Monday, June 29, 2009

Fountain of Love

One constant in my readings lately has been water. In the Novena to The Divine Mercy, we read, “Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.” The book Divine Intimacy reads, “O Lord Jesus, O immense ocean, why do You wait to absorb this little drop of water in Your immensity? (St. Gertrude) And my last post touched on casting our nets, as St. Peter did into the water when directed by Our Lord.

As most of us are aware, water is life giving. Not only does it nourish us physically but also spiritually in the waters of baptism. Each time we walk past the holy water font, we dip our fingers and make the sign of the cross. This remembering of our baptismal promises in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a powerful reminder of becoming more Christ like. And this is not just one moment as Christians; it is a life time conversion.

Lord you supply the water of life, help us to remember to come frequently to the fountain of your Love to drink. Amen

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Casting Our Net and Trusting God

Lately I keep having the recurring thought of even if something is good it still does not mean it is God’s will for us. The reading for today, in the book Divine Intimacy, hit this thought on the head again. “…for it is the consciousness of our nothingness which leads us to put all our confidence in God, and the greater this confidence becomes in us, the more convinced we are of our nothingness.”

The reading goes on to highlight the story of Peter as the fisherman, not catching anything, and our Lord coming along to tell him to lower his nets. The parallel is, we try to force things or hold on to things and find our own hands empty. The point being Our Lord gives with divine generosity, but insists on humility of heart. (St. Therese of the Child Jesus)

Finally the colloquy ends with, “As soon as You see me fully convinced of my nothingness, You stretch out Your hand to me; but if I should try to do something great, even under the pretext of zeal, You desert me. So all I have to do is to humble myself, to bear with meekness my imperfections. Herein lies, for me, true holiness.”

Do you ever feel like God is trying to drive something home with you? As some of you have read in my posts, I feel like I’m waiting on what to do? The message I received today is empty yourself of your ideas of what you want, and if you do this and trust God, He will fill your net. So that is where I am, casting my net, and leaving it there until Our Lord tells me to haul it in. And I have to be willing to leave it there for days, weeks, months or years, whatever it takes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is your Gift?

This morning at Mass, our priest was giving the homily on St. John the Baptist. He spoke of how John’s gift was the prophecy of Jesus. He went on to say that we all have gifts, and God created us for a reason, a purpose.

I started thinking about how most of us have or had grand ideas of being or doing something magnificent. We feel like if we’re supposed to do something for God it must be big! Because we sense the grandeur of God we are compelled to believe we are a part of something big. No matter what we accomplish here on earth, we eventually realize we are a small part of His might.

St. Therese, the Little Flower is a good example for us when it comes to doing our part. Her Little Way was to do small things with love. While she was living on earth did she know that one day her writings and life would have an impact for generations?

The lesson I learned today is if we sin in the dark and our sin affects the Body of Christ, if we do some small goodness, it also affects His Body. It helps accomplish His plan whether it is a smile, kind word or prayer. Also as evident in some blogs I read, people who suffer or suffered abuse and injustice contribute to His Body, by sharing their struggles, growth and triumph. Do they realize how many people they touch? Some may tell them how their words helped them, but others will quietly absorb their message never relaying how it changed their life.

St. John the Baptist had the gift of prophecy. What is our gift? Each day, each opportunity we have to spread the goodness of God is our gift, by the work of our hands, the words from our lips and the action of our hearts. What gift did you share today?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Potter's Waiting Lesson Again

This morning I opened the top to my kiln only to see that something exploded during the firing. After I took everything out I noticed three things blew up. I was happy that every other item inside was not affected by this explosion.

I learned my lesson. I was eager to fire some other things and wanted to fill the kiln. The problem was the pottery that "blew" wasn't quite dry. It appeared dry, but I know that appearances can be deceiving.

Sure I hate the three pieces I worked on (hand formed) are no good now, but I had to laugh. It reminded me again how God is the Potter. Sometimes we, as the clay, jump into the fire before we're ready. When God wants us to wait, it's for a good reason. By using the time for prayer, reading and meditating we are preparing for when He tells us to move or "jump!" Otherwise we may end up like the clay pieces I cleaned up this morning, broken, jagged and splintered shards.

Lord as I sit and wait, please remind me your timing is perfect. Help me to see it is worth the wait. Amen

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Divine Intimacy Hurting the One We Love

There is this man who sits in front of us in church. He is always giving me little notes with a cross on each and words spelling out something from the scripture of the day. He also has a book titled Divine Intimacy. After looking through it one Sunday, I decided to get this book too.

