF that the doctors are guided to the right course of action.

For my isolate Carmelite Brother and Sister in NY (Mr. and Mrs. O) one of whom is battling cancer, the other who has Parkinson's and has recently broken a bone, may God be with them in their trials and in their healing


For Christine, Gordon, Heather, and Ray as they set up house and get used to new surroundings.

For those struggling against self to attain holiness, that the Good Lord will raise up new Saints for our times, visible beacons that draw all people toward Christ.

For Father Joe who has left the active ministry of Priesthood after a number of difficult experiences, for discernment, strength, and a renewal of heart, mind, and spirit

For all those in the process of discerning vocations to the religious life, for guidance, prudence and good counsel

For our children, that they grow up in security, comfort, and the certain knowledge that they are loved and that they be released from any bonds of darkness, fear, anger, or sadness that bind and threaten them

For Amanda and the success of her book-designing business

For all those living under the curse of generational sins, that they may have protection and the inheritance of the past may be made void in their lives.

For all who are suffering from marital problems, most particularly those in our own families or communities, that the Lord may intervene and remind them that a marriage is of three persons.

For mothers and families that struggle with autism and autistic-related disabilities: particularly for M'Lynn, Melissa, Christine, and Betty.

For families that desire more children

For the conversion or return of spouses and loved ones to the Catholic Church, most particularly for Amanda's husband

For the men and women of the American Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families, may the Good Lord provide sustenance, support, compassion, and love that these separated families might continue to grow in strength and love.


Special Prayer Projects:


(1) Chris Keith, the young lady whose biopsy went poorly got the results of that biopsy--carcinoma of the liver. The cancer is metastatic from colon cancer. Surgery has taken place to treat the colon cancer.

I paraphrase her mother:

"We [members of the family] are standing on the Rock and are rock solid. We are all okay and we are looking for a few prayer warriors to help us in this battle." Because this mother means so much to me for the great good she has done for my friends, I plan to stand with her and her family in this battle, and I invite you all to join me. Expect to hear about this on and off over the next few months.

(2) For Katherine and Franklin, Janet and Louis, Peter Kucera, and for all who are seeking employment and suffering through difficult times as they wait.

(3)Healthy Pregnancies and good and safe deliveries: From Davey's Mom: I am with child once again and could use prayers for a healthy pregnancy. For Suki, for a healthy pregancy and a safe delivery. For JCecil3 and Wife. For Pansy Moss. For Mts. White and child. For Katherine and her friend Corren, both of whom are having difficult pregnancies. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, pray for us. Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

A very important request from a St. Blogs parishioner--"I found out recently that my friend's sister is pregnant for the fourth time. Her other three children have autism, and I know it would make her very, very happy to have a normal child." Please pray for this poor woman that she might have the joy of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy delivery and new infant. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, Pray for Us.
Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 14, 2004

Now Wasn't THIS Worth Finding Out

FFancy
LLight
OOdd
SSkillful
 
CCuddly
AAppreciative
RRefreshing
MMasculine
EExquisite
LLazy
IInspirational

Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com


Haven't posted a quiz result in some time. This one comes secondarily from Smockmomma at Summa Mamas. I thought the conjoining of lazy and inspirational not only captured the spirit of the blog but the essence of my life.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Carmelite Spirituality and Its Application to Wider Christian Life

The following is an excerpt from De Institutione Monachorum a text that attempted to trace the lineage of the Carmelite family to monks living on Mount Carmel from the time of the Prophet Elijah.

from Prayer Life in Carmel
Fr. Redemptus Valebek O. Carm

"There is a two-fold end. One end we are able to attain by our own efforts by the practice of virtue and with the aid of divine grace. It consists in offering God a holy heart free from all actual stain of sin. This end is reached when one is perfect and in Carith, that is, hidden in that charity about which the Wise man wrote: 'Charity covers a multitude of sins' (Prov 10:12). And because the Lord wished that Elias reach this end he told him: 'Hide in the torrent of Carith.' The other end of this life is bestowed on us as a pure gift of God. It consists in tasting somewhat in our hearts and experiencing in our minds, not only after death, but already in this life, the power of God's presence and the pleasantness of heavenly glory. This is to drink of the torrent of God's delights, and this is what was promised Elias by God with the words: "'There you will drink of the torrent.'

