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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lord purify my heart to look upon all my sisters with pure, life-giving eyes!

Spring is not yet here, but already the parade of flesh is beginning, and what about the heart that is behind my eyes? Is it Spring itself, are hormonal levels what they have always been, or then again, maybe it gets worse with aging? There are such days even for celibates when the mind plays games with one's inner peace....

Lord, I give you thanks for all the wondrous creatures You have made.... Each more beautiful than the other, they provoke my imagination and rush my heart, and how easily I can forget each is your child too.... In our culture and time, as in other times and places, those who have allowed themselves to become obsessed with profit and influence, greed and serving their own self, have abused even the image of woman, yes and even of man, in various marketing ploys, appealing to the baser instincts of the herd.

It has become so grave that little girls are deeply troubled in their imaginations and spend many years searching for their identity, often losing their dignity or never even having a taste of it.... They become what the marketers have made them to be, and they exhibit themselves for the thrill of manipulating the passions of others.... Most of the time, they have no clue about what depths of dignity, true intimacy, friendship, and interpersonal love that they have lost, or have never yet tasted.

And what can we say about little boys? What has happened to their imaginations? Have they ever tasted the dignity that is theirs as children of God, and have they been offered examples of manliness, which draw us to become life-giving wholesome minds, hearts, eyes, and hands for others? Everywhere a good and just man walks, people are lifted up and catch glimpses of their best inner selves struggling to emerge into the light of day....

Grant us a heart to command our eyes to look upon them with manly, fatherly, brotherly love, and give them the gift of a look that will give them a taste of that dignity which is theirs, and which they were perhaps prevented from tasting. Lord, make the world new, and let it begin with me....

“Were not our hearts burning within us as He talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us

Suivons Jésus Christ, Lui donnant la 1ère place en 2010 !

Let us follow Jesus Christ, giving Him 1st place in 2010!

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“Were not our hearts burning within us as He talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

«Notre cœur n’était-il pas tout brûlant au-dedans de nous, quant Il nous parlait en chemin, quand Il nous ouvrait les Écritures?» Luc 24 :32

A friend wrote:

Perils of a Catholic upbringing?

As I walked down the busy sidewalk with my wife, knowing I was late for Mass, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate,
ragged vagabonds that are found in every city these days. Some people turned to stare. Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them.

Recalling my old pastor, Father Gilles, who always admonished me to "care for the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked," I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person.

Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying her treasured worldly possessions in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this person's condition.

Yes, where some people saw only rags, I saw a true, hidden beauty..

A small voice inside my head called out, "Reach out, reach out and touch this person!"

(Then there appeared a suggestive photo of an ill clad beautiful person carrying two plastic grocery bags....)

So I did. .. . .
I won't be at Mass this week.

In response to this playful email message from a friend, I wrote the blog above it.... Given all the torment around sexuality, I find that even playful stories are no longer appropriate. As a species human beings are profoundly wounded in our apprehension of our own dignity as conferred by God in both our spirit and our flesh. We are inclined to view things amiss, and tempted to make wrongful use of the power of tenderness inscribed in our human sexuality. We must resolve to do nothing to encourage such wrongful use and do all we can to work towards the restoration of our human dignity and both of our capacity and willingness to live in the truth of that dignity in both ourselves and in others, all others, especially the most vulnerable. Fr. Gilles