“You Are So Calm”

“I recommend calm, and calm all the time.” St. Pio

Being calm is a gift from God.

I have witnessed people who remain calm in the craziest of situations. It amazes me how someone can remain calm when all hope is lost.

When I think of calmness I picture many different people.

The surgeon who remains calm when something goes wrong. 

I think of a paramedic, as they continue chest compressions. 

I envision a brother holding back his temper. 

I see a mother remaing at peace when her newly licensed son is driving her around. 

Calmness, to me, is so powerful because it is a virtue I pray for constantly. 

 

Here’s a little story…

 

Recently, I was in the Emergency Room. I was observing a physician for the day who received a call to check on a patient. We were in the patient’s room listening to his complaints trying our best to figure out what was causing the symptoms. The room had three physicians in it, the wife of the patient, and the patient’s daughter.

It had been a LONG day. The emergency room felt like a sauna. I was hungry. I was feeling extremely anxious. My head was spinning. My to-do list was scrolling along in my brain like an instagram feed. I felt every negative feeling possible in this moment.

I was stuck in my head in complete distress when all of a sudden someone started talking to me.

The daughter of the patient with utmost sincerity and said,

 

“You are so calm.”

 

I thanked her for the compliment and soon we left the patient so they could begin tests.

Calm? Me? What? Was she joking? Am I being punked?

This story is a testament that God is working in you even when you do not notice it yourself.

In that situation I felt everything but calmness; however, this was exactly what the patient’s family was able to see.

Is there a certain virtue or quality you are praying about receiving? Is there a part of yourself you wish would begin to bloom?

I encourage you to keep pursuing the goal, even when you feel like you have nothing to show for it.

In the midst of it all, you may be suprised at how much of that quality you actually demonstrate.

“Never be in a hurry, do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

-St. Frances de Sales

 

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The Organist with One Arm

This morning I was sitting in Church when the music started.

This means that the priest is coming into the Church and the Mass is starting.

I never usually notice the music.

It provides a beautiful backdrop to the worship, but because it does not change much it is not something my mind wanders towards.

Today as the music was playing, I noticed the organist had a cast on her left arm.

She was playing with only her right hand.

Immediately, I started to notice the music.

I noticed that it sounded exactly the same. No note was missed. Everything was perfect.

For some reason, because she was only using one hand, it made me appreciate the music so much more.

 

I think this holds true to life in many ways.

Individuals that conquer through the struggle and still continue to use their gifts and talents are extremely admirable.

The one-arm organist proved a point today.

No matter the struggle, if you are using your gifts for the glory of God, nothing can stop you.

The harder the struggle the greater the final product.

Friends, I encourage you to look at the struggle placed before you today. Use your gifts anyway regardless of what you face.

Be like the one-armed organist who, even with a cast on, continued to use her gift for God’s glory.

 

humble me Lord, but not yet

Humility is an antidote to so many of our problems in life.

It is the enemy to pride, which causes us so much internal pain.

Pride leads us to be ever fearful. Pride causes us to constantly watch how we are perceived. It prevents us from loving others selflessly. Pride is a telescope pointed at oneself.

Christ shows us that humility is the answer to following in His footsteps.

As He washes the apostles feet, He models humility for us.

It takes a minute for me to wrap my head around. God Himself, washing the feet of humanity.

There is so much love in that thought it hurts.

Tackling pride in a world that constantly tells us to watch our backs is extremely difficult. From the time we are in elementary school we are told that success in school, life, relationships makes us great. We become so afraid of not achieving success and finding stability that we fear so much. This fear morphs into pride rapidly and instead of washing the feet of our neighbor we commit our eyes to only staring at our own feet.

Humility is hard. To be humble is to be a disciple of Christ. There are many ways in which we can go against the tide and find true humility.

1.We can let it go. Any grudges or resentment from the past we can choose to release it to the foot of the cross. Humble yourself in accepting what has happened and choosing love and not resentment. Your focus on your self is just like adding salt to a wound. Give it up to God and choose to live with a selfless joy.

2.Do the small things. Help around the house. Help a friend with something that may be tedious. Don’t think you are above the small tasks of life. Choose to take time out of your schedule to help someone out, even if it is just for a moment.

3.Live with joy. There is a humility found deep within joy. When we are joyful we are filled with a deep trust that God is who He says He is. Though we are small and powerless, through Him all shall be well. Live with joy and prove your trust in Him. Trust that He is God and you are not.

Humility hurts because there is a dying to oneself. 

Out with the old and in with the new.

A new self who chooses to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

zeal

You have the zeal of God written on your soul.

Every breath is but another chance to dust off your past and begin again.

Life only begins when you take action.

You have a goal buried deep within you.

The only way to reach it is to dig. 

You tell me, “I don’t know where it is buried.”

It doesn’t matter where, all that matters is that you never stop digging.

I want to see your sweat water the tilled dirt beneath your feet.

I want to see callouses on your hands.

I want to see a sun tanned back.

You were not made to be a potted plant, who spreads roots for stability.

Your faith thrives in the unknown. 

Your talents are not yours but His.

The only way to show gratitude is to give them to the world.

Pour yourself out, there is a world that needs many new flowers.

Flowers, that no weather can scorch and no weed can drown out.

Let the zeal sing in your heart like a morning Dove.

Never close its beak.

But uncage the Dove. Allow the change to take place in your mind.

Do not allow the zeal to rest in you, but give it permission to change you.

Every single part of you.

The broken parts and the beautiful parts.

It may hurt.

It may not be easy.

It may sting a bit.

But we aren’t asking for easy.