I quote this because, while it is from a classic of Carmelite spirituality, the words of this particular passage are universal. They don't speak so much as a method or a way of getting to the two ends as to what the ends are in themselves.

Simply spoken the author here says that there are two endplaces in prayer. We get to the one through our efforts aided by grace. But to the other we are summoned by the word of the King of Heaven. There is no way to merit this or to earn it through our works. It is grace freely given and not necessarily reserved for the few, though in actuality few actually attain it.

But I think the comparison here is useful. God's love is a torrent. Within its raging powerful stream, nothing that we have set up against Him can stand. Nothing of human construction could possibly endure the torrent of His love. To be exposed to it unprepared would be to be ripped apart.

This is one of the reasons careful preparation is so necessary. This is one of the reasons why all of the great saints seem to recommend some way of stripping oneself of all of the fragile human constructs of self. If, ultimately, we are to place ourselves in the way of God's love, it had better be in a streamlined way, with as little obstruction as possible. Even when we approach in this simplified way, the transition is tremendously difficult and painful to our human senses.

St. John of the Cross recommends detachment from all things as prepatory to this state. Others may recommend other ways of approach, although they all seem to amount to the same thing--become simple and single-hearted. We have powerful but simple means of accomplishing this task--Prayer, the sacraments, and surrendering our wills to His own.

A torrent will wash away and purify everything that cannot stand in His presence. It will prepare a person for living God's will in a way that will save souls, not only the soul of the person involved, but the souls of all those who can be touched in any way by the person. This is our great end--to participate actiively in the salvation of souls and to live in the torrent of God's love. These ends are intimately linked. We cannot live in the torrent of His love if we do not love those who are around us--and what is the point of love if it is not the desire to see each soul live eternal life in God?

Posted by Steven Riddle at 07:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reviewing Kill Bill Part I

If you care to take a look, I posted some thoughts--not particularly deep, nor particularly informative on this fill over at Popcorn Critics

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Presenting Samuel as Tom Thumb

Samuel was in his first dance recital this weekend and it was enough to swell this father's heart with pride. He played Tom Thumb, and started out onstage alone. I had watched for weeks as they practiced this and it had never occurred to me that in the actual fact of the matter, he would be all alone. Here's a little six year old on the stage with a thousand people watching. All sympathetic, of course, but nevertheless, what an experience it must have been for him.

He did well, remarkably well considering his class of little girls, all darling and sweet didn't seem to know what to do. He had to lift each one and hurry them off the stage and they nearly got out with the last of the music. It was hilarious and touching all at once.

Afterwards, Samuel was pumped, he had really enjoyed it and was looking forward to doing it again. Next year he will do both ballet and tap. He's really looking forward to the tap. He wants to do Riverdance (which is hard to find teachers for). So we'll start with American tap. Whatever it is, it's a workout and so much more in line with what I want for small children than most martial arts practice. Eventually, we'll probably get to that as well. But only after he has the maturity to discern when to practice and how. Right now, he's just a bit too young for it (and perhaps a bit too enthusiastic). One thing at a time.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Prayer Requests Monday, 14 June 2004, 11th in Ordinary Time

God is then the teacher of harmony, peace and unity, and desires each of us to pray for all men, even as he bore all men in himself alone. The three young men shut up in the furnace of fire observed this rule of prayer. United in the bond of the Spirit they uttered together the same prayer. The witness of holy Scripture describes this incident for us, so that we might imitate them in our prayer. Then all three began to sing in unison, blessing God. Even though Christ had not yet taught them to pray, nevertheless, they spoke as with one voice.

It is for this reason that their prayer was persusive and efficacious. For their simple and spiritual prayer of peace merited the presence of the Lord.

Requests

Please continue to pray for Dylan

For Chris K. who is undergoing experimental treatment for her cancer and who is in poor spirits (more deadly than the cancer).

