4:12 Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
13 No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
My aunt would capitalize on our Sagittarian traits with great frequency. It was very natural to me to be one, I had 10 fingers and I was Sagittarian. Somehow, I wore that pride my aunt exuded myself, flaunting my traits as badges of superiority over the rest of the zodiac.
It was 37 years later that I learned that, us Catholics, don’t do zodiac signs. Too late, I walk, breathed, and talked Sagittarianisms. I really was a Sagittarian!! All about me fit the description of a Sagittarian.
It was very hard to detach from my beloved description of self. I don’t know how long actually, did I work on it, but today I noticed that I am a daughter of The Church and to be Sagittarian had become a foreign concept to me.
Blessed be God!!
That thought occurred to me today as I read how the Word of God cuts between the soul and the spirit…..
I thought long and hard about the difference between the soul and the spirit, as there is a separation that only God penetrates.
I went to the basics, the soul, what is it? Webster says it’s “the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever”
The soul gives life to the body. The CCC says of the spirit: ” a supernatural being or essence”
But I´m inclined to believe that the battle that St Paul refers to in Romans 7:15 ¨ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.¨ is the very dilemma that answers the difference between the soul and the spirit.
The soul has the power of intellect, emotions, memories and imagination. Then it is the soul that thinks. It is the soul that acts and decides. It is the soul that creates and imagines. It is the soul sins. It is the soul where Jesus says if one wants to pray to the Father, to go into his room, where no one hears what is said, close the door and pray to the Father who hears. It is the soul where the sin is impaled to the soul and mark it with scars of sins once confessed. It is the soul that needs purgatory to be cleansed of those sin stained marks. But the spirit…. The spirit is the essence of God, His Breath, His presence in us. The spirit cannot sin.
I long to do good, but I botch all that good. I, too, want to do good but I end up doing that what is the opposite of good. I sin. I Sagittarianize. It´s in my nature to be and do so. That sin impales my soul.
But one day, the Word of God penetrated me so, that It drew me to Himself, subtly and nimbly. With a sharper edge that any knife, He is cutting away my Sagittarianisms to mold me into that what He intended me to be.
Where is He taking me? What is He making of me? …Beats me.
But I know that I am a broken vessel that needs tremendous amount of repair, that I need confession and penance to understand how my Sagittarianisms anchor me to earth, but His Spirit draws me to soar free of anything but what He inputs into my soul as Sagittarius is whittled away.
I see how my soul has grown closer to what the spirit is, there is less tension between the two. I understand how grace transforms my Sagittarius. How now I long more and more to be one in and with Christ, that it would be He Who were to govern my soul, once transformed into Him.
I think I am becoming that what PJPII frequently would say: ¨Become what you are!!!!¨
Originally posted on theoutlawedgod:
In 1997 I lived in Mexico City for a few months. I went there in my private airline… On the wings of Zeal. I wore it every day as a badge of Christianity. Eager to make myself useful, I plunged into my self made ministry, but I did not really do much in that ministry that I thought I went there for.
I found myself overwhelmed by the street kids.
About 2 million of them live in the sewer system. They are throw away kids, run away kids, have-no-one-left kids. The live in the sewer because if they fall asleep on the street they get shot to death during the night. I found that it also happens in Colombia, Guatemala, Romania, Brazil, and who knows how many countries as well. It’s also warmer down there.
I tried to…
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The Roman Catholic artist, from the onset of the religious expression, acts on what possesses his/her mind and heart. Just like the prehistoric man, he paints what preoccupies him. His prowess in conquering the mammoth, capturing the wild deer.
Just like them, at the revelation of God to us, thus it preoccupies the mind, but the prowess now to express the newness of something truly awesome with a vague identity but the cause of powerful feelings.
It is said that St Luke painted The Black Madonna of Czestochowa.
What could have prompted him to do that but the indescribable beauty of the Mother of God. How do I know?? in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, Mary, Miriam has appeared periodically to nudge us to the path of Her Son. Each time, the seer is overwhelmed, virtually speechless, and incapable of describing her beauty. Is it a physical beauty?
Is Blessed Mother a 10??
Could it be the beauty of purity, the greatest creation God has ever made, a pure creature that is Full of Grace??
Her beauty is so multilayered that to describe it physically is to leave out 99% of what the seer sees.
She is the image most venerated in the Catholic world from the 3 century on. The first and oldest church found to date was built in Her honor, a Church dedicated to her even if Her Son is the King of creation and the Son of God. Did they see the same as St Luke saw? the need to put down on something the beauty they perceived in their head and heart??
In the history of art in the Catholic Church, is the need to tell that which is so strong inside, a beauty that is so compelling, but it is not physical. It’s a heavenly beauty that heaven is sharing with us.
The images of the Holy characters are as compelling as their history and had to be put down. Throughout history, evangelization has been a powerful drive instilled in us by Jesus; it carries all who love Him, but the artist….., aahh! He alone has added tools to express that beauty: color, lines and shapes that meagerly describe what he sees in his head.