We are asking for a mission. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday

I was born a Sunday man

with a Church bell in my soul

and a steeple coming from my chest

a journey to God’s house in each step

my voice drowned by angel’s choir

I remember the way I used to be

before taking part in His Supper

before allowing myself

to rest easy in the pew

I was a shaky man

a child tossed by the tide

a kite thrashed by the wind

It took time for the ink of the Book

to tattoo itself within my mind

to bury itself into the marrow of my actions

Sometimes I find myself hit by the tide

with my face dragging along the shore

shrapnel of shells causing me to bleed out

a bit of the Sunday man

But I am unafraid

I am not timid anymore

Because I was told not to be

And all humility rests in obedience

So as the people flood in

to praise God for all that is

I give God who I am

For He will make me a Sunday man.

-nJb

When you hug God

You walk towards Him.

He reaches out His arms to embrace you.

You lunge forward and hug Him with every ounce of your being.

Your fears melt. You are eternally safe.

Yet, you feel a sharp pinch on the side of your head.

You notice a thorn from His crown is hitting you.

You feel a pain in your side.

You feel just a bit of the lance which pierced Him.

Your feet resting on top of His, begin to sting.

At the touch of the nails driven into His feet.

Your hands holding His become red.

The burn of the nails in His hands, melts into yours.

The tighter you hug the more of His pain you feel.

You begin to know God and His love.

Yet, you call it suffering?

My friend, this is a gift.

To walk the way of the cross with God.

 

Do you have a screw loose?

Yesterday, after going for a walk, I see a giant box outside my door.

What did I order?

As I get closer I realize that it is a new chair.

This is my last semester of medical school basic sciences. Basically, this means in May I have a test called the USMLE that plays a big factor in what type of doctor I can be. With that being said, this semester calls for a lot more studying than usual. I wanted a chair that would allow me to study for long periods without feeling like I got hit by a train.

I opened the chair and realized that the chair needed to be built. Great. Reading and following directions have never been something I do very well. I started using the tools given and placing the screws where they needed to be. I had to unscrew them and redo it because I put the base of the chair on backwards!

The process was not going very well.

 

 

Eventually, I asked my fiancee for help. Yes, I definitely did feel humbled. After we finished we had one screw left. However, the way the chair was assembled it was impossible to put the screw in. The two holes would not line up. After some time trying it was either rebuild the whole chair (hours!) or leave it. The chair was still sturdy. It could function as any chair would.

However, it was just missing one screw.

Later my fiancee said something to me that struck me.

“The chair is like people. If we focus on our missing screw we will never be able to do our purpose. However, just because we are missing a screw does not mean we cannot do what we are meant to do in this life.”

We all have our missing/loose screws. Areas in our lives that we are ashamed of. Aspects of our personality or character that we wish would change.

This story is a reminder to not lose heart. You can be missing a screw and still pursue your God given purpose.

Focus on your goals not your unfilled holes.

Run with my Father

I was sitting at the airport yesterday waiting to board my flight. I was eating God’s chosen food, aka Chick-fil-A.

I noticed a man and his young son (maybe 3 or 4) running. His son was giggling as he chased after his dad.

A couple minutes later I saw them return, but this time they were walking.

The boy had his face glued to a phone screen.

The father then started motioning for his son to come follow him and started running again.

However, the son was not paying attention. He just continued to walk.

The father started waving his son onward and jogging but his son still did not notice.

Eventually, the son looked up at his father, smiled, and started to running as fast as he could after him.

 

As I dunked my fries into some great sauces, I started thinking about how this is exactly like my relationship, our relationship, with Our Father in Heaven. Many times we are on fire for the Lord. We are running after Him with all of our hearts in pursuit of His will for our lives.

However, we all have distractions just within our fingertips.

Our phones, our technology, our work, our up and down emotions, and especially our sins.

All of these, will cause us to act like this boy looking down at the screen and not seeing his father call him to move forward.

The beautiful thing to remember is that God is always before us waving us onward.

No matter how long we stand there walking and not recognizing the path we are on, He will continue to wait for us to start running with Him again.

Friends, I encourage you today to continue running with the Father.

When you catch yourself slowing down, remember the finish line will appear before you know it.

Be steadfast and look upon him for strength.

Run with a smile on your face and hope in your heart.

 

Confusion Prayer

The confusion which you face is the clarity that you

need to abandon yourself to Christ. For in the turmoil

of the moment, He reaches out and grabs you hand. In

delusion He remains Truth alone. In the fear, He is

security. In the restlessness and trembling, it is a call to

let Him take you under His arm. For we are all just

nomads on this earth when we do not have Him, but

our adventure reaches completion when we are ever

present with Him. Jesus, we give you our turmoil so that

it does not prevent us from walking beside You. The

heaviness and fortress of our fears will turn to dust

when we press forth our drooping eyes and stare at

your Loving Heart.

The Sun in the Sad Times

This morning I had class at 7:30.

Last night, I stayed up way too late, so naturally I felt like my sheets were bricks as I woke up this morning.

I basically crawled my way to the shower, got dressed, and left.

Leaving a little early to beat the traffic, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

The picture at the top does not even do it justice.

I was blown away by the beauty.

God was present. I was present with Him. What an awesome start to the day.

Then I started to think.

In order to see such a gift, I had to wake up feeling like death.

I had to push the feelings of my humanity away, and move forward.

By doing this I was able to be a part of the sunrise.

This is exactly what we are called to do with our suffering on this earth. We are to use it as a stimulus to grow deeper in faith, hope, and love through utter perseverance.

In the darkness of the morning we must remain hopeful for the rising of the sun.