Soulitude: Mission Possible

Love with all

Mission of the Soul

            Jesus used stories. This is a story about how millions of people had their lives changed forever. It is every soul’s story. We all were created from a gesture of love, although sometimes we have to go back a generation or two. The story is about a tear in the soul. It is about being vulnerable to trust another soul.

Because Soul, by nature, is difficult to define yet is felt in moments of “lived truth,” perhaps Soul is the grail where spirituality, philosophy and psychology converge (Cosineau, 1994).

            On many occasions I have seen the soul leave the physical body. Sometimes this “soul rising” occurs before the person actually stops breathing. However, most times the soul leaves simultaneously at the time a doctor would declare a person dead.

            Every body and soul needs a family and relationships in order to survive and thrive. Every body and soul is in need of abundant love and joy and sorrow. We all need peace, boy to we need peace! We also need just the right amount of discipline, tensions, anxieties, sufferings and crosses to grow to be healthy and wise.  We can still flourish without the traditional family of mother and father, limbs or eyesight, or the normal mental capacities. But we must have love from others in order to become what we were created to be: a stunning, magnificent, and beautiful soul!

            One story passed on to us is when Jesus was just a few weeks from his death, a man ran up to him and knelt down. He blurted out a question. “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him by saying, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments. You shall not kill. You shall not steal. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not defraud. Honor your mother and father.” The earnest man shared without boasting, “Sir, I have kept all of these since my youth.”

            Jesus looked at him and loved him. “You are lacking one thing. Go sell what you have and give alms to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come and follow me.” He bowed his head and went away sad because he had many possessions. 


            The silence that follows is unbearable. It feels soulless, but it is really soulful. The man needed nothing else in the world and he blew it. Can you imagine if he had allowed the Love from Jesus to permeate his body and soul? If I knew that I missed that opportunity, the trillion-dollar look, I would lose all hope.

The Good News is that the impossible is still possible with God. Our mission that goes beyond lent and Easter is a mission possible. The Soul can only awaken in a place of solitude. Our attitude must be soulitude. Soulitude is when we actively seek God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul. We seek God beyond the loneliness and isolation, the hostilities and persecutions, the illusions and boredom.  God is waiting for us.

            This story and mission possible is about journeying into cultural and religious warfare only to discover that the war is within my own soul. This mission is more difficult than making it to the Final Four as a 16 seeded basketball team.

            Our mission will explore the dark night of the soul. Our mission is to turn the place of utter isolation into solitude, unbearable hostility into hospitality, and our illusions into nourishing prayer. Within the dark nights of the soul, there really is hope. The soul is wounded physically, emotionally and morally. But God heals. Hope is life.

**Check this song out: SOMETHING MORE BY NICK VUJICIC:



            Having a spirit of Soulitude will call us to an authentic life. At Queen of Peace the people have understood stewardship and a genuine love for the poor. When much has been given, more is expected. Jesus is asking us to put out into deep water and lower our nets for a catch. Like Simon Peter at the beginning of his encounter with Jesus, we balk and complain. “Master, we have been working hard at stewardship for over 25 years… but at your command we will lower the nets.”

It is Jesus who calls us to renew ourselves at this mission. Even if you struggle with lent, keep asking Jesus to help you in this journey into the desert. Pray for me. No prophet is accepted in his native home. I am borderline native even if I have a graduate degree from Mississippi State. Please do not lose sight of the fact that Jesus was rejected by his own people. This mission will hopefully inspire us to experience Jesus’ look of love… and respond better than the man who bowed his head prayerfully and went away sad.

I am about to tell this story.

You are about to tell this story.

We are about to tell this story.

I am

You are.

We are.

The story,

The mission,

The birth of a soul,

The tear in the dark night,

and the death consubstantial with the Beloved.IMG_0946

            When God falls in love with us, it means that God cannot go on living without us. God suffers at times like a parent who mourns a child or a grandchild. There is no consoling of God’s broken heart and soul.

            God so loved the world that God became one heart, one mind, one strength and one soul with us.

God and we became

One Soul

One Heart

One Mind

One Spirit

One Love

Without God we have no life, birth soul, spirit

Without You and Me God no longer has life, birth, soul or spirit.

St. Teresa was correct: God has no hands, no feet, no soul without us.

