Beto’s Musings

The Lord Prayer 

A fantastic explanation to cherish and practise.
*The “Our Father”Prayer*:
 Do I Really Mean What I Pray?
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Praying the Our Father and living it will lead us toward saintliness. The Our Father contains everything: God, ourselves, our neighbors….”
Examine how well you live what you pray as you meditate on the following:
I cannot say *OUR* if I keep my faith only to myself and never share it with others.
I cannot say *FATHER* if I do not trust in His loving and complete concern for me, forgetting that He always answers prayers how and when He knows is best.
I cannot say *WHO ART IN HEAVEN* if I am so attached to the ways of this world that I neglect to seek God first in everything.
I cannot say *HALLOWED BE THY NAME* if I am unwilling to let His holiness penetrate my life and help me grow in my own holiness.
I cannot say *THY KINGDOM COME* if I am not using my life to bring His love into the world.
I cannot say *THY WILL BE DONE* if I live by my own ideas of morality or choose to follow the world’s standards.
I cannot say *ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN* if I am not devoting my life to serving Him here on earth.
I cannot say *GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD* if I am not willing to be generous with whatever God gives me.
I cannot say *FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES* if I don’t want to put forth enough effort to change.
I cannot say *AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US* if I still hold a grudge, if I’m still angry, or if I still insist that other people change.
I cannot say *LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION* if I deliberately or knowingly place myself in a position to be tempted.
I cannot say *DELIVER US FROM EVIL* if I’m not actively fighting against evil through deeds of love and service for everyone in my life, especially those who cause problems.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

EASTER PRAYER

Lord, may I feel the peace you show me.

Do not close my “doors” to fear,
May I cling to the Spirit you give me, to live intensely the commitment to feel sent …

My Lord and my God, forgive my weaknesses, my doubts, my fears …
Because even being sometimes like Thomas, I want to look for you, to be with you …
For though I shut myself up in my silence or in my noises, in my comforts or in my occupations …
You know how to enter my life, how to make it different, how to breathe air in my voids and oxygenate my hardened soul.

May the renewed Spirit of the resurrection, born of victory over death and nourished by love more generous, impel my faith, my permanence in you, and encourage the modest spirit of who wants to love you, to follow you and to respond to you, Father …

Your Love is my peace, my peace is your forgiveness, and your forgiveness is my way of witnessing under the protection of your Strength.
AMEN

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

The Empty Tomb


Look at the empty tomb
and take part in the scene
along with all who have gone:
with Mary Magdalene,
with those who have run
by her testimony,
to see what has happened
while the earth slept.
Only he is the witness,
silent witness of stone,
of the definitive fact
announcing a new era …
*
Notice how the astonishment
is giving way to faith,
as of the deepest fear
becomes the most faithful value;
that changes everything,
although difficult to understand,
until their eyes see no more
the Friend who left:
today they see a glorious body
to whom they saw suffering,
that appears victorious
after a cruel death.

José García Velázquez 

Holy Saturday of Silence

 

Has the Word been silent?
When the word is silent, silence speaks.
And silence becomes Word. We could not keep her silent on the Cross. Because the Cross became Word. We could not shut her up at Death.
Because death became Word. We could not shut her up in the other room. Because the tomb became Word.
*
God was silent.
But the silence of God became Word. You could not hear God. But his presence was heard.
*
The Liturgy mutes in anticipation of the Easter Vigil. Everything is naked today. Altars naked. Churches naked. Everything looks dumb.
*
Always silence precedes the word. The silence always prepares the word.
It is the silence of waiting.
It is the silence of faith enclosed in a tomb.
It is silence that makes hope. It is the silence of the grain sown. It is the silence of the waiting that springs in the ear of Easter.
*
It is the silence of the waiting that the new outbreak of life.
It is the silence that tonight will erupt in ALLELUIA.
It is the silence that tonight, as on Christmas night, the new light of the Paschal Candle will burst.
*
It is the silence that tonight, will explode in the “GLORY TO GOD”
silenced during Lent.
*
It is the silence of those who feel alone and aimless.
It is the silence that this Night will become a cry of LIFE.
It is the silence that seems asleep and will soon awaken.
*
It is the silence of the Mother.
she was silent when she felt him blossom in her womb.
*
It is the silence of the Mother.
who kept silence at the foot of the Cross.
*
It is the silence of the Mother
that were silent when her arms received him dead.
*
It is the silence of the mother
waiting for the “new birth”.
The first birth came out of her womb.
The new one will come out of the empty tomb.
It is the quiet silence that keeps everything in her heart.
It is quiet silence full of faith and paschal hope.
*
Tonight we will break the silence with ALLELUIAS.
But it will follow the silence that everything lives in the heart.

Fr. Blas Máruez, CMF

BRAKE AND SHARE THE BREAD

In that shared Dinner,
The delivery of Jesus in Bread and Wine
It is gesture and memory:
The subversive heritage of his Life.

Let us knead the daily bread:
Fresh yeast and tenderness
In the original skin of Utopia.

Your hands and my hands in the hard
Task to quench thirst and wheat
And make the bread that satisfies and endures.

His memory is a claim and a witness
At the empty table of the hungry
And in the wounded hands of the beggar.

His shared Bread is testament,
Subversive inheritance and wounded cry
In the lips ash of the thirsty.

Let’s join hands and heartbeat
From his Blood will be ember in our veins.
With freshly-baked wine and bread

Let us untie the knot and the chains,
Let us prepare the table of the poor

and drown the weeping and the sorrow.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Our Father

from the other side

My son, who are on earth,

make your life

the best reflection of my name.

Enter into my kingdom

in every step you take,

in every decision you make,

in every caress and every gesture.

Build it for me, and with me.

That is my will

on earth and in heaven.

Take the daily bread

aware that it is a privilege

and a miracle.

I forgive your mistakes,

your falls, your abandonments,

but do the same

with the fragility of your brothers and sisters.

Struggle to follow

the right path in life

that I will be by your side,

and do not be afraid

that evil must not have in your life

the last word. Amen.

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

Lord, reconcile me with myself.

 How could I find and love others, if I no longer find myself and love myself?

 Teach me to live with my lights and my shadows, my sweet and angry moments, my laughter and my tears, my past and my present.

 Grant me to welcome as you welcome, to love as you love.

 Remove me from the perfection to which I aspire, open me to the holiness that you give me.

 Deliver me from the remorse of Judas,

entering into himself not to come out again, frightened and desperate for his sin.

 Grant me the repentance of Peter,

returning in the silence of his gaze, full of tenderness and pity. And if I have to weep, let it not be about myself but about your offended love.

 Give me the courage to get out of myself.

 Tell me that everything is possible for the one who believes.

 Tell me that I can still heal in the light of your gaze and your word. Amen

By Michel Hubaut

A Prayer

Lord before you today I come to leave my projects, my life, my dreams and my freedom.

Lord, from now on my happiness will be to love and serve you and to do your will.

Lord, receive in your hands the offering that I am bringing to you today.

Find with your strength my weak poverty that today tells you yes, and never allow me to believe that being faithful is only up to me, because I carry in clay vessels the treasure that I did not deserve
Lord, here I am, You know how I am, with your grace transform my soul, cleanse my heart.

Lord, let me always grow in this thirst of desire that in your deep waters I may one day drink.

Comfort me Lord, when the pain comes. Let me not forget, that nailed to a tree,Love was sacrificed.

And when in my work just seek to shine, let your Cross make me see how far

I must arrive.

Today I abandon myself to You.

Amen.

Fr. Blas Marquez, CMF

Loving, Dying and Resurrecting

We should seriously ask ourselves what each one of us has to do in our daily lives with the LOVE of Holy Thursday, the DEATH of Good Friday and the RESURRECTION of Easter Sunday.

LOVE, DIE, RESURRECT, are like three “crescendo” movements of Holy Week. Three realities that undoubtedly are the most important in the life of every person.

LOVE is the most conjugated verb in history. People thirst for love. When he finds it and when he gives it, he is happy. But to love like Jesus with his measure and with his purpose is not easy. To love as He loved means self-denial, to forget, to overcome. To love as Jesus loved means to truly consider people, all people, as brothers and sisters, and to be willing to share with them the inheritance, the whole inheritance. No, it is not easy to love like this. And that’s why we do not do it. People in general, don’t do it and we Christians, do not do it either. That is why, easily, we do not understand Holy Thursday.