The following sentence is from the colloquy at the end of one particular reading. 'These wounds which you see in the midst of My hands I have received in the house of those who love me.'

Isn't it the truth? When we hurt it's usually because of someone we care about. If it's a stranger we will eventually let it go, but a family member or a friend may cause us to dwell on the hurt. The wound can fester and become bigger than the original cause. We've seen the bitterness people carry around; sometimes forgetting what started it all. Other times the pain inflicted is a deep and lasting pain, causing years of scars and long roads to recovery. Some hurts are fatal.

The reverse is true also. When we cause pain, again it is usually directed towards a loved one.
This is what we do when we sin. If we love our Lord why do we continue to hurt Him? His example is forgiveness. This book of Divine Intimacy leads my thoughts to His Divine Mercy. When I hurt people, consciously or not, I am hurting Jesus. And when people hurt me, will I be able to forgive them and show the mercy God shows us? The answer is ~ only with His Grace.

Lord please remind me when I hurt others, I'm hurting you. Teach me to handle the pain and injustice in my own life by following You and the Way of the Cross.

Friday, June 19, 2009

POTUS Obama Please Explain ~ I'm Confused

I just heard President Obama remarked "Fathers need to step up. Their job doesn't end with conception." So what is he saying here? Does he believe a father becomes a parent at conception? If so, doesn't the mother? And if that's the case aren't they parents of a child?

It appears that our President believes life begins at conception. He also believes women should have a choice. That choice, if so desired, is to take an innocent child's life. I don't see where he can tell fathers they need to step up when he is in effect falling down by closing his eyes and his heart to those not given a chance to live.

Please remember to pray for unborn children and their parents. Also remember to pray for mothers who have aborted. They are often victims themselves, as are some fathers. Finally pray our President has a change of heart!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God is So Good ~ Good in Good Times and Bad

Just a quick note here. It is funny to me when good things happen to people, they are quick to say, "God is so good!" The truth is, God is always good. He is perfect goodness. Thankfully He is good in good times and in bad. The times I've appreciated God's goodness the most, were the times I was probably the saddest. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the many blessings He has given me. The thing is when I've needed Him the most, through the painful and the loneliest, He has been ever present to reassure and encourage me.

We may change Lord, but you never do. Thank you for your sustaining goodness in our lives! Amen

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Freedom from Bugs vs Real Freedom

My blog was going to be only one line long this evening. It was going to be one question. Why did God create bugs? ...the gnats, the mosquitoes, the real nuisance bugs. Freedom from bugs was on my mind, but when I started reading the tweets on twitter, bugs suddenly became trivial. One tweet after another is about the chaos happening in Iran. These are real people, like you and me, and they are fighting for their lives in the name of freedom. While we have thoughts of freedom from bugs, from a hated job, from financial problems...some of them are giving their lives for freedom from bondage. They're risking death so others will be able to choose in life.

In thanksgiving, I praise God that I live in a free country. I pray it remains this way.
And I'm reminded how His Son, our Savior, handed over His life that we may have eternal life.
Freedom unending!

Please remember those who are suffering throughout Iran and the world.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi - The Body of Christ

The Body of Christ!

I just want to take a moment to relay something I read years ago. It was a book written by a medical doctor. I wish I remembered the title! Anyway he related the Body of Christ to the human body. We individuals tend to value people by the career they've chosen, their education, social standing, and wealth. We look at someone who picks up our trash and think it's okay for them, but I don't want to do that. We look at a surgeon and think what a smart, valuable individual.

The truth is, we'd be just as lost without the trash collector as with the surgeon. Can you imagine what would happen? Trash would pile up, it would stink. We would have to haul it off or burn it. We would have to HOPE our neighbor would do the same. What illnesses could occur from the filth?

Now as for as the human body there are cells flowing through it carrying the necessary life force in our blood. But there are also cells carrying away trash. If these cells didn't do the job can you again imagine what would happen? I think we'd become really ill and eventually die. Every part of our human body has a job to do. That job may belong to the eye, the heart, the arm or the brain. That job may belong to the intestine, the liver and yes to cells carrying trash.

The point is every member of the Body of Christ is valuable. We simply don't always realize that value.

When we come to the altar to receive Our Lord and Savior in the true presence of the Eucharist, let us come in thanksgiving for the whole Body of Christ!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Staying Connected

Saturday morning is the sleep in time for me. It's the one day out of seven, I'm thrown out of a routine. But there is a bit of a routine. I usually end up at my parents' house for lunch. Both are in their eighties, so I grab all the moments I can with them. Sometimes I'm so focused on "what's to come" that I forget about the "right now." I forget how blessed I am to have this time with them. When we are young we think things will never change, such as Christmas every year at Grannie's house. But as we become older, we know things change but still forget to absorb the "here and now."

