Archive for the ‘love’ Category

Love Thy Self

Posted: May 10, 2013 in love, retreats, self

Well, I just got back from my first ever silent retreat! It was the hardest thing I’ve done in awhile. When I first had to be silent, I felt myself really resisting it for awhile.   Part of me didn’t want to delve into the realm of self-discovery and self-healing.  It was an incredible few days in the woods among wild turkeys and baby geese.  And as an added bonus, it was cool and damp which reminded me of home.

I learned a lot! One highlight that sticks out to me was a phrase that came to me at the midway point:

Love yourself as you love your neighbor.

So many times it is easy to forget about ourselves.  We are busy looking with compassion at others in the world. (Not a bad thing at all unless we disregard our needs and make an unhealthy habit).


Why do we think it’s ok to kick ourselves and put ourselves down when we see how cruel it is to do to another?


Manresa Eve

Posted: November 9, 2012 in love, retreats, self, spirituality

It’s still the eve of the Manresa retreat at JCU on the West Coast and I can’t help to get excited for everyone who has been and will be a part of the retreat experience. The retreat itself signaled such a change in my life, allowing me to accept love of myself and God.  Love is a gift and in order for a gift to be considered as such, it must be received.

So often is it that we don’t see ourselves as fully worthy of love, that some part of ourselves is lacking. Yet, at the same time (as I was reminded by my Confirmation students this week) we are so willing to give others slack. We have a double standard set for ourselves. While others have flaws and we fully accept them despite this, we can’t fathom ourselves as being broken.

The Confirmation students this week decorated a cross with a mirror and thought about how God might see them– all their gifts and talents.  Loving them despite poor decisions they have made in the past.

May you love yourself in your joys and sorrows, in your wholeness and brokenness.

The following are two versions of St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation which have been helpful for me when meditating on where I am in life and how God is a part of it. I hope you enjoy them as much I do.

Lord my God,
when Your love spilled over into creation
you thought of me.
I am from Love ,         of Love,                      for Love

Let my heart, O  God,

and enjoy

Your goodness in all of creation.

Direct all that is in me toward your praise.
Teach me reverence for every person, all things.
Energize me in your service.

Lord God,
may nothing ever distract me from your love.

health nor sickness
wealth nor poverty
honor nor dishonor
long life nor short life.

May I never seek nor choose to be

Other than you intend or wish


The goal of our life is to live with God forever.

God, who loves us, gave us life.

Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,

presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God

insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.

But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,

they displace God

and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance

before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice

and are not bound by some obligation.

We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,

wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.

For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:

I want and I choose what better leads

to God’s deepening his life in me.

Sundays (Part 2)

Posted: September 25, 2012 in gratitude, language, love, spanish, spirituality

Our new parish gate including the Jesuit seal

Sundays have quickly become one of my favorite days of the week and I owe it all to the community where I love, work, and pray.  From the very first 9am mass I went to at Dolores Mission, I could see and feel the connection people had with each other.  It was a visible connection and manifestation of God’s love– something that at times I forget about.  As the entire community stood joining hands for the Our Father, the pastor in the middle, we held on as praying for peace in our world, in our community, and in our hearts, I was shaken up by grace.  I was shaken up by the experience. Honest to goodness, the rawness of this moment left me fighting back tears.  The sign of peace didn’t help me either.  Folks came from all corners of the Church in order to embrace me and my casamates.  Later we were drenched in holy water and given a round of applause. All throughout, songs reminding me of past festivals of praise were sprinkled in.  And, if that weren’t enough, the community processed out to the plaza to eat some wonderful Mexican food and talk with more community members.  The best thing?  It’s like this most Sundays. By the time I get done scarfing down enchilladas, menudos, or tacos de papas and make the short trek back home, it’ll be close to noon.

As a youth minister, each week I get to meet with the Ecclesial team to discuss how last Sunday went and to look at what stands out to us in next week’s readings.  A few weeks back one of my favorite readings came up.  It’s the one where Jesus heals the deaf and mute man.  I started enjoying it after writing a piece on the Ignatian idea of discernment and how Jesus’ word to the man, ephphatha (“be opened”), can be a lens through which we can think about looking at choosing between the many goods in our life.  The beauty of working in a bilingual parish, however, is that in these meetings, we look at both translations.  Ephphatha in the Spanish reading was ábrete. Although similarly translated, there is a distinction between ephphatha and ábrete, between the passive “be opened” and the active “you, open yourself.” One of the Jesuits picked up on this and ran with the idea.  His homily was a passionate one: Jesus invites us to open ourselves to new opportunities, to new ways of service, but we must be willing to look at the ways in which we are closed off.  Our obstacles, our brokenness.  We need the strength to examine these, except them, and find ways to make them work with what we do.

I know I left inspired.