Glimpse of God for the week of December 2, 2018

This is where my Glimpse of God comes from for this week.

HAPPY ADVENT! CHRIST IS COMING!!!!

Yesterday, I along with a great team, directed an Advent Day of Reflection titled: The Holy Season of Waiting: Waiting in Silence with Elizabeth and Zachariah, Waiting in Trust with Mary, Waiting in Hope with Joseph and Waiting in Anticipation with John the Baptist” a reflection on the event as seen through the eyes and hearts of Elizabeth, Zachariah, Mary, Joseph and John the Baptist.

I have a wonderful retreat team consisting of Father John Jagodzinski. Father John Mokluk, OSFS, and our parish Deacon Dan Bingnear. As a team we work together to hopefully bring a spiritually fulfilling experience to all those who attend the retreats.

As a continuation of the dialogue with the men at Saint John’s Hospice, I invited the men at the Hospice to attend the retreat yesterday (at no cost), as well as the retired Sisters from Assisi House. The men that attended have been attending my retreats for the past three years.  Although they are not Catholic, their respect for the Catholic faith was genuine. In and through their participation, sharing and openness to the Holy Spirit working in their lives, they were able to readily recognize, honor and reverence it in the lives, sharing and witness of the other retreatants. 

God’s glimpse came through the men in so many ways: In and through their love for God, and their desire to be God’s light in the midst of their struggles and challenges, how they had an instinctive and deeply genuine joy and sense of humor that came through them as light comes through a window, how they were truly engaged in the retreat experience, how they connected with their fellow retreatants as if they were longtime friends and how in a spirit of reverence they attended the Catholic Mass, although unfamiliar and new. They connected with the message, the retreatants and their God, and at the end of the day they were smiling and wanting to come back for another experience. 

We also had nine of the retired Sisters from Assisi house attend. They were such a compliment to the retreat. They are genuine, authentic and personable women and deep women of faith.

We had some men and women who have never been on a retreat before and those who have. It was such a great mixture and my only hope is that they were able to take away what God wanted them to see, hear and hold dear to their hearts.

As we continue on our Advent journey, may Christ be born in our hearts every day as we approach the Savior’s birth on Christmas day. May we have a greater awareness of our thoughts and how they are reflected in our attitudes and actions towards others. And may we always strive to see the face of God in them as they strive to see the face of God in us.

 

SUNDAY – “A” Anticipation

Due to a very busy weekend that included a spiritually enriching retreat, therapy dog   visits, and a family crisis, I apologize for not having my Glimpse ready for Sunday.

If you want to look back and begin a day behind, look at Anticipation and think of the various people, events, situations that you anticipate encountering. Think of the people that you anticipate seeing during this Christmas/holiday season, of those holiday parties that you will attend, the family members that may be coming in from a far distance, anticipate those who you miss dearly that of family, friend or neighbor, but more importantly anticipate with eager longing, the words that God will speak to your heart: the words of love, being His cherished son or daughter,d and that you are not only His gift to others, but He sees you as a gift to Himself.

 

MONDAY – “D” Desire for

Today seek to show mercy to someone who may have not been merciful to you. Ask for the grace to be a stronger, better person and extend mercy instead of holding onto a grudge. As we think of those who live lives being bitter and resentful, let us pray that God shed not only His mercy upon them, but also His compassion, peace, healing and joy. Ask Mary to help you overcome those temptations that want you to give in to bitterness and seek her strength and compassion to forgive.

 

TUESDAY – “V” – Voice  

Today let your words be sincere and heartfelt, and if you find that they are not, choose silence. Let the words you speak be a source of strength to build another up and not of a source to tear another down, let them be a reflection of your silent time spent in prayer as you listened to God and how He chooses to reveal Himself. Think, and take the time to quietly pray for those who have no voice: the unborn, the elderly, and the victimized, all whose voices are silenced, and let the words of your prayers be for their courage, trust, hope and perseverance.

 

WEDNESDAY – “E” - Encounter with

Today, as you encounter others today, reach out to someone who could use your words of support, encouragement or consolation. Let them know that you truly care about them and that they are in your thoughts and prayers. Let us pray for those who are alone and have no one to be with them, that they experience the presence of God in and through the compassion, care and concern of others. As Mary and Joseph traveled and were away from home, and at times, felt alone. We know that we are never alone and that God dwells in our hearts if we invite Him. Pray to open you heart to Him, and pray that those you encounter also open their hearts to the God who loves them and is waiting to embrace them.

 

THURSDAY – “T” – Thankful for

Today, have you expressed your gratitude to God for the gift of life, faith, family, friends, health, home, happiness? Can you recognize that God is the source of all your blessings and that you are a recipient, not the creator? Do you know someone who is not able to recognize their giftedness and how blessed and loved they truly are because of the weight of their crosses and suffering? Let us pray that God touch the lives of all those hearts who are hardened, with His gentle, healing and merciful love.

 

FRIDAY – “N” – Newness of life

Today, be refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated in God’s love for you and your love for God. May the love of God be a source of healing, wholeness and happiness as you continue your Advent faith journey of personal self-discovery, conversion and transformation into the presence and love of God to yourself and for others. Receive the gift of God’s newness in life as He gives you His real presence in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

Let us pray for those who are wounded in body, mind or spirit, that they discover and embrace the depth of God’s desire for them to be healed and whole and that they may come to know His peace and newness of life. Jesus came to bring peace and joy to all.

 

Saturday: “D” Declutter your heart today

For today, try to rid yourself of the chaos and the clutter that is robbing you from seeing the face of God in the mirror and in the lives and faces of others. Keep it Simple. God loves you and comes to you freely and without cost. He you’re your beauty and wants you to see it to too, but when you allow the self-doubt, shame, fear to cloud your vision, God will not interfere, so clean the mirror and invite God to come before you and He will show you the true and beautiful person that you are and how you are the face of God in His Kingdom here on earth. we await the day of our Savior’s birth, in our longing, may we strive to be the Body of Christ and bring the gift of His mercy, compassion, justice, peace, joy, happiness, consolation, encouragement, support and love to those we encounter on the journey of faith, self-discovery and spiritual growth.

Let us desire the silence of Zachariah so that we can hear the voice of God in the silence of our hearts.

Let us desire the trust of Mary as we seek to do the will of God in the midst of our uncertainty, unanswered prayers, questions and fears.

Let us desire the hope of Joseph in the midst of our discouragement, disillusionment, and disappointments.

And let us desire the anticipation of Saint John the Baptist as we strive to be open to the many glimpses of God and how He chooses to reveal himself

Glimpse of God for the week of November 25, 2018

My Glimpse of God comes from my sister, Debbie who will celebrate her 60th birthday this week. As many of you know, she suffered a stroke this past April and since then has struggled both physically and financially.  But in all of that she has never given up or lost hope.  She always managed and still does, to look forward to another day to see where and what God brings her. In light of all that she is going through and in light of the fact that she hates surprises, John and I decided to throw her a surprise birthday party. I invited those who, although may never have met her, have been supporting her through their prayers, expressed concern, caring cards and financial help. The party was meant to lift her spirits and remind her of how much she is loved and cared for by so many.   We had a house full of great, like minded and caring people who came to not only celebrate the life of Debbie, but to remind her that she is going to make it better and stronger than she ever was. Debbie was shocked, surprised and humbled that so many would come for her. It was great!

Having a sister is like having a gift from God that is there to remind us of His constant presence. He is always there through our sisters or siblings, in the funny times and in the shared trouble times, in the times where the tomb is darkest and when there is a flicker of hope, when it doesn’t see like there is anyone else that can help carry the burdens and when the burden is lifted , when we can laugh at our younger self and the antics we pulled, and when we need to apologize for the antics that wounded and caused pain. Sisters understand, are our friends and in many cases, call us to be out best self by how they are their best self.  I believe that although there are some sister relationships that are strained during child and young adulthood, they can be reconciled with the passing of age, grudges, and ego, so that the graces of God can bring newness of life, love and laughter.

As we begin a new week, in the shadow of the Thanksgiving holiday, let us take time to remember our sisters, those who have gone before us and those who remain close to us. Let us be thankful for those who have been like a sister to us: one of a friend, one of a confidant, one of a strong supporter, one of encouragement, and one who exudes the light of Christ by her compassion, care, concern, encouragement, and faithfulness.  One might not have a sister, but I believe that there have been and are male figures who have the ability to connect with us, that tried to be like a sister and not a father or big brother. Although difficult, they tried to be the confidant, the supporter, the encourager, the shoulder to cry on, the style gauge and the voice of reason when things seemed overwhelming.

Other than our family members, are those who have been like mothers and fathers to us, but there are also those who have tried to connect with us as a sibling and not as an authority figure, but an equal, one who relates to and tries to understand us without judgment or condemnation.  Let us be thankful for all those who, by the grace of God, guide us to be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become: Moms, Dads, Sisters, Brothers, Grandparents, Godparents, Aunts, Uncles, Father figures, Mother figures, Sister figures and Big Brother figures.

Let us also remember and pray for with grateful hearts, all the religious Sisters that have taught us, guided us, and helped us to see and believe in the God who not only created us, but loves us unconditionally, and how their faith and witness to that love is what makes them so very special and great Sister role models.

Sunday “S” - Selfless (one who is unselfish, generous and noble)

How selfless do you think you are? Do you see yourself as a selfless giver? Do you think that others see you as selfless more often than not? As a parent, when you heal the hurts of your child, spend extra time helping them with their homework or school project that was due yesterday but you were just told about it, when you put down everything so as to give them your total attention as they muddled through broken hearts and broken relationships?

As a spouse, when you learn that your spouse is working late and the dinner you prepared would get cold? When you stay up and wait for their return home so that you can behold their face and be embraced in their arms? When you hold your tongue and choose to build them up instead of tearing them down as they utter words of anger in your direction? As a child, when you care for your sick or aged parent? When you give your favorite or most cherished possession to your sibling because you saw the gleam in their eyes as they looked at it, the very gleam that you had or still have? As a religious living in community, can you recognize your many acts of selflessness by the way you pray for those in your community, love those who are not able to show you love in return, listen to each other, serve the needs of the older and ill?  What calls you to be selfless instead of selfish? Is it the gentle whisper of God that calls you to be better than what you think you can be? What does Jesus say to you when you love others more than yourself, when you lift up the needs and prayers for others before your own needs?

Today, listen to the gentle voice and whisper of God as He affirms your many acts of selflessness. Smile with God as He smiles at you for following the path of Jesus His Son, in giving of yourself in love instead of selfishly taking out of self-centeredness and ego.

Monday “I” - Impartial (one who is fair and just)

How fair and just do you think you are? How many times in one day have you had to make decisions that were fair and just? How hard was it when others wanted you to make decisions that would favor them, their view point or their need to get ahead? Are you fair with yourself? Do you judge yourself too harshly? Do you think that God is fair and just? Do you think that the cross you carry is God’s unjust and unfair response to your sins and weaknesses, or is the cross you carry a gift that enables you to be fair and just as a follower of Jesus?

As a follower of Christ, being impartial is a grace and a gift that is given and which holds a great responsibility. Once we receive the gift, we are called to be open-minded, not judge others, but leave that judgment to God alone since only God our hearts and why we do what we do. Once we receive the gift, we are called to share it with others by the way we love one another and reflect the presence of a just, loving, compassionate and merciful God.

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He passes His judgement on you. Lift your eyes because where you think that He is going to chastise you for your weaknesses and sins, He is affirming you for your decision to be a better, fairer, and less judgmental person.                 

Tuesday “S” - Sincere (one who is free of deceit, hypocrisy or falseness)

How sincere do you think you are?  Are others as sincere as you would like them to be, or do they miss the mark? How do you deal with hypocrisy? Does it make you angry as it did Jesus, or do you accept it as a norm? When we experience hypocrisy or deceit within the family or our circle of friends, it can be very painful, and then we are left with how to rise above it through the grace of God’s mercy, and compassion. When we are deceitful or when we act like a hypocrite, we are choosing to sell our souls to the devil and act in a way that contradicts the Gospel. Jesus called the hypocrites of His time to their truth as He does us. We can choose to change and be honest or remain stuck in falseness. Our faith in God and our desire to be His faithful followers requires us to strive each and every day to avoid hypocrisy and remain steadfast in our commitment to building His kingdom here on earth.

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He reminds you of your call as His follower, and commends you on your decision to be genuine and truthful and not seek to please others by saying one thing and doing another, no matter how less popular this makes you.

Wednesday “T” - Thoughtful (one who is considerate, caring and kind)

How thoughtful do you think you are? Do you try to be more thoughtful with and towards others especially when it is difficult? When someone is not thoughtful or caring or kind, does it bother you? Do you judge yourself harshly when you find yourself being unthoughtful, say uncaring words and do unkind things? We all fall short, but it when we raise our eyes and take God’s hand of help, we find that we become more thoughtful and caring then we ever imagined we could be.

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He tells you that you are a very thoughtful person. You extend your prayers and well wishes to those who are ill, you listen to others as they share their grief and problems with you, you are always there for others when they need you, and you never make anyone feel like a burden but rather a blessing. Does this really sound like you? God doesn’t lie, It is.

Thursday “E” - Empathetic (on who relates to the feelings and experiences of others, sensitive and sympathetic)

How empathetic do you think you are? What does it mean to be empathetic and how difficult is it? Do you find it easier to be judgmental and negative with others especially when you think that they cause their own misery or problems? Do you take the time to really listen to others so as to gain a better understanding of their situation or do you pretend to listen because you have already passed judgment?

How do you feel when others judge you first and choose not to be empathetic or understanding? How hurtful is it and how do you respond? Jesus was very empathetic but He also called people to their truth.  As His followers, we are called to help those in need. With Jesus we are called to walk with and not judge or condemn others. We are called to be empathetic and compassionate with those who are different, those whose crosses are heavier than ours, and those whose crosses are lighter, those who are outcasts as well as those who are the center of attention, the visible sinners and the and those who do not know Christ. Who are you called to love today?

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He directs your heart to love another who is difficult to love and embrace their story as Christ embraces yours.

Friday “R” - Reliable (one who is trustworthy, honest, dependable and reliable)

How easy is it to be reliable? How often are you tempted to do your own thing, stick to doing what you want, or just making excuses when you don’t want to bother with someone or do anything that will put you out of your way?  How reliable are you in your prayer life? Do you make time to be with God in prayer? Are you honest with God? Do you stand before God or do you try to hide?

In families, in religious communities, in our church and in our neighborhoods, we are often called to forego our needs so that we may serve and help others.  This can be an easy task or it can be a difficult one, but no matter how it is, as we seek to serve our God and build His kingdom here on earth, our response must be made in the spirit of humility and out of love. As builders of love, compassion, mercy, peace, healing, and reconciliation, we are called to be honest with our self, God and others. We are called to be dependable so that the task at hand can be accomplished, we are called to do our best no matter what so that others can see more clearly the presence of God in and through our honesty, reliability and dependability.

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He not only thanks you but also how much He needs you. He thanks you for not only being an honest and dependable builder of His kingdom here on earth, but for doing so in a spirit of humility, love and joy. He needs you to be His builder, one prayer, one act of kindness, selflessness, thoughtfulness, and understanding, all with one heart.

Saturday “S” - Steadfast (one who is unwavering, dedicated and persistent)

What does it mean to be steadfast and do you see yourself as steadfast?  What draws you to want to be steadfast or unwavering? Your family, faith, friends, community?

I often say that my husband is my better half, not that he or I think that he is better than me, but rather he calls me to be my best and better self.  He recognizes the good in me when things seem to overshadow my ability to recognize the goodness within myself. That is God. It is God who calls us to be better than we think that we can be or become.  He calls us to stay the course and He will steer us in the right direction, he calls us, and call us and calls us. He is a persistent and loving God who will never stop reaching out for us. The question is as He calls us and reaches out to and for us, are we listening? are our hands tied or free and do we allow Him to steer or do we take the wheel and attempt to ride it alone?

Today, listen to the gentle whisper of God as He calls your name and tells you how much he loves you, how you are His greatest creation, and how much He needs you.

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of November 18, 2018

My Glimpse for this week comes from a spirit of gratitude for God’s many blessings, both in the sacred and the ordinary, the awesome and the pawsome, those seen out the window and in the mirror.  A few thoughts about this week.......

Today, in the liturgical sense we celebrate the 33rd or last Sunday in Ordinary time and next week we will celebrate the feast of Christ the King. This is the biggest traveling week of the year, so some will spend time away from home and some will be returning home, It will be a day or week of tears, both of joy and of sadness. This week we will gather to celebrate the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday where will gather with family and friends to spend quality time in each other's presence, share stories and partake of a meal. This week we will also participate in, voluntarily or not, a parent's nightmare or the shopper's heaven,.... Black Friday.  So....I invite you to see Glimpses of God in all of the sanity and insanity: the ordinary and the extraordinary, the pets and the people, in a life of simplicity and in the sometimes very complicated, in the creation we see and the greatest one that we were created to be. God is there, wherever you were, are and hope to be.

 

Sunday – Thank God for the gift of the routine and ordinary, the exciting and the extraordinary.

Today we celebrate the last Sunday in Ordinary time. Yet, I have to ask, if it were your last Sunday in the ordinary time of your life, how would you respond?  Would you change the way you are living as you prepare to meet Christ the King, or would you continue to live as you are with Christ as your King?

Sometimes we become stagnant because we do some of the same things each and every day like going to work, cooking meals, cleaning the house, helping with homework, paying the bills, taking care of the pets, studying and we don’t feel as if we are growing as a person. We lose sight of their meaning and why we do them, and begin to take them for granted. This happens in our spiritual life as well, we say our set prayers, we pray at meals, we reach out to those in need, and we even find time to read the Bible, but yet these spiritual exercises have become more routine and the understanding of their deeper meaning and purpose seems absent. Our relationship with God, our desire to grow in that relationship falls into the depth of routine and ordinary instead of exciting and extraordinary.

A simple question to you is this: In the ordinary routine events of your day, is Christ your King or have others things taken His place? Whether you are a religious or lay person, married or single, young adult or child, would others see the crown of Christ on your head or at the cross? Is the reason you get up each morning so that you can follow Him and give Him the glory and honor that He deserves or does He come to mind only when you need something? Christ lived and died for you, do you recognize that you are His beloved child and that He loves you more than you can ever imagine? Does His being King of your heart and life empower you to live more for Him and not for the world? Can you give your heart to Him today and let Him heal the brokenness, bind up your wounds and make you whole?

 

Monday – Thank God for the gift of the awesome and mighty pawsome

As I begin a new week, I reflect on Clover and how she began her week and ours: Selflessly, completely and joyfully. Clover is a pet therapy dog and spends a few hours each Sunday with the retired Sisters at Assisi house.  She absolutely loves her time there and I believe the Sister’s enjoy her presence there as well. On Monday, she is tired.  She rests much of the day. Although she can’t answer the question of Is Christ the king of her life, she reflects her yes by the way she is present to the sisters and how she brings them healing, unconditional love, happiness, peace and joy.

Today, look to the pets that you have or that others have and try to see them as God’s instrument of healing, happiness, wholeness, peace and joy. They give of themselves completely for the happiness of their owner. They are reminders of how we should be: unconditionally loving, forgiving, and happy just because. They don’t hold a grudge no matter what their owners forget to do for them. They wag their tails even at the point of dying to show their owners that they will suffer but they don’t want their owners to. This is true love. Christ died so that we may live, does your life reflect that selfless act of love?

 

Tuesday – Thank God for the gift of Children

Today look at the children and try to see the face of God in them. They remind us by their innocence that we are all called to trust and believe in the love and presence of God and not let others change or diminish our faith. God dwells in the heart and soul of each child. When they give of their heart, they are giving of what God has planted in them. They are trying to please parents and family with the gift and talents that they have discovered and uncovered in themselves. God gives us the gifts and talents that we possess. We should do our best to nurture and use them to glorify Him and thank Him. Children are reminders of that by the way they give of their hearts. Parents take that and give them the opportunity to grow with their gifts. They recognize the giftedness. Do you recognize your giftedness? Can you see that your talents are gifts are from God to be used to glorify Him? Can you thank Him today?

 

Wednesday – Thank God for the gift of His creation

Today, look outside and try to see the face of God in His creation. God gives us the free gift of the fresh air, the trees, the green grass, the birds and other creatures. God is there as the wind blows and when it is quiet. He is speaking through the birds, foxes, hawks, all of God’ creatures (great and small), the blue sky and the gentle rain. He is there to remind you that He is all around and not limited to any space or time. If you are seeking Him and having trouble just look out your window and pray that He speak to your heart. Wait and you will hear His gentle voice. Do as Mary said, Listen to Him.

 

Thursday – Thank God for the gift of Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving to all

A day to give thanks for the many blessings you have. This is a day to attend the celebration of Mass and experience the greatest gift of thanksgiving; the Holy Eucharist. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving Day alone or with others, this day is always a day to look at your blessings and look past your crosses. It is a day to see God in all of those challenges and see how you are blessed because of them. Our crosses can bring us great strength and courage, hope and healing. This day is an opportunity to just be and allow the meaning of the word “Thanksgiving” to permeate your being and take root so that you can give thanks and receive thanks from God for the gratitude that He has for you being His beloved child.

 

 

Friday – Thank God for the gift of your loved ones near and dear

Today, look for Him in the faces of those you love. Offer prayers of thanks for those you have been blessed with to call family, friend, or neighbor.  Look at those you have near to you and see God’s face in them. Today try not to take them for granted. Offer words of encouragement, support, and gratitude and let them know that you are blessed by their presence in your life. Spouses, children, siblings, nieces, nephews, and neighbors are all God’s way of showing us His many faces. He offers us the opportunity to recognize them and see in and through the differences that He is the one and only creator, we are His creation, we are all His beloved children and that we are all placed in this world to build up His Kingdom one person at a time. We can’t do anything alone; we need Him and each other.

 

Saturday – Thank God for the gift of YOU!!!

Today, look in the mirror and try to see that face of God in the person that you are looking at. He is there. He is smiling on you. He is looking into your very heart and placing His love there freely. This is a jaw dropping realization for some, is it for you? Do you believe or do you look in the mirror in disbelief? When I think of this, my jaw drops because it means that He sees my potential, my abilities, my desires, my heart and even my sinfulness and believes in me more than I believe in myself. Thank God He is God.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of November 11, 2018

This week's Glimpse of God comes from OUR VETERANS: those who selflessly gave the ultimate sacrifice of their life for our country, those who survived in the midst of great suffering, death and despair, those who returned home with a great welcome, and those who returned with no fanfare at all, those who returned to their families who were there and supported them as they fought for our freedom and peace and those who came back to an empty house, all of these men and women Veterans are and will always be a Glimpse of God to me because no matter what war they fought or how it turned out, they said YES to God and their country and gave of themselves for others.

 

We celebrate Veterans Day this weekend, the day where we are called to remember those who said YES when asked to serve their country, who were called to return home to their God as they fought for our freedom and peace, and to thank those who survived the great trial of war and are left with the memories of their fallen comrades, their injuries, their isolation and the darkness that comes from war, death and their conscience.  Some of the Veterans who lived through great destruction, death and darkness will never speak of their experiences. They have placed them in a compartment of their soul that will not be brought out because of the impact, the devastation and the sadness that they hold.

