“Listen with the ear of your heart.”
St. Benedict of Nursia
Be slow to anger, quick to learn, also slow to speak,
as St. James says, equally quick to listen.
“But no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.”
I don’t know about your phone, but my phone displays, on the home screen, a banner
notification alert to emails, breaking news, missed calls, texts…etc…
One notification kept reoccurring, despite my having already opened and read the email—
Day after day, the same notification kept showing up.
Despite my having opened it, read it, and closed it.
Power the phone off.
The problem was that it kept happening, again and again.
But first, let’s back up a tad…
I subscribe to The Catholic Company’s Morning Offering.
Each morning, bright and early, I receive an email with the day’s quotes, daily office readings,
the saint of the day meditation of the day…etc.
It’s where I find many of the quotes and meditation (observations and writings) excerpts that I use.
I usually save them, only sending them to the trash once I’ve accumulated about a month’s allotment–
making certain I’ve read, savored and pulled out what is needed in my sharing.
Well, I did such for December 18th’s offering…
I didn’t use it that exact day but the following day…I used it when I felt “called” to do so.
I had used the morning of the 18th’s quote by Archbishop Fulton Sheen,
as well as the meditation excerpt from Fr. Basil Maturin.
“There are two ways of knowing how good God is:
one is never to lose Him, and the other is to lose Him and then to find Him.”
— Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“It is, then, in following the will of God,
in spite of all the difficulties that may arise both from within and from without,
in the constant offering of ourselves to God as the creatures of His hand to do and to be what
He would have us,
in the surrender of one thing after another that comes between us and Him and holds us back—–
it is in such acts that we unite ourselves with those glorious beings who cast their crowns
before the throne and with those unfallen creatures who have never known what it is to have
a wish or thought apart from the will of God.
Amongst those glorified saints there are, indeed,
many whose wills were for a long time in revolt against God’s will and who brought themselves
at last into subjection, many to whom the will of God here on earth meant the sacrifice of
everything the heart most loved, many to whom it meant the sacrifice of life itself.
But all that is past and over, and its fruits remain—the eternal life of oblation and union
with God, where one will rules those countless multitudes and binds them together and to God,
where each one of those countless millions lives his own complete and perfect life yet never
jars on any other, where each is perfect in itself and all together compose one perfect whole—
the Body of Christ.”
Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 47
An Excerpt From
Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God
My godfather, who passed away 3 years ago December 29, 2016, was the Episcopal priest
who I often reference in many of my posts.
He was instrumental in my life…
especially during my youthful Christian journey…
as he watched and silently prayed as I ebbed and flowed when beginning a life of my own.
He was the Dean of the Cathedral of St Philip in Atlanta from 1966-1984…
His birthday was December 18th.
And so ironically, oddly or divinely I kept having that errant notification on my phone from the
Catholic Morning Offering for the day of December 18th.
(and you know I don’t believe in coincidence…only prompting by The Spirit)
Day after day the notification was showing up on my phone despite my having read the email.
After powering down the phone multiple times, closing all apps, yada yada, yada…
it would keep popping up.
So I went back to the original email and moved it to the trash…
of which removed it from all of my devices…
I was suspecting my migrating of old to new computers might be to blame but doubted it.
So that was that.
The email was trashed and I hoped the popup notification would leave me alone.
So then out of the blue on December 17th, I received an errant text message from a dear old friend
from out in Billings, Montana.
He was a former priest at the Cathedral when I was in high school and was our priest for youth.
He and I were always very close friends even following our taking separate paths in life.
He moved back home to a small Montana town in order to pastor a small Episcopal Church
while I went off to college.
We’ve stayed in touch sporadically throughout the years…my husband and I even stopped in Billings
a few years back when we were on a driving adventure to Glacier National Park and met up for a bit of
face to face catch up.
But our contact is usually relegated to the yearly Christmas card…
And so I was really surprised when his text popped up out of the blue.
My friend wrote that He and David (Dean Collins) had had a good conversation the evening prior while
my friend was driving back home from church.
I wrote back a tongue and cheek response that their conversation must have been of the divine…
I then asked how he was besides being delusional…
He told me that sometimes he finds that he still needs to run a few things past the Dean, his former
boss, and mentor, as only the Dean would understand.