So here and now I want to thank God for the many blessings I take for granted. I want to remember to start each day and begin each night with Him. I want to remember that any good in my life comes through His love. And I want Him to take my hand and gently walk me through what's to come.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Remember It Still Happens

Years ago, after the sacrament of reconciliation, the priest gave me a penance of praying for those being martyred and persecuted. I never forgot that because I didn't give it much thought, if any, before then. At least for now we live in a place where people can practice their faith, and so it's easy to forget others are forbidden to do so. Ever since that conversation with this particular priest my daily prayer intentions include these brothers and sisters of ours. I changed the original request a bit because it only involved a couple of countries.

My prayer today is: Lord we pray for strength and courage for those being persecuted and martyred throughout the world for the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Whenever you have the chance please remember these modern day martyrs and saints.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Never Opening Doors

It seems like sometimes I don't know what to do with my time. My mind races in so many directions. No matter how many times I ask God what I'm suppose to be doing, it seems like sit and wait is the answer. That's fine, but I still feel like I'm wasting time.

My current thought is I pray, make an attempt at something, and if it doesn't pan out I know God doesn't want that for me. So instead of "...when He closes one door, He opens another," I'm choosing "...sometimes He doesn't open the door." That means I have to move along and choose another door. Or who knows, I may have to go through the window or be lowered through the roof. Anyway, I do know I'll end up wherever God wants me. I always do!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Road Work

It seems like today everywhere I turned road work was going on. I've had to detour on dirt roads, move over for big flashing arrows and dodge street painters. It's funny because when I leave the house, I assume the road I'm travelling will be the same as I last saw it. Then the upset happens.

How many times in my life's journey have I been forced to detour, taking the road unplanned? How many times did I have to stop and wait or move over? How many times have I said not my will O Lord but yours? The answer to the last question is probably not enough, but I have prayed that prayer often. So why am I still surprised when God upsets the course by detouring me, causing me to wait or requiring I move over? Instead of thinking of the inconvenience maybe I should think of the dangers He thwarts, the direction He desires, the timing that is only His and the following that I should cherish.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

This wonderful feast day is a reminder of the mystery of God. The Trinity has always been a confusing idea for me and others, and I certainly don't pretend to have an inkling of understanding this reality. The three leaves on the shamrock help somewhat, but what my Dad told me once helps me even more. My Dad used himself as an example. He is one man, but he is my father, he is his parent's son and he is my mother's spouse. When we think of the Trinity, hopefully we're focusing on relationship. Not only the relationship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but our relationship with each in God.

When we make the sign of the cross we are remembering the Godhead.

Lord, we believe, help our unbelief, and help us to cultivate our relationship with you! Amen

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Perfect World

Have you ever wondered what our world would be like if sin never entered into the picture? Would every blade of grass be the same height and perfectly green? Would people's ears be aligned, instead of one being higher than the other? :) What would our world be like?

For some reason a tree always comes to mind. Maybe because it is a symbol of life. The perfect tree would have the perfect shape with perfect leaves. But we know that's not the case in our world. But when I look at a tree with a lopsided shape or leaves missing in winter, I still see beauty. At first the tree may appear unappealing, but then the trunk may twist and turn in an interesting pattern. Or a bird's nest, hidden in leaves, rests tightly in a crook. Suddenly looking beyond the mangled mass, we see beauty. That's how I think God looks at us. He sees what is beautiful in His creation. When we focus on the ugly we miss the good in ourselves and others. This isn't God's way, it's the way of the one who brought imperfection to our world.

God help us not to be discouraged in ourselves or others. Help us to look beyond the imperfections to see your image stamped on all souls! Amen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Natural and Supernatural Habits

F.J. Sheed wrote, Our soul has the supernatural power to act towards God, but it has a natural habit of acting for self, ignoring God.

He goes on to point out the supernatural refers to making that which we can't see as the goal, but we're distracted by the natural, the attractions of the visible. This is the struggle.

Serious sin and our choice of self stops the supernatural grace that flows through us from God. We lose, so supernaturally we become dead.

Sheed follows this with the thought we may still have faith and hope, but each is no longer life giving without love. Love is what nourishes the soul's life and habits. That is why of the three love is the greatest!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Still Here

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (yet). It's just my husband has been using the office and three computers, so I just leave it to him. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to get back to see what everyone is blogging!

Until then....have a super evening!

IHS rules!