It has been a great of month June in so many aspects. We had great important moments in the Church, and at the same time, I have found so many answers for my spiritual life. In sports, we have had so many soccer games… I was born in soccer country… I loved the game even as a child with no TV, and having to sit next to the radio to imagine in my mind what the sportscaster described in the field. So, here are some of the highlights of the last weeks and as I saw them play by play…!
1. Obviously, the closing ceremonies and liturgies of the Year for Priests in Rome were unique…15,000 Priests… Wow! But first, I wanted to run and be in Rome and thank every single Priest for giving their lives to bring Jesus to us…Every priest is a Santa Claus… They bring the gift of Baby Jesus to us over and over… And one thing that I admire them soo much for, is for being confessors… At one point during the closing Mass on June 11, somber moments came to me. I was good in math and I normally like to use numbers… So, I asked myself, “How many homilies thereabouts these 15,000 priests have preached?” And I am not going to count the thousands that did not make it to Rome (around 385,000?) .
In one year, most priests will deliver about 48 weeks of Sunday homilies times two per Sunday (if we give them one month vacation and ignoring the fact that they may end up with four homilies in a given weekend)… for a total of 96 homilies (of course, I am not counting either the short homilies of daily Masses…!). And just to use an average, if they have 20 years of priesthood (some less, some more), each priest had delivered 1,920 homilies minimum… times 15,000 of them present in Rome, equals 28,000,000 HOMILIES….! If we make it only 15 years of priesthood as an average, then, they would have delivered 21,600,000… and only on Sundays…
What is wrong with this picture? Here we have evidence that “preaching” per se in these particular times of massive media communication where our brain have been so changed by it, has had little effect and that we lost many Catholics, either going to other denominations or simply staying away from Church altogether. But this is also true for all of us, priests/prophets and kings through Baptism, and who preach with our lives or using the media: printed press, TV, Internet! By this time, June 11, I had already been taken to a path of historical exploration that started May 30, and this helped me see so many things. Here is the full story.
2. On May 30th. I was called to look at the richness of our faith… This was territory that I had never explored in this particular way… PBS TV aired 3 hours with the life and ideas of Buddha. I need to go into much detail about this rather good man in order to comment on his premises. Buddha is called Buddha Shakyamuni. “Shakya” is the name of the royal family into which he was born, and “Muni” means “Able One.” Buddha Skakyamuni was born as a royal prince in 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, which was originally in northern India but is now part of Nepal. Very soon after watched this documentary, I came to understand that his views are in total agreement with the XXI C worldly ideas. More on it later. But before I go any further, let me present another side of the world and examine what was going on in Palestine at the time of his birth, so that we can compare these two areas of the world, some five centuries before the coming of Jesus. I will offer a list of some of the prophets, all who came in times of grave disobedience of Yahweh’s laws.
1. Elijah. Two centuries before Buddha, about 870 B.C., northern Israel’s decadence had become so evil that God stepped in. He called a “country boy” from the remote desert territory of Gilead to be His spokesman. As a youth, Elijah did not fill his mind with the foolishness of idolatry nor did he chase after the meaningless pleasures of carnal dissipation – pleasures which idolatry not only approved, but exalted. Elijah was devoted to God; deeply concerned and grieved by the idolatrous behavior of his people. Elijah knew that God’s wrath toward Israel’s behavior was long overdue. Elijah wanted to make a difference, but he recognized that he was just a youth and powerless to do anything about it. He had no influence, no pulpit and no money. To him, it seemed as if there was nothing he could do – except pray.