There are some Veterans who have selflessly fought the fight that our country called them to, but upon their return, their country did not recognize their battle, their cause or their sufferings, and they are left feeling forgotten and alone. Whether the Veteran be that of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in which our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard members have deployed and sacrificed, we owe a great debt of gratitude for their selfless sacrifice for our country and our freedoms.

As we begin a new week, let us try to imitate the sacrifice, selflessness and the love for God and others by our actions, in our attitudes and through our prayers.

 

SUNDAY – “V” –Voice

Our Veterans have a voice. They were called to use it to proclaim the freedom and the peace of God to those who were bound, unfree and living in fear. They used their voice as one of command with the troops, as well as one of reverence and respect as they pledged allegiance to the flag. Their voice carried as they shouted words of warning as well as when they shouted words of victory. They used their God given voice to serve God, country and others. They were not ashamed, embarrassed or afraid and neither should we be. Duty was not shirked but embraced!

For today have a voice, don’t swallow your thoughts, opinions or perspectives out of fear, shame or embarrassment. God gave you a voice, a personal way of looking at things, a unique perspective so that you can share them with others. When you use your voice to serve God it is not a voice of control but more of humility, it is not a voice that belittles, but rather builds up, it is not a voice of condemnation but rather of compassion.  Do you realize that God uses your voice to build up His kingdom here on earth?

 

 

 

MONDAY – “E” – Empathy

To walk in another’s shoes and to attempt to see through the eyes of one another. Who among us has seen and heard what our veterans have done and how it has impacted the concepts of life and liberty for our nation? We have much to appreciate for the sacrifices of our Veterans and their love of God and country!

For today, seek to be empathetic to someone that has served or is serving our country and listen to their story. Listen with an open heart and seek to understand what they are saying. Allow them to tell their story and allow their story to transform you and expand your heart.

 

TUESDAY – “T” – Thankfulness

Most of our Veterans are thankful that they could serve their country. It wasn’t easy, but it was a job that needed to be done and they were there to do it. We are all called to do things that are not easy but God has chosen us to do them because He knows us best and our hearts desire and chooses us because He knows that we are the best for the job. Being thankful is a choice that you make.  Although we can make people say thanks, you, can’t make someone feel thankful.

For today, be genuine in your thankfulness and your expression of gratitude. Let it come from deep down and not just in lip service. Start with God and end with yourself. God deserves your gratitude for the many blessings that He has bestowed upon you especially the gift and love of Jesus His son, but He is also grateful to you for who you are, the person that He created you to be, and for your undivided heart that seeks to serve Him faithfully.

 

WEDNESDAY – “E” – Embrace

Our Veterans were far from embracing. They did not have the blessing of a hug from their family or friends. When they were far away from home, they did not get to experience the joy of embracing their baby, their children or their spouse, but they did have the grace to recognize that God is always embracing them and holding them deeply close to Himself.

For today, embrace someone that needs to feel the love and compassion of God through you.

There are many reasons for an embrace, it could be an embrace to offer reconciliation, extend peace, or share joy. We all need to be embraced. God wants to and is always there to embrace us spiritually, and asks that we be there to extend His embrace to His sons and daughters who are in need of hope and feeling loved.

 

THURSDAY - “R”- Resurrection

Our Veterans were men and women who had hope and did not let the circumstances that surrounded them defeat them. They were resurrection men and women. They lived through many good Fridays, but they stayed the course because they knew that Easter Sunday would follow, that there would be a resurrection and death would not have the final word.

Can you think of something that is causing you to keep looking in at the empty tomb and not believing that Jesus has risen and that death does not have the final word? In what part of your life are you lacking in hope and choosing to stay in discouragement, or despair?

For today, be a resurrection people and choose to have hope and send the devil of despair away for good.

 

 

FRIDAY - “A” – nonymous

Our Veterans did not serve to become famous. They did not serve so that their names would be written everywhere, or that they would get extra benefits. They selflessly served, not selfishly, and they chose and continue to choose, to remain anonymous because they know that the glory and honor goes only to God not humans. They are heroes, heroines, but by choosing to be anonymous it allows them to grow in holiness, and humility so that they can serve God better.

For today, can you choose to be anonymous when choosing not to be, will afford you notoriety, fame and fortune. You are a resurrection people, let people know that and let them see that in your words, deeds, and actions.

 

 

SATURDAY – “N” – Never.

Don’t say never when asked to spend time with a Veteran.

The word never has a finality to it. Reach out to our service members ---- they are a part of our nation’s heritage and history whose lessons need to be passed on to future generations. The Greatest generation’s numbers are dwindling every day. So too our Korean vets and Vietnam Vets numbers are also growing smaller. Thank them, honor them and please keep them and their families in your prayers.

For today, as you recall the words that Freedom is not free but is earned and must be treasured and respected each and every day, live them out by your support for veterans and your respect for what they have given you.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of November 4, 2018

This week’s Glimpse of God comes from a variety of sources: The first glimpse came through a conversation with a good friend. We were talking about how our dogs have us well trained and we wouldn’t have it any other way. They provide us with hours of joy, love, laughter, and peace as well as offer us a greater sense of God’s presence and blessing as we experience their unconditional love, their true joy when they see us, their forgiving nature when we have been gone all day or when we forget to feed them or don’t have time to walk them.  They are God’s way of reminding us of what we are called to be, can become and have the potential to remain, if we open our hearts and minds to His grace, love and direction.

If you were around this past week for Halloween, you would have seen; the very happy to please, can’t wait to show you my trick so that I can get a treat, I can’t believe that I am allowing this, Sister Clover in the house, Assisi house that is. When we talk about how dogs are unconditionally loving, very forgiving and always wanting to please, Clover is all that and more.  We dressed her up as Sister Clover and she went around the Assisi house as if she were Mother Superior.  Considering how the sisters and staff responded to her outfit, how they took pictures of her and with her, fussed over her, gave her a wide variety of treats, complimented her, pet her, kissed her, and made her feel like the queen, she processed around the halls and wagged her tail as if she was the Mother Superior for the day.

Clover in return, gave her paw, her kisses, her love, her smile, but most importantly her attention to each and every Sister who needed her. Whatever the need was: whether it was a need for a greater sense of peace, a golden glimpse of joy, needing to feel and give love, a source of good physical therapy after surgery, or the happiness that comes when a dog enters into the room and thinks that you are the center of their life. Clover was what God called her to be to each and every Sister and person that she met in the halls.

Being a Glimpse of God is not just for humanity, but God uses all of His creation to reflect His presence to those He places in it. Glimpses of God are experiences where we see with greater clarity the presence of God as He chooses to reveal Himself.  God is not limited.  God invites us to be His instruments in His world.  We can choose to be instruments that build up His kingdom here on earth or we can choose to be instruments that destroy it. It is our choice, but even in our weakest moment, our most sinful moment, when we choose to acknowledge our weakness or sin, it is then that we are seeing ‘s presence within our self more clearly and allowing His grace to penetrate our very being.

On Ash Wednesday, as we begin our Lenten journey, we hear the words “Turn away from sin and be true to the good news”. The good news is that we are loved and that there is nothing that we can say or do that will ever make God love us less, and this knowledge should bring us joy. We don’t need to wait for lent to be reminded of this good news, God wants us to know it all the time. He gives us His grace so that we can hear and listen to this good news.  His grace is a transformative grace that once we experience it, we are different, we are changed, we are renewed and this is what God wants for us. Sometimes these moments of transformation need a little help. I believe that it is the “Sister Clover” moments when we experience a sense of peace and joy that we realize this is what God wants for us all the time.  He wants us to be at peace, not worried, anxious or stressed, He wants us to be still and not always rushing around to nowhere, He wants us to rejoice in our identity as His beloved sons or daughter, loved unconditionally, His greatest creation, and not feel like outcasts because of our sinfulness, He wants to penetrate our very being with His love so that we can be a greater reflection of that love to all those we encounter, so that we can be our best self, the best person that we have the potential to become.

Our pets are God’s humble, non-threatening instruments to help us reach our potential. Although, not everyone has a pet, God will always provide His instruments for us so that we can become our best self. His glimpses as we experience them though others, are His instruments for us to attain our potential. When another is compassionate, merciful, peace filled, loving, it is then that we see God, His goodness and His presence.

 This week, let us look around and try to recognize the many and varied Glimpses of God that will not only surround us but will beckon us to experience personal transformation through them.

SUNDAY – “G” God’s goodness

God is good and gracious.  He provides all that we need to grow in relationship with Him. What glimpses or gifts has God placed in your life that have allowed you to grow in a deeper relationship with Him? Have you been given the gift of quiet time in the midst of your busy day? Have you been gifted with a better understanding of prayer and how God wants you to speak from your heart, honestly and without fear?  Can you recognize the goodness of others that surround you and how they have helped you grow in love with your God and in a deeper relationship with Him? Your parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, friends, co-workers, community members, neighbors? Thank God for being so good to you.

MONDAY – “L” God’s love

God’s love is eternal.  His love for you will never die, grow short, end or be restricted.  He loves you unconditionally. Do you believe that? Who in your life has been a glimpse of the unconditional love of God? Who have you been a glimpse to of the unconditional love of God.  Say a prayer of grateful love.

TUESDAY – “I” God’s invitation

God’s invitation is not a trick.  He invites us to be in relationship with Him. He invites us be in communion with Him each and every day. This communion will be a communion of transformation, conversion, renewal and refreshment. It is an invitation that comes not because we have earned it, or won it, or deserve it. It is free but it comes with a commission and mission. It is an invitation for us to unite our will to God’s so that we can be our best self, the person that He has created us to be, the person that others want us to be, and the person that we can face in the mirror and not run away from. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to extend the invitation to others and be ready and willing to talk about the good news with them. Have you opened your invitation? Is it still sitting on your desk, unopened? Opened but still in the envelope? Right out front ready to reread again and again? Is it in a   prominent spot that reminds you of how much God loves you and wants to be in relationship with you?

Say your own RSVP. No regrets.

WEDNESDAY – “M” God’s mercy

God’s mercy is such a gift. It requires grace to share it, grace to receive it and grace to extend it. Can you recognize how God’s grace has opened your heart to receive His mercy and can you see how you have extended it to others? How has mercy been extended to you? Blessed are the merciful they shall be shown mercy….

THURSDAY – “P” God’s peace

We can’t experience true peace without God. In the midst of life, where we can get stressed out and anxious, the peace that God longs for us to have and hold onto is overshadowed by many other things.  Being at peace doesn’t mean that there will not be times of stress, but rather it can mean that in the midst of the stress, when we can turn over our concerns to God trusting in His infinite wisdom, that we will not feel over whelmed, alone or anxious.  In the midst of life, when we invite God to walk with us through it all, His presence brings about the peace that we need so that we can keep putting one foot in front of the other and not turn back. The prayer of Saint Francis, the prayer for peace, is a foundational prayer that when one prays it, one begins to experience what true peace is and can be. As we pray for peace with Saint Francis, we begin to see as a co-worker in the vineyard of God, building His kingdom one brick, one act of mercy, one prayer at a time.

What is you level of peace? is it at the brim flowing over and abounding? Is it in the middle, half of peace yet still the other half filled with worry, concern and anxiety? Is it on empty, because your worries, anxieties, weaknesses have sucked up all your peace and left you deflated, discouraged or defeated? Good news!!! God’s peace flows like a river, it will never run dry, it will never leave you empty and it will never be denied.

Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall experience peace

FRIDAY – “S” God’s selflessness

God calls us to be selfless not selfish. Jesus’ death was a selfless act of unconditional love and surrender. He chose to die for us so that we can experience eternal peace, joy and happiness with Him when our earthly journey is ended. How are you called to be selfless? How hard is it to selfless and not selfish? How do others encourage you to be selfless? Who has been a selfless model for you to follow? When you are tempted to be selfish instead of selfless, what changes your mind?

Only God can be selfish and when He is it is for our own good. God is selfish in that He wants us for Himself. He loves us so much that He wants us to be in relationship with Him while here on earth so that we can see Him face to face when our earthly journey has ended. He wants us to give our time to Him and not spend so much on the computer, playing video games, texting, partying, over working, self-medicating because only when we give our time to Him in prayer can we recognize and receive the graces that we need to grow to be our best self.  God is selfish in that HE is the only God and He doesn’t want us to be deceived by the devil in believing that the world and all that it allures us with, is a god.  Only God forms us in our Mother’s womb, gives us life, nurtures us throughout our earthly life with the sacraments of the church, gives us His grace so that we can live and be the best person that we can be, and promises us eternal life.

There is no god but God. Who or what is your god: consumerism, social status, power, prestige, laziness, self-centeredness, ego? have you been deceived by your god? Do you allow the only one true God into your heart and mind so that He can steer you clear of the false gods that are ready to claim you as their own?

SATURDAY – “E” God’s embrace

It is the embrace of God, the love of God, the spiritual hug from God that makes one stronger, healthier, healed, whole, at one with God. How far are you from God’s embrace? What does the embrace look like? Is it in the face of compassion, mercy, forgiveness, healing, rest, enjoyment, fun, laughter, or in the form of pets, creation, the sunrise or the sunset? God’s embraces here on earth are as many and as often as one opens their heart and mind to seeing and experiencing them.  Our greatest spiritual embrace is the Holy Eucharist, but yet we, as the body of Christ, are called to be embracers, to embrace others. How have you been God’s embrace to others? How have others been God’s embrace to

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of October 28, 2018

This week's Glimpse of God comes in a word, "CANCER".

This week as I reflect on personal health, the stroke that my sister had and the lasting effects that are still debilitating, breast cancer awareness, a sister/nun who is suffering with lung disease and preparing to meet her Lord soon,  and the men who are suffering with prostate cancer, I can't help think of how we choose to cope with our disease is how we choose to live as we die or die as we live. A long time friend was diagnosed with colon cancer. She is mother of two, a loving daughter to her parents, a helping sister and aunt to her family members,a great friend to us. She is shocked to hear at her age that she has colon cancer. We are as well. Being a 2x cancer survivor, I know what it is like, but it is still devastating to hear and process. I also have a very good faithfilled, faithful, loving friend that is a 3x survivor of very rare forms of cancer, who still faces cancer that is stable but yet still there. I also know of a good man who attends daily Mass who is undergoing prostate cancer. He is a big man with such a big heart and he is facing it with the courage tha God has filled him with,  a wife that is the most loving person and His God that he serves so well despite the health challenges that he has now and has had in the past.

We hear the word and we think the worst. We think quickly of death and that our time is up or the time of a loved one here on earth is going to end sooner than later. When one hears that they have cancer or that a loved one has cancer, they think that life isn't fair or that they did something to get this disease. Often there is no reason or cause for the disease, it is just our bodies telling us that a terrible agent has entered our body and that is is going to be a great challenge to get rid of the agent and its effects. How one chooses to get rid of the disease can range from surgery to chemo to radiation to natural remedies. In any case the body is telling us that it has been invaded and we need to get rid of the invading source or the enemy.

When dealing with cancer, as I have done two times, it is more often the outlook of the person on the disease than the disease itself that brings forth healing and wholeness. Does healing mean that one's cancer goes away never to return or can it mean that how we deal with it brings us to a daily appreciation and recognition of the  presence of God in our fight to get better and beat the disease and its effects?

For me, knowing that I had the disease and am a survivor, tells me that although my body chooses not to cooperate at times, I feel that everyday is a good day, because God didn't create anything bad, but some days can be more challenging than others. This outlook for me is a gift from God that tells me He is in the midst of my physical pain and suffering and that He is enduring the very same things with me and that I am not alone.  

Cancer is not a death sentence, but rather a life choice. It is not one of no hope, but can be a cause to fight, it is not a defeat but can become a personal victory. It is an opportunity to put our trust, faith and hope in Him and those in the medical profession that He chooses to use as His instruments of healing and wholeness, hope and trust. It is with and through the journey of healing that one can begin or continue to see God and how He is present to them. It is a choice to live life and not choose death. It is an opportunity to look at life and live it with a greater zeal, energy, self determination, perseverence and desire to win. One can fight even to the end and die knowing that God has been with them and that their final breath is one of new life, peace and joy as they prepare to meet Him face to face. Death is the beginning of a new journey with God, one that will not include any pain or suffering, but rather the eternal peace, joy and happiness that He promised to those who loved Him.

But what if you never had to deal with cancer and the effects that it has on the body? Does this glimpse mean anything to you? Can it? I would offer a thought to those who have been blessed with good health but might be struggling with another form of cancer, one that takes the face of anger, bitterness, resentment and even false pride. These facets are a type of cancer, but one that invades and take over our spirit, our hearts, and even our relationship with God.

These facets take over our relationships with family, friends and most importantly our God. We hold on to things and give them control. The grudge, the bitterness, the anger takes over our minds and emotions, and this leaves us at odds with people, unhappy with our self and we run away from God instead of to Him.

When one faces cancer of the body, one begins to look at their own mortality and how they need to prepare for what could be their spiritual transition from this life to the next which includes much uncertainty and fear. Death is not the end of life and the beginning of darkness but rather the end of darkness and beginning of new life and light.

Whether one has a terminal disease of the body or one of the heart, there are a few insights that I will offer to help get rid of whatever enemy has invaded your being.

The big 'C", cancer, is a disease of the body, an invasion and a takeover of one's physical wellbeing. This can be remedied in many ways or not, but in any case, one has to learn how to fight and not be defeated. For this week, look within yourself and see where you can be a source of healing or become more whole and healed.

 

SUNDAY - The big C of COURAGE - for today look at the courage you have to be willing to fight and be healed. Look at your life and try to see where you faced your fears and were not overcome by them. Look at how you choose to live life and not live in the darkness of regret. Courage is a gift that God gives to those who choose to live life with Him and not live in fear. With courage one can face their fears, whether they are of having cancer of the body or of the spirit. If one is angry and resentful and lives life in the darkness that these emotions hold, then one needs to ask for courage to forgive, seek mercy and be reconciled. SEEK COURAGE.

 

MONDAY - The big C of CHAINS OF CAPTIVITY for today look at what holds you captive and how this is keeping you from becoming whole and healed. Is it the fear of the treatments for cancer and its effects, or is it the fear of facing the person that has caused  you harm and the memory and the anger are holding you captive and not allowing you to be free? Seek not be held captive but rather hold captive those things that want to invade your heart and soul and keep them far away. BREAK AWAY FROM THE CHAINS OF CAPTIVITY ONE LINK AT A TIME.

 

TUESDAY - The big C of COMPANION - for today who will you choose to walk this journey with? Who will you companion with as you go through the medical maze of treatments, surgery, tests, doctor appointments and the many other things that you will face? Who will you trust with your emotions, sickness and frustrations? You cannot walk this journey alone. God is your steady companion and knows your heart better than you know it. He is walking with you and will place others in your life to be companioned with.

There are those in your life that probably want to help and will feel helpless, allow them to know what they can do that will not require any heavy lifting, except that of their hearts to God for your healing as He sees best.  What will help you as you journey through the medical maze of healing or the spiritual maze of healing; Prayer is the answer that gets God's attention. Prayer is the most selfless act any person can do because it places the needs of another before one's own.  Perhaps you will become the wounded healer and help those who are suffering as you had. COMPANION ANOTHER ON YOUR JOURNEY OF HEALING AND WHOLENESS.

 

WEDNESDAY - The big C of COMPASS - for today, look at the direction that you are going? What direction is it? Are you going toward healing and wholeness or rather towards anger, bitterness, resentment, pride and selfishness? Who is guiding you on your journey and how are they helping you grow towards healing? Is it your God that knows best what your needs are or is it your emotions and pride that will not allow you to seek mercy or extend it to another? God is the compass, He is our direction, He knows what lies ahead if we place our trust in Him and seek to know His will. God doesn't cause cancer, but He is there to help you find healing and peace.

SEEK HIS DIRECTION AND YOU WILL NEVER GET LOST.

 

THURSDAY - The big C of CRUNCH TIME - for today how are you dealing with the decisions that need to be made? If you are dealing with the terminal illness and time is short, how are you preparing yourself? Are you or a loved one at peace? Do you believe that God loves you, that you are His beloved son or daughter and that He will embrace you as you go to Him? He created you and no sin that you committed will ever cause Him to not be proud of His beloved creation. During this time, crunch, step on, get rid of those things that block your direction and seek to cause you stress and anxiety. USE YOUR CRUNCH TIME TO SEE HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO HEALING, WHOLNESS AND BEING FREE.

 

FRIDAY - The big C of CONQUER - for today, look at what you need to conquer and go for it! This is your day to conquer any fears, anxiety or regrets that are keeping you from the healing that God intends. Look back at your life and see the times that you conquered the enemy, whether it was a physical, emotional, or spiritual one. You faced it, you conquered it, and you lived to talk about it. Cancer can be conquered if we believe that we, with God, are in the fight together. The healing of the terminal illness of cancer might not be possible, but the deep rooted feelings and experience of peace, love, inner joy and contentment that one has can be more freeing than the physical healing of the disease. CONQUER YOUR FEARS AND TELL ABOUT IT!

 

SATURDAY - The big C of CHANGE, for today look at how you have crafted your life. How have you designed it and how has God been a part of the design? Has cancer changed your design or enhanced it? Do you see yourself and your life differently since cancer has come into the picture? If you suffer an emotional or spiritual cancer, has your heart been changed? More open?  Healed? Have you been able to let go and let God deal with the memory that has bound you and held you captive? Is God your designer or have you taken on the job yourself? God has a plan for each of His children, we just have to have our minds, hearts and will open to see and receive His plan for our life. This can be difficult to do, but when we hand over the design to Him, He will then give us in return the big picture of our life as His son or daughter and how it can be. Allow your cancer, whether it is one of body, mind or spirit, to be placed into the picture of your life and see how it has the power to change you and make you a better, not bitter person. CHANGE FOR CANCER ISN’T PENNIES OR NICKELS, DIMES OR QUARTERS BUT RATHER OPEN HEARTS, MENDED RELATIONSHIPS AND SPIRITUAL HEALING.

 

This week let us pray for healing for all those who  are facing the terminal illlness of cancer as well as any other illness that will bring them to see God face to face sooner than later.

Let us pray for the companions and caregivers that they companion those who suffer with any illness, that will take the patient home to God because their bodies cannot or will not heal, with patience,  understanding and compassion..

Let us pray for all the medical professionals that they continue to be instruments of healing, empathy and compassion for their patients.

Let us pray for all those who struggle with the other cancers that have invaded their hearts and souls, that they come to a peace and healing so that they can be free and whole again.
Let us pray in gratitude for those who have entered or life and have gone before us in faith and hope to the place prepared for them by God;their loving creator.

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of October 21, 2018

This week’s Glimpse of God comes to me every day when I attend daily Mass. My glimpse of God comes in and through the priest and his role as Christ’s representative as he celebrates the Mass.

I realize that not everyone who reads this is Catholic or even understands what the role of the priest is, so I invite those of you who are not Catholic to look at your Minister or Pastor and see how he/she represents the person of Christ, or brings you to a greater knowledge and love of God as you seek to understand Him.

In the Catholic Mass, there are two essential parts of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

I am not going to use this glimpse to explain what each part consists of or their significance, if you are interested in that information, feel free to contact me and I can explain better what each part includes.