You see, God really loves us. God looks at us and loves us.

When the man bows his head and goes away because of his possessions taking priority, do we see and acknowledge that Jesus weeps and mourns for this beloved man? Do we see the tear… the tear of his soul.

Because God is in every cell and fiber and spiritual sense of every sing human being…

It was actually God, my Beloved, that I experienced in every casualty, death and grieving mother, father, spouse, child and friend destroyed by the violence of war or sexual abuse.

My mission is God’s mission.

You and I have been anointed and loved by Jesus, the Beloved, (Just as Fathers Jeff, Brian and Kaz) to bring great news to the poor (in spirit, mind, heart and soul).

God sends us to proclaim liberty to captives  (by their sins, addictions, and possessions).

God sends us to aid in the recovery of the blind, especially the inwardly blind.

Jesus calls us to smash the yoke of those oppressed in any way, shape or form.

We are God’s lovers. Let us give it all away. We must be bread to the hungry at our doors. Open the gates, bring the robe and rings. Lavish the hungry with the plenty we have received in the Word and Love of God.

As Christians we receive God’s gifts gratefully,

cultivate them responsibly,

share them lovingly in justice with others,

and return them with increase to the Lord.

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not proud

            nor are my eyes haughty

I do not busy myself with great matters,

with things to sublime for me.

Rather, I have stilled my soul,

hushed it like a weaned child.

Like a weaned child on its mothers lap,

so is my soul within me.

Israel, those who wrestle with God, hope in the Lord (Beloved),

now and forever.


As a deer yearns for running streams…

This past weekend I accompanied about 49 young adults longing for Confirmation in the Catholic Church. We 70 pilgrims went on a pilgrimage to Camp Kulaqua near High Springs. We began with Eucharist at the Queen of Peace gym in Gainesville. Twenty-four hours later we ended with our souls afire. We journeyed into our hearts and souls. Confirmation is about confirming the Holy Spirit within us. It teaches us to have the courage to go with Jesus up the mountain and to experience his transfiguration and listen to God say to us, “You are my beloved son! You are my beloved daughter! With you I am well pleased!”

Moses brought the Hebrew people out of their slavery in Egypt. Jesus will bring us out of the slavery of our passions and self-centeredness. During the retreat we were all given an orange. We were asked to be totally silent for about twenty minutes so we could listen to and fall in love with the orange. As we walked around the beautiful spring, we slowly appreciated this gift of an orange. We experienced her bitterness, woundedness and sweetness.

We were like a deer that longs for flowing streams. Our souls were longing for God alone. As Jesus cried out, “I thirst!” on the cross, we also cry out in our Lenten pilgrimage, “I thirst.” We learned so much by taking the time to fall in love with a simple orange and all of God’s creation. We were grateful for those who planted the seeds and nurtured the tree of life giving fruit. We accepted the marks and distinctness of the skin and sections. Just as Jesus gave himself to us to be savored and eaten, we too become fruit for the world. Jesus said that you will recognize the people of our Beloved God by their fruits.

For all of us on the retreat, we went a little deeper into the depths of God’s love. We are aware that the world, the sufferings and all of the crosses are still part of our lives. The difference for us who believe is that we know we do not walk alone. We walk with Jesus above, below, beside, under and within us.

In the Liturgy of Hours this morning all the priests, religious and many laity breathed in the beautiful Psalm 42. It reminds us that our journey and conversion is not complete. The Mass never ends, we take it with us. Thanks be to God!

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, my God.
Psalm 42

Like the deer that years
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God.As a deer that yearns

My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?

My tears have become my bread,
by night , by day,
as I hear it said all the day long:
“Where is your God?”"Where is your God?"

These things will I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy.

Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God;
I will praise him still,
my savior and my God.

My soul is cast down within me
as I think of you,

Deep is calling on deep,
in the roar of waters:
your torrents and all your waves
swept over meMy soul is thirsting for God

By day the Lord will send
his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him,
praise the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning,
oppressed by the foe?”

With cries that pierce me to the heart,
my enemies revile me,
saying to me all the day long:
“Where is your God”?