2. Elisha – 850-800 BC
3. Amos and Hosea – 786-746 BC
4. Isaiah – 742-700 BC
5. Micah – 722-701 BC
6. Zephaniah – 628 – 622 BC (when Buddha was born)
7. Jeremiah – 626-586 BC (contemporary of Buddha)
8. Ezekiel – 593-573 BC (prophesied while in captivity in Babylon and also a contemporary of Buddha)
9. Zechariah – 520-519 (?) BC
10. Malachi – 455 BC
More on Buddha:
When his father, the king, saw the child, he felt as if all his wishes had been fulfilled and he named the young prince “Siddhartha.” He grew up and had great ability for studies, Sometimes Prince Siddhartha would go into the capital city of his father’s kingdom to see how the people lived. During these visits he came into contact with many old people and sick people, and on one occasion he saw a corpse. These encounters left a deep impression on his mind and led him to realize that all living beings without exception have to experience the sufferings of birth, sickness, aging and death. Because he believed in the laws of reincarnation he also realized that they experience these sufferings not just once, but again and again, in life after life without cessation. Seeing how all living beings are trapped in this vicious circle of suffering he felt deep compassion for them, and he developed a sincere wish to free all of them from their suffering.
Realizing that only a fully enlightened Buddha has the wisdom and the power to help all living beings in this way, he resolved to leave the palace and retire to the solitude of the forest where he would engage in profound meditation until he attained enlightenment. When the people of the Shakya kingdom realized that the prince intended to leave the palace they requested the king to arrange a marriage for him in the hope that this would cause him to change his mind. The king agreed and soon found him a suitable bride, the daughter of a respected Shakya family, called Yasodhara. Prince Siddhartha, however, had no attachment to worldly pleasures because he realized that objects of attachment are like poisonous flowers, which initially appear to be attractive but eventually give rise to great pain. His resolve to leave the palace and to attain enlightenment remained unchanged, but to fulfill his father’s wishes and to bring temporary benefit to the Shakya people, he agreed to marry Yasodhara. However, even though he remained in the palace as a royal prince, he devoted all his time and energy to serving the Shakya people in whatever way he could.
When he was 29 years old, the prince had a vision in which all the Buddha’s of the ten directions appeared to him and spoke in unison saying, “Previously you resolved to become a Conqueror Buddha so that you could help all living beings trapped in the cycle of suffering. Now is the time for you to accomplish this.” The prince went immediately to his parents and told them of his intention: “I wish to retire to a peaceful place in the forest where I can engage in deep meditation and quickly attain full enlightenment. Once I have attained it I shall be able to repay the kindness of all living beings, and especially the great kindness that you have shown me. Therefore I request your permission to leave the palace.” When his parents heard this they were shocked, and the king refused to grant his permission. Prince Siddhartha said to his father “Father, if you can give me permanent freedom from the sufferings of birth, sickness, ageing and death I shall stay in the palace; but if you cannot I must leave and make my human life meaningful.” Eventually, the prince escaped from the palace.
Siddhartha then made his way to a place near Bodh Gaya in India, where he found a suitable site for meditation. There he remained, emphasizing a meditation called “space-like concentration on the Dharmakaya” in which he focused single-pointedly on the ultimate nature of all phenomena. After training in this meditation for six years he realized that he was very close to attaining full enlightenment, and so he walked to Bodh Gaya where, on the full moon day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, he seated himself beneath the Bodhi Tree in the meditation posture and vowed not to rise from meditation until he had attained perfect enlightenment. With this determination he entered the space-like concentration on the Dharmakaya.
Siddhartha then continued with his meditation until dawn, when he attained the varja-like concentration. With this concentration, which is the very last mind of a limited being, he removed the final veils of ignorance from his mind and in the next moment became a Buddha, a fully enlightened being. His mind was at peace (Nirvana). He had become the awakened one. At age 35 (589 BC), he devoted his life to pass on to others the dharma. He died in his 80’s or around 540 BC.
(Note: For practicing Buddhists, references to “Dharma” particularly as “the” Dharma, generally means the teachings of the Buddha, commonly known throughout the East as Buddha-Dharma.)
I continue now with the life in Palestine when Prince Siddhartha was living…
The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile, was the period in Jewish history from the deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II starting with the first deportation (when Buddha was 27 years old) on 597 BC of the royal court and other prominent citizens and craftsmen, along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judah, numbering about 10,000, and continuing even after the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple on 587 BC. The forced exile lasted until the fall of Babylon in 538 BC to the Persian Cyrus the Great, who gave Jews permission to return to Yehud Province. However, Jews continued to live in Babylon until the establishment of Israel in the mid-20th century , when most of them moved to Israel.
