Monday, November 21, 2011

As Simple as a Fawn on the Path

It's as simple as a fawn on the path.

Friday evening, I was hanging out with friends in Trinity, watching "Tarzan." Well, after a little bit, one of my dear brothers came along and asked me to leave and pray evening prayer with him. So the two of us ventured out into dark night, heading towards the Marian Grotto (which is behind the Portiuncula/perpetual Adoration chapel). It was very dark at the Grotto, so we were unable to see the breviary's words. So I suggested that we walk back to the Nativity scene (which is right next to the Port), where it was lit. Jacob and I began slowly walking that way, when he stopped me. "Look-at the Stations of the Cross." Now, the outdoor Stations of the Cross begin next to the Nativity scene, and wrap down the hill in the wooded edge of campus, by way of a little path. There, at the beginning of the stations, was a young fawn. It stood there, about 15 feet away from us, looking at us. The scene was so peaceful, so calm and still. Then, the fawn took a couple steps down the pathway of the Stations, stopped, and looked at us again. After a few moments, it peacefully scampered down the pathway of the Stations of the Cross.

What a simple, beautiful lesson about life! The fawn, so innocent and peaceful, on the Way of the Cross. Christ was innocent and peaceful as He suffered, walking along the pathway to Calvary. In all of His struggles and sorrows, He had a peaceful calm, lifting everything up to God. This little fawn, in all of its innocence and peace, going along on the Way of the Cross. God calls us to emulate this little fawn, to imitate His Son. Sufferings and struggles will come; we must cling to God, offer everything to Him, and journey on the Way of the Cross peacefully, with love.
A simple lesson, and so vital for life.

Lord Jesus Crucified, have mercy on us!

P.S. I want to give a shout-out to a friend of mine, who writes an EXCELLENT blog that discusses spiritual and life lessons found in His creation (specifically deer), which I HIGHLY recommend--in fact, this friend is who inspired me to write this post when I saw the fawn! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wisdom from a Wicked Queen?

I typically do not watch television shows. When I'm home, I'll watch a little bit of the Food Network with my family. And I watch the occasional anime every once in a while. But one of my friends has introduced me to a new television show, which I am quite addicted to: Once Upon a Time.
This show has reams of pro-life messages, which make me very overjoyed :) And it is all about fairy tales! I love fairy tales! As I watch this show, I don't just become enthralled with the fairy tale characters; I love the bits of wisdom and truth in the dialogue throughout the show. And I was slammed with the quote from the wicked queen in a recent episode:

“In order for something to grow, it needs roots.”

Whoa. Seriously? An occasion of a bad character spouting out a bit of wisdom and truth (which totally works, 'cause we're all striving for truth).
We need to have roots, and we need to be growing. So many times, it can be easy to sit back and expect God to do everything while we sit in our sinful lives. We've all done it; we live in sin (because, well, we're human and imperfect and weak and fail time and time again....) but then expect God to constantly come at us with an overpowering "Conference Conversion" experience, which then perpetuates us onto a "Jesus high" that lasts for a little while, before we fall back into sin and bad habits. It happens. I've done it; I still do it. 

And I can't stand it!
God works in amazing conversion experiences, which is fantastic! However, He does not call us to conversion to simply have us live a "Jesus high, all sunshine and roses" life, until the honeymoon stage wears off and we fall away again. No, God calls us to relationship. And relationships require foundations; roots. If our relationship with God does not have a solidly rooted foundation, the flower of our spiritual life can wither and fade away, and be crushed by the exterior elements. But if our relationship with God is rooted in deep prayer, sacraments, Tradition, Truth, and Love, we will have a strong foundation on which to continually build our relationship. The strong roots will hold the flower of our life, so that we can continually grow into beautiful flowers for God's garden!

In order to grow, you must get deeper into the soil and be rooted; rooted strongly in God. Creating a strong foundation that will withstand the exterior temptations, hardships, and sorrows.
Be rooted and grow always closer to Him!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wake up and Smell the Flowers!

