May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his face
and bring you peace. (Nb. 6:24-26)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Waste or For Recycling?

Did you know that there is an island of trash swimming around the Pacific Ocean? Yesterday I was reading about it. It made me ponder about the amounts of “trash” swimming inside of us without any restraint. Moreover, as I was reading the article, I found myself thinking: “this rubbish should be picked up and recycled.” Then I thought of so many moments and things in my own life that I do not recycle. I mean, all that useless resentments, old hurts, old habits, etc.

Hence, the title of this blog, are those things a waste or just in need of recycling? Can they be recycled? Do we have the means to transform a bad experience into something new?

According to God we do. Everything is an opportunity. Nothing is a waste in our lives. Good things give us immediate joy, peace, happiness, strength, and so on. Bad times teach us lots about the world, ourselves and strengths we didn’t know we had. Failures can make us more understanding with other people’s struggles, more merciful, able to forgive other’s failures…

So I found myself musing on how to do this recycling. My answer came from the Word of God; in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the disciples about the problems they will face; he says… “You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as evidence to them and to the gentiles (Matthew 10,18)” As ordinary people, the only way to speak to governors and kings about Christ was to be the prisoner in a trial. Looking back in my life I realized that much of that “trash” made me able to do things that otherwise I would never have been able to do. Thanks to God we have the capacity to recycle trash into a new life.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Why am I happy?

Which reasons do I have to be happy? I like my life; it is not always an easy path (which one is it?) but it is never sad. It has lots of good moments; in fact, God has given me the gift of being happy with what he gives me so, usually, I don’t lack many things.
I begin each day with a time of prayer in which I read the Bible. God tells me again and again that he loves me; that the world will not fall out of his hands (even if it seems to me that is doing so) and that there is hope for the future. In his Word, Christ reminds me every day that he believes every person I meet to be worthwhile, to the point of giving his own life (and mine) for him or her. Thus, even when I get up a little worried, pessimistic or gloomy, God manages to convince me of the many reasons I have to love the life he has given me.
People also make me happy. Certainly, there are many who neither sow nor peace nor love; however, there are many more who do so. I've lived in four countries: Spain, England, USA and Italy, and my experience has always been the same. The world is full of good people, really and honestly good; who love and fight for the loved ones and for the unknown people they find on their way. Surely, they do not make so much noise as the others, but their lives are a source of happiness for everyone they meet.
I am happy also because it is Christ’s gift for those who listen to what he says: “But now I am coming to you and I say these things in the world to share my joy with them to the full.”
(John 17, 13)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

May they all be one

Hi, just a little thougth on unity...

May they all be one as we are one (John 17,20-23): “Unity is oneness.” This means that as Jesus and the Father are one and different from each other, we are called to do and live the same. As I was reading this passage it struck me that so many times we see unity in doing the same, being together, or agreeing in everything… but unity is something deeper than that. It comes from Christ in us and the Father in Him. Furthermore, it is a gift from God, a gift that we can ask…

You, the one
From whom on different paths
All of us have come.

To whom on different paths
All of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts what unites us.

Build bridges across all that divides us;
United make us rejoice in our diversity.

At one in our witness to your peace,
A rainbow of your glory.


-- Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Today I would like to offer you something different. This is part of an encyclical. When I first read it I thought that I could not express in better words what I feel God has done in my life. I really hope you know (or will know one day) what I mean.

It is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love. This applies even in terms of this present world. When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life. But soon he will also realize that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life. It is a love that remains fragile. It can be destroyed by death. The human being needs unconditional love. He needs the certainty which makes him say: “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39). If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him in his particular circumstances. This is what it means to say: Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us. Through him we have become certain of God. (Spe Salvi, n.26.)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Rings and symbols.

Do you wear a ring? I have been looking at the ring on my finger all week. Why? Because last weekend I saw a film, “Fireproofmymarriage,” where there is a scene about a ring. A husband has been trying to save a sinking marriage; now he is wounded in hospital; he looks at his ring that is sitting on a side table, and puts it on; the doctor tells him better not because the hand needs to heal. And the answer is “my hand will have to heal with the ring”, when he looks back at his hand it is obvious that he is referring to his marriage; the ring has become for him a symbol of it.