As Bhudda was living and teaching many about this enlightenment (obtained through 6 years of practicing meditation, which in brain science terms meant simply a re-wring of his brain), the Israelites where exiled in Babylon. Buddha had died around 540 BC just before the Jews were given permission to return.
About 100 years later after the people of Israel had returned to their homeland from the Babylonian captivity and after most of their goals, which had been set for them upon their return, had been achieved ( the Temple and the walls had been rebuilt; the sacrificial system had been reinstituted), they became bored!! Their initial enthusiasm, due to the challenges they faced, had worn off. Their worship had become mechanical, ritualistic, and unspiritual. They went through the motions, but their heart was not involved. Their relationships were falling apart — both with God and with one another. Yet, they did not seem to fathom why God was dissatisfied with them! The people of Israel had become disillusioned and doubtful. They began to question God’s providence as their faith imperceptibly degenerated into cynicism. (The same old thing, then and now!)
It is into this arena of deteriorating relationships, enthusiasm, and spirituality that Malachi is thrust! And he is one more prophet whose aim was to restore the Jews to a fresh relationship with God by indicating the precise causes of contemporary spiritual declension, and setting out the steps by which the life of the community could be renewed. Like Haggai before him, his dominant concern was for the recognition of spiritual priorities on the part of the restored community. Judah’s sins against both God and man were overt and numerous. Some of the sins which occasioned Malachi’s angry indictment were:
1. Priestly laxity — Mal. 1:6 – 2:9 (Neh. 13:4-9). He “denounced the priestly hierarchy for its inability to furnish that kind of moral and religious leadership which would have enabled the returned community to avoid much of the current distress. The priests had been indifferent and even contemptuous in discharging their duties” As their perception of God grew dim, the resulting materialism and externalism became settled characteristics that later gripped the religious parties of the Pharisees and Sadducees”
2. Financial abuses & neglect of tithes — Mal. 3:5-10 (Neh. 13:10-13).
3. Worship was in a state of decay — The refuse of the flocks and herds was being brought to the Temple for sacrifices unto God — Mal. 1:8.
4. Intermarriage with pagans & divorce of their wives to marry pagan women — The people were not honoring their covenants. Their relationships, both with God and with each other, were failing — Mal. 2:10-16 (Neh. 10:30; 13:23-28; Ezra 9-10).
All this review that the Holy Spirit led me to discover helped me very much… This God of ours is soo patient! Wow… On one side, He created Prince Siddhartha, later Buddha, who had great compassion for others and wanted to help them to have peace in the presence of suffering, poverty, disease and eventually death. But Buddha said, “I am not your light. Be your own light.” In the other hand, we have Israel who depends on God for everything and a God Who had shown them His love with signs and wonders (times of Moses – Joshua). Said in other words, the Israelites had a relationship with their God and Buddha had a relationship with himself. Israel had a Divine Light…and the totally opposite to the concept of Buddha, of being his own light. God sent Prophets to them and to no avail until finally He sent His only Son, but we keep doing the same things that Israel did! Hmm.
At this point I was brought to reflect on how Buddha started his journey when he came out of the riches of his palace and found suffering. Again, seeing how all living beings are trapped in this vicious circle of suffering he felt deep compassion for them, and he developed a sincere wish to free all of them. On June 18, I was watching in CNN the famous Dr. Kevorkian now 83 years old and after 8 years of incarceration, and sure enough, he still believes that doctors should be able to end life, just like they are trained to help with the birth of babies… His premise is that being a doctor means to help patients, especially to end their suffering… Buddha would be very proud of him. He said to Larry King that we do not know where we come from nor where we are going; but if we accept that, then death does not produce any fear. His lawyer and niece said that his notoriety will not vanish because of the topic: death. How I wished to visit with this physician and tell him that I get excited thinking that as time passes by and I age, I am closer to dying… There are days that I cannot wait to go “home.” I guess that Dr. Kevorkian never met God as alive and loving and present on this earth. I also imagine that he would think that I am crazy.
