Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love Your Enemies...

Henri Nouwen on Peace:

Here we touch one of the greatest dangers that face peacemakers: that peacemakers themselves become the victims of the evil forces they are trying to overcome. The same fear of "the enemy" that leads warmakers to war can begin to affect the peacemaker who sees the warmaker as "the enemy." Words of anger and hostility can gradually enter into the language of the peacemaker. Even the sense of urgency and emergency that motivates the arms race can become the driving force behind the peacemaker. Then indeed the strategy of war and the strategy of peace have become the same, and peacemaking has lost its heart.

One of the reasons why so many people have developed strong reservations about the peace movement is precisely that they do not see the peace they seek in the peacemakers themselves. Often what they see are fearful and angry people trying to convince others of the urgency of their protest. The tragedy is that peacemakers often reveal more of the demons they are fighting than of the peace they want to bring about.

— Henri J. M. Nouwen in Peacework

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Lady of Fatima video

I have watched this video many times because I like the music, but this morning it made me weep.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good News

Today I spoke to a reasonable man from the Visas section who said that I should have no problem getting an extension on my current visa. I hope so! That would allow me to work another job as well!

Plus, my mom said that this incredibly good-looking man that we noticed in Church at Christmas time - accompanying his mother - has been showing up at the evening Mass. My sister might make an announcement about Taize at the end one night when he is there. Hopefully he would be smart enough to go and talk to her. That would be fabulous. God I really hope so.

I'm glad today was positive. I felt so awful and anxious right before bed last. Now, so much better. Anxiety is a great sin because it is a sign that we are not trusting in God. It's true. Glad I discovered those old posts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


After a recent job interview went less than stellar (to say the least), this excerpt frmo Fr. Ciszek is appropriate:

Be thankful then... that God in his loving care sends humiliations your way... It was the same God who arranged for (joy) in order to strengthen and console you and who has now arranged your abrupt and humiliating departure from the scene to remind you once more that all things on this earth are governed by his providence and not man's efforts. That was yesterday, and today is today. You haven't done anything yet in (the Soviet Union) except by his grace and his will; to work out answers beforehand, you made a miserable mess of your efforts and had to learn all over again to look for God's will in the situations and circumstances. Isn't it about time you learned? Isn't it time you learned to be meek and humble of heart, to give up your own will and strive to conform to God's, to seek first the kingdom of God and his justice - not to worry about where this plane is taking you, or what you will meet there, or what you are leaving behind?
-Page 179

Ouch! There is more in that chapter that I will add on later, all about truth, humility and humiliation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gut Feelings

I was out with friends from work tonight. One of my Scottish friends was telling me that she had an instinct that I wouldn't be leaving. That something would be pulled out of a hat and that I would stay. I suppose I had already planned to stay, but without a real job prospect. But she did say that she had a very strong feeling about that.

I hope so.

My plan is to find out about alternative types of visas. That might be my way out (or in, I should say).

I'm approaching the end of Angels in my Hair. It's a wonderful book and I will be sad when it is done. I'm so glad I'm getting to learn more about her life (Lorna Byrne). Why is it that I believe her but have such a hard time accepting it and putting it into full practice? Can I just accept and believe that I have a guardian angel with me right now, that God has given to me as a gift? I'm confused but I am going to try harder to connect with it.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Last Saturday or Sunday, I felt certain about the direction in which my fate was about to unroll. I was to up and leave my current home and head back to mom's house on another continent. In a way, this was part of my preparation for the "worst-case scenario" and had less to do with me feeling certain about the outcome than it had to do with me just craving certainty. Living in a state of limbo with your fate in the hands of a bureaucracy certainly tests one's patience and invokes a feeling of utter powerlessness that I longed to be rid of.

At the same time, my inner-faith spoke to my sister, "Anything can happen in the next week." And as usual, events and outcomes that I hadn't foreseen or even considered were where the truth was hiding. I'm allowed to stay and work longer than I had requested and now everything looks much more clear. I am delighted, but it certainly was a test of faith, knowing that a destiny over which you no longer have any power is unfolding by the hour.

Not everything seemed to go in my favour, however. I was reminded that the easiest way to experience self-loathing is to go to a job interview where you know in advance that you are unqualified and then attempt to lie about your suitability for the position. I may have destroyed some future job opportunities, but at least it may have settled this issue.

With that door closing, I do see hope on the horizon. It may be a man, it may be a job somewhere else in a different capacity in which I am not yet aware.

I will pray. I am finally reading "Angels in my Hair" by Lorna Byrne and it is full of the childlike love and hope that I need right now. I am very excited and curious about my future. My flatmate thinks that things will really come together for me in the next month or so. In a way, that is inevitable! But I truly feel that this may be connected to some sort of path. I have to keep praying.