Faith

January 21, 2016

As I think about my life, I consider not only my life, but the lives of everyone close to me and the times we live in; this Year of Mercy, aptly named by Pope Francis. Gratitude fills my heart, spilling out into my everyday. I continue to seek God in all that I am and do.

.”Because I care very deeply for all the people of this planet, I consider all the possibilities that can happen. That is where my faith plays such an important part. There can be no rest for me without faith, and that has always been the case for me. Trust goes hand in hand with my faith. They deepen my relationship with God. I find Him in my daily scripture readings, in my breath as I meditate, and He speaks to me in my haikus. They give me great comfort.

I am amazed as I look at all the miracles that abound, in me, and in those that I love! There have been many “cliff-hangers” in my life. But, as Mark Twain said, ”  I have been through some terrible things in my life ,  some of which actually happened .” The important realization is that God is continually calling me to a deeper faith in His profound love.

I am more aware of His beauty reflected in nature, in the joyous smile of a baby, in the eagerness of a dog wanting to be petted, and in the struggle of those fighting addiction. This is just the tip of the ice berg.

Today’s scripture recounts the time when Jesus went into numerous  towns, and was followed by many, seeking His wise words and miraculous healing. This spoke to my heart as I began to realize the abundance of His love for all, then and now. My faith tells me to “Be still and know that I am God.”

May peace reign in my heart and the heart of all, and that requires faith.

 

 

 

 

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awareness

July 26, 2015

Years ago I was introduced to Anthony DeMello, and his thoughts completely changed my way of thinking!

I wish I could say that I was changed forever for a better me; however I’ve since learned that life isn’t always that easy.

Change takes time. It takes patience, and it takes commitment. Oh, and yes, it does take “awareness” – of everyone and everything.

Patience is a good virtue, and it leads one to humility. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, but we are loved by our God and our universe as we are…not as we would like to be…perfect in every way.

Now that doesn’t mean that complacency is the answer. Compassion is the answer. I now realize that we all struggle and it is through this struggle that we become aware of how precious life is, and consequently we are too.

I’ve also learned that it helps to pick people that are like-minded in their commitment to become more aware. We can and do help one another, inspire one another, and connect to one another. It is in this awareness that we are changed into something “more than”.

This is the lesson that I have  learned as I commit  to scripture. and meditating. And it is this Love…even though we are imperfect…that has made me more aware and more grateful.

I am convinced that once we are aware of this Perfect Love, we are forever changed. But how can we become aware??? Meditate, sit with the breath, read scripture, and listen with our hearts. And that is what I call grace, another word for awareness.

in today’s scripture (  solemnity of the Annunciation of The Lord), I am struck by the words in my title and by the Word “Sign” in Isaiah 7:10-14 and 8:10.

As I end this day, I look back on the profound simplicity of it. And yet, it is not quite that simple.  It is filled with many peace-filled moments and some not so peaceful moments. But the one thing in common with the whole day are the moments of understanding and signs.

I saw the love of a woman for her recently deceased partner and the patience , faith and endurance that bore fruit.

I saw the love shared by a brother and sister, and the healing of other fractured relationships.

“For God nothing is impossible” and the signs of His Love for us are everywhere.Every morning I envision myself meeting Christ at the well, like the Samaritan women. It was an ordinary day in every sense of the word. The woman came to draw water from the well and then intended to bring it back to her home. The chance encounter with a stranger, and a Jew at that, forever changed her life!

We all know how astounded she was when the stranger revealed her most intimate detais of her unseemley past….”signs” of more than a stranger were at work here!  And when she left the well her life was profoundly altered.

it is as simple as that becuase nothing is impossible for God. He gives me signs at the well everyday in all my encounters. All I meed to do is to be present..look and listen to be changed forever. Just as the woman in Scripture was, because For God nothing is impossible…even changing my heart and soul!

Nurture…(Matt1:18-23)

September 8, 2014

The Word “Emmanuel” is packed with so much meaning for me this day.
As I read scripture, I thought about all the doubts that have plagued me on and off throughout my life. Most of them were resolved in a very positive way, Deo Gratias!
Mary is the perfect model of trust and belief in God’s ways. She taught us that we don’t have to have the answer, but we must say “Yes”, and nurture the “God who is with us”.
Over the weekend two distant people that I know were killed in separate accidents. They were both actors in the area and both were relatively young.
I believe that they are now with God. But the part of the story that most impressed me is how quickly and tragically a life can end. I honor the memories of these two talented people.
They had no idea that Friday and Saturday respectively were their last days.
I see and hear the grieving of the husband left behind when his wife was hit by a tree as they were bicycling. And I read that the man who was killed in an auto accident left a message that he would be at his rehearsal in 5 minutes…never to arrive.
What besides acting did the two people share? They both had that life force which I call “Emmanuel”.
Life is a precious gift and we need to nurture that gift.
But how do we do it? The obvious answer is to be conscious of our God and to pray, meditate and seek His Wisdom. the other way we nurture this gift is to be as kind as we can to those we encounter in our daily lives. Say to our loved ones the words we want to say that tell of our love for them, and then show it by our actions. Be kind to the strangers we meet for they too are carrying a heavy burden. We share in this with our smiles and words of encouragement…we “nurture” one another and by this we are nourishing the Word…called “Emmanuel”, which means “God is with us”.
Today, let us join Mary in saying, “Yes”!
Namaste,

Word, Emmanuel,
Which tells us, “God is with us”-
Like Mary, we trust.
….Nurture….