I also started thinking that Prince Siddhartha had it all: possessions, position, power, great intelligence, youth, inner goodness, plus he was married to a princess… What else could a man want? There you have it… When I hear about our priests not allowed to be married and therefore, a great problem for getting more vocations, I know without a doubt that marriage will not fix their lives… It is a myth and a lie because in other denominations, ministers and priests are married and I do not see great saints coming out of it… Besides, I would venture to say that ALL HUMAN BEINGS, including Buddha, were and are yearning for the love of God, but lived as a relationship. And why was Prince Siddhartha so focused in eliminating suffering? Was it his own fear of death and aging? Or, was he missing not to have control over his own destiny? I would also venture to say that unknowingly, he sought meditation as the closest state to find himself near God’s presence. But next door in the Middle East, Yahweh was in charge of the Jews. He had rescued them from slavery. He had sent emissaries to show them the way, and suffering came when they disobeyed His plan. What a difference!
How interesting is to see that 500 years later after Buddha had found enlightenment through meditation and with it, peace, Jesus came to “suffer” in order to gain for all of us, and I mean all, Jews and gentiles, eternal peace, a peace beyond understanding! It was then that I discovered how His Sacred Heart, so full of love, wanted me to relish in the richness of our Faith, where suffering is part of our patrimony, it is part of the WAY, and one that we should not fear at all, because He is in charge and came to show us precisely this path of suffering; however and unlike Buddha, He stayed around to see us through this valley of tears. Amazing grace! How great Thou art!
So, the last two days of the month of May 2010 were truly eye openers for me. Why is it that we allow history to repeat itself? We constantly opinionate about issues, and yet, we do not find ways to quit doubting this God Who has given us so many hints, hints that fill a thick book. Buddha had to find enlightenment and used his brain to do it. We do not have to do that at all… We only have to know the thick instruction manual and TRY to live it…and God does the rest… Yet, even in the times of Buddha, the prophet Malachi was trying to convince Israel to change its ways. As the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was approaching, I begged Him to enlighten me to learn what to do… so that I could not fall in the same trap over and over, of opinionating about God and lacking what it takes to be converted, even if my conversion is little by little, one day at a time but always welcoming the cross!
3. June 8, anniversary of my First Holy Communion. On this day I had a huge understanding regarding the subject which I presented at the beginning of this blog, of why preaching per se is not taking our fallen away Catholics back into active Catholicism. First I was given a great imagery of the Good Shepherd and how He has a gate for us (sheep) to enter… I understood that the gate per se depends on our faith. In other words, the gate is a break in a fence for people to pass and our faith opens a space in the fence of our skepticism, cynicism, doubts, fears… It is a gift from God precisely for us to locate the gate and to enter the care of the Good Shepherd. But every gate has a door… That door is our hope in the Resurrection. Yet, the door of the gate may be closed, and it is only LOVE that actually can open the door to enter into the sheep hold.
This led me to understand that any preaching of any sort by anyone is devoid of power if not done with love for those whom we are addressing. In my case, if I take the time to share the love of God for me in these blogs, yes, it can exhilarate some to revitalize their journey of ongoing conversion, but in time, it will fade away and soon be forgotten. In order to be effective, I must do what the Master did… He preached out of love for His sheep. I must do the same and if I do not have love, I must ask and knock for it, and He will give it to me. Didn’t He say that we are wicked and yet we give good gifts to our children, and how much more will the Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit (love) to those who ask Him? (Luke 11-13)
Again, without love to open the gate of the hearts of others on a permanent basis, I am wasting my time… Compassion will not do. Liking others will not do. It does not mean either to say yes to love them today and maybe tomorrow but forget about it the day after. Or said in other words, one cannot promise to love brothers and sister and not pursuit in prayer the grace to do it. And I know that it is true love, different than the others possibilities as written above and I have an example. During this Soccer World Cup, I found myself praying for these huge masses of people watching a ball being paraded in a field, and most coming from opposite sides of the world. Suddenly and just a few times, I would feel soo much love for them… This was a deep feeling. It showed me what He wants, what kind of true love from our hearts He is after!