 

During the Liturgy of the Word, after the Scripture readings, the Priest or Deacon has the opportunity to give a homily, which is based on the readings. At this point in his reflections, our pastor as well as the visiting priests and our deacon, often incorporates his sense of humor, personal stories and theology to explain the readings in way that can be better understood by the congregation. Many of the congregation get the humor at that moment and laugh while it takes some others a few minutes longer and then you see them smile.

My glimpse comes when I realize that the homily reflects the humanness and the perspective of the priest and deacon .  In many cases, as there are priests and deacons, the homilies can either be too short, too long, too wordy, over the head, in the head, from the toes, off the hip, from the internet, but in our case, they are sincere and just enough to remember and focus on when you return home. Through the priest’s or deacon’s words in the homily, I am given the opportunity to see him as a person who, in the midst of the many challenges to the ordained life, stands firm and committed to serving Christ wholeheartedly. His words exude his love for the Church, for Christ and for us.

 

The next part of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This is where the priest stands in the place of Jesus Christ and through the process of Transubstantiation; the complete change of the substance of bread and wine into the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood, gives us our true and only source of spiritual nourishment, the Holy Eucharist.  No matter who Father is, how young or old, a good homilist or not, personable or introverted, when he celebrates Mass he is standing in the place of Christ.

He as a humble servant, prays that although unworthy, that Christ come through Him to feed the flock. When he raises the chalice and the bread and prays the prayers of consecration, the bread and wine become the body and the blood of Jesus.

Eucharist means thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the gift of the priest and his ordination that allows me to be fed and nourished at the table of the Lord. Through reception of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are all invited to change and to draw power and strength to make Christ present and alive in our life as Christians.  The Eucharist transforms us so that we can be the best person that Christ invites us to be, that He knows that we can become. The priest gives us what we so desire as Catholics, the opportunity to receive Christ so that we can be the Body of Christ to others. As he prays through the entire Mass I am given a chance to experience who God is because of his humility, love for Christ, desire to bring us to know Christ, and his ability to be human and not exude the holier than thou attitude.

This week, let us strive to be the best person that God has created us to be, a glimpse of God, the Body of Christ.

 

SUNDAY – PRAYERFUL SPIRIT - At your Sunday Mass or Service, pray for your Priest, Pastor or Minister that they be strengthened by their prayer life, the Sacraments, the life of the Church, and the support of the people they minister to and the congregations they serve.

MONDAY – HELPING HANDS - try to reach out to those in need by picking up the phone and calling someone who is lonely and/or alone, by writing a letter or note for someone who cannot write anymore because they are arthritic or elderly or has trouble seeing, or by placing your hands in prayer and praying for a few extra minutes for those who entrusted you with their needs.

TUESDAY - HAPPY FEET - try today to walk a little bit for your own health and wellbeing, or by donating some of the shoes that you don’t need or wear anymore to the poor and homeless. Think of someone who you struggle to see eye to eye with and ask God for the grace to walk in their spiritual shoes.

WEDNESDAY – EYES OF TRUTH – try to be the eyes of truth by looking at those who you live with, work with, live near and seeing the good in them and letting them know. The good you see in others is probably the good they see in you. Be that truth today.

THURSDAY – HUMBLE HEART - try today to be the heart of compassion by not tearing down another especially one that has offended you in some way, instead, take a moment of silence and pray to choose love over vengeance or anger. Forgiveness brings peace, silence empowers and love conquers hatred.

FRIDAY – OPEN EARS – try to be the open ears that listen to another and seek to be empathetic and not judgmental. Try to understand where they are coming from and what is weighing upon their heart as they speak to you. Silence is a gift that sometimes when we listen we are inspired to give. 

SATURDAY – BREATH OF LIFE –Every breath that we are given is a gift from God. So today be the breath of life to those you encounter by saying kind words, by offering sincere compliments, or by supporting another with words of comfort and consolation. But more importantly, take a moment to focus on your breathing and see if it is slow, fast, labored or calm. In whatever speed your breathing is, is it a reflection of your present life experience or challenge, and if it is can you bring it to God in prayer? Can you make it a prayer of Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication, all or some

 

 

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 usGod 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.

Glimpse of God for the week of October 7th

This week's Glimpse of God came to me as browsed through an antique store.

John and I like to go to antique stores, not to purchase anything, but really just to browse.

Lately, as I have gone to different antique stores, malls and the like, I began to ask myself the question, "what makes something an antique"? The question came to me because some of the items that I saw in some of the antique stores, seemed to be just used, dusty, not in great condition and that people found in their garage and just wanted to get of.  In my eyes, there was no real apparent quality in them, some of them were not in good condition, they weren't all that attractive, they seemed to be placed one on top of another so you didn't have the opportunity to see each item for what it was worth, and the price did not seem to be in proportion to the age of the item.

So, I decided to look up the definition of "antique". According to the computer dictionary, an antique is usually agreed upon to be something that is more than 100 years old and in good condition. There are things that are titled "vintage" and also "used", but for the sake of my Glimpse of God today, I will stick with the computer definition of antique.

 

I believe that genuine antique items are those things that we look at, admire, and dream about, and perhaps when and if all the stars align and we think that we can afford it, we will decide to purchase the desired item. These items are then placed in a prominent place in our homes, our offices or they are given as gifts. When we purchase a genuine antique, we possibly become the envy of others, we invite others to see our newly coveted gift, we even go so far as to intentionally, but discreetly and of course with great subtlety, mention it as if it were nothing of importance. For example, have you noticed how many antique cars and car shows there are and how many parades antique cars are in?

The men and women who take care of antique cars probably would not have as much fun if they couldn't show off their acquired piece of work. Yet in all of the antiques: the care they receive, the place of honor they are given, even the amount of respect paid to them, they are all items, not the most special gift of human life.

Now if an antique is something that is more than 100 years old, what about people still in our midst that are 100 years young? How do we treat them? Do we treat them with the love, respect, dignity, care, compassion, and the patience that they deserve? After all they represent years of wisdom, love, and memories of the past. They are our connection to what was and to what is today. How do we treat the wisdom figures in our midst, those who may not be 100 years old, but are years ahead of us in knowledge, memories, love, care and concern? Do we recognize that they are priceless gifts from God to be cherished and cared for and about?

How do we look at them? Do we see them as figures that we want to be prominent in our homes, and in our hearts or do we see them as a nuisance to be placed in a room in front of a TV, or are they in a nursing facility that we never visit?

As grandparents grow older, so do we and so do our children, since we all are going down the same path in life. Are we providing the opportunity for the present generations to embrace each other and listen to each other? Or as some antiques on the shelf, are they sitting and maybe not literally, but collecting dust? in other words, are they being ignored, not visited, not written to? Do your children know their grandparents, are they in relationship with them? if not, why? If they are deceased do you talk about them in a spirit of love so that your memories can passed on? Pray for them? Visit their graves?

As members of a religious community or as a single person, are the wisdoms figures of your life, community, family, being shown the respect and dignity they deserve? Do you take time to communicate with them via a phone call a personal visit, a letter, an email? Or do you see it as a chore and a burden and make excuses as to why you can’t be in relationship with then?

As God embraces you in your weakness and strengths, can you hear Him invite you to embrace your elders with that same love and compassion? If you don’t what excuse do you come up with that you think God hasn’t heard before?

 

There is one excuse that does not work and that is WE don't have time.  Time is a GIFT!

Those who are dead don't have any more time on earth, but we believe they are enjoying their time in heaven. Do we want our children to lose their family wisdom figures with no memories to hold on to? Wouldn't it be easier to build up the treasure chest of memories so that they can continuously go back and retrieve them, talk about them, share them, laugh and cry over them? We don't have time, yet if we are honest with our self, did our parents, our grandparents tell us that they didn't have time for us? I apologize if your answer to this is YES. I pray that you seek time with our loving God who always has time for you and loves you far beyond any love an earthly parent can show, so that you can hear Him tell you that He has all the time you need.

If it is your lack of mercy because of the fault of your parent, that is not your child's sin or fault, isn't it time to let go and give your parent a chance to know their grandchild? Easier said than done, I know, but life is short and it is shorter for the elderly in our midst.

Do you want to forgive? Can you forgive? not alone, but with the grace of God all things are possible.  Let us try to forgive those who have hurt us and allow ourselves to be embraced by our loving God who loves all of us unconditionally, in our sinfulness and in our weakness, in our joys and in our sorrows, in our youth and in our older years. Mercy is healing, although memories are painful, they are what make us who we are today and as we heal, we can begin to say I forgive you. It is not easy, but I promise you, it is the best gift that God has in store for you, and the one that is greater than any gift or antique you can find.

This week’s glimpse is not only in and through the elderly in our midst, but also how have we forgiven the elderly, our parents, grandparents, siblings, in our lives that have hurt us?

Can we ask for help for healing and the peace and freedom that it will bring?

Think of someone who is older, be it a family member, neighbor, community member and say a prayer for them, perhaps call or visit them and thank them for the gift of their life.

As I said, life is short especially for the older ones among us. Help them to see the years past as appreciated and respected. Help them to see the road ahead without fear or apprehension, but with joy and anticipation, after all, don’t those we know, although not without fault, all deserve to be prayed for and entrusted to the loving care and intercession of Our Blessed Mother Mary and Her Son Jesus.

Remember what Jesus said as He died on the cross, "Father forgive Them for they know not what they do"

We are the "Them", because we have hurt others and we have sinned, our parents are the "Them", Those who we have been hurt by are the "Them".

All on earth are the "Them". No one on this earth is exempt, but by the graciousness of Christ, we have all been included in His act of redemption by His death on the cross, and all have hope in and by His resurrection.

Can we do anything less than Jesus did? Not!!! If we claim to be His followers, if we are baptized believers, baptized into His passion, death and resurrection, we have to do as He did, nothing less than that is not an option..Seek His mercy, find His peace, share His love and freely offer these gifts with those in need

Today, as John and I prepare to renew our wedding vows for our 20th anniversary, I am leaving you with this Glimpse.  Although I am not providing a daily reflection, I invite you to take each day and pray for one elderly person that you know. Is that person being treated with dignity, care and respect or are they deemed a “burden” to be tolerated, but not taken care of? If God were to call them back home, do you think that they would leave this world feeling loved or lost? In the midst of growing older and having lost some of their ability to remember, walk, see, hear, and concentrate, do you think that they lost their dignity? Or do you think they have been dignified with great care and compassion?

Pay that God be their strength even if they don’t realize that they are weak or that there is a God who loves them. Pray for yourself and ask God for more empathy, patience and understanding so that you can truly be present to others because you see within yourself how the process of aging can change you.

Ask yourself this question: Have I given of my time to nurture and support others, or have wasted time coming up with excuses? Do I give myself time to be nurtured and supported by others, or do I tell everyone I am fine and seek nurturing and support in unhealthy ways? Do I pray for the wisdom to use my time wisely or do I seek to fill my time unwisely?

Take time to listen to God as He tells you time and time again how much He loves you and cherishes you.

You are His beloved child, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation .Give yourself time to laugh, celebrate, remember, and rejoice so that you can be renewed.

Glimpse of God for the week of October 1, 2018

My glimpse of God for this week came to me as I sat in our sunroom looking out to the beautiful scenery of a clear blue sky, the beautiful tall trees and bushes that embrace our yard, and the sun shining on them.  The sky in all of its beauty reminded me that in the stillness that I was experiencing this morning, I realize that I was at a still and peaceful place in heart, mind and body. I was enjoying the beauty and the gift that God had provided of a landscape with His writing on it.

 

We all know or at least are aware of the gospel of the vine and the branches and how we as the branches, cannot survive if we choose to separate ourselves from the vine. Christ is the vine. He is our source of life, through whom we take root and our faith is strengthened and nurtured. Without Him, we are lifeless and our branches will not produce any leaves, they will just be bare and unproductive.

 

The trees and the bushes reminded me of a greater gift and that is the gift of faith and how it is represented in the tall trees as well as the smaller trees and bushes. The trees are firmly rooted. The roots spread throughout and are hidden under ground. As we are unable to see the roots, our faith is also like the roots. We are not called to live our faith just so people will see us and we will be the center of attention, but rather we all called to live it in a spirit of humility, reverence and love. We are all called to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to aid those in need and not to bring the focus on our self. We have to remember that God knows our hearts and that when we choose to follow Him we are choosing to live as members of the Body of Christ. Being the body of Christ is a calling to be Christ like. This means that He has to be our motivation and our desire, not our need to be the center of attention. God will place us where we can be the best instruments for Him. Our roots are in God and grow as we grow in our relationship with God. As the trees stand in the midst of God’s creation, they stand alone as they display their beauty. Amid the forces of Mother Nature, the trees stand naked and are at the mercy of Mother Nature and all that she can send down upon them. We always stand naked before God. We cannot hide but we can stand in humility, love and openness so that He can dress us with His grace and blessing.

 

The branches are spread out and at this time the leaves are clinging to the branches. There are times when we cling to God out of love, sometimes out of fear and other times out of a desire to grow nearer to Him. All are good. As the branches spread out, we too spread the good news of Jesus Christ by our lives, our actions, our attitudes and our words. As God’s children, and as a people that need to live the resurrection, we need to and will also will lose our leaves. We will experience times when we die to self so as to live for God and others. We will experience Christ’s passion through our crosses so that we can rise with him in our healing, personal transformation and spiritual restoration. As we enter into the season of autumn and take notice of the colorful leaves and the changes that the scenery is undertaking, let us always be mindful that just as autumn comes with its changes and winter follows, we too also must undergo change, transformation and conversion, if we are to become the best persons that God has created us to be and have the potential to become.

 

As the beauty of God’s creation surround us, we are called to reverence it, enjoy it, honor and appreciate it. Creation is a gift to behold. The trees, the bushes, the grass, the sky, the forces of nature, the sun, the moon, the birds that fly freely and the crawling creatures that we get frightened by; all are a part of the one canvas that God has created.

When we look outside and behold God’s creation that embraces us, try to imagine how carefully God planted and placed it in our lives and how it can be an instrument of spiritual growth and transformation. Look at the trees and bushes in light of your faith and how you are also firmly rooted, how you spread the good news and how you are a resurrection believer.

This week take each day, observe, honor and reverence God’s beautiful gift of nature in the “Sonroom” of your heart where Christ dwells.

 

SUNDAY The leaves: how are you changing, evolving, growing, letting go?

What do you need to let go of so that you can grasp, with greater strength, God’s blessings, graces, and gifts? How have you changed and become a better more spiritually mature person? Do you see how you have evolved and continue to do so?

MONDAY The green grass: without water, the grass can become brown and burnt. Only God can satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst. Do you allow God to satisfy your thirst or do you suffer from spiritual dryness and burn out?

TUESDAY - The tall trees: How do you stand before God?

Do you hold your head high and stand tall in humility or are you bowed down in shame? Can you, do you allow God’s grace to lift you up??

WEDNESDAY The blue sky: Can you see the all-encompassing, enveloping, beauty of the sky as you look up or are there so many distractions that you can’t see in front of you? God wants us to see His beauty in the midst of life’s challenges, so the sky is the opportunity to do that. It might bring forth rain, sleet, hail, sun, and clouds, but through them all, God is letting us know that He is watching over us and that we are not alone.

THURSDAY - What is your sky filled with? Can you recognize God’s hand in they sky of your life and give God thanks for your sky?

Is it rain, because of the storms of life?

Are the storms of your life robbing you from experiencing the gentle rain, the moisture that removes the spiritual dryness? Can you allow the rain to soak in and become an instrument to spiritual growth?

Is it sun, because in and through life’s storms, you have held onto, and continue to do so, the reality that you are a resurrection person and the sun will always return with its healing rays?

Is it snow, because you are God’s beloved son or daughter, unconditionally loved, filled with His grace and unique as each snowflake that falls from the sky?

Is it filled with birds, because as God’s greatest creation, you can fly high above all else and soar freely because you are God’s beloved son or daughter.

 

FRIDAY - The big bushes: The bushes are big, round and pruned. How have you been pruned and made into a better person despite the pain and the humility that pruning involves? Do you miss that which God has removed because God saw that it wasn’t necessary for your spiritual health and well-being?

SATURDAY - God’s many creatures: birds, deer, rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels, ….

All God’s creatures great and small give God praise because He made them all. Can you praise them even as they eat your vegetables, leave droppings on your deck, knock over your bird feeders, or dig holes in your lawn?

Next time think of them like this: They know to eat what is good for them so they eat the vegetables that you so carefully planted, do you always eat what is good for you? Do you believe that you are the Body of Christ and that you are strength for others? Is it easier for you to reach out for the junk food: tv, phones, computers, overworking than to feed on the word of God, the Sacraments, or personal prayer time?

They leave droppings on your deck, the place where you gather. When you gather with family or friends, are your conversations always positive or are they sometimes filled with “bad droppings”: gossip, negativity, anger, about others? We all need to clean up, God gives us remorse, contrition, forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation, and the humble words “I am sorry” and “I forgive you”

The knocking over of the bird feeders: God graciously gives us Himself in the Holy Eucharist yet there are times when we choose to turn away, in anger have a fit, or in pain ignore Him and try to solve things our own way. The bird feeder can always be refilled because God takes it from the top. He doesn’t look back but allows us to begin again. Sometimes He has to knock us over for us to realize that we cannot find fulfillment from any other source but Him.

The digging of holes: groundhogs dig many holes and leave our nice lawns looking like golf courses. Yet how often do we dig a hole for our self that we can’t get out of? We try to impress with colorful accomplishments that we cannot justify, we misspeak because we are afraid of the truth, we hide because we don’t believe in our self or our abilities? God hid in the hole in the ground for three days, the grave that seemed at first to defeat Him became the tool for our redemption. No matter how much we hide, cover our self, or burrow, God sees us, gently brings us to the light, dusts us off and places us on our two feet to start anew.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 23, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week is more like a panoramic view.  John and I attended the wedding of two of our good friends yesterday; Charlene and Orland. They exchanged their vows before many witnesses and sealed their covenant with the lighting of the unity candle, and in giving each other holy communion.  The service was led by their pastor who understood what the covenant relationship was all about and shared his thoughts with humor and sincerity.

Charlene and Orland entered into their relationship from the moment they met, yesterday as they entered into the marriage covenant, and I believe every day from this day forward, with a strong faith, great trust in God and abounding love for God that permeates the very core of their being.

They are a very faith filled, faithful and humble couple. All those that attended were very much the same: God centered, faith-filled, supportive and filled with the Holy Spirit of God that flowed from their lips as they prayed with, prayed for, and celebrated with Charlene and Orland.

The short and sincere speeches that were given were from the heart.  I was especially touched by Charlene’s daughter.  Although I never met her prior to the wedding, I feel as if I watched her grow up because of the many stories, pictures and conversations that her mom proudly shared with me over the years.  She spoke with such a deep love, affection and devotion for her mother.  She spoke of the love and support they have for each other and how it has continued to grow stronger through there many shared struggles and crosses.  They have a bond that is unbreakable, stronger than any human can make and one that only God can create. Inseparable, yet she so graciously invited and accepted Orland into.  She exudes the deep love and presence of God by her very action of embracing Orland and wanting her mother to truly be happy as she has been since Orland has entered into her life.  Happily ever after…

I believe that the Sacrament of marriage, the covenant that is made by consecrated religious, the promises that the clergy make, and the personal promises that single people make to God, all involve an open heart to the voice and will of God. As we, His greatest creation and His beloved sons and daughters respond to God’s voice for our life and how we are called to live His way, forms and strengthens the bond between God and us that not even the devil in all of his ways can break or destroy.

 

Weddings are occasions of joy and celebration. Attending the final profession of consecrated religious, the ordination of the clergy or the joyful celebration of single persons whose personal relationship with Christ overflows and they have chosen to be God’s instrument through ministry, are all occasions of great joy and celebration because in all of these occasions, God spoke to the hearts of the individuals and they have responded to what He has asked of them. None of these covenant relationships are easy roads to travel, but Christ promises to travel with them as they seek to be His light and beacon in the world as builders of His kingdom here on earth.

As we begin this week, let us all take a look at our covenant relationship, our promises to God, our desire to be His instrument in our world, and take a moment to thank Him. Let us thank Him for the many graces that He has showered upon us as we strive to fulfill our promises. Let us pray for all those whom He has placed on our life to help us fulfill our promises in whatever form they take, so that we can be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become.

Take a moment to thank Him for the gift of YOU and how grateful you are for His life within you and how that life has made you the God loving, faithful, person you are today whether you are single, married, a consecrated religious or a member of the ordained clergy.  As you reflect on your covenant relationship with God and the bond that He has formed with you, let us take each day to point out the awesomeness and wonder of it and of you.

SUNDAY – “W” watchful, wonderful, witnessing

Whatever your vocation is in life, are you able to recognize how watchful you have been so that the devil is not and has not been able to enter into your relationship with God so as to break it down or destroy it?   Isn’t God’s grace so awesome and wonderful especially because it not only has made you a watchful servant, but it has given you the armor to fight off the threats of the devil, so that you can continue to be a strong witness of His unconditional love to all those you encounter?

Take time today to pray for those whose eyes and hearts are closed to the will of God and ask God to transform them so that they too can experience His saving action in their life.

MONDAY – “E” esteemed, enveloped, enthusiastic

In your vocation, do you think that you are held in esteem? Do you think that people appreciate you for who you are and the love that you so willingly share? God does. He holds you with great admiration and esteem and envelopes you with His grace so that you will believe it about yourself and help others to believe it about themselves. Are you enthusiastic about your life and the choice that you made to be in a covenant relationship with your God? God is not only enthusiastic that you are in a relationship with Him but He is a God who is passionate about you and loves you beyond words. Actions speak louder than words, to prove this He sent Jesus who showed us all by His death on the cross, how much in love God is with you.

Take time today to pray for those who do not feel the loving embrace of God in their life. Also pray for those who will die today unloved and alone, that they may feel the true and everlasting embrace of God as they prepare to see Him face to face.

TUESDAY - “D” devoted, dear, dignified 

You are God’s dearly beloved child. His devotion to you and His fidelity will never cease, fail, waver or be lost.  In your vocation: single, married, ordained or religious, do you believe that, are you able to recognize this truth in your life and heart of hearts?

As a married person, do you see the love, fidelity, and devotion of God reflected in your spouse? Are you able to appreciate them for graciously saying yes to God and holding onto the covenant with great strength and reverence? Do you reflect it back to your spouse? As a consecrated religious or a single person, are you able to recognize the love, fidelity and devotion that God has for you because you are His dearly beloved child, and not for what you do or don’t do? As you share your talents and gifts with others: your family, coworkers, those in your religious community, your parish community, can you recognize that it is God who has called you to give of yourself and how you have so selflessly and graciously responded?

Take time today to recognize with a clearer vison how much God loves you and holds you in the palm of His hand. He wants you to believe that your dignity, self-worth and goodness are reflected in the beautiful person that you are.

WEDNESDAY – “D” dedicated, daring, driving

As a person who is committed to God and His people, what can you identify as your driving force? What motivates you? Encourages you? Keeps you going? Helps you to resist being defeated or discouraged? As you reflect on your relationships and how you have chosen to live out your vocation and covenant with God, talk to Him about what keeps you going and is your motivation and driving force. Ask Him to bless those who have inspired and encouraged you and continue to do so today.

Take time today to remember those who have dedicated their life to bringing out the best in you; your parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, priests, fellow religious, neighbors. As you hold them close to your heart, ask God to fill them with His grace and realization that they did what He wanted to them to do and that you are grateful.