DIE. How difficult! And yet, death is there, ready to call us to the appointment on time. We do not want to know anything about it. Seeing us, we ourselves might think: How terrible a meaningless death! How distressing a death without return! How cruel a death without victory! Contemplating people’s way of life, perhaps also ours, one might ask: What do people expect so eagerly pursuing power, money, glory? Is the desired goal there, the ultimate end, the ultimate aspiration? What do people think of death? It is not easy to learn to die; however, we should strive to give death, in the light of death and without necrophilia, depth and category to our life, a Christian and transcendent flavor to our existence. To think serenely on Good Friday, in the shadow of the Cross.

RESURRECT. It is the last word of death. The triumph, the glory, the joy. Jesus, overcoming boredom, pain, anguish, the unknown that rises upsetting before the human mind. His triumph is ours. Do Christians really believe that? Perhaps in the depths of our being we believe it. We need to revive that faith, to make it a daily reality, to emphasize it by focusing on life, as we approach others, by living with them. We must try to resurrect every day in a permanent effort to give our existence a tone and a style in which Christ is immediately recognized, whose end was not the Cross, but the Light.LOVE, DIE AND RESURRECT: three realities to think and to live in this Holy Week and in our whole life.

Fr. Blas Marquez, CMF

Today God summons you

Today God summons you.

Today God comes into your path.

Today God suggests to you, with a whisper of invitation:

Turn to me. I’m waiting for you.

Tear your heart and cleanse it from all that separates it from me.

Ask yourself: Who is your god? Who or what do you adore?

 *

Today God tells you:

This is the opportune time.

This is a new opportunity.

This is a day of salvation.

In the name of God: “Let yourself be reconciled to God.”

 *

Today God tells you:

Do not live by appearances.

Work in secret your heart to make it similar to God.

Enter the secret of your life. Dare yourself.

God is in the hidden, in your innermost.

Enter there, inside you.

Go through the superficiality that surrounds you.

Go inside and pray.

God hears your secret prayer.

God wants to be with you.

God is waiting for you.

 *

Today God expects:

Make yourself new.

Brighten your life.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

WOMAN OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

At sunrise,

She walk the lonely streets.

The last stars have fallen asleep

And, wet the first few hours,

Mutes his face in a handkerchief

Black-ash with regrets.

 *

I do not know what is her name

Nor the stature of her broken dreams.

She walks with her shadow and her silences.

 *

I watch her go by every morning.

She is a woman. She has a name.

Her house, the neighborhood.

Her heart, the sunny streets.

 *

Sometimes I wonder,

When she passes by my side and her gaze is a night bird.

And I’m sure she’s questioning me

Without knowing that on the brink of kissing

Browse the answers.

She is a woman. She has a name.

 *

In an ash-black cat she draws the tenderness of her hands.

Caresses the smell of roses with a mime

And he sows his smile on the flower beds.

 *

And at dusk, her sorrows turn

As a  watch dumb:

The last scarves of her tears.

She is a woman. She has a name.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Missing you…

 Lord, sometimes I miss you, I think you are not present,

because if you were you would not allow violence, lie, injustice

that triumph everywhere and that seem to have no end.

*

But you have said that if we believe, we will see the glory of God.

 *

Give me this lively and active faith

which removes the slabs that seemed closed forever,

waiting for the irruption of life beyond all hope.

 *

You are the Lord of life and Master of the impossible.

 *

I review my life and I realize that you have always been present

and that you have worked in me some miracle

that I have not recognized enough.

*

Make me your instrument

to continue bringing life

to this world of ours that never stops crying. Amen.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

TRUST

I always trust in you, my God.

He leads me, I do not fear, he accompanies me when I walk.

Even without light, I walk at night.

 *

Even if fear keeps me from moving forward.

 *

Although lost I go through the streets, without finding love and friendship.

 *

Although restless, I move all day, without finding peace in my heart.

 *

Even if strength fails me in life and the illusion goes out in front of me.

 *

Even if the road is hidden in the darkness.

Although I do not see your

Shadow as you go.

 *

I always trust in my God. He leads me, I’m not afraid, he accompanies me when I walk.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

LIBERATING PRAYER

Father, in the Name of Jesus, I ask you to bless me and help me understand that you love me.

Always, on every occasion. Wherever I am. With complexes, with faults, with failures, with possibilities, with kindness sometimes …

 *

Help me to reconcile with myself.

 *

Let me come to understand that I am a son, I am your daughter and that for you I am important and you love me with all your infinite love.

 *

Thank you, my Father, fill all the gaps of my life with your love, free me from all the darkness that are still in my heart.

Fill me with your joy and your peace. Make your face shine in my life.

 *

Heal all the wounds I have received and heal all the painful memories of my past.

 *

Give me love and strength to face the problems of every day. Free me from the inferiority complex, or from superiority … of every complex. May I find my truth.

 *

Release me from the guilty feeling for the evils I have committed. You have forgiven me, let me do the same to those who offend me, because they are your children.

 *

Thank you for your love, for your forgiveness, for your peace and your joy. Thank you, Lord, because despite my failures, my doubts and my complexes, you love me and you will continue to love me.

 *

You will never give me for lost.

Thanks for making me like this. You know why.

*

Amen.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Nothing Is Lost

And sorrows swim and succumb. I close my eyes to see and feel

That the well is deeper and the parapet

lost his roundness.

*

Spheres as kisses, caresses as scopes.

Hours stop and verbs

Sink in the sand.

 *

The streets are orphaned. And the tree lost its shadow.

Memories come and go one by one

And on the shore they light.

 *

Sometimes memory

Like a pomegranate, open its eyes

And it’s scary to look straight ahead:

Life,

Like a stuffed bird,

-All life- in a honeycomb of lace.

Labyrinths, looms, silks, vertigos.

And I standing, naked spectator.

*

My life, a skein just,

In  full view,

Lives in that swarm of corals.

 *

After all,

Why the regret and the nostalgia?

Nothing is lost.

Only the color of disenchantment changes.

Or is everything reborn

From the ashes?

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

I always trust in you, my God

I always trust in you, my God

He leads me, I do not fear, he accompanies me when I walk.

Even without light I walk at night.

 *

Even if fear keeps me from moving forward.

 *

Although lost I go through the streets, without finding love and friendship.

 *

Although restless, I move all day, without finding peace in my heart.

 *

Even if strength fail me in life and the illusion goes out in front of me.

 *

Even if the road is hidden in the darkness.

 *

Although I do not see your

shadow as I go.

*

I always trust in my God. He leads me I’m not afraid he accompanies me when I walk.

Fr. Blas Márquez

I SURRENDER TO YOU, LORD…

I give you my life; make it fruitful.
I give you my will, O Lord; make it identical to yours.
Take my hands; make them cozy.
Take my heart; make it ardent.
Take my feet; make them tireless.
Take my eyes; make them transparent.
Takes my gray hours; make them novelty.
Take my childhood; make it simple.
Take my weariness; make them yours.
Take my paths; make them your way.
Take my lies; do them truth.
Take my deaths; make them life.
Take my poverty; make it your wealth.
Take my obedience; make it your joy.
Take my nothing; do what you want.
Take my family; make it yours.
Take my friends; make them yours.
Take my sins, my failures of love,
my permanent disappointments. Change everything.
Take my crosses and let me fly.
Take my withered flowers and let me be free.
Make me new in self-giving, joy in sharing,
joy overflowing in giving of life, by spending my life in your service.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

PRAYER OF GRATITUDE

I thank you Lord, for the air I breathe, for the joy you give me in every breath.

I thank you Lord for your love so warm, for your tenderness that calms me and makes me feel your Grace.

I thank you, Lord, because it pleases you to see me, because although I do not seek you, you are present.

I thank you Lord because I am so small, but in your hands you make me great.

I thank you, Lord, for from the time that I was formed, you loved me.

I thank you Lord, because in my desert you spoke to my heart and I could hear you.

I thank you, Lord, for you have been balm in my sufferings, because you have been my banner in moments of despair.

A single thank you cannot prove how much I owe you,

but still Lord, I thank you. Amen

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Do not be afraid!

Do not be afraid! Remember this sentence well

able to transform your spiritual life.

If fear gives you feet of lead,

trust gives you wings to perform

the beautiful and noble longings that God

has placed in your heart.

*

Do not wait any longer, start flying

although it be short and slow,

the following prayer will help you:

Lord, I am happy for your choice and your calling.

I feel your affection when you say “you are mine” (Is 43)

Your love envelops me

since I lived in the womb of my mother.

My self-esteem grows knowing that

You love me and nobody

can take away your love.

*

You have rescued me

of many dangers and

You will continue to save me …

*

When I feel neglect or anguish,

remind me that I am worth a lot to you.

How wonderful to know that

I am valuable and that you love me!

 *

You have created me for you,

You trained me and guided me

to give you glory.

