Tears Today

For months I did my own personal study on tears, because I was crying everyday for various reasons, mostly for other people. Not really knowing what would come of it, I began journaling my experience and realized that my tears for others and tears for my family were a form of contemplative prayer for them. I confided in a priest, telling her that I was crying a lot and, for example, I wept over the story of Jesus learning that his beloved friend, John the Baptist, was beheaded. I wept for John and I wept for Jesus. The priest just blinked at me and she said, “but weeping for someone is not doing anything to help them.” I said “surely my weeping is felt in heaven and my tears are cast upwards as a prayer and shed back down to earth as a blessing of love for whom I am weeping.” I said this in so many words, and as I spoke I realized for the first time that my weeping was prayer. These days when all we CAN do is pray and weep, surely our tears are blessed. It is OK to cry. Tears heal us in so many ways. They are a prayer for your people and a blessing for you. .

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The book of First Kings

I have no authority to teach you, these are only my own contemplative thoughts. You might disagree and that’s OK. .

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So they wanted a king, eh? Ok, give them a king.

And so, the Israelites got their wish. They rejected God as their king and asked for a human king. These human kings committed mistake after mistake(because they are not perfect), and it made me want to pull my hair out reading both first kings and second kings, because these guys witnessed some of God’s greatest miracles but then would reject God soon after. How could they do this?

It would be so easy and here’s why, and this is where my philosophy comes in: this ‘world’ is a heavy place—literally we are pulled by its gravity, held captive by it in many ways. We are getting heavy doses of worldly, secular stuff every day which keeps us tangled and confused. God will hand us a miracle today, but tomorrow we forget when someone cuts us off or a neighbor does something irritating. This is why the journey with God, completely and wholly without influence from the world—the place btw that lives and breaths around us and where most of us only see with our human eyes and the place we must move in daily—can be so difficult. We must try to see beyond the cloudy ether of this world. So, I almost sympathize with the terrible kings in these books, I too have been like them. The way with God is a way of constant discipline and much praying in silence to sometimes only receive silence in return. However, I think the key to setting ourselves free from worldly captivity is to establish a routine where we spend some time with God each day. Designating a time for you and God to be together, have coffee, talk, contemplate, just think about Him each day ( but try not to leave him completely behind, let Him remain in the back of your mind, carry Him with you) and watch the miracles unfold. At the very least (which is everything) it will lead you on the path to His gift of inner peace and joy. You’ll see. 🙂

The a story of a Soul by Saint Therese of Lisieux

The Story of a Soul was written by Saint Therese of Lisieux before her death in 1897 at 24 years of age. In it she talks about her “little way” of doing everything with great love. After she died this memoir was passed from hand to hand from priests to nuns and even the Pope, and was eventually published. It was a great read for anyone interested in her. She writes that she will send flowers from heaven (blessings) to anyone who prays for her. She is one of the only Saints to be photographed and one of the only doctors of the church because of her “little way”, an obtainable path toward virtue for all. She is very special to me.

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The Gospel according to Mark

Is it wrong to say I found the book of Mark a little dry? It is wonderful to have the stories of Jesus told to us several different ways through the Gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew, but I have in my notes from a year ago that I thought it was the driest version of Jesus’ ministry on earth. When I researched this a bit I learned that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark who was not a close follower of Jesus but who hung around Peter and sort of wrote down Jesus’ story through what Peter (an apostle) had to say about Jesus. It is the shortest of the gospels (which basically means, the good news), and the first. Mark’s gospel, some say, was meant to remember verbatim in order to recite or to use as a sermon, which explains its dry, straightforward quality. Which makes this post equally dry and straightforward. I put a link to the video I watched about this in my bio. I find this scholarly stuff really interesting. If any of this information is incorrect, I apologize, as it was gathered from the video. 🙂

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The book of Samuel

I have no authority to teach you. You might disagree and that’s ok.

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“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” -1 Samuel 17:28

This is David’s brother speaking to him. No one knows anything of our hearts except God. We don’t know much of David at this point, but we know the sound of anger and probably jealousy in his brother’s voice, because David answers with, “Now what have I done?” David, however, does not let criticism stop him, he keeps on with his plan to follow God’s voice. People will always put intent on your motives, but you mustn’t get downhearted, especially when you know in your heart they are wrong. Only you and God can see your innerworkings and all your life up to this point. People will always judge you from the outside, but God looks within. I will add that it is the same for God, we mustn’t judge God based on another’s human interpretation. Even me, if I have ever said an untruth, I would beg someone to correct me, and I hope I would react with humility. We, you, know instinctively the truth of God’s word because His word lives in you and your soul will feel synchronized when you hear and see something that has pure God in it. So, follow this and let no one stop you from being your true good self and doing what you know is right. Remember, God is love. That is ALL.

‘Backpacking’ with Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cevennes Journals

Finished this yesterday. Sometimes an unread book on my shelf will call me, and I know that I am meant to read it then and there. This is one of those books. The Cevennes Journal of Robert Louis Stevenson is the elongated version of Travels with a Donkey. The editors here have let all of Stevenson’s omitted texts remain, so you get a better sense of his journey and thoughts all around. If you don’t like travel essays read it for the anecdotes of his donkey. The relationship with his travel donkey Modestine is hilariously tragic.

The trail he took is a well known backpacking trail now in France (I have tagged its location for you above). I would love to hike this trail someday but for now, in the Spring my husband will take us backpacking up north for a weekend. So this book was a good way to train myself to write travel essays as I would like to journal our hike. In the back of this book the editors have published all of Stevenson’s original notes to himself. Notes that would later tie into his essays. Quick glimpses such as, “children singing on path,” or “lady with enormous hat,” would eventually be added into his essays in great detail once he had a moment to rest. Brilliant! .

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