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Sunday, February 28, 2016

And my Knee HURTS

Many would be willing to have afflictions provided that they not be inconvenienced by them.
-St. Francis de Sales

I am feeling like a little whiney baby complaining about my knee pain.  It hurts.  It has been hurting for a long time now.  It is exhausting somedays just to sit.  So I finally got into see the Orthopedic Doctor the other day.  I wanted the doctor to tell me that I was going to get a new knee.

Instead I was told that we would be trying cortisone injections.  Not that my knee is not a candidate for surgery, it is. We need to try this first.  So I got the injection.  Then I hobbled out to the car and laid my head on the steering wheel and sobbed.

What just happened?  I did not get the outcome that I thought I was going to get.  Instead I was told I needed to do this other thing first.  No the injections will not cure what is wrong with my knee.  In fact, if and when the injections do not work then yes, I will get a new knee.  I believe the words he used were,  "The golden age for knees is 65."  Small comfort when you can't walk to do your grocery shopping, or pick up you mail, or drive!

I am a couple of days away from the trauma of the visit and I have a different take on things.  No, I still am not really satisfied, however, I was reminded that even a new knee is not a guarantee that I will be pain free.  I am not looking to be pain free.  I just want to be able to function.

Then Matthew Kelly reminded me in his video on Making Sense of Suffering that only our Catholic/Christian faith adequately explains suffering.  Suffering has value.  Suffering has value when we offer it up with Jesus' suffering where it will be perfected.  Not sure that I was willing to offer up my suffering initially. Still struggling actually.

 I know that I am never going to feel the way I did before.  I am going to be inconvenienced.  I am going to be in pain.  It is what I do with that pain that is important.

O Lord,
my knee hurts,
I want to offer it up with Your suffering.

Help me to see this as an opportunity to
join You in Your suffering.

Remind me to look at You on the cross
and be silent.


Monday, February 22, 2016

In the Presence of God...

It is true I am not always faithful, but I never lose courage.  I leave myself in the Arms of Our Lord.
-St. Therese of Lisieux

I have just attended the week long Lenten Mission presented by Fr. Michael Moore of the St. Patrick Fathers.  It was a week filled with intense emotion.  There were times when I was sure that God and Father had spoken.

It had been a challenging week before the retreat. I was feeling inadequate and less then what God expected of me.  I was raking myself over the coals for old and new faults.  I was spending a lot of time beating my breast.

Quickly I found that I was the only one beating me up!  God had forgiven me.  As Fr. Michael would say, "God buried the hatchet.  It was I that marked the spot so that I could unbury it."

I am still thinking and praying about all that was said during the Mission.  It gave me focus and started me walking again with the Lord, sans hatchet.  I am trying to fall into the Arms of Our Lord with abandon.  Trusting Him.  Being courageous.

I stand in the Presence of God,
with all my faults, wounds, hurts,
and disappointments.

I stand in the Presence of God,
with all my doubts and faith.

I stand in the Presence of God,
quietly replying...
Here I am Lord.


Sunday, February 14, 2016


Let the mouth FAST from foul words and unjust criticism for what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes but bite and devour OUR BROTHERS? St. John Chrysostom

I actually look forward to Lent.  It is a time to prepare for the great Solemnity of Easter.  I find the quietude of the Lenten Devotions lend themselves to introspection, reflection and action.  I am drawn into the Passion of Our Lord in new ways each time.

Today I was reminded of the quote of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

So many times it is easy to be confused about what and who we are.  The world pulls us in many directions.  We blithely post on Facebook and other social media words of encouragement and passive-aggressive posts begging our friends, and we know who they are, to share if only for one hour to show their support.  Yet we walk past the beggar, the homeless, and gossip.

During this time of Lent, let us quiet our minds and hearts.  Let us listen in the night to the Lord's call for us.

Here I am.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Liturgy of the Hours

Prayer reveals to souls the vanity of earthly goods and pleasures.  It fills them with light, strength and consolation, and gives them a foretaste of the calm bliss of our heavenly home. - St. Rose of Viterbo

I love technology and all my little gadgets.  I revel in the idea that I can put something on my calendar on the phone and it will sync to my computer and iPad.

For awhile now I have been praying the Liturgy of the Hours digitally.  It was easy and straight forward.  I could even listen to it being read to me.  But I have been being pulled back to the Dead Tree Books for a bit.  There are those in my family who at reading this are shaking their heads wondering what took me so long.

I have a lovely prayer book that I use every day and have been having the nagging feeling that it was time to purchase the Four volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours. Thank you Amazon Prime for delivering them it two days!  The down side is that the guide for 2016 is on back order.  So for the time being I go to the digital edition and stumble in my book until I find the correct readings/prayers.

The Deacon at our Church was kind enough to give me the LOTH 101 right after he blessed my volumes. Still stumbling around, but from everything that I have read that is normal.

But I love my books with their ribbons and thin pages.  They rest in my hand and have weight that feels right.  There are no notifications dinging and scrolling across the screen.  I am able to fall into the rhythm of the readings without distraction.

I have ordered the book, "Divine Office for Dodos," from the Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angles Gift Shop.  They promise me that they will have me flipping to the proper Proper of the day in no time!

I am so grateful 
for the opportunity to pray in unison
with others around the world.
This gift of the Liturgy of the Hours
is second only to the Liturgy of the Mass.

Let me lift my voice in your praise.