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Let It Be Done Unto Me…

Let It Be Done Unto Me…

Above: One of my favorite pictures of the Annunciation entitled: The Annunciation, (1898), Henry Ossawa Tanner. (Courtesy the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1899)

On this Feast of the Annunciation, here is a beautiful reflection on our “YES!” and the struggle that comes with it too.

Here is a song by Danielle Rose, Let It Be Done Unto Me, that always comes to mind on this special feast day:

The Lord sent me to Mary
As she was praying in the sun.
I said, “Hail Mary, favored one,
The Lord is with you. Mary it is true.”
She did not understand.
She said, “Shall I touch the sky
With these small hands?”
A peasant girl from Galilee
Destined to become the Queen of Peace.

[Pre-chorus]
And all the heavens and the earth
Stand still in silence,
Waiting for her soul to reply.
She is free to choose:
God will never abuse
The sacred Yes she cannot be denied.

[Chorus]
“Let it be done unto me!
With one small yes the world will be redeemed.
What was impossible is now a possibility.
Let it be done unto me!”

“Mary, do not be afraid.
Behold, you will conceive a son
Through whom the world is saved.
Humility will be your throne,
And in your womb our God,
Our God will find a home.”
“O Lord, how can this be?
I have not given any man my body’s purity!”
“The Spirit will come down,
Like once-barren Elizabeth
Can now with child be found!”

[Pre-chorus]
And all the heavens and the earth
Stand still in silence,
Waiting for her soul to reply.
She is free to choose:
God will never abuse
The sacred Yes she cannot be denied.

[Chorus]
“Let it be done unto me!
With one small yes the world will be redeemed.
What was impossible is now a possibility.
Let it be done unto me!”

She said Yes to the Father,
Yes to the unknown,
Yes with all her strength,
Yes to God alone.
The first Holy Communion
Took place that blessed day.
Christ came into her body
When Mary chose to say
When Mary chose to say…

[Chorus (x2)]
“Let it be done unto me!
With one small yes the world will be redeemed.
What was impossible is now a possibility.
Let it be done unto me!”

Let it be done unto me [x3]

What Gives Me Joy?

What Gives Me Joy?

“When you do things from the soul, you feel a river moving through you, a joy.” – Rumi

I came across this quote the other day and it gave me another reason to ask myself, “What gives me joy?” I can recall the moments when I feel “happy,” but what about JOY?

Happiness sometimes goes away so quickly, and well, it is just not possible to be happy 100% of the time. Joyful in my heart (cheesy) 100% of the time? Well, I think that actually might be possible, even in the midst of darkness and suffering. Possibly!

While I am usually a happy person, I have often been reflecting on those things that provide me with pure joy and again questioning myself, “Am I doing the things that provide me with joy?” Oh, hi vocation! I seek something that lasts, and not only for a moment.

As the school year comes to a close in a couple of months, Spring Break is right around the corner, and Easter is almost upon us, may joy surround you!

And, may you also ask yourself the question, “What gives me joy? And do I have it?” If not, “Why not?”

 

Away” by jolives licensed under CC BY 2.0

are you ready?

are you ready?

Woke up with the sun shining and my mind and body ready to take on this day! Decided to gather a little inspiration and prayer for the road, and this is what was placed in front of me:
 Everyone can contribute much that is good, and in that way trust is achieved. The common good will not be attained by excluding people. We can’t enrich the common good of our country by driving out those we don’t care for. We have to try to bring out all that is good in each person and try to develop an atmosphere of trust, not with physical force, but with a moral force that draws ot the good that is in everyone, especially in concerned young people.

Thus with all contributing all can build the beautiful structure of the common good, the good that we construct together, and that creates conditions of kindness, of trust, of freedom, of peace.
      
– Oscar Romero, from The Violence of Love
you hear that? we all have a role in contributing to the “beautiful structure of the common good.” Archbishop Oscar Romero spent his days working on behalf of the poor and speaking out against poverty and social injustices. He was assassinated while celebrating mass (coincidentally his death anniversary is coming up on March 24) at a small chapel in El Salvador.
Two weeks before his assassination, Archbishop Oscar Romero said the following, “I have often been threatened with death,”… “If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality.”
I truly believe there is all good, beautiful work that we can do with this life that we have been given – but it’s up to each one of us to find out what that is, and how that looks like. How exciting! How can we ever be bored? There is so much work to be done!
Are you ready?
 