I pray that the peace of Christ finds you all doing wonderful today!

I am LOVING being back at school; the All Saints break was extremely blessed and fantastic, but it is so nice returning to classes, campus life, and all of my beloved brothers and sisters on campus :)

This weekend was really wonderful, though! I LOVE roadtrips, and 8 hours to Brooklyn is a nice length. We arrived at the Monastery at 1ish a.m. Saturday morning, so I was extremely sleep-deprived on Saturday. Actually, the whole break was pretty exhausting, because it was SO INTENSE, but it was fantastic!

Basically, this retreat is like a "Pro Life Boot Camp" of sorts. Msgr. Reilly went through the origins of both the pro-life and pro-abortion movements, he taught us how to counsel the women at the clinic, he taught us how to BE at the clinic (when we go to the facility, we are joining with Mary and John at Calvary. We should not be seeking to be seen, rather, we must be present and PRAYERFUL and peaceful. We make small circles, facing inward, up and down the sidewalks near the clinic, intensely in prayer the whole time. In fact, we should not even know, as prayer warriors, if any women are coming or going. That's for the sidewalk counselors to know.).

On this retreat, Msgr. Reilly kept bringing back a constant command: "Wake up and smell the flowers!" We have grown so lax in our culture and in our lives, and we need to WAKE UP and see the issue of abortion! There have been, according to the government, 400 ABORTIONS IN CHINA! We must be going to the facilities, praying NOT TO SAVE BABIES, BUT TO SAVE SOULS!

This retreat of epicness was held at Precious Blood Monastery in Brooklyn; there are 4 cloistered nuns (there used to be more, but they are dying off and passing into Heaven), and Msgr. Reilly is their chaplain.

Msgr. Reilly. OH. MY. GOODNESS! He's a SAINT!!!!!

This man has been around since the VERY BEGINNING of the Pro-Life movement; he was at the 1st prayerful protest in front of an abortion facility; he was a key organizer in the 1st March for Life, and he continues to go all around the world (he's been to 5 continents multiple times) spreading the pro-life message, especially with the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, an incorporated group that he started. Oh yeah. And he kind of knows everyone. As in, he was really good friends with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he is friends with Fr. Benedict Groeschel (he calls the friars "Benny's Boys"), he knows the Pope, he knew Catherine Doherty, Dorothy Day....he recently returned from South Korea, where he had been meeting with the president there; Msgr. was at the 1st World Youth Day...basically, Msgr. Reilly is AWESOME! And he's so holy; so humble, so loving, so gentle. So I consider myself extremely blessed to have gone on this retreat! I could write on and on and on about all of the things that I learned on the retreat, but I have to run to Confession in a few minutes. So, I shall leave a few quotations from Msgr. Reilly, and I encourage all of you to look up the website ( Enjoy!

"Knowledge is a gift from God to help you live wisely."
"God is love. He NEVER stopped loving you!" (especially used when talking to women post-abortion)
"You can't understand the creature properly apart from the Creator."
"An action should follow being."
"Roe v. Wade was not only the death knell for the unborn, but it was the end of Western Civilization, whose culture was founded on belief in God as Creator and was rooted in the principles of Judaic and Christian ethics. By that decision the quality of a person's life now became the absolute value, while ones right to life became relative to the quality of one's life as determined by others."
"A world without wisdom will perish."
"We are the clay, not the potter!"
"Everything works unto good in God's economy."
"If good people will do nothing, eventually we will all be enslaved."
"There is a joy and a mystery and childlike simplicity in living in the Providence of God. There is a great joy and a SUPRISE every day!"
"Don't be preoccupied with the devil. He's only a creature. Be careful--he['ll eat you up and spit you out! God has overcome the devil, death, and sin!"
"Glory should be given to God, not to you."

Now wake up and smell the flowers! Take a prayerful stand for life!