Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nothing is Impossible for God


 “For nothing will be impossible for God.” Luke 1:37

The angel Gabriel speaks these words to Mary. Nothing is impossible for God, he tells her.
Nothing.
We know this but we do not always remember it. We tend to limit God a lot.  We say or we hear things like:
God will not heal me.
God will never forgive me for this.
God does not hear my prayers.
God cannot possibly love me the way I am.
We do not always have the faith that Mary had. We do not always believe in the impossible happening.
But God does the impossible every day.
If someone had once told me that I would write a book about being an incest survivor, I would have said impossible. My book was published 7 years ago.
If someone had once told me that I would marry a man who whose love and respect would help me heal, I would have said impossible. I met just such a man and we have been married for 35 years.
If someone had once told me that I would convert to the Catholic faith and it would change my life, I would have said impossible. I have been Catholic now for over 25 years and yes, it has changed my life.
And now I no longer say things like God cannot possibly love me the way I am.
Miracles still happen. God still does the impossible. Do we ever look at all the “impossibles” in our lives that God has made possible?
Do we believe and trust like Mary did?
Do we say with Mary - “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Lord, I thank you and I praise you for all you have done for me. I thank you for all the impossible things that you have made possible. Increase my faith, Lord. Help me to grow in trust of you. Help me to surrender all to you. Like Mary did. Amen.


painting - The Annunciation by James Tissot, public domain

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Deo Gratias - December 17



"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 saw a gorgeous sky the other night with layers of pink clouds! Awesome! Deo gratias!

2. I have almost all my Christmas shopping done. Deo gratias!

3. Had a great phone conversation with my mom. We talked about everything but the "kitchen sink." It did our hearts good. Deo gratias!

4. Listening to the Priests' Christmas cd - "Noel." Beautiful. Deo gratias!

5. My husband made me an ornament with my sister's name on it and her years of life on this earth. And the word Love on the other side. It is a visual way to honor her and remember her in our Christmas prayers every year. My husband is awesome. Deo gratias!



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Monday, December 15, 2014

Light in the Darkness - December 15


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!

Acts of kindness can become contagious. This story is a perfect example.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pointing the Way to Light and Love



“A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” – John 1:6-7

John the Baptist was the first witness for Jesus. He gave witness to Jesus, the Light of the world. He testified by his life and his words.
John did not pretend to be the Messiah. He did not try to call people to himself. He was always pointing the way to Jesus.
We too are called to be witnesses to Jesus. We too are sent from God to testify to the Light. And how do we do that?
We tell our story.
We tell how we have come to know Jesus and what He has done for us.
We tell how He has changed our lives.
We share our faith.
John was called to testify. John was called to be a witness.
And so are we.
We are not the light. Jesus is the light. Like John, we point the way.
Point the way to Love incarnate.

Dear Jesus, help me to be a witness to your presence in my life. Help me to be a witness to your Light and your Love. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Light our world. Amen.

Image - John the Baptist and the Pharisees, by James Tissot, public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sunday Snippets - December 14

This is the weekly Catholic Carnival! Be sure to visit RAnn at This, That and the Other Thing and check out some posts from other bloggers participating in Sunday Snippets this week. Why not join us and share a blog post or two from last week?

1. Straight Paths

2. New Devotional

3. Deo Gratias

4. A Note to My Sister (my podcast blog)
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Deo Gratias - December 10



"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 led a retreat on Saturday and it went very well. Deo gratias!

2. Hubby and I put up our Christmas tree and and decorations on Saturday. We had a good time! Deo gratias!

3. The moon in the sky on Friday night was beautiful with a kind of halo around it. Deo gratias!

4. I have been listening to podcasts from Pray As You Go for advent retreat (done in 2013) and I am enjoying it very much. It has helped me slow down and pray! Deo gratias!!

5. We are supposed to get really cold (for us) the rest of this week - in the 40's tomorrow! Love it! Deo gratias!


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Devotional for 2015


I have been contributing to the Daily Gospel Reflections at CatholicMom.com for a couple of years now. I am the one who writes the reflection for the 20th of every month! I have enjoyed writing these reflections as much as reading the other writers' contributions. They have helped me to better understand the gospel readings and they inspire me every day.
This year the reflections have been published as a kindle book - As Morning Breaks: Daily Gospel Reflections! Only $2.99, you can read these daily reflections written by over 30 different writers. Check it out! And check out my review too!

Hibernation

I have a podcast blog. I write most of the posts but also podcast them. They are about where I find God in my everyday life. And they are not long. About 2 to 5 minutes. The last one I just did was less than 2 minutes. Just a brief summary of ways I recognize God in my everyday life.
This last one is called Hibernation.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Llight in the Darkness - December 8


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!

I love this story. A mother thanks strangers who went the extra mile.

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Straight Paths

A voice of one crying out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.’”
John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:3-4)


There is a lot going on during advent.
There is the busy stuff as we prepare for Christmas. The gift buying, the decorating, the wrapping, the hustle and the bustle.
But there is the spiritual stuff, too. At least we hope there is. We Christians try to keep Christ in Christmas the best we can.
There is the Advent Giving tree so we can give to those less fortunate.
There are the prayer services and the advent wreath and the daily reflections and Masses and other devotions.
One Catholic church near me is doing a Taize service which I am interested in attending.
Advent is also a time of penance. Our parish has a penance service, which I always try to attend. It is a joyful celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
This year, as in past years, I will struggle to do less busy things and do more preparing for the Lord. More making paths straight. More repenting.
I never totally succeed. But maybe the success is in the trying and the struggles. Maybe each year I succeed just a little more in letting go of the busy-ness of advent. And holding onto what  - who - makes this season so important.
Jesus.

Dear Lord, help me to stop the busy running around and sit with you. Help me to prepare for your coming into my heart, into my world. I am sorry for the times I get too busy to notice you. Help me stay on a straight path to you. Amen.