I then understood why love is the opener of the door of the gate. When anyone preaches about the do’s and don’ts of the spiritual life, he/she is seeding hearts with the Word of God in some form or another. Yet, the seeds can be eaten by the birds, or may fall in rocky ground (snarled by the cares of the world) or the devil may see to it that the seed cannot find a place to grow. It is the love of the one spreading the seed that becomes the fertile ground for the seeds to start growing in our neighbor’s hearts, until such time when the love of those souls seeded may become the rich soil for the message received. All the Saints we know did it this way!
Again, when all things are said and done, the basic idea is that we have to love our brothers and sisters in and out of season, at all times; and when not able, we must ask God for this gift, since the real work for the Kingdom, is not what I say to others, but how much I love them. It is my love that originally OPENS THE DOOR OF THE GATE of the sheep hold… It is my own love that nourishes the seed I have planted in the other’s heart… until their own hearts receive it and not lose it because I am supplying the energy, the fertilizer for this seed to become a large bush… And this is what God does in us through the Sacraments in particular. The Holy Spirit and His own Body and Blood are the rich soil that comes to sustain the seed of my faith and hope, until I can deliver enough love for God and neighbor so that the seed they planted in my soul can become a large bush, where others can come and receive its shade.
It truly made much sense why just preaching per se cannot change hearts, except those who preach out of love for God and neighbor. I understood even more why Jesus made a new commandment for us: to love others as He loves them… And I recognized with horror that most of my life I did not hate others, but actually I placed no importance in “truly” loving them even if at a distance, just to follow Jesus’ instructions… and become a true servant. But growing in this love of neighbor, spells the need of my ongoing conversion. This attitude of seeking conversion of our hearts in order to say a real ‘yes’ to His plan, must be decisive, and should seek all that it is necessary in prayer and action to love our neighbor INTO THEIR OWN CONVERSION. We must seek a state of mind where we are always going in haste to visit others in word and deed, in order to take the Spirit of love to them; in order to become the soil where the seed of the Word of God, the seed of our own example can “heal” the other.
Our own faith should be the gate (the hole in the fence that the world presents to us to stop our advancing into discipleship), and that invites our brother/sister to enter it, and our sincere love for them should be opening the door of this gate, a door full of hope for what it is to come, or eternal life. Once in, they will receive the grace of faith to keep that opening in the fence always there in order to start the road of spiritual growth. This explains why forgiving 70 times 7 is of the utmost importance, since our un-forgiveness closes THE DOOR of the gate in order for my brother/sister to get in… Here I recognized a problem in my spiritual life: how to train myself to do the feeding and tending of others in love but as a matter of fact… And of course, His Sacred Loving Heart had a plan…
4. June 11 – FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART.
Remember that by this day I had entered into this question of why millions of homilies had not averted many Catholics from attending church on a regular basis, and I was seeking a solution for myself so that I could be opened most of the time to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit in my inner temple; then I was alerted to the facts just mentioned, of how as a priestess/prophetess through Baptism, I should bring God to others but; however it is the good stewardship of my gift of faith that should create the gate and my love for them should open the door of hope of this gate. This is evangelization 101 at work… We are at a time in Christianity when praying words without actions of true love, will only continue our mediocrity. We complain about our babies being massacred in the wombs of their mothers, but we do not pray to grow in loving those mothers as victims of the flesh, the world and Satan. They are our “babies” as well. Worse, we do not welcome our crosses as instruments to redeem those hearts. He said it, “If you want to be my follower, deny yourself (forget about yourself), pick up you cross (get with it with your crosses and use them for others as an act of profound love) and follow Me (love as intensely as I loved you from the cross.)
