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Resurrection

Resurrection

Resurrection is more than the cross we see,
and more than the story we’ve been told.
Resurrection is not something that was simply done for you and me,
It is more that the pretty holy card pictures and the prayers on the back;

Resurrection is something that requires of us a little dying each day,
A little rising above the deaths of our lives ~ ~
It is the truth that Christ died to show me how to live, to show me life.

And if you tell me that Resurrection was a biblical event some 2,000 years ago
I will tell you that I can’t understand, I can’t comprehend. . .
But when you stand before me and show me your wounds,
when you invite me to share in your pain, then I know, then I can comprehend. . .

for

each day an alcoholic goes without drink. . .
there is resurrection

each day a child is caressed in love and not struck in anger. . .
there is resurrection

for every day a person in depression and darkness sees the joy of life. . .
there is resurrection

for every victim of AIDS who finds comfort with a friend. . .
there is resurrection

every time the homeless find a home. . .
there is resurrection

whenever the cry of the poor is heard. . .
there is resurrection

when we can accept love and life as it is. . .
there is resurrection

when I can live fully,
when I can get strong in the middle of the pain
and still smile others into existence. . .
there is resurrection

when I can see light in the darkness of my heart
when I can love myself and see my goodness,
there is resurrection
when I can accept your concern and claim that as a way back through
the jungle of guilt and confusion. . .
There is resurrection

Sometimes it is so hard to live each day in the midst of what I see on the streets,
In my office, at home, in the lives of those I love. . .
Sometimes I want to run away and cry ~ ~ sometimes it is easier to die
than to be brought to life . . . sometimes. . .

Resurrection means “rising” above the death that living can bring.

For I cannot believe in a God who folds his arms over his chest and says,
“I can have nothing to do with you, you are a sinner”,
I can only believe in a God who catches me when I fall!

God can do nothing else,
God is Love,
God is Resurrection!!!

Sandy Ozanich © 2012

Peter’s Saturday

This poem, written in 2006 by Fr. Tim Fitzgerald C. P., a Passionist Priest and friend of mine, is such a moving piece of writing.  Here he looks at that terrible day when Peter denied Christ 3 times, just like Christ said he would.  This piece speaks volumes about Peter’s emotions the day after he denied Christ – – – imagine yourself in Peter’s position. . .

It was to be:

PETER’S SATURDAY

********
Sleepless night.
Phantoms of yesterday.
I must be dreaming,
I must awake or my heart will crack.

It is no dream.
I see others in the dark.
It really happened.
It is no dream.

Oh! If only I could have that moment back!
She was just a serving girl ~ sassy and quick.
What could she know?
Fear I never felt on the lake
strangled my tongue
Ate up my braggart way
Like sunlight eats up darkness.

Did those awful words come out of my mouth?
Did I, who never curse, curse?
I don’t know that Man,
I don’t know myself!

It’s coming back to me now. . .
I tried to shame away.
I wanted to disappear.
Then. . .

He crossed the courtyard
Not breathing, I thought;
He doesn’t know
How could He know so soon?

That face I had memorialized like the sea,
Turned slowly.
I grabbed more desperately at the shadows.
Those eyes I had studied so well
Sought me out
Penetrated my darkness
Caught my eyes
As a net snares a struggling fish.

I could not turn away.
I could not look down or beyond that gaze
I was crushed with self-loathing.
I sank beneath the blanket of cold,
Tangled in disgust beyond anything I had ever felt.

Yesterday I had my moment and I failed –
Faltered, fell headlong, denied myself/Himself.
This night you will deny me three times.
Never!
Never!
Yet I failed Him when He needed me the most.
Even for an hour, He had said.
But those eyes do not reproach me.
They must reproach me like a cock’s crow.

Oh that look, those dark and large eyes
Shining in the fire’s light,
Tell me only one thing:
I love you!
And I wept because His eyes said it all.
I still love you.

And still I weep, because I love Him,

Holy Saturday: 4/15/06
Fr. Tim Fitzgerald, C.P.

Sandy Ozanich (c) April 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

The Night Before Christmas – different version

Nativity Coptic Style

This image is from the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

Pray for them as we celebrate what they cannot.

~ ~ ~

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,

St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;

Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,

While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,

The grown-ups wouldn’t bother, “There’s no room!” they said;

When even the innkeeper sent them away,

Joseph did wonder, now where could they stay?;

He thought of the caves on the side of the hill,

“Let’s go there,” said Mary, “It’s silent and still;”

The moon on the crests of the new fallen snow,

Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;

And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,

Our Saviour was born on that first Christmas Day!

The Father was watching in heaven above,

He sent forth His angels, His couriers of love;

More rapid than eagles, God’s bright angels came;

Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;

“Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,

Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;”

“Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,

Announce the glad tidings My Son comes to give;”

The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,

And saw in the heavens an unearthly light;

The Angels assured them, they’d nothing to fear,

“It’s Christmas,” they said, “The Saviour is here!”

They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,

Till Mary invited them in to adore;

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,

Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!

He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,

He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;

Then softly they left Him, the Babe in the hay,

And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;

Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,

“Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!”

 

 Merry Christmas to all!!!  

May the Infinite who became an infant bless you now and always and my our Good God bless you with the desires of your heart. . .

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 24, 2013

The Heart Takes Wing

The heart takes flight at Christmastime

and somehow wends it way

through the snow and sleet and storms of life

to home of yesterday.

For there a certain charm surrounds

that home, wherever it be,

on mountain high, in valley how,

or by the shining sea

The heart takes wing at Christmastime

and finds it way back home

to memory-laden, pleasant rooms

where seeds of love are sown.

It’s true, the year is filled with cares

but naught can draw the line

to keep the heart from going home

Come joyful Christmastime.