Living Martyrdom

Living Martyrdom

Today in my “Give Us This Day”  book of daily readings and reflections, the following write-up on Maura Clarke and Companions was included for today, Dec. 4, 2012:

Christ of Maryknoll by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM
Check out the meaning of the “Christ of Maryknoll”

Blessed Among Us

Maura Clarke and Companions
Martyrs of El Salvador (d. 1980)

On a December morning in 1980 a small assembly gathered in a cow pasture in El Salvador to witness the exhumation of four North American women. One by one their broken and disheveled bodies were dragged from the shallow grave: Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, both Maryknoll Sisters; Dorothy Kazel, an Ursuline Sister; and Jean Donovan, a lay missioner. They had been killed on December 2 by Salvadoran soldiers, who had taken them to a secluded spot, raped two of them, and then shot them in the head.

Each woman had followed a different path: Maura and Ita, with many years in mission in Nicaragua and Chile; Dorothy, the longest in El Salvador; Jean Donovan, only twenty-seven, who had wrestled with the possibility of marriage and a lucrative career before choosing, instead, to remain in El Salvador. But for each one, called by Christ to live out her faith in solidarity with the poor, the path had led to the same cow pasture.

In these nightmare years in El Salvador, thousands of civilians were killed by security forces on suspicion of “subversion.” Representatives of the Church who embraced the “option for the poor,” including these women, shared the same fate. Witnesses to the cross, they joined a long line of witnesses to the resurrection.

“Several times I have decided to leave—I almost could except for the children. . . . Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine.” – Jean Donovan
 —

These four women were living mission, so much that they died on mission. Every time I read accounts on this tragedy in El Salvador among well-intentioned, commissioned and blessed women, I get the chills at the conditions of their martyrdom, and at the same time, I also feel boldly motivated to continue making steps in the area of my passions.

The martyrdom of these women is truly an inspiration in that they pursued their work, with their keystone being, they were called by Christ. The life of a missioner is not easy – no life is, but it is certainly a grace to experience and be given the strength and perseverance to keep going, one day at a time, especially when living and working with the “poorest of the poor.” I have always believed that while God loves all His children, He especially is close to the poor. And for that, it is those who choose to join Him in his work by comforting the poor, serving them, being with them, and loving them, that they will experience Christ in a radical, life-changing, and very real way.

Lastly, two of my friends, Marc and Lexie Adams, will soon be embarking on their new adventure as Maryknoll Lay Missioners to Cochabamba, Bolivia. With hearts so full of love and service, they will be having their send-off ceremony next week, along with the other MLMs who will be serving all over the globe. Please keep them in your prayers, as well as the communities that will be receiving them, that the Holy Spirit may guide their mission, and that there may be comfort in knowing that Jesus will be walking always before them. Check out their blog to learn more and to be inspired. Gifted and talented as individuals, and when joined together, what a beautiful, blessed couple indeed! What grace!

Work on the missions demands that you undergo a martyrdom- if not a real one, at least a living one. – Maryknoll Pole at the Maryknoll Museum of Living Mission, Ossining NY (another Maryknoll-related blog post here)

kalayaan [freedom]

kalayaan [freedom]

 
We Have To Choose
I think “freedom” — at least the way we usually think of it — is an illusion. As far as I can tell, absolute freedom doesn’t exist. I think we all have some measure of freedom, but in the end we have to choose who or what will be our master. For some people it’s their Lexus or their big house or their love of gourmet food or their music. For some people it’s their career. For some people it’s their family. It’s a question of what you want to give your life to, or for.
 

– Michael P. Enright,, from Diary of a Barrio Priest (taken from A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration by Michael Leach and Doris Goodnough)

Freedom From Fear

Complete freedom from fear is one of those things we owe wholly to Our Lord. To be afraid is to do him a double injury. First, it is to forget him, to forget that he is with us, that he loves us and is himself almighty, and second it is to fail to bend to his will. If we shape our will to his, as everything that happens is either willed or allowed by him, we shall find joy in whatever happens, and shall never be disturbed or afraid.

So then we should have the faith that banishes all fear. Beside us, face to face with us, within us, we have Our Lord Jesus, our God whose love for us is infinite, who is himself almighty, who has told us to seek for the kingdom of God and that everything else will be given us. In that blessed and omnipotent company, we just go straight along the path of the greatest perfection, certain that nothing will happen to us that we cannot use as a source of the greatest good for his glory and the sanctification of ourselves and others, and that everything that happens is either willed or permitted by him, and therefore, far from lying under the shadow of fear, we have only to say, “Whatever happens — God be praised!” praying that he will arrange everything not in accordance with our ideas but for his greater glory.  We should never forget the two axioms: “Jesus is with me” and “Whatever happens, happens by the will of God.”

– Charles de Foucauld, from Charles de Foucauld: Essential Writings, edited by Robert Ellsberg (taken from A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration by Michael Leach and Doris Goodnough)