Thursday, September 29, 2011


I have been reading "What Men Live By" by Leo Toltsoy, during this week, and even though the portraying of Saint Michael in this story is not the usual one seen in these days, with sword and ready to fight the dragon, it is nonetheless very adequate for us. We could even for a moment pretend we are in his role, and learn the 3 truths that God has commanded him to search for:

-"Learn what dwells in man"
-"What is not given to man"
-"What men live by"

Both Simon the Shoemaker and Matryona his wife, start the encounter with Saint Michael with lower human traits, with selfishness, greed, fear, etc...but in the course of the story, these traits are overcomed by love. Matryona changes her foul thought into a loving gaze and Simon changes his mind and retraces back his steps to help him.

I have talked in the past about communities, how people striving to form a community may find it so difficult to sustain the effort, and it is because we are so separated from the spiritual world, that the differences amongst us are made unsurmountable. Some people may look for community for wrong reasons, egotistic intentions, or plainly self-interest. yet how can we humans strive for something better than that?

We find it in the first community, marriage, where two have to become one, and where the natural binding is again, plainly not enough, nowadays we have more independency from each other because we have more independency from the spiritual, but until we gain again the truths about reality, about the spiritual origin of all, and we consciously make the work to align super-naturally with these truths, all will fail, marriage, and  communities at large.

The quotes at the beginning of Leo Tolstoy's story are worth thinking:

We know that we have passed out of death into life, beacsue we love the brethren. He that love not abideth in death. I Epistle St John iii.14

Whoso hath the world's goods, and beholded his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us no love in word, neither with tongue; but in deed and truth. iii 17-18

Love is God;and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. iv 7-8

No man had beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abideth in us. 1v 12

God is love;and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. iv 16

If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he had not seen? iv 20

One of my teachers, the director of a school in Spain, told me once about her youthful longings to work in a community. As time went by, she confessed that just striving to hold a school smoothly in a way that everybody was heard and honored, was enough community for the time-being.

I have also the same longing, just striving to hold the family in loving relationships, to strive to "see" every person that I encounter and thus give them my attention, to be part of groups striving to do the same, to overcome our selfishness, and connect again with God so we can truly love one another, that maybe is enough community for the time-being.

May Michael protect us in that walk.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I have a quote of Mother Teresa in my kitchen blackboard and has stayed there for over two years now. Every time I would look at it I would think is time to change it, initially it was designed as a board that would have different quotes and mottos changing periodically; yet it did not happen. This quote seemed more adequate to any other thoughts, comments or sayings that have passed my way during all that time, that is until last week.

For me it is rather special because it stresses the importance of doing things out of love, and I may be caught here and there doing things fast and efficient, yet with no love, and I know this is the cause of much unhappiness around me. What is the point if the house is in order, the curriculum followed, the lessons done, the meals nutritious, the phone calls and conversations dealed with, if there is no love? Sometimes I need to catch myself reading the quote and remembering that is better to dine on onions and smiles that on roast beef and tears.

This also can be followed up to our mind, what are the thoughts behind every action, what is the real intention after every duty? When slowing down the true thoughts can come to light, and then we can deal with them, either accept our selfishness or ignorance, or change them for the better.

I have been asking for some time about love, how to love better, how to love beyond human love. And this is the quote that will replace the old one in my kitchen blackboard:

"Atentiveness is love"

I know there are many other higher wisdom writings to put, (God is love...) yet this one in its simpleness captures one pathway to love, atentiveness. To be attentive to the carrots when I am cutting them, to pay attention to the child when asks a question, to really listen to the husband when he says something, to be attentive with my whole heart to any situation.

I know some teachings of the east like yoga or alike train the mind through breath exercises and they do good out of these, because the mind is centered, yet the path that I am choosing goes searching for good in the opposite direction, in training the mind, the thought process, which in turn changes the breath via the heart. This is western, modern (compared to old eastern wisdom) and thus separated from the new age movement, it is the path of coming back to God through the earth, through Christ.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sympathy vs antipathy

We have been on vacation for a while, visting old friends and making new ones. It has been a delight yet we are also glad to be back and starting our homeschool year. Today was our first day and we accomplished much. We have set the forms of the homeschool day, the verses and songs for opening and closing, the fuctions of the space and also details like the weather chart, etc...

There is something special about starts and something special about friendships too, I think that sometimes we may be carried by the sweet beginnings of a relationship, and yet forget that in the older relationships new things can arise too if we are open to it.

I have found examples of this in this last trip where older friends had been moving in different paths of life and thus have less things in common between them, but as I listen closer, it does seems that a lot can be united where distance abides.

The same holds true for antipathy and sympathy, we may seem attracted to some kind of personalities, and get to befriend the same type of people, perhaps if we are of one temperament we feel inclined to like the opposite one, and vice-versa, but is is in overcoming this law of sympathy that we can exercise our full human freedom, in choosing to be friends to those that we might not feel inclined to, usually the ones that hold some likeness to us, that some truth about ourselves is discovered and yielded to the service of the highest. ( That is one of the benefit in having children that have the same temperament working together for a while, their temperaments soften up with each other's company)

I have been observing sunflowers for a while now, following the indications of observation exercises to get to know the essence of the plants, and I discovered that after a while, a relationship with the sunflowers arose, somehow the thoughts of sunflowers got intermingled with my daily life and at some point the picture came of the whole plantation, where the spaces in between them got brighter and intense, whereas the sunflowers themselves difused in the background.

 It is this kind of exercise that also helps us see through our human nature, and focus on the spirit that resides in us, thus vanishing anger, jealousy, hatred and other such like thoughts from our life.