THURSDAY – “I” incessant, intense, inspired

God’s love for you is ceaseless, never ending, everlasting and awesome. As you have been a recipient of His love, you have inspired others to love, be loved, share love and see things through the eyes of love and not hatred, judgment or selfishness.

In the prayer of Saint Francis, we pray the words that although are simple to say, are very intense and a challenge to practice. When we overcome hatred with love, injury with pardon, doubt with faith, discord with truth, and despair with hope, then we know and can see better where we as co-builders of the Kingdom are in a strong and powerful unity with the Holy Spirit as it permeates our being and fills our world.

Take time today to remember those who have been an inspiration to you and have kept you on the right path. Also ask God to reveal to you who you have inspired so that they too can be the best person that God has created and wants them to be. Dare to believe that you are a true inspiration and a driving force for many.

FRIDAY – “N” nurturing, nice, noting  

You strive to be the best nurturing child, sibling, parent, spouse, religious that you can be, but it is not always easy.  When you show encouragement or try to foster development it can make others uncomfortable because they are not seeing things as you are. When we as God’s children, see the positive in others and in situations, there are those who tend to see only the negative with an attitude.  You give of yourself to help, you are nice, patient, and selfless, but others are not ready to receive you and would rather turn away from you. As one who is in a covenant relationship, we need to be reminded that we can be like the other at times.  God wants to show us the right way, but we think that we know better, so we turn away from Him and try to fix things our self.  The nurturing God that is there for us, the God who satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst, waits patiently for our return. He isn’t taking notes as to when we weren’t our nicest best self, but rather He is ready to take notes as to the times when we were nurturing so that He can remind us when we think the worse about our self.

Take time today to take notes. Take notes on how your best self emerged especially when it was difficult and most challenging.

SATURDAY – “G” God centered, graceful, giving

In your vocation, are you able to recognize the many times that you are “God centered”, and the times where you are “off centered”? Do you, can you pray for the grace to be transformed so that your off centered moments can be teachable moments where you gain wisdom and understanding, reconciliation and peace and not of self-doubt, discouragement or despair? Transformation requires humility. Only with God’s grace can we truly seek change and when we do, we are then given the grace to give of our true selves in marriage, religious life and communities.

Take time today to see the transformation that has occurred in your life and thank God for being the gentle, yet stern God that He is.

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 16, 2018

My glimpse of God comes from a place that I have had to spend a lot of time in, somewhat unexpectedly but all good.  It is my car.  When John and I were away we did a lot of driving and spent long stretches of time in the car. Since we have returned, I have done a lot of driving.  As I have been spending much more time in my car, I began to look at it differently. Not just as a means to get somewhere, but rather a road map from God as to the best way for me to go in the direction that He knows is best for me. I looked at each aspect of the inside of the car in light of my relationship with God and how I choose to enter into that relationship.  The front window, the gear shifts, the controls, the gas and brake pads, the music and the rear-view mirror all have a way of bringing out God’s presence, His voice, and His direction for my life.  As you read this, you might not agree with my analogy, but I hope that you will look at the various aspects of the car differently in light of faith and how God reveals Himself through them.

As we begin a new week, one that will include the beginning of the season of autumn, let us see where we need to make changes in our life so that we can better recognize God’s presence.  Let us also pray for a greater desire to grow in an appreciation of the instruments that He uses to reveal His presence to us in our everyday encounters, routines and experiences. When our cars need to be repaired, we bring them to a mechanic. When aspects of our lives need to be repaired, renewed, or reconciled, we bring them to God and the Church.  A big difference is that when a car reaches a certain number of miles, you know that it will soon need to be replaced and you will need to get a new car.  As we age and our bodies falter, God isn’t telling us that we need to be replaced or recycled, but rather that we need to be renewed so that we can continue on our journey of faith in the newness of His life. Although our bodies may ache, with some parts needing to be replaced and others removed, the heart and soul can only grow and be expanded as they are filled with more empathy, understanding, compassion and peace.

SUNDAY – Front window

As we begin a new week and a new day, let us look at it through the big open front window. Let the big, open, streak free, non-tinted window be how and where we allow God to show us all that lies ahead.  Not looking to the future, but rather looking at the gifts that are right before us and see them in all of their beauty. As we sit in the front seat, we have the opportunity to look ahead and carefully navigate the path the we choose to drive.  God is in the driver’s seat in that He knows where He wants us to go.  The question is are we ready and willing to go in His direction or do we want to veer of course, take a short cut or make a u turn?

For today, as you get into your car or take the time to imagine being in a car, look out your front window. Is your window into the world, that is your relationship with God, fresh, reconciled and renewed so that you can see what lies ahead and the direction God wants you to go? Or Is your window so full of streaks, the streaks of personal weakness and shortcomings, that you can’t see straight as to what direction is the right direction? Or is your window just little cloudy from daily frustrations and life challenges that it makes it difficult for you to see the direction that God is setting before you because you haven’t made the time to pray and ask for His help?

Whatever your front window looks like, always remember that the Son will always shine and can always break through even the worst of our dirt, streaks, smudges and dust.

MONDAY - Steering wheel

Take a hold of the steering wheel and go. We use the steering wheel to keep the car straight on the road so that we can be safe and avoid hitting others.  When we take the steering wheel, we can use both hands with a good grip, or one hand with a loose grip. How we choose to hold the steering wheel can reflect how we relate to God, others and how we see our self.

We can choose to use both hands and that is where we choose to keep God close and not want to let go so that we don’t veer off course and hurt others by our words, actions, deeds and attitudes. We realize and choose to keep God at the center of our journey and in control, where He chooses to use us as the steering wheel so that we can freely choose the direction that we will go.

When we choose to use one hand with a loose grip, it can be our way of saying that we are comfortable with the direction of our journey and that God is a part of the journey but we are taking a risk and are not fully connected or invested in the journey. Driving with one hand involves taking risks. The risk that if we hit a pothole or have to swerve to avoid something, we won’t be able to control the car as well because we don’t have both hands on the wheel.

For today, look at how you choose to hold the steering wheel or walk on your journey of faith. Do you put both hands on the wheel so that you have the control that you need so as to avoid hurting others and yourself? Or do you use one hand thinking that you have everything under control and only when things go seriously wrong do you return to using both hands in prayer?

TUESDAY – Gear shifts: Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, what one are you in?

Park: Do you want to stay in park because life challenges seem to be too hard or seemingly unbearable, and it would be easier to just stay put and not move ahead? Or do you want to stay in park to admire the view? The view of God’s awesome creation? The view of your journey and how grace filled it is?

The view and canvas of God and how He has chosen to reveal Himself: through a sunrise, a sunset, a rainbow, the green grass, the rain fall, the various trees and bushes in their array of colors that they hold.   

 

Reverse: Do you want to go back into a special place and time, where a cherished memory lies and a loved one is alive and well.  Do you want to go back to a period of your life where you were happy and felt a genuine inner peace? Do you want to go back to bring up a painful hurt, or a grudge? Do you want to live in the past because it was a happier less stressful time? Living life in reverse is not living at all. We cannot live in the past if we are Christ’s followers.  We must trust In Him so that as we live in the present and choose to go forward, we can take the past, recognize it for what it is and how it has shaped us and use it to form us for the future. We cannot deny our past; good, bad or indifferent, it has made us who we are today, but we need to, we can choose to forgive so that the person that God wants us to be, the best person that we can be, is what we make of our self for the present and into our future.

 

Neutral: Are you stuck in neutral, unable to decide what to do or where to go? Is your spiritual life in neutral? Is God the God of your present, the God of your past or the God not yet known? Being in neutral allows one to stay and be idle, but not indefinitely.  It is not park, but rather a temporary pause.  Life is a long sentence, sometimes we want to put a period where God wants to place a comma because He is not finished with us yet and we are not finished either. There are times and periods in our life that we want to remove or end, yet our growth, our healing in not done or so God places comma instead. The pause is a respite where God allows us to take a deep breath and exhale any negative stresses. When we take a breath and put our spiritual growth back into drive and out of neutral, we are allowing and inviting God to take us on the next step of our faith journey, the journey of healing and wholeness, peace, joy and happiness as He defines it.

Drive: Let’s take a drive. Let it be slow, let it be with purpose, let it be with an open mind and open heart so that you can experience the freedom and the refreshment that comes. As you drive, invite God on the ride. Invite Him to steer, change lanes, change gears, go faster if necessary or slow down if needed, stop or just take a pause.  In all things, let God tell you the direction that He wants you to go and the best way to get there. Have faith and don’t let the past keep you stuck in reverse or fear keep you in neutral, but allow your trust and courage put you in drive so that you can continue to move forward.

WEDNESDAY – Gas tank icon, how much gas is in the tank?

It’s the middle of the week, how much gas, energy do you have left? Are you running on empty or do you have a full tank? Is your spiritual life being nurtured by the sacraments of the Church, a good spiritual director, and personal prayer time, or is it being taken for granted and you are running on fumes? We all know that if you run out of gas, you are stuck and might even have to push the car to a safe area. In our spiritual life, if we run out of gas, that is we have run out of our own ideas and solutions and we need to ask God for His help to get us back on the road. We need to be filled with God’s graces so that we can keep going and not falter. Both for our cars and our spiritual life, we need to be aware of bad gas which can destroy the cars engine and bad advice that can lead us into temptation and cause us to sin. For today, get the premium gas. Go for the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. Give yourself the gift of these graces so that your gas tank will always be full and your heart and soul will always be ready for the journey.

For today, look at your gas gauge and ask God to fill you with His grace, love and blessings where you are running low and almost empty or have been running on fumes and are suffering from burn out. His grace is enough for you and He waits for you so that He can shower His graces upon graces upon you.

THURSDAY – gas and brake pads

Life comes at us quickly and there are times when we want to put the brakes on and yet there are other times when we think that things aren’t happening quick enough and we want to put our foot on the gas. When we are driving, we often get behind someone who is going so much slower than the posted speed limit and we find our self becoming inpatient and frustrated. We think that we need to rush.  We think that there is too much to do and we are wasting time so we speed up.

Our spiritual life is similar. We often think that God isn’t doing things quick enough, so we decide that we can do it better and make hasty choices. We don’t take the time in prayer to seek God’s wisdom or insight. When we put our foot on the gas, we go so fast that we miss the present moment and the many graces that God has ready for us. When we speed in a car, we can get into a serious and life-threatening accident. When we choose to omit God in our spiritual life and make hasty choices, we can get into many spiritual accidents where we fall shot, sin, hurt others, hurt our self and leave God in the dust. It is only when we put on the brakes are we able to avoid a serious accident and are better able to listen to God as He gives us direction and the proper speed limit to travel.

For today, ask God to post His speed limit on your heart so that you can absorb, and embrace all that He has to show you so that you won’t miss anything because you were going too fast or too slow.

FRIDAY – Music

When I drive, I usually listen to music.  I choose to listen to Inspirational music as I drive because it keeps me in a prayerful mode and I remain in a peaceful place.  When I am weary, I listen to the exercise music that I have on my phone so that I can keep my brain from becoming too relaxed.  Whatever the choice, I hear the music of God because when I drive I know that God is with me and that my driving time is another experience of prayer. When I choose to listen to music, I am not choosing to do so to avoid hearing God.  I don’t turn it on to avoid listening to Him, although I know that some people need the noise to avoid the silence.  I find that in the words and melodies of the songs, I hear many different voices, genres, and decades of God inspired melody that sings to glorify, testify, and magnify His presence.

For today, as you listen to any music, in your car or not, don’t so much focus on the words, but rather the feelings that the music brings up in you.  I love music and that is one source where peace and joy abound for me.

Why do you listen to music?  Is it an instrument of peaceful melody? Or is it a clashing of cymbals? Whatever it is, do you want to keep that same station or change the channel, lower the volume or turn it up? As we walk on our faith journey and encounter various life challenges, crosses, joys, and celebrations, the music of the heart can bring us to our center where God dwells so that we can better cope and not get discouraged or feel defeated. When God is speaking through the music, we can’t make things go away by just turning changing the channel, but we can make God voice heard by turning up the volume.

SATURDAY- Rear view mirror

If it has been a challenging week, look in your rear-view mirror and be filled with hope in that the challenges, worries, pain, and suffering are now behind you and you have the opportunity to begin anew.  Use the weekend and take the time to find refreshment. We take our cars to the car wash, take you tired body to a place of rest, relaxation and refreshment. Your cross may not get lighter or change but your ability to carry it, your outlook of it, your weariness from it, will change as you seek strength and hope from the God who loves you unconditionally, is with you always to remind you that you are His beloved child and His greatest creation.

For today, pamper, pamper, pamper yourself. That can be in whatever way that you need to so that you can reconnect with God and allow His loving embrace to refresh you.

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 9, 2018

This week’s Glimpse of God is that which I found as I returned home from vacation. As we returned to our home from Orlando, I saw things with a greater appreciation and gratitude. I was able to see God so clearly in the flight home as we flew over the clouds, the airports filled with people from all over the world, the familiar drive home where our dog and cat were excitedly waiting. It is in these simple and routine events that I learned to appreciate the gift that they are and how God reveals Himself in them. As I returned home, I was and am very grateful for the vacation experience that I had with my husband.

I returned home with anticipation, excitement and feeling of being renewed. I wanted to come home and get back to my regular routine, not because I didn’t appreciate the vacation experience, but rather because I am now able to see God more clearly in my daily life and all that I may experience.

 

The question I pose is, does it take a vacation for us to realize and recognize God in the midst of our daily life and its activities? What would it take for us to see God in our home the moment we open the door and enter in? Can we see God in the gift of our neighborhood or community, our home and the many rooms that we enter as we go through it, the ordinary events or routines that we enter into each day, the pets that love us unconditionally? Do we bring God with us wherever we go? Do we believe He is everywhere, even in the bathrooms and basements of our homes?

 

I believe that if we can see God in the ordinary we will be able to recognize Him more clearly in the extraordinary, be it in the people, places or events. If we are unable to see God clearly, do we need to go away to be renewed? Can we be renewed right here at home?

This week as we strive to seek to be renewed, let us take the opportunity each day to see Him in the people, places and events that fill our day. As you begin your day, try to see God in your home and the rooms you enter. What do they symbolize or represent?

 

Sunday: The Vestibule – The entrance to your home. Your smile is the vestibule to your heart. As people enter into your home, do they feel welcome? Is there a sense of peace or tension? Can you ask God to bring peace where there may be discord? Can you seek to open your heart to others as they enter into your home, the place where you dwell with family and you welcome friends?

 

Monday – Your Bedroom – a room where you rest, your belongings are kept, a room that is private. Do you thank God for the gift of rest? Are you grateful that you have a place that you can recourse to if you need a break and want to be alone? Your clothes…Can you see God in the gift of clothing and how it covers the body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, a temple that should be reverenced, honored and protected. You are the Body of Christ, you were created in the likeness and image of God, so instead of being critical and judgmental, choose to rejoice and be glad.

 

Tuesday – The Bathroom - The bathroom is a room of cleansing of the body, what do you want to be cleansed of? Can you ask God to cleanse your mind and heart of anything that is impure and blocking your path to becoming the saint that we all strive to be? Have you taken advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation recently? God is waiting and invites you to share your story so that He can cleanse and heal you and make you whole.

 

Wednesday – The Living Room – The room where one watches TV as a family, where family gathers to talk, laugh, cry, share stories, and just relax. Can you thank God for the many living room experiences that you had that have brought you closer to those you live with, with those who you welcome into your home?

 

Thursday - The Dining Room – The place where you gather around the table, a place of presence, a place to be nourished and where bread is broken and shared. The dining room is the place where hard work produces food and nourishment for the body. Can you thank God for not only the gift of food, but for the ability to prepare it and for those who partake of it? As you enter the dining room try to see those you love enjoying the time together over the meal that you have prepared, and rejoice.

 

Friday – The Basement – The basement is a place where many things occur, and is often used as an exercise room, a playroom, and a place where things are stored. The basement is not on the same level as the other rooms for one has to go down into the basement. Where in our lives have we fallen or descended instead of standing up for our faith, a loved one, or ourselves? Today, can we ask for the grace to stand up, stand tall in humility and not let others or false guilt bring us down so that we feel unloved or that God has abandoned us? God’s mercy is far greater than any sin that we commit, so stand tall and allow God to embrace you.

 

Saturday – The Kitchen - The area where meals are prepared, a place where conversations abound, and quick greetings are shared as one goes off to work, school or meetings. As you prepare your meals in the kitchen, can you recognize that our greatest meal, our spiritual nourishment is in the Holy Eucharist? You are invited to take and eat of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. As you enter into your kitchen, close your eyes and vision when you receive Jesus in the Eucharist and share a prayer of gratitude.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 2, 2018

just a few thoughts of Labor Day.......

Happy Labor Day Weekend. May it be a safe, happy, relaxing and memorable weekend for you, and all those that you gather, celebrate and reminisce with.  May all of your memories of this Labor Day weekend be a source of blessing for you and to you, as well as a fountain of refreshment, renewal and strength.  May the memories of the quality time spent in the presence and company of your family and friends for the last big party of the summer remind you of how blessed you are and how much of a gift others are to you. As you gather this weekend to celebrate the gift of labor, take a moment to reflect on the many graces that God has bestowed upon you as you labored in the light of His love: in the light of your hard work as a parent, the graces received as you raised your family and gave of yourself, your energy, though probably often depleted yet never selfishly held onto, your attention, your discipline, your wisdom, your insight, your tough love and your tender love and care; in the light of your hard work as an employee, coworker, mentor and how you were blessed with so  many gifts and talents especially of your attention and reliability. Look at how you gave of yourself for the good and growth of others, the work that allowed you to grow and become the mature person that you are today. In the light of your love as you offered your talents and gifts to your family, children, siblings, grandchildren, employers, coworkers, friends, member of your religious community, neighbors, church members and even the stranger.

Let the memories of those who have gone before you, the gift of their hard work and their work ethic be a source of strength for you as you take a break to celebrate the gift of your labor.  Labor Day means so much more than labor or work.  It is how we labor or work that makes this day so much more meaningful.  How we labor in love, with love and out of love, for our God, self and others is what makes Labor Day a day to celebrate and remember verses just thinking that it is just another day.

We celebrate Labor Day with picnics, going to the shore, staying at home and having a BBQ, but do we truly celebrate when we do these things? Do we take time to celebrate the gift of our lives and the love of those we love and have been a coworker with us as we all strive to build up the kingdom of God here on earth?  Isn’t that the best labor of love that we can participate in here on earth? One brick, one step, one prayer, one act of kindness, one word of mercy, one word of contrition, at a time…

Our labor, our giving of self, our recognition of the work and talent of others is what can make their Labor Day weekend and everyday a memorable gift, a glimpse of God to celebrate, rejoice in and thank God for.

Do we labor out of obligation, or to gain attention and accolades or just to get a paycheck? Could it be that there is a deeper reason, one that speaks of service, giving of self for the good of others, out of gratitude to God so that we can be our best self by sharing the gifts and talents that we have been so blessed with? 

Yes, students return to school, the crazy and hazy rainy days of summer are now behind us, but as you look in the rearview mirror at the summer of 2018 can you see, do you recognize, how you have been participating in the great labor of love? It is because of your compassion, selflessness, extending of yourself to help make the days of time spent all about quality time. It is because of your presence before your God and with those that surrounded you, all of God’s beloved sons and daughters, that they are able to recognize how they too are reflections of His presence and beacons of His love.  It is because of your faith that you are able to be an instrument of God’s peace in a world that is divided and in discord.

Do you see how you have labored in love by the way that you cared for an elderly parent, visited a widowed neighbor, encouraged a lonely friend, forgave an estranged sibling, how you helped raise your grandchildren, remained in contact and encouraged your nieces and nephews, were present to the member of your religious community and parish community?  Do you see your labor of love by the time spent time in prayer for the needs of others before your own, your sincere and humble contrition before your God and your extension of mercy and peace where there is injury and hurt?

Your labors of love are the very blessings that have come back to you.  As you have labored in the love of mercy, you have become merciful; as you have labored in the love of empathy, you have become more compassionate; as you have labored in the love of healing, you have become more whole and a wounded healer; as  you have labored in the love of offering peace, you have become a peacemaker; as you have labored in the love of silence, you have become a lover of humility; as you have labored in the love of tough love, you have become more understanding; as you have labored in the love of thoughtfulness, you have become more selfless; and as you have labored in the love of prayer, you have become a better and deeper pray-er; and as you have labored in the love of spreading the Gospel, you have become a visible witness of your faith and the presence of Christ in your life.

May your Labor Day weekend remind you that it is not the work or lack of work that makes this Labor Day special, or a cause to celebrate, as much as it is the measure of love that you use as you strive to be your best self, live up to your potential as God’s beloved child, and help others to do the same.

LABOR DAY PRAYER: MAY YOU

L-   LIVE WITH JOY, LOVE ALWAYS AND LAUGH OFTEN BECAUSE GOD

A – ADORES YOU, ABIDES WITHIN YOU AND ABOUNDS FROM YOU.

B -  BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE BLESSED,  THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN GOD’S EYES AND ALTHOUGH BROKEN  AT TIMES, NEVER

0 -  OVERCOME BY DESPAIR, DESTROYED BY DIVERSITY, OR DEFEATED BY SELF DOUBT BUT

R – RENEWED AND REPLENISHED IN THE GRACE AND STRENGTH OF GOD.

 

D – DECIDE TODAY THAT YOU WANT TO AND WILL LABOR IN LOVE

A  - ALWAYS TRUSTING THAT WHEN LOVE IS NOT SHOWN

Y  - YOU WILL NEVER REPAY HATE WITH HATE.

amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 26, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes in and through a very special person, a long time and good friend, Father Gabriel Zeis, TOR. Father Gabe and I have been friends for over thirty years. We first met at my home parish, and as we became friends, he invited me to work with him on the senior class retreats as well as other speaking events. He was also a concelebrant at the Mass as I prepared for entrance into the convent in Chicago in the fall of 1984. A lot happened in the years between the convent and my returning home to the Philadelphia area, but in all things, I realized that the best was when God placed John in my life and we were preparing to get married in 1998. Father Gabe was one of 6 concelebrants at our wedding Mass, twenty years ago this October 4th, and will again concelebrate with us this October as we renew our wedding vows.

Unfortunately, as our lives, living locations, ministry and schedules changed over the years, our ability to connect up was limited.  Now, since he has been transferred to the Princeton area, John and I have been able to meet with Father Gabe every couple of months.  He hasn’t changed. He is still a man that enjoys life despite the many challenges that his life holds.  Father Gabe is a man of great wisdom mirrored by his sense of humility. He is a man of great compassion, shown in and through his love and care for his family, He is a man of great wealth; for the very gifts of mercy, peace, compassion, generosity, and courage that God has bestowed upon him, he so generously shares with others. He is a man that is true to himself and to his God, authentic and genuine without ego. He is, most importantly, a man of honor and inspiration, as he lives and strives to be the best priest that he can be despite the many challenges and the crosses that being a Catholic priest carry these days. He is a true friend, a treasure, a gift.

Over the years this is the man that I have gotten to know and been blessed to call friend.  He is a more than a glimpse of God, he is more like a panoramic view, for over the years, in and through the presence and person of Father Gabe, I have witnessed God’s love for me, I have seen my love and my knowledge of God grow and I have experienced a spiritual maturity and strong attraction Franciscan spirituality. 

