Grounded in Love

Can you comprehend the fullness of God? When we say that God is infinite and eternal, all-powerful and all-knowing, do you get it? If you answered yes, then… well, I’m sorry to say but… you don’t know God. Whatever this “God” is that you think you understand — that’s not Him. God is only God if He is incomprehensible. Unfathomable. Beyond our ways of thinking or even imagining. Mind-blowing.

Can you comprehend love? When we say that love is infinite and eternal, requiring sacrifice and providing fulfillment, do you get it? If you answered yes, then, well… you must be a follower of Christ.

A Split-Second

A man in a subway station sees a perfect stranger fall down in a convulsion and then tumble off of the platform onto the tracks below. He sees the lights of an oncoming train and knows that the stranger will be killed in seconds. What would you do if you were that man with that knowledge? Would you, able-bodied, throw a prayer up to God to spare the stranger’s life, desperately convince somebody nearby to attempt a rescue, or jump down onto the tracks yourself to pull the stranger to safety? Continue reading

The Smiling Construction Worker

Today,  a road construction crew member smiled at my father and I as we drove past her. This really struck me, and I didn’t know why until I started thinking that I rarely see the person holding the sign to tell us what to do even acknowledge that we exist, let alone smile at us.

Traffic, slow sign, roadwork

She had spun her sign around to let us know that it was our turn, allowing us into the other lane so that we could drive around the trucks, while the other crew members worked to raise a manhole for a future paving project. And as we passed her by in her orange vest, she was alert to our presence, looking in the car window and smiling brightly and pleasantly. Why? She didn’t have to do that. She will not get paid extra for that extra effort of civility, friendliness, kindness. Perhaps she did it because that’s what she does, because that’s who she is — a person who doesn’t slack in her job or complain about it, a person who keeps her chin up and her eyes open, a person who is willing and eager to interact kindly with the people she encounters, even if only in passing.

That little, ordinary moment in a little, ordinary day opened up my eyes, my mind, and my heart to something rather extraordinary: simple human goodness. Her smile made me smile too, inside and out, appreciating the goodness of being aware of our surroundings, of being a present, receptive, and giving human, of taking the time to go slow.

© 2018 Christina Chase

 

July 30: Is All Human Suffering The Same Suffering?

Grateful to WT for sending me the Joyce Kilmer poem “Prayer of a Soldier in France,” I’m sharing on my own blog the piece which the poem inspired me to write, as it was published on Agnellus Mirror. The Mirror’s daily reflections are a wonderful source for inspiration! To read Kilmer’s moving poem, written before he was killed in World War I, go to Agnellus Mirror for the July 30 reflection, “100 years ago today.” For more on Joyce Kilmer, check out this link: https://www.warmemorial.columbia.edu/alfred-joyce-kilmer

agnellusmirror

strasbg.harrowhell (505x394)

Strasbourg Cathedral: the risen Christ brings Adam and Eve out of Hell to Paradise.

Is all human suffering the same suffering

the suffering of God who is a Man?

Did he not exist before all of us?

Did he not live in the unfathomable joy

of endless, ceaseless, divine

love, so resplendent that it brought forth galaxies

of stars and blue and green planets

teeming with flowering, fluttering, soaring life?

And when the great joy of his creation, so wondrously beloved,

became the great pain of its falling – just in a moment

slipped

from his grasp of tender love – seeing it, feeling it, sensing it collapse

in the misery of mistakes immeasurable and immutable,

with agony as immense as the ecstasy

that rushed the universe into being, then infinity was cut through

with the loss of its loveliest part,

the part given freely and generously in

hopeful…

View original post 266 more words

What Would You Do? The Beggar

It happened on a chilly September day, a simple moment that’s never left me. I was a young adult with my parents, following my eldest French-Canadian cousin in a tour of old Montréal. I remember the colorful splashes of garden amidst stone buildings, the glassed-in eatery where we had hot chocolate and poutine, and, indelibly, the old man begging outside of Notre Dame Basilica.

When I saw him, I was being pushed in my wheelchair by my father, because the sloping, cobblestone roads had tired me too much to power it myself. The imposing structure of the Basilica came into view from the sidewalk, soaring above us, and there, ahead of us, resting against the thick outer wall, was a man with grizzled gray hair, wearing faded clothes, and holding out a little cup in his hand.

begging bowl, beggar, tin cup, disability

Having lived a fairly sheltered life, I had never seen an actual beggar in person. Homeless people I had seen with their shopping carts downtown, but they were not beggars because they didn’t ask for anything. This man, however, this old bearded man with beautiful, wide-open eyes was holding out a little begging bowl, silently requesting someone, anyone, to help him. Continue reading

A Silly Bit of Poetry

My brain is on vacation, as evidenced by this post. 🙂

Wildflowers, Meadow, Daisy

 

Ground Control

 

Some see a lawn in need of mowing,

Others see a meadow with wildflowers growing.