As a consequence, I have been thinking about symbols all week. Small things become very important because they represent for us something else. Have you ever had any item with not much value but that meant a lot for you? A photography, letter, song, music CD …and tried to explain to someone else why is it that is so important? One feels a little irrational trying to explain why a normal thing is so special.

This week I felt odd trying to explain why I wear a ring. It is a reminder of a mutual commitment; but as many words as I was using I could not explain fully what it means for me to look at my finger and remember that I have a very special love in my life. A simple ring makes me taste a love that “is always patient and kind, never jealous, boastful or conceited, always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes”. (1Corinthians 13,4-7)
Not bad for a simple ring…

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Words, Windows or Walls?

Words, windows or walls? Today I have been thinking on how we speak to each other; it is so easy to hurt others without realizing... I suddenly remembered this poem from a book I read last year. It reminds me that to talk is always as having a conversation through a land line, there are filters on both sides of the line. Filters change the sound of our voice, or at least, how it sounds to the one who listens. I, sometimes, wish that we could hear what people really want to say with the words they pronounce. What do you say about yourself? (John 1, 22)

Words are windows, or they’re walls,
They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.
There are things I need to say,

Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?
If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words
To the feelings that we share.

–By Ruth Bebermeyer
(Marshall Rosenberg Nonviolent Communications 2003)

John 1, 22 So they said to him, 'Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?'

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Giving Thanks

These days I have made a point of looking back on my day and giving thanks for something. It is not always the first thought that comes to my mind but I have always found something. Then, by chance, I also found this poem in my USB… I had got it ages ago and forgotten about it. I hope you like it. It reminds me that nothing that happens to us is a waste. Everything can make us better people. Thanks also to the writer.

I give thanks for the hard times, for they made me strong.
I give thanks for the lean times, for they made a giver.
I give thanks for the loneliness; it taught me to be a friend.
I give thanks for the hunger that taught me to share.
I give thanks for the tears, that taught me to smile.
I am grateful to the darkness for it helped me find the light.
I give thanks for the storm and the pain and the fear
that made me a survivor.
I give thanks for the gift of words;
and as long as there is air to breathe and light to see, and lessons to learn,
to share the blessing, on this day and always, I will write.
Carmen Ruggero ©2007

Give a look to this passage from Romans, 8,28 We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

who are you not to be?

They always say that the greatest "achievement" of XXth century is to have convinced us of being no-one. This poem reminds me that God made us well, that when He saw that everything was good he was right. I hope you like it.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)

And this is the one who said it first...Genesis, 1, 27-31 God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them... God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good

Monday, 8 June 2009

God Rested

I heard yesterday a priest joking about the fact that Church critics never seem to remember that "holidays" were God's invention. God rested. On the seventh day, after a week of creation, he rested. This idea seems to be following me these last days, maybe because I do not seem to have found the “seventh day” of my weeks.

I read the Bible, where God tells the Israelites to rest. In two lines it says what God does for resting: looks back on what he has done and he approves of it; he blesses it and He makes holy the day of looking back, enjoying and speaking well of his work.

I went to bed yesterday trying to remember what had happened during the day for which I could give thanks because it had been very good. I had been studying all day (got two exams this week) but lunch with the others was a moment of joking and laughing all the time. It was a great moment; after, I rested (and slept) much better. Thus, now I am even more convinced that God’s ways of doing things are much more effective than ours. He rests enjoying what he has done.

Genesis, 1:31-2:3 God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. 2He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested after all his work of creating.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Simply, Pray

Today I have something different to show you. I received this in the morning. Big truths come in simple ways!

Sometimes we understand a message when it is simply illustrated…

...and you question God - 'why me?'.... always look at the bigger picture....

Thank God for the stuff that didn’t hit you!