Sunday, November 23, 2014

Welcome Each Person as Christ

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:40

When I read or hear this gospel, I often think of this quote from the Rule of St. Benedict: "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”
And he doesn’t just mean that we are to be hospitable. He means we are to accept each person as they are. We are to treat each person with love and humility.
We are to treat each person as God treats us.
Each person, not just Christians.
Each person, not just the orphaned or the poor.
Each person, including ourselves.
We are all to be welcomed as Christ.
There is an old rabbinic story about angels that walk in front of human beings, calling out “Make way for the image of God! Make way for the image of God!”
Do we see each other in that way? Do we see ourselves in that way?
What would change if we did?
What would change in this world if we really saw – in each other - the presence of Christ?

Dear Lord, I wish to see You in all people. I want to remember that I am made in your image and I belong to You, but I get wrapped up in the world. Help me, Lord, to see you in everyone I meet. Help me to love like you love. Amen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deo Gratias - November 19



"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. Thank you, Lord, for the cooler weather in my neck of the woods, ... Deo gratias!
2. Thank you, Lord, for my best friend Bonnie who is there for me no matter what, ... Deo gratias!
3. Thank you, Lord, for my husband. We celebrated his birthday last weekend ... Deo gratias!
4. Thank you, Lord, for my mother and for her strong faith, ... Deo gratias!
5. Thank you, Lord, for this meme which reminds me of the importance of remembering to count our blessings every day, ... Deo gratias!


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Monday, November 17, 2014

When God Calls

One of my favorite quotes:
Late have I loved you, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you...You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness...You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness...I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. - St. Augustine

I love this quote because it sounds so much like my own conversion story. God was within me, and I never knew.
Oh, I knew Him when I was a little girl, in a little girl way, but sometime in my teens I lost him.
I thought I was outside of God. I searched and I searched, deaf and blind to God's presence, unaware that I was searching in answer to some call deep within.
I did not know that all through the tough times, God did indeed carry me.
I did not know that all through my life, God loved me and watched over me, even when I didn't know him.
I did not know that when I searched, it meant that God had found me.
God laughed with me, cried with me, counted the hairs on my head, and knew my heart. But I didn't see Him. I didn't know Him. I didn't hear His knock.
But God is faithful. God is patient.
And one day, God broke through my deafness and blindness and self-reliance and stubborn pride, and I suddenly knew Him. I heard His voice. I saw His presence in my life. And I recognized Him.
And now I hunger and thirst for him, more and more.
Late have I loved you, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new... late, but not too late. It is never too late.
Our God never gives up on us even when we give up on ourselves. Our God is a God of second chances. Our God is a God of endless mercy and compassion. He calls and He shouts and He breaks through our deafness.
And He rejoices when we come home.

Light in the Darkness - November 17


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness!

Random Act of Kindness  - A story of how a random act of kindness can help someone in need. Even more, this story tells us how these random acts of kindness can spread as others take up the call!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Share Your Master's Joy

Come share your Master's joy. – Matthew 25:21

What if we buried our gifts? What if we didn’t use the gifts God gave us?
I wonder about that every time I hear someone who sings like an angel…
I wonder about that every time I see a painting that touches my heart…
I wonder about that every time I hear a speaker who moves me … or hear a homily that inspires me or listen to a teacher who challenges me.
We are all given gifts. Sometimes we are too afraid to share them. Or we think we are not worthy to use them. So we hide them.
But we are not given gifts so we can bury them. We are given gifts to use them and to help others.

As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. - 1 Peter 4:10-11a

What if my spiritual director had hidden his gifts of spiritual direction and compassion and healing? He is the one who helped me to discover and use my own gifts.
What about the people who have come to me for spiritual direction? Has God used me to help them discover their gifts?
When we use our gifts to serve one another, they grow.
When we do not use our gifts, when we bury them … what happens then?

Dear Lord, help me to recognize the gifts you have given me and give me the courage to use them according to your will. May I always use these gifts to glorify you and give you praise. Amen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deo Gratias - Faith, Full Moons and Friends!



"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. I am so thankful for the beautiful moon we have seen almost every night this week. Just gorgeous. Deo gratias!

2. I am so thankful for my blogging friends who have expressed their prayers and caring over the past few weeks since my sister passed away. It helps a lot. Deo gratias!

3. I am so thankful that I am able to evangelize through my blogs and my website. A true blessing for me. Deo gratias!

4. I m so thankful for my faith. Deo gratias!

5. I am so thankful for books. They bring so much joy and information and inspiration. Deo gratias!


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Monday, November 10, 2014

Light in the Darkness - November 10


Maria at Four Blessings Academy is hosting an uplifting meme for every Monday called Light in the Darkness. Here we share stories of hope and joy. We can link to a news article or video or tell a story from our own lives. Post about your story and then link to Maria's blog. There is enough negativity in this world. Let's spread some joy and light up the darkness!

Watch this video - A 99 year old shows us that we are never too old to bring light into this world.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Father's House

"He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace." - John 2:15-16
Jesus becomes angry because of the irreverent practices that were taking place in God’s house of prayer. How can we be more reverent when attending Mass?
My parish held its first Masses in a school for about 5 years near the property where we would eventually build our church. I often noted, when walking into this public school building, that I would instantly become quiet and reverent. So did my family. And so did most everyone else.
This would happen even before Mass started. There was no Blessed Sacrament present at the time. Yet people would quiet down and act reverently.
It is more than a building when a place has been designated to have a Catholic Mass. It is more than a building. More than brick and glass and furniture.
It is a place of worship.
It is the Father's house.

Lord, help me to remember to be reverent at all times in your Father's house. Never let me forget that you are always present there - in others, in Scripture, in the Blessed Sacrament and in our hearts. Amen.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Emptiness

I have that empty feeling. I have had it since my sister died. And I try to fill it with stuff. Anything that will make the emptiness go away. Maybe a new book or a new blouse or even a new ipad.
I need to try to resist filling the emptiness with stuff. I need to fill the empty moments, the empty feelings, with God.
All Souls’ Day helped. Listening to those readings. The psalm.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
I shall not want. I need nothing else. I only need the Lord. My shepherd.
Oh my. Could the meaning for me be any clearer?
Oh, the emptiness persists but I find myself feeling OK about it. I know that the feeling of emptiness is a reminder of my need for God. And that reminds me of the Lord’s love and presence with me … always.
He refreshes my soul.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Deo Gratias - November 5



"If the only prayer you ever say in your life
 is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Deo Gratias is Latin for "Thanks be to God." Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! I invite you to share your blessings here on Wednesdays. Be sure to sign into Mr. Linky below and grab the button.

1. I am so thankful for the beautiful cool weather we have had this week. It is so nice to be able to turn off the air conditioner and open up the house! ... Deo gratias!

2. I am so grateful for the beautiful moon the last couple of nights ... Deo gratias!

3. I am so grateful for the chance to have a nice long talk with my youngest son the other day, ... Deo gratias!

4. I am so grateful for the ways that God helps us heal during the sad times of our lives, ... Deo gratias!

5. I am so grateful for my best friend of over 54 years who not only spent time with us and helped us after my sister died, but continues to support me and email me frequently to offer comforting words, ... Deo gratias!



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