I get that…as I wholeheartedly agree.
I can’t count how many conversations I still have with my godpoppa…
I deeply miss that twinkling eye and sly smile and rich melodic soothing voice of his
as he’d take me in his arms offering my angst-filled heart comfort or lovingly place those
gentle hands upon my head calling for prayers of healing.
My friend in Montana has since retired as the rector of the Episcopal Chruch there in Billings
and now enjoys fishing as well as keeping up with the families of all of his now grown foster boys.
I told him that it was funny that he text me out of the blue regarding Dean Collins the day before the
Dean’s birthday which would have fallen on the 18th.
So fast forward to earlier this week.
I’ve written about my crazy dreams before.
I don’t always sleep well due to the vivid dreams I often have.
Some are slap crazy.
Some are weird as hell.
Some are troubling.
Some have me walking up my husband as I’m mumbling loudly while thrashing about as I seem to be
struggling in my sleep.
Some are so vivid that I can actually wake with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Well, the other night I had a dream that seemed to last most of the night…going on and on.
And of course, it made absolutely no sense and it was crazy… but…
the Dean was in the dream.
He was as he was when I was in college, but I was as I am now.
We were seated at a large table or maybe it was a long bench but we were seated side by side.
He was right by my side.
And despite the dream making no sense, there was however a sense of peace having him right by my side.
So when I woke up… I figured I needed to go back in and pull up that Morning Offering from Dec. 18th
that kept nagging me.
I wanted–needed–to see if I was missing something.
Or was I simply suppose to repost the quote and excerpts again…maybe someone esle needed to read
The bible verse is listed above—James 3:8-10
The quote was by Archbishop Sheen which is listed above along with the same
meditation by Fr. Basil Maturin.
And the saint for the day was–
St. Winebald (701-761 A.D.) was a Saxon prince born into a holy and royal family in England.
His father, St. Richard the King, and his mother, St. Wunna of Wessex, are both saints, as well as his brother,
St. Willibald, his sister, St. Walburga, and his uncle, St. Boniface.
After making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his father and brother,
and then spending many years in Rome, Winebald was recruited by his uncle, Boniface,
to join him in evangelizing Germany.
Winebald was ordained a priest and worked as a missionary across Germany, Holland, France, Austria,
Belgium, and Luxembourg, leaving behind many flourishing churches and monasteries
under the Rule of St. Benedict. St. Winebald was an important figure in laying the
foundations of Christianity across much of Europe.
After his death, his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. His feast day is December 18.
So now let’s look back at today’s picture I posted up above.
Back in October when I was spending a reflective afternoon exploring the beautiful church of
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, the Chruch of Sanit Mary over Minerva,
I was slowly walking from side chapel to chapel taking in the paintings, and the statuary—
all of the man-created beauty complimenting the Divine offering of peace.
When I found myself stopping, noting an odd little sight.
Something that I don’t think many of the passing tourists even noticed let alone understood the significance.
Someone had tied a scallop shell to the gate in front of the chapel.
Some of the chapels have gates and are locked most days as many of them contain priceless works of art.
These churches are open to the public with little to no security, so given our day and time,
some areas are simply locked off to a wandering public.
The shell is a symbol of St. James and is associated with Christian pilgrims…
Of which you may read here:
(Lynda I hope you have your shell)
And so I knew that a pilgrim had been here before I had been.
Our paths had crossed…unbeknownst to either of us…all but for the breadcrumb of a simple shell left behind.
And so since I feel as if my blog is often a pilgrimage of sorts, I also believe that my blog is
in turn a place for pilgrims to visit.
And thus since there was obviously something about the day’s devotion from Dec. 18th that
needed for, or rather longed for, me to revisit and reshare. I have done so.
It is for whoever may find themselves stopping by for a bit of a respite during their pilgrimage.
“And he began, “What chance or destiny
has brought you here before your final day?
And who is he who leads your pilgrimage?”
“Up there in life beneath the quiet stars
I lost my way,” I answered, “in a valley,
before I’d reached the fullness of my age.
I turned my shoulders on it yesterday:
this soul appeared as I was falling back,
and by the road through Hell he leads me home.”
“Follow your star and you will never fail
to find your glorious port,” he said to me”