Sunday, July 5, 2015

God is in Our Midst

He was amazed at their lack of faith.  - Mark 6:6
Jesus was in his native place. His neighbors and friends saw him as the hometown boy. They didn’t see the Messiah. They just saw the carpenter's son.
Jesus was present to his people. He was their Savior, but they did not know that.
They did not know that they had missed seeing their God.
For years I was not aware that God was always present in my life. I can remember how astounded I felt when suddenly, God's grace helped me to see that He had indeed been with me. Even in the bad times. Even in those times when I hardly acknowledged his existence.
God is not just with us when it is obvious, like at Mass or on a mountaintop. God is also with us when we are alone, or scared or sitting in the pit.
It takes eyes of faith to see God.
The people in Jesus' native land did not recognize him as any kind of prophet or messiah. He didn’t fit their idea or image of who the messiah should be.
They did not know that God was in their midst.

Dear Lord, thank you for always being with me. Help me to always see you with eyes of faith. Help me to trust in your everlasting presence. Do not let me mke my image of you so small, that I miss seeing you. Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Pope's Prophecy

Pope Paul VI, in Humanae Vitae, "... warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

1. General lowering of moral standards
2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.
4. Government coercion in reproductive matters."


Prophetic, wasn't it?

Deo Gratias - July 1



"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 leave your link! God bless!

1. I am so thankful for my job. I just went back to work after 2 weeks off. I feel rested and ready to meet the daily challenges again! Deo gratias!

2. I had a lot to catch up on at work, but I am feeling better with it all and ready for a long holiday weekend now! Deo gratias!

3. Rich and I were a bit "under the weather" for a few days but we are better now! Deo gratias!

4. We received an Apple TV for Christmas from a couple of our children and we have now cut down on our cable bill. Deo gratias!

5. I saw the most beautiful night sky the other night with the moon peeking out from behind a few clouds. I never get tired of looking at the night sky. Deo gratias!


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Woman with the Hemorrhage

She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. - Mark 5:27

The woman with the hemorrhage has been suffering for 12 years. We don’t know what caused her bleeding, but there must have been some pain. And some emotional suffering as well.
She was cut off from everyone. Not able to touch anyone or be touched. Unclean, they called her. How isolated she must have felt.
Isolated and ashamed.
This woman has heard about Jesus. She believes that Jesus will heal her. Somehow she knows all she has to do is touch his cloak. So with courage and faith, she risks being discovered and she goes into a crowd. And she touches Jesus.
And she is healed.
And then Jesus calls the woman "Daughter." By calling her daughter, he is telling the crowd that she is a child of God. A daughter of God. With those few words, Jesus heals her shame.
We all need healing. Our sins and wounds isolate us from each other and from God and even from ourselves. We often think we can heal ourselves or we don’t want to admit we need healing or we are afraid to even ask for it.
Some of us may feel we are not worthy to ask for healing. So unlike this woman with the hemorrhage, we play it safe and keep our pain to ourselves.
I know shame. As an incest survivor, I have carried shame around inside me all of my life. I know now that it is not my shame, but I still feel it at times and it tends to isolate me from others. Or I isolate myself.
It has taken me years to discover that not only can Jesus heal me, but Jesus wants to heal me.
It has taken me years to discover that I too am a beloved daughter of God.
When we are afraid or in pain or feeling shame, we need to remember that we are sons and daughters of God. We need to take that leap of faith, and know, deep in our hearts, that Jesus loves us and wants to heal us. We need to come to Jesus through the crowd and, with faith and confidence, reach out and touch him.

Dear Lord, help me to remember that I am your beloved daughter. Help me to have more confidence in your love and your desire to heal me. Thank you for healing my shame. Please heal all who live in shame and isolation and fear. Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Deo Gratias - June 24



"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 leave your link! God bless!

1. I am nearing the end of a 2 1/2 week vacation. What a blessing it has been. Rest and family and renewal! Deo gratias!
2. We enjoyed seeing most of our family. We saw all 6 children at various times. Deo gratias!
3. Our two youngest grandchildren have always been a little timid around us because they live so far away. This time it took about 10 minutes and that was it. They were our friends for life! We so enjoyed spending time with them. Deo gratias!
4. We went on retreat at a monastery for 4 days. The theme of the retreat was Monastic Spirituality (right up my alley). It was a beautiful time. So prayerful. So peaceful. And the silence! Deo gratias!
5. Our children brought us out to dinner to celebrate Father's Day with my hubby. It was a fun evening filled with laughter and joy. Our youngest son and his wife stayed with us for a couple of days. We enjoyed that gift too! Deo gratias! 


What are you grateful for this week?