Yet, unlike Buddha, we have so much more in our favor… We just have to make a determined determination, as St. Teresa of Avila said, and try our best to be His followers. He will honor that and with His grace, we can transform the whole world overnight, if we wanted… But do we? In the Old Testament we find times when Israel sinned and then repented with fasting and prayer, and God came and WON THEIR BATTLES BIG TIME! This is a battle of battles, one of the many fought through the centuries against evil. Yet, I suspect that we have to get serious about repenting, begging for His mercy and fasting most especially our will that constantly wants to reject the cross of every day, for God to come and win this one. I do not know about any of you, but as for myself, I am totally convinced that I have to run… And for most of us, it is not about our sins of commission as much as our sins of omission.
And He is so solicitous… So adorable! So present to help us out! Example: very soon, we will be traveling by car for a whopping 1,600 miles… Many of my things are in a storage place in boxes, and I wanted to buy some CD’s in Spanish to listen in route. But where to go to get them? Of course, He knew my desires and gave me the idea of going to a small Mexican market to see if they carried some or to find out where I could get them. So, after Mass I went to this supermarket and they did not sell them; a music store nearby had been closed… BUT… a lady was selling CD’s just outside of this market, right on the side of the building. She had come from Los Angeles!… The price was simply a dream. Three CD’s for $10 and without tax… She had boxes and boxes of CD’s…(Psalm 37:4 – “Find your delight in the Lord Who will give your heart’s desire.”) These are the days when I want to become Mary of Magdala and run and run and tell everyone that He is alive, that He is Risen and that He loves us!
Well, on this day of the Feast of His Heart, I found by chance some cards I had typed in a regular typewriter (before my computer days, and therefore, they probably date from very early 90’s) and the ideas were given to me in order to be a better steward of time, and some months ago I had shared with you some of those ideas … As an anesthesiologist, each 5 minutes we had to take and write the blood pressure in the anesthesia record of each patient. This is done to correct any problems with light or deep anesthesia or blood loss, since vital signs can hint us about these things. In time, this becomes of course a re-wring of one’s brain, and we often end up watching the clock constantly even outside of the operating room. So in those days, I was told to divide the hour in the four quarters and to do something different for each one. Of course, on this Feast I was still in turmoil about the responsibility I have with this blog and that I should write it out of love for anyone reading it, and not just because I want to share His goodness for me.
Shortly after, I clearly ended up recognizing that since I take a look at the clock several times during the day, that I should start practicing what those cards said. Yet, the cards were edited big time on this Feast of June 11 and further more on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and I am sure, the Holy Spirit was behind it with my Mother’s intercession. I understood that this practice is essential to keep me focused in Him but in my temple within, praying, repenting, asking for His mercy, offering my crosses for the entire world and repeating over and over my fiat, my yes to His will. This would keep me open to the Spirit of God, so that He could give me great “true” love when I serve my neighbor in whatever way.
Here is the plan of inner conversation with God whenever I take a peek at the hour and for whatever reason. In whatever quarter hour it falls I proceed in short seconds to execute the plan. Many times, I only emphasize one of two aspects for such quarter hour, and I presume the Holy Spirit is in charge of guiding me every time I do it.
First quarter hour – minutes 1 to 15 – Enter the internal silence in my inward journey to meet the Triune God. Enter the great silence of God indwelling, totally dependent on Him, detached even from holy things, in total self-emptiness. Prayer of praise, adoration of the Holy Trinity, thanksgiving. If anything needed is important, like praying for the USCCB Conference going on certain days of this month of June, or to be able to love my neighbor in all circumstances and regardless, I ask it all of my Father in the Name of Jesus.
My favorite prayers that I have repeated for years and probably from the times of the original schedule are:
1. Live my Triune God, so live in me that all I do be done by You. And all I think and all I say, be Your thoughts and words this day.
2. “To You be praise, to You be glory, to You be thanksgiving, O Blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy Lord, the heavens and the earth are full of Your glory.”
