The weekly Glimpses of God are opportunities to recognize, with greater clarity,the presence of God in the various places, people, events, situations and circumstances of your daily life. I offer them to you as an opportunity to reflect on how much God, as you understand Him, is a part of your life,how He chooses to use you and how you have chosen Him.They are glimpses because we can miss them if we are not paying attention. But if we open our heart to His love, if we open our ears to hear His gentle voice, if we open our eyes to see His light, if we open our hands to feel His hand in ours, and if we are open to share these gifts with others, then we too are being a Glimpse of God to those in our family, community, neighborhood, church and world. I hope that you enjoy not only the Glimpse but also the daily reflections. Please share any comments on my blog page.
Glimpse of God for the week of October 14, 2018
My Glimpse of God for this week comes from our 20th wedding anniversary celebration this past weekend. We invited our intimate group of friends and family members to celebrate with us as John and I renewed our wedding vows. We began with a Mass of celebration and renewal at Saint Pius X in Broomall. Father John, who has been a father figure and mentor to me for the past 40 years, was the main celebrant, as he was at our wedding. Concelebrating the Mass were Father John Mokluk OSFS, who has been a member of my retreat team for the past 5 years, and Father Kaufman who is the pastor of Saint Pius. There were about 100 people who attended the mass. There were also some friends that came to Mass but couldn’t attend the reception. They wanted to be with us at Mass as we gathered to offer God praise and thanksgiving for the gift of our married love.
The reception was well attended and everyone had a good time, especially as the members of the Quaker City String Band came to entertain. Many people got up to participate in the mummer’s strut as well as to sing along with the string band. I was excited to have them go over to the Sisters who came from Assisi House. I wanted the Sisters to experience the Philadelphia tradition up close.
God came through in so many ways: at the Mass with our renewal, in and through all those who gathered with us, in the entertainment with the DJ and the String band, with our wonderfully awesome photographer, Bob. Bob and his wife Lisa are good friends of ours. Bob is a wonderful photographer who has a warm, non-intimidating way about himself that when it came to have people smile for the camera, they did so with ease. The Springfield Country Club did a phenomenal job and couldn’t have asked for a better venue.
God’s glimpse was a big and as wide as each person present. They all were and are a beacon of His light, love, friendship and peace. His presence was felt through each person, in the care and the serving of the food, the music that got people up and dancing, and the many warm wishes that were expressed. God’s glimpse was truly present and radiating in and through my husband John. He has been a glimpse of God each and every day and there is nothing more God present than waking up with the man who has promised to be with you for the rest of your life in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and for richer and poorer. John has been my rock, my best friend, my partner though many of life’s challenges and has always made me feel as if I am all that matters to him. In all of my surgeries, he has always made me feel beautiful and blessed, as does God everyday as His beloved daughter.
As we begin a new week, let us be mindful of the promise that we all make to God as His followers; as a clergy member, a married person, member of a religious community or a single person.
We all desire to be our best self, the person that God knows we can become and created us to be. We want to follow God and give our hearts to Him in good times and bad, in sickness and health, in prosperity and poverty till the day when He calls us back to himself. No matter what our vocation is, God’s promise is that He will always be with us, that no matter what we do, He will never abandon us and the He will always love us. God is present and calls us each and every day so that He can renew us in His love, and in light of that grace and gift, we in turn, choose to affirm our commitment and our promise to be His faithful follower. As a sinner striving to be a saint, if we live as a married, or single person or a member of a religious community, we need to be mindful that our promise to God needs to be reflected in how we choose to live in love each and every day, because we know that His promise to us is reflected each and every day in the love that Jesus had as He gave up His life for us.
SUNDAY – “P” = PATIENCE
We all want to be patient with our self and others but we know that we can lose patience very easily and quickly. There are triggers that once set off, we find our self snapping at or being short with others. When this happens, we can become irritated and our worse self emerges.
When we have patience, we possess a peace and serenity that permeates our very being. This peace allows us to be our best self with those around us: family members, community members, coworkers and neighbors.
Today, pray for a greater patience with self, others and God. This fulfills your promise to God to be your best self, and this allows Him to answer your prayer with His grace to help you live up to your potential and become your best self.
MONDAY – ‘R’ = RESPECT
We all deserve to be treated with respect, no mater what our social status is, if we are unemployed or homeless, addicted or alone, we all are God’s beloved sons and daughters and this entitles us to be treated with respect. There are times when we feel that we or others don’t deserve to be treated with respect so we choose to be disrespectful. When we choose to judge and treat others badly, we are actually treating Christ badly. Returning bad for bad doesn’t help build God’s kingdom here on earth, but rather tears it down one brick, one word, one judgment, one action at a time.
