Posts Tagged With: life

New Year reflections on love and life from a Cajun Catholic missionary

Sunday, January 13, 2013 – Noon thirty pm – Mom and Dad’s house – Lafayette, LA
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a journal entry, and I was startin to feel the itch. My impetus for this particular entry is my friendship with Anne. One of the things I really enjoy about our friendship is that I’m learning so much due to all the talking and discussion that happens between us. While Anne is the only one privy to all of the background stories and discussions, I still want to share these “gems” with y’all.
-“I want the whole truth & nothing but the truth, along with an undivided heart.” Perhaps just as bad as lying is failing to tell the whole truth. Yes, in telling partial truths you can literally say you are not intentionally lying to somebody. You may not even be desiring to lead them astray. But if you don’t give them the whole picture then you bear responsibility for when things go wrong. Related to this would be loving others with an undivided heart. Nothing’s worse than trying to have a discussion with someone who is distracted. If someone does not pay attention to me when I’m trying to have meaningful discussion or interaction with them, if their actions don’t prove to me that I’m important and that they’re focused on me, then I feel gypped. Same thing applies to loving others. If you only seek to fulfill the “minimum requirements of love” (as if such a thing even exists) then you are not going to be able to show that the relationship and the person are important to you. My advice is to do what you have to do, and then do more. The extra effort will be worth it.
-“What’s not a big deal to you may be a big deal to someone else.” We all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences in life. Inevitably your outlook on certain issues will be different than that of those whom you love. That’s why you have to be considerate and take into account what your loved one has gone through, in order for you to be sensitive to how things affect them. A simple joke or a seemingly small issue for you could be something that touches upon a very sensitive area for your loved one. And because you love them, you have to be prepared to pay attention to these small things and act accordingly or avoid them if at all possible.
-“A small deal can become a big deal, in both good ways and bad.” As I stated in the last paragraph, small things that are not heeded can create problems. But it also works for good. A simple note, a quick hello, a little hug, or a meaningful compliment can make the day of the one you love.
-“Daily personal prayer time is a must, no matter how many other spiritual things you do.” Imagine trying to run a car on fumes. Or sustaining a friendship when virtually no meaningful communication exists. That’s essentially what you’re do to your relationship with God when you don’t pray. Aside from that relationship suffering, you also won’t be able to get what you need to live your life lovingly for others. The same can be applied to your relationship with your loved one. Without communication, your relationship will wither and die. And if you don’t relate to God daily in prayer, then you won’t be able to relate to your loved one in the way that you need to.
-“The ugly truth is better than a pretty lie.” Sometimes we are scared to reveal unpleasant truths about ourselves or our pasts for fear that the other person will stop loving us. If they do stop loving you, then it was not the right kind of relationship. However, chances are that they’ll love you anyways, because they can see through the imperfections. But if you hide truths from them, or if you lie about something (even if it’s in a seemingly innocent or protective sort of way) in order to make yourself look better, then your relationship’s foundation is weakened. A pretty lie is still a lie. But an unpleasant truth honestly and freely revealed, is still the truth. Doing that will help you to build trust with the one you love and it will help you to be vulnerable in a way that is good.
-“Loneliness and stress can be cruel masters or great motivators.” Loneliness and stress are two of the leadings causing of people doing dumb stuff. It’s because they focus so much on the problems of loneliness and stress as well as the by-products of these two things, that they lose sight of the solution. Sure it’s easy to wallow in misery and self-pity when stress and loneliness are knockin’ at your door. But just imagine how much better things could be if you allowed these two things to motivate you instead of torment you. Instead of seeking wordly things that will never fill the hole in your heart, allow loneliness and stress to motivate you to do charitable works, or to pray more, or to seek the company of others. If you do this not only will you grow, but your relationship with your loved one will grow as well.
-“Love is a choice that is worth your time and effort.” Sometimes love feels great, both literally and figuratively. But our modern culture lies to us when we are tricked into believing that love always feels good. Love is sometimes hard. Love is sometimes painful. Love is sometimes confusing. It doesn’t just happen. You have to choose it. Yet it’s always worth it. And what is love? Love is doing right and growing closer to God. If you want to show your loved one that you truly care for them, then do right and help them grow closer to God.
-“Trustworthiness and vulnerability go hand in hand.” You cannot trust someone if they cannot open up and be vulnerable with you. On the other hand, you cannot be vulnerable with someone if you cannot trust them. It’s kinda like the chicken and the egg question. I’m not sure which has to come first. I just know you gotta have both.
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DESERT DAY – PART 4