3. O most Holy Trinity Who are dwelling by Your grace within my soul, make me love You more and more. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You, O blessed Trinity. Have mercy on me now and at the hour of my death.
4. “O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be forever Thine.”
5. “I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe adore, hope and love You.”
6. “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
7. “The Lord is my Shepherd and there is nothing I shall want.”
8. “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.”
9. In Spanish I say a poem written by St. Francis Xavier, a classic for us and that I learned as a child, and it tells it all.
No me mueve Señor para quererte
It does not move me to love You
El cielo que me tienes prometido;
The heaven that You have promised me.
Ni me mueve el infierno tan temido
It does not move me the feared hell.
Para dejar por eso de ofenderte.
For me to stop offending You.
Mueve Señor, muéveme el verte,
What moves me is to see You
Clavado en una cruz y escarnecido.
Nailed on a cross and scourged
Muéveme tu cuerpo tan herido.
It moves me to see Your Body so wounded
Muéveme tus afrentas y tu muerte.
It moves me Your sufferings and death.
Muéveme en fin tu amor de tal manera,
It is Your love that moves me in such a way,
Que aunque no hubiera cielo yo te amara
That even if there were no heaven I would love you,
Y aunque no hubiera infierno te temiera.
And if there were no hell I would fear You.
No me tienes que dar por que te quiera
You do not have to give me for me to love You
Porque si lo que espero no esperara,
Because if what I expect were not to happen
Lo mismo que te quiero te quisiera.
The same way I love You now, I would love You then.
Second quarter hour – minutes 16 to 30. I offer repentance. I ask for mercy. I may say the Jesus’ Prayer. I ask for pardon for all the times that I did not love; for not trusting that my sufferings have been necessary and in general, for any sin in my life, especially for poor management of time, of my mind, of any gifts received. For spending so much time listening to the pros and cons of what is wrong in our belief system, instead of getting with it and try to do what He asked me to do. In this quarter hour I accept my responsibility as a co-worker of the Truth, but one who does not have agendas and plans and ministries. I am only a sheep and willing to be guided.
Third quarter hour – minutes 31 to 45. I say yes to all present crosses, sufferings, and offer them as sacrifice in atonement of my sins and those of my family, friends and the Church. With these crosses I offer reparation for the iniquities against the Eucharistic Jesus and the heart of His Mother. I offer my crosses to win the battles of my brothers and sisters against the flesh, the world and the evil one.
I must mention here that we are committing major sins against the Eucharist. Example: in one of the Sundays’ of this month of June, two women in their forties came and sat in front of us for the Mass. They carried on conversations, laughed and chuckled as the liturgy went on. During the homily, I took the time to pray for them and to conjure any evil in their hearts. At the Communion time, one of them asked the other: “And what do I do when I get in front?” The answer was, “Just say, ‘Amen’ when they give you the host.” I will not write any more about it because the question and answer reveal something very horrible! I knew clearly that this encounter with these children of God was very important for me. It showed me the extreme urgency for my life to change radically, and that during any third quarter of an hour if I look at a clock, I will remember these two, and will pray even more earnestly for them and in reparation for the desecration of the Eucharist!
Fourth quarter hour – minutes 46 to 59. I present my fiat, my desire to obey His will. I offer my yes to trust in His love for me. I say again that I want to love my brother/sister regardless. I reiterate my desire to live in the present moment, always saying, “This moment is as perfect as it can be,” with the best certainty that it is so, as an act of trust in His perfect will for me. I offer my desire to never look back to my crosses and wonder why they came to me, as an act of total trust in the wisdom of those crosses for my sanctification and for the work of the Kingdom
This constant seeking God in Truth, trusting Him the best I can in order to be showered by His mercy in all I do and say, will open my soul to the action of the Holy Spirit to re-wire my brain and to steadily grow in loving others, and most importantly those that truly bother me, so that all I say, think, write, do, will give glory to God by becoming the fertile soil to bring them to enter the gate that leads to the Good Shepherd. In this month of June, the Love of His Sacred Heart had made me look back and see how history repeats itself. Then, He made me understand that one way to stay focused in Him and not in me (exactly the opposite of Buddhism), and so not to repeat history, is to ask, knock, repent, offer my crosses so that they do not get wasted, and repeat what Jesus and His Mother came to teach us: “I am the servant of the Lord; do unto me according to Your Word.” This the way to keep my temple clean at all times, since it should be a place of prayer. Of course, all of this added to my regular prayers and the receiving of the Sacraments. I must admit that it is “nirvana.” Much peace comes out of it. I experience “the tranquility of order.” And of course, this with time will help me to be a true disciple who through love, gets sent to preach the good News: that He is alive, with us, and as crazy as ever in His love for us.
