Food for Thought

I was walking around the backyard of my parents house when I came across this “volunteer” corn stalk. I asked myself how did it get there? Who knows, but God and the stalk.

It reminded me of the saying we had in the military, “Bloom where you are planted.” No one planted this volunteer bit it is blooming just fine.

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Old Grooves

I am glad I am part of the generation that straddled the time between analog and digital.

My brother recently gave me back one of my old high school record albums. We had not opened the record sleeve since the early 1980s. Inside the sleeve was a dusty and moldy album. But with a little clean up the disc was as black and brilliant as the day it was bought.

I put it on the turntable, and incredibly, it sounded as good as it did way back then. The grooves of the album were exactly the same and the sound was pure analog. I remembered the lyrics of the music like it was yesterday. Those record grooves had put grooves in my mind.

While I am no longer in mission I wonder about the grooves we left behind. Can you still play those records and hear those grooves?

I’m not sure, but this I do know…there is no digital in mission…its all analog.

Feelings by Fifi

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Fifi was kind enough to draw a Christmas card for us!

(I received a new reflection from Fifi (a Dutch woman) this week.   In this reflection, Fifi shares her Feelings and then feels a little stronger.  I hope by writing her reflections she feel stronger too.  Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and all the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Wanna cry but can’t cry.

Wanna laugh. but can’t laugh.

Wanna scream but can’t scream.

Why? Why not!

It is the fighter in me who can’t be weak by letting all the emotions out.

Instead I will be very quiet and pull back…alone in my cell and not talking, just thinking.

But when I do cry, laugh, and scream then everything comes out.

What I do know is that everything you go through in life only makes you stronger.

Fifi

Say Queijo!

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Say Cheese!  It’s the same expression Brazilians use when someone is about to take their picture…even though the phrase is in English.  They all know the English word “Cheese” even if almost no one speaks English in Brazil.

So, when someone is about to take our picture in Brazil, I will yell “Say Queijo”, the Portuguese word for cheese.  Everyone thinks for a second and begins to laugh.

Here are some pics of one of the Brazilian women’s prison we visit.  (Their faces have been obscured in order to respect their privacy.)

In the pics you can see the courtyard where we meet and read the Gospel together and sing.  We also normally give the “girls” rosaries and religious reading materials. There are usually several other missioners with me when we visit too.

Please take a minute to think about and pray for these women and their families.

Thanks for reading!

Tiago

Looking Back by Fifi

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(The final of four new reflections from a Dutch women in a São Paulo prison.  We call her Fifi.  In this reflection, she keeps alive the memory of her son, Mikai who died within a week of his birth.  Please pray for the Fifi and her son Mikai.  Please also keep the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons in your prayers.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Sometimes I am looking back to the worst moment (of my life) the death of my son and depression.  Then I start thinking; Wow, was I in my depression.

It is hard to lose your child and keep asking “Why?” and “Why me?”

I know now that he is healthy/happy and being taking care of.  Even if he is not here anymore, he is with me every moment of the day.  He is watching over me in my dreams, at work, everywhere I am.  One day I will be together with him and we will be a family again.

Him and God give me the power to get out of my depression.  I am thankful for that

Now I am only thinking about the nice moments we had together.  Today I am laughing and not crying.

Dear Mikai,

I am proud to be your mommy and to be called mommy (by you.)  Thank you Mikai, my beautiful son.  I love you!

Fifi

Stairs to Heaven by Fifi

 

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(The third of four new reflections from a Dutch women in a São Paulo prison.  We call her Fifi.  In this reflection, she sends a short note to her son, Mikai who died within a week of his birth.  Please think about and pray for the Fifi and her son Mikai.  Please also keep the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons in your thoughts and prayers.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Everyone goes one day to heaven.  Some sooner than the others.

Children are meant to survive their parents.  They are not meant to go first.  Unfortunately, the Lord sometimes has other plans for the children. They go up the stairs of heaven first; before the parents.

One day they will all be together again when the Lord wants it.  When that happens, the parents go up the stairs of heaven and the child is waiting behind the gate.

Dear Mikai,

One day I will have you in my arms again when the Lord wants it. I love you.

Fifi

Just to Scream by Fifi

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The Meeting of the Rivers near Manaus Brazil.

(I received four reflections from Fifi (a Dutch woman) this week so I will post them over the next several days.  This is the 9th in a series of refections by foreign women prisoners in Brazil and the fifth by Fifi.  In this reflection, Fifi SCREAMS and then feels a little calmer.  I hope by writing her reflections she feels a little calmer too.  Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and all the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Anger/aggression/sadness and frustration; where is it coming from?  I have no idea but sometimes I just don’t wanna feel it.

Just to feel nothing for a short while, feel complete peace.

Only me in a place and to scream all the feelings out, letting myself go for one time.

To cry/laugh/scream, to throw everything out.  And to be calm again and to go to a fresh place in the world.

Fifi