As we begin a new week and enter into the Labor Day weekend, the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, let us reflect on what it means to be our genuine self and how that self is reflected to becoming a glimpse of God to others.

 

SUNDAY – “G” God centered

As Father Gabe is very God centered, I have learned that in the midst of life and the “stuff” it throws at you, being God centered is not easy, yet with God’s grace it is very possible.  Sometimes when life surrounds you with “stuff” not all good and not all bad, we can lose sight of God and get stuck in the midst of the thick, challenging, not God centered “stuff”.

I believe that It is in and during those times that we are given a Glimpse of God through another and in our self as we recognize our ability to overcome the difficult, face the challenge and stand with our head held high knowing that we are not alone. God’s offers His glimpse through His gifts of affirmation, inner peace, a sense of joy, renewed strength and spiritual transformation.

For today, look in the mirror and seek to see how God centered you are and how God has gifted you with the grace to stay focused and centered in the midst of the “stuff” that you have had to cope with.

MONDAY – “A”  authentic

Don’t look at others as better than you or desire to be someone else because of their wealth, power, friendships, or social status. God created you as the special person that you are. God formed you in the womb and called you by name. You are blessed with special talents and gifts that the next person may not have, and they are also blessed with talents and gifts that you may not have, but together we all create a canvas of unique, diverse and colorful facets of God’s presence that can help us see Him more clearly in each other. 

For today, acknowledge with humility your authenticity and genuineness and thank God for them.  In a world where it seems more of a cross to be and stay God centered and authentic, God says that the cross is what draws us together, makes us stronger, gives us inner strength and conviction, makes us a better glimpse and reflection of His presence and allows us to be true to our self so as to be able to rest with a clear conscience. The cross comes to us in varied and many forms, but I believe that the greatest cross that we carry is the one that calls us to be transformed from within when it is between us and our God and not for others to see. Illness, physical challenges, unemployment, and other crosses can draw attention to our self, but when we truly seek to be God centered, our cross is the one that we hold within and at the core of our center; that is our heart, mind and soul.

 

TUESDAY – “B” breath of life

You are the life and breath of God in and through your words, prayers, and attitudes. What does that mean to you? Are your words uplifting and encouraging or discouraging and disheartening? Do others hear God through your conversations or are your words filled with gossip and swords? Is the power of God’s word your strength and do you share your strength with others?

Your prayers, your words of consolation, encouragement, strength, are of God and given to you to speak, share and spread.

For today, listen to your words; those spoken silently in prayer, those spoken silently about others, those spoken verbally for all to hear, and those you regret saying, and ask for the grace of God so that you may be His breath of life by your humility, by your personal and spiritual transformation, and in and through your words.  

                 

WEDNESDAY – "R" Reconciling

Father Gabe offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the gift of God’s gift of peace to all those he serves; students, faculty, staff and family members. He wants all people to experience God’s healing and strength so that they can live in the light of God’s love for them and His desire for their genuine and true happiness. Father Gabe offers what he himself has experienced and truly believes in, yet we are all capable and able to extend God’s peace to others, and we do not need to be ordained to do that. Although the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the best way to experience God’s healing if you are carrying the heavy burden of wounded ness and hurt. God wants you to be healed and whole, but it is also through each other, as His followers, that we can experience God’s healing and wholeness. If you are struggling and want to grow in your faith, trust and hope, open your hands and heart and God will fill you with what you need to be the best person that you can be and that He has created you to become. Always remember that God’s love is unconditional, His compassion is unending, our sins can never be greater than His love for us, and that we are His beloved sons and daughters, His greatest creation.

For today, try to reconcile with one person that you have been either estranged from or keep your distance from because of a past injury or deep hurt. If you find it too difficult to reach out to that person or if they are deceased, pray to God for the grace to forgive in your heart, and that grace will lead you to a profound experience of peace, reconciliation, healing and wholeness, throughout your body, mind, soul and spirit.

 

THURSDAY – "I" Instrumental 

For today let us look at and pray with a deeper fervor the prayer of Saint Francis. Let us strive each day to be more of God’s instrument of peace and be His peacemakers in a world that does not seem to know, desire or seek true and lasting peace, which can only be experienced in and through God, His beloved Son Jesus, His Holy Spirit and Mary our Blessed Mother.

So where and when there is hatred may you sow love, where there is injury may you extend pardon, where there is doubt may you be a seed of faith, even when you think you have only the faith the size of a mustard seed, where there is despair, may you represent hope, where there is darkness, may you be God’s ray of light and warmth, and where there is sadness, may you bring joy.

May you not seek consolation but choose to console another, may you want so hard to be understood but may you humbly choose to understand another and may you not look for love but offer your love to those who do not know love. God is love and when you choose to offer it to another, then you already have what you seek.

 

FRIDAY – “E” embracing

As we conclude the prayer of Saint Francis, embrace the final words and allow them to penetrate the very core of your being. You cannot give what you do not have. God supplies where you feel that you fall short. When you truly desire to give, God meets your desire and gives in plenty. When you offer consolation, understanding and love, it is not that God doesn’t want you to have these gifts, He is telling you that you already possess them and that with His grace and through your prayer life, they will continue to grow.

As the prayer of Saint Francis concludes, this is the promise that God made through Jesus His Son. May you know as you give from the heart, you will receive, as you pardon from your heat and not in lip service, you will be pardoned and in your dying as a child of God and follower of Jesus, you will receive everlasting life.

 

SATURDAY - “L” = learned

Being learned as a Christian is about knowing the will of God and how we can live that out in our life. Being learned in life is not only about book knowledge, but the knowledge and language of the heart and how we can reach out to others and build them up and not tear them down.

How learned are you? Do you recognize how God has given you the desire to learn about His will for you, how you are living it out and how you are being His light to others? Do you need to have a Bachelors, Masters or a Doctorate degree from a University to be considered learned about the will of God?

No, what you need and already have is a blank page so that God can write His plan and His will for you, where the only book you need is the Bible, the only writing tool you need is your free will and the only test is the one where you challenge yourself to be more Christ centered today than you were yesterday.

For today, let us take an extra step in love to learn more about someone else. It takes a lot to want to become learned and to gain knowledge of a broad variety of topics and issues. When someone is learned they have taken the time to gain knowledge of a variety of topics so that they can share their knowledge with others and relate to more people

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 19, 2018

My glimpse of God comes from Brandon, who is a very conscientious and hard-working young man who is also a great electrician.  Clover gives him a high five because his first love is of dogs and the first thing that he does when he comes into our home, is to greet, pet and fuss over Clover, and if Cannoli is around, give her a good pet as well.  Brandon is fixing some electrical issues in our home that were, unknown to us, fire hazards.  He is focused and determined to complete the task no matter how long it may take or how hard it may be to fix. He is a very conscientious, morally grounded and authentic individual. He has gone above and beyond to find the problem and fix it.  He knows electricity and he knows that he cannot leave the job undone, or half-baked done. 

When I think of a glimpse of God, I think of a sudden view of a great sight.  I think that in a glimpse one is invited to see the big picture even if it is just for a quick view. God gives us many glimpses during the day of His great love and how He wants to remind us, refresh us, renew us, in that love.  This can be through a person, a sunrise, a rainbow, a pet, a garden, or in the mirror, where God is present and choosing to reveal Himself. I believe that God reveals Himself in people, in their attitudes, disposition, and personality.  When you encounter a person who is caring, conscientious, compassionate and other centered, there is a Glimpse of God.  Individuals who possess the qualities of God show it with a spirit of genuineness and not ego, with a sense of humility and not pride.

It is not by any coincidence that Brandon is an electrician and that He is also a Glimpse of God. It is from God that we get our power and energy to go on.  He is our strength and we need to keep a check on our power source to make sure that it is connected.  When we fail to keep connected, it is then that our life energy, our desire to be the best that we can be, the sense that we are His beloved, is challenged and tested.

As we begin a new week, let us strive to be a glimpse of God that connects others to Him so that they can realize and recognize how they are unconditionally loved as His beloved child, that they are His greatest creation, and that no sin is greater than His mercy.

SUNDAY – “B” – BETTER SELF

Do we strive to be our better self, the self that God knows that we can be, and have the potential to become? Do we try to get beyond our negative emotions so that our better, more loving and forgiving self can emerge? Do we encourage and identify the better self in others so that they can also be the best person that God knows they can be and have the potential to become?

For today, identify your better self: the more compassionate, merciful, and caring self and strive to appreciate and embrace it, and then help another to see and identify their best self especially if they struggle to believe in them self or their abilities.

MONDAY – “R” – REFRESHING

When we are connected in our faith life, there is a sense of being spiritually refreshed even when things might not be going the way that we would like them to.  Our refreshment comes in the graces given by God to overcome our difficulties and believe that we can and that we will not be defeated. How often do you feel refreshed? Do you need to be refreshed still? Where or from whom do you seek refreshment? 

Our faith is a source of true spiritual refreshment whereas other sources are only a temporary source of refreshment. Are you a source of spiritual refreshment to others by your compassion, concern and care for them?

For today, seek true refreshment from your God, and then extend it to another.  God can and will refresh you with a deep peace, a sense of joy, a feeling of being healed, but more importantly a greater belief that you are His beloved child,  and the refreshment that you can extend can be in the form of a prayer for someone who is suffering, the words” I forgive you”, a warm embrace, a phone call, and even a sincere email.

TUESDAY – “A” – ATTENTIVE

Are we attentive to the needs of others or are we focused on only what we want or need? Do we recognize that there are those in need and that we may have been called to be an answer to their needs by our presence and our care for them? Do we recognize our need for God and for others, or do we try to solve our own problems, seek our own solutions and be our own savior?

For today, try to be more attentive to your needs and present them to God, not as a last resort, but the first one. Once you can do that, then seek to pay attention to how God is attentive to you and how He reveals His attentiveness every day.

WEDNESDAY – “N” – NURTURING

What does it mean to be nurturing? To nurture? Who nurtures you? Who have you been a nurturing source to? Where does God fit in? Is He the source of your nurturing and strength or is He to blame when you are not a nurturing person?

For today, reflect and pray about how you nurture others and how they have nurtured you. Being a nurturing person requires a sense of another centeredness and God centeredness.

Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, colleagues, and peers are called and placed in our lives to nurture us so that we can develop and be the best person that we can be. It is when they fail that we can become less than our best self and exhibit non-nurturing behavior. Who do you credit for your nurturing personality? Thank God for them.

THURSDAY – “D” – DETERMINED

Are we determined? Determined to compete a task, to be the best person that we can be, to overcome a weakness, to reach a peaceful solution, or do we give up and let someone else do what needs to be done? Does our self-determination encourage and inspire others to be more determined and resolute in their daily endeavors, or do we use it as a threat and a source of control?

For today, thank God for the gift of self-determination and seek to help others realize and recognize their gifts of inner strength and determination.

FRIDAY – “O” – OPEN

Are we open, ready and willing to see things differently? Open to listen to what others have to tell us even if it is different than what we think or believe? Are we open to new possibilities, adventures, perspectives so that we can learn more about our self and others? Are we open to God’s will for us, trusting that He knows what is best for us?

For today, think about how open you are or are not. Is your heart and mind open to new ideas, solutions, perspectives or are they closed, refusing to see things in a new light with a new understanding? Are you an open vessel that God can pour His graces, blessings and life into, are you a broken vessel needing His mercy, healing and wholeness, or are you a closed vessel, sealed tight with no room for growth, healing, life, joy, newness, or peace to enter in? God created you and knows exactly what you are and there is nothing that will keep Him away from you, but you, so open your eyes, and ears so that you will see and hear how God loves you.

You are an open book and God is the author who chooses to write with His invisible ink (God’s surprises yet to come), maybe even a highlighter (God’s recognition of your joint successes) and definitely a permanent marker (God’s has called you by name, you are His). But more importantly, a pencil with a big eraser so that He can erase the sins and mistakes of the past and give you a new page to begin anew with every request and desire.

SATURDAY – “N” – NEWNESS

A sense of newness. What does that mean? How would we know that things are new? Is it because they are not old? Or used? Or broken? Or could it be when we see them in a different light? Do we look at those who are older as insignificant and unimportant or do we try to see them in the light of a new insight and wisdom? Do we look at those things that we own, old fashioned and possibly out of style thought they may be, as used and seek to have the next better toy, car, computer, cell phone, instead of seeing the used item in the light of our memories and how they have given us joy and happiness in the past?

For today, reflect on what newness means to you.  As you reflect, take the time to listen to what God tells you. You are a new creation, His follower, one who is a sinner striving to become a saint, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, walking on the path of compassion and truth, peace and mercy, and unconditionally loved as His beloved child. Does hearing this erase the old tapes of how unworthy, sinful, unforgivable, you thought you were in God’s eyes? Does it renew your sense of self before God?

Glimpse of God for the week of August 12, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from our golden retriever Clover, and TJ, the young man that maintains our pool. TJ loves Clover and Clover loves TJ.  Every week when he comes to clean the pool, Clover has to be the first to greet him with her song and dance. TJ fusses over Clover as if she were the only thing that mattered.  Clover is the center of his attention when he first arrives, and it is not because Clover makes a nuisance of herself, but rather because TJ is a very caring person, one who sees the joy and energy that Clover exudes and honors and recognizes it very affectionately.  I believe that they both are a source of renewal and joy to each other.

Last week in the heat, when Clover was at the pool, TJ realized that she was panting and took the time to slowly pour water on Clovers head and back to refresh her so that she wouldn’t get overheated.  He saw that she was hot and did all that he could to make her feel better and to cool off. This was a big Glimpse of God because in that action I saw how God not only sees that all of His creatures are taken care of, but He opens our hearts so that we can see the needs of His creation beyond our own. The action of TJ was very touching and inspiring.  After he poured water on Clover, He encouraged Clover to jump in the pool, even as they were cleaning it, so that she would stay cool in the 95-degree heat. This might seem like a small deal, but to me, it meant a lot because it showed the genuineness and caring aspect of TJ’s character as well as his ability to be a lover of animals and a conscientious and professional worker. TJ gets his work done and he does it very well and I think that in a small way, Clover helps because she is a reminder of how to balance all that we enjoy and love doing without resisting one or the other.

As we begin a new week in the midst of summer, heat waves and all, let us be mindful that God affords us many opportunities to be a source of cool refreshment and renewal for others. He also affords us the graces to remember how others have been a source of renewal to and for us, and asks us to rejoice for each day is the day that He has made, let us all rejoice and be glad in all of them.

 SUNDAY – Rejoice - This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Are you able to rejoice and celebrate the love that God has for you, and the love that you have for God? He has created you, He loves you, you are His beloved and He with His angels is rejoicing over you. Do you believe this? For today, celebrate and rejoice in His love and share that love with those you encounter. Rejoicing is another source of renewal. As you rejoice, allow yourself to feel the joy that comes from the depth and recesses of your being, and smile. 

MONDAY - Remember – As you begin a new work week, try to not dwell on the stresses of the past week, but remember them, surrender them and leave them behind. This week, allow yourself to remember the promise that for those who seek, they shall find, for those who knock the door will be opened and for those who ask it will be given. What is it that you truly seek from God? What do you want God to do for you? What are you looking for that you want God to provide? What doors are closed that need to be opened, and what doors are still ajar that need to be closed? In the process of remembering, strive to focus on the positive and seek the grace to let go of the negative.

 

TUESDAY - Renewal – For today, just take and pray for one aspect of your life that you would like to be renewed. Is it your faith; would you like to deepen your prayer life and grow in a deeper relationship with God? Is it family; do you feel that as a family you are not able spend quality time together because everyone is always on the go? Has the busy ness of life taken away your time together?

Is it relationships; do you feel that you are taken for granted or that you take another for granted? Are there people that you would like to appreciate more or that you would like to be more appreciated by?

In these areas, are you in a “rut” where you find yourself and others doing the same thing and there is no quality time being spent or nurtured? Are you seeking to be renewed or are you happy with the way things are? Ask God to renew those areas, those relationships that He knows are not the best that they can be.

 

WEDNESDAY – Restoration - What in your life do you feel needs to be restored? Ask God to restore those things, those areas, those relationships, that once restored will bring you to a greater recognition and appreciation of His presence, His grace, His healing, in the restoration. God brings back, or returns something, someone, to you, when He feels and believes that you are ready to receive it. As you seek restoration, seek wisdom so that you will see with clarity the change and the newness that you are being blessed with.

 

THURSDAY – Relaxation – take time to relax and use your senses to bring your body, mind and spirit to a deeper awareness of God’s gift of serenity, peace and calm. Use your eyes to see God resting on the 7th day, after the creation of man and woman, His greatest creation. Use your ears to hear Him say IT IS GOOD, after He was finished with the creation of man and woman. Listen to Him tell you that you are Good and that He is happy with you and loves you very much. Use your nose to smell the aromas that surround you, those of the spring flowers, coffee brewing, meals cooking, fresh cut grass. Appreciate the ability to smell and breathe in the story behind the aroma. Use your hands to reach out and feel the presence of God in and through everything that He has created. When you reach out and touch someone or something, you are touching a part of creation given to you to cultivate, appreciate, reverence and tend to. As you touch someone who is grieving, rejoicing, carrying a heavy cross, you are reaching out in the name of Jesus and offering His love, compassion and mercy to them.

 

FRIDAY – Resist – For today try to resist the temptation to talk about another, hold a grudge, remain angry, carry a hurt another day, but instead, seek to forgive and be forgiven. God’s grace is there to grasp as you strive to be His witness in the world. The devil tempts us with those things that we like and are drawn towards. If we like being angry, holding a grudge and talking about others, then we will not be able to resist the temptation to continue, but if we recognize that these are not healthy spiritual practices, then God will give us the grace to say no, and seek ways to build up others and His kingdom here on earth.

 

SATURDAY – Reconcile – Is there anyone that you would like to be reconciled to? Are you estranged from God, from others? Are you punishing yourself for a choice or choices that you made and feel that you can’t be forgiven? The grace of reconciliation is always there. As you seek to be reconciled, know that you will be called to forgive, seek forgiveness from another, and experience the joy that comes from the healing. Sometimes we hold on to things because we are afraid to experience true happiness; God’s happiness for us. God wants us to experience His happiness for us, not the world’s idea of happiness. As you seek to live as God’s beloved, allow yourself to be loved. You are loveable and loved. God rejoices when we are reconciled to Him and each other.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 5, 2018

Usually my Glimpse of God is about how, where, or through whom, I have been given the grace to see God. The view can be as quick as a glimpse or as long as a stare. Yet. it is through God's grace that I am able to recognize His presence in all things; in the ordinary and in the extraordinary, people, places and events that I encounter.

To recognize the presence of God in a greater way with more clarity and understanding, it takes not only one’s eyes, but also all of the senses as well as with an open heart and mind.  Altogether, I am able to recognize God's glimpses, maybe not all of them, but many, in the course of the day.

I believe that we are all given the graces to recognize His presence in the many ways that He chooses to reveal Himself. I also believe that like any parent, He wants us to know that He is always with us even when we can't seem to see or hear Him.  The greatest way that He reveals himself is through the sacraments of the Church, especially the Eucharist. But as members of the Body of Christ, God chooses and uses us to be His presence in the world.  Every time we look into the mirror, we are looking at a Glimpse of God.  We are a glimpse of His light in a dark world, His voice when others are silenced, His consolation when suffering is inconsolable, His eyes to see to the heart of others, His heart that extends his mercy and compassion, and His peace when discord abounds. Sinful though we are, God knows us and still calls us to reach our potential.

 

So for this week's daily reflections, I am suggesting that we take each day and try to be more aware of how God chooses to reveal Himself to us through our senses and how He chooses to use us to be His glimpse to others.

 

SUNDAY - SEEING WITH THE EYES OF YOUR HEART

What do you see first in the morning when you awake from sleep? Do you see God? Is He disguised as a child, a spouse, a garden, the gentle rains, or a beautiful sunrise? Does seeing God bring clarity to the beauty that surrounds you? God created all things and yes, He created you and me. We are His greatest creation? Do you, can you, see that as you look into the mirror?

Today, thank God for the gift of your eyes just as they are.

 

MONDAY - HEARING AND LISTENING WITH THE EARS OF OUR HEART

What do you hear, how well do you listen? I believe that we hear with our ears and listen with our hearts. Do you hear a lot of noise or nothing at all? Do you hear the cries of your children, the requests of your family, and can you take the time to listen to the cries of the poor, the hungry the forgotten? Do you hear the front door closing, and can you take time to listen as the doors close to strangers, to the homeless? Do you hear your family begging for your attention, and can you take time to listen to their need to feel and be loved? Do you think that God hears your prayers and can you take time to listen as He responds to them, even when and if the answer is not what  you prayed for?

Today, thank God for the gift of your ears just as they are.

 

TUESDAY - RECOGNIZING THE SCENTS AND AROMAS IN OUR LIFE EXPERIENCES

What smells or aromas do you remember as a child? Do they bring back happy memories or painful ones? Do you remember the smells/ scents that surrounded your house as your mom baked cookies or cooked a meal? Do you recall the smell of your dad’s after shave or your mom’s cologne that indicated that you were happy because they were home? Can you recall how the various smells or aromas were a part of your life experiences and made them so significant?

Today, thank God for the gift of your nose just as it is.

 

WEDNESDAY - TOUCHING OTHERS BY OUR HANDS IN PEACE AND PRAYER

How are your hands the hands of Christ? Do you offer up your prayers for those in need, or do you blame them for their situation? Do you extend your hands in peace and reconciliation, or do you clasp them shut in anger or bitterness? Do you pray with your hands and arms extended and open so that you can receive God’s blessings, or do you close them in despair or discouragement?

Can you recall how you felt when another offered you peace and mercy through a handshake? Can you remember how you felt when you extended peace to someone that hurt you badly? Can you allow yourself to be embraced by God as He looks happily on you and the joy that He has in you?

Today, thank God for the gift of your hands just as they are.

 

THURSDAY - WALKING WITH OTHERS IN THEIR SHOES

It is tough to walk in the shoes of another. We can be as empathetic as possible, but we can never walk completely in the shoes of another nor can they walk in ours. Our feet have walked miles and will walk many more as we continue our earthly journey. We can use our feet to walk or say stuck, to run for a cause or have no cause to run for. In any case, the ground that we walk on, no matter where or with whom, is holy ground. It is God’s ground and we have been given the gift of being able to walk on it. The challenge that comes with that gift is that we help others walk with God so that they can also experience His powerful and unconditional love for them. How have your feet been an instrument of empathy and strength for you and others?

Today, thank God for the gift of your feet just as they are.

 

FRIDAY - BEING GOD'S VOICE WHEN OTHERS ARE SILENCED

How are you the breath and voice of God? Do you speak up when others; victims, children, the forgotten, the elderly, the most vulnerable in society, can’t? Do you stand up for what you believe; the gospel message, or do you fall for whatever sounds good to you at the time? Do you offer words of mercy and forgiveness or judgment and contempt? Are you familiar with the words “I am sorry” and “I forgive you”? or do you avoid them by making excuses for bad choices and behaviors? Can you hear, do you listen, as God tells you how much He loves you, how He adores you, how you are His beloved and that He forgives you?

Today, thank God for the gift of your voice just as it is.

