Milestone in a Second Language #1: Speaking in Spanish in a dream.
They say you´re fluent when you dream in another language. Well, I´m definitely not fluent, so I´m definitely not consistently or completely dreaming in Spanish yet. But I clearly remember speaking in Spanish in a dream–and thinking, as I do in real life, “Wow, they´re actually understanding me!”
Milestone in a Second Language #2: Making mistakes in English when I’m honestly not trying to. Continue reading
As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God”. In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will “pardon” a turkey, which spares the bird’s life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland. On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Continue reading
“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.” –Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts
In our Regnum Christi family, we foster the spiritual practice of self-examination. As consecrated women, we take time at the end of our day as a community in silent prayer to examine our hearts in light of the gospel and how God has sought to accompany us throughout that day. This week I am challenging myself, and I warmly extend the invitation to you as well, to pause throughout this time of family, food and football and make an examen on joy. Are there areas of my life or dispositions of my heart that struggle to reflect the joy of the gospel? Where do I encounter the thorns and thistles of criticism, insecurity or frustration? Can I ask God’s grace to help me lovingly weed these out and replace them with a sincere act of thanksgiving? If you need help from the Word of God, try Lk12:27-28 or Luke 10:21-23.
If we sow gratitude, we will reap joy. Examining our hearts on joy can lead us to discover the ways in which the Holy Spirit is inspiring us to discover the Lord’s countless daily gifts.
“I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Mt.10:16).
Lord, why “as a sheep”?
Why not as another animal? Why as a fickle, defenseless, weak, dependent, little animal?
Then I remember: you offered yourself as the “Lamb of God”.
Why is a lamb such a perfect, pleasing sacrifice in your eyes?
Old Testament: lambs were accessible to simple people, even the poorer people.
Why do you love sheep, lambs, so much? Continue reading
It was during my “Moral de la Persona” class, assuming I was in for a peaceful Friday morning like the others. During this extra year of formation I am auditing a few classes at the Universidad Ecclecial San Damaso, where the rest of my community is studying their degree. The classes are obviously in Spanish and are really good from what I can tell. Oh, by the way, I don’t really know Spanish.
This class happens to be the one that I understand the least due in part to the abstract nature of the content, the voice of the professor and my lack of supplement notes. Its not bad, I just don’t follow it as well as the other classes. The advantage though is the professor uses a lot of quotes, diagrams, ecclesical documents (I look them up in English) and for now seems to be following a lot of the Theology of the Body. The themes aren’t new to me, but its always good to revisit things from a different perspective. Continue reading
“In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” (Prov 21:1)
The feast of Christ the King has always been an important day for Regnum Christi and the Legion. We are arriving to the half way mark of our Jubilee year and coming up on our actual anniversary as we celebrate this feast, so I wanted to share a personal reflection about what it means for me to have Christ, as my King, in the Regnum Christi movement.
Usually for a king to rule, he would have to lead a battle over some land or a nation and therefore integrate those conquered as his subjects. Since God is God, He could have just chosen over whom He wanted to rule; instead, more than merely choosing us and fighting to conquer us, He also decided to fight for us. This battle took place on the cross, and continues to be fought each day, so that we belong totally to Him. Therefore, the cross is the instrument through which Christ conquers and reigns. Continue reading
“No elderly person should be like an ‘exile’ in our families.
The elderly are a treasure for our society.” — Pope Francis
Khanittha Phasaeng winner of Miss Thailand 2015 returned home and bent down on her knees to kiss and thank her mother for raising her despite many difficulties and hardships.
Today make an act of gratitude to your parents for their love in raising you.
In Georges Bernanos’ novel The Diary of a Country Priest, an older priest tells the young protagonist “You mustn’t let yourself be mauled (by injustice). Above all don’t go thinking you can make it turn tail by staring it in the face like a lion-tamer. You’d never escape its fascination, its power to hypnotize. Never look at it more than you actually need, and never without saying a prayer.”
Each one of us struggles with unjust situations. I know I do. If you’re like me, you’ve probably analyzed the situation up and down until you’re blue in the face.
The above quote made me stop and ask myself: “am I more fixated on this unjust situation than I am on the Lord?” “Is God my problem-solver, situational analyst…or King?”
When asked why he woke up early in the morning to pray, St. Pope John Paul II responded: “I like to watch the sun rise.” Surrounded by countless worries and concerns, his eyes continued to look at the world and see in it signs of hope- because of Christ’s presence within it. It seems to me that when we accept this reality we truly give life to the words: Thy Kingdom Come! “Christ, come into my life, my reality, even my hurt. Reign in this imperfect world through your redeeming love!” May we live these days in preparation for the feast of Christ the King with our gaze fixed on Him who does not come to take away every injustice, but transfigure it with His Presence.
The gift of baptism stamps our life. We aren’t the same before and after. The door is opened to a new and unimaginably wondrous life. We become children of God, apostles, members of the Mystical Body of Christ. These are clichés we hear so often, but they are clichés that nonetheless change everything.
Our religious family, the Legion of Christ, has traditionally celebrated our baptismal day rather than our birthday, our birth into the Mystical Body of Christ rather than our birth into the world. (Both are undeniably special, and without fail, from top to bottom, we always find a way to sneak in the birthday cake too.) The whole community remembers the “ecclesial birthday boy” in their prayers in a special way that day, and the birthday boy himself dedicates an extra hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament to meditate on and thank God for the great gift of baptism, through which all the other graces he receives flow: confession, the Eucharist, and the other sacrament; his vocation to the religious and priestly life; etc. Imagine life without this gift. Continue reading
We just finished our second “open Mass” of the year here at Cerro Del Coto. It’s beautiful to have the RC family come to our house once a month to celebrate Who and what unites us, especially during this period of formation! They are moments to recall concretely that we exist to make visible His Kingdom as we journey toward the fullness of the Kingdom. Which made me think again (though it’s never too far from my mind lately) about the reasons why I am here in Madrid this year; and more specifically about why I walk 20 minutes down Calle Mayor in the sun, rain, cold or heat to go to an intensive Spanish class every day.
I go so I can be available.
It’s kinda weird to be in a country and not speak the language. But it’s downright awkward to be an extrovert in a group of happy, conversing “family members” after Mass and not fully understand what they are asking, let alone try to respond. And the worst is not having a friend nearby to translate because then people typically walk away. Continue reading