God of Gladness and Tranquility by b.Mark

“To rest in the Lord and to see his joy is like a banquet, and full of gladness and tranquility.” St. Ambrose

The Hermits of the Holy Cross would like to express thanks to Richard, Roberta and Caryn Therese for their outpouring kindness joining our Hermits Staff. The Hermits of the Holy Cross is a Lay Christian Contemplative Association whose Spiritual Path is one of Enlightened Suffering for the physically disabled, some being homebound due to physical limitation. Even though the Hermits are physically disabled we are not limited in spirit. We continue to have a deep desire to love God and to serve our respective Churches through the offering of our suffering to God for all people and for our beautiful Earth. We have a deep desire for prayer, not only our own contemplative prayer of union with God, but most especially intercessory prayer for others who are seeking union with God in the Holy Spirit. We all need spiritual help in our daily lives. Personally, I need it every day. So, we created the Hermits Staff, that others can help pray for us as we Hermits struggle day to day attempting to make sense of it all. I still scratch my head when I try to understand what the meaning of suffering is. I’ve come to the conclusion that suffering is like gold or diamonds to God. When we offer our suffering, God transforms it into grace. Grace is like gasoline for our tanks, so that we can move closer to that Holy Mountain we climb each day. Grace transforms our lives. Grace is what keeps us going forward on this spiritual journey. If we don’t feel as if we’re getting enough grace (gasoline) to keep moving forward we have the holy Sacrament of Reconciliation to assist us. Even if we feel our sins aren’t bad enough for this Sacrament, we can still receive grace from this wonderful gift that has been given to all people from our loving and merciful God. Many believe if they are not Catholic they can’t receive God’s gift of forgiveness. I personally believe God who is the Creator of all His children does not limit His capabilities. All are called by God to be His children, for that is what we truly are. God created us to love and to serve not only Him but each other and ourselves. Each of us are wonderfully created. We are shinning stars in Gods eyes. And we are called to shine our brightest. And since this is the Lenten Season it’s the perfect time to give your life to Christ Jesus as sisters and as brothers of Him. Much like the Prodigal Son, we too will be embraced by our loving Father, if only we take the steps toward Reconciliation and Union. So, as we Hermits are praying for you and offering our daily suffering for you, our dear team of Hermits Staff are praying for us and we are eternally grateful to each of them. If you feel called by the Holy Spirit to join our Hermits Staff to assist us through your powerful prayers please let us know. We would be grateful to have you assisting us with our own ministry for our world. If you are physically disabled and feel God is calling you to become a Hermit of the Holy Cross please let us know. We welcome all Christian Faith Traditions with Love at its foundation. If you become a Hermit of the Holy Cross, you stay right where you are, in your own home, you assist us through your prayer and by offering your personal struggles to God for the “life of the world” just as Christ Jesus has taught us. “As the Bride of Christ, His Body, our sufferings are so united with Christ’s that we can offer them in union with His redemptive work for the salvation of souls” (Colossians 1:24). “Look at what is before your eyes. If any one is confident that he is Christs, let him remind himself that as he is Christs, so are we.” (2 Cor. 7) Even though we may be physically disabled, we are all God’s children. There is no shame in disability. And even though we may have physical limitations we have great spiritual gifts to offer and through these offerings and through prayer we assist Christ Jesus heal the world and all within it. Never forget we are all shinning lights of God who loves us beyond anything we can ask or imagine. And to our Hermits Staff, Richard, Roberta and Caryn Therese, as Bro. Joe, a great Capuchin-Franciscan once told me, “your reward in Heaven will be great.” Hold these words close to your heart for you are a treasure to us and to our world.
Peace to each of you. We thank God for the Hermits and the Hermits Staff.

contact info is @ dextraze13@yahoo.com

Pax et Bonum,
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Mark

Reunited by b.Mark

If we want to resemble Christ Jesus we should follow his example found in the Gospels and in the letters in the New Testament. We are called to imitate the love of Christ. He welcomed the stranger, the alien. He plays no favorites. The poor, the forgotten by society, the rejected by society, Christ Jesus embraces. He never condemned anyone, but He always remained firm with those who turned away from doing the right thing. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes who refused to show mercy. They became judge and jury instead of forgiving, having mercy, and loving each child of God. When those who strayed from the path of love, Christ Jesus compared us to lambs that got lost. He gently placed the lamb on top of His shoulders and He brought them back to the fold. I am not sure why people reject Christ Jesus today as they did 2000 years ago. He showed nothing but kindness toward others, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love toward others. He pointed us in the direction of hope. He conquered death and showed us that our soul is eternal. Every society, to remain healthy, have laws to keep us on the path of peace and happiness but God has always given His children chance after chance to get it right and opportunity after opportunity to love Him back. This is the meaning of the Lenten Season. God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit opens His arms for us to come home. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, we too have the opportunity to come home into the arms of love. Remember that song by Peaches and Herb called Reunited? I was reminded of this song this Lenten Season. That this is an opportune time to be reunited with our loving God. I honestly don’t believe God condemns anyone. We condemn ourselves. God does not want any of His children to be separated from Him. Why would He since He created us. He created the Earth to share His beauty with us and to guide us to Himself.
Some people ask, if there really is a God, why would there be so much suffering and brokenness in the world. Yet, even Christ Jesus suffered at the hands of men who misunderstood who He even was. They were looking for a political hero, or even a military hero that was going to destroy the Roman occupation and end their brutality toward the Jews. But Jesus came preaching, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” “My Kingdom is not of this world” for those who are weary and overburdened Christ calls us and promises peace and comfort. If only we open our lives to him and our hearts to him. He’s not here to condemn us, like the Pharisees and Sadducees want you to believe. He is not here to condemn but to heal and love. Baptism renews us into a life of grace. Grace is the fuel that protects and heals. When we receive these gifts we become examples of Christ in our daily lives. It is not just for the future but for the here and now. We are promised eternity in Heaven to begin on Earth through unity. Christ Jesus died for all people, not just for some. Meditate upon the Gospels. When Christ found the lost sheep He did not chastise the sheep, hurt the sheep, make the sheep feel terrible nor condemn the sheep. Therefore, we should not chastise each other. We should not look on others as if they are lost or beyond hope just as Christ does not treat us like that. So let us imitate Christ this Lenten Season. “Love one another as Christ has loved you.”

Love and Prayer,
Your brother in Christ,
Mark
Hermits of the Holy Cross