Our Disability Our Cross

Christ Jesus calls the disabled to a very important vocation. The Heavenly Father called His own Son to be obedient even to death on a Cross. Our obedience to God our Father is to become obedient to our disability. To embrace our disability unto death and this is our death on our Cross. We can only accomplish this with the gift of grace.

Grace is our energy our power received as gift from the Blessed Trinity. We become co-heirs with Christ Jesus in the healing of humanity by our very existence in the human family. Our yes welcomes us into this spiritual family. Our disability is our Cross. Is death itself our Crucifixion, the very separation of our soul with our broken body. Is the suffering that we endure in our broken body what brings healing to our broken world. I believe it is.

Have a blessed weekend!
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Mark
Hermits of the Holy Cross

Suffering, An Ingredient in God’s Grace

“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent, the day draws near, so let us cast of deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13: 11-12

As the Church, a Community of Believers, we have now entered into the Advent Season in our Calendar. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity made a sacrifice by coming to us as a member of the human family

“that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity”

God emptied Himself for all of us that we could share His holiness. God did not have to humble Himself in this way. He could have stayed in His Heaven ordering us all to do this or do that, condemning us for the smallest infraction. Christ, in the depth of His love choose sacrifice, compassion and eternal love for us His children. For those who have raised children, I’m sure you in your compassion and love, you can remember the many times you sacrificed for them. Most parents have desired more for their children than for themselves.

As Hermits of the Holy Cross, our sacrifice to God is our own sufferings that we endure each day because of our physical disabilities. These sufferings can be emotional, psychological, and physical. Society teaches us that our sufferings have no meaning at all and that we should do everything we can to eradicate it. Sufferings are just a nuisance. But we all know through experience we cannot completely eradicate our suffering in our daily lives. Therefore, they cannot be completely removed. But, that’s not to say, that we shouldn’t try to alleviate them. We do try because we want to experience peace in heart and mind. Christ taught us through His own sufferings that they have meaning.

Personally, here’s what I believe, I believe our sufferings, when offered to God through our free will, assist God in the creation of grace. Sounds odd I know. Christ Jesus tells us that we make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” Col 1:24

Through the suffering, and death of Christ upon the Cross he taught us suffering has purpose. God does not waste it, but uses it. Think of grace as spiritual fuel for our daily lives. Plants and trees need rain, our bodies need food, cars need gasoline, many products need electricity. Our spirit too, needs grace to grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This Advent and Christmas Season ask God

“to fill you with the knowledge of His will with all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Col: 1:9 Have you ever seen the painting of Christ Jesus knocking upon the door to be welcomed in but there is no door knob on His side of the door. This reminds us that Christ doesn’t barge in but patiently waits for us to open the door to allow Him in. The spiritual life is a give and take between two lovers. Try giving God your sufferings this, the Season of Incarnation, and ask Him to help you to understand why suffering is in our lives. Grace will be there for you. Through our suffering offered to God we participate in the creation of Gods gift, transforming grace.

Have a wonderful Advent and Christmas Season.

You are in our prayers each day. If you would like us to pray for any special intention please email bro.Mark at dextraze13@yahoo.com Its free.

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Mark

Hermits of the Holy Cross

Holding On To Christ

I keep looking for ways to try to heal and move forward living with my disability, Proteus Syndrome. It still remains difficult for me to accept this disability and embrace it. This is my Cross€. I have always tried my hardest to overcome obstacles that stand in my way, to keep pushing forward, but the Proteus Syndrome has a life of its own and It’€™s taking over. I don’€™t like that, you know. It’€™s like I’m at war with it and I don’€™t want it to win. I hope this doesn’€™t sound too nutty. My mind and heart want to walk again but my body says. “No sir, your not going to do that”€. It’s quite the challenge. I am always thinking of new ways to overcome these obstacles I face, but now the Proteus has got me homebound. This is really difficult to accept because I loved being with people and being a brother to everyone. I was a Capuchin-Franciscan for 12 years. I took my Solemn Vows in 1996. I had to leave though. I blame my disability. The burden it placed on my Order. The friars didn’t have health insurance back then and my disability is quite expensive. I am still a Capuchin in my heart though and I pray every day to Christ Jesus that He will not reject me because of that decision I made those many years ago. My heart will always remain with my Capuchin brothers. I still have a deep desire to help save souls for Christ, so I began the Hermits of the Holy Cross from home. It’s a ministry in the Church for the physically disabled who still want to serve the Church in some way. We serve spiritually, offering up to God our sufferings that stem from our disabilities. Our second gift we offer is intercessory prayer for our world, our parishes, our families and friends. We pray for those who even hurt us and reject us. So far, for me, I’ve only been laughed at and ridiculed. No one has ever tried to physically hurt me, thanks be to God. There are now five Hermits of the Holy Cross. One of our members recently passed away. May your soul rest in peace dear brother Charles. We live in different parts of the world, in Canada, New York, Texas and California. Our spirits are working together to help heal the world. We, with physical disabilities, have a gift to give the world. You too have a gift to give. Your heart for prayer and your sufferings offered for souls. Please, never forget this. God created us the way we are for His purposes. We are His children. We have gifts to share. These gifts might be spiritual like our suffering offered up or our prayers for others and for ourselves. So, in closing, I just wanted to reach out to you, my sisters and brothers, to help lift your hearts with encouragement. I want you to know I am with you in the struggle and that there are other Hermits praying for you. Keep climbing the mountain, keep holding on, in hope and love, to that cross you carry. Soon it will be traded for a crown. Have a most blessed week

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Mark

Hermits of the Holy Cross

A Relationship of Love

The acceptance or rejection of Christ Jesus defines the personal history of every soul. Our Blessed Mother is our example and help building God’s kingdom here on earth. She is an example through Her life of Faith, Hope and Love in Her Son Christ Jesus. She calls us to conversion and sanctification. She points the way and is anxious as our Mother to keep us on the safe path. We are called to complete selflessness on our part, to empty the areas of our life that do not lead us to God. This is quite difficult due to the fact we have so many distractions blocking our way. These distractions may be good in themselves but we must always ask the question to ourself, “Is this action leading me closer to or further from God We are called to a radicalization of faith. Are we capable of an authentic effort to pursue holiness? Karl Rahner believes that in our century if we do not become mystics we will not be Christians at all. This means to each of us, that we are called to be on fire with love for God and there is no room for luke-warmness. Pope John Paul II calls it the “encouragement of a new ardor for holiness.” The Second Vatican Council teaches us that “radicalism of faith” is impossible without radical conversion and fulfillment of the universal call to sanctity, otherwise we will not become authentic witnesses to the Gospels. St. Theresa of Avila, in the Way of Perfection says, “When prayer resulting from the stronger action of the love of God shows signs of a close friendship with God and reaches the point that it is a relationship, a union of love – the friendship then becomes an “apostolic leaven.” Our relationship with God grows deeper and deeper while our spirit reflects outwardly towards those whom we meet each day. For faith without good works is empty. What is most important then, is what lies at the heart of our actions. That is to say, actions without self-grandization, and to live our life in dark faith, being guided on a river of hope and a heart that is given to others in God’s love.
Have yourself a most blessed day.
Bro.Mark
Hermits of St. Giles