 

SATURDAY - LOVING OTHERS BY EXTENDING GOD'S MERCY AND COMPASSION

How big is your heart? Is there room for it to continue to grow in love for God, self and others? Who has helped you grow in love for God? Have life experiences made your heart whole or is it broken?  Can you allow God to heal the brokenness so that you can become whole and healed? How have you allowed others: Your spouse, your children, your parents, members of your community, to grow in God’s love for them?

Today, thank God for the gift of your heart just as it is.

My Glimpse of God for the week of July 29, 2018  

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from several people; a doctor, a Franciscan Sister, our neighbors, and the completely different and varied circumstances for our encounter.  It has been through my encounters with these very special individuals, and their ability to touch my heart in unexpected ways, that I have seen a kaleidoscope of glimpses of God’s care, love, compassion, peace and presence.

The two glimpses that I will focus on this week are that of my doctor and our neighbors. The first glimpse came though my dermatologist Doctor Mutizwa. I have been a patient of Dr. M for several years. He is a very good, compassionate and caring doctor. He takes the time to get to know my situation and he listens so that he can get the whole picture and make the correct diagnosis. He spends time with me and is truly present to me when I am his patient. He has a great sense of humor and is genuine in his concern, diagnosis, treatment plan and in follow-up.  I see a glimpse of God in his compassion, authenticity, presence and concern. God has called him to be an instrument of healing and Dr M. has responded very generously and with great dedication.

My second glimpse came in and through our neighbors, Pam and Jerry. They have been our neighbors for the past 15 years and I have to say that we are truly blessed not only be neighbors, but more importantly, friends. Pam and Jerry recently traveled abroad and upon their return, they came bearing gifts.  These gifts were very unexpected, but very thoughtful land meaningful.  The fact that they not only thought about us during their travels, but that they took the time and special attention to assure that the gifts would make it through the various airports and baggage handlers and home in one piece. 

Pam and Jerry are like that. They are there whenever you need them. They are the most genuine, caring and giving people that we have had the privilege to know.  They both are very busy about family, work and other obligations, but they are always willing to chat, see how we are doing, pet Clover and check in on Cannoli, the cat. When I recently had surgery and John was away on a conference, Jerry offered to walk Clover in the evening. When Clover got out of the yard, Jerry was the first person that I called in a complete panic. When Cannoli was just a kitten and quite small, got out of the house and I couldn’t find her, I called Pam and Jerry once again. We all walked up and down the street with a can of tuna, calling out her name.  Now who would do that?   Pam and Jerry are the kind of people that would and did. They are the kind of people that are there in the weirdest, most unexpected circumstances and are able to make things better by their calm and peaceful nature.   A glimpse of God that comes through from them is that of what the book of Sirach says: “a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. A faithful friend is a lifesaving remedy, such as he who fears God finds, for he who fears God behaves accordingly and his friend will be like himself”.

This week God graced me with many glimpses of Himself.  It was and remains in the individuals that I encounter that truly exude the peace and happiness that can only come from God. My glimpses have come from those who are suffering as well as with those who rejoice in their time of healing. It has come from those who feel as if they can’t go on and hold onto the last thread of hope that they can as well as with those who have reached out and want to be an instrument of hope.

As you enter into a new week and a new month, take the time to reflect on how you have been a glimpse of God to others by your presence, understanding, and friendship. When you think of friendship, and what it truly means, think of how the book of Sirach is reflected in those who you consider friends, and with those who have befriended you. Can you recognize the treasure that has been given to you? Can you imagine your life without your best friend? Your close friends? Your childhood friends? Do you think that they can imagine their life without you?

SUNDAY – “F” – faithful

As a friend, with a friend, what does it mean to be faithful? How have you been a faithful friend? In choosing your friends or keeping friendships alive, how is being faithful a gift and a grace in friendship? When someone is not faithful, how can it be a test in friendship which, at a later time, can also be seen as a grace and a gift? Can you forgive, or ask forgiveness, when you or someone you cherished as a friend, was not faithful?

MONDAY – “R” – respectful

A friend is one who treats us with respect.  In a friendship there should be mutual respect and understanding. Do you think that respect is earned? Should one respect another is they demand respect from another? Do we respect only those people that hold certain positions, social status or control or are we called to respect all people because we are all created in the likeness and image of God and we are all His beloved children no matter what we do?

Who do you respect and why?

TUESDAY – “I” – integrity

How do you hold integrity in the light of friendship? If a friend is not truthful, honest or reliable, how do you or can you maintain a friendship? Friendships of God need to built on the foundation of truth, honesty, mutual respect and understanding. Do you agree? If not, how do you or can you maintain the friendship?

As you reflect on the gift of friendship and how you have also been chosen as a friend, think of how you have treated your friends with integrity and how your friendship has grown to be healthy, strong and life giving.

WEDNESDAY – “E” – empathetic

Being empathetic is a gift, it is not a quality that you can steal, borrow or forge, but rather it is a disposition of the heart that invites and embraces the story of another with understanding, compassion, kindness, care and gentleness. Into Being empathetic is an opportunity to grow into the person that God knows that we can be and have the potential to become, but it is not always easy.

In your friendships, with your friends, are you able to recognize how you express your empathy and how it is received? Are your friends empathetic when you need them to be? How does it feel when your friends don’t seem to recognize your need for their concern or support? How do you feel when you miss the mark in their life?

THURSDAY – “N” – natural

A friend is one who sees us just as we are and loves us anyway.  With friends, we do not need to, or feel that we have to, put on a façade. True friends accept each other just as they are, for who they are: God’s beloved child, and not for what they do. Our friends should not be expecting something from us that we cannot give, or that would go against who we are and what we stand for.  When we choose friends, we choose that person that not only is likeminded, but also themselves. Friendship is an opportunity to take the courage that God offers and allow oneself to be vulnerable and weak so that in and through the friendship, another can see to the heart and touch it with their compassion, empathy and support.

As you think of your friends, can you see how they are people that are their natural self and not trying to be someone or something that they are not. How do you see yourself as a friend? Are you your natural self or do you try to be someone or something that you are not?

FRIDAY – “D” – dedicated

Most friends are committed to keeping their friendships alive, loving and healthy. How much energy do you place in keeping your friendships alive, loving and healthy? Do you feel that you are the only person trying to maintain a friendship, or do you feel that both of you are striving to maintain a good relationship, one that is strong, has weathered the storms and can withstand others?

As a friend, do you see your self as dedicated? Are you able to recognize the difference in how you relate to a friend vs an acquaintance, and how the relationship has called you to become your better self?

 SATURDAY – “S” – selfless

Friends are selfless most of the time. Many times, we befriend others because they are just like us, and we see a similar aspect of their personality that we also see in our self. We accept our friends just as they are, we know that we can’t change them, and although they are not perfect, we know that they are trying to be the best person that they can be, just as we are. 

Being selfless in friendship is truly a gain in love.  How have your friendships expanded your heart to love more, forgive more and see God more clearly in   them?  

For today, and as you enter into the weekend and as you reflect on the various aspects of friendship, think of those you consider friends and thank God for the gift of their faithfulness, resourcefulness, integrity, empathy, naturalness, dedication and selflessness which has enabled your friendship to grow and become stronger.               

 

My Glimpse of God for the week of July 23, 2018

 

My  Glimpse of God came through in the many and various conversations that I have had on the telephone this week. The presence of God within the telephone conversations automatically came out when others reached out to talk to me. There was a trust and courage present that enabled one to pick up the phone knowing that it would be a difficult conversation. The glimpse was in the actual conversation that took place, in the words that were exchanged between two people that care about each other, and in the visualization that took place as I spoke to the other.

God’s Glimpse can be seen not only in the various elite forms of communication such as Facetime, Skype, Email, Voice mail, and Text messaging, but also in the simple form of a telephone conversation. The Glimpse is in the conversation that takes place and the method or instrument that God chooses for us to use is an added gift.

What is conversation? Whether it be in person or on a telephone, I believe that it is the shared thoughts, feelings, ideas, life experiences and events that are spoken between two people; privately, openly and without fear and with great trust. There are many other types of phone conversations, like job interviews, sales calls, and scheduling of appointments, but the more important ones are those where personal interest and well being are discussed, feelings are shared and a sense of care, concern and love are the basis for the dialogue. A good conversation is when you can hear the pitch; tone and volume of the voice on the other end, and with your heart listen to where they are coming from and where you might help them get to.

The conversations that are on my mind, and I hold fondly to, are the ones that I had with various family members, good friends, acquaintances and supportive medical personnel. In all of the conversations that I took part in, I found myself listening to a variety of emotional levels. There were high levels of stress, personal frustration, fear, professional frustration, and anxiety, but there were also high levels of acceptance, faith, trust, compassion, mercy and love. As I talked with many this past week, I was able to hear in their voice, where they were coming from and could envision their facial expression as well as their body language. The conversations were healing, touching, and gifts from God. God showed Himself not only in the presence of the person on the other end, but also in the inspiration and the guidance that came through the words that were shared.

As we begin a new week, I would like to focus on the various methods or tools that are used in conversation and how they can all be instruments where God not only reveals Himself through the words expressed, but more importantly in and through the people that are exchanging them.

 

SUNDAY – Prayer

The best form of conversation comes in and through our prayer time. When we take the time to pray, we are placing ourselves in the presence of our Creator, Lord and Redeemer with open hands and trusting heart. Our prayer time is a time where God speaks to our hearts and gives us the graces we need so that we can continue to see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly each and every day. It is a time where we can express our deepest feelings,

concerns, fears, weaknesses, prayers of gratitude, and blessings and know that not only does God hear us, but He listens with a forgiving, compassionate and loving heart. It is the most blessed and strengthening conversation that we can have and it is by no mistake that we begin each week in Prayer and Worship. Each day God gives us the opportunity to be at prayer: It can be memorized prayer, rote prayer, simple prayers or prayers from the heart. God is pleased and happy to hear prayers in whatever forms they take because when we pray and lift up our minds and hearts to Him, we are choosing to converse with our God and creator, reverencing Him and putting Him first whereas many choose not to.

For today, ask God to bless all of the conversations that you will have. May He bless your words and the words of those you are speaking with, so that in and through them, you both may come to know, hear and listen to God’s voice speaking through you.

 

TUESDAY – Text Messaging

Text messaging is important and necessary for us to keep up with people especially when we are not able to speak with them directly. As we text, we are conveying what we feel is necessary for the recipient of the text to know. As you text someone, try to see them as they read your text and how they will respond. Why do you text? Are you texting to purposely avoid talking to them because of your or their situation, experiences or circumstances? Do you text because is it not a good time to talk? Do you text because it is easier than conversation?  Is there a need to be reconciled or to forgive or to ask for forgiveness and words would be difficult to speak or hear so texting seems easier?

For today, if you are about to text someone, first think if it would be more beneficial to you and him or her, if you were to have a conversation with him or her. If it would, then make a resolve to reach out to them in and with a personal conversation.

 

WEDNESDAY – Face Time

Face time is great because you can see the person; their body language and their facial expression, you can hear the tone and volume of their voices, as well as their level of joy or anxiety, peace or frustration. Face time is a double blessing.

For today, when and if you face time, make it a prayer face time.  As you look at the person on the other end of the phone, take a moment to thank God for the gift of their life in yours. When we can see each other face to face, we are looking into the depths of their soul through their eyes, in their voice, by their expressions and their trust as they speak with us.

Imagine you are face timing with God, what does that look like?  What is His expression as you speak to Him? Is He smiling at you? Laughing with you? Crying with you? Can you see Him wanting to embrace you and touch you? Allow your prayer face time to be a time where you see God’s face. Listen to Him as He talks to you in love because you are His beloved child, His greatest creation and He wants to remind you of how special you are to Him.

 

THURSDAY – Voice mail

Voice mail is something that we use when we cannot seem to catch up with someone on the phone. We end up having to leave a voicemail message about why we called and needed or wanted to talk.

When we leave a voice mail, we are missing an important aspect of personal interaction and communication. We are not given the opportunity to see or hear the person that we are trying to reach or that is trying to reach us. This creates a void as to how the person is doing, what is going on in their life and in ours. Voice mail can let someone know that you are trying to reach him or her and that you want to talk with him or her. With voice mail you are given the opportunity to hear the other person’s voice or they get to hear yours.

For today, if you should have to leave a voice mail or receive one, think of the person on the other end. Say a prayer, that as you listen to their voice or they listen to yours, that the Spirit of God speak through them as they continue to be the breath and life of God through their voice, in their words and by their actions.

 

FRIDAY – Email

Email is an essential aspect to living today. We are emailing people near and far. Email is great to let someone know what is going on in your life when you do not or cannot actually speak to him or her. We use email to let loved ones and friends know what is going on in our life when we are not able to call them. Email has been a salvation to many grandparents whose grandchildren are away and are not able to call, but are able to send an email keeping them up with current events in their

ife. When we email, we are sending information to another where they cannot see us, or our facial expression or our body language. When we receive an email we are receiving words. It is up to the recipient to connect those words with the person who is sending them and read into what is happening in their life.

For today, if you are going to send an email to a loved one or friend, think of what you are trying to convey through your email and the person to whom you are sending it. Pray that God speaks to their heart the words and the experience that you need them to know.

 

SATURDAY – Phone conversation

Phone conversation is what started this glimpse and what I will use to complete it. It is through phone conversation and personal dialogue that we get to know what is happening in the lives of those we love and care for. Although we cannot talk to everyone that we love and care for, all those on our contact list, we can pray for them. Phone conversation allows one not only to hear our voice but we can hear theirs. God gives us a voice to speak His words and spread His message. It is through our voice that others learn of, become more familiar with, get closer to, the God that not only created them but also loves them unconditionally.

For today, when you are talking on the phone with a loved one or friend, imagine God is the connection that brought you together, that allows you to speak openly and honestly with each other, and allows you to be His instrument of empathy, healing, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, understanding, peace, joy, happiness, hope,love and laughter. As you talk on the phone, remind yourself that it is not a call in vain, but a call in love and service.

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of July 15, 2018

This week’s Glimpse of God comes in the form of a different kind if rainbow, the one of friendship. When we look at a rainbow, we see the many beautiful colors that together create the bow in the horizon. When I look at a rainbow I am always struck with a sense of awe and wonder.  When I close my eyes, I am always filled with a spirit of joy, great hope and a deep abiding sense of peace. Friendship is a different type of rainbow in that it also renews my joy, deepens my peace and strengthens my hope. It is in friendship where I recognize the promise and presence of God in and through His  beloved sons and daughters. I am blessed that I have people that I consider friends and even more blessed that they consider me their friend.

 

This week, we had a good friend, Mr. B over with his grand dog Gus for a swim date with Clover.  It was a refreshing, joyful and amusing time to enjoy the dogs as well as their antics. This week I also had the opportunity to do a morning of reflection with the Sisters at Assisi house, as well as catch up with a long time good friend. Gathering with longtime friends as well as with the Sisters, was a gift. I saw a different kind of rainbow, a promise being fulfilled.  

Those individuals are an incarnational sign of the fulfillment of God’s promise that He would always be with me, and that He would never leave or forsake me. I saw it in friendship. I believe that the friends that we choose or that God places in our lives, are the extension of that promise as Members of the Body of Christ. As faithful, faith filled individuals, trying to live and be the best people that God has created them to be, and sinners striving to be saints, they are tangible witnesses of God’s presence in my life. Their presence reminds me that God’s promise is being fulfilled in the many different and varied ways. They are signs of hope when things are tough. They are merciful. They are instruments of peace and vessels of joy. They are humble disciples that through their lives profess their love for God, others and self.

The gifts of friendship, the gift of a rainbow, the gift of self are three of the many signs of God’s love. We are all signs of God’s love for and to each other, but do we know that, and if we know it, do we believe it?

This week, as you think of the rainbow as a sign of promise and of hope, I would like to look at the colors of the rainbow and the meaning in the colors as you look at what friendship  means.

Sunday (RED) – Love.

The gift of God’s love for you, your love for God, your love for self and your love for others.  Can you let your heart be expanded so that it can be filled with more love? Has your heart been broken that you are afraid to love?   Let God, through your friends, be a source of healing, consolation and peace., so that you too can be a wounded healer. If you allow friends to love you as you truly are, with your flaws and your virtues, then you can stand before God in a spirit of humility, gratitude and peace. 

Monday (ORANGE) – Openness

Are you open to the surprises that God has in store for you? Are you ready to recieve the many graces that will transform, conform and reform you into a clearer image of God to others? Can you stand before others and humbly accept their honest criticism  of you so that you can grow? Is  the door of  your heart  open so Christ can enter in and rest in you?

Tuesday (YELLOW) - Joy   

Joy is not the denial of pain or suffering, but the trust that in and through it, God is present. Joy comes when you realize that God’s presence is the source of your happiness. Do you want to be a joyful person? Are you surrounded by joyful people? Are your friends joyful people? Is the joy of the Eucharist, the true presence of Christ in your life,  your spiritual foundation and the foundation of your friends?

Wednesday (GREEN) - Hope

Do you have hope? Are you a messenger of Hope? Allow the love and peace of God transcend your stress, alleviate your suffering and transform your mind so that you can be a hopeful, hope filled person of faith.

Thursday (BLUE) - Rebirth,

Do you remember the promises that were made for you at baptism by your parents and Godparents? Can you close your eyes and allow the feeling of God’s love washing away your sins and making you whole? We love our friends for who they truly are, from what we see to what we know lies in their heart. As a human being we sin and offend  God and those we love the most, are we merciful to those around us?  In and through our baptism we enter into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,  with our friends, are we faithful companions and witnesses of the power and presence of Christ in our lives?

Friday (INDIGO) - Integrity

Are you a person of integrity? Do you have strong moral principles? Do you stand up as a witness to your faith? Do you see in yourself and in your friends: a person of good character, a fair person, a  person that is truthful and trustworthy? All these virtues are aspects that make and create a rainbow of friendship. 

Saturday (VIOLET) - Peace

Is there someone you need to forgive so that you can be at peace with them?  Is your heart troubled and do you want to experience peace, healing and reconciliation? Can you allow your friends to help you and bring you the comfort and peace that Christ wants for you? Are you a peacemaker and are the friends you choose peacemakers and instruments of  God;s peace, love and mercy?

 

    

 

My Glimpse of God for the week of July 8, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from Lauren, the daughter of Randy who recently passed away.  Lauren spoke about him at the funeral service and how he was a source of encouragement and inspiration especially when it came to developing her art talent. 

I have known Lauren and her family for many years; her mother, Christine has been cutting my hair, and Randy had done some painting in our house over the past 15 years. I have watched Lauren’s brother grow up and till this day is the tallest man that I know. 

Lauren is an extremely talented and gifted artist. Lauren is an exceptional, inspirational and very mature 16-year-old young woman. As I watched her grow up, I saw a very special person emerge: one that possesses a very caring and compassionate personality as well as a person with strong conviction, determination and one that continues to follow her heart. She has self-respect as well as respect for others.  She possesses a wisdom and maturity that many women twice her age are lacking.

At Assisi House, where I volunteer during the week, they recently began an art mural project in the Clare Unit, which is the unit for the retired Sisters who are suffering from Dementia, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.  The mural project is where an artist is sketching out various scenes on the walls and they are looking for volunteers to come in and paint them.  There is a picture provided that indicates what colors each object should be painted, so in a way you can say it is a huge paint by number project. The purpose of the project is to stimulate the Sisters by involving their senses.  The vision for the project is to have all the walls painted with a variety of scenes and ideas: a garden spot, a bird watching area, various pets, sports, inspirational, and whatever other ideas may come. 

I instantly thought of Lauren for this idea not only for the painting aspect, but also for creating ideas for the various walls. I asked her if she would be interested, and she was so we went on Friday, had a brief orientation to the project and Lauren stayed and painted for the mural.  I, as were the volunteer coordinators, not only impressed that she stayed and painted the same day, but that she chose to paint and give up her free summer time for the benefit of the sisters. A win win situation! She is using the gift of art that God has very generously endowed her with. She is not letting her talent go to the wayside, but she is choosing to develop it so that she can become the great artist that her father believed she was and has the potential to become. I think that the timing for this project is very providential because, to me it is God’s way of reminding Lauren that not only is her father watching over her, is still very proud of her.

How do we use our talents and gifts? Do we even honor or recognize them?  When we see that we are good at something, who do we give the credit to? God has given us all numerous talents and gifts that are as unique as we are.  Although we all might be able to draw, each person’s perspective, mindset and life experience’s will be reflected in the work, which will then reflect the artist. God gives us the talents and gifts that we possess and all that He asks is that we use them to glorify Him, not our self.

This week, let us reflect on the gifts and talents that we possess and how we use them to build up God’s Kingdom here on earth.

SUNDAY – “T”- THANKFUL

As you recognize what your gifts and talents are, are you thankful for them? Do you honor them or down play them? Can you see how special your gifts are to others and how you make a difference when you share your gifts and talents instead of holding on to them?

Where is God in your response? As your creator, He alone knows your heart and how you can best serve Him. Can you recognize that in and through your compassion, care for others, joyfulness, selflessness, that the seed, the gift of a generous heart was planted long ago? Are you thankful that God has given you the gift of your faith so that you may grow in relationship with Him and others?

MONDAY – “A” – AWESOME

Our God is an awesome God and how do you know that? Each time you look into the mirror and see that you are His beloved child, created in His image and likeness, loved unconditionally and endowed with special gifts and talents. That is a sign of the awesomeness of God. He has poured out His many graces and blessings upon you, and they have developed into your very unique gifts and talents that He wants you to use to bring His love and presence to others. To me that is awesome. Do you need to be reminded of just how awesome God is and how awesome He thinks you are? Carry a mirror. Not just to see your reflection, but more importantly the reflection of God that comes from you.

So how are your gifts awesome? When you make someone laugh or lift up another by your sense of compassion and consolation; when you can draw a picture that makes someone smile, or when you can solve a problem that was overwhelming them because of your exceptional possession of patience, when you are a peacemaker and others choose hatred. These are all awesome gifts because they speak of God and how He chooses to speak through you to others. They are His healing presence, His joy, His peaceful presence.

TUESDAY – “L”LIFE GIVING

When you share your gifts with others, are you a doing so to bring forth life or a sense of control and inferiority? Are you genuine in your concern for others or are you acting out of a sense of obligation, guilt or sympathy? When we are called to share our gifts with others, God doesn’t want us to lord them over people so that they feel as if they are less than us or inferior to us. If someone has the gift of being an artist but hides their work or downplays their talent as nothing, or if someone has the gift of being selfless, but yet ignores their own health and never has time to rest, or if someone has the gift of faith, but makes others feel as if they have none, or if someone is a big CEO of a company and is doing very well but does not see or seek to help the poor in his community, this is not life giving. We are called to let our light shine, the light of God’s goodness to us and when we choose to hide, diminish or blowout that light, then we are not being life giving.

Take a look at how life giving you as you share your gifts and talents with others and how others have been life giving to you. Take a moment to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all that He has blessed you with: Your gifts and talents, your desire to share them with others and the desire of others to share their gifts and talents with you. Take a look at one time that you can recall where you chose not to share your gift or talents, for whatever reason, and ask for the gift of God’s grace to let go and move forward.

WEDNESDAY – “E”ENCOURAGING

When you encounter others who are in need, discouraged, down, are you a source of encouragement or despair? Do you desire to raise people from their lowliness? Is bringing joy, happiness, consolation and the peace to others more important than you being noticed or the center of attention?