Today’s scripture speaks of the huge responsibility we have to help one another.
I think it is also a call to listen to one another without trying to defend our “ego”.
In Ignatian spirituality the goal is to see God throughout our day. I find this easiest to do by walking and looking at nature, but this is the most obvious way… The other way, the people and events of the day are a bit more challenging. However, the other day I had a heart-to-heart talk with my daughter, and as with any truthful discussion, it was well-worth it. I know that Jesus was there, speaking through her words. Also, the Holy Spirit enlightened me and helped me to laugh at the absurdity of some of my thoughts and words.
I think part of the reason it was so illuminating is because the room was filled with peace, serene, and an easy-going atmosphere. Plus we had the time to relate without any interference of phone, texting, or other people coming and going.The other good factor is that she is my daughter:~)
The best way though is by example.The saying, “One picture worth 1,000 words” makes perfect sense to me.
I am not one to feel comfortable picking out ways that others are not “walking the path”, but I know that I can try my very best to love, love, and love. I don’t do it perfectly and always need to ask God’s help many times throughout the day as I struggle with my humanity and failings. But somehow, in the Big Picture of Life, as long as I keep my thoughts and actions centered on how I am doing, encourage others with words and actions, I think it’s okay. And when I sense myself slipping to ask God’s help to put me back on the right path.
And the best part is that through my struggles and prayers, Jesus is in the midst of them.

When we pray together
Our feet stay firmly rooted
And Jesus is with us.

…..Comm/union….

Today’s scripture speaks of the huge responsibility we have to help one another.
I think it is also a call to listen to one another without trying to defend our “ego”.
In Ignatian spirituality the goal is to see God throughout our day. I find this easiest to do by walking and looking at nature, but this is the most obvious way… The other way, the people and events of the day are a bit more challenging. However, the other day I had a heart-to-heart talk with my daughter, and as with any truthful discussion, it was well-worth it. I know that Jesus was there, speaking through her words. Also, the Holy Spirit enlightened me and helped me to laugh at the absurdity of some of my thoughts and words.
I think part of the reason it was so illuminating is because the room was filled with peace, serene, and an easy-going atmosphere. Plus we had the time to relate without any interference of phone, texting, or other people coming and going.The other good factor is that she is my daughter:~)
The best way though is by example.The saying, “One picture worth 1,000 words” makes perfect sense to me.
I am not one to feel comfortable picking out ways that others are not “walking the path”, but I know that I can try my very best to love, love, and love. I don’t do it perfectly and always need to ask God’s help many times throughout the day as I struggle with my humanity and failings. But somehow, in the Big Picture of Life, as long as I keep my thoughts and actions centered on how I am doing, encourage others with words and actions, I think it’s okay. And when I sense myself slipping to ask God’s help to put me back on the right path.
And the best part is that through my struggles and prayers, Jesus is in the midst of them.

When we pray together
Our feet stay firmly rooted
And Jesus is with us.

…..Comm/union….

Prescription

July 10, 2014

(Matt 10:7-15)
When I think of the prescriptions I’ve filled at the pharmacy, I am reminded that they always come with directions: “Take one at bedtime with a full glass of water”…”Take two on a full stomach”, etc.
Whenever I take the prescription the correct way I get well.I remember once when I didn’t, and I relapsed! The directions were to take all the medicine as prescribed. Halfway through I thought that I was well and didn’t take all the pills, and I got sick again! (that was a hard “pill” to swallow!)
As I read the directions that Jesus gave to his disciples and think about their implications, I see that He was telling them not to be burdened with “stuff”…like what to wear and what to eat. Of course this was a very focused command for a particular people. However, I do think He meant them for us as well.
What is implied for us is to quit obsessing about getting more and more. Instead, do what is needed to provide for ourselves and our families as we follow the Word of God. That means putting Him first in our thoughts and actions. Begin in the morning with time devoted to nurturing our personal relationship with Him. Seeking His will first is paramount in having a good day, and realizing that the “kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.
When I do this, my day goes so much better. It is never perfect, but better.
I am reminded of a recent episode where my husband said something that I didn’t agree with. It was a small matter of no real importance. My first thought was to disagree, but then, I chose let it go. And peace flooded my heart. For me, this is the kingdom…peace and goodwill. Whenever I go in the opposite direction, I am not following the prescription, “Love God and then your fellows”. And I am once again “sick”, or “dis-eased”!
We are told to travel without much baggage. Could that baggage be the resentments that I harbor and allow to grow? Could it be all the worries about things that I have no control over? Could it be that I carry around jealousy over what I presume other people have that I don’t have?…How many other things can I put in my baggage? Quite honestly if I don’t stop, think, and then follow God’s prescription, I could fill that bag to bursting!
Again, I come back to listening to the directions in the morning when my head and heart are clear. Sometimes it really works!
And how about for you?
Haiku
Prescription for life-
Put God’s Word first and foremost
No “baggage” needed!
…..The Cure…

R.S.V.P.