What I am trying to say is that, the free form of the west gives such liberty to the expression and movement, that it amply expresses the activity and reasons. I can most assuredly say, without data or statistics, that billions have had direct contact with the Mother of God, their pleas heard, their anguish calmed, Her love felt, and their paths lit by praying before an image of her, which did not resemble her, did not move nor spoke, it was a sculpture or a painting that became the visual bridge to her invisible presence.
It served a perfect purpose of teaching, venerating and providing the transitional step to put in touch the person with soulful prayer and the God who calls. It is God’s plan to create the artist to use him as the one to illustrate his mind, to speak contemporaneously of what He, God, wishes to say.
But the 19th and 20th century broke all speed braking away from the inspiration of God. Modern society illustrates that breakage. The spirit that is using the artist is expressing chaos and anarchy. And chaos and anarchy is immortalized by the artist for history’s sake.
We, humans, are visual creatures; we need visual aids to connect with the invisible. We need the artist to show us what God is trying to say. We need holiness and prayerfulness to be conduits of God’s thoughts, His commands and directions. His promises.
The most perfect example, I can give of the expression of God’s mind, His directions, His promise, His self image, His passion one more time, His eagerness to reach us, His carnal envoy, His Son, in this modern time, when evangelization is virtually a thing of the past, He sends His own image via a Polish artist, pressed by a virtually unlearned nun to paint an image she saw, and the artist was supposed to make Jesus as though looking down towards us, as though from the Cross…. arm in blessing…. no higher than His shoulder…..in a priestly vestment…..one foot forward as if forward motion….. same general description as an orthodox icon. Though this poor nun, St Faustina Kowalska cried inconsolably, lamenting who would make Him as beautiful as He is, that image, known as the Divine Mercy image has caused on the average of 55, 000 miracles per month to happen, as noted by the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. .
This image saved thousands in the Japan tsunami, in the bombings during the WWII, a boy inside a car in flames falling 900 ft. off a mountain, a man’s heart with only hours to live.
An artist, who illustrated the mind of our Merciful God on canvas with just oil paints, becomes a miracle of God’s protective love for us. An image of Himself done by an artist, moved by a feeling inside, his own prowess now to express the newness of something truly awesome with a vague identity but causing powerful feelings.
God did not give us something by His Own Hand to show His love nor His power, but He spoke and He speaks through the hand of his instrument: an artist.
Excerpts from the article “Let us do something beautiful for God” by Yolanda Bello
At the Antiphone I felt Him speak…..
You are my strength…. said the antiphon,
but He went on, saying my prayer….
Not because your strength is mine
But because your strength is in me.
Your strength holds me up,
Your strength guides me.
Your strength strengthens me
It is Your strength that keeps me yours.
It is Your strength that lifts my foot.
It is Your strength that feeds me.
It is Your strength that breaths life in my nostrils.
It is Your strength. Only Your strength that takes me to You.
My Strong Lord.
My Merciful Strong Lord.
My Tender and Merciful Strong Lord.
While the nurse kept whispering to her that she had the right to kick her out…..
Like I have said in other posts, I am an court interpreter, but sometimes the police calls me for other things. Saturday, they called me to go to the emergency room.
When I got there, there were these 2 women and a policeman in the waiting room. Information pointed me to them.
So I introduced myself as the interpreter. Then I noticed that one was a mom and the other a young woman and both were very distraught. The policemen explained that the mom’s boyfriend had raped the girl……. (he kept speaking but my mind froze, I had never met a rape victim let alone a young woman.)
When I looked at her again, I was riveted. She was stunningly beautiful. The policeman continued to explain the circumstances and that she was perfectly bilingual, but not mom. He wanted to make sure mom understood all that was happening to her daughter.
Once again, I have to repeat what I had said before, how I ride the white waters of muck and mire that end up in court.
Once we got put into the examining room, she was pointed to the bed. Mom and I sat on 2 chairs close by. The nurse came in and began to speak very softly to the girl, stressing that she has the right to have her privacy and she could kick mom out.
To the nurse’s shock and mine, she, without hesitation expressed that she wanted mom in the examining room with her.
All the more I stared at her, besides her beguiling beauty, I was witnessing what does normalcy look like. She was an innocent, exvirginal young girl that trusted her mom, just like it used to be, the way God aimed it to be, like we read about in books of the like of “Little Women”. Her mom reached thru the railings and held her daughter’s hand, tears still profusely pouring out of her eyes and heart.
I could not get caught up in the emotionalism, as I frequently have. This time I was watching a most surreal, out of current time scene. Mom loving her daughter, daughter holding mom’s hand in absolute trust.
It was mom’s boyfriend that raped her. He had driven mom to a wedding and he excused himself, he returned to their house where this picture perfect beauty was watching her 4 siblings and her aunt’s baby.
