All posts by mrsmooseberrypie

My Dissertation is a … …

The Thesis Whisperer writes, “My Thesis is a Cupcake, not a Dragon”
I’ll let you know when I have moved toward a more amicable relationship with my dissertation. I’m not feeling the love. It is more like a constant, nagging headache.


In Suspense and Incomplete

I return with a post that is a statement of the obvious: I have the patience of a gnat. I’ve ‘fessed up to this before, here.

But the hiatus of time between that post and now has been the season of chiseling and re-shaping of a self-tyranny of wanting it now. And finding grace to walk by faith–without a firm grounding, and of being in suspense, of being incomplete. Trust grows in this sort of soil…

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

– See more at: Continue reading In Suspense and Incomplete

It IS Lent, You Know …

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw, ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is Cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.
I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit my selfstuff sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their loss to be
Their sweating selves as I am mine, but worse.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ

What Do You Want From Me?

What Do You Want?
The Weekly Inspiration

March 12, 2010 —

During my theology studies in graduate school, and a year before my ordination as a priest, I started to get migraine headaches — almost every week. Life was moderately stressful, and I had suffered from migraines before, but never with such intensity. I decided to see a doctor.

After some tests, the doctor said that he had seen a “spot” on my test results. He suspected that it was a small tumor under my jaw, which would have to have it removed.

On the morning of the surgery, lying on a cold hospital table, with tubes snaking out of my arms, I was consumed with fear. My friend Myles, a Jesuit priest and physician who worked at the hospital, introduced me as a Jesuit to the physicians and nurses in the operation room.

A nurse stuck a needle in my arm and placed a mask over my face. I had seen this dozens of times in the movies and on television.

Suddenly an incredible desire surged up from deep within me. It was like a jet of water rushing up from the depths of the ocean to its surface. I thought, “I hope I don’t die, because I want to be a priest!”

I had never felt it so strongly before. Of course I had thought about the priesthood from the day I entered the Jesuit seminary, and had felt drawn to the life of a priest throughout my training. But never was there a time when I felt that desire so ardently.

When I awoke, it was if I had been asleep for only a few moments. In my foggy state, I heard someone calling my name. Since Myles had told the physicians and nurses that I was a Jesuit, they assumed I was already ordained (which I wasn’t yet). So the first thing I heard, seemingly immediately after having this intense desire to become a priest, was a nurse saying softly, “Father? Father?”

It was a surprising — and rather funny — confirmation of my longtime desire to be a priest. During my recuperation I realized why Jesus, in the Gospels, may have asked people what they want. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asks the blind beggar named Bartimaeus, before healing him. Naming our desires tells us something about who we are. In the hospital I learned something about myself, which helped free me of doubts about what I wanted to do. It’s freeing to say, “This is what I desire in life.”

Expressing our desires brings us into a closer relationship with God. Otherwise, it would be like never telling a friend your innermost thoughts. Your friend would remain distant. When we tell God our desires, our relationship to God deepens.

Desire is a primary way that God leads people to discover who they are and what they are meant to do. On the most obvious level, a man and a woman feel sexual, emotional and spiritual desire for one another, and in this way discover their vocations to be married. A person feels an attraction to being a doctor, or a lawyer, or a teacher, and so discovers his or her “vocation.”

Desire helps us find our way. But we first have to know them.

The deep longings of our hearts are our holy desires. Not only desires for physical healing, but also the desires for change, for growth, for a fuller life. Our deepest desires, those desires that lead us to become who we are, are God’s desires for us. They are ways that God speaks to you directly.

Desire gets a bad rap in many spiritual circles– because desires are often confused with selfish wants. But our selfish wants — I want a new car because my friend has one; I want a bigger TV because my brother-in-law has one; I want a more expensive suit so that people will think I’m cool — are different than our deep, heartfelt longings, which lead us to God. And it takes time to be able to discern between the two kinds of desires.

Desire is a key part of spirituality because desire is a key way that God’s voice is heard in our lives. And our deepest desire, planted within us, is our desire for God.

The Rev. James Martin is a Catholic priest and culture editor of America magazine. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business. This essay was adapted from his new book, “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.”

Copyright © 2011 ABC News Internet Ventures

Trust’s Fodder

A New Way of Struggling

To struggle used to be
To grab with both hands

and shake
and twist
and turn
and push
and shove and not give in

But wrest an answer from it all
As Jacob did a blessing.

But there is another way
To struggle with an issue, a question –
Simply to jump


into the abyss
and find ourselves
being led

slowly and gently

but surely

to the answers God has for us –
to watch the answers unfold
before our eyes and still
to be a part of the unfolding.

But, oh! the trust
necessary for this new way!
Not to be always reaching out
For the old hand-holds.

– Susan W. N. Ruach

WordPress for Android

Well. Here is my feeble attempt at blogging more, by using my phone to post. Go Android apps!
I just finished reading (listening actually) to The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is a beautifully written book set in the early ’60s on the south… Jackson, Mississippi as a matter of fact. And the story unfolds of the relationships between white families and The domestic Help; they are stories that will make you laugh out loud, and cry, and get so angry you will throw the book across the room. They are stories of redemption, of love, of sacrifice, of the Kingdom come to earth.
If you haven’t yet, go and buy your copy now. NOW! And read til you are filled up inside.