Ascending

Mother, mother and child, ocean, light

What does it mean to ascend?  To move upward; to rise through the air; to succeed to (as in ascending a throne).  On the day of this posting, we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension, when Christ ascended into Heaven.  After the Resurrection, he was taken up from the sight of the disciples, he even rose through the air.  And he ascended his heavenly throne.  In celebrating this great Feast Day, I would also like to include two other definitions of the word: to rise up from a lower degree; to go back in time through your family’s genealogical succession.  (Don’t worry, this won’t take long.  Don’t trust me?  Then here’s a quick preview: kindness and mothers.)

Fr. Finnigan shared a bit of a poem during his homily at Mass today – the priest, in his mid-to-late eighties, often reads to us wonderful quotes and clips from theologians, saints, and poets.  This particular one he found in a book by Father Frederick William Faber, who lived in England during the 19th century.  The writer of the poem itself is anonymous, but it fit beautifully with Fr. Faber’s work, in a book called, Kindness.  The poem also fit with Fr. Finnigan’s homily on loving one another – for, isn’t that what kindness is?  The words started my mind thinking about the power of love and how it is so powerful that it can be conveyed through the smallest things… Continue reading

The Awakening

A Winter’s worth of snow is melting away,

for nothing living and new can Spring

from frozen soil. The white crystal kingdom

is becoming the watery realm of liquid rivulets and streams.

Everywhere beneath the sky is the slow, relentless

drip,

drip,

drip

of conversion,

while the sky itself

is breathing briskly with blue and white and winged things.

 

The living Earth is warming, waking,

in the light of the ever rising Sun;

the dormant things of snow and ice are dissipating

and, as they flow, are expiating anything dead they left behind.

Green spears will pierce the softened ground

and, soon, the crocus chalices are found

among the fading remnants of the shroud.

Where once the bare outlines of black and white

were all that slept within the hush,

there now will come the tender blush,

the violet flush, the yellow rush of blossoms

raised as from the tomb.

crocus in snow

Loose tendrils of azalea hair,

the fruitful blooms of apple, pear,

yawning, stretching open wide,

the ferns and flowers everywhere…

Oh wait beneath the weight of secret rest

and see the coming of the Morning Fair,

to which the universe and all attest,

the time perpetual and rare,

The Loving Heart at nature’s breast,

Who put the will to thrive in there –

Oh Beauty, ever ancient, ever new!

© 2018 Christina Chase


“O, Beauty ever ancient, ever new” – Saint Augustine, Confessions, Book X, Chapter 27

Our Sufferings He Endured: a Meditation

(Once, I prayed these words when I received Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament – and my teeth pierced into the Body of Christ…. )

For my salvation, Lord, this is what you will… Mystery of Mysteries…The unfathomable wonder of your love…

Oh, my Lord and my God…

Crown-of-Thorns

The circle of thorns,

the only crown that we deigned to give you in our wickedness,

pierced into your temples – and you hallowed us.

Three_Nails_1

 The iron spikes, with which we nailed you to

the only throne that we deigned to give you in our worldliness,

pierced through and bound your limbs – and you set us free.

pierced-by-lance

The lance,

the only honor that we deigned to give you in our waywardness,

pierced open your heart – and you saved us.

 

Hold us within your Sacred Heart, Christ Jesus!

Pour forth your mercy upon us, O Lord, and help us, by your grace,

to fall upon penitent knees

and humbly lift our begging bowls to you, so that you may fill them…

Fill our hearts to overflowing with yourself-giving love, Lord!

And, in the overflowing,

may we truly love one another as you love us.

Amen.

© 2018 Christina Chase

Favorite Things: Jesus Images

The Christian faith, especially in the Catholic Church, offers rich imagery for believers to assist in their worship.  After all, God created us with five physical senses and desires us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  Some images, however, fall flat for me, or are too pink-and-blue pretty.  For example, I seriously doubt that Jesus had blond highlights.

Since they say that a picture is worth 1000 words, in this post I’m sharing some of my favorite images to keep me mindful of my Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus…

Sacred Heart of Jesus stained-glass

Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, Texas; photo by MaryLea

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Good News

As I was heading out of church, I knew.

I am healed.

Stained-glass window, Holy Spirit, churchIt didn’t come like a bolt out of the blue or a disembodied voice, or like some televangelist with his palm on my forehead saying the words.  I just knew.  After Mass and some friendly conversations, somewhere between my mental genuflection before the Tabernacle and crossing the threshold out into the world, my worries and prayers concerning whether or not I have cancer had an answer – I am healed.

And I was filled with a light, clear brightness like a many colored stained-glass window radiant with sunlight.  I don’t want to say that this was merely a pleasant feeling, for it was more of a deep-down knowledge.  Later, as I prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary at home, I again experienced the awareness and was brought to tears of joy.

Even when I thought about how healing has different meanings, that this knowledge of mine might not mean that my uterine fibroids are benign, I still had a sense of peace.  I knew that I was healed and that meant something.  Maybe it meant that I was healed of my fears and my wariness of hope.  Maybe it meant that I would have a peaceful, joyful, and impactful transition into the next life.  I didn’t know for certain.  I just knew that I was healed. Continue reading

Freedom

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans – and true happiness every day for all of us who know that our freedom is dependent upon the great gifts of God.  May we use that freedom and those gifts wisely…

freedom blossoms

© 2017 Christina Chase

Wisemen Still Seek Him

wise men still seek him

Everybody wants something.  Whether desiring wealth, pleasure, power, health, approval, comfort, freedom, or happy love, very few of us would rest content saying that there is nothing that we want.  Because to want is to lack.  We are all found wanting, because we are all lacking.

The only people that I have heard who sound to be truly content, wanting nothing, are Continue reading

Morning Prayer

I’m not alone in believing that we need prayer now, more than ever. Why? Perhaps, because ordinary people aren’t praying as much. People like you. And me.

It’s not like I believe that we get whatever we pray for – far from it. (And don’t I know it.) Sometimes, the greatest blessings come from “unanswered” prayers. (So, if you don’t get Continue reading

Favorite Things: A Quote from Pope Francis

This is the first in a serial feature (which you can expect to see a lot of this summer) that I am calling Favorite Things.  Featuring some of my favorite quotes, artwork, poetry, songs, etc., each post is meant for your reflection, without taking up too much of your time.  I hope you find them as beautiful and inspirational as I do!

Here is an exquisite thought…

Pope Francis tears

… how truly does this thought bring us to the heart of  loving Christ – and to the profound self-giving of Christ’s love for us on the Cross.  Through the tears of our heartbreaking love, we see Jesus face-to-face, heart to heart…

© 2016 Christina Chase

The Sacred Heart in Scripture and Strawberries

strawberries

June is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Catholic Church. You may ask, what is meant by the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Well, the Sacred Heart is Jesus. And devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion to the love of Jesus, devoting oneself to loving   Him entirely.  The heart is a symbol of love, of course, but also an ancient symbol for the core of one’s being, the sacred abode in which God dwells with the person… and more. I wrote more about the heart HERE, HERE, and HERE. For an article on the more scholarly particulars of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, please click HERE.

What does any of this have to do with strawberries? The answer to that is at the end, after a bit of reflective exploration…

Why Does Anything Exist?

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