Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Plain walls

We were overwhelmed at the task of packing last week, but now that is started it seems easier. The only thing we could do in the face of the overwhelming tasks, was to go ahead with one room, one step at a time, and not to see the whole picture. It worked well.

Now it is similiar with the state of our souls: we are following the study on Counsels of Perfection, http://counselsofperfection.blogspot.com/, and in the chapter of  removing venial sins I see a parallel with the packing of our house, it is good to know what is to come one step ahead, for planning, but not to see the whole scope, because it could be daunting. The reason for to see the next step is to prepare the tools for the battle, it is different to go to the fields with a mounted horse or with bow and arrows, in one you go straight to the enemy, in the other you stay at a distance. Some sins are better defeated by "grabbing the bull by the horns", by having the sword of the Sacraments frequently, others are better defeated by staying at a distance of temptation and sending the arrows of Truth.

We have carried with us a book on the Amish for 10 years, and its pictures have become familiar to us. On entering our new to become house for the first time, we felt at ease, at home, and after looking into many other farms thereafter we kept the same feeling about our first showing. Friends, banks and family have doubted our choice, and sometimes in the back of my mind I also hear the same doubts, yet it is in the plain walls, in the rough dry walls, in the plain floor and empty floorplan that my heart  finds refuge.

I opened the Amish book again today, to see the pictures with my children, and there it was, one house with the same appearance, a house that calls for daily work, a house that calls for holiness. I find myself in clutter and too many things around the house and on my walls, that instead of helping in the job of homemaking, they hinder work and make me lazy, complacent.

May the new house keep its new stewards in peace and work, in rough, plain, and lovely walls.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Move to the farm

We are probably moving to our farm on March, for this reason I will concentrate in packing, moving and settling in for the next weeks.

I hope meanwhile you have a good start of spring, Blessings!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rule of Life

I have been looking into the rules of life for the lay people in the Benedictine Order and the Carmelite Order. Even though both seem very appropiate for family life concerning the path of sanctification I choose the motto " Love as God loves you" of the Carmelites.

The priest in our local parish, suggested to do some list of our main goals, our core beliefs, the tenets with which we strive to surround our life, and to find a spiritual director to held us accountable during this upcoming season of Lent. In regards of that I compiled some of my aspirations, now I have to find the spiritual director. I am praying to God that he will lead us to our new homestead, and that he will also lead us to Him.

Rule of Life February 9th 2012
To observe the relationship with God as a supremacy in my life and let the Love of the Father pour out to my relationships, starting with my husband, relatives, friends and family. Eucharist and Confession attended regularly, if possible daily.
To follow Jesus in his teachings,  studying of the scriptures and other materials. Bible study every Sunday, study group on relationships Tuesdays.
To allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. Observe prayers at night ( family rosary, individual meditation, examination of conscience, summary of day events) 30 minutes, at wake time (devotion to God, silence) 30 minutes, at noon time, ( prayers, hymns, recollection) 30 minutes.

Some indications of the Carmelite order Rule of Life
5. The love of God, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, (5) is the fire that Christ came to bring to the earth and wishes to be blazing. (6) To enter into and remain in that love given by the Father is the aim of the Christian pilgrimage as told in the Gospel, that authentic rule of Christian life. The law of the Gospel is that we love God, with all our strength, (7) and our neighbor as Christ loved us. (8)
6. In this context an authentic Christian life implies a mysticism based on the scriptural understanding of that life, especially as understood by Saint Paul. (9) At its most profound level this life consists in a personal love of God,:
Christ is its first and absolutely fundamental mainstay and, in him, the Father in the Holy Spirit. This commitment is the arrival and departure point for the life of the Christian who wishes to conform to Christ, especially in our days that are not always open to the values of the spirit and of the Gospel. On the other hand, not understanding the Christian life as an ever more intimate union with the Lord would be to lose its true meaning.
7. By baptism we become part of the huge assembly of brethren that is the Church; that is, we are united to the Mystical Body of Christ as real members. (10) All are called to form one fraternal community; (11) this is possible if, although by nature weak and limited because of their wretchedness, they allow themselves to be guided by divine grace and they do not reject God and their brethren through sinfulness.
8. This universal calling becomes a reality in the baptized who are united through faith and the Eucharist. (12) The basic mystery of the Church is the fact that it is essentially a community of brethren who, in a relationship of mutual love, discover that they are members of the one family. (13) This unity, formed and animated by Christ and his Holy Spirit, (14) demands a continual and loving active cooperation, love being the fundamental law Christ has given to the members of his Mystical Body.
9. Human weakness hinders the practice of fraternal love, but that renunciation and interior detachment required by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount help Christians to reach the goal of total availability, (15) and to overcome the three major obstacles identified by Saint John as the sensual body, the lustful eye and pride in possessions. (16)
13. There cannot be conflict between temporal well-being and the realization of God's Kingdom, since both the material and spiritual orders derive from God; but the danger of conflict can arise from the bad use we make of our knowledge of the temporal sphere. The Christian should use the findings of science to bring about a spiritual and material betterment of human life. (23)
18. What the Tertiary expresses by one's Profession is none other than an intensified renewal of one's baptismal promise to love God above all else and to renounce Satan with all his works and pomps; the difference in this act of love lies in the means the Tertiary uses to reach this goal. The fundamental Christian law that pledges a person to love God and all others with all one's strength, demands of everyone the constant affirmation of the primacy of God, (29) the rejection of any possibility of serving two masters (30) and the love of others above and beyond all selfishness (31).
19. The chastity and obedience of the Tertiary, which also recall the deep sense of poverty, have meaning in the areas of economic well-being, of sexuality, and the imperative not to serve false gods: (32) Christian holiness is love of God and others without any consideration of self. By virtue of the vow of obedience Tertiaries must obey the superiors of the Order and the Group's Spiritual Assistant in all that they are asked to do, according to the Rule, for their own spiritual life. They are bound to observe the vow of chastity according to the duties of their state in life.
21. The entire Carmelite family, in its task of living out its consecration to Christ, (34) seeks to live in the presence of the living and true God who, in the person of Christ, lives in our midst; (35) it is a family that seeks divine intimacy.
25. Lay Carmelites, imbued with the spirit of the Order, try to live its charism in a silent listening to the Word, making their whole life a prayer by allowing themselves to be caught up by the Spirit for the wonderful works that God accomplishes and which require their commitment and worthwhile contribution.
a) The Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, are the life of Christ spread among believers, enabling them to be united to him. (40) To take part in the Sacrifice of the Altar, (41) daily if possible, provides that necessary lifeline with Christ.
b) The Liturgy of the Hours, (42) at least morning Lauds, Vespers and Compline, are the ecclesial expression of their meetings with God. Different places and circumstances may point to the necessity of other forms of liturgical prayer.
26. The spiritual life is not devoted to the liturgy only. Although called to prayer in common, the Christian is still bound to enter into his or her room and pray to the Father in secret; (43) indeed, according to the teaching of Christ, (44) supported by the Apostle, (45) the Christian is bound to pray unceasingly. (46)
34. They will see and be able to show how temporal activity and material occupations are a share in the creative and transforming work of the Father, (56) and that it is a true service to others, which helps bring about human progress. (57)