 *

How Lord, will I praise you

for your great love?:

Telling all my brothers and sisters

to be not afraid,

because we are all valuable to you.

Amen!

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

I DO NOT KNOW IF YOUR SILENCE IS MY DEFEAT

For waiting for God, I untie the knot

From this dying silk watch.

The ember extinguished and in the ashes

Dawn lights my naked cry.

 *

I have no other defense than this shield

Of wounded questions. And this accent

Of blue copper. My voice naked in the wind

And I cry out and stop. I cry and I doubt.

I do not know if your silence is my defeat.

I get lost prayer and wonder

Where the wind of your breeze blows from.

 *

In discolored hours I take note

And order the papers on this subject,

Waiting for the dawn your smile.

 

 Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Very loudly

I will shout, against the right voices,

Against my own prudence if it invites abandonment

Against logic, which shows other ways.

I’ll scream, with the most lucid faith I can imagine

With my love, poor, but sincere,

From this blindness yearning for light.

*

I’ll scream, until my voice fails, and still later,

Your name next to mine,

Your passion for us,

I will ask you to heal me,

And I will trust in you.

*

Although many say that I waste time,

And make fun of your silence and my failure,

I’ll scream, until you call …

… You do not fail us.

 *

When you open my eyes

I will find the brother,

I will toast with the cup of your justice

And follow your steps.

Fr. Blas Márquerz, CMF

The gaze of God 

I believe in the gaze of God, a look that fills my heart with love,

Which fills me with enthusiasm and hope.

*

I believe in the gaze of God,

The one that drives me to get out of myself, to grow, to get the best of me.

 *

A look that invites me to give myself to others, without pettiness and with all my heart.

*

I believe in God’s gaze, which fills me with joy and brings me a smile, which fills me with peace and invites me to get up, shake the earth and follow my walk.

 *

I believe in the gaze of God

Which transcends my humanity;

That strips my soul and knows every corner of my vulnerability.

 *

I believe in the gaze of God,

That transparent gaze, that makes me serene and makes me know I am a child … a child in the arms of the Father.

Matías Aguero

Getting on the road

Lord, yes – I do.

I want to leave the routine and set out for You.

 *

You, Lord, have told us to listen to you;

because you are the way, the center of our destinies,

The Teacher, the Savior.

 *

You are the one who in front of us,

leave your footprints

so that we may follow and find you.

*

Thank you, Lord, because we know where to go.

Thank you, Lord, because we are not alone.

You accompany us; indeed, you go before us.

*

Thank, my Lord,

because you give us the goal: your life.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Let me see, Lord… 

… that I may see your face in every corner.

That I may see the disinherited laugh,

With cheerful and reborn laughter

Let the illusion go on

In the dull eyes

of whom one day forgot to dream and to believe.

*

That I may see the arms that,

hidden, but indefatigable,

build miracles of love, of peace, of the future.

That I may see opportunity and call,

where sometimes there is only mist.

 *

That I may see how the dignity recovered,

closes the hells of the world.

That in any other, I may see my brother,

In the mirror, an apostle

and in my interior I may glimpse you.

 *

Because I do not want to go blind,

lost of your presence,

distracted by nothing…

mistaking my steps

to places without You.

 *

Lord, that I may see

… that I may see your face in every corner. Amen.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

The Fasting that pleases God

Fast to judge others; discover the Christ who lives in them.

 *

Fast of hurtful words; fill up with healing phrases.

 *

Fast of discontent; fill with gratitude.

 *

Fast of anger; be full of patience.

 *

Fast of pessimism; fill yourself with Christian hope.

 *

Fast of worries; be filled with trust in God.

 *

Fast to complain; fill yourself with appreciation for the wonder of life.

 *

Fast of the pressures that do not cease; fill yourself with a prayer that does not end.

 *

Fast for bitterness; be full of forgiveness.

 *

Fast to give importance to yourself; be filled with compassion for others.

 *

Fast of anxiety about your things; commit yourself to the spread of the Kingdom.

 *

Fast of discouragement; fill yourself with the enthusiasm of faith.

 *

Fast of worldly thoughts; fill yourself with the truths that underlie holiness.

*

Fast of all that separates you from Jesus; fill yourself with everything that comes to Him.

So be it!

 

(Anonymous)

Strange world

Strange world. Heart ailing.

Glass seagulls and bare sea.

A land without a name. Mute verb

In the debris of a suffering voice.

 *

Strange world. Burning heart.

Sheaves of orange blossom, palpitate and knot.

A land without skin, naked touch

Between the hands of a wounding coral.

 *

The tender eyes of the almond tree, moons

Of aromas, they revolve in an intact sky

In front of a light of autumn and spring.

*

Strange world of blind eyes, dunes

Of blue copper and heart without touch:

A world of watches without a dial.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Inner Cosmology

The center of the world

was not me,

but I still did not know.

 *

Come around

about my problems,

wounds, nostalgia,

wishes

and needs,

conjugating

a first person

omnipresent,

always hurt

of urgencies,

concerns

and interests.

*

I thought

that the universe did not spin

about itself,

around the sun

or of the earth,

but around me.

I, the star king,

the only truth,

the heart of an existence

rickety.

 *

And you, that you saw me

rotate over myself,

you called me;

7 times,

70 times,

infinite times

you whispered my name,

awaiting,

with patience,

to open my eyes

and leave that cell.

*

You were waiting outside.

José María R. Olaizola, sj

THE WORD NEVER DIES

The darkest hours always return

And they cling to the touch, captive of their shadows.

*

There are old questions that come back,

They die, succumb and agonize

Without a trace of light

That, at least for an instant,

Guide the aimlessly heart.

 *

How many thirsty moons

Drinking our cries!

How many closed hands

To the most tender hug!

*

In the end, the word always remains.

In the end, only the word remains.

In the end, the word never dies.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

LIKE THAT BLIND MAN (Mk 10:46-52)

At the feet of Jesus,

Like that blind man,

With arms in the wind and the gaze

Only in his words that come to me

In the breeze of the water.

 *

At the feet of Jesus, like that blind man,

Beggar and clothed in his darkness,

My voices darken in a scream

Without embers or sidewalks.

 *

At the feet of Jesus, like that blind man,

Absent from his eyes, bound

To my undecided touch and to my dreams,

And alone with my hands.

*

At the feet of Jesus, like that blind man,

I do not know if there are roads in the steppe,

If it is a tree or it is my shadow that I touch,

Or is it just a chimera?

*

At the feet of Jesus, like that blind man,

My cry shivers between his lips.

His hands in my eyes and the light

Just a fleeting lightning?

 *

At the feet of Jesus, like that blind man,

Lightning breaks through my blood.

And for the shells of my fragile

Eyes, the sea invades me.

 *

At the feet of Jesus, like that sky,

I start to walk, and the new Light

Dazzle the roads this afternoon

And, in a low voice, it blinds me.

 *

At the feet of Jesus, like that sky,

In the deepest corner of my blood

Dawn springs with another touch.

The sorrows are drowned!

 *

For the new Path, my footsteps

In his footprints, fingerprints and other lips.

And in his green gaze the olive trees

Caress my steps.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez Bernal, CMF

Loving like crazy

If they hated you … Love!

If they hit you … Caress!

If they made fun of you … Praise!

If they despise you … esteem!

If they stole from you … Give what you have left!

 *

If they killed you … Resurrect!

Learn to make your revenge a weapon for you to win the battle, without destroying your opponent and leaving defeated, for having fallen in the same game.

*

Even if the world thinks you’re crazy, remember that there’s a bigger crazy

Who let himself be nailed to a cross because he loved you.

*

Love overcomes all things!

Let us love in the manner of good fools!

Let’s fight the battles with love!

Sow to yourself.

(Anonimous)

THE FASTING I WANT (Is 58:5-12)

Songs to the right and the reverse

 *

A voice without a break

Break the captive silences.

It is the voice of God who demands

To put the heart in suspense,

Straighten your paths,

Let his alive Word

Stifle our fragile voices

And open us to life.

 *

The Lord says:

 *

I do not want fasts or mourning

Neither abstinence nor affliction.

No ash on the forehead

Nor the cross of your sorrows.

 *

Nor your body defeated

Not your lost look.

Nor your lips badly injured

Neither your knees defeated.

*

I do not like your prayers

Or the smell of your incense

While I rash on my face

The tears of my people.

 *

The Lord says:

 *

The fast that I want

It is that you break the chains,

break down the fences

And wipe away cries and sorrows.

 *

May the oppressed redeem

Tyranny and fear.

And justice dazzles

The pavement and paths.

 *

The fast that I want

Is that you untie the knots

And let the poor rejoice

Freed from their yokes.

