Glimpse of God for the week of September 25, 2022
As I reflect on the past week, I have come to realize that there are many things, events and people that take my breath away; that enable me to recognize that in my inability to comprehend, and that lack of understanding, I am brought to a deeper reverence, humility, and sense of awe. These things are not of the mind or needing a higher education, as much as they are of God and need an open heart and spirit. It is the gifts of God that take my breath away in that they cause me to stop and see that humanity cannot take credit for them, that they are gifts from God to glorify Him. What takes my breath away? Although I do not understand a lot of what God does or plans, yet there is one great event that makes me stand before God is a state of gratitude, and that is when the bread and wine is changed into the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist during the celebration of Holy Mass. As I recognize the giftedness and graces that I receive in and through the Holy Eucharist, I am more able to recognize the gift of God’s many breathless moments. Maybe not figuratively, but in a deeper way, events like a beautiful sunrise and sunset, the beauty and order of stars in the sky, the beauty of His creation and many creatures, the love of a spouse, the joy of having Clover and Cannoli, and the presence of other fellow members of the Body of Christ and builders of the Kingdom of God here on earth. All these things and many more, point to a creator that with infinite wisdom, love and understanding, give me, and all of us, the good that we need to flourish. There are many gifts or glimpses of God that take my breath away and yet for you and me, some of the gifts and glimpses may be different, and some may be the same. So, as I reflect on what takes my breath away, I cannot help but see how we are all the breath of God, and in being the breath, the voice, the spirit of God to others, we invite others to have their breath taken away as they encounter the living and living God as He chooses to reveal Himself.
You are a breath of life: God’s life to others. God called you by name and loves you unconditionally as His beloved son or daughter. Your very breath is God's gift to you given out of complete, selfless, and unconditional love. You are the breath of God's life to others. So, this week, don't hold your breath, try not to get short of breath, don't breathe too quickly, but let the awesome presence of God, in others, in creation, in yourself, take your breath away. Continue to remind yourself that you are the breath of life to others, that you possess that life-giving breath within yourself, and that you received that breath from God and remember to say thank you.
As you begin a new week; start by taking a moment, to stop and focus on your breathing. As you do that, become aware of what is going on in your life at that moment. With whatever is going on, positive or negative, calm yourself so that you can see with the eyes of God, His presence in that moment. Be it in that person, that circumstance, that choice, that situation, that joy, that sorrow, that regret, and see Him embracing you, calming you, celebrating you, forgiving you, and loving you. Then as you inhale and exhale your next breath, think of it as spiritual CPR; Christ's Power being Renewed in you.
SUNDAY – “B” – Believe that you are the breath of God
Do you believe in the love that God has for you, that this love is unconditional and that there is nothing you can do to earn or lose that love? God gives it freely. As God’s beloved child, do you see yourself as lovable?
Today in your prayer, as you take your next breath, think about the love of God: that which you have for God, and the love that He has for you. Breathe in God’s gift of peace and exhale your sense of gratitude.
If you find yourself short of breath, pray that whatever is causing your breathing struggles: stress, the weather, weariness, ill health…., and ask God to make your breath a breath of peace, a breath that speaks words of love, life, joy, and desire.
If you find that you lose a breath, pray in gratitude for that which is taking your breath away: the love of your life, your children, your pets, your grandchildren, your family, community, God’s awesome creation, the recognition of God’s great love for you. God’s gift to you of His Holy Spirit, a spirit that not only permeates your very being and dwells within you, is making His way out by the words of mercy, compassion, peace, reconciliation, and joy that you speak and enters in through a gentle whisper, a smile, or a deep abiding presence of peace.
MONDAY – “R” – Rejoice in the memories
Memories, some may be painful, some may be pleasant. When you were growing up, do you remember what you were taught about God? What do you remember from your early days about God? Was He a God of vengeance, punishment, fire, and brimstone, or was He a God of love, mercy, compassion, and gentleness? What aspect or picture of God do you hold on to and cherish, and what part have you learned to let go of because it is not the God that you have experienced or are in relationship with?
Rejoice in the memories that have brought you to where you are today. The memory of the God of love and compassion that you turned to as you were deeply wounded and felt alone, the memory of the God of mercy as you reflected on, and was sorry for, the sins that damaged your relationship with others and with God, the memory of the God of peace as you felt inconsolable at the loss of your parent, child, sibling, or best friend, the memory of the God of joy as you celebrated the gift of your marriage, the birth of your child, your grandchildren, your accomplishments, your profession as a consecrated religious, or your jubilee as a religious.
Today in your prayer, reflect on the relationship with the God that you have come to desire, and the person that you have become. God rejoices in you, loves you and is happy that you have chosen to follow Him.
