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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Deo Gratias - May 20



"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. Pope Francis said recently that spiritual direction "is not a charism exclusive to priests. It's a charism of the laity." Including women. It is so awesome to hear it spelled out so clearly from our Holy Father that laity, both men and women, can be called to this ministry. Considering the fact that I have been doing spiritual direction for about 19 years, it is nice to hear what I already knew in my heart. Deo gratias!

2. My son and his family are coming down to spend a week at a beach near us. We will see them this weekend! Deo gratias!

3. Went to Eucharistic Adoration. I love praying in the presence of our Lord. Deo gratias!

4. I am working on a retreat that I am doing in about 10 days. As usual, I work on it right up to the last minute. Always stressful and yet fun too. I learn as I go. Deo gratias!

5. As I write this, I smell my vanilla scented candle. My favorite, hands down. Deo gratias!



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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ascension

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. - Mark 16:19
I do not like goodbyes. I have never liked them.
I remember the day that my oldest son left home. He was 21 years old. He was getting married and he was moving to another city. He was moving out AND moving away.
I cried for days.
Eventually I would come to realize that while life with my son had changed, it had not ended. Our relationship had just gone on to a new place, a new beginning.
I wonder if the disciples felt the same way when Jesus ascended into heaven. He had just returned from the tomb. Now they were saying goodbye again. Did they beg him not to leave them? Did they wonder if they would ever see him again?
Jesus promised they would not be alone. Did they trust in that promise?
Jesus told them to proclaim the gospel to every creature. Did they have faith that he would help them?
When did they know that their relationship had not ended, but instead had changed to a new place, a new beginning?

Dear Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives. Help me to be aware of your presence in all things. Help me to spread the Good News. I love you, Jesus. Amen.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Deo Gratias - May 13



"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 had a wonderful Mother's Day. Went to Mass, out for breakfast, called my mom and later heard from my boys! AND had a pajama day! Deo gratias!

2. Finally had some badly needed rain today. Deo gratias!

3. My hubby made a great dinner for me for Mother's Day. (He spoils me.) Deo gratias!

4. Working on an upcoming retreat. And loving every minute of it. Deo gratias!

5. We celebrated my grandson's 21st birthday last weekend with lots of family. We had such a good time. Deo gratias!
 
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Love One Another

"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you." - Jn 15:12
I was watching my son caring for his son. Our grandson was almost 2 at the time. "Almost-2's" can be challenging, but my son and daughter-in-law both seem to have a bottomless supply of patience.
Watching them, I found myself thinking a lot about God and His love for us. He has a bottomless supply of patience, too. With all of us. Even those of us who can be quite challenging.
A person's image of God is most often formed by how they see their father. My father abused me for years so I had a hard time relating to God as a loving Father. For years, I saw God as an angry, punishing God.
After my conversion, that image of God began to heal. I began to see God as my Father, who loves me unconditionally. A God who loves all of us, even my father.
I thought about this as I observed my son with my grandson. Loving my grandson is easy. But do I love my father as Jesus does?
We like to think we love everyone. We like to think we love all people, even those who are unlovable.
But do we? Really?
Love one another as I love you.
I forgave my father for abusing me.
I pray for him everyday.
But we have not spoken in many years. Do I love him the way Jesus does?

Dear Lord, help me to love as you love. Help me to love even the most unlovable. This is not easy. I can only do so with your grace. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Deo Gratias - May 6



"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. The weather has been so beautiful this past week. There was such a cool breeze, we were able to open up our house and turn off the air conditioner! Yay! Keep in mind we live in Florida. It didn't last long, but we appreciated it while we had it.. Deo gratias!

2. Hubby brought me out for dinner for my birthday to one of my favorite restaurants. It is on the water and the food is awesome. We had such a great time. Deo gratias!

3. I had an awesome chocolate cake for dessert for my birthday dinner and I loved every morsel. Had to take it home and finish it the next day! Such a treat and I didn't feel guilty in the least. Deo gratias!

4. No one can make me laugh like my husband can. He has a great sense of humor and a quick wit that just cracks me up. He can make the simplest things seem hilarious. What a gift he has and I love it. Deo gratias!

5. Saw such a beautiful full moon the other night, its light reflecting off the water. I just had to share it. I was very thankful for my phone camera too! Deo gratias!




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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Deo Gratias - April 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 had such a wonderful birthday. One of many wonderful moments - I was surprised by a visit from my youngest son and daughter-in-law. They took my hubby and me out to lunch and spent the day with us. Deo gratias!

2. My husband gave me such a beautiful card, brought tears to my eyes. Deo gratias!

3. I have some writing projects in the works. You might say they are simmering. Always love this part of it as I pray and ponder where to go next. I am also working on a new retreat. Love that too! Deo gratias!

4. Enjoying our weather today. Less humid and a bit cooler. Deo gratias!

5. My mother sent me a beautiful candle holder for my birthday. She knows I love candles. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jesus Heals

I took the day off from work today and went to our diocesan cathedral for a Mass for child abuse victims. Our bishop gave a wonderful homily. He has done this Mass for several years now and I find it quite moving and also very healing. 
Healing as a Catholic who has suffered much from the church's sexual abuse crisis. 
Healing of my own pain as a survivor of child sexual abuse. 
Healing from the loss of my sister who died last October from long term effects of PTSD and clinical depression (related to the child sexual abuse she suffered). 
So where did I see Jesus today?
I saw him in the bishop and in the Mass. I heard him in the prayers and the songs. I saw him in my loving husband who got up early with me and drove me to the cathedral and sat with me (we deacons' wives often sit alone, but not today.)

And I felt Jesus in the peace that came over me in the middle of Mass and has stayed with me all day. Even now. 
Still.


April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Educate yourselves about child sexual abuse. Find out what your church is doing in this area. Find out what your schools and community are doing.
Sexual abuse is in all segments of society.
And the victims are real people. 
Like my sister.
And me.
 

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We Are Witnesses

"You are witnesses of these things." Luke 24:48
We were not there in the Upper Room. We did not see Jesus' wounds for ourselves. We were not with him on the way to Emmaus. We did not see the risen Lord eating a piece of fish to prove he was not a ghost.
But we too are called to be His witnesses. We too are called to witness to the truth that Jesus is risen.
We have seen the evidence.
We have seen Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We have seen Jesus on our altars and in our tabernacles. We have seen Jesus in our Church and in scripture.
And we have seen Jesus dwelling within our own hearts.
"You are witnesses of these things."
We have heard the call.

Dear Lord, with all that is going on in our world today, we know we are called to stand with you and to witness to the evidence of your resurrection. Give us the right words, Lord. So many need to hear our stories and to hear your voice. May we be your instruments, Lord. May we be your witnesses. Amen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Deo Gratias - April 15



"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 had my Remicade treatment last week for my rheumatoid arthritis. I had a bad flare the preceding week so I guess I was due. I feel much better this week. Deo gratias!

2. I had almost a whole day to myself last weekend to read and nap and just hang out at home. A nice lazy day which I do not get too often. Deo gratias!

3. I am almost finished with a writing project. Deadline is the end of the month and I am not panicking for a change! Deo gratias!

4. I love the Starbucks ice coffee that is available in many stores now. It is excellent and I love my ice coffee! Deo gratias!

5. I had a great telephone conversation with my mother last night. It is always so nice to hear her voice. Deo gratias!