*

Break the bolts

That your heart capture

And wide your hands,

With hugs and caresses.

*

The fast that I like

It is that you celebrate life,

In fellowship with the poor,

In the peace of justice.

 *

To stay in your house

Those who are out in the open

And the naked and hungry

In your heart stay.

*

Then your light will shine

Like a dawn of nightingales.

And I’ll hear your voice when you call me.

And you will sing new songs.

I will erase from your face

The traces of your crying.

I will prepare the fraternal table

And the feast of Life without sunset.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Prayer to free yourself from the temptation to judge and criticize others.

My Lord, I want to record in my life the laws of your love, so that my heart can only move in one direction: justice, equity, solidarity, forgiveness, love and mercy.

I must be grateful for all the talents you have given me to be a faithful imitator of you, to have your Spirit, to be a true bearer of your goodness, who are compassionate, who does not judge or condemn, who always forgives and gives with generosity.

Do not let me fall into the temptation to judge and criticize my brothers and sisters. I am also wrong and I fail. Teach me to discover in others the best of each one, their virtues and their good works.

Help me, Lord, to forget promptly all that has offended me. Remove from me all negative feelings and rancor, all negative emotions accumulated in my heart that cause resentment and bad desires.

Oh my God, I want to love as You love, to forgive as You forgive. I want you to help me with the light of Holy Spirit to be able to achieve it.

Deliver me from judging, from looking at the actions of others with pride and arrogance, instead make me see the misery inside me, make me see that I am also plagued with errors and I often fall.

Give me the ability to forgive people who hurt me. Touch my heart so that it is always willing to love freely, without prejudice, to be a happy, joyful person, who is building a better future according to your laws of life.

I trust in your blessing and in your love that you pour on me at this moment and help me to change those bad attitudes to face the challenges of each day.

Thank you for your love and your company that make me experience your powerful Truth that is filling my life and my heart with love and mercy, which frees me from those bad thoughts towards others, those criticisms and judgments that I do lightly .

Come, Lord, and blow with the strength of your Spirit so that you fill me with humility, meekness and charity.

Amen.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

PRAYER TO START THE DAY

Lord, I ask Your peace, Your grace, Your love on this day that I start.

Bless my projects, ideas and everything I do, so that even my smallest achievements will be a testimony of your glory.

Bless, Lord, to all the people who are related to me this day.

Renew my strength to do my job in the best way possible.

On this day I ask you, Lord, for a generous heart to treat kindly all people and not be indifferent to their needs.

Eyes to discover the best in those around me.

A mouth that often smiles, says optimistic phrases and mutes it for offensive rumors and words.

Two hands that work honestly and enthusiastically to meet the needs of my family and mine.

Mind open to all ideas, to think well of others and to understand without prejudice to those who think differently to me.

Especially, Lord, give me a deep faith to believe in Your word and a determined will to act right and do good.

Lord, when I am confused, guide me, when I feel weak, strengthen me, when I am tired, fill me with the light of the Holy Spirit.

I ask you that on this day the work I do and the way I do it, agree with Your word and Your commandments.

Lord, I thank you for everything you have done in my life, what you do and what you will do.

In the name of Jesus, I thank you for the gifts you will give me today. Help me to live them with responsibility in Your honor. Amen.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

Lord, may I know my way.

Help me to understand the stages of your design, the moments of light and moments of shadow, of trial, at least to the limit of the tolerable.

Let me know at what stage on the road I am and where I am.

Lord, You who scrutinize and know us, you know how inept we are to understand your mystery and ours.

We know our inability to speak these things with truth.

We pray in the name of Jesus:

Send us your Spirit that scrutinizes the depth of man and knows what is within us, so that he may make us capable of knowing us, as we are known from You in the depth of our evil,with love and mercy.

Let us see with true eyes what is in us of weight, opacity, and opposition to You.

Let us know how to look at him in the merciful light that comes from the death and resurrection of your Son,

Jesus Christ our Lord,

who with the Spirit lives and reigns with you for all ages. Amen

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini S.J

THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THE NEW DAY 

Dear God,

I thank you

for a new awakening,

because you have colored my day.

Thank you for the sun that illuminates me, for the greenery that inspires me and for the sky that shakes me.

On this beautiful morning, which in your infinite mercy you have decided to give me, I want to go after you, join the birds and raise a praise to the throne of Grace.

What a beautiful presence floods me and what a wonderful feeling experiment

every time I wake up.

I wake up recognizing that a force from above lifts me up and sustains me, I wake up feeling that even if the world rejects me, you, my Lord, give me a new opportunity.

The morning dresses of opportunity, the sun you make shine is dressed in light

and heaven is clothed with love.

How big and beautiful you are

beloved of my soul, that still in the midst of my storm, you give me the bonanza, in the midst of my darkness, you give me a new dawn. And with it, your love, your favor, and your mercy. There is no greater love than yours Lord, there is no more valuable opportunity than the one you bestow each morning with the awakening, that’s why Lord, today and always THANK YOU in the mornings, the day, the nights … Thank you.

Amen.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

COMPASSIONATE NAZARENE

With the cross on your shoulders,

Get our of temple, Nazarene.

That by the streets of the neighborhood

the people of the village are walking.

*

Drop the Wooden Cross

and walk to Calvary

with the people’s cross in tow,

Compassionate Nazarene.

 *

I want to look you in the eyes

and in your weeping, Nazarene,

to redeem our pains,

the pains of your people.

*

I do not even have words

to express what I feel

when you walk the neighborhood

sweaty and breathless.

 *

On your crowned forehead

the thorns bloomed

as how the paths flourish

where the people walk.

 *

The people are walking

straight for death.

Do not leave them, Nazarene,

They are also innocent.

*

Nazarene, Nazarene,

look at our agony today.

Resurrect with us

in the struggle for Life.

*

Stand by our streets

after Holy Week.

Since your people always walks

with the cross on their back.

 Fr Blas Márquez, CMF

PRAYER OF GRATITUDE

I thank you Lord, for the air I breathe, for the joy you give me in every breath.

I thank you Lord for your love so warm, for your tenderness that calms me and makes me feel your Grace.

I thank you, Lord, because it pleases you to see me, because although I do not seek you, you are present.

I thank you Lord because I am so small, but in your hands you make me great.

I thank you, Lord, for from the time that I was formed, you loved me.

I thank you Lord, because in my desert you spoke to my heart and I could hear you.

I thank you, Lord, for you have been balm in my sufferings, because you have been my banner in moments of despair.

A single thank you cannot prove how much I owe you,

but still Lord, I thank you. Amen

Prayer to ask for the grace to accept one’s reality

Give me, Lord, the grace to accept my reality, what I am and as I am, what has happened to me in the past and what is happening to me in the present, what I will be and what will happen to me in the near or distant future.

Give me the grace to accept everything, fully, totally, as it comes, as You who are my God and my Father, allow it to be.

Give me the grace to accept my body with all its limitations, all its weaknesses and all its deficiencies. To accept it and to give thanks for it because it is your gift, an invaluable gift of your love and your immense kindness to me.

Give me the grace to accept my way of being and my way of feeling, my temperament and my character, every day trying to improve what I can improve and assuming with courage and dignity what is beyond my human possibilities to correct.

Give me also, Lord, the grace to accept the painful and traumatic events of my personal history, those that happened in the past and left me wounded, those that are happening now in the present and rob me the tranquility, and those that will happen to me In the future without being able to do anything to avoid them.

Give me the grace to assume them all with the gaze set on you, confident and trusting in your protection and your help, because I know that you love me with the greatest love in the world. Amen.

Fr. Blas Máruez, CMF

TIME OF LENT

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week…” (Mt 28:1). This is how the story of the manifestations of the Risen One on the day of Easter starts. That is why the Christians chose to celebrate their weekly feast, not on Saturday like the Jews, but on the following day which the Romans called “the day of the sun.” It was soon changed to the “day of the Lord.” They gathered “to break bread” (Acts 20:6-12) and to offer to the needy brethren what they were able to save throughout the week (1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 8:9).

The early Church did not celebrate Christmas day or feasts in honor of our Lady, or any other for that matter. There was only the weekly celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.

This went on for the first few decades of the Church. The Christians felt the need to celebrate the central event of their faith in a special way. So the first of the feasts, Easter, considered “the Sunday of the Sundays, the Feast of Feasts,” was born. It was like the queen of all feasts, of all Sundays, of all the days of the year.

By the start of the second century, it was celebrated by all Christian communities. The celebration culminated in the “night assembly” of prayer which concluded with the Eucharistic celebration. The Christians attached importance to attendance at this feast. A famous Christian writer of the time, Tertullian, speaking of the difficulties that a Christian girl would encounter if she were to marry a pagan boy, says: “Will her husband allow her out the night of the Easter Vigil?”

