Simply Hildegard…

On this day, September 17, Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-September 17, 1179) left us with an impeccable example of a life lived with direct purpose.

In her lifetime, Hildegard accomplished many things and among them, she was the following:

Abbess and foundress of a Benedictine convent
Visionary
Preacher
Musician and composer
Doctor
Pharmacist
Poet
Artist
German writer: Three books she wrote, Know thy Way, Book of the Rewards of Life,  and Book of Divine Works.
Christian mystic
Philosopher

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Saint Hildegard wrote this short beautiful musical piece that truly touches the soul: Enjoy, and tell me if you think angels would sound like this beautiful voice in this video below

Oh sweet divinity,

oh delightful life,

could I carry in you the garment of light

and receive back what I lost with my first appearance!

To You I sigh and call upon all virtues!

~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation

In this week’s Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation, I literally freaked and thought, no way, this is too difficult a challenge. The first question asked that you tell about a writer whose style most influenced your writing voice.

This question left me afraid because I do not know my writing voice! I am so embarrassed to admit this! This is shameful on my part but thankfully, I do know what I am not, that is, I cannot write in the epic styles found in writers like Leo Tolstoy or James A. Michener. I am so in awe with anyone that can write a book like, War and Peace or Michener’s, Texas.

Cover of "From the Angel's Blackboard: Th...

Photo Credit: Amazon

As the challenge probed me to think deeper into what my writing voice actually sounds like, I discovered the one author whom, from the time I read, From the Angel’s Blackboard–The Best of Fulton J. Sheen, I knew, profound writing, in a simple, straightforward fashion, was possible.

For example, Fulton Sheen wrote, “I feel it is time that I pay tribute to my four writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

Just like that, no fancy words or hard to understand churchy words, just, “…it is time that I pay tribute…four writers…

So, as I continue to search out my writing voice, let me pay tribute, in my amateurish and shallow in comparison way, to the four five writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Fulton, by briefly writing out some of my feelings about the tragic day, September 11.

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Brothers and sisters: How can one begin to understand, on this day, September 11, these words found in Sacred Scriptures:

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who hurt you…Love your enemies! Do good to them.” (Luke 6: 27-28 and 35)

As I read these words, and thought about the tragedy of 9-11, I admit, I found these words very difficult to ponder upon much less think to put into practice.

I am shouting:  HOW DOES ONE LEARN TO FORGIVE?!?

God, they took down so many lives, left so many hurting, and you ask that I bless, love, do good and forgive them?”

The first certified victim, labeled 0001, was Father Mychal Judge. Oh, right, he was an imperfect person, with personal struggles all his own, but, he bravely went in as the chaplain for the firefighters and became the first, out of hundreds who lost their lives that fall morning.

WHY this nightmare?? God, please, I need your light to understand where to go from here. A poetic writer, Caddo Veil, poignantly wrote, “God, be present and redeem…”

Finally, while struggling with my lack of forgiveness, I did find rays of hope shining through, first from John 16:33, Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Second, in Fulton Sheen’s simple, yet profound words, “To believe in God is to throw ourselves in God’s arms; to hope in God is to rest in His heart in patience amid trials and tribulations, to love God is to be with God through a participation of His divine nature through grace.”

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God, help me to believe and forgive through all circumstances.

In honor of those who lost their lives on September 11 and to all who are left to carry on in their memory…
I pray.

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What Does Love Look Like?

 

Saint Augustine once wrote, “What does love look like?”

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~Love must look like the freshness and beauty found in the surprise gift of a vase full of flowers. Pretty, but more realistically, love probably looks less showy and ever bit more practical.

Augustine continued, “What does love look like…?

It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men…”

~In our silence you can hear the agonizing cries from those deeply hurt by life’s burdens–you listen with sadness and wonder what you can do with so many broken-hearted souls humiliated especially when their wound comes from love not felt or love torn away.

In love…
~We cry with them
~We spend time with them
~We listen and hold them close in our thoughts
~We love unconditionally…

“That is what love looks like.” ~St. Augustine

In order to see love, occasionally we need our silence to hear love calling out to us and a plea to heaven: God, give me your eyes…for just a second.

