Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Deo Gratias - August 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 leave your link! God bless!

1. We are moving. We are sad because we love the condo we have been renting, but it is time to move on. And I know we will love the new place too. Deo gratias!
2. I received a newsy email from my best friend of over 55 years. I am so grateful for her presence and her friendship in my life. Deo gratias!
3. It has been crazy trying to pack and go to work and keep appointments. However, people have been so accepting and supportive. Deo gratias!
4. One good thing about living in a place for only 2 years, we did not accumulate too many new things! Deo gratias!
5. The home we are leaving is furnished so we have had to look for furniture for the new place and have found some good deals in consignment shops. Deo gratias!


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hunger and Thirst

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” - John 6:51
I have heard stories of villages in South America where they only see a priest once a year. When that day comes, everything shuts down for the day and the whole village comes out to attend Mass and to receive the Eucharist.
The Mass lasts for hours as the people never want it to end. The priest preaches and the people sing and dance as they celebrate the gift that they have received.
Talk about hunger and thirst.
One of my favorite quotes is from St Augustine - "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
Long before I had such a personal relationship with Jesus, I was restless. I was hungry. I was thirsty. I was searching.
And then I met Jesus. 
I had heard about Jesus before, but this Jesus I had come to know in the breaking of the bread was Real. This Jesus was Love. This Jesus was nourishment. Real food and drink.
This Jesus gave me life.
I pray to God that I never take the Eucharist for granted.

Dear Lord, help me to never take you for granted. Help me to appreciate your gift of the Eucharist. Help me to never lose the hunger I have for you. Thank you, Lord, for giving us Yourself. Amen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Deo Gratias - Need to Thank God for the Fleas



"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!

I am so blessed - 
1. For my family and friends, Deo gratias!
2. For my job, Deo gratias!
3. For my ministry of spiritual direction, Deo gratias!
4. For my faith and my conversion to the Catholic Church, Deo gratias!
5. For my writings and for my blogging friends, Deo gratias!

This list may seem short and sweet. I am in the midst of a personal crisis. I am holding onto Jesus with my whole heart and mind and soul. I know I need to thank God for all things, no matter what is going on in my life. I even need to thank God for the "fleas" (check out the link to know what I am talking about.) 
And so I write this post, giving thanks to my God. I have so much to be thankful for, I cannot even write it all down. 


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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Help Me Believe

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
 I am the bread of life. " - John 6:47-48 

I remember very clearly one of my first appointments with my spiritual director. I remember telling him something negative about myself. I had rather low self-esteem at the time and I often put myself down.

When I finished my self-criticism, Father told me something that I will never forget. He reminded me of the Indwelling of the Trinity. He said that I should not put myself down in such a manner. You need to treat yourself with more respect, he said.

"Our Lord doesn't come down from heaven every day just to wait there in a gold ciborium: He has found a much better heaven for His resting place: a Christian soul, made in His own image, the living temple of the Blessed Trinity." - St. Therese of Lisieux

I ponder the mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I love and adore the Eucharist. What a blessed gift!

But I often forget that Jesus also dwells within me, nourishing me every day. Or is it that I have a hard time believing it? It doesn't seem that I could be worthy, does it? To be a tabernacle for the Lord?

I mean, do I really get it? Do I understand  - what Jesus is telling us?

Which brings us back to faith.  "Whoever believes …"

Fr. John Kavanaugh, in his reflection on this reading, inspired my reflection here with this quote: "Our problem is not just believing that God could inhabit bread. It is believing that God could inhabit us."

Jesus, the Bread of Life. Help me believe.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deo Gratias - August 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 leave your link! God bless!

1. My former spiritual director is moving back to my area, about an hour's drive away from where I live. It was such a surprise and came at just the right time. Of course. Deo gratias!

2. Had a great phone conversation with my mother the other night. We talk every week. And email daily. It helps shorten those too many miles between us. Deo gratias!

3. Hubby and I are getting used to streaming television shows (we use Apple TV) and have cut our cable bill in half. And have access to much better television, not to mention great movies. Deo gratias!

4. Work has slowed down a little for the summer. We are busy but not going crazy and I have been able to finally catch up on some things. And there is a lot less stress! Deo gratias!