How did Lent begin?

To reap the spiritual fruits of Easter depends on how well this feast was prepared by Christians. They introduced the custom of observing two days of prayer, reflection and fast to express their sorrow for the death of Christ. They gradually prolonged the period of preparation: in the third century it became a week, then three weeks until on the fourth century it extended to forty days: Lent thus began. The Council of Nicea (325 A.D) speaks of “the forty days” as an institution known to all and spread everywhere.

The Easter feast must not only be prepared; there was a need to prolong its joy and spiritual wealth. The “seven weeks,” the fifty days of “Pentecost” were instituted and must be celebrated with great joy because—as Irenaeus put it, “they are like a single feast day and are as important as a Sunday.” During the Pentecost, they prayed standing up. Fasting was forbidden and baptisms were performed. They would like the day of Easter to last…fifty days.

Why forty days?

We must be cautious in interpreting the significance of the number forty in the Bible. Many times they have a symbolic meaning. The forty stands for a symbolic period of time, short or long.

For example, it is hard to believe that Elijah was able to walk for forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb, after eating one cake and drinking a jar of water (1 Kgs 19:6-8); that Moses spent forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai without eating bread or drinking water (Ex 34:28) and that Jesus was able to do the same (Mt 4:2).

The number forty had several meanings. It refers to the life of “an entire generation,” or for “a lifetime.” It also had another meaning that interests us in a particular way. It stood for “a period of preparation” and prepared a new humankind; the people of Israel passed forty years in the desert preparing to enter into the promised land; the inhabitants of Nineveh did penance for forty days before receiving the forgiveness of God; Elijah walked for forty days and forty nights to reach the mountain of God; Moses and Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights to prepare for their missions. How many days do you think were necessary to prepare for the greatest feast of all Christian feasts?… forty of course!

What to do during Lent?

Lent has always been considered from its beginning a time to renew one’s life. There were three main things to be done: prayer, fight evil and fast.

Prayer—not to be identified with or reduced to a monotonous repetition of formulas or a request for graces and favors. It puts us in tune with the thoughts and plans of God. The first thing to do is to be converted and believe in the Gospel. Jesus’ prayer was constant (Lk 18:1), although the evangelists noted it only in the most important moments of his life. His whole life has been lived in the light of the Father’s will. “My food—he said—is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (Jn 4:34). The summit of prayer is the attainment of perfect communion with God’s intentions. This was the habitual state of Jesus who could say, “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30).

We cannot keep our eyes always focused on the Father. We are distracted, seduced, flattered by vanity; “our iniquities take us away like the wind” (Is 64:5) very easily. We are also fascinated by beautiful and good things in this world (work, success, family, school, sports). Unfortunately, we love them to the point of idolizing them and remaining slaves. We end up losing control of our actions and forget the Lord.

Here comes, as a time of grace and liberation, the days of Lent. They require us to stop, reflect, recall and impress in the heart the thoughts of God. Reading and meditation of the Gospel help us to recover the meaning of life, to find the point of reference for our actions, to rediscover the true values.

The fight against evil. The evangelist Mark says that, after his baptism, Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness, and remained there forty days, tempted by Satan (Mk 1:12-13).

Again, the number forty. The whole life of Jesus is indicated by this number that also recalls the time spent by Israel in the desert. There the people succumbed to temptation and abandoned its God. Jesus repeats the experience: during his “forty days,” that is, throughout his life, he faces the forces of evil and wins. He will come out of the “desert” only after his victory over the last temptation, the most dramatic, that of fear of being abandoned by the Father (Mk 15:34).

Evil has been fully defeated by Jesus, “Satan fell from heaven like lightning” (Lk 10:17), but in us, the devil continues his fight. John says that “the whole world lies under the power of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19) and we check every day how strong his power is. The “Satan” that takes us away from God and life are unruly passions, pride, selfishness, greed for the goods of this world, jealousy, envious of other’s successes, the desire to dominate and to impose ourselves, the feelings of resentment.

Against all these “evil spirits” we are called to fight during the “forty days” of our lives, but especially in this Lenten time. Where the word of Christ reaches, Satan is defeated. All the demons are subject in his name (Lk 10:17).

Finally fasting. To follow the Master, the Christian must forget oneself, one’s benefit and think only of the brother’s good. This generous and selfless attitude requires a considerable capacity for renunciation and detachment. It is not possible to reach it without undergoing a severe asceticism.

The most immediate goal of fasting is to shake oneself from sloth, indolence, leading to self-control, giving the strength to overcome the tendency to shy away from hard work and sacrifice.

However, there is the danger of reducing this practice to a formal ritual, a religious practice to feel confident and worthy before God. The prophets had harsh words against this false fasting. Here is Isaiah’s memorable text: “Look, on your fast days you push your trade and you oppress the laborers. Yes, you fast but end up quarreling, striking each other with wicked blows. Fasting as you do will not make your voice heard on high. Is that the kind of fast that pleases me, just a day to humble oneself? Is fasting merely bowing down one’s head, and making use of sackcloth and ashes? Would you call that fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh? See the fast that pleases me; breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the one you see naked” (Is 58:4-7). According to Zechariah, the fast that is pleasing to God is: “To do righteousness and faithfulness, to exercise compassion and mercy each to his neighbor. Do not defraud the widow, the orphan, the pilgrim, the poor, do not plan evil against one’s own brother” (Zech 7:5-10).

True fasting always leads to acts of love for the brother. The leftover food should not be put back in the pantry and stored for the next day; it must be immediately distributed to the hungry.

A widely read book by the Christians of the second century—the “Shepherd of Hermas”—explains the link between fasting and charity: “This is how you practice fasting: during fasting day you will eat only bread and water; then you calculate how much you would have spent for your food during that day and you will offer the money to a widow, an orphan or a poor man; so you deprive yourself of something so that your sacrifice will help someone to be satiated. He will pray for you to the Lord. If you will fast in this way, your sacrifice will be acceptable to God.”

And Leo the Great—Pope from 440-461—recommends to the faithful of Rome in a homily: “We prescribed fasting to you, remembering not only the necessity of abstinence but also the works of mercy. In this way, what you will have saved on ordinary expenses becomes food for the poor.”

Lent and the catechumens

In the fourth century, the church began to organize a very careful preparation for baptism. The catechumens were subjected to a long period of training. For two or three years they faithfully attended catechesis and undertook to lead a good life to show that their desire to become Christians was sincere.

Each community celebrated baptisms once a year, at Easter Vigil. Tertullian mentioned the holy vigil, spent in prayer and listening to the Word of God. It was concluded in the morning with the Eucharistic celebration in which the newly baptized participated for the first time.

Since the celebration of baptism was the central part of the Easter Vigil’s ceremony, Lent took on a particular importance for the catechumens. For them, it was the last step before receiving this sacrament. During these forty days, they received catechesis every day. The bishop taught them and not just any catechist. During this time they also did many ceremonies and had some meetings where they were subjected to tests. It was verified whether they had assimilated the fundamental truths of the faith and assessed whether their lives were consistent with what they professed.

The most important meeting took place on Wednesday of the fourth week. It was called “the great examination.” On that day—it was said—the catechumens’ “ears were opened” because they were taught “the Creed and the Our Father” which are the synthesis of all the Christian doctrine.

Only if we keep these facts in mind we can understand the reason for the choice of the readings of this liturgical season.

The catechumens are like children about to be born. The mother (the Christian community) is dedicating her full attention to them, preparing the nourishment of the word of God especially for them, for their tastes and needs. Clearly, it is a very hearty and tasty food. The other children are also invited to taste it to become spiritually strong. They are offered the opportunity to reflect on the central truths of the faith and on the commitments (sometimes a little overlooked) assumed on the day of baptism.

Each year the first Sunday is always dedicated to the theme of the “temptations of Jesus.” Its purpose is to show to the catechumens and to the baptized the tactics used by the enemy and how to resist them.

The second Sunday presents the “transfiguration.” Christians are aware that following Jesus means to give one’s life. The grain of wheat dies, but always rises again in the form of a new life and increased a hundredfold. The ultimate human destiny is not death but resurrection, as shown by the sign of the transfiguration.

From the third Sunday, topics vary according to the liturgical cycle.

The readings on the fourth Sunday refer to the same theme: “the cross” on which Jesus was raised indicates, even visibly, the embrace, the alliance between heaven and earth. It is the sign of the unfailing love between God and humanity. Whoever receives the message that this cross sends to the world obtains salvation.

