chastity formula

Monday, December 29, 2014

Gift yourself!

This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. (Gaudium Et Spes 24).

Why do we forget so fast that Christ has gifted Himself to us? Why we don't worry about what gift we will give Him?. 

Even the priest at the parish I assist and help is reluctant to gift people advent songs before Christmas. His excuse? People won't understand! "yeah, so let's keep them hiding and living in ignorance, instead of educating them".

To the extreme, in Bolivia people has the belief that the image of a Jesus Baby should listen Mass and receive holy water year by year. The question remains in the air: How come these people guard an image and don't care to attend Mass the rest of the year? ... how come the image receives the benediction (and remains unchanged) and they refuse to receive it and decide finally to change?

At home everybody was running busy with food preparation, packing of gifts, shipping cards, and other things. This year I was longing for Mass the 24th and had some time to reflect during Advent. Compared to other years, I was arriving to Christmas more prepared than other years. But around me all the hassle was very distracting. 
After Mass, my 2nd gift to Jesus.

I've learned that we tend to forget easily what is important during this time of the year. In the streets is even worst, people buying frenetically gifts and gifts! there are some points when they start fighting or arguing over silly things. Others feel such pressure that end up complaining. 

This year I was invited to participate in a radio show, a special for Christmas day. I went to Mass early in the morning and then had breakfast. While others were sleeping, I was ready to talk about what Christmas should be. 

God is merciful and His Spirit was eloquent. My mom heard the whole program (she was making sure I was not going to say some heresy) and told me it all came out really good. My tone, the words I used, the message and all the quotes of Scripture and other theology authors. Music was played by 1 violinist and his two sisters. The whole thing was simple yet joyful. After the program I was able to talk with the 3 of them and found new beloved children of God.

My guess is that if next year at home we will skip all the dinner preparation, keep it simple and after Mass, adore at home the best GIFT we could have ever received. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O sapientia

 O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodidisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae. 

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

Teach me Father to chose according to Your Wisdom. Too many years choosing according to what the world wants or what my heart wants. No prudence in my decisions. Teach me Lord to be obedient to your Word.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Forgive me Father, I'm a coward!

Things at work haven't been going that well, and after a scene I had with my boss, I was sent a strong notification. I was about to prepare myself and build a defense against some lies written in that note. 

For some reason I waited, until 2 days ago. That's when my final year retreat began. 

The lay missionaries of charity is a very small group in Bolivia. We have only one lady that has renewed her vows and 4 of us in the path to become consecrated. This was a much needed retreat as a community, but personally God knows better I was CRAVING for this time. 

First part of the retreat I was worried and wondering what was I supposed to do about work. After the first talk on PRAYER, I had the first clear step, leave it to GOD, pray for the person who said all sort of things about me. But this issue was still around my head.

Second talk was about EUCHARIST and how joined with prayer, are the pillars to build our spiritual and missionary life. But as I was approaching the 3rd main talk, I realized that work, salary, unemployment, taking care of my parents, my material possessions and some other things more were just a BIG EXCUSE for the main issue.

GOD IS CALLING!!! and He barely calls out loud and with fireworks. His call is subtle but continuous. So I had to realize one major thing: I'm scared! once more I'm scared to let go all the things I've mentioned and more, and to take a second major leap of faith in my life. 

How did this happen? Less than 3 years ago, I was pushed to the edge, to realize that I really didn't need to be secured with food, shelter or cloth. Despite how complicated was my situation, all that I needed to live were given got me by friends or even strangers. And I must recognize that during that time I was a JOYFUL person! for I didn't have to worry about the most basic things in life. I was conscious and like a small child I was thankful for all the caring that God gave me through others. 

This past 2 years and 3 months (not that I'm counting!!) have taken me away from that point. I've become again a person who depends on a salary, who is worried about what shall I do next (after I quit my job), buried in tedium and running as fast as I could to prepare my catechesis talk for next Sunday. I've found so much pleasure in reading about saints, theology, and other spiritual works, that to arrive to my office and be plugged to a redundant meeting for 3 hours was pure torture. I'm sick of all the hypocrisy and mediocrity that reigns in this environment. Worst of all is that I've been feeling that I'm starting to be absorbed by it. Of course that through prayer I fight this, but it is becoming unbearable.   

After our last talk on LOVE, where our dear Sister Martin MC used the book of Luke 6:26-38 as reference, I had a stronger feeling that I'm just playing the coward card. 

LORD!! I feel afraid of letting go these new safety belts that I have in my life again. I've become too comfortable with my possessions once more! And even use my parents older age as an excuse to pretend that I'm blind and deaf so I can't understand what you are saying.


That was part of the answer You gave me that day at the forest when I was banging my head with the questions: Who am I? Why have you created me? What am I supposed to do here? Why a woman?

And this answer came again to my head while having our last Adoration. Shocking? Yes and no. Somehow I feel I have buried this clear answer with all my comfort so now it seems again a distant or even vanishing statement. That's when You moved me to tears! And indescribable sadness clouded my mind and I felt such a pain not only for me but for so many who suffer under your name, like I haven't felt in months!

That's when I had to accept it. I'm a COWARD!! And it caused even more pain. After our closing Mass and saying good bye I came back home with a mix of joy and sadness. After a talk with my mother and all the wonderful things she had to tell me about how attentive is our Mother to intercede for her petition of a  child for my brother and wife, I told her all of this. 

Now both my parents have made it explicit that I should not use them as an excuse. If God is calling, well who am I to pretend that I will not listen just so that I can take care of my parents? Or because I have to find another job? or because I have to prove the world about my professional skills achieving something even greater than my boss? or just because I need to get the new touch screen 10' laptop? 

Today I have fallen again on my knees, praying THY WILL BE DONE!! not my dreams, but YOUR DREAM. I'm too small and weak, but You are the only one to give me the strength I need to overcome my fears and cease being a coward. May I have Your Grace so I can LISTEN and SEE what You really want me to do.