Posts Tagged With: reflection

Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 35

Day 35 – Sunday – 10/28/12

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that a good journal entry is like a good dream. If you want to remember it, you are more likely to do so if you write it down earlier in the day. That’s probably why most of my journaling is done, or at least starts in the morning. Got some really good sleep last night. Let my body wake me up, since we didn’t have communion services today thus no early Mass. Looks like I’ll be going to Noon Mass! 😉 The sun is out, the skies are blue, the air is nice and cold and crisp and refreshing. When I was heating up my morning coffee, I was thinking about how it would be black with some sugar in it. That is, until I remembered that I had bought some creamer yesterday, at which point I was super happy. You see, that’s an instance where it’s good to forget something because then you get a pleasant surprise because of it. Fired up my computer, in case any family or friends would try to call me or send me a message. Went on up to our chapel here at the mission house and had me some good morning prayer time, along with my hot cup of coffee for sure.

So another thing I’ve discovered is that my fast seems to be the source of much reflection and therefore much material for my journal. I think I’m rediscovering too that typing a journal entry instead of writing it really helps me to get my thoughts out faster. No, I don’t type at the speed of talk. That would be a superhuman strength reserved only for Super Man. I’m Sidney Man, not Super Man. But it does help. The only downside is that when compared to writing down a journal entry, I tend to not be as thoughtful or selective in what I write because I can write it much faster. Maybe typing a journal entry more accurately reflects the influence of my stream of consciousness, and writing a journal entry is more reflective of the general idea influenced by more time for reflection and composition.

Last night was an exercise in irony for me. If you recall in yesterday’s entry, I was waiting until the baby shower to eat since there would be food. Thought that it would be a late lunch, when in reality they ate around supper time. So what ended up happening is that I got tired of waiting (impatient much?) and ate my own supper, which was a decent amount of food. Then, not long after that I was informed that there was some food waiting for me. A big piece of cake, a cup of coke, tostadas (with beans, lettuce, and tomato) and a few marshmallows thrown in for good measure. I was FULL. And one of the things I’ve discovered as a hungry person is that you think that when you do get a chance to eat that if you eat alot of food, you won’t be hungry for a much longer time. After supper I discovered that was not necessarily true. By the time I went to bed, I was probably having as intense of a hunger pang that I’ve had all during the fast. Maybe my body, because of my hunger, digested the food super quick so that I could get nutrients. Anyhoo, the hunger was not a bad thing. It’s the whole point of a fast, and it’s the fuel, the raw material, the offering that you can offer up to the Lord.

Also last night I reinforced the notion that time flies when you’re having fun. Had another great conversation with a female friend last night. Talked about alot of different things. I mean, we did kinda sorta have a direction in the conversation, but it still had very much of a random feel to it. Like I said, I really enjoyed it, especially since we got to talk for a long time. God-willing, if things continue to go well, I might reveal her identity. But for now it’ll have to wait. Don’t wanna count the chickens before the eggs hatch. BUT, if I had to give you a percentage of likelihood that it will progress to that point, I’d say it’s at least 90%. 😉 We shall see what we shall see.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 19

Day 19 – Friday – 10/12/12

Chillin’ out at the local graveyard for our weekly Desert Day prayer time. It is very peaceful and serene out here. Beautiful mountain scenery all around. Sunny day. A few wispy clouds is the sky. It’s a great place to come for some peace and quiet. We began our Desert Day quite appropriately by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a group before splitting apart. Getting to pray the Chaplet, on a Friday, in a cemetery provides a unique and somber opportunity to meditate on my own physical mortality. The principal thought that is coming to my mind is how little I seem to think about it. It almost seems like at times that I forget that I’m mortal, because I get so wrapped up in life here on earth.

But even if I live to some crazy Biblical age of 900+ years, that’s still a blink of the proverbial eye when compared to how old the universe is, how long it will be around after me, and especially in comparison to eternity. And while it’s good to enjoy the journey I can’t lose sight of my final destination, eternity with God. When I think about leaving behind all of the good stuff one day when God finally calls me home (family, friends, loved ones, cherished places, memories, etc…) it’s a little saddening. But then I think about how much greater eternity with God will be, and it gives me hope. Please Lord give me strength to persevere through this life and especially give me strength and comfort to persevere through the gateway of death so that I can be with you forever.