For the respose of the soul of Alicia's Sister-in-Law and for peace and comfort for the family she leaves behind.

TSO request prayers for a friend Ham, who presently seems to be in difficult circumstances.

Prayers for Jeff Culbreath and the renewed success of his printing business.

For Brain Savio O'Connor, victim of conscience and Christian Witness in Saudi Arabia

For J.H., newly named regional coordinator for the East Central Florida Carmelites, that she may rise to the task and help to renew, refresh, and revive the order here.

For discernment for a good friend making an extremely difficult decision.

For Louis as he interviews today for a position.

A special request from two gentleman battling particularly troublesome and besetting sins for grace and help as they continue forward.

For Nathan who continues to struggle that he be granted the strength to endure and the serentity to accept God's all-loving embrace. May the Good Lord bless and keep him and lead him to the fullness of truth in which resides peace, love, and joy.

For Katherine and Franklin for special needs and for comfort, joy, and peace as they prepare for their trip across America. And for Katherine's Father that his heart and spirit may be gentled to receive fully the Lord of Life. For Katherine's mother in the hospital with CHF that the doctors are guided to the right course of action.

For my isolate Carmelite Brother and Sister in NY (Mr. and Mrs. O) one of whom is battling cancer, the other who has Parkinson's and has recently broken a bone, may God be with them in their trials and in their healing


For Christine, Gordon, Heather, and Ray as they set up house and get used to new surroundings.

For those struggling against self to attain holiness, that the Good Lord will raise up new Saints for our times, visible beacons that draw all people toward Christ.

For Father Joe who has left the active ministry of Priesthood after a number of difficult experiences, for discernment, strength, and a renewal of heart, mind, and spirit

For all those in the process of discerning vocations to the religious life, for guidance, prudence and good counsel

For our children, that they grow up in security, comfort, and the certain knowledge that they are loved and that they be released from any bonds of darkness, fear, anger, or sadness that bind and threaten them

For Amanda and the success of her book-designing business

For all those living under the curse of generational sins, that they may have protection and the inheritance of the past may be made void in their lives.

For all who are suffering from marital problems, most particularly those in our own families or communities, that the Lord may intervene and remind them that a marriage is of three persons.

For mothers and families that struggle with autism and autistic-related disabilities: particularly for M'Lynn, Melissa, Christine, and Betty.

For families that desire more children

For the conversion or return of spouses and loved ones to the Catholic Church, most particularly for Amanda's husband

For the men and women of the American Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families, may the Good Lord provide sustenance, support, compassion, and love that these separated families might continue to grow in strength and love.


Special Prayer Projects:


(1) Chris Keith, the young lady whose biopsy went poorly got the results of that biopsy--carcinoma of the liver. The cancer is metastatic from colon cancer. Surgery has taken place to treat the colon cancer.

I paraphrase her mother:

"We [members of the family] are standing on the Rock and are rock solid. We are all okay and we are looking for a few prayer warriors to help us in this battle." Because this mother means so much to me for the great good she has done for my friends, I plan to stand with her and her family in this battle, and I invite you all to join me. Expect to hear about this on and off over the next few months.

(2) For Katherine and Franklin, Janet and Louis, Peter Kucera, and for all who are seeking employment and suffering through difficult times as they wait.

(3)Healthy Pregnancies and good and safe deliveries: From Davey's Mom: I am with child once again and could use prayers for a healthy pregnancy. For Suki, for a healthy pregancy and a safe delivery. For JCecil3 and Wife. For Pansy Moss. For Mts. White and child. For Katherine and her friend Corren, both of whom are having difficult pregnancies. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, pray for us. Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

A very important request from a St. Blogs parishioner--"I found out recently that my friend's sister is pregnant for the fourth time. Her other three children have autism, and I know it would make her very, very happy to have a normal child." Please pray for this poor woman that she might have the joy of a healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy delivery and new infant. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Gerard Majella, Pray for Us.
Blessed Gianna, pray for us.

Posted by Steven Riddle at 06:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack