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 howmuch 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, church, community,neighborhood, society and world.
Glimpse of God for the week of November 10, 2019
Holy Grounds at Assisi House
I tried to download a picture of the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop
but it would not come through so just imagine what it could look like.
Walking on Holy Ground to receive Holy Grounds
What are Holy Grounds? They could be the coffee grounds that people need to begin their day or continue their day with the energy that the grounds provide. The grounds also provide the avenue for a holy encounter with God and others. The grounds, once brewed with the water to make a fresh pot of coffee, become a source of life. If we think of them as we consider our baptism, the holy water, blended with our love for God, help to become one with God and others.
Holy Grounds is a new coffee shop at the Assisi house, the retirement residence for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia. It is a place to gather and chit chat over coffee, tea, hot chocolate, baked goods and other interesting items.
Walking on Holy Ground……I believe that the ground that we walk on every day is Holy Ground. Why? Because it is a gift of God, from God, given to us out of love by God. The ground we walk on has been trod by many before us, it will be trod on with those we encountered in our yesterdays, todays and in our tomorrows, and will be trod on by many after us. The Holy Grounds, that which our feet have walked on, run on, skipped on, fell on, and at times, stood still on, tells a story; our story. Our feet, our journey embodies who we are. It encompasses our mind, our heart, our spirit and our soul. Our walk, our journey of faith in this world, is our total gift of self, given to God and others, one step at a time. When we walk on this, our earthly journey, in the company of others, we sometimes need to walk in our own shoes with our crosses, victories, challenges and defeats, or we try to imagine walking in another’s shoes with their crosses, challenges, victories and defeats. In either case, we never walk alone and all that we walk on, as a sinner striving to be a saint, or as a humble sinner, we walk hand in hand with Christ. Our walk, or the walk of another, could be slow due to weariness or illness, or quick due to busyness, it can be accompanied by a walker, wheelchair or cane, or it can be at a slow crawl. In any case, the ground is still holy and those who trod on it are going at the pace of their body with its own unique needs and limitations. It is not one that we can change or should expect them to change, so our walk should be one of dignity, respect, encouragement, support and prayers. When we walk with others on the journey, we should try not to walk ahead to show our control, power or authority, and we should try not to walk behind because we feel diminished in the presence of the other, but rather we should try to walk with, side by side, to show that we believe as God’s beloved children, we are not better or less than another, but equal.
When one stops by Holy Grounds to receive Holy Grounds, one could use that as a spiritual pit stop. A place where one walks in empty handed and walks out with their hands and hearts full of Holy Grounds. By stopping at Holy Grounds, either intentionally or not, one shares from within, the Holy Grounds that God has carefully placed, brewed and made just perfect to be shared.
What are the Holy Grounds? What do, or could they look like? Perhaps it is in the jewel of a smile, a word of encouragement, a greeting, a handshake, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on or cry on, a joke, a baked good or a hot cup of coffee, stories, situations, memories, spiritual joys and victories, all shared and given out of love. Holy Grounds is a spiritual experience, an encounter with God where He reveals His presence through the ordinary; a cup of coffee, to the extraordinary; a beloved child of God. (grounds= seeds of faith, water = the waters of baptism that make the seeds grow, brewing= the sacraments and the presence of each other that mature the seed to be shared)
So, as we continue to walk on God’s gift of Holy Ground, and we begin a new week whether it be in our kitchen, on the road, at work, at school, at Starbucks, or at the Assisi House, let us look at our spiritual cup of Holy Grounds and see if our cup; our heart, mind and spirit, needs replenishment of Holy Grounds or if our cup is overflowing and we need to share our Holy Grounds with others.
SUNDAY – “G” - God centered
This doesn’t mean speaking the theological language of God, but rather it is the language of love as spoken through in and through your heart. Is your heart God centered? Can it be heard speaking words of compassion, mercy, love, peace, and understanding? Or is your heart stressed and in need of healing and replenishment of Holy Grounds so that you can be a better instrument of God’s peace, healing, joy, happiness, love, reconciliation, and encouragement? Is your heartbeat palpable as you reach out to lift another up, heal one who is broken, or embrace one who is alone and a stranger? Who do you know whose Holy Grounds are soaked due to their own brokenness, hurts, pains, or sin? Who do you know that has walked away or is estranged from God? As you reflect on those whose grounds may be soaked, can you recognize where God is inviting you to walk closer with them because they need encouragement, forgiveness, hope, healing, or a kind word? Who is God leading you to, and are you responding reluctantly or with joy?
For today: Being God centered is another way of stating that God loves you unconditionally, that you are His beloved child, that He abides in and with you, and that He is the center of your life. As you look at your grounds: those you walk on, and those you share, is this truth obvious to you? If it is thank God, if it is not, seek God’s grace to recognize His presence in your presence; both in your feet as you encounter others on Holy Ground, and in your hands as you freely share Holy Grounds with others.
MONDAY - “R’ – Respectful
Today is Veteran’s Day. This is the day that we remember and honor those who have gone before us by giving the ultimate sacrifice of their life for their God, Country, and Fellow man, as well as those who have survived war and have returned home wounded, grieving and in need of our respect, prayers, support and presence. Their Holy Ground was the ground of war where blood was shed, lives were lost, wounds remained open, and hearts were eternally broken. Their Holy Grounds were perhaps their prayers, their expressed fears as shots were heard getting closer and when they reached home, their hands upon the shoulder of their wounded comrades, their words of encouragement in the face of fear and death, their silence, their reverence, their tears, and perhaps their hope in the God who chose them to follow in His footsteps.
For today: Pray for all veterans, thank a Veteran and Support Veterans. Pray for eternal rest for those who have gone back home to God. Ask God to bless all those who must return to their homes or hospitals wounded in body, heart, and spirit, with courage, self-determination, support and hope as they learn to adapt to their new Holy Ground.
TUESDAY – “O” – Open Minded
What does it mean to be open minded? When we encounter another on our spiritual journey, walking on our mutual Holy Grounds, and being open and present to them as they discover, discern and decide to follow God as He has revealed Himself to them as He chooses not as we choose. It means to be open to the possible differences of opinion, ideology, theology, prayer, understanding of God and Church, and not passing judgment or condemnation. Their story can come out one word at a time, or in a run-on sentence, after a gasping breath or after a deep breath, in silence, or in their tears.
As we listen to another and as others listen us, we are called to have the open mind of Christ so that others and we ourselves, can discover or recognize with greater depth, meaning and clarity the love God has for us. The undeniable truth shown on the cross, that God loves us all unconditionally, that we are His beloved and that there is nothing that we can say or do that will make Him love us less. Being open minded on Holy Ground allows us to experience a blessed and holy encounter where God speaks and as we listen, we are willing to produce and share our Holy Grounds with others.
For today: look at the openness of the door of your mind, heart and spirit. Thank God for those areas that you can see clearly through because the door is wide open and you have experienced His healing, peace and reconciliation. Next, ask God for His grace so that you can allow Him to open up the door of your heart, mind or spirit that is either closed or barely ajar due to woundedness, pain, sin or personal hurts.
WEDNESDAY – “U” – Unwavering
When we walk on Holy Ground to receive Holy Grounds, whether we are at home, at the Assisi house, at work, at school, in our community or at our Church, we need to pray for the grace to be unwavering in our faith so that the grounds that we share remain holy, and are not oversoaked in discouragement, bitterness, anger, or ego. We need to truly desire to share Holy Grounds and not grounds that we make up as holy. God knows our hearts and He understands our desire to witness to Him as His follower. He also understands how sometimes our good intentions get clouded by our own thoughts, doubts, discouragement and misunderstandings. He sees that when that happens, they do not lead us to the knowledge of His will. This can do more harm than good because it is then that we drench or soak the Holy Grounds with false statements, overzealous approaches, and understanding and this can make the grounds less productive. Having unwavering faith does not mean being perfect in our understanding and knowledge of God or His will, but rather an openness to God and how He chooses to reveal Himself in and through us and others. As we encounter others on Holy Ground, and in our desire to grow in a deeper relationship with God so that we can develop into the best person that we can be and have the potential to become, this opens the door to an unwavering and strong faith that can draw others to want to know God and not turn them away.