Today I’m reminded again of the awesome parallel with Jesus that I’m experiencing in my own 40 day fast out here in the desert. The hunger, the temptations, the closeness to God. It’s pretty surreal when I really think about it. If I only experience one IOTA of the grace that Jesus experienced during his 40 day fast, I will consider myself extremely blessed. If hunger is any indication of the level of grace I’m experiencing, I’m definitely receiving more grace as the fast continues. And if battling and subduing my will, inclinations, instincts, feelings, and desires is any indicator, then there too I’m experiencing alot of grace.

To end today’s entry, just a few reflections on the Eucharist, the ultimate fulfiller of the ultimate hunger. My physical hunger today is pretty noticeable, because instead of eating a meal split into two snacks (one at breakfast and one at lunch), i’m waiting until supper to eat because we have our monthly community dinner with the other missionaries. (edit: actually, I have to admit that the hunger pangs are pretty intense today.) I think also now that i’m well into my fast, and i’m taking two smaller snacks instead of a meal, my body’s adjusting and feeling the hunger more. So, I decided to do a communion service for one of the old men at the Comedor, because otherwise he wouldn’t receive the Eucharist. I can’t say no to him receiving the Eucharist, especially when I’m able to bring it to him, and especially when I know he really wants it. So besides the extreme privilege of bringing the Eucharist to him, I was also able to receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist as my first solid food nourishment of the day.

To be able to receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in The Eucharist when you are feeling strong hunger pangs heightens the experience of the Eucharist. It’s pretty amazing. I was equally astonished as to what he said regarding the Eucharist. Once I got there, it was apparent that he had a little bit of chest congestion and a little bit of a cough. He said he wanted to receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist, but wasn’t sure if he should because of his cough and he didn’t want to disrespect Jesus by possibly coughing him up. I assured him that Jesus wants to be with him in the Eucharist, and that it was ok to receive Jesus anyways. That Jesus understood his situation, and could even heal him. I was just awestruck by this old man’s way of having so much respect for the Eucharist. If only we all had that same respect……..

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“Desert” Day at the Beach

 

Thursday, February 17, 2011 – 12:13pm – Rodney Bay Beach, St. Lucia

This is definitely one of those moments where I feel like God is giving us a bonus for being in missions. It’s a beautiful, sunny day with a nice breezing blowing in from the Carribean. As I sit here, writing in my journal, the waves are lapping at my feet. I can hear the radio at one of the nearby cabanas. Sand is going in between my toes. Absolutely gorgeous. In a way, I feel guilty though, like I don’t deserve it. To be honest, I don’t deserve it. I’m not that great of a missionary (yet). I’m lazy, still focus on myself alot, and I don’t put myself out there to really try and minister to people’s needs. I’m not even as deserving as many of the tourists here. At least they worked hard and saved money to be able to come here.

But then I remind myself that God doesn’t bless me because I’ve earned it or “deserve” it. He blesses me because he loves me. Plain and simple. When we think about following God’s call, we always tend to think in terms of what we’ll have to give up. In missions, I don’t get to see my friends or family. I’ve got to put my dream of finding the perfect girl on hold. I no longer have my cats or my dog. I think you get my point. But today as I reflect on all of this, I wonder “Why don’t we ever think of what we’ll GAIN by following God’s call?” I’m able to visit, minister to, and pray daily with the elderly and infirm. I get to share food, water, prayer, and companionship with the poor. I get to experience the Church as universal. I’m blessed to live with a family of 10 kids and learn about the family life that I so desire.

On my “desert” day of prayer and reflection, I get to come to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and swim and play and walk around. I get to make my mission cross from a coconut shell. Maybe if we think in terms of what we’ll gain instead of what we’ll lose, our lives would truly be changed for the better. I leave you with a Scripture and ask for your continual prayers. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the [Carribean 🙂 ] seas, and established it upon the rivers.” –Psalm 24:1-2–

P.S. – I just met a nice couple from Arkansas as I was walking down the beach getting some scenic shots. ‘Bout to read the last chapter of the philosophy book I’ve been working on for awhile. Also realized that I was wearing my mission cross to the beach, a cross that I made from the shell of a St. Lucia coconut. Only would this all happen……….on the same day……….on the beach………..in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia………….on missions! Boy oh boy, the interesting stories I’ll get to tell my future children and grandchildren about my time in missions.

 

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