28 March, 2013

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis.

I was certain that I had written a blog during Holy Week last year - and what I had experienced. However, much to my dismay, apparently I did not. 

It's amazing how fast time truly 'flies' - that an entire year has flown since I was sitting at Trinity Episcopal in Staunton, Va with my then boyfriend, Alex. It's incomprehensible all that has transpired, taken place and become since this time last year -but what's more, it's beautiful how far my walk has grown in the year since.

Sitting in the church - I had no idea what was to come. I had remembered (vaguely) growing up, my favourite service was the "boom" service (Maundy Thursday) however I did not remember what the service actually entailed. Thus sitting in the dark sanctuary, my nerves were everywhere, as I anxiously awaited what would eventually become one of the most pivotal and life-changing moments of my Christian walk.

All I know - is whatever happened during that service - transformed my heart, turned my soul upside down, and lifted my spirit to a height it had never been prior. I've since that Thursday - anxiously awaited this Thursday, 2013 - hoping to experience a 10th of the amazingness that I did last year - but also knowing that I could never expect nor compare what transpired last year, to reoccur.

When things (that I haven't, nor doubt I shall) happened with my church home here in Frederick, MD recently that left me 'churchess' - beyond the several obvious reasons, I was bummed that I would miss such an amazing service with that church. For some reason, my spirit likes the 'old church' feeling - I know that Christ is in our hearts, not a 4 wall building - but sitting in the traditional Catholic or Anglican church speaks much more than perhaps the newer white buildings.

Watching the alter be stripped - the cross covered - the lights off, no alleluliah's, no closing or blessing, the priest coming out after the alter had been stripped, and knealing before the alter of Christ, to begin the watch... It is something that I can not put into words, nor translate the feelings and emotions that overcame me - but it was, as I said, the most amazing, spiritual experience I had ever had.

I remind myself - and those that may read this blog - that today, is the day that Christ shared his love to the world - giving the gifts of his true oneness - his blood and body - that the remainder of the year, we should be so luck to partake in during the communion sacrament. As someone who truly believes in transubstantiation, tonight is a constant remind of what that amazing gift we receive during Eucharist truly is.

Lord... Jesus Christ, have mercy on ME, a sinner

Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.12 But when Christ[a] had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

19 March, 2013

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,

... a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27:9

Heavenly Father consistently reminds me, through the blessings, of the purpose (in the seemingly in the moment purposeless), trials or hardships.

As I have previously mentioned - we are warned of this - so is it fair that I be reminded that he has a purpose in these moments? Or is it just one of the many gifts, that Heavenly Father has bestowed upon me, because he knows I may have struggled harder than the man next to me - to always accept and understand.

I am grateful for whatever reason it may be - because, even for the moments that are so hard - I attempt to find the meaning (even if no meaning was intended).

It helps me to keep my chin up, and to walk forward - press on - even when life feels like hell, and I want to give up.

My spiritual journey was in a serious drought for the past couple of months. While I had been 'religiously' attending church (in fact, more than ever) - I had gotten cought up in that 'Religious' mindset, not the 'Christian' mindset.

And then - a friend who I had already so 'loverly' gotten to know and grow closer with, Heavenly Father allowed her to help rekindle a fire - and set a blaze a forest fire at that. 

I'm so grateful for her - her example, her story, her own struggles that's she shared so that I could learn without having to experience, so that I could see her own lessons learned, so that I could know that others out there have been through similar experiences & and can truly empathize. (I'm guilty of selfishly oft thinking I'm alone in my trials & struggles).

She is hands down one of the most amazing, passionate, loving, caring & forgiving people I have single-handededly ever, EVER, met. She reminds me of my 'hero' - and perhaps that is why I love being around her uplifting, kind spirit. She has that same tenacious spirit that insists that she is not great - when the greatness protrudes from every fiber of her being.

I am so blessed by her constantly - by her example, by her humbleness. She'll find the most amazing things - stories, people, pictures, news articles, events - and share them. Blessed. She's just as adamant and a relatively new 'politico' follower/involved - so she can relate. She has had similar spiritual & religious journey's - similar personal life trials - similar weaknesses - similar strengths - unique differences & strengths & weaknesses - I couldn't dare attempt to put into the words that I wish I could to even come close to explaining the heart of this woman (other than, to compare her to what I thought prior was incomparable, like 'my hero').

Thank you, 'friend'. Thank you for blessing my heart, lifting my spirits, rekindling sparks/flames/fires.
 Thank you for being you. 

*P.S. I unlocked posts from 'the past', 
so that the example of 'hero'
could be understood,
you can read more at:

“While we have been pursuing God he has been rushing toward us with reckless love arms flung wide to hug us home.” ― Ken Gire

As a Christian - even one who regularly reads the bible (which speaks over and over, that G-d will in fact give us times of trial & struggle & pain & hardship) - it's so 'easy' or done without thought - that we turn our back on the gospel when life isn't easy. When things get tough - when we experience something that seems 'unfair'.

[2 Corin 4:17-18 "You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. 18 So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on."
John 15:18-19 "If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. 19 If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason."
John 16:1-4 "I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead. They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor. They will do these things because they never really understood the Father. I’ve told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you’ll be well-warned and ready for them."]

But - we were fair-warned. More so - we were fair-warned, so that though our minds may not be capable of understanding -
 there is purpose and meaning.

I write this - so that I can consistantly remind myself - that there's a greater purpose than my comfort at times. Christ wasn't very comfortable in the garden of Gethesanme, or carrying his cross, or being crucified - but he knew that there was a far larger purpose ahead. 
So who am I to ever dare think my trials are not in fact gifts that are being given to me.
Or gifts to someone else.

I look back at so many of my hardest trials - and see from them, all that has been able to transpire, all that I've been able to become, to experience, to gain - because of these such hard times. 
I spent so long begging and pleading with G-d for him to change my circumstances 
when G-d was so kindly giving me circumstances to change me.

I'm never going to be perfect 
- thank goodness -
because I am human.
And I accept that.
I know that I am going to still be guilty of wanting to understand,
when I wasn't made to understand everything.
But I just remind myself
(and perhaps another friend or stranger),
that regardless of anything,
Christ died for us,
and that is the ultimate gift and sacrifice,
and the only thing we should need ever require.

"Raise your eyes so you can see
You're right where you're supposed to be
It's dark so you can see the light
And it's hard so you can know it's right
And rain nothing ever grows without you
And hurt is just a chance to heal
And tears are just a call to feel
And pain beauty's just a word without you
Beauty's just a word without you"
-Rachel Lampa, 'Beauty's Just a Word'