Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Learning from San Juan de la Cruz

In tribulations, turn to God with confidence. You will obtain strength, light, and knowledge. In joys and successes, turn to God with fear and sincerity. You will escape all snares and be free of everything false. - St. John of the Cross

...or as I like to say San Juan de la Cruz, 'cause he is from Spain you know!

I'm slowly discovering more about him, and I have to say, I like him. A lot. Very inspiring.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where Love is, There is God

"This last week of Advent, I would like to invite you to take some more time to enter deeply into Christ and meditate on the Holy Family with the help of the rosary. Try to find Jesus in your own family, and even bring him there by love. For where love is, there is God. And God knows that where you have the deepest love, you have the deepest sorrows. For we all offend one another by our failures in love." - Father Antonio Giraldo

Though I wasn't actually at St. Thomas for his homily (I was scheduled to be a Eucharistic Minister at the 7:30am Mass at the cathedral), I was able to listen to it online. I'm really happy that I was able to.

Fr. Antonio said some rather beautiful, important things that I needed to hear. I'm not in a sharing kind of mood, but suffice to say that I have been dealt a funky set of cards and carry crosses that have become incredibly heavy.

If you've got the time, listen to the rest of the homily.

p.s. How many college kids do you know that go to 7:30am Mass? This is a statistic that I'm most interested in finding...

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Happy Kind of Sad

Ha, funny that I'm learning and questioning and thinking a lot these days...and I'm not even in school no mo', at least for the next month.

I think that I've maybe referenced "happy sad" before, perhaps not. But, just within the past week, I've learned more about it. I've lately been thinking of my departed dogs, Duke and Rocky. It was especially poignant when I was driving to the barn the other day when the realization hit that I was driving past the same exit that would take me to the same emergency vet hospital that we took our dogs to, to be put down. That was an awfully long sentence.

I was happily singing along to some song, when I looked up at the sign as I rounded the familiar curve. I thought, you know, if you were going in the opposite direction, you'd be heading straight for the animal hospital.

I stopped singing as I choked back tears.

I really miss my dogs. This Christmas will also be the first one without Rocky.

I went home on Saturday to help decorate the tree as well as a few other odds and ends. As I was going through the stockings to hang them up, I came across Duke's and Rocky's. I didn't know what to do with them. My sister and I decided to hang them up as we frowned at each other.

Then today, a friend shared this cartoon on facebook. It made me sad at first, but then I realized, I was more happy than anything, 'cause it's true. So there you have it, happy sad.

Also, yesterday's reflection still puzzles me.

"No man should seek his own good but rather the good of others." - 1 Corinthians 10:24

"The law of love obliges us to love what is good for us. But it also obliges us to love what is good for our neighbor." - St. Francis de Sales
What does that even mean??? I mean, I know on the surface-level what they're saying, but I was left with a nagging question.

At what point does seeking the good of others impede your well-being, your relationships with others and even with God? How do you love others and love yourself, without doing harm to both them and you?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm Just A Lost Kid

So, I'm trying this new blogger interface if stuff looks dumb, well, it's still my fault because it all looks new to me here in the back-end of the site. If I'm trying to be funny, I'd say it's all Greek to me, but my roommate is taking Greek for her foreign language...and even this new blogger stuff still kinda looks like English. Anyway, there's a learning curve somewhere!

I have been struggling a lot lately with many things, but the one thing that has been weighing heavily on my mind is that of post-undergrad life.

I know I've already touched on this before, but the last few weeks yet again have provided me many opportunities, conversations, and thoughts to freak out about life.

Part of my problem is that I keep comparing myself to others. Another problem is that I attribute things to people that may not actually be true. For example, that person looks like they have it all together so then they must have it all together. "In reality, nobody does!" my friend said to me.

I just think other people do because I feel like I don't.

And it's maddening.

I don't believe in the gifts and abilities God has given me. At least, I recognize some of them but I don't act. In constantly underestimating myself, what am I saying to God? "Pppbbbttt, gifts? What gifts? I can't do this." That's what I'm saying. I don't have faith in my own abilities, and I struggle with letting go of my fears and trying to control things and to just let God lead.

Really, overall I'd summarize my current state like this: I feel lost, like I'm wandering around.

I don't want to keep feeling that way. So I guess the first step in the process of finding some semblance of peace, of finding the way back to complete and unwavering trust in God is to admit that, yes, I do have a problem. (No recovering anything-addict jabs intended. My problem is a problem too).

So what's next God?

And, am I really ready for whatever that is?

......yes. I'm terrified.

Good start, right?

My friend and I discovered the other day that we both struggle with listening to God. It was a beautiful thing when we both realized that at that moment in time, God was using the both of us to help each other out. I haven't talked to him in such a long time, and he had been on my mind recently. Turns out it was for a plethora of goodness and discovery!

Obviously, God knows how to reach me. I just don't know how to listen. But that conversation with my friend and listening to some really awesome lyrics just opened my eyes (and ears). It has also started to help me open my heart up, one teensy bit at a time.

Thanks be to you, God, for my friend and for "Lost Kid" by The Apache Relay. It accurately sums up the current me.

Sometimes I feel like I'm just a lost kid,
stumbling through these towns,
stuck in between the waves.
Nothing feels the same.

I need an anchor that never lets go,

I need someone to call, to hear a voice I know.
Something that feels like home.
Something that feels like home.

All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You

All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You

I've been searching all of my days, looking for any signs, reading between the lines, hoping for anything.

I've been living in this tension, I just pretend I'm fine, that everything's ok, but I'm about to break.
Yeah I'm about to break

All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You
All my life, all my life, all my life I've been waiting for You

The Apache Relay - Lost Kid from Live & Breathing on Vimeo.