Being a source of encouragement is a special gift, because when one feels down or discouraged, it is easy to share that sediment rather than one of joy and hope. Hope does not disappoint. Encouragement brings out the beauty and the meaning of a situation. Look at how you are a source of encouragement and hope and seek to spread it more; one smile, one word, one hug at a time.

THURSDAY – “N”NATURAL

Natural. Not fake, not made up, not pretend, but real, authentic, honest and genuine. God calls us to be our most genuine self, and He asks that we are that way in our relationship with Him and others.  We have no need to pretend with God. He is our creator, He knit us in our mother’s womb, He made us in His likeness and image, so who are we fooling when we choose to pretend to be someone that we know that we are not, and worse, we try to fool others to believe that we are? When we share our gifts and talents with others, we need to be genuine with them. We can’t steal someone else’s talent or gifts just to take credit for them or make them to be more than they are to impress another.

You have your own special and unique talents and gifts. They are God’s gift to you and how you use them is your gift to God.  What gifts will you lay at the Lord’s feet in your prayer tonight?

FRIDAY – “T” -  TALENTS AND GIFTS

It has been a long and beautiful week. You have made it through another week, a week of possible: personal or family health challenges, of unemployment and the constant searching and replying, of unexpected physical and emotional ups and downs, of family triumphs, struggles, victories and defeats, of personal faith discoveries, and transformations and those personal conversions as well.

In all of this week whatever it has looked like, your blessings, your gifts and talents have not disappeared or been diminished. It is when we are facing weariness that we can fail to see clearly the writing of God on the script of our hearts, so as you end the day, take a moment to write down: at least 5 of your gifts, and 5 of your talents.

And now take a moment to write down at least 5 gifts and talents of someone you know: family member, friend, coworker, church member or neighbor that is feeling as if they have nothing to offer others, that they are a disappointment to everyone, they feel that God has abandoned them. Present your list to God and ask Him how He would like you to present it to them and then be ready for His answer. I think that suicide springs from despair, when one thinks that there is no hope, nothing to offer or that things are beyond them, but when one can offer hope by honoring and reverencing their presence, their giftedness, their person with dignity and respect, this can be the spark that they need to light the fire of encouragement and gratitude and bring them to a renewed sense of hope and conviction.

SATURDAY – “S” – SELFLESS

Being selfless vs being selfish is a big difference. When we act of fear or insecurity, we can find it easier to be more selfish than selfless. When we become afraid of what others will think of us or how we will look in front of others, we can revert to self-preservation, or saving our ego. As we are called to share our gifts and talents with others, we are called to do so with a spirit of trust and confidence. God places others on our faith journey for only reasons known to Him. He chooses us to be His instrument because He knows our heart and our potential to be the best person that we can be.

 

Sometimes that can mean that we are the center of attention or being in the background. God isn’t expecting us to always be in the background where the focus is on others. I believe that He places us in the forefront more often than we probably realize. But when our desire or our need to be in the center is more important, we are then humbled and shown where we need to be to best grow in our spiritual life. Humility is the seed that grows strength, understanding, compassion and inner peace, the flower of humility can resemble a radiant smile and even a warm embrace. What does your flower of humility look like?

 

Glimpse of God for the week of JULY 1, 2018

Recently John and I attended a Wilmington Blue Rocks Baseball game at which the attraction that evening was Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. Sounds interesting, right? That night is, as always, very entertaining. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it consists of 2 monkeys, each harnessed on the back of a border collie, sheep, a trainer in which the monkeys are acting as the cowboys and ride the border collies which herd the sheep, and a lead dog to bring them in and around the field. All of the animals are treated humanely and respectfully. This evening it seemed all the animals wanted to follow their own script: the sheep went this way and that way and for several minutes went around the ball field, the lead dog that guided the sheep, laid down several times and the players had to dodge a few sheep. At one point the lead dog had to go and did it…the clean up crew was right there with the pooper scooper. So the results were hilarious, unexpected, and completely memorable. Everyone including the animals had a good time. Maybe there are a few lessons for us in this story, and possibly you can see a Glimpse of God.

My Glimpse of God is in the unexpected changes that came through the animals and their actions. How often do we as adults, do what God calls us to, that which we know is right? Or when we were children and young adults, did we do what we were told, or in the order that we were expected to?  God doesn’t use us or control us as robots, but rather He gives us a free will and we can choose to follow Him or not. But, even as His most faithful follower, we sometimes think that we know what is best for us. We become inpatient and can’t wait for God’s answer so we rush our decisions to meet our wants and needs because we think we know better than God.

God knows our hearts and knows that there are times that we won’t wait. He sees us changing our mind about His plan and He patiently watches the results. He doesn’t laugh at us, but I think that He laughs with us. We, like the animals, tend to do things completely unscripted and unexpected. Sometimes the results can be harmless and humorous, but there are times, that we can probably identify, that the results were anything but humorous and harmless. God waits for us to see that our change, although not meant to offend Him, was not part of His plan. It is when we recognize this and ask for His help, He gently puts us back on course. The trainer gently put the leash on the dog which enabled the dog to lead the other animals back the stalls. God doesn’t use a leash on us, but rather He uses His gentle touch, His voice, our heart and our conscience to bring us back to where we can flourish as His loving and trusting children.

Like last night, all the animals went their own way. They all ran in circles on and off the field and back again, they even got relief, but in all of that, we were entertained.  There are times that it is not just us that change the course and go unscripted, it even seems that everyone that we are with does the same thing.

We are all God’s creatures and although animals do not have the same thought process that we humans do, they are able to recognize that some routines need to be changed up once in a while. Is there anything “wrong” with that. Not “wrong” since there is no sin involved, but it can be seen as an opportunity not only to laugh at our self, but also to free our self of the stress and seriousness that has us bound and unable to see the funny side of life, our personality and the humor that others can bring to us.

SUNDAY “C” -  The Challenges of Change

Change is difficult for some, and yet it is welcomed by others. In either case, life brings change and it occurs sometimes without notice and in other times with preparation. Change is necessary for us as humans to experience if we are to grow as God’s Children. We change as we mature in age, our children change from those little ones who needed to be lovingly guided in life so that as they matured they were able to use the tools and the wisdom that was shared to make good choices and become the loving men and women that God has created and wants them to be. We grow and change spiritually as God dwells in our hearts and we grow in relationship with Him. We lean more on Him as we face each day, our prayer grows from “want” to “desire”, and our heart is more open to expand with compassion, mercy and understanding.

Do you recognize where you have changed? Does change scare you? What feeling does change bring to you today vs, when you were younger?

Monday “H” – Your Hidden wisdom

You are a person created in the likeness and image of God. You have been given the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that are with you to aid you on your spiritual journey so that your choices are Holy Spirited guided and used to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. Your wisdom is a hidden wisdom in that it comes forward when needed, and it is used to share the presence of God in your life with others. Your wisdom of today is different than the wisdom that you had as a child. Although all wisdom should be used build up the God’s kingdom here on earth, there are times when it is not, but rather it is used to build egos at the expense of other’s dignity and respect. As mature followers of Christ, the bricks and the knowledge needed become heavier and more thought and reflection is required is our wisdom is to be shared correctly.

How do you share your wisdom? Is it shared with humility and grace? Or with control? Do you hold back out of fear, embarrassment, or low self-esteem, or are you able to recognize that genuine wisdom comes from God and is to be shared? Can or do you want to change how you share your wisdom?

 Tuesday “A” – Your Ability to Accept

You may have heard the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change (others), to have the courage to change the things that I can (our self), and grant me the wisdom to know the difference. This prayer is an essential aspect of mostly all of the 12 step programs of addictions. Although you may not be in a 12-step program, this prayer is essential for any situation where we encounter change and struggle to accept it or what life will mean once we do. We are a changing people, and with that there can be some hesitation, reluctance or absolute refusal. But not all change is bad or impossible to accept. If we pray the above prayer, we will find that as we choose to change our self, then how we deal with others will also change. We will begin to recognize that there are things, people or situations that we encounter that we cannot change, and thus we need to surrender to the God that can.

For many the ability to surrender is the change, where holding onto things and thinking that one can do all things alone was the previous way of thinking and acting. How do you read that prayer? How do you face change, and what does changing the way you see change mean?

Wednesday “N” - Take time to Notice

Happy 4th of July and take time to notice and celebrate your freedom to worship as a child of God, your independence as a citizen of the United States of America under God and reverence your cross for God has used it as His instrument and avenue that has led you to rediscover your inner strengths, has transformed your woundedness into healing, and has allowed you to recognize His great love for you and how that love is unconditional, unfailing and freely given.

Thursday “G” – You are Gift: Generous, Gracious and Giving

You are Gift: What does that mean to you and do you believe that you are gift, not only to God but to those who know you and even to yourself. What is a true gift? It is something or someone that is given freely, out of love and with no expectation of a return action other than a word of gratitude and acceptance. God gave us His Son Jesus. He was the gift giver and the gift was Jesus over 2000 years ago and He still is our gift. He comes to us freely and unconditionally each time we receive Him in the Sacraments, especially in Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. In those sacraments we receive the gift of our spiritual nourishment and healing. As His followers and witnesses in the world, as members of the Body of Christ, we are called to bring that same love to others. We are called to bear the gift of mercy, compassion, peace, joy and reconciliation to those who are in need, and where we can fill that need for them, without expecting any return.

When or where have you recently brought God’s gifts to others? How were you gift to others by your ability to listen, being present to, consoling? You are gift to yourself by how you treat yourself and how you take care of yourself. By your quiet time in prayer, by your rest and relaxing time spent, by being with those who you love and love you: family, friends, neighbors. As a member of the Body of Christ, you cannot be truly effective if you are worn down, burnt out or just disconnected. Jesus is always there to refresh, renew and reconnect with you, just ask Him to.

Friday “E” – Embrace your Transformation

Change is transforming is we allow it to be. We can take change, weather we welcome it or it just happens, and invite God to show us how we can grow closer to Him through it, with it and in it, or we can just watch it happen and wait for it to be done. If we truly desire to be more Christ like and draw into a deeper relationship with Him so that we can be His beacon in our world today, we need to change and be transformed. Spiritual transformation is a spiritual renewal where we are invited to see God more clearly in our self, so that we can see Him more clearly in others. This can be painful, but yet for every good Friday there is an Easter Sunday that will follow. 

Can you name your spiritual transformations? Would you invite them the next time, or walk away from them?

Saturday “S” – God is a God of Surprises

God is a God of surprises in that He knows us better than we know our self and since He does, He knows what we need exactly when we need it. We tend to think and pray for what we need and ask for it to immediately come to us. God is always in tune with our hearts and knows our desires as well as our weaknesses and sins. It is in that knowledge that He freely gave us Christ, gives us the gift of His mercy and compassion when we think that our sins are beyond them, and He always is there to remind us that in the midst of all of our human choices and changes, that we are created in His likeness, that we are His beloved Sons and Daughters, and that we are loved freely and unconditionally.

Have you heard Him lately tell you this? Look in the mirror and listen, you will hear His gentle Spirit flow in and through your heart since that is where He dwells, has dwelt and will continue to dwell, just keep the dors open.

MY GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 24, 2018

Have you ever experienced the sense of awe and wonder? Do you remember when you were left speechless and could not put into words what you were feeling? Can you remember the last time you were caught by surprise?

This week's Glimpse of God comes from what we probably perceive as "ordinary", but in actuality is "extraordinary".

Whether you live a life full of chaos, fun and excitement or one that seems mundane, boring and simple, the main character in your life is YOU.

You are the main character in your life and others are your supporting cast. The life that you have is God's gift to you, to be lived to the best of your ability and potential, and one that promotes and builds up the Kingdom of God here on earth. Everyone is different and everyone's life is different. Although there may be others with the same first and last name as you, you are one of a kind, there is no one like you nor will there be anyone like you to come. (I am not supporting selfishness or self-centeredness, but rather calling us to recognize our uniqueness as God does.)

As you focus on your life, begin by looking at your body, not whether you think it is too big or too small, too fat or too thin, too short or too tall, but more importantly that God has chosen to dwell within you and that you are His holy temple. God's temple is never too....., only.....or just...., but rather perfect in His eyes.

As you look at your body, then reflect on all that it can do, not what it can't, and honor those activities. Whether you can put your hands to work or together to pray, or you can use your legs to drive, or walk in the shoes of one who is less fortunate, or you can use your voice to call a friend or family member or whisper words of mercy and healing to one who has injured you, these activities are not "ordinary" but "extraordinary" because they are done in and out of love, both God for you and you for God and others. When we can begin to see and honor the "ordinary" it is then that we see more clearly how "extraordinary" it really is.

The bridge that makes our life "extraordinary" vs "ordinary" is where we encounter God and desire to be in relationship with Him. When we meet God where we are and decide that we want Him to take us where He wants us to be, then we begin to be and act in extraordinary ways. We act as one who has not only encountered the living God, but who has seen Him face to face. When we choose to be with God, it is then that we change and become God centered. It is in that encounter where God chose again to dwell in our heart and it is in that encounter where our lives go from "ordinary "to "extraordinary". 

How often do these encounters take place? These encounters take place as often as one recognizes God and desires to grow in relationship with Him. Only you can recognize, decide and answer!

So as you look at yourself, try not to be critical, but rather honor and reverence yourself, your body, your whole being, because it is the instrument that God uses as He chooses to encounter you on your journey of life, faith and personal transformation.

As you answer the questions that I stated above, try to imagine that God is looking at you in awe and wonder, that He is speechless when you choose Him over the other 'gods' society has placed before Him, and that He is happy to be surprised when one of His sons or daughters returns after a long journey with little contact made. Our God is not a God who lives in heaven, but rather dwells in our hearts and this is reflected by how we open the doors of our hearts so that He can not only be seen, but more importantly, personally encountered.

Open the door to your heart and allow God to make Himself known a Glimpse at a time!

 

SUNDAY - "Surprise"

How are you with surprises? do you like to be surprised? or do you hate surprises? does a surprise make you feel like you were not on "top of your game" and that somone was able to totally catch you off guard?

Our God is the God of surprises. He surprises us with His many graces, blessings and gifts that we would never expect or deserve. God doesn't surprise us to catch us off guard or make us feel vulnerable, but rather because He knows what is best for us, and the right time to surprise us with it. His surprises come in many forms. Some forms are in and through the compassion and mercy that is extended to us, a physical healing that we or someone that we love experiences, the joy of a child's first......, a job offer, or a deep sense of peace following a difficult prayer time.  He is always surprising us when He forgives that which we thought was unforgivable. He surprised us when He chose to die on the cross for us and for our sins.

For today, think of the last time that you were surprised or had the chance to surprise someone. Look for God in the surprise and when you find Him, take a moment and thank Him for being there.

 

MONDAY - Encounter

When did you encounter God last? Was it during your prayer time, at the celebration of Mass where you listened to His word and received Him in the Eucharist, (our greatest encounter), or was is in the time spent with your spouse, children or a close friend? Was it during your ride to work or with a co-worker at work?

We are all God's beloved sons and daughters, and therefore we all have been given the grace to be His instrument, His beacon to those around us so that they can encounter Him, through us, in a unique and different way.

For today, look at the many and varied activities, conversations, and circumstances that you experience, and ask for the grace to recognize with greater clarity, how God has placed them in your life so that you can encounter His presence and grow in His love.

 

TUESDAY - Awe

The feeling of awe is a great feeling. It comes with few words yet it fills the soul. I am in awe when I see a rainbow, or when I think of how the human body functions without being plugged in, but it all works together. I am in awe as I think about a child being born or a person taking their last breath. These are awesome and grace filled moments and God is there. I  am in awe as I gaze into the sky and see the beauty and formation of the clouds during the day or the stars at night. The awe comes when I realize that only God can create such beauty and that He chooses to share it with us. The greatest sense of awe comes when I reflect on how Jesus chose, wasn't forced to, but chose to suffer and die for me out of complete and selfless love.

For today, allow yourself to be filled with awe. When you have this experience, recognize God's hand in it and thank Him.

 

WEDNESDAY - Wonder

What does it mean to wonder? Is it a state of unknowing? uncertainty? or is it a state where one is speechless in the sight of something beyond imagination or words? When one stands in awe and wonder, I see it as one standing before God and there are no words to describe the experience or the encounter. We stand before God every day of our life. We stand as sinful saints that have the potential to be the best person that we can be that God has created us to be, yet sometimes we fall short of that potential. It is when we stand before God recognizing that we are weak and sinful, that the beginnings of wonder and awe are awakened. How can God, who created everything, who sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die for me 2000 years ago, care about me so much as to know every thought, deed, action, attitude and sin of mine and love me anyway? This is a different type of awe and wonder, but it is one that brings me to my knees and compels me to thank God for the gift of His love, a love that is unconditional,  and freely given and will never be taken away. 

For today, dwell and bask in the gift of wonder and see how God chooses to reveal Himself to you.

 

THURSDAY - Joy

Joy to the world, our savior has come. We are joyful, joy filled at the birth of a child, the various life celebrations, accomplishments and milestones that are celebrated, the obstacles that are overcome and the personal goals that are met.

Yet, if we were not joyful or joy filled at the birth of the Savior, no other event or circumstance, would or could bring us true joy.

Our joy, our reason for rejoicing comes from God, is directed to God and returns to God.

God rejoices in us. He created us and rejoices in His creation because it is good. We are good. God invites us to celebrate the events and occasions of our life with a true and genuine sense of joyfulness. Yet there are times where we are not feeling joy because of personal pains, sorrows, concerns or stresses and joy can't seem to find its way in. That doesn't mean that we are not joyful people, it means that we are experiencing the good Friday's of our life that have not yet made way for the resurrections that will soon occur. We have hope, we have Jesus' promise and we  have each other to hold onto as we eagerly await our resurrection to occur.

For today, look back on your good Friday's and see how and when your resurrections occurred. Also look at when your joy returned. Did it return stronger and with more clarity? Do you feel it today? If you need help returning to the true source of your joy, find the Christmas hymn, "Joy to the World" and take the time to truly listen to the words. Remember that the joy of Christmas can fill us every day because Christ comes to us every day at the Mass, in the Eucharist.

 

FRIDAY - Emptiness

How does one reflect on emptiness when it seems so negative? Yet I have included it between joy and inner peace. To be empty can be a very good thing. An empty vessel needs to be filled. If we look at our self as an empty vessel, then there in only one, genuine, lasting way that we can be filled, and only God can fill us. He knows our needs and those things that make us feel empty inside. Only His grace, mercy and peace are needed for us to feel filled so that we can continue to walk on this faith journey of ours. We are His beloved children so His love is woven through us. We are never void or empty of His love. So, if we sincerely ask God to fill our emptiness, He will fill us with what He knows we need out of His unconditional love for us; that which will keep us going in a spiritually and physically healthy direction.

For today, seek to rid that which is filling your heart, mind and soul and is taking you away from God. Is it loss, jealousy, anger, lack of forgiveness or desire to forgive? Whatever it is, ask for the grace to let it go, then allow  yourself to feel the emptiness, just for a short time, and trust that God is and will continue to fill it with what is lasting, loving and transforming.

 

SATURDAY - Inner Peace

This is a great gift, can you feel it, do you recognize it? What is reflected through your body language, your facial expressions? Is it peace or worry, anxiety and stress? Are the cares and worries that you are experiencing speaking through you, or is it your trust and faith in God that has allowed you to surrender those cares to Him?

For today, after a long week and as you enter into the weekend, be your best at being God's instrument of peace by extending, compassion, love, pardon, faith, hope, mercy and light to others. As you do this, a feeling of deep and inner peace will not only fill your being, it will stay as long as you allow it to. Remember that no one has the power to take your inner peace away, only you can give it or throw it away.

 

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY To all those who are Dads, Granddads, Foster dads, Single dads, Uncles, Moms who are fulfilling both father and mother roles, and brothers. For all of our dads who have gone before  us, May God's eternal light shine on them and may they rest in the peace of His loving embrace.

Let us thank our HEAVENLY FATHER for the gift of His Fatherly love in the giving of His only Son, Jesus. Let us pray for our Holy Father and all priests, that they  continue to serve God faithfully through the reception of the sacraments, the support of their fellow priests  and the prayerful encouragement of the faithful.

Let us pray that God will continue to bless those dads who are striving to be the best dads that they can be in the light of His strength, courage, grace and love. May their faith and the support of their spouses, children and families help them to flourish and grow as an instrument of God's peace, healing, mercy, compassion and love for them and all those they encounter.

Let us pray that God will be merciful to those dads, living and deceased, who have been instruments of harm, pain and estrangement to their spouses and children, and may He open their hearts to seek forgiveness and conversion.

Let us pray that we seek God's grace as well, for the times that we have been hurt by our fathers so that we can shine as His instrument of mercy and compassion and live in His peace, joy and healing.

My Glimpse of God for the week of June 17, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from a good friend that recently passed away and I had said the funeral prayers for. He was a wonderful man, a loving husband, a devoted father, a good friend and an inspiration to all who knew him well, as well as to those who only had a brief encounter with him. Randy embodied what it meant to live life despite the challenges that came and wanted him to feel or become defeated.  I have included the words that I shared of a man that touched the hearts of so many.

To Christine, Logan, Lauren, Mom and Dad, extended family, and friends, may the consolation and peace of Christ be a source of strength today and every day that comes where your love for Randy is remembered, his memories are cherished and his presence is missed. To his loved ones that have gone before him especially his grand mom Clyde, and his daughter Cindy, may he rest with them in the loving embrace of God and all the saints.

HIS BIRTHDAY WAS YESTERDAY AND I THINK IN HIS SPECIAL SENSE OF HUMOR, LEFT BEFORE HE TURNED 55. BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS THEY ARE THE SAME EITHER WAY, BUT HE KNEW HE WAS DIFFERENT AND HE WANTED US TO REMEMBER HOW MUCH SO. HE WAS UNIQUE IN THE WAY HE APPROACHED LIFE AND DEATH:

WHEN HE HAD HIS FIRST STROKE, HE CAME BACK WITH FIERCE DETERMINATION, COURAGE, AND THE DESIRE TO LIVE AND DEFEAT DEATH. HE CHOSE TO LIVE AND FIGHT RATHER THAN BE DEFEATED AND DIE FROM WITHIN.

HE SAW NEW LIFE IN ALL ITS WAYS: IN HIS FAMILY BY THEIR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER, IN THE ANIMALS SURROUNDING HIM, HIS CATS SNOWBALL AND PSYCHO AS WELL AS HIS DOG GEORGE ALONG WITH THE SQUIRREL THAT HE FED RIGHT OUTSDIE THE FRONT DOOR. ALL WERE SPECIAL AND HE WANTED TO GIVE THEM THE SPECIAL ATTENTION THAT THEY DESERVED.

HE WAS DIFFERENT IN HOW HE RELATED WITH OTHERS. WE NEVER HEARD A HARSH WORD FROM HIM ABOUT ANYONE, AND WE NEVER HEARD HIM RAISE HIS VOICE OR GET ANGRY. THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HE ENJOYED>

HONDA: the power of dreams: RANDY DIDN’T PURSUE THE DREAMS THAT OTHERS HAD OR MAY HAVE WANTED, BUT RATHER HE PURSUED HIS DREAMS, NOT WHAT OTHERS EXPECTED OF HIM, BUT WHAT HE CHOSE AND THAT GAVE HIM POWER OF DREAMS WHICH GAVE HIM STRENGTH OVER BEING CONTROLLED BY THEM, A HONDA, BUT ALWAYS WORE A HARLEY BASEBALL CAP SINCE THEY DIDN’T SELL HONDA HATS.