The fifth Sunday concludes the reflection on the covenant. In the first reading, Jeremiah proclaims the gospel of Jesus and explains it with the image of the seed buried in the ground and intended to produce abundant fruits.

On Palm Sunday, as every year, the story of the Passion is read. This year the gospel is that of Matthew.

Lent: a season of reconciliation

In the early Church, when Christians committed very serious sins, they were excommunicated. If they repented and wanted to reconcile with God and with the Church, they were not readmitted immediately into the community. They were first expected to do public penance because their sin had been public and known by all. Such a penance could not be done in a matter of days but was performed over a prolonged period of time according to the gravity of the offenses.

After acknowledging one’s own sin before the bishop, and after he had laid his hands upon the penitent wearing sackcloth (a coarse and rough dress, a fabric of goat’s hair), his head is covered with ashes. He practiced rigorous fasts, dressed scruffily and dirty. He did prostrations, prayers and recommended himself to the friends of God, that is to the martyrs and confessors of the faith. Finally, he appealed to the intercession of all the faithful. He was removed from the place of worship of the community, but sometimes he had to stay at the church’s door, and at other times he was allowed in but remained prostrated or standing, and could not receive Holy Communion.

At the end of the penitential period, the sinner was reconciled with a solemn rite. On Holy Thursday at the Mass presided over by the bishop, the excommunicated, wearing the penitential habit and with head covered with ashes, presented themselves to the community. They declared their repentance and their willingness to reform. The bishop went to meet them and embraced them one by one. Lent became thus the preparation time for reconciliation.

This use of public penance gradually disappeared, however the meaning of Lent, as a time when all Christians are invited to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, remained.

 

BACK AGAIN TO GALILEA

Back to Galilee

making the walk again,

naked the heart

and all dreams standing.

The echo of his Voice dazzles the air

and riding wave in wave

to this shore where the wind blows.

*

Back to Galilee,

leaving behind Jerusalem and the Temple

where the face of God is an effigy

on a throne of mourning and glass.

With hands tied to the Law

that chains the dreams

in the offering of gold and lamentations.

 *

Back to Galilee

and renew the Covenant again

prostituted on the couches

of the power and rites of blood,

between incense and chain prayers

in an aimless sky.

*

Back to Galilee

and get on the road with trust

in the Abba of Jesus and his Project,

in the hidden strength of his Spirit

that revives hope

and unleash the most hidden fears.

The path is traced and traversed

by the untiring feet

of the Solidarity Nazarene.

*

Back to Galilee

and place in the tables of the law

final point.

Only love as a flag,

the cross of every day,

people’s and ours.

And poverty

to be free of bandages

that drown out our voice and the Word.

 *

Back to Galilee

and sit back again

to the roundtable of the poor

to share the bread and celebrate life,

with the Good News on our lips

as the greatest treasure.

And nothing else, that is enough

if we really believe.

 

 Fr Blas Márquez, CMF

INCREASE MY FAITH, LORD

 

The afternoon falls,

descends like a caress

on the tired body of this day.

Trees gather hasty

the last flashes of light

to wrap the night.

Birds just flutter

sure of their flight

in the lightning of another night in their feathers.

*

A thankful psalm

moisten the waves of nostalgia.

Slow the hours fall

like stubble leaves,

like naked verbs.

 *

Silences are grouped

to knit knots and kisses.

The lights are sowing blue pupils

the gaps of sorrow.

Aromas and yellow treats

awaken the senses and intoxicate

the walls of another day

that goes on

without more relief than fatigue,

with no more traces than a caress

just started,

with no more words than the rumor of a kiss

on the thirsty lips of another kiss.

 *

Anonymous the hours,

every moment retains the beauty

of a leafless dream.

Thus life is growing,

goes forward, returns, unfolds

without stopping his rhythm

in spite of so many sterile tears

which clouded the light of a glance.

 *

Despite the hands that are closed

like a crustal stump

that even the wind does not caress.

In spite of so many gagged words

and silent silences.

In spite of so many hurts

that deepen the pain

until touching the bottom of the cries,

I bet for LIFE, and despite

of all the regrets.

I bet on impossible dreams,

for the laughter without brake in the nights

of full moon, between smiles

and dances, between songs released

without other music

that your kisses and my kisses.

I bet on the calcined paths

leaving other trails behind

where only thorns bloom.

*

I bet by a God outside the Temple,

kidnapped by bereaved hands

and sitting on the Throne of Glory.

I bet by a God as weak as a child,

no incense, robes and tinsel.

I bet by a God that cancels my certainties

and leaves the silence to the open,

my doubts and questions.

I bet on a crucified God

in the calvaries and barbed wire

where every afternoon agonize in silence

the wounding victims of our development.

At this uncertain time

of excesses, barriers and gags,

I can only tell you:

Increase my faith, Lord Jesus.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

What law? 

The law, yes, but what law?

Not that of the pure who observes,

from a barrier of compliance,

to the mistaken, the lost,

the transgressors.

Not the one who grabs the stone

and stoned the guilty

in the name of a cruel God.

Not that of boastful virtue,

or hypocritical discourse.

Not that of the blade in the other’s eye,

nor that of the excessive ego.

Not that which enslaves and does not set free.

Not that of imposed beliefs.

The one that is fulfilled by fear? Certainly not!

*

The one of love. Only that.

That is moved, burns,

celebrates and struggles.

The one that stretches out arms.

that understands the falls,

which aspires to everything good

from their unworthiness.

The one of the trembling entrainment

before the mystery of the neighbor.

The compassionate sob

which does not give up hope.

The one who sustains life

without being content with less.

The one of sincere laughter.

The one that empties to the last drop.

And live. And die. And resurrect.

That law.

 Fr José María R. Olaizola SJ

Pope Francis: Guilty!

 

You are a man and not an angel, that is, sometimes you are wrong, and you dare to say, not what everyone wants to hear but what the Holy Spirit inspires you.

You disarmed the Roman curia and dared to tell the bishops of the world that a shepherd should have the smell of his sheep.

While the world says justice, you say mercy.

You broke the rigorous protocol of Rome, and you took the road of simplicity and austerity.

You went to live with the bishops to the guest house occupying a simple room, and you avoided the luxury and the predilection of the palaces.

They have found you visiting immigrants on the outskirts of Rome, visiting prisons, having breakfast with beggars, kissing lepers and invalids, raising children, comforting widows, and victims of persecution and war. You are not Saint John Paul II, nor Benedict XVI, you are Francis!

They have accused you of welcoming the divorced and dare to say that for sacraments are not to be charged.

You struck in his heel the masonry that for so long ago, has tried to tarnish the name of the Church.

The people wanted a judge and you are a pastor, they wanted a shyster and a Pharisee and you say of yourself that you are a simple sinner, a man in need of God.

With simplicity you say that you are but the bishop of Rome. You do not want people to call you “Holy Father”, you prefer to be just Francis.

For this, and for many more things, the world declares you: guilty!

God bless you, a thousand times, God bless you and may the Virgin Mary take care of you, for having chosen to be only Francis.

 

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

BACK FROM EXILE

We must find new ways,

to return our land from her exile.

And bring her back home, into our hands.

Relearning as children the task of caring for her,

recovering in her care the essentials of “being human”.

*

We have to prevent from dying an innocent victim

of the exploitation of her natural resources,

of the pollution of her rivers and her seas,

of the greenhouse effect and the nuclear threat,

of the silent absence of life in her horizon.

*

We must banish from the world, forever,

predatory instrumental reason,

which looks with the eyes of mastery and efficiency,

that only believes in the integrative force of money

and dreams of market utopias, with no end of growth.

*

We must awaken our self-absorbed ego,

from that mortal indifference to marginalized,

women, elderly, migrants, discarded.

And regain the taste for the public and communitarian:

decency, kindness, justice and dialogue.

*

Only then will we raise the flight to our origin,

recovering that first and deep vision of things,

in which ‘everything’, being so different, we were the same:

earth, sacred land, with a divine purpose:

be to each of them all, care and caress crystalline.

 Fr. Blas Marquez, CMF

Your Glory, Lord!

Your glory, Lord, is that the poor live and live with dignity and no one steals their dreams and hope.

Your glory, Lord, is that we implant justice and law in the land we inhabit.

Your glory, Lord, is that we break down all the walls that separate us and prevent us from looking into our eyes as brothers and sisters.

Your glory, Lord, is that none of your children spend the night in the open, clothed only in the light of the moon.

Your glory, Lord, is that no one lacks the bread of each, a decent job and a just salary.

Your glory, Lord, is that we shake hands with the refugee and welcome her to our house, in the heat of our family.