TUESDAY – “E” – Enjoy the moment
Try not to look so far ahead that you miss the present moment. As a society we are always looking toward the future. In retail, they bring out the Christmas decorations in July, in December they bring out Valentine’s day decorations. On TV, they begin to show end of year car deals in the fall, we see and hear by engaged couples that they can’t wait till the wedding day. Now there is nothing wrong with looking ahead, but when we fail to see the present moment, when we are so focused on the future that we neglect our present, then we can miss out on a lot of God’s Glimpses that He is waiting to show us. When we wait or anticipate some event, like a wedding or a birth, we are excited about the end result and most likely stressed out about the journey getting there. Every day is a gift that can be filled with many stresses, yet it can be in those stresses that we find God. If we always seek to go to the next thing, we can truly miss out on a lot. Couples planning a wedding hate the many details, yet in those details they have an opportunity to become closer and get to know each other better. As a woman is preparing to give birth, she might be sick and uncomfortable, but during those nine months, she can experience the greatest mystery of knowing that a child is growing within her very body and is being nurtured and sustained by her. We might hate winter and want the spring to come now, but then we can miss the beauty of the trees as they wait to display their spring greatness through their winter barrenness, or the beauty of the snow blankets that God uses to cover His upcoming spring garden, or the hours of light that God hides so that we can seek Him in the darkness.
Today in your prayer, seek to enjoy the present moment and the people, pets, and encounters that fill it.
WEDNESDAY – “A”- Adore the adorable
Adorable. Do you believe that God thinks that you are adorable? How can God not adore you. HE respects you, loves you unconditionally, created you in His likeness and image, has called you by name. and even knit you in your mother’s womb (psalm 139)
There is no other person like you, nor will there be another you. You are one of a kind. There is no heart like yours, no soul like yours, no mind that works like yours. God created you individually and uniquely out of complete love. God creates only good and only in and out of love. God has great respect for you and for the choices that you make. He will never go against your free will but will also never abandon you when your will and His don’t necessarily meet. It is in all of this that He is devoted to you and finds you most adorable or able to be adored.
Today in your prayer, imagine God adoring you and listen to Him as He speaks His words of adoration for you. You are adorable……. He sees His very self in and through you and He wants you to know that He adores you for that.
THURSDAY – “T” – Trust in God to heal and make whole
Trust is difficult especially when you have been hurt or betrayed. Imagine how hard it must have been for Jesus to trust anyone, except Mary His Mother, after he had been betrayed, denied, condemned, and executed by those who were his friends, those He healed, and those who didn’t even know him. As weak and sinful human beings, when we are hurt, we want to get back at, or seek revenge on the person or persons who hurt us. Our very breath of life can become the breath of darkness because it speaks words of anger, revenge, insult, and even death. We feel as though we cannot trust the person or anyone because we don’t want to get hurt again. As followers of Christ, we are called not only to forgive, but to begin anew, and not hold onto a grudge. With God’s grace and an open heart, we can and will trust another again.
Today in your prayer, although this might be painful, trust me in that God will be with you. Take a moment to recall an instance where you were betrayed and hurt deeply. Don’t dwell on the hurt, but seek God’s grace to forgive, again, seek healing so that you can become whole, again, and pray for the person or persons that hurt you, again. You will not be disappointed because God’s knows your heart and wants to heal you, just ask Him to.
FRIDAY – “H” – Honor your Creator and His creation
God not only loves you unconditionally, but He respects you deeply and has blessed you abundantly. Are you able to recognize this? We often think that only God deserves to be hallowed or revered, and we, out of love and respect, should revere our God. The question I pose is this: If we believe that God created us in His likeness and image, shouldn’t we show great respect and reverence to our self and others? As temples of God’s Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ, shouldn’t we honor each other as if we were honoring God Himself? As followers of Christ, we are called to see the face of Christ in those we encounter: those in our family, our neighbor, the stranger, the homeless, the estranged and even our enemy.
Today in your prayer, see the face of God in those you pray for, those who have asked for your prayers, those you promised to pray for and those who are in need.
SATURDAY – “E” – Enlighten others by your love
Our every breath is God’s gift and how we use it, is our gift to God. We can choose to be the breath of life and speak words of healing, compassion, mercy, humor, or peace. Or we can choose to be the breath of darkness and speak words of gossip, anger, hatred, insult, or judgment. How we choose to be the breath of life and speak God’s words and spread His good news will influence others so they may want to desire and know God better. When we choose to follow Christ, we are choosing life. As we choose life, we are setting an example for others. Today in your prayer, take a moment to reflect on the words: “They will know we are Christians by our love”, and ask to see how you are the one who shows the Christian example by your love: love for God, others, and self. Your love for God will enlighten others, it will clarify what it means to be true authentic follower, and not a hypocrite who talks a good talk, but doesn’t walk the walk