Lazy, Hazy, Crazy

Lazy Hazy Crazy

 

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” This song by the famous Nat King Cole has been on my mind lately.  The three adjectives, lazy, hazy and crazy are pretty good descriptors of my summer so far. Yesterday was the feast day of Mary Magdalen. As I contemplated her inspirational life it seemed to me that crazy, hazy and lazy, were fairly good descriptors of her life too.

Crazy: Mary’s life surely was crazy for she was possessed by seven demons! Luke tells us in 8:2 that Jesus came and freed her from this satanic bondage. After her liberation she becomes one of Jesus’ most devoted disciples.

Hazy: Things become cloudy and confusing for Mary Magdalen and all of Jesus followers when their leader is arrested, beaten and killed. Most run away and hide. Even though Mary did not fully understand, she remains faithful, staying with her crucified Lord, even to his burial site.

Lazy? No way! Who got up early in the morning while it was still dark to go to Jesus’ tomb? Who ran to tell apostles the good news that Jesus was risen? Mary was not slothful, but a passionate, fervent follower of Jesus.

Mary of Magdala, please pray with us:

Lord, help us to turn to you for strength, especially when things get crazy. Help us to trust in you when things get hazy and confusing. And Lord, help us to love and serve you with a passionate heart, full of energy and zeal, just as Mary did.

Amen.

Mary Magdalen

 

Afraid of the Dark

Afraid of the Dark

The words “the Boogie Man will get you” terrified me as a child. This was one of the many fictitious reasons I was afraid of the dark. Along with the imaginary witches in my closet, the werewolves outside my window, and the monsters under my bed.

I combated my fear of the dark by keeping my bedroom door open and making sure the hall and bathroom lights were on when I went to bed.  But the lights did not stay on long…my money conscious parents always turned them off.

My fear of the dark continued into young adulthood. This time my reasons were valid. I knew the crime rate escalated at night. I had read the scripture passage that speaks about how “people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil” (John 3:19) and I did not want any part of that! It was in these young adult years that I was horrified to discover that there was another kind of darkness…an emotional darkness; a black depression that wanted to smother me. And leaving the lights on did not work, for this darkness lasted through the night AND the day.

I learned that the way to combat my dark fears was to call upon the True Light. For it says in Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?” And Paul encourages us in Romans 13:12 to “throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” For “light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:9. This Eternal Radiance has brightened my soul way more than I could ever begin to describe.

And as the famous song says…I’m not gonna put it under a bushel! NO!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine,
Let it SHINE!

Let it Shine

 

Eight. Sick. Severe.

Home sick

I was eight. I was sick. It was severe. I had all the classic symptoms. Distress, sadness, anxiety, and most prominently the shedding of endless tears. It went on day after day after day. The diagnosis? Homesickness. It was my first time to attend summer camp and I was not enjoying it at all. Neither was my big sister who was a camp counselor. I had thoroughly embarrassed her.

Fast forward a handful of decades, and here I am still at summer camp! (I eventually got over my homesickness and kept going to camp.) As an adult camp worker, I can tell you that homesickness is still alive and well. In matter of fact homesickness has been around for a long time. The Old Testament speaks of the sadness that the Israelites felt who had been exiled from their home.  “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” Psalm 137:1

That sadness, that wistful yearning is in us all. We all long (whether we realize it or not) to go back. Back to our true dwelling place. Back to our place of highest joy.  Back to our place of total fulfillment.  Our home in heaven. A place that has no sickness or tears. A place of perfect contentment and infinite joy. A place where we will be united with our big family-the family of God. And of course…it is a place that I won’t embarrass my big sister.

TALKING FEET

Talking Feet

My feet talk to me.
They do that a lot now that I am getting older.
They chatter about Big Thicket hikes,
jumping volleyball spikes,
and running games of tag.

The phalanges yak about
hopscotch,
sprinting bases,
and glacier assents.

The tarsals and metatarsals recall
when life was strong and fast and free.
Each and every movement-memory
is carefully filed away between the bones.

My timeworn feet rejoice
when God puts a spring in their step,
and a giddy-up in their gallop.
They sing when I waltz with my husband
and they giggle when sand settles between their toes.
My feet thank their Maker.