For today: Seek to be truly unwavering in your faith and pray for those who are wavering in their faith, have denied their faith, or have led others astray because of their personal experiences and misunderstanding of God and His will.
THURSDAY – “N” – Nurturing
How nurturing are you? Do you think that you nurture others by your words, deeds, actions, and attitude? To be nurturing is to be God centered and selfless. Parents can be the most nurturing as they realize that God is the true parent and that they have been chosen by Him to be His instruments of love as respond as co-creators in His Kingdom here on earth to raise the children that they have been blessed with so to make them one with His creation as Children of God. Our spiritual nourishment comes from the Holy Eucharist and the Sacraments of the Church. We are the Body of Christ. Children are the Body of Christ. We nurture each other, we can learn from each other, we can grow with each other. When we receive the Sacraments, God’s grace allows us, invites us, to be more nurturing to others as we walk on Holy Ground. Being nurturing comes when we freely share God’s gift of our Holy Grounds with others. We feed or nurture others spiritually as we spread the Good News of Jesus and act according to the Gospel message and not in contradictory to it, when we forgive one who has hurt us and when we seek the forgiveness from one we have hurt, and when we can humbly seek God’s mercy and accept it so that we can forgive our self and let go of our shame, guilt and remorse. We nurture in silence by a smile, a handshake, a sign of peace, or a warm embrace. When the joy and love of Christ comes forth from us, that is contagious and can raise the spirit of another without a word being spoken.
For today: As you walk on Holy Ground to share our Holy Grounds, take a moment to reflect on and thank those who have nurtured you; your parents, family members, siblings, religious community members, friends, coworkers, parishioners. If you have the opportunity, take a moment to write them or call them, if they have gone before you in faith, offer a sincere and thorough (how they have been a nurturing source for you) prayer of gratitude to God.
FRIDAY – “D” – Delightful
God loves you, adores, you, abides within you and is delighted with you. God delights in the Holy Ground of His Kingdom here on earth, that His followers do their best to walk on with respect, reverence and take care of. God delights in His encounters with all His beloved children, those near and those who are still far off. God dwells at Holy Grounds because the message that is shared is shared out of and in love; love for God, others and self, and although the Holy Grounds may vary, their effect can be very delightful.
For today: as you share your gift of Holy Grounds in whatever form it takes, see, recognize, and find joy, as God is delighting in you and in those you walk on Holy Ground with.
SATURDAY – “S” – Spirit Filled
In the name of the Father...The God who has created us and has placed us on His Holy Ground so that as we encounter each other on His Holy Ground, we can share His Holy Grounds with them…
And of the Son…..Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are members of the Body of Christ and are called to be the Body of Christ in what we say, in and through our actions, through our deeds and in our prayers. We are the Body of Christ when we choose to reach out and lift up one who has fallen, when we encourage another who is discouraged, when we choose to be a message of hope to the hopeless, when we embrace and not judge or condemn the outcast or stranger, when we choose to vulnerably walk in the shoes of another and seek to listen to them as they share their story and when we choose to truly and genuinely pray for the less fortunate in our community and in our world and not forget them or dismiss their plight.
And the Holy Spirit…..when we seek to recognize the gifts or Holy Grounds of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord) in our life and in the lives of others, the fruits of the Holy Spirit can take root and flourish ( Love, Peace, Patience, Joy, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control)
For today: As you make the sign of the cross and think of God’s gift of Holy Ground and your Holy Grounds, say with great conviction I BELIEVE, AMEN!!!!!