Today, seek to help build God’s kingdom here on earth, one brick, one word, one action of respect at a time, and let God be the judge of others. This helps you to fulfill your promise as His follower to proclaim and build His kingdom here on earth
TUESDAY – “O” = OPENNESS
We need to be open vessels, with open minds, hearts and souls so that we can receive the graces that God wants to give us. When we close our minds, harden our hearts and close our souls towards God and others, we miss out on His many glimpses, graces and gifts He wants to shower us with. His grace enables us to be open to the presence, opinions, love, and challenges that we encounter in our relationship with others, so that we can extend His mercy, compassion, peace, joy and love to others that we are in relationship with. When we are open, it is a time where God invites us to grow in spiritual maturity and be transformed. He promises that His grace will guide us through the fear of vulnerability to the courage of conversion. This transformation can help us to recognize our authenticity and sincerity and thus see it more clearly in others.
Today, pray for the grace to open your hands so that your prayers will be answered, and your mind and heart will be transformed.
WEDNESDAY – “M” = MINDFUL
We all want to be more attentive and mindful to the needs of others, but sometimes our own crosses, stresses, daily life challenges interfere with us being mindful to the needs, suffering, and stresses of others. Many times, both parties understand, but there are times when this lack of being mindful hurts and the relationship can become strained. This happens in marriage, community, among family members and in parish community. We love others and want to be present to them but sometimes we can’t be or we just miss the mark and so do others.
As we promise God to be our best and serve Him faithfully, He knows that we will miss the mark. He promises in return that when we do, He will gift us with His grace so that we can try again, be reconciled, be more selfless so that we don’t miss the mark as we gaze on the Jesus, where the cross marks the spot.
Today, ask to be more mindful of Jesus and His love for you, so that you can and will be more mindful of others. Look at the cross where Jesus marks that spot and you can’t miss it.
THURSDAY – “I” = INTIMACY
Intimate (in- to- me- see) This word, this concept is very deep. Intimacy in any relationship is an invitation to others to see us more deeply, to see our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our gifts, our blessings, our wounded ness, and our healings, on a deeper level. Intimacy in marriage is deeper than in family life, intimacy in community life is different than in the single life, but in all areas of life, we as Christ followers are invited to be intimate with others.
In our relationship with God, self and others, we lose if we choose to keep others out and live on an island. Being intimate allows us to grow in trust, love, compassion and affords us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with those in our family, our friends, and those in our community.
Today, as you celebrate your life and your promise to be your best self, ask God and allow Him to open your mind and heart to seeing those He knows could benefit from your presence and intimacy. (in-to-me-see)
FRIDAY – “S” = SELFLESS
We want to be selfless yet we find our self being selfish instead. We want to be our best self yet we see our worse self as acts of selfishness emerge. Christ knows our inclination towards selfishness. He experienced it personally with His group of apostles and followers. He didn’t condemn them but rather used the moments to teach and at the end, He selflessly gave of Himself by dying on the cross.
Being selfless isn’t easy, but you are selfless every time you pray for another and place their needs and intentions first. As a parent you are selfless as you place the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of your children before your own, and your spouses before yours.
As a consecrated religious you are selfless when you serve the needs of your elderly community members first, when you spend time in vigil with those who are dying and preparing to meet Christ face to face, when you visit those members who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia and how this can lead to moments of frustration. As a single person you are selfless when you spend time listening to neighbors, friends, and family members offering them consolation, support, encouragement and silence. When you can stay with their children so that they can either run errands or have a date with their spouse. You are selfless when you take care of your elderly parents as they age, are ill or are preparing for their final journey home. As a clergy member you are selfless as you spend countless hours with your flock offering them spiritual guidance amid their spiritual and physical crosses.
Today, ask for the grace to recognize your selflessness.
SATURDAY – “E” = EMBRACING
We can be near and inviting of embraces or we can be far from and afraid of embracing. In any case God wants to and waits for us to invite Him to embrace us. God wants to embrace us here on earth so that when we are called home to Him, we will know what a true and loving embrace is. He embraces us each time we receive Him in the sacraments of Holy Eucharist where He gives us a strong spiritual hug. Reconciliation/confession/penance, where our sins are forgiven, our hearts are healed, and our resolve not to sin is strengthened. Anointing of the sick, where our illness is not a tool of defeat or fear, but rather a source for prayer, strength, healing and courage. In all, God embraces us and calls us from our daily challenges that can weigh us down, to His gift of grace that raises us up.
Today, as you reflect on where you are with embracing: embracing others, being embraced by others and allowing God to embrace you, ask for the grace of gratitude. Be thankful for the many people that have embraced you and have invited you into their heart and life. Be thankful for those you felt comfortable and trusted enough to ask to be embraced by them. Be grateful for the gift of the sacraments that are God’s free gifts of embraces.
Remember: Your breath is your life, use it wisely. Your heart is big, fill it wisely. Your mind is open, expand it wisely. Your God is present, reverence Him wisely. You are God's temple, honor yourself wisely.