Your glory, Lord, is to look at life face to face and discover the signs of your loving presence in so many sorrowful faces and in so many faces of solidarity that make possible the miracle of fraternity and sorority.

Your glory, Lord, is the feast of shared life and our songs of deliverance.

Your glory, Lord, are our hands that caress, embrace and protect the threatened life and open new furrows and sow the seed of hope and utopia.

Your glory, Lord, is that we care for our Mother_Earth and make life abundant for all your children. The land is our common home and no one has the property right to exploit or conquer it.

Your glory, Lord, is our daily struggle for peace and justice to kiss.

Your glory, Lord, is to keep standing, watchful and with a clean look to contemplate life without breaking up inside despite everything.

Then, Lord, we will play our harps and You will sit at the table with us to continue to encourage this life that you give us every day.

 

Fr. Blass Márquez, CMF

God – good Father 

God good Father, guide me,

accompany me on my walk

towards full happiness with you.

Do not let Lord

That I stop

in the way undertaken.

Teach me to keep waiting

although I do not see results;

to continue working with patience

in spite of the failures.

On the road to conversion

I have to be breaking away

of everything that weighs me down

and makes me fatiguing to walk.

But I believe, Lord,

that you know my desires

and you will not let

my life infertile.

I believe and I hope because I love

and I need to be loved.

And I know, Lord,

that You love me.

Fr. Blas Márquez, CMF

I need You! 

Show me how it goes to that country,

that is beyond every word and every name.

Teach me to pray to this side of the border,

where these forests are.

I need you to guide me.

I need you to move my heart.

I need my soul to be purified.

I need you to strengthen my will.

I need you to save and transform the world.

I need you for all who suffer, for all who suffer in prison, danger or trouble.

I need your healing hands to stop acting in my life.

I need you to make me, as you did your Son, a healer, a man of comfort, a savior.

I need you for me, whether I live or die.

 By Thomas Merton O.C.S.O.

My speech is muted…

In the silence of this wounded night

I set my heart to prayer.

The noises are ceasing,

the haste and the fatigues are quiet

and a clamor of stars in infinite space

ignites its splendor in living coals.

My look is blue tonight.

I open my hands

to embrace the world with tenderness

and my eyes light up expectantly

 beyond the stars,

beyond these limits

that bind my voice and my word.

In the silence of this wounded night,

your voice, Lord, is a breeze,

that caresses my face and redeems me

of the daily loss

shattering of life,

from the coldness of broken dreams,

of sterile hours

and fears bounded.

Your Word, Lord, tonight

Is unmistakable, serene,

overflowing with kisses and caresses,

encouraging and throbbing

as one who loves in silence,

as one who shakes hands in the falls,

as one who heals and gives light to the eyes

and sets the heart in readiness.

Your voice, Lord, tonight

sustains my life a

and I get up,

palpating shadows, opening holes

to shake your hands

and, as brothers, sit at the table

to share bread and joy,

the feast of life and its flavors.

My word, Lord, tonight

is a sweet silence

to listen to yours.

Tomorrow will be another day

and again the dawn light

will bathe the skin

and will reach the deepest

where You inhabit me.

Thanks, my Lord,

because in this wounded night

my speech was muted

to listen to yours.

 

By Fr. Blas Márquez CMF

God Is Good

In most ancient religions on every inhabited continent, God was seen to be “controllable” through some form of sacrifice, even fellow humans. Around the time of Abraham, the sacrificial instinct was transferred from humans to animals (Genesis 22:13); ancient Hebrew and other religions sacrificed birds, goats, sheep, and bullocks to please a seemingly fearsome God. This was still going on in Jesus’ time. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” before he died on the cross, some believe he was saying that the very notion of sacrificial religion was finished and shown to be fruitless. But the sacrificial instinct still remains ingrained until you can fully accept that you are accepted wholeheartedly. So today’s “civilized” cultures have evolved it into various forms of self-sacrifice and moral heroics, still found in most people and groups who do not emphasize inner experience.

It is almost impossible for humans to believe that we could be good or worthy without some kind of “payment” to earn that dignity. The free flow of unearned love, what we call grace, is almost a punishment for most people. They fiercely resist it. Note the opposition that Pope Francis is getting from many. This view of scarcity, as opposed to a God and a worldview of infinite abundance, must be radically transformed for the Gospel to even make sense. In my opinion, only a small minority of believers actually live inside the world of grace.

The amazing wonder of biblical revelation is that God is much different than we thought and much better than we feared. Paraphrasing an evolutionary biologist’s statement about the strangeness of the universe: “God is not only stranger than we think but stranger than we can think.” That changed way of thinking is what we call the contemplative mind. It is indeed a gift, but a gift that we can seek and ask for. Contemplation is a vast opening to inner experience.

Walter Brueggemann, in his monumental Theology of the Old Testament, says that the Jewish people came up with a “credo of five adjectives” to describe the God they met on their historical journey. YHWH was experienced as merciful, gracious, faithful, forgiving, and steadfast in love. You must realize what a breakthrough that was in human history and how it allowed one such as Jesus to emerge from such a worldview.

The only people who really know this to be true for themselves, and not because someone else told them, are those who sincerely seek, pray, and, often, suffer. Outside of inner experience, these descriptors of God are just words. Outside of your own inner experience of this kind of God, most religion remains ritualistic, moralistic, doctrinaire, and largely unhappy; that is true on both the Right and the Left. It is the contentious religion that we see all around.

By Richard Rohr OFM

Teach me to wait, Lord!

Come Holy Spirit, and teach me to wait.

  • Because the things I want do not come quickly, teach me to wait.
  • Because I cannot pretend that others change from one day to the next, teach me to wait.
  • Because I am changing very slowly myself, teach me to wait.
  • Because life has its seasons and everything comes in its time, teach me to wait.
  • To accept that I am not in heaven but on earth, teach me to wait.
  • So that I do not demand to this day what it cannot give me, teach me to wait.
  • To recognize that the world cannot be in my service, teach me to wait.

Come Holy Spirit, and teach me to accept that many things are postponed, so that I value what life proposes me now, even if it is small, even if it seems little, come Holy Spirit, teach me to wait. Amen!

 By Fr Blas Márquez, CMF

Jesus of Nazareth 

Harvester of risks and doubts,

debellator of all powers,

Your flesh and Your truth on the cross, naked,

contradiction and peace, you are who you are!

*

Jesus of Nazareth, son and brother,

living in God and bread in our hand,

pathway and companion of the day,

*

Total liberator of our lives

you come, by the sea, with the dawn,

the embers and sores bright red.

 

By Claretian Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga

THE PILGRIM

Through the paths of the Kingdom /

the thirsty pilgrim goes, /

stripped of his time, /

opening new roads.

*

Sometimes hours weigh, /

Sometimes is life that weighs /

and the despondency grows /

like a mantle of ashes. /

But You are our fortress /

in the faded hours, /

in the songs without breath, /

in sleeping hope. /

You are the one who opens the furrows /

and who sows the seed, /

who makes the water rise /

and who blossoms the spike.

*

Who clears the paths /

but your friendly hands? /

Who hugs our feathers, /

who sustains our life /

when the forces are exhausted /

and joy declines? /

Lord, in you is strength, /

vigor and joy /

to follow the path /

and sing your wonders. /

In you, our hope, /

You, friend of life, /

pilgrim with us, /

breath in our fatigues.

Warm support, Nazarene /

with our crosses on you, /

with you walking forward, /

with the warmth of your caresses. /

Open our horizon more, /

to set foot our Utopia /

which is yours and is ours: /

A redeemed Land /

through the paths of the Kingdom /

the thirsty pilgrim goes, /

stripped of his time, /

opening new roads.

 

By Fr. Blas Márquez CMF

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

(John 4:1-39)

Jesus came to Sacar, city of Samaria

and sat down by the well,

tired of going through so many dusty roads.

It was like the sixth hour and the midday sun

accentuated his thirst and his yearnings.

And a woman, nameless to be able to recognize her,

came to draw water from that well,

dragging her loneliness and covered her face

with so many barren caresses on crazy nights.

Their eyes met and in the silence of that hour

the rumor of a Living Water was heard

which flowed from another deep and unfathomable well.

The face of that man, his look

and his word were interrogations,

Impossible to decipher in the breakdown of his life.

They were both alone

and the well was still flowing

until flooding the bank

of his thirsty heart.

The hours went out

and on the balcony of his gaze

the sun dazzled wildly.

Jesus quenched his thirst

in the kiss in love

of that reborn woman.

And stripped of the cloak of her old servanthood,

she hugged the Nazarene

and on the hill of her breasts

the afternoon trembled.

 By Fr Blas Márquez CMF

GOD and You

 

❀ When others defraud you. When many leave you. When you think you are alone. Look up … God will always be FAITHFUL.