She explained how he came in, while they were all in bed, picked up the baby from the bed and put him in the crib, and right there, next to where his very own little daughter of 5, who laid there sleeping, proceeded to rape this beauty.
I gazed at her, a very Aztec looking features, a perfect mix of the look of a little girl yet glimpses of a woman.
If watching all that was not enough, I began to realize that the girl’s calmness came, while mom sniffed and sniffed, from holding mom’s hand. Total and complete trust. I wanted to remember all of it. I don’t know where in this country would there be another 14 yr old who trusted her mom and found in her all that she needed to get thru this terrible, life changing ordeal. I thought again of an example of such trust between a parent and child, like when crossing a busy, busy street, a 5 yr old could not care less about the dangerous traffic, nor the noise, nor their speed and what could happen to him…..all he knows is that he can gaze unaffected at all of it while holding mom’s hand. That connection translates into watching all upheavals like a movie, because mom is in charge, nothing shall hurt me.
It sort of reminded me of …..
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me; Mom….
your rod and your staff—Your hand holding mine…
they comfort me. You comfort me……
I see her every day at Mass, frumpish, about 60, shaved head with a little longer bit at the top, like a man’s. She wears thick glasses and a long handle purse across her chest. I don’t know her name.
I also don’t remember when she began to notice me and smile. I can’t imagine why, among all parishioners why she would more and more glance at me.
She says all the responses of the Mass, a bit loud, with a pronounced baby talk speech. That was my clue that she is mentally handicapped.
What also is my attraction to her is a barn door openness about her, clearly not ashamed to say loudly her baby talk responses. My beguilement by her was a 1000 times magnified when she, noting that I, again, was looking at her, pointed with her index finger, palm totally extended, EVER so delicately at her blouse about her belly, with a tiny smiley, eyes closed, she cocked her head a tiny, tiny bit, she raised her eye brows slightly, oozing with pride at her apparently brand new blouse, which was probably a $1.95 from the 70% off at Wal-mart clothing rack.
This description is just so short of the charm she bubbles, her pride so tiny but effusively expressed, so incredibly cute, cute!!
That happened months ago, and today I am still as overwhelmed at the cuteness of her pride. I have come to clearly understand what is so incredibly charming about this woman; it’s her powerful childlike persona.
Since then, she has shown me her new winter coat, her new football winter hat, and once she even pointed at her new snicker shoes. Always tiny movements, adequately discreet.
Today, on my way to my customary front pew, passing her, I noticed she had an eye patch and her glasses were off. I also noticed that today she was so much older than before. I motioned to her eye patch and asked softly what happened? She straightened up to reach me and said who knows what in my ear. I could not understand what she said, but she looked somber.
My eyes welled up instantly with hers, I too, was overcome with her sorrow, she hid her baby face in my neck and cried. Oh Lord!! What intense sorrow she felt!!! And shared with me!!
I don’t know why she cried, I could not understand what she said. I don’t know even if she could see without her glasses. I knew she was very, very nearsighted. She stayed on my shoulder only for a minute or so, then; she straightened up and faced forward waiting for Mass to begin. She crossed her leg showing me her socks, they had something printed all over and she did not know what they were. Then I could tell what it was, but I could only think of the name is Spanish….. taras…… Oh yeah!!! Dragon flies, so I told her they were dragon flies.
And I am more beguiled than ever at her perfect image of who enters heaven;
“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 18:3
She is joyful always, she´s attentive, she´s outgoing, so totally selfless, she is appreciatively proud of what she has, which really is thrift store quality, helpful to all who need it, but so much more, she´s beguiling beautiful. When she passes me on her way to Communion, with her customary tiny moves she “directs” me so I know what to do and how to go to Communion. She directs me with indescribable tenderness, a little hovered over, to be clear in her directions.
Always after Mass, she is quick to help father carry the Lectionary and the Mass Book for him, as he carries the chalice, paten, etc to the sacristy, she follows frumpishly, bubbling a most satisfying joy, not only enviable but contagious.
I so love her, not only love her but I so would like to be like her. While during Mass she speaks her baby talk responses so shamelessly and participatorily, I only mouth the words.
Oh yes, that convicts me every day. But today God allowed me to share her childlike sorrow and her tears, who knows for what, I did not understand her, but we shared it. And I just love her all the more. My tears flowed freely and shamelessly. I too, today, cried with her like a little girl, and I don´t know why.
Today, as I stayed to pray after Mass, prayer went out the window, all I could think of was my charming friend. And then, it occurred to me that she does not share with ANYONE ELSE those tiny moves showing her new something…. She does not show her new sox to anyone else; to no one else does she beams proud of what she wears. It occurred to me … Oh goodness!!! I wonder…. Does she see me like I see her?? Is her attraction to me like mine to her?? Do I look mentally handicapped to her? Do I look like I need to be guided and slowly explained things…. does she want to be like me like I want to be like her????