Note: Please pray for me as I take a vacation, which is the reason why this blog was posted early. I also want to share with you some science regarding the genetic testing for Alzheimer’s and my personal results. It will give you some hint as to how careful one has to be regarding the ingestion or inhalation of toxic products.
5. June 2. I received on this day my genetic studies and it turns out that I do not have the genes that are associated with Alzheimer’s.
Summary of this science: combination of genes belonging to the Apo E group are as follows:
|ApoE 2/2 –||1% of the population|
|” 2/3 –||10% “|
|” 3/3 –||64% “|
|” 4/2 –||2% ”|
|” 4/3 –||18% “|
|” 4/4 –||5% “|
The latter group is considered the worst case scenario for Alzheimer’s, although all ApoE 4’s combinations are related to the disease. Since genes come in matching pairs, and we each have 2 copies of every gene, one from each parent, there are six possible combinations of pairs. In my case, my gene Apo E 3/3 is considered the “neutral” Apo E gentotype. It does not predispose to Alzheimer’s disease.
What does Apo E mean?
Apo is short for apolipo-proteins. It has the letter E attached to it because it’s one of the whole series of apolipo-proteins, – A,B,C,D, etc. The Apo E gene gets its name from the fact that it’s the blueprint in charge of synthesizing apolipoprotein E, an important component of cholesterol metabolism.
The Apo E gene can either provide good health if the body is given the correct foods and other gene supportive environment. It can provide poor health is given unsupportive environment. The environmental facts have to do with kind of food consumed, exercise, mental and emotional experiences, the physical environment around, spiritual beliefs, etc.
Well, I can attest that I do not have Alzheimer’s per se… What turns out to be is the case scenario presented by Dr. Mark Hyman in his book, “The Ultramind Solution.” I must be missing one of the SIX genes that help with detoxification of the body and brain health, and as he does. I would have to be tested for those specific genes. My chronic exposure to fluoride (anesthetics) and later in 2002 to mercury, simply gave me some memory loss, as in his case mercury was part of it. In his book he details all the conditions that toxicity can produce in our brain. My experience is identical to his.
Since “Alzheimer’s” is so common in people over 80 years old, well, most of those cases are not due to the disease due to ApoE 4 genes. It is simply old brains with old livers that cannot properly detoxify the huge amount of toxins coming from the environment and foods (fertilizers, mercury in fish, additives to foods, petroleum exhaust products, etc.) So, there are three categories:
1) Those that have the ApoE 4 gene; again, the 4/4 is the worse…
2) Those like Dr. Hyman’s and most likely my case, missing important genes to help in detoxification.
3) The general aging population (80 +) that has accumulated toxic’s their whole lives, and whose livers cannot keep up the cleaning process, so the brain ends up full of materials that ruin the normal electric circuitry for communication between neurons, in order to keep their memories intact.
I obtained these results for $399 via Pathway Genomics from San Diego, CA. This is the same group, which just a few weeks ago were dealing with Walgreen’s to make their kits available to the public; yet, the FDA stopped this possibility. They reported on my genetic status for some 100 diseases. Their report was very good and they added pertinent data on each illness tested and all coming from Harvard publications…! It was a very rewarding expense for me. It also does not need to be ordered by a physician, since they are located in California, which allows anyone to seek this testing.