My feet also recount the feet of a man
who walked on a rocky road to a place known as “The Skull.”
It was a bloody death march,
made by Christ
out of love for his brothers and sisters.

His holy feet were punctured with nails
onto the wood of the cross.
He didn’t just talk the talk,
but he walked THE WALK!

And though the path is painful,
I choose to follow
His feet.

Feet walking on rocks

 

I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN An Ascension Reflection

Ascension

When I became a young adult and moved away from home, a visit back to spend time with my parents was a favorite trip of mine. The unconditional love I received along with the yummy homemade food made it hard to leave. I yearned to stay longer and would often delay my parting. Nevertheless, I treasured the way my parents said goodbye when it finally was time for me to go. It was simple and sweet. They would walk me outside, give I-love-you hugs by my car, and as I backed out of the driveway and headed down the street, they would stand there watching and waving. As I looked in my review mirror far down the road, their now tiny silhouettes would still be there- watching and looking.

I now find myself doing the same thing when our grown children leave from a visit home. I stand there watching and waving as they drive away. Happy for the time that we had together, and longing for when we will see each other again.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, I imagine that the apostles had those same feelings. The presence of their loved one was gone and there must have been an emptiness. They looked intently as he departed, longing to keep that connection with him. Gazing and wondering if they would see him again. The apostles’ desire…my desire…your desire is fulfilled in Jesus’ promise. He says “I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22.

Let us pray:

God our Father, make us joyful in the ascension of your Son Jesus Christ. May we follow him into the new creation, for his ascension is our glory and our hope. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal

My Guest Blogger is Dead

Brother Jacopone da Todi
I  am in a writing slump, so a guest blogger is filling in. Only problem is—he’s dead. Good thing he left behind some of his writings!

Brother Jacopone Da Todi, died in 1306. He was a Franciscan poet and mystic. He would not know what a blog is – much less a computer. But he did know how to write profound words about God’s love. With “permission” (obtained through prayer) Brother Jacopone is the guest blogger today! You can find out more about this holy writer by clicking on the link at the end of this blog.

 

O SWEET LOVE,
CATCH ME IN YOUR HOOK
LIKE A FISH THAT CANNOT GET AWAY-
DO NOT SPARE ME:
I LONG TO DIE DROWNED IN YOUR LOVE.

And here are some excerpts from another one.
Please note: Words in ( ) are my addition.

O LOVE…DIVINE LOVE
YOU…(HAVE) A FRENZY OF LOVE FOR ME…
I SEE LOVE
PAINTED IN EVERY FORM AND COLOR
INVITING ME TO COME TO YOU, TO DWELL IN YOU…
I SENSE YOU IN ALL CREATION…

(YET) I FLEE FROM YOU,
AFRAID TO GIVE YOU MY HEART
I CEASE TO BE ME AND CAN NO LONGER FIND MYSELF…

(BUT) YOU, O CRUCIFIED CHRIST,
TAKE POSSESSION OF ME,
DRAWING ME OUT OF THE SEA TO THE SHORE;
THERE I SUFFER TO SEE YOUR WOUNDED HEART.

WHY DID YOU ENDURE THE PAIN?
SO THAT I MIGHT BE HEALED,
(AND KNOW…A) LOVE
WITHOUT LIMITS.

Blog on Brother, blog on!
If you want to learn more about this amazing writer click here: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/blessed-jacopone-da-todi/

 

 

What Hurt More?

Crown of Thorns WHAT HURT MORE

What hurt more my Lord?
Having the leather whip scream through the air, repeatedly slicing open your back?
Or hearing the crowd scream to release Barabbas instead of you?

What hurt more?
Having your skull pierced with ridiculously large thorns?
Or having the soldiers ridicule and mock you saying “Hail, King of the Jews?”

What hurt more?
Falling on the rocky road with the heavy cross pinning you down?
Or people falling in line along the path to look down at you-like you were some sick form of entertainment for them?

What hurt more?
Nails being pounded into your hands and feet?
Or the pounding of your disciple’s feet as they ran away in fear and abandoned you?

Jesus’ response to all those hurts-and many more hurts-were the merciful words he spoke on the cross before dying for us…”Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Let us pray:
Dear Lord, I am sorry for hurting you. Thank you for your merciful forgiveness. Please help me to love like you. Amen