Once again, I felt God telling me to come before him in prayer in front of the Tabernacle while they prayed for her. Now I know that many people have already discovered the power of praying in the presence of the Eucharist. I reveal nothing new in that regard. But I felt like I got to do so in a way that really brought the reality of intercession and prayer to life for me. The crazy part is, I could go on and on about all the revelations and blessing I’ve received on this trip, but I’ve only got 10 minutes left before I have to return to the van. As I sit here, I’m under the shade of some bushes by the side of a beautiful little stream. The sun is bright, the sky is beautiful, the breeze is blowing, and I can hear the sound of the water flowing past me. It is so utterly peaceful and refreshing out here.

I feel blessed beyond belief to be here at this very moment and to have this time to be with God. Someone commented earlier today that God blesses different people in different ways. At this moment, as I sit in this spot, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God is using all of these surroundings to bless me and shower his love on me. Well, the car horn is honking so I gotta head back. Praise you Jesus for this time of prayer and renewal. Please give me a heart of love to continue growing and serving you. Alleluia! Glory! Amen!

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MISSIONARY JOURNAL – CURIOUS YET UNINFORMED

12-11-09 (continued)

But if feels especially bad when it’s my parents. They love me so much and have done so much for me. They’re the only parents I have (as the priest reminded me in confession) so I need to love them and appreciate them as much as I can. Mission Formation this week was my respite (rest?). God to visit with my buddy Simon Peter, saw Sarah-Kate and Momma Genie, etc……. Even got to have a good talk with Eric Bacquet about mission life. I got some more of the typical grilling and interrogation about missions, but this time (this week) it was from my co-workers. Not bad that they did, but it just shows they’re curious yet uninformed.

I tried to explain as best as I could that I was at peace with my impending decision to enter foreign missions. However, it may be that it’s a reality that’s too deep for words sometimes, cuz w/my coworkers it doesn’t seem to matter what I say…. At least they care. I even got a call from my dad telling me about something he saw on NBC about some recent problems in Mexico. The nice thing was that I could tell it wasn’t a cynical attempt at warning me about the dangers of missions. It was an “I’m at peace and know you will make your own decision but I love you and wanted you to know about this” moment. Seems like God is already starting to prepare the hearts of my parents. Praise You Lord! So here I am, staring yet again at the first day of the rest of my life. Intake 2010 is one day closer, I’m cool with that. Lord God, help me to offer up my life to you, and follow where you lead. Help me to be loving and charitable, and to never turn a blind eye to those in need. Oh wait! 2 more things to mention……………….

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MISSIONARY JOURNAL – FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE

Tuesday 12-1-09 / 6:15AM @ CC’s Coffee on Johnston St.

Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, we can say that about EVERY day but do we really mean it? Do we REALLY feel that way? I know I do. It was a bit difficult for me going back to work yesterday. What I realize is that I’m blessed to have a job and it’s where God has me right now. It’s the environment where I need to work on becoming a holier person. However it’s not where I feel called, so it’s hard to sit still and be patient (literally and figuratively). Seems like God is saying to me “THIS is where you begin to develop your missionary spirit and zeal. Until you enter foreign missions, THIS is your mission territory.” In reflecting back on this mission trip, I truly feel like I am changed and different. I feel a bit like Saul in the book of Acts, living my life more or less on my own terms. Then this mission trip comes along and knocks me to the ground.

This trip really opened my eyes to how dear the poor are to God, and how much God wants us to bring his Word to everyone. This mission trip was also my Ananias, because I was blind and I now feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes. I hope that people can see a difference in me like they saw with Saul….. The other thing to mention is my prayer. I still pray for specific people and situations, but I feel less of a need to have a rapid-fire list that I mentally go through everytime I pray. This trip has helped me to realize that I need to pray to be able to trust God, to really trust him. I also feel led to make the other part of my daily prayer that I could just let go and fall in love with the Lord. Cuz if I truly feel called to missions, and if I truly feel like God is calling me to marriage, then the only way to be true to those callings is to have a heart after God’s heart, and for people to be able to see by the way I live my life, that I am truly, fully, and joyfully in love with the Lord. God Bless!

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