❀ Today I give THANKS to God because I breathe, I walk, I see, I speak and because He gives me another day of life.

❀ I have faith in Jesus because without looking for Him, He found me; I saw it when I closed my eyes and opened my heart.

❀ Faith in God makes your worst day the first of a new stage, much better.

❀ Trust and sleep in peace, knowing that GOD has all your affairs in His Hands.

❀ When GOD takes first place in your life, all the remaining pieces of your life fit around Him, in perfect order.

❀ God saves. God is the one who heals. God is the healer. We just have to believe in Him to begin receiving His blessings …

 

Fr. Blas Márquez CMF

Let’s sing the God of life

You make the springs in the mountains,

the torrent water

which descends to the valley,

in which the herds drink,

and in its bank the bird makes its nest.

You grow grass for livestock

and the plants man cultivates

to take his bread out of the ground

and wine that rejoices his heart

and makes his face shine.

*

When night comes, the beasts move

and go out looking for their food.

When the day comes, they hide,

and man goes to work

until dusk, when his work ends.

*

How beautiful is the immense sea,

with the infinite fish that move in it

and the huge sea monsters!

Ships sail on its waters.

I want to sing to the Lord.

May my song please Him!

*

The Lord is my joy.

Your glory, Lord!

Your glory, Lord, is that the poor live and live with dignity and no one steals their dreams and hope.
Your glory, Lord, is that we implant justice and law in the land we inhabit.
Your glory, Lord, is that we break down all the walls that separate us and prevent us from looking into our eyes as brothers and sisters.
Your glory, Lord, is that none of your children spend the night in the open, clothed only in the light of the moon.
Your glory, Lord, is that no one be lacking the daily bread, a decent job and a just salary.
Your glory, Lord, is that we shake hands with the refugee and welcome him to our house, in the heat of our family.
Your glory, Lord, is to look at life face to face and discover the signs of your loving presence in so many sorrowful faces and in so many faces of solidarity that make possible the miracle of fraternity.
Your glory, Lord, is the feast of shared life and our songs of deliverance.
Your glory, Lord, are our hands that caress, embrace and protect the threatened life and open new furrows and sow the seed of hope and utopia.
Your glory, Lord, is that we care for our Mother-Earth and make life abundant for all your children. The land is our common home and no one has the property right to exploit or conquer it.
Your glory, Lord, is our daily struggle for peace and justice to kiss.
Your glory, Lord, is to keep standing, watchful and with a clean look to contemplate life without breaking inside despite everything.

Then, Lord, we will play our harps and You will sit at the table with us to continue to encourage this life that you give us every day.

 – By Fr Bals Márquez, CMF

Scripture

How Jesus Interpreted Scripture

Biblical messages often proceed from historical incidents, but the actual message does not depend upon communicating those events with perfect factual accuracy. Any good writer knows that! Spiritual writers are not primarily journalists. Hebrew rabbis and scholars sometimes used an approach called midrash in which they reflected on a story to communicate all of its underlying message. Scripture can be understood on at least four levels: literal meaning, deep meaning, comparative meaning, and hidden meaning. Midrash allowed and encouraged each listener to grow with a text and not to settle for mere literalism, which of itself bears very little spiritual fruit. Some Christians do the same today with mature, reflective reading of Scripture (lectio divina), but Jesus and ancient Jewish teachers were much more honest and up front about this.

Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver. This was drilled into me during my seminary education. People at different levels of development will interpret the same text (or homily) in different ways. There is no one right way to interpret sacred texts. Such a singular approach was a defensive posture that emerged more strongly after the fights of the Reformation and the attacks of the Enlightenment. How you see is what you see; the who that you bring to your reading of the Scriptures matters. Is it a defensive who? An offensive who? A power-hungry who? A righteous who? Surely, this is why we need to pray before reading a sacred text!

More than telling us exactly what to see in the Scriptures, Jesus taught us how to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized or ignored. Jesus himself is our hermeneutic! He was in no way a fundamentalist or literalist. He was a man of the Spirit. Just watch how he does it. (To do so, you’ll need some knowledge and respect for the Hebrew culture and practices.)

Jesus consistently ignored or even denied exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalistic texts in his own inspired Hebrew Bible in favor of passages that emphasized inclusion, mercy, and honesty. He read the Scriptures in a spiritual and selective way. Jesus had a deeper and wider eye that knew which passages were creating a path for God and which passages were merely cultural, self-serving, and legalistic additions. That becomes self-evident once you know enough to see the “comparative meaning” of an incident or statement.

When Christians pretend that every line in the Bible is of equal importance and inspiration, they are being very unlike Jesus. This is precisely why Jesus was accused of teaching “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29, RSV), and why they hated him so much. Jesus even accused fervent and pious “teachers of the law” of largely missing the point. “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” he asked them (Mark 12:24, RSV). We cannot make the same mistake all over again—and now in Jesus’ name.

By Richard Rohr

Morning Prayer…

Dawn.. And the unbroken light of this dawn gives way to a new day.
And I look, as if it were the first time, the immense Book of Life that You wrote, Lord, with a prodigious hand.
And they burst again in my hands…
the most daring dreams. And hope again flourishes in spite of the fragility of my steps.
And I remember unforgettable names that are already part of the map of my days: Mamre, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum, Jericho, Cana, the well of Shechem, the well of Siloam….
Intricate places where men and women from other times experienced your presence as an unexpected prodigy.
And the tracks of their footsteps open paths to new horizons.
My heart, Lord, in this first hour accelerates its rhythm and madness of gratitude.
I open my hands and caress life slowly.
And other hands lengthen to narrow mine.
The miracle of the encounter is possible.
It is possible to recognize all faces and put a new name to that look that interrogates me and, at the same time,
wipe away my withered tears with the handkerchief of your faith.
It is possible to savor life as a tasty fruit that ripens in the tree of my dreams.
I am not alone, Lord, in this journey.
There are indelible marks and signs that illuminate the road and make the weight of the days more bearable.
Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, your favorite Son, also gives me the hand
and his healing force is rejuvenating my life, in spite of everything.
The streets begin to populate and the anxieties grow and jump the life crossing the first hours.
I went down to the street and so many are in the Main Square and I with them to make it possible that this sun just dawned
warm the heart of this Earth, Mother and Sister
Grant me, Lord, at the beginning of this new day, to tune up my heart.
I ask this from your Son Jesus, the Nazarene. Amen.

– Fr. Blas Marques, CMF 

Silence in the noises 

Lord Jesus, at the beginning of this new day that you give me, I am silent before you. My words sometimes interrupt yours and today I just want to be quiet, contemplative before you and let drop your words like good seed in my desert heart. If the spring of my life is dry, you can bring forth again a clear water that will bring forth the seed of your Word. I want to look at the world as You see it, with compassionate eyes and full of mercy.

Sometimes I feel helpless before this hurtful reality and I do not succeed with my words or my works to turn this crazy world around. I grieve, Lord Jesus, for the pain and the helplessness of the poor, the immigrants and refugees, the discarded and those who have lost hope in our indifference. I know that You walk beside me and encourage me with your Spirit so that I do not bend my knees hesitant and I will then point the way to build your Kingdom. Give me your hand so that I do not deviate from your path.

I remain silent before you and my heart is filled with peace and a new vigor runs through my whole being. I want to continue being your humble disciple and in silence continue to listen to your Word. Amen

– Fr. Blas Marques, CMF 

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I Dare! 

In spite of everything, I dare to share my hope today.

A faith-proof hope, redeemed from old certainties. Next to the Crib my hope blooms, as in every spring life blooms in the hills of Galilee. I close my eyes in the stillness of dawn which is slowly turning off the last stars of the night. Next to the Crib slowing my walk, stripped of the cloak of my false consolations.

And I behold, with an open heart, the fragility of the Mystery:

God_with_us within reach of my feeble hands.

God_with_us within reach of my thirsty lips.

God_with_us among humble nappies reclining.

How can I not share my hope today in spite of everything? The day rises, prisoner of time and its fatigues, But the crib is still open. And the Child smiles sweetly. Maria shudders and Jose looks at the last stars without saying a word. And I resist the temptation of the haste, contemplating and without saying a word.

Today my hope is reborn again because God_with_us is still here, in the heart of this world of ours, in the very heart of life, stripped of its rank and recovered in the humility of our flesh. Today my hope is reborn in a new and desired world. The utopia of a land without evils with unthinkable vigour is reborn. And the watchful eyes of the mighty are confused in the splendor of their certainties. Do you now understand why, in spite of everything, I dare to share my hope with you?

–   FrBeto

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