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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Corpus Christi

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Mark 14:22

I remember when my husband was in the hospital last year. All I could offer him, all I could do for him, was to sit with him in the dark.
A friend wrote to me that sometimes the best thing we can do for others is to give them our presence. I know that is true. I have experienced that from others a countless number of times.
I have also experienced that from the Real Presence of Jesus. No matter what I am going through, no matter how dark my world has sometimes seemed to be, light has come to my heart when I have visited the Blessed Sacrament.
This is Jesus' gift to us. His Presence.

"We must visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament a hundred thousand times a day." - St. France De Sales
Really? 100,000 times a day?
Did he really mean that? Impossible, of course. But I have some thoughts about what he really meant.
We must keep Jesus uppermost in our minds and in our hearts.
We must believe in the Real Presence of Jesus and act accordingly when in the presence of the Eucharist.
We must thank Jesus daily for the gift of Himself.
We must adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible, not just on the Feast Day of Corpus Christi.
It is called adoration for a reason. If we do not adore Jesus from the bottom of our hearts, then we need to ask God for the gift.
The desire to adore Jesus.
Always.

Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Real Presence. Help us to never take you for granted. Help us to bring your presence to others. Help us to visit you 100,000 times a day. Amen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Deo Gratias - June 3



"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 leave your link! God bless!

1. I am so thankful that my retreat talks last weekend went well. As usual, I worried and fretted and stayed up all night editing and editing and I didnt really need to. It was well-received and I am so grateful. Deo gratias!

2. Enjoyed our time with our son and family. My grandchildren are growing up too fast! Went out to dinner with them at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Had not been to one for a long time and enjoyed it. Deo gratias!

3. Enjoyed my phone conversation with my mom. Had not talked much in last two weeks and it was great to hear her voice. Deo gratias!

4. I am enjoying an audio recording of a talk on mysticism in everyday life. I imagine I will write more about it soon. Deo gratias!

5. My husband celebrates his 10th anniversary as a deacon this week. Happy anniversary to the love of my life. Deo gratias!



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Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Trinity

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  - Matthew 28:19-20

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity. A Mystery.
I used to try to figure out the Trinity. I don't any more. It seemed like the more I tried to understand the Trinity, the less I understood and the less I knew God.
Sometimes, in order to better understand Him, we end up making our God too small. We end up putting Him in a box, putting limits on our limitless God.
The more we try to grasp God, the less we know Him.

"God is a pure nothing,
concealed in now and here;
the less you reach for him,
the more he will appear. - Angelus Silesius (1624-77), The Enlightened Heart


These days I do not worry about understanding the Mystery of the Trinity. 
It is enough for me to know that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit loves me and promises to be with us always.

Dear God, thank you for your promise to be with me always. I do not always understand you, but I love you and I know you love me. That is enough for me. Help others to know your love. Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Deo Gratias - May 27



"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 leave your link! God bless!

1. Working on my retreat that I am giving this weekend. The process is always interesting because I always have to work right up to the last minute, worrying and fretting and yet it all comes together. So maybe the Holy Spirit really is in charge!! Deo gratias!

2. Celebrated two of our grandchildren's birthdays last weekend. My son and his family are on vacation at a beach near us. It was a wonderful day! Deo gratias!

3. I am grateful for all the men and women who are serving our country, especially my grandson who is in the US Navy. Deo gratias!

4. I am late with this Gratitude meme because the long weekend got me all mixed up on what day it is! However, I am grateful for the extra day of rest. Deo gratias!

5. Thank you, Lord, for phones with cameras so I could get this picture of my grandchildren with their birthday cake. Deo gratias!






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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pentecost

"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning." - John 15:26:27

One of the things that always amazes me about Pentecost is the drastic change in the Apostles after they received the Holy Spirit.
Before that day, they were too afraid to admit they even knew Jesus, never mind start preaching about him. 
After Pentecost, everything changed. Overnight these men who had run away when Jesus was arrested, suddenly became fearless witnesses. No longer afraid of their own arrest or crucifixion, they testified and gave witness to the Truth.
And through the power of the Holy Spirit, they changed the world.
The Holy Spirit has a way of doing that. Changing people, I mean. I can look back through my life and my own faith journey and see my own conversions. And be just as amazed.
I am an incest survivor, who once kept that secret for years and now I share about that part of my life in order to testify to God's healing love.
I am an introvert, who prefers silence and solitude and yet loves giving retreats and witness talks, sharing more personal details of my life.
And while I give witness, I know the Holy Spirit is working through me because I feel such joy, that kind of joy that only comes from God.
In fact, it often makes me laugh when I see how God has led me to do things that at one time I would never have considered doing.
I wonder if the Apostles laughed, too.

Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts of your Spirit. Thank you for sending us your Advocate to guide us and give us courage to witness to your presence in our lives and in our world. Help us to always give witness to the Truth. Amen.