Thursday, January 19, 2017

Father Wound

I share to help... While visiting my parents for Christmas I struggled to get along with my dad. He was not doing anything to trigger my anger. 
The past still lives in me and just being around him can stir up anger. 
When I arrived he got up to greet me with a big smile on his face. He gave me a big hug and kissed me on my cheek. The kiss still catches me off guard. 
As we sat after I unpacked he told me a couple times how happy he was to have there.
Over the next few days he told me again how happy he was to have me there.
We went out to dinner one night and he told me that my relationship with him is one of the most important things in his life. Relationship...we have a relationship.
When he says these things to me I feel a mixture of anger and a numbness.
 Instead of allowing his love into my heart my defenses go up.
The last day I was there I told my mom how difficult it is for my to even look at him sometimes.
The morning i left I sat down to put on my shoes and my mom spoke what I needed to have spoken to my heart.
She told me that she got upset with my granddad once when my grandma was ill and my grandma asked her "what do you want from him?" This hit me hard. I had written the same question in my journal the night before.
What do I want from him? I want the relationship I have with my mom to be the relationship I have with him. I want him to be who I want him to be rather then being happy with who he is. He told me once that he never tried to change me. He always accepted me. This is a truth that I am just now starting to see clearly.
She then said " I hope you do not spend the rest of your life trying to get something out of him he can not give you." She began to cry as did I. Cry for both my dad and I. Cry over an imperfect loving father who does the best he can and it's not good enough. Cry over a son who lives always wanting more. Always disappointed. Angry because my dad is imperfect.
In hindsight, I see the immaturity in my behavior. Giving one word answers when he tries to talk to me. Being cold. Helping him begrudgingly. Withholding my love and affection. Punishing him for the past.
A few years ago I prayed and asked God to fix the relationship with my dad. Since then my father shows me the affection I always wanted to receive from him but he didn't know how to give and I didn't know how to recognize or receive. He tells me he loves me. He tells me he's proud of me as a son. He's proud of the man that I am.
Accepting my dad as he is is a life altering concept. If I accept him as he is I think I will better accept myself as I am and others as they are.
Thank you Lord for all you are doing to heal me and my dad. Thank You for speaking through my mother. Thank You for teaching me to love and receive love. Keep our hearts open. I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ's holy name, AMEN!



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sanctify Yourself

"Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society"- St. Francis of Assisi
"Pope John Paul 2 challenges us to consider "since baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of His spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity...'Do you wish to become holy?' It means to set before you the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount: 'Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect' (Mat 5:48)."

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hard Headed

"Soft-heartedness does not excuse soft-headedness, and hard-headedness does not excuse hard-heartedness."-Peter Kreeft

Friday, December 16, 2016

Today's Calling

It is very easy to get distracted by what God has in store for us in the future. Many us seeking to live out our vocational calling wonder about the priesthood and religious life. It's come to my attention recently that the future and the past distract us from the present.
The devil loves to lead us into the past and future . He knows Jesus is here with us now. If we are looking forward or backward we miss so much.
I will be with my family for Christmas. It's very easy for me to set my eye on that trip and just ignore the tasks and callings of the day.
Lord Jesus help me to focus on the present. Help me to participate in the present rather then anticipate the future or morn the past.
Amen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Carrying the Wounded in Battle

In battle I support my brothers and sisters as the arms of Moses were supported.
Upholding them as Moses was upheld.
I bring those wounded in battle to You Lord,
on a mat of prayer,
as I limp along wounded myself.
Lord help us to be Aaron and Hur for each other.
Amen
(Lk 5:19, Ex. 17:12)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

So Much Suffering

I have a friend who is a Benedictine monk. When I first met him we were talking and he said to me "there is so much suffering in the world". I agreed but it was just an agreement based on an intellectual understanding of the suffering of others. He was speaking from a place of feeling the suffering of others.
I numbed myself for much of my life. I didn't know why I was doing this for many years and am still not saying I completely understand it but my understanding has grown as our Lord has chipped away at the shell of indifference and selfishness.
People are becoming hopeless. We fear that nothing is ever going to change. We see the two people we have to choose from in this years presidential election and we despair for our future and the future of our country. We look at the corruption and heresy in the Church and we are scared for our future and the future of Christ's Church. We are overwhelmed by work. Seems that we never catch up. More and more is piled on us. We look at the suffering in our families. Cancer, AIDS, Lyme disease, drug addiction, divorce, depression and we fear loss. The loss of connection to those we love. The loss of them from our lives. We fear they will die. We fear death. We fear loss of love and connection.
As my shell falls away I feel the suffering of others. I feel my friends suffering who despairs over the state of the world. I feel his despair. I experience his pain. I feel my loved ones burden of responsibility. I feel my drug addicted friends hopelessness. I feel my coworkers anger and frustration over problems that never seem to get resolved. I feel it...and I weep. I understand why I numbed myself, and still sometimes do. To suffer with others is VERY difficult.
Jesus suffered for us and suffers with us. He asks us to do the same for those we encounter though He does not ask us to do it alone. He offers to help carry the weight. When we give our and our loved ones worries, struggles, fears, anxieties, sadness and despair over to Him the sadness is dispelled. His light penetrates the darkness.
"Will you sacrifice yourself?" Will I give up my life of comfort to help lessen the burdens of others? Will I suffer willingly rather then retreat into the tomb of my selfishness where I die a slow, seemingly painless, death in my isolation? Will I die with others or by myself? I choose to die with others.
Help to make this choice throughout each day. To die to myself by being willing to die with and for others. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Want to be a Real Man

Jesus Christ is the perfect man. He lived an authentically masculine life. He was tender, compassionate disciplined and loving. He did not fight. He did not put people down. He did not dominate people. He did not force people. He can teach me how to be the tenderhearted man He created me to be. He can lead me into authentic masculinity. Actually He will not lead me He will transform me. It is His work in me that will make this change.
The world has misled us. It says "real men" are thugs and real women are "whores". What we have been led to believe is authentic masculinity and femininity is a fraud.
The more we try to be the men and women the world tells us we should be the unhappier we become. The more medication we need. The more therapy we need. The more distractions we need. The harder we become the harder the world becomes. We must be what we want the world to be. I want the world to be more like Jesus.
Jesus is selfless, self sacrificing, giving, merciful, compassionate, and willing to suffer for others. These are traits of authentic masculinity. The world tells us it's all about us . Such a lie! Upsets me to think of what this lie has done to me and to other men. What will lead us to true happiness we are discouraged from. What leads to misery is laid out in front of us as the ultimate expression of being a man.
Save us Jesus from this distortion.