Depends which way the mind is blowing.

© 2018 Christina Chase


Photo by Christian Widell on Unsplash

A Little Poetic Musing

Sharing some thoughts in verse(ish).

 

Woman, forest, beautiful woman, woman sitting beneath a tree

Perspective

I sit beneath the Oak

on a breezy summer day –

cloud-puffed sky,

sun through the leaves,

lichen growing on the rain dark tree –

all beautiful to me.

If I’m sitting in a wheelchair,

is the beauty of the moment less?

…Or is it more?

© 2018 Christina Chase


Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

First Friday and The Revolution

Four years ago, the First Friday of July was also the Fourth of July, Independence Day. As we just celebrated the Fourth yesterday and First Friday is tomorrow, I’m sharing this post that deals with the need that all of us have to be revolutionized.

Divine. Incarnate.

Who is the head of your life?

I want to be revolutionized. WatchFireworks-iStockI want my failures and ineptitude, my procrastination, sloth, pride, and fear to be things of the past – and my present to be full of strength and talent, courage and action, grace and active wisdom. Freed from the chains of yesterday, I want to project firmly into the future everything good and beautiful – and necessary – about me. I need something to transpire that will transform me completely into who I was created to be.

Let us be revolutionary.

Around 30 AD, a coarsely dressed, wild man of the desert proclaimed an uprising. With sharp clarity, he laid bare the corruption and tyranny of those in authority and relentlessly sliced deeper into the conscience of every man and woman. “Metanoia!” he shouted at the people. “Change! Be converted! Be revolutionized!” This man, named John, prepared the…

View original post 1,009 more words

Month of the Sacred Heart

I do love this gruesomely pretty picture:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Catholic image, Divine Incarnate

June is the month of roses and daisies, fresh-picked peas and strawberries, the summer solstice and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. How wonderful to remember my consecration to the Sacred Heart in the midst of this softly green and blossoming loveliness. In my posts this month, I’ve reflected upon the sacred power of little moments in our lives. We have the opportunity to touch the face of the Divine every day. If we lift our eyes and look… Let us not skim along the surface of reality, but rather plunge into the very heart.

On this last Thursday of June, I share again the words of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, all my thoughts, words, actions, trials, joys and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

“I take Thee, Christ, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my advocate at the throne of Divine Justice, and screen me from the wrath which my sins deserve.  I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness.

“Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.  Hold me in your Sacred Heart, O Jesus Christ, my Lord and Lord of all.  I implore that I may love You more and more.

“I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart – for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory: to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.”

As I said four and a half years ago when I first made this act of consecration, I say now: Amen.

© 2018 Christina Chase

He Knows Not How

There are over 7 billion people living on earth right now, which fact may lead you to wonder if you – little, tiny you – really matter in the grand scheme of things. If you’re like me (you know, human) then it usually feels like you don’t. The world is a mess and you don’t see how you can make it any better, you often feel like you don’t make any difference at all.

Last weekend, in the Scripture passages for June 17, 2018, the roughly 1 billion Catholics in the world (including me) were given a chance to wake up to reality and offered a glimpse of our true worth.

seeds

Continue reading

As He’s Brushing My Teeth

As my father was brushing my teeth one night, I started thinking about what this very act does to him… or for him.

Toothbrush

When my motorneuron disease weakened me to the point where I couldn’t brush my own teeth anymore, I found the ordeal of having someone else move a brush in and out of my mouth, well… an ordeal.  And it hasn’t been a picnic for my dad, either.  My mother seriously dislikes the job, as I know that I would, too.  That’s okay, she does other things very well.  Anyway, this empathetic kind of thing that requires concentration, patience, and precision is better suited for my dad’s skill set.  But, I know that my father does not like, or should I say, particularly enjoy, this chore.  It’s a chore.

On this particular night, the burden that is my daily care was weighing heavily upon me.  It’s easy to feel a little guilty when you have to depend so much on other people.  And I was thinking that my father would be better off if he didn’t have to do this chore, night after night with little variation and very rare respites, better off if he didn’t have to do it then, at that moment.  Of course, he would rather that I be able to do it for myself – for my sake – but, because I can’t, he says that he is glad to do it for me.  He says this about all of the many, many, many things that he does for me day in and day out.

Yes, of course he feels that way.  He’s a good dad.  He’s a good man.  But – for his sake – I was thinking that someone else should be doing this, someone who hires herself out as a home health aide, for example, like the ones that take on some of my daily care for a few hours, four days a week.  Trying to get more help has proven very difficult.  But, if I was able to arrange some kind of full-time care from professionals, then my father would have a little more of what he deserves – a normal, ordinary way of living.

That night, however, as my dad was brushing my teeth, I began to wonder… (and it could’ve been my self-conscious trying to assuage my sense of guilt or it could’ve been a little inspiration of wisdom – or a combination of both.)  Maybe there’s something in life that he’s gaining through this chore…? Continue reading