Why are you cast down,
my soul, why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my savior and my God.I wounded my orange


Father in heaven, when your strength takes possession of us we no longer say: Why are you cast down, my soul? So now that the surging waves of our indignation have passed over us, let us feel the healing calm of your forgiveness. Inspire us to yearn for you always, like the deer for running streams, until you satisfy every longing in heaven.

As the deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you my God.
When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?

I pray you have a most wonderful day in this season of lent. Keep begging God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, counsel, understanding, courage, reverence and a wonder and awe in the presence of God. And then you will bear much fruit:

Love, joy, peace,
Patience, kindness, gentleness,
Generosity, purity, faithfulness,

Father Ron Moses +the face of God?


The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert
where he remained for forty days
tempted by Satan.
He was among the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him.

Jesus fasted and prayed all the time, not just when he was in the desert. When I went to the desert for 40 weeks, I saw things I would have never seen before. When a rare and solitary bird perched in the distressed and pitiful tree while I was praying one morning behind the hospital, my heart and soul made room for the gratitude in my heart. This little bird of God’s creation filled me and sustained me in the desert of my surroundings and the desert of my being. Fallujah Iraq sits between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This is near where the story of Abraham began his journey and walk with God. Abraham was driven from his home.

I was very reluctant to leave St. Patrick’s behind and serve with the Marines out in the desert. I was literally driven. In my heart, it seemed to be something very sacred calling me into the desert. Before I even agreed to go, I begged God to send someone else since I was so terrified. In the silence, Jesus assured me that he would never ask me to do something he would not do. Jesus would never let me go to the desert without Him.

Lent is like being forced into the desert. Out in the desert we discover things beyond our wildest imaginations. In the Gospel we heard on Ash Wednesday Jesus promises us that prayer from the heart will be repaid:

“But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

We never go alone into the desert of our fasting and prayer. It will always bring us to an encounter with the burning bush or the voice of God. God, our Creator, will listen to our tiny cries! The prophet Isaiah speaks the Word of God and shares with us the fruit of the true fasting and prayer requested by God:

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

Isaiah 58:1-9

Out in the Desert

Out in the desert, God spoke to me no matter what kind of terror or boredom I was wrestling with. God said to me, “Here I am!” as death and violence raged about me. When I was forced to empty myself, God filled my emptiness that sustains me to this day. I shared the attached story this past weekend. This story is for me.

Have a blessed and holy week of Lent.
Love, joy, peace,

Father Ron Moses +

Bring an empty cup

There’s a story about a little country parish. One Sunday a rich man was passing by the church and, as he passed by, he heard the priest giving his homily. The man came in and sat down to listen After Mass, he went to the priest and said, “What can I give or do to become part of this parish? I have a lot of money. I also have power and prestige. What can I do?”

The priest said this: “When you hear about the forgiveness of sins, say to yourself, ‘This is for me.’ When you hear the gospel preached, say, ‘This is for me.’ When you receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, say, ‘This is for me.’

And one more thing. Every time you come to worship, bring an empty cup. Carry this cup with you whenever you come. It will remind you that you can give nothing. It will remind you that you’re really a poor beggar, and that everything is a gift from God.”

And to this day, people see that man carrying an empty cup when he goes to Mass. And not only that, but it seems that some of the other parishioners have started to carry empty cups too. They carry them wherever they go. It reminds them that they can bring nothing. It reminds them that they too, are beggars. And it reminds them that everything – literally, everything – comes by the grace of God.

Empty Vessel

Empty Cup

This is for me

Here comes Ash Wednesday…Let us Rejoice!

When you pray

Here comes Ash Wednesday! Let us rejoice and be glad!

“…But when you pray,
go to your inner room,
close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
~ Jesus (MT 6:1-6)

Rejoice and be Glad!

The preceding passage comes from the Gospel for Ash Wednesday. No matter where we are, whether we are in prison, school, work or war, we are being called to our inner room. Where is our inner room?

I believe beyond a doubt that our inner room is closer than we could ever imagine, but something keeps us from opening the door. Often times, when my everyday life becomes busy and full, I forget to go into that room beyond my heart and soul to find the source of my being. Do we avoid going to unfamiliar places because we are afraid?

When we do find our inner room, we experience heaven on earth. It is that simple, yet we make it so complicated. Next Sunday on the First Week of Lent, the Gospel passage is taken from the first chapter of Mark.

