Saturday, December 29, 2012


There's something in the air...

It's been an intense last few months.  And in the last month, I think I've logged only 8 full days at home.  I like to travel.  I like to try new things and different languages. I've met a ton of new people and really look forward to the upcoming year.  There's a myriad of new possibilities.  Who can sneeze at that?  My life continues to prove that with God, there are no slow moving boats... there's only massive roller coasters with high speeds and hair-raising drops and rises.  I'll never regret that.  EVER.  

However, I've come to understand something I never quite understood before. 

HOME... is a blessed place.

So, this is where the funny part comes... I've never been one to miss home.  As far back as I can remember, I've strained towards the beckoning of an open door to somewhere else.  Towards a plane that can take me anywhere.  A car that can keep driving and driving, so long as I keep the tank topped off.  I used to keep a go-away bag stowed in my car, just in case I got inspired to jet to places unknown.  I've always kept boxes stored in my closets in case my lease came up or some strange situation required me to pack things up and move on to another apartment, another home.  Maybe the landlord was selling the house and needed us to move out; or my roommate got this great opportunity and I'd be stuck scrambling to find someone in less than a couple of weeks; or have to pay off my lease and jump in with friends while I was looking for another place. I can pack things together in the blink of an eye... completely organized and with every last detail covered.  From birth, I've been traveling.  I was on my 1st plane ride and my first move at the age of 3 months.  Made my 2nd move at the age of 3.  My 3rd move at the age of 5.  To say I've been TRAINED to uproot myself... to explore, is an understatement.  

In truth, I've loved it.  I love the excitement of something new, fresh and invigorating.  I have all my little pockets and areas to store things.  I have my favorite travel towel, my favorite travel blanket, the perfect outfits for plane or car... you name it, I have the system and ritual down.  When I'm in the passenger seat, I have my books to read, lotions to keep my nose happy and snacks to keep my tongue and tummy happy.  I have every accoutrement necessary for a comfortable and relaxing ride.  I keep a map out so I can see exactly where I'm at in any given time.  I can navigate with the best of them thanks to my dad, who used to spend his time in the driver's seat instructing me on the fine points of map-reading.  He taught me to always know which direction I'm pointed (if I know the time and am charting the movement of the sun, it's pretty easy).  When I'm going somewhere new, I research the destination and all the points along the way.  Can you tell I can talk FOREVER about the joys of traveling and moving???

I've never quite understood when I would hear people say "I miss home."  In my mind I'd be thinking, "Are you nuts?  That's so boring!  Why would you want to go someplace you've already been?"

Fast forward to today.  
I've had a few epiphanies.  
They're all recently new.  

I'll say it again...
Home is a blessed place.

To say something or someone is blessed is a powerful statement.  It can mean all kinds of things to different people.  But it has an underlying definition that remains true, no matter who says it.  It means ... to be FILLED with joy.  FILLED With promise and its' ultimate end.  

Something I've discovered, is that it's difficult to experience deep seated joy when you're destabilized.  Promises need the soil of unconditional love in order to take root.  There's no way around that.  The purpose of home is to provide a safe and warm haven, from which you can tackle anything the world throws at you.  It's the place you come back to when you're weary of fighting the good fight and you're operating on fumes and your stamina is kicking out.  It's a place to actively grow and learn, because how can you truly live out dreams when there's no spot that they can grow from?  It's like a plant.  Plants don't grow very high or become strong when they're not well rooted.  Well watered.  Well cultivated.  They can't be filled with solid nutrients if I'm constantly pulling it out of the ground and re-planting it in a different spot.  Their growth gets stunted.  Their leaves look anemic.  How well the soil is prepared is also phenomenally important.  If I just throw something into the ground without breaking up the soil, without mixing in manure thus giving it an environment which can self-sustain itself... it may or may not take.  But if I take care of things properly, that baby plant will grow, become robust and in time fill out the entire place with its' life and fruits.

It's a bit like Advent.  Advent is a time of reminding us of where are true roots lie...  Our true home lies.  It lies in the arms of a child who carries the universe within his being.  In that place all fruit begins.  Praying and living by the Gospel waters, feeds and nurtures our souls for our (hopefully) eternal residence.

Dear Lord Jesus, collect us and carry us Home!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Salve Regina Tonantzin  (taken from the text of Misa Azteca:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

There is a crimson mist of roseate swans there beyond in your home, Oh, Santa Maria

Turquoise swans, all the birds, are cackling.  And this is how you’re prayed to, Santa María.

Ave María!  O lady, noble lady, right here we’re praising you with love.

There’s singing in this House of Flutes-and we are singing!

What flower is this that lies in fragrance?  It gleams incarnadine like a roseate swan, it seems!

Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Salve Regina Tonantzin

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.

ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae, ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte; et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.  O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

Zan ca tlauhquecholtlapalayauhtimani a oncaan y ye mochani tisanta Maria, ayia yeoo ayia yeha

Y zan ca xiuhquechol nepapan tototl chachalacaya, yca tontlatlauhtilo yani tisanta Maria

Ave maria an o ticihuapille tlatocacihuapille yxquickcapaya timitzontotlaçoyectenehuiliya ho

Cuicoya tlapitzalcalitequi toncuicatinemi tleon

mach y xochitl ahuiaxtimania o anqui ya tlauhquecholtlaztalehualtotonatoc.

Ora pro nobis sancta Dei Genetrix.
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Immaculate Conception- Padre Pio

Blessed Be Christ The King
Meditation on the Immaculate Conception
By Padre Pio, OFM, Cap.

Eternal Love, Spirit of Light and Truth, make a way into my poor mind and allow me to penetrate as far as it is possible to a wretched creature like myself, into that abyss of grace, of purity and of holiness, that I may acquire a love of God that is continually renewed, a love of God Who, from all eternity planned the greatest of all the masterpieces created by His hands: the Immaculate Virgin Mary.

From all eternity Almighty God took delight in what was to be the most perfect work of His hands, and anticipated this wonderful plan with an outpouring of His Grace.

Man, created innocent, fell by disobeying Him; the mark of original sin remained engraved on his forehead and that of his progeny who will bear its consequences until the end of time.

A woman brought ruin, and a woman was to bring salvation. The one, being tempted by a serpent, stamped the mark of sin on the human race; the other was to rise through grace, pure and immaculate. She would crush the head of the serpent who was helpless before her and who struggled in vain under her heel; for she was conceived without sin, and through her came grace to mankind.

Protected with Grace by Him Who was to be the Savior of Mankind that had fallen into sin, she escaped all shadow of evil. She sprang from the mind of God as a pure ray of light, and will shine like a morning star over the human race that turns to her. She will be the sure guide who will direct our steps toward the Divine Sun which is Jesus Christ. He makes her radiant with divine splendor and points to her as our model of purity and sanctity. No creature surpasses her, but all creation defers to her through the Grace of Him Who made her immaculate. He Whom she was to carry in her womb was the Son of God participating with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the glory of her conception.

Clothed in light from the moment of her conception, she grew in grace and comeliness. After Almighty God, she is the most perfect of creatures; more pure than the angels; God is indeed well pleased in her, since she most resembles Him and is the only worthy repository of His secrets.

In the natural order she preceded her Divine Child, Our Lord, but in the divine order Jesus, the Divine Sun, arose before her, and she received from Him all grace, all purity and all beauty.

All is darkness compared to the pure light that renews all creation through Him Whom she bore in her womb, as the dew on the rose.

The Immaculate Conception is the first step in our salvation. Through this singular and unique gift Mary received a profusion of Divine Grace, and through her cooperation she became worthy of absorbing infinitely more. 
Murrillo's Immaculate Conception
My most pure Mother, my soul so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to your maternal heart. In your goodness deign, I beseech you, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into you with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God. Strengthened and supported by this grace, may I succeed in better loving and serving Almighty God Who Filled your heart completely, and Who created the temple of your body from the moment of your Immaculate Conception.

The Three Divine Persons imbue this sublime creature with all her privileges, her favors and her graces, and with all of her holiness.

The Eternal Father created her pure and immaculate and is well pleased in her for she is the worthy dwelling of His only Son. Through the generating of His Son in His bosom from all eternity, He forecasts the generation of His Son as Man in the pure womb of this mother, and He clothed her from her conception in the radiant snowy garment of grace and of most perfect sanctity; she participates in His perfection.
The Son Who chose her for His Mother poured His wisdom into her that from the very beginning, by infused knowledge, she knew her God. She loved and served Him in the most perfect manner as He never until then had been loved and served on this earth.

The Holy Ghost poured His love into her; she was the only creature worthy or capable of receiving this love in unlimited measure because no other had sufficient purity to come so near to God; and being near to Him could know and love Him ever more. She was the only creature capable of containing the stream of love which poured into her from on high. She alone was worthy to return to Him from Whom came that love. This very love prepared her for that "Fiat" which delivered the world from the tyranny of the infernal enemy and overshadowed her, the purest of doves making her pregnant with the Son of God.

Oh my Mother, how ashamed I feel in your presence, weighted down as I am with faults! You are most pure and immaculate from the moment of your conception, indeed from the moment in eternity when you were conceived in the mind of God.

Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of yours revive me, purify me and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world that I may go to Him Who created me, Who regenerated me in Holy Baptism, giving me back my white stole of innocence that original sin had so defiled. Dear Mother, make me love Him! Pour into my heart that love that burned in yours for Him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of your Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it you may purify my heart so that I may love your God and my God. Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to Him and contemplate Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I too may be a tabernacle for Him and be less unworthy of possessing Him when He deigns to come to me in Holy Communion. Amen.

We too, redeemed by Holy Baptism, are corresponding to the grace of our vocation when in imitation of our Immaculate Mother we apply ourselves incessantly to the knowledge of God in order that we may ever learn better to know Him, to serve Him and to love Him.