                                by Loise Pinkerton Fritz

Thank you to Loise Pinkerton Fritz for this wonderful poem of Christmastime. . .

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 19, 2013

Enter the Advent Womb

We’ve honored the doorways of Lazarus,

paid homage to Kaufmanns and Sears.

The Season of Sparkle has grabbed us

and filled us with gift shopping fears.

 We’ve decked all our halls with good wishes

and shopped every Mall —  one more time!

Has the Spirit of Christmas come down to

the jingle of nickels and dimes?

 But, it’s lovely and lively and thrilling . . . . . !

 

                                 the merchants

                                                 are making

                                                                a killing!

 

Let us ever so gently enter the Advent Womb,

like a little drummer, bringing all we have. . .

our joy and our pain,

our sin and our goodness,

our questions and our searching,

our longing for something.

 for someone . . . . .

 We surrender to the Love that calls,

bringing all we are

and all we think we are.

 Surrounded by this sacred, fluid darkness

we yearn for birth,

for wholeness,

 for courage to stand for those who are afraid,

for words to speak for those who can’t,

for the simple pleasures

of a life fully lived,

a love fully given,

for Light in the darkness,

for peace

for Christ.

  Deep within our hearts we prepare a place

A manger of acceptance – – –

A Place of hope

A Place of healing,

a Refuge.

 Gently, ever so gently, enter the Advent Womb

and together we will give birth

to our dreams

our Christ

our selves.

                                                                      Hand Drawn Stable and Camel                                  

Sandy Ozanich ©

Advent-1995

Author’s Note:  I am a Lay Passionist Associate with the Province of St. Paul of the Cross.  I would like to suggest that you visit our monastery at:

http://www.saintpaulofthecrossmonastery.com

                                                           

 

 

 

“Death by Living” by N. D. Wilson ~ A Book Review

 Death by Living

“Life is Meant to be Spent”

By

N.D. Wilson

 

N. D. has written a book that will have you reflecting, wondering and perhaps looking at life a bit differently. I believe N. D. captures the very true fact that with every breath we take, we are moving forward to our own death, so why not live each moment to its fullest.

I think for most of us, the idea of thinking about moving toward our own death is something that does not sit well with us. In our culture, we would rather spend our thinking time on other more pleasant things, like life and living.

 

On page 83 N. D. posits: ‘If life is a story, how then shall we live?” Good question and something we all must face. And face it we will . . .it all depends with what attitude we face it.

 

This is a good book, N. D. puts before us very personal stories of life and living, death and dying. I like his style of writing; personable and conversational. If I am to be honest, I do have a criticism. I feel he uses too many clichés. But, of course, this is only my personal taste. His style of writing is folksy at times and perhaps a bit overdone. The other thing that caught me off guard is N. D.’s negative look at Catholicism. I understand that it is his opinion and his own feeling, however, being Catholic myself, I found it a bit unsettling.

 

Don’t misunderstand, there is so much in this book to pull from. There is a richness of information. N. D. gives us a look at our culture and the culture of the days on Jesus. This is something that I really enjoyed.

I would recommend “Death by Living’ because it offers a unique look at how we live, what we find important and how we face each precious moment.

 

Sandy Ozanich

http://www.sandyshopefulroom.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

It was so cold that January morning; in fact  the whole world seemed cold as we stood and watched the pallbearers place the coffin on its bier.  We were a small group; mourners in this circus of red-rimmed eyes and pale faces.

Who could really believe what we were witnessing or understand the relief of that young body who struggled through his short life.  Would anyone in the years to come truly say that perhaps his death was not so much a tragedy as a welcome release from the pain that lived in him?  None of us know the answer, for we struggle through our own pieces of pain and unanswered questions about this life we were given – unbidden and perhaps for some of us – unwanted.

The service had begun and the words of hope, peace, and love and “the world to come” somehow sounded better than we’d ever heard before.  We needed to believe that there is a world to come that is all of those things.

As the priest continued the prayers, my younger brother Tim leaned over and tugged on Al’s sleeve.  Al was married to our sister Renee and was one of the pallbearers.

“Hey Al”, whispered Tim, “was it heavy?  I mean, was it hard to carry?”  Al leaned over with a smile on his face and a tear to match and said, “he ain’t heavy Tim, he’s my brother”.  “Oh” Tim sighed.  That was all he needed to know then.

And so the years began, or should I say the years continued for this family who tried so hard and fell so often. . .a family who stumbled helplessly and hopelessly into the outstretched arm of God’s outrageous mercy and compassion. . .

The road is long, with many a winding turn.

that leads us to who knows where, who knows where.

But, I’m strong, strong enough to carry him. . .

He aint heavy, he’s my brother.

So on we go, his welfare is my concern.

No burden is he to bear, we’ll get there.

And I know he would not encumber me. . .

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

If I’m laden at all, I’m laden with sadness

that everyone’s heart isn’t  filled with the gladness

of love for one another.

It’s a long, long road from which there is no return.

While we’re on the way to there, why not share?

And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all. . .

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

(Lyrics from: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother ~ Performed by the Hollies)

This is a true story, written in memory of my young brother Tommy who died in January of 1972. l still miss him  He was only 14 years old and in the years since we have lost our parents within 18 months of each other and another sibling, Denise at the age of 40 in a car crash in Florida in the year 2000.

Life contains so many wonderful moments of pure joy, grace and happiness.  Life also carries within it sadness that can’t be consoled. . .deep painful moments.  But through the grace and blessing of our good God we survive, we go on, we become stronger, we become who God wants us to be. . .people of blessing, people who know how to share, to give and receive from others.  My prayer for myself and all of you is that we stay open to what God has in store for us. Gratitude for our life is a wonderful prayer to offer and God will pleased with your efforts.

Sandy Ozanich (c) May 2013