5. Hubby and I are eating most of our meals on our patio now. Seems more comfortable and we enjoy watching the boats go by in the canal behind us, not to mention a few ducks here and there. Deo gratias!


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Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Bread of Life

"Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." - John 6:27

When my husband had major surgery, he had no choice but to go through it all and I had no choice but to watch. Watch and stay with him.
We were being led where we did not want to go.
And how do we survive such a crisis as this? How do we hold onto our sanity and our hope? Not easy when you are in the middle of such a nightmare. Not easy.
It was hard for me to pray during this crisis. I just could not find the words. But people came to the hospital and brought us communion and that became the prayer.
The Bread of Life became our food.
Faith is not an easy thing. Faith that we are not alone. Faith in the Lord that he is with us through it all, even the darkest of days.
It would be so easy to hold onto the things of this world, to hold onto the food that perishes. But that would not have helped me survive. That would not have helped me hold on from moment to moment.
It was faith in Jesus that carried me through. Faith that I was not alone. Faith that I would be sustained by the Bread of Life. No matter what happened. No matter the outcome.
No matter where we were led.

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of yourself. Thank you for the gift of faith. Help us to hold onto that faith and to believe that you are the Bread of Life. That you are all we need. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Deo Gratias - July 29



"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 love the devotional - Give Us This Day. I now have the digital version. I love it because it is with me wherever I go. Deo gratias!

2. We had a lot of rain the past few days, but we needed it. Deo gratias!

3. We had a quiet peaceful weekend. We needed that too! Deo gratias!

4. We went out for our anniversary dinner this past weekend. It was a different kind of place than where we usually go, but the food was wonderful and we had a great time. Deo gratias!

5. My son sent me a picture of a statue of St. Therese that was at a church he attended while on vacation. He knows how much I love her! Deo gratias!




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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Are We Ready to Know Jesus?

Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. - John 6:15

We just read about the multiplication of the loaves. Jesus knew the people would want to make him some kind of king, so he withdrew to the mountain.
Well, he was a king. Christ the King, but he was not the kind of king they thought he was.
They knew he could perform miracles, but they did not know who he was.
They knew he could feed the multitudes, but they did not know what food he was talking about. They were not yet ready to know who Jesus was.
Are we ready to know Jesus?

Dear Lord, help us to be aware of the ways you feed us. Help us to recognize you in the breaking of the bread. Please increase our devotion to the Eucharist. Amen.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Deo Gratias - Wedding Anniverary



"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. Marriage. Hubby and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary this week. 36 years! I thank God everyday for the gift of my husband. Deo gratias!

2. Laughter. I love to laugh. Laughter is good for what ails us. And no one makes me laugh like my husband does. Deo gratias!

3. Food. My husband is the best chef I know. Deo gratias!

4. Children. My husband has blessed me with 4 stepchildren and we had 2 children of our own. We live in an empty nest now but for years our home was filled with the laughter and joy and activities of children growing up. Now we are watching our grandchildren grow up. Deo gratias!

5. God. Faith. The Catholic Church. My husband was a Catholic and I think I was on a journey to conversion from the day we met. We had been married 10 years when I decided to convert to Catholicism. What a joy! And what a difference it has made in my life. And the lives of my children. Deo gratias!


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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Come and Rest Awhile

He said to them,
"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." - Mark 6:31

Jesus sees that his disciples are getting way too stressed out. So many people needed their attention and they didn’t even have time to eat. So He tells them to come away and rest awhile.
But the rest time is interrupted. More people come who need them. Rest time is over.
What is he saying to us here?
Sometimes we rush around just for the sake of rushing around. We keep adding things to our to-do list and we just go crazy. Jesus tells us we need to rest even when what we are doing is important.
And pray. We need to pray. Prayer will help us get through whatever we need to do. If we try to do things by ourselves on our own steam, it won't work.
When we are stressed out and feeling hassled, we need to take the time to rest in Jesus and ask for help.

Dear Lord, thank you for calling us to rest in you. Help us to remember how rest periods are so important in our busy lives. Help us to remember that we need to put you first and we need to ask you for help when we get overwhelmed. Amen.