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

Jesus, when in the wild desert, found his inner room. His Father repaid him with a special Cross. The Cross is the door to the Sacred Heart of God the Father. If we discover our own inner room, God will repay each of us with an intimate and loving relationship with the Beloved. This is priceless.

Looking for the inner room

Ash Wednesday is the door we must enter in order to find this intimacy with God, Our Beloved. I will conclude with a time while I was out in Iraq, when I found my inner room. God, my Beloved, repaid me for my efforts beyond my wildest dreams. God was giving me a share in His Cross, which of course is priceless.

Lent is an opportunity to seek and find Our Beloved God who heals us, shares in our meals, feeds us, washes our feet, encourages us, protects us from the evil one, and invites us to stand at the foot of His Cross. God lavishes us with grace upon grace, gift upon gift. Our Beloved even entrusts His Beloved Mother to us. O Beloved, let us truly enter lent with the Ashes on our foreheads and enter the true inner room in the inner chambers of Jesus’ Sacred Heart. The pay and benefits are great!

A Talk with God in my inner room 10-4-2004

You knew, O Beloved Lord, better than I what was to unfold
yesterday. You had me in your arms as I wrestled, whimpered,
cried and sadly…complained.

Transportation was a mess as I attempted to provide Catholic
services to the forward operating bases outside Camp Fallujah. I
am sorry, Lord; I may have been irritated and slightly ugly. But
all along you had me in your love, even though you may have been
disappointed with me. My homily was about faith, and I exhibited
little faith, if any. And that is the problem. It wasn’t my homily; it
was yours: your stories, your parables, your suffering and your
death. I did nothing for I am a servant, unprofitable at that, of your
Word, your Love, your hopes, your dreams, and your commands.

Yesterday was for me. My inconveniences and frustrations were
all gifts. I see this now; the purpose was to bring me and draw me
closer to your heart.

Forgive me, Lord, for doubting. Forgive me for my harsh words
and my insane stubbornness. I knew it was a graced moment when
Captain Brian Heatherman invited me to the infamous Abu Ghraib
prison. It was you, more than me, who desired and wanted your
Body to be sacrificed there. I didn’t trust you. I feel so goofy, almost
ashamed. And yet I know within my soul and heart, that you desire
not that I be ashamed or embarrassed. I will profit immensely if I
simply follow you and fill my being with you – Love itself.

O Beloved, you are mightier than the storms of hatred and insanity.
It is You, and You alone, who will bring peace and stability to this
region of the world. It is You who is already at work in every darkened heart, fulfilling Your promise given here almost 4,000 years ago.

Awesome! Lord Jesus, my spirit, life, and breath; I beg of You to
show me Your plan so I can better follow You into Eternity.

What a story last night. You placed me in the center of those men,
Baptists and Protestants, to lead them in the Word of God. I felt their
mistrust, but I knew You placed me there. About 25 men gathered for
the non-denominational prayer service. Chaplain Ron Kennedy was
very sick, and You urged me to be uncomfortable and cover for him.
When I proclaimed Your Word, the authority was there. I felt it. When
You spoke to them through me, I was in awe. I’m not sure You wanted me to
lay hands on them, though, because some of them got up and scattered at that!
Suspicious I presume of the Anti-Christ and us ‘Catholics.’

What must You have endured when Your very own people got up and abandoned
You as you gave them Your body, Your blood, and Your heart? Come to think of it,
I still do this. You say to me, “And you, Ron Moses, are you going to leave me,
too?” I fumble with words, “O not me, for You Jesus have the words of Eternal Life.”
And yet, You know me so well. I will choose death over and over until I surrender
not just my will, but my very life and breath.

O Jesus, what have You done? There are so many holier priests than me. How
could you pick me when these men and women will be ex-periencing life-changing
amputations, wounds or even dying? I want to trust You totally, Jesus.
Increase my faith! Increase my love!

What have you done, Jesus?

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:13

You ask, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
I say, “Increase my love for You and my neighbor and my enemy.
Increase my love. Increase my love.”
And you answer me in my inner room…in secret.

Then I ask for more…
Teach me patience, Lord, Beloved, Holy One.
Teach me wisdom…
Teach me Love.

I love you, Ron Moses +

After the inner room

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13