God Alone : Beginning of the Apostolate
Vigil of the Ascension
Words that inspired the beginnings of umbra Dei Apostolate
God Alone: The statement is found in many Cistercian monasteries, which I learned from the book ” Soul of the Apostolate” by Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O.
In reflection, John 15:5, is what came to mind:
“ I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”
This is my reasoning why I am not aiming to begin another business or brand, but to be an apostolate. My hope is that all flows and points to the union with God, from the art seen in print, photography, film, and stories. The inspiration of art should be fruit grown by prayer and picked by the hands of God’s Providence. It is to say all the work to be done must flow from the life giving source which is the Cross and not the other way around. I have now learned my work before draining my life and all around me for work was my focus, not God. I became dry, and it felt like a heavy burden to continue, like a heavy yoke. All the while I became a slave trying to figure out what new exciting project would give me the drive I needed to continue my work.
For almost five years discerning, going through tough and difficult trials, it has taken me to accept the will and grace of God. The gift and talents He graced me are not to be my focus but that prayer is to be my focus. Prayer is the only way to maintain the purpose of why we do what we do, the work is to be the outcome of prayer, and choosing to live for the love of God. Accepting and understanding this is what drew my love to Him. It gave me grace to the direction and ideas I had to put into action. To me, prayer is being able to recognize His will, thus why it has become such an important part of my life and journey. It is the principle goal that I hope to share with all that is in motion, for it is important to embrace the Cross and give yourself to God in prayer, so that you know how to give yourself to others in the service of God. It can not be the other way around, we must recognize the love God has for our souls first so for when we truly know the Love of God then we can be transformed and our Love from him will outpour to others. A common cliche,
” you can not give what you do not have”. Cliches stand the test of time because cliches reveal some truth. Hence, we cannot see how God sees others, if we don’t allow God to see our true selves first.
If we can not allow ourselves first to be seen by God, hence, we cannot see how God sees others, and how His deep love for us is expressed on the Cross and in Christ’s Precious Blood. It is this gift of His Love that keeps on giving to see the life-giving blood to help us order our lives in the way a Father would see the value of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus.
Having that Precious Blood poured over us like Rebecca covering Jacob [Genesis 27:15] to restore the order of how we see ourselves as His creation, as his sons and daughters in baptism, helped me to establish my confidence in Him alone. It is not to say it is not a battle and a war everyday, to fight against the temptations of doubts and guilt. Through His angels the gifts and talents given to me, helped me to work with God. In good works we become inspired to fight the good fight, and to hold on to the faith in the promises of God. He sees in us from the eyes of His Son on the Cross, and not just our own fallen view, but heirs as sons and daughters of God.
It’s been years that I even thought of returning to the world, let alone use my talents. God’s Love filled in me to do what He was asking for me, for I saw to leave all behind and live a simple life. In his humor God showed me to live in Him anywhere I go. My mission to see what He sees in me, like a best friend. He always sees the best in us from the Cross. What I hope to do is to draw people to the interior life and share tools to help them see how God sees His children.
I pray we would recognize as I did, we are not alone, God our Father will help us along the way to see and we will truly hear what we need, if we pray for one another.
My hope in my art you can see that you are Loved alone by God wherever you might be in life, God always sees you. God sees and hears us, when we are silent we need to be ready to interiorly accept the calling of His Voice. It is to accept the calling not only for our own sake, but for the love you can return to God.
It is our choice to see how God has surrounded us in love, and to understand Love for Love. This is where I understood my purpose, when beginning anything that should come from these Words:
“ All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Umbra Dei, the shelter and shade of God, can be visualized in the image of the palm tree by its shade protecting us from the world’s harsh effects and the mantle of Our Lady which shelters us in the grace of God. To stay in this shelter we must always live by the faith in who He sees in us and do the work that He calls us to do by our outpouring of Love, which is the imitation and reflection of Christ being an obedient and loving Son to the Father even unto death.
First we received the gift in our own soul, then the embrace of the Cross which is in dying to our self love, to live by the Spirit in the supernatural faith in His Cross that goes beyond a love we can see or do on our own.
This is the promise that changed my life and continues to transform it everyday.
These three verse have become the pillars of the movement.
“ The praise of a canticle for David. He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob.”
“ And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.”
“ When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.”
May you continue to seek, knock, and ask of Him in His most Holy Name, to show you the way to contemplate His Sacred Heart burning within and may this Apostolate be an instrument and guide to help hear His Heart’s voice calling you deeper to Himself.
Please pray for me and you all will be in my prayers.
-German T Jimenez Umbra Dei
May we do all for the glory of God, to remain in the shelter of His Grace.