Every day I experience God
both as distant and near,
both hidden and visible.
Each day presents me with opportunities
to grow in awareness of God’s presence.
The door to God opens every day.
Each day I must enter the door.
The cumulative effect of entering and waiting
allows God to enter
and animate God’s presence within me.
Archive for the 'Reflections' Category
Every day I experience God
The hunger for God is insatiable.
The more the soul glimpses of God,
the greater the hunger for God.
To be in love is to be attentive to the object of your love.
Which is why contemplation is vital if you love God.
Contemplation and compassion
are the wings of Christian life.
The Christian life is composed
of four essential elements:
prayer, community, service and study.
The harsh and frightening realities
of sickness, hunger, suffering and death
cover the earth, plaguing all its inhabitants,
each of whom is crying out
for the eager embrace of God’s love.
But we do not have to wait.
God’s loving arms are
always open and welcoming.
All we need to do
is to turn toward God
and accept the divine hug
that awaits each of us.
In the glittering radiance of God’s light
chaos and darkness
Jesus was poor because he chose to be poor.
He divested himself of the richness of his divinity
in order to be in solidarity with the poverty of our humanity.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor.”
We say, “Hide the poor,”
because they make us uncomfortable.
The way we treat the poor and the weak
reflects our essential and guiding view of life;
but, more important, it is the way Christ evaluates our lives.
Whenever I use the possessive words “my” and “mine,”
I am separating myself from others and from God.
All that I am belongs to God.
As long as my attention
is turned away from God and toward myself,
true human development ceases.
The meek are the only ones strong enough
to break down the walls of fear
that separates people.
Fear is at the core of all human conflict.
God seems to enjoy choosing the weak to do his work.
God wants to be in partnership with us
and the partnership is formed in prayer.
Nothing in our lives is inconsequential to God.
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ
give glory to God.
God is a big vowel – we are little vowels.
Only God can satisfy the heart.
God wants to take upon Himself all our cares – let Him.
Cast your care upon the Lord.
Put aside all useless care.
March 31, 2016
The year was 1947. In late March a huge snowstorm battered New York City and threatened my mother’s ability to get to the hospital to give birth to her third child…me. She was 39 years old and it had been ten years since her last pregnancy. Her health was fragile. Even before the snowstorm, she worried about the health of the child in her womb. During her pregnancy she fervently prayed to St. Gerard of Majella [1726-1755], the patron saint of pregnant women. She made it to the hospital and on March 31st gave birth to a healthy baby boy whom she promptly named Gerard in honor of the saint from Italy who was a lowly Redemptorist lay brother known for his holiness, spiritual insight, and works of charity.
Hard to believe that was 69 years ago today. I’m happy to be celebrating this day in Haiti surrounded by the kids I serve. My only wish for today is to stay healthy enough to continue serving the children who come to the Santa Chiara Children’s Center for at least another ten years. I began life in Brooklyn, New York and I will most likely end my life in Peguyville, Haiti.
My mother died in 1974. She was 65 years old. It has been 42 years since I last felt her tender embrace, heard her soft voice. Yet I still feel her loving presence. I think she would be proud of what I am doing today…and she would be fervently praying for my safety. Moms are hugely important in the life of a child. Sadly, many of our children at SCCC have mothers who are uneducated and abusive. We do all we can to show them love.