Mashley, Prison and Storms

A medley today.

First, a new Maria and Ashley video. MIKA’s Grace Kelly. It’s playful and spikes some amazing pitch peaks! Always gives me joy to share…

I’d also like to share a bit of my yesterday before I go to bed…

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at the Cathedral in Pensacola for a Lenten day of reflection. I was invited to speak on a topic dear to my heart, the lay vocation to sanctify the world as “secular saints.” I spoke alongside Dale and Susan Recinella, both of whom serve on behalf of the Catholic bishops of Florida to Florida’s Death Row and Solitary Confinement population. They are two extraordinary people who incarnate both the justice and the mercy of God. So while it was my job to offer a fresh look at the Catholic theological and spiritual vision for the lay apostolate, it was theirs to give concrete evidence of what it looks and feels like when you live that out in a radical and real way. I’ll share below a 10 minute clip of a talk Dale gave at Jesuit High School in Tampa on his apostolic work in prisons.

At the very end of my talks, this wonderfully joyful and faith-filled woman came up to me and shared with me a quote (she has framed on her wall) that knocked my socks off. Here’s what it meant to me, per my journal entry…

Her quote captured with one image all I had tried to say about the (mostly ignored) meaning and power of Baptism and Confirmation that confer on each of the lay faithful the exalted vocation to consecrate the world itself to God.

These Sacraments introduce into creation an entirely new and destabilizing principle of divine life — Emmanuel — inaugurating the overthrow of death and the re-creation and transformation of all things, as God becomes an “insider” in the world — first by becoming Man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and then, through faith and the Sacraments, continuing His incarnation in each of us. Again, just reflect on this — in the Sacraments, the Word of the Father extends the fullness of His “becoming flesh” to us (John 1:14), making us His Body, drawing us through His death and resurrection, and filling us with the roaring Wind and raging Fire of Heaven (Acts 2:1-13). God became man that man might become God, as St. Athanasius famously put it.

Wow.

Every time we say Yes to God, Heaven’s tempest — the Spirit of Jesus — fills the earth and God unleashes His own re-creating storm on the storm-battered ruins of this world (1 Pet. 3:18-21). Indeed, the God-Man allows Himself to be ruined with us, only then to rise and still the storm (Job 38:1; Matt. 8:24-26; 27:50-53; John 20:19-23), preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, setting at liberty those who are oppressed and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19). Like Elijah, the faithful are caught up in the Whirlwind, in a chariot of Pentecostal Fire, to bring earth to heaven and heaven to earth (2 Kings 2:11).

Man, those are some seriously volatile Sacraments we receive. Saints are dangerous.

It was so appropriate that, as I drove home from Pensacola yesterday with her quote resonating in my heart, I passed through several lines of violent thunderstorms. And all on the feast of the Annunciation. Deo gratias.

I asked the woman to allow me to record her sharing the quote, and she graciously agreed:

Here’s Dale:

6 comments on “Mashley, Prison and Storms

  1. Jennifer says:

    Dale Recinella’s story will haunt me. I can not even fathom that number of people being on death row or what life must be like waiting to be executed. Thank you, Jesus, for ministering to these men through people like the Recinellas and letting them know you have not abandoned them. That closing prayer… wow.

    I gave a talk this morning on last week’s Gospel (the woman at the well) focusing on God’s relentless pursuit of a people to worship Him in spirit and truth; the story of God’s ever-nearing presence as the kingdom breaks upon us and out of us such that he now dwells not only among us in a tent or a temple, not only as God-made-man, but now within each baptised daughter and son and within the Eucharist; the transformative grace of Baptism and and finally about some of the incredible implications of knowing that we were made to abide with him, to be holy, to bear him in the world; how our faith, hope, and charity ought to explode in the understanding of who and where he made us to be. How knowing He is present within us changes how we view every hardship as an exalted opportunity for us to cooperate in bringing His love into the darkness. (Yeah, so basically I gave a talk on everything ever 😉 ) I read this mornings post after I had prepared my talk but before I delivered it and I just had to amend it to quote you. I included this:

    ‘Baptism and Confirmation confer on each of the lay faithful the exalted vocation to consecrate the world itself to God.

    Every time we say Yes to God, Heaven’s tempest — the Spirit of Jesus — fills the earth and God unleashes His own re-creating storm on the storm-battered ruins of this world . Indeed, the God-Man allows Himself to be ruined with us, only then to rise and still the storm , preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, setting at liberty those who are oppressed and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord . Like Elijah, the faithful are caught up in the Whirlwind, in a chariot of Pentecostal Fire, to bring earth to heaven and heaven to earth.” Phew!!

    Your post this morning just confirmed in me all the wonder and gratitude I’ve been getting drunk on all week in considering our Emmanuel. Thank you for sharing this and so many beautiful posts and bearing his light for all of us. You are the person who has really taught me to see God this way and I am forever in your debt.

    Praise God for His merciful love and making us little, fragile, jars of clay worthy to bear such an incomparable treasure.

    (Oh and finally, Mashley, could you girls be any more awesome?)

    High fives to everyone. Love you all.
    j

  2. Jerry Christopher, Jr. says:

    Mashley’s rendition of Mika’s “Grace Kelly” is as good or better than the original. That was super! When they sing those high parts together — goosebumps! I don’t even think they sang it in falsetto, but I could be wrong. Very talented. I will be singing this song all day now. “I am the storm!” ….love it!

    Pamela thinks her interview at Mount Carmel went well last Friday. She is waiting for the call. You’ll be the first to know when she receives it.

    With Gratitude,

    Jerry Christopher, Jr., LUTCF Financial Services Professional http://www.jerrydonut.com jerrychristopher@icloud.com Direct: 504-259-6138 Fax: 504-454-8415

    >

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