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What does love look like to you?

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Weekly Image Of Life: A Lifetime Of Memories–On God

“Nothing else is required than to act toward God, in the midst of your occupations, as you do, even when busy, toward those who love you and whom you love.”  ~St. Alphonsus Liguori

How does a person “act toward God,” and how does a person simply remember their faith journey?  I have no recollection of my baptism and today, my religious memories are just snippets of faith teachings here and there. But what if God was sitting next to me as I write this, or should I say, how would I act in front of him? Would my actions change because I know God is sitting right next to me? What memories do I want to remember about my God? What faith memories do I have??

Nothing comes to mind about my baptism, I do remember nuns, so I did get baptized early and I did go to Catholic schools, but not consistently. Since my family had very weak ties to the church, I took it upon myself to follow-up after high school to get confirmed with the Catholic Church. Confirmation is just a teen Catholic thing, in my opinion, and really, my memory of the whole thing is simply, a big blur.

As you can tell, my sparse Catholic upbringing without a strong family support did nothing to build a lifetime of faith building memories. I could say, I am a product of my upbringing. Thankfully, I can go on a, do-it-yourself, mini spiritual exercise,called, What If…, to overcome my lack of lifetime faith memories that lives dormant within me.

What if God paid me a visit, now…

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I actually would pull up a chair and politely ask God, ” Please, have a seat.”

Now, I look over at him and think, hmm, this is the great Divine, the One most revered and He is sitting next to me!! What should I say or do??

Nervously, I shamefully say, “Would you like a beer? I have an extra can, not chilled, but you can have it over ice. Maybe, coffee or tea, perhaps?”

I fidget in my chair and frantically think, girl, say something…but what? What can I say to God who is sitting next to me that He does not know already?

Randomly I blurt out, “Uh, you know Roxy, my hen, passed on yesterday. Of course, you knew all about that but still, just in case you had other things going on, and uh, what is up with the thermostat turned way up to 115 degrees?? Just wondering…”

(He wants to know what I am up to.)

“Oh, this, uh, it is blogging. A bunch of us bloggers share what we know or have talent for on a page called a post and then we publish it over the blogosphere. I am just a rookie, still learning all the ins and outs and making mistakes left and right.”

He nods approvingly, I hope.

“Papa, (I call Him that) we have a lifetime of memories, right? Maybe one day you will tell me the story of how you created me and the story of all your hopes and dreams you anticipated I would carry out for you? I need to hear these stories…please?”

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Crazy, I know, but, What If...is a mini exercise that helps put God back into perspective because:

I sometimes forget what is important in life.

I forget that a lifetime of memories comes not only with special celebrations, cherished moments with loved ones, with every pain and heartache endured up to this point, but also through the imagination.

I forget that nothing else is required from me, that my life can go on as ordinary or extraordinary, and the only thing required is simply to point all my actions towards God.

*****

“Papa, I love you. Thank you for every life memory, happy, sad, tough and good times,  imprinted on my heart. I may have forgotten many of the spiritual ones, but the ones I do remember, I want to hold on to them tightly because I do not ever want to forget…You.”

If you would like inspiration every week, please hop on over to Island Traveler’s, Weekly Image Of Life: A Lifetime Of Memories.

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Now, it’s your turn: What if God paid you a visit, now…

Why are YOU valuable?

God does not love us because we are valuable. We are valuable because God loves us.” ~Fulton Sheen

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~YOU are eternally valuable...

YOU are extremely valuable

so

Embrace YOU
Love YOU
Be only YOU
since
YOU

are

valuable

and

 eternally loved

~To all of YOU who constantly support, encourage and inspire me…Thank YOU, and know, you are simply charming and valuable to me.

SUNDAY POST :Valuable.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

Today I visited with . . .

Weekly photo challenge, today, crucifix, random, Christianity, God, faith, religion

You may not love me today, tomorrow, or ever, but I will love you until it kills me, and even then, you’ll be in my heart.

~Anonymous

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today | The Daily Post at WordPress.com.