July 8, 2014

(Matt 9:32-38)
Matthew paints a very vivid picture of a day in the life of Jesus and his disciples.There are crowds to contend with, and the sick and the possessed to cure. All the while He never gives up on proclaiming the “Gospel of the Kingdom”!
As one of his disciples I think what would be the most discouraging for me would be the Pharisees and their caustic remarks!
However, Jesus doesn’t let this disturb His mission, and He is still able to focus. His heart is moved with pity and love for humanity.
So, then comes the “request”, “Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
At this point I am stilled…What is Jesus saying to me? Could he be making a request to me? What can I do? After all, I am retired and “old-er” (I had to put the “er” in there!) I stay at home most days…except for a few occasions. So whom do I see?
As I think about my day and the gospel message, I think of the lady in the elevator with my husband and me this morning. I said something about how nice the weather is. And she replied with a smile in agreement. Then, when we were getting off the elevator she said, “Have a nice day”. Later as we were leaving the building we saw a woman peering through some windows. She was apparently confused about how to get to the parking lot. We showed her the elevator and gave directions on how to get to her floor in the parking lot. When we stepped out of the elevator she too said, “Have a nice day and thank you.”
Could this be what Jesus is asking us to do?
How about the times that I’m asked to take my grandson to Frisbee games and make a dinner for my family while my daughter is recuperating from an operation?
Oh, and how about the times that my children call me, anxious about something that has happened in their lives and I’m able to listen and console?
As I look at these situations, I can see clearly that I have been invited to partake in The Kingdom and to be a laborer for his harvest.
And what about you? Did you receive an invitation too?

Haiku:We are invited
To participate, to help
God’s kingdom to grow!
….R.S.V.P.

Active imagination

July 3, 2014

(John 20:24-29)
It was quite a shock, and a lot to take in. Belief was rocked to the core and fear was palpable everywhere.
As I wandered the streets people averted my gaze and looked elsewhere, women drawing their veil across their faces and shuffling off in a hurried pace, pulling their children behind them.Men, on the other hand, raised their voices to one another, as if to reassure themselves and others that everything was quite “normal”.,,But it wasn’t.
One of the best prophets, a good and compassionate man who preferred the company of “questionable” people, had been crucified.
Many miracles were performed.And now as I walked the streets I was able to see a few of the “miracles”…a man who was once called “leper” was talking in a steady stream with another gentleman. Not far from this couple I spotted a man who used to wait at the pool of Bethesda, hoping to be the first to immerse himself in its healing waters.He was walking at a strong, steady gait.
I sighed as I turned the corner, looking for the room where the disciples were said to be hiding. The sun had just come up and I could see light shining through the window of an almost hidden doorway. Should I see? Another deep breath and I made my decision.
Timidly I knocked on the door. A man with a long beard and bushy eyebrows peeked through the crack in the door. I identified myself as a friend of the Crucified one and was given entry.
In the middle of the room there were a group of men, huddled together and in the center was the man called Thomas. His face was glowingly radiant. He seemed to be overwhelmed with emotion. And then as I moved closer I heard him say, “I believe, I believe…how blessed I am.” And peace filled the room.
Haiku
Imagination
Active, used in the setting
Now do you believe?
…Blessed…

Stormy sea

July 1, 2014

(Matt 8:23-27)

The apostles only went out to fish at sea, but what they got was the biggest” fish “they would ever “see”!

I’ve not fished on the open sea but I can only imagine the setting. It is a very peaceful day with maybe a wave or two gently lapping at the side of the boat and Jesus with his  disciples climb in. As they row out to sea a storm comes up and they are too far out to row in safely!

The waves dash up and over the side of the boat as the disciples watch in horror, fully aware that there is nothing they can do. I can imagine their hearts are pounding and perhaps Peter is giving directions on which way to row to do as little damage as possible. But with all that they do, nothing is helping. They are horrified and terrified. And yet, there lies Jesus, sleeping through it all!

How tired he must have been not to rouse with all the commotion. But then, why wouldn’t he be exhausted? All that walking and talking and healing takes a lot of energy, and his must have been sapped.

However, when he is awakened by his “crew”, he rebukes the winds and the sea….Then there was great calm!

Can you hear the calm? It’s a calm not only of the elements, but of his disciples, as they stand rebuked as well.

I can put myself so easily into this scene as life seems to have many “storms”. Some are expected and I take refuge. However, like the disciples I too find times when storms pop up unexpectedly. When this happens I tend to go into fear at first as well! But then, if I try to turn the boat around and go into peace, prayer and meditation, I hear His voice, “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?”…and the calm descends!

Haiku

The storms that appear

Can “Rock the boat”, that’s for sure!

Saved by Faith, not fear.

……Buoyant….