ENJOYED RIDING HIS CYCLE: A MAN THAT ENJOYED THE FREEING FEELING OF RIDING HIS BIKE. HE DIDN’T WORRY, AND WAS NOT CONFINED OR INHIBITED. TRUSTED OTHERS THAT HE SHARED THE ROAD WITH. ENJOYED NATURE AND THIS ALLOWED HIM TO ENJOY IT ONE STEP FURTHER.

ROCK N ROLL: HE WAS A ROCK THAT PEOPLE COULD DEPEND ON, BUT YET HE LET THINGS ROLL OFF OF HIS BACK.  HE WAS A MAN THAT WHEN HE MADE UP HIS MIND, WOULD BE HESITANT TO CHANGE IT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, CARED ABOUT OTHERS FEELINGS AND WOULD NOT DO ANYTHING TO HURT ANOTHER PERSON.

BURGER KING: “Be your way” IF YOR WAY IS ONE OF TRUTH, CARING, COMPASSION, COURAGE AND CONVICTION, THEN RANDY LIVED THE BURGER KING WAY. HE DIDN’T LIVE THE WAY OTHERS DID, HE LIVED THE WAY HE CHOSE THAT WAS BEST FOR HIM AND IN TURN WAS BEST FOR THOSE HE LOVED.

PEPSI’S SLOGAN IN THE YEARS OF1961-1964 WAS “Now it’s Pepsi for those who think young”

HOW APPROPRIATE SINCE RANDY NEVER THOUGHT LIKE AN “OLD” PERSON, ONE WHO WAS BITTER OR DIDN’T SEE THE GOOD IN LIFE, IN EACH DAY, BUT RATHER HE THOUGHT YOUNG IN THAT HE WAS YOUNG AT HEART AND THOUGHT WITH A RENEWED SENSE AND NOT ONE OF TOO OLD TO CHANGE OR SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY SO WHY BOTHER.

MYTHBUSTERS: A SHOW THAT SETS OUT TO TEST THE VALIDILITY OF TIMELESS MYTHS AND URBAN LEGENDS.

RANDY, WITH ENCOURAGEMENT FROM CHRISTINE, WATCHED SHOWS THAT WERE REAL, EDUCATIONAL AND NOT JUST PLAIN STUPID. RANDY WANTED TO LEARN THE TRUTH AND NOT PASS ON THAT WHICH WAS MADE UP BECAUSE IT SOUNDED BETTER. HE WAS A MAN OF TRUTH AND DIDN’T MAKE UP THINGS JUST SO THAT HE COULD LOOK OR SOUND BETTER BEFORE OTHERS. HE MADE THE CHOICE TO BE TRUE TO HIMSELF, BE A MAN OF HONESTY, DIGNITY, AUTHENTICITY AND GENUINENESS, BEFORE HIS FAMILY, OTHERS AND HIS GOD.

WAS ATHLETIC: ENJOYED SPORTS AND COMPETITION BUT WASN’T CONTROLLED BY THEM.

WAS A PAINTER: A MAN THAT BROUGHT CHANGE, A SENSE OF NEWNESS, COLOR, REFRESHMENT INTO THE LIVES OF PEOPLE. SOUGHT TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY. WAS EXCELLENT AT WHAT HE DID BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTERED TO HIM.

AVID PICTURE TAKER; HE APPRECIATED BEAUTY AND WANTED TO KEEP IT LONGER SO HE WAS ALWAYS TAKING PHOTOS. HE APPRECIATD THE NATURALNESS AND THE REALNESS THAT GOD’S CREATURES PRESENTED BEFORE HIM AND WANTED IT TO LAST. HE HAD MEGA PICS ON HIS PHONE BECAUSE HE NEVER ERASED ONE. A CHERISHED MEMORY FOR HIM.

WE LEAVE HERE SAD BECAUSE THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF RANDY WILL BE MISSED, BUT WE CAN TAKE GREAT CONSOLATION IN THE REALITY THAT IN HIS DIFFERENCES:  HIS FREEING AND TRUSTING SPIRIT AS HE RODE HIS CYCLE, HIS ROCK AND ROLL APPROACH TO LIFE, AND HIS SENSE OF HUMOR.

AND FINALLY, HIS LOVE FOR BEING PARTICULAR WHICH WAS GOD’S BLESSING IN THAT HE CHOSE CHRISTINE AND SHE CHOSE HIM. THEY DIDN’T SETTLE FOR EACH OTHER, THEY CHOSE EACH OTHER AND IT WAS IN THAT CHOICE WHERE HE WAS GIVEN THE GRACE TO GROW AND BECOME THE BEST PERSON THAT HE COULD BE, THE PERSON THAT CHRISTINE LOVED THEN, LOVES MORE TODAY AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE,

THE PERSON THAT GOD CREATED HIM TO BE. THE PERSON THAT WE ALL LOVE, WILL MISS, BUT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, BECAUSE ONCE YOU ENTER INTO ONES HEART BY CHOICE, AS RANDY DID WITH US, HE WILL NEVER LEAVE, NO MATTER WHAT.

 

In light of today being Father's Day, instead of daily reflections, let us take each day and remember a specific characteristic or personality trait of our father that inspires us, keeps us going or reminds us that we are special and strive to exude that quality in our daily life.

SUNDAY - "F" - FORGIVING, FRIENDLY, FATHERLY,

MONDAY - "A' - ADORABLE, ACCEPTING, ABSOLVING....,

TUESDAY  - "T" - THANKFUL, TRUSTING, TRUTHFUL....

WEDNESDAY - "H" - HAPPY, HONORABLE, HOLY......

THURSDAY - "E" - EMBRACING, ENDEARING, ENERGIZING......

FRIDAY - "R" - RESPECTFUL, RARE, REFRESHING,....

SATURDAY - "S" - SAINTLY, SELFLESS, STATELY, .......

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 10, 2018

John and I are in Boston for the first time and I have to say that it is breathtaking.

I am in awe! There is so much that I want to write but the words are not coming to me. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, here is one that I think speak volumes. I have chosen this for my Glimpse of God, not only is it of God, in the cross of Jesus Christ, but how and where it is placed provides a different glimpse of Christ, God’s only begotten Son, for the beholder.

The crucifix is on the outside of the building of the Shrine of Saint Anthony in Boston. It is on the side of the building where it is visible from the street, from the different buildings that surround it, from the various high rises that are above it and from any window that looks out at it.

As you look at it, take a moment to see that from any direction or place that your eyes behold it, the word magnitude comes to mind. The magnitude of the cross, the magnitude of the love that Jesus had for us as He died on the cross, the magnitude of presence as we are reminded that in our cross is His presence and that we are not alone, the magnitude of gift in that He is always in our life: our challenges, our joys, our sorrows, with our crosses if we desire to see Him. The cross on the side of the building reminds me that just as He is visible from any point of view, He is visible in and through us as we seek to be His glimpse by our words, actions and deeds of kindness towards and with others.

As we reflect on the cross, let us be mindful that the cross is a very significant and essential part of our life as followers of Jesus Christ. We can make it a cross of pain and suffering or we can make it a cross of joy. Our crosses are our challenges to come to know Christ better and the magnitude of His redeeming love, healing, compassion and mercy for us, so that we can share it with others. We can allow them to make us feel defeated or we can make them a cause for joy. They can become a cause for joy in that we recognize that we have reason to rejoice in the deep and abiding love, and the magnitude of that love, not only that Jesus has for us but that we have for Him.

As we begin this week, let us be mindful of the crosses that we carry and how they have the power to transform, reform, and conform us to be more like Christ. Let us see how we are called to be His beacon so that others may see the magnitude of His love for them and how their crosses can also become crosses of joy.

Instead of daily reflections,  I thought I would offer the following words for reflection so that you can prayerfully see how the magnitude of God's love, presence and peace; the crosses of joy, are an integral part of your spirit, your mind and your whole being. 

 

SUNDAY  - the cross of joy in "healing"

Healing from physical, relational, or spiritual pain........

MONDAY - the cross of joy in "reconciliation"

Reconciliation with relationships, personal ambiguity, .......

TUESDAY - the cross of joy in " laughter"

The ability to laugh, to see joy even in the midst of one's mistakes, to see how even God laughs......

WEDNESDAY - the cross of  joy in "compassion"

That which is shared with another, towards another, towards you......

THURSDAY - the cross of joy in "peace"

Being a sign of peace in the midst of injury, anger, discord, hatred,,,,,,,

FRIDAY - the cross of joy in "a smile"

he ability to smile so that the inner your joy can be reflected to others, the ability to try to share a sign of peace...

SATURDAY - the cross of joy in "a hand offered to raise up, console, encourage...." to help others who have fallen into discourgement or despair, to make someone feel welcome, to extend peace.....

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 3, 2018

My Glimpses of God for this week comes from Chloe, a faithful and faith filled woman who attends daily Mass at my parish, Saint John’s. Although I don’t know her well; we’ve never sat down and had any lengthy conversations or discussed our families, I do know that her love for God our Father, Christ His Son and Mary, our Mother, is deep and inspiring.  Chloe exudes a presence of peace in what could be a life of motherly cares and concerns.

When she arrives for daily Mass, she quietly gets the prayer materials ready that are recited after Mass, she attends to the flowers as she carefully places them in the vases and puts them next to the statue of Mary and the picture of Jesus of Divine Mercy. She is always ready to share her prayer books and various saint materials.

Recently, I had cut some roses from a bush in our yard. They had many thorns and at 6am in the morning as I was cutting them, I found myself being pinched with many thorns that could not be avoided. Ouch!!!!

As Chloe arrived to the chapel, I let her know that I had cut roses for the chapel and asked if she could do her magic with arranging them. I also was very aware of how painful the thorns were, and I said that I would take them out of the bag and put them in the vases so that she wouldn’t get pinched as much. I didn’t want her to get hurt with all of them. As I tried to help her, I looked in amazement as she quietly took the roses in her hands, thorns and all, and placed them in the three vases. She embraced the thorns and said nothing. What I saw in and through her actions was her deep love for Mary and Jesus that could never be overshadowed or defeated by the thorns of any heavy crosses or personal suffering.  She probably wasn’t even thinking, but rather prayerfully placing the roses so that their beauty could be seen by all who come into the chapel.

This reminded me of how the rose can be a great picture and reminder of what life is like, especially as a follower of Christ. There is great beauty surrounded us. God has surrounded us with His great creation with all of its beauty, to not only enjoy but also to take care of. All of God’s creation, both in nature and in humanity, is good, but life crosses, challenges and circumstances, cause the beauty to be overshadowed by pain and suffering. The beauty is always there but sometimes we allow our crosses, life challenges and our own personal suffering, to take over and cover up the beauty. We are God’s beloved sons and daughters, and there is no sin, mistake or choice that will ever take away or lessen His unconditional love for us. As we journey through life it is like we are journeying with the thorns, our Good Friday’s, to remind us that there is always a rose, our Easter Sunday, that awaits us. As a follower and disciple of Christ we cannot walk through life expecting it to be suffering free or without thorns, but rather can walk through life ready to embrace the thorns with the hope that the beauty of the rose of resurrection awaits us. Christ embraced the thorns of our sins through the cross, so that we can behold the beauty of eternal life, through His resurrection.

This week as we enter into another weather mystery, let us look at the many and various subtle ways that we are of benefit or service to others by our prayers, our example, our care and concern. Let us look at how we embrace our thorns, and how by our example, we live the hope that we offer to others.

SUNDAY – “S” – Steadfast, (faithful, loyal, trustworthy….)

What does it mean to be steadfast? Do you see yourself as steadfast, faithful, loyal, or trustworthy? Do you think that God sees you as steadfast, faithful, loyal and trustworthy? Have the thorns in your life made you feel as if you are not steadfast, to God, others or self because you struggled with them or felt defeated by them?

For today, look at how you have reached out to others: spouse, children, siblings, friends, community members, despite your thorns, and by your actions have offered them hope and given them strength. Can you recognize that even in the midst of your thorns, the beauty of your faith, your desire to help, your care and concern for others, brought out the beauty of God’s love and presence in your life?

MONDAY – “E” – Earnest (sincere, heartfelt, intense…)

Being earnest or sincere brings forth a recognition that one needs to speak from the heart and for many that is difficult. When we speak from the heart, we take a risk that what we say or do may be rejected or judged. When we open our hearts, we leave room for others to hurt us. Yet, when God expands our hearts, He does so gently so that we can allow Him to fill us with His love, His graces, His blessings so that we can His voice of sincerity, consolation, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and hope.

For today, be more earnest or intense about what is important to you. A bout that which occupies your heart and makes you passionate.  Allow God to expand your heart so that your passion can grow and your heart can be healed and whole where the thorns of life may have made you wounded and broken.

 TUESDAY – “R” – Reverent (respectful, awed, humble…)

Do you reverence yourself? Do you have self-respect? Do you see yourself as Blessed? By God? Special and chosen by God? Do you respect the body that He has given you? DO you stand in awe and wonder at the creation that is YOU? Look at all that is in you: your beauty that lies within, your talents and gifts, your creativity, your virtue, your genuine goodness, your love, your openness,…and reverence YOU,  do not discard YOU as not important or not talented….God has no rooms for nots.

For today, reverence yourself as Blessed by God at your baptism and deserving a respect by all. No one should be made to feel less than a person no matter what. We are all created in God’s image and thus deserving to be treated as the members of the Body of Christ. When we were baptized we were blessed with Holy water and at that moment on our life, we were chosen by God as His own, His greatest creation, unique and special, one to be reverenced and treated as his Child.

WEDNESDAY – “V” – Virtuous (good, righteous, moral…)

Not many of us will identify with being righteous, moral or good. These adjectives seem to better describe the saints and not the average person. When one thinks of being virtuous, moral or good, one thinks of the Saints, Sisters, or those who are in monasteries, but not one self. Yet, as God’s beloved sons and daughters, we are all created good and moral and righteous. We all have the potential to be the best person that God has created us to be and that we can become and there are no limitations. Being moral or good or righteous are gifts that we are given and to be used in a spirit of humility and love. When one is self-righteous, or uses religion, morality as a source to judge, condemn or abuse others, and not see the presence of God or that they are also God’s beloved, ’then they are not being virtuous.  

For today, pray for those who choose to judge others and not see the goodness God in them.    Look in the mirror and as the Holy Spirit to show you the goodness of God that dwells with in you, that which makes you a sinner who is striving to be a saint. God looks at you and sees that you are good. Do you agree?

THURSDAY – “I” – Inspirational (motivating, stirring, moving…)                                                                                                         

When was the last time that you were inspired? Left with a feeling of awe and wonder? Felt as if God were standing right there? Was it at the birth of a child? Or the death of a loved one? Was it I n something that you read or heard? Were you changed? Were you moved to see something or someone differently, with greater clarity or understanding? The Holy Spirit is the source of inspiration and can lead us to seeing God’s presence, hearing His voice or feeling His touch.

For today, take a moment to recognize the working of the Holy Spirit in your life and how He has been a source of inspiration and motivation for you and to others.

FRIDAY – “C” – Creative (inspired, resourceful, artistic…)

Are you creative? What does that mean and how does your creativity shine through you? Does creativity just mean being an artist, or a flower arranger, or someone who does arts and crafts or needle point? I don’t think so. I think being creative is when one uses their mind, their heart and soul to bring forth beauty with what they have in the way God has blessed them. We all have the ability to be creative, our creativity is as unique as we are, it is our humble gift to God. it comes from a desire to bring forth joy and a reason to smile. Can you recognize that you are creative and that your creativity is a gift from God so that you can bring forth His beauty? Do you see how you are His instrument to be used to glorify Him?

For today, be creative with whatever you have , and however you understand that.

SATURDAY – “E” – Encouraging (hopeful, positive, uplifting…)

Do you encourage others? Are you encouraged as you live each day and embrace your thorns or are you someone who can only see the negative?  Can you recognize the times where you have consciously chosen to rise above the weight of your cross so that others can also find hope with their cross? The love of Christ as He died on the cross for us is a great reason to be encouraged especially as we try to carry our own crosses, embrace our thorns and uncover the beauty of God’s love in our pain and suffering.

For today, take a moment to recognize how you have overcome many obstacles and have been a witness of hope and encouragement to others. As you recognize that within yourself, take a moment to also see how others have been an instrument of hope and encouragement for you.

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of May 27th.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! 

This week's Glimpse of God was one that was very clear, lasting and profound.  I had the opportunity to be at the “Walk for the Wounded” last week, but due to the rain, was held at one of the local schools. Although the rain may have cancelled the run/walk, many people still came out to support the wounded warriors, the many military support organizations, and the many speakers who not only told their stories but also shared their love for their country, their fellow men and women warriors, and most importantly their God and how He had blessed them.

They felt honored serve their country and although many of them returned home wounded, they were able to come back home to their families filled with a spirit of humility, pride and gratitude. This special day was initiated ten years ago to honor all of our military who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have died as a result of War. It is an event filled with many opportunities to recognize the depth of personal conviction and selflessness of each person called to serve displayed and continues to exude.

 

.It is an opportunity to honor all of the families that are left with the emptiness and the pain that losing a loved because of war brings.  It is an opportunity to honor all those who have been wounded and coming home to a new normal. This is usually an opportunity for the communtiy to do the Warriors 5K run or the  10K walk for the wounded, but this year they were not held, due to the inclement weather. It is an opportunity for all who attend to recognize that in the hearts of the men and women who choose to serve their country, there is God. In each man and woman that chooses to serve, there is the presence of the selfless, emptying, giving, sacrificial heart where God dwells, strengthens, encourages and calls them to give all they have for another especially the stranger.

 

It also is an opportunity to raise awareness to the reality that our military members are coming home wounded physically, emotionally, spiritually and in need of our help, prayers, encouragement and support. We need to support our military.  They are losing their lives so that others may be free to live life and not be afraid of it. Freedom may be a gift that we have received, but there are many others who are still searching and hoping to become free and not be afraid; to live their lives in light of God’s love and not in light of bombs, guns, rape, abuse, hunger, homelessness, or death. There were many military veterans, active duty members, supporters, family members and organizations like "Bikers for Christ" that were there to show their support to those who serve and for the families of those who have lost loved ones because of war. There were stories read of those who died because they chose the path that they hoped would bring about peace and freedom to others, the path set by God. There were stories of those who have survived but changed because of injury, death of their fallen comrades and the guilt of "why them and not me?.  

 

Our military are one of our greatest Glimpses of God that He can send us.  Those in the military are those who desire to be God's peacemakers in a world that has lost the meaning and the sense of peace.  They went as peacemakers and sought to bring about the peace and freedom that God wants for all of His children.

 

In our society today, it seems that we are doing all that we can to take God out of everything. Yet, it is our military members, our Veterans that are not afraid to praise God, thank Him for the gift of life and for bringing them home safely, to echo His name in prayer and blessings, and entrust their fallen comrades and critically injured service members to His tender love, care and mercy.

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, let us be mindful of how this day came about and let us pray for those whom we are called to remember, our military past and present, that selflessly sacrificed and continue to do so for the good of others. Let us close our eyes and see that through their faith, courage and determination, we are free and know what peace is.

 

If you are looking for Glimpse of God, seek out, talk to a Veteran, an active duty member or a reservist, and listen to their story, learn from their wisdom and discover the God that called them, sustained them and loved them through the most difficult period and time of their life. Their time, their sacrifice, their love for God and others, all formed them to be the selfless and courageous person that they are today. We all need examples of faith, hope and charity. We can find it in those who served and are serving our country, the family members, close friends, neighbors and all others of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who support the home front while their loved ones are deployed far away.

Our military, both active duty and reservists are a Glimpse of God. Family, friends and supporters are big glimpses of God, so where do you fit in?

As you celebrate the weekend, take each day to pause, pray and remember how and why this day came about. Don't just make this Memorial Day a day off or all about parties, car sales and picnics, but rather see it as a Glimpse of God in and through our memory and those who have created our memories: our Veterans. 

Duty, Honor and Country; Honor, Courage, Commitment; Semper Paratus, Semper Fi.

One Nation Under God

Indivisible

With liberty and justice

For all.

 

This week, instead of taking each day to reflect on one aspect, let us take each day to see the whole picture and reflect on how blessed we are and how our blessings blend in and create the life that we have today. Let us never forget, but choose to be grateful for and remember, the many gifts and blessings that we have been given because of our military.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

 

HAPPY JUNE TO ALL f God for the week of May 27th.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! 

This week's Glimpse of God was one that was very clear, lasting and profound.  I had the opportunity to be at the “Walk for the Wounded” last week, but due to the rain, was held at one of the local schools. Although the rain may have cancelled the run/walk, many people still came out to support the wounded warriors, the many military support organizations, and the many speakers who not only told their stories but also shared their love for their country, their fellow men and women warriors, and most importantly their God and how He had blessed them.

They felt honored serve their country and although many of them returned home wounded, they were able to come back home to their families filled with a spirit of humility, pride and gratitude. This special day was initiated ten years ago to honor all of our military who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have died as a result of War. It is an event filled with many opportunities to recognize the depth of personal conviction and selflessness of each person called to serve displayed and continues to exude.

 

.It is an opportunity to honor all of the families that are left with the emptiness and the pain that losing a loved because of war brings.  It is an opportunity to honor all those who have been wounded and coming home to a new normal. This is usually an opportunity for the communtiy to do the Warriors 5K run or the  10K walk for the wounded, but this year they were not held, due to the inclement weather. It is an opportunity for all who attend to recognize that in the hearts of the men and women who choose to serve their country, there is God. In each man and woman that chooses to serve, there is the presence of the selfless, emptying, giving, sacrificial heart where God dwells, strengthens, encourages and calls them to give all they have for another especially the stranger.

 

It also is an opportunity to raise awareness to the reality that our military members are coming home wounded physically, emotionally, spiritually and in need of our help, prayers, encouragement and support. We need to support our military.  They are losing their lives so that others may be free to live life and not be afraid of it. Freedom may be a gift that we have received, but there are many others who are still searching and hoping to become free and not be afraid; to live their lives in light of God’s love and not in light of bombs, guns, rape, abuse, hunger, homelessness, or death. There were many military veterans, active duty members, supporters, family members and organizations like "Bikers for Christ" that were there to show their support to those who serve and for the families of those who have lost loved ones because of war. There were stories read of those who died because they chose the path that they hoped would bring about peace and freedom to others, the path set by God. There were stories of those who have survived but changed because of injury, death of their fallen comrades and the guilt of "why them and not me?.  

 

Our military are one of our greatest Glimpses of God that He can send us.  Those in the military are those who desire to be God's peacemakers in a world that has lost the meaning and the sense of peace.  They went as peacemakers and sought to bring about the peace and freedom that God wants for all of His children.

 

In our society today, it seems that we are doing all that we can to take God out of everything. Yet, it is our military members, our Veterans that are not afraid to praise God, thank Him for the gift of life and for bringing them home safely, to echo His name in prayer and blessings, and entrust their fallen comrades and critically injured service members to His tender love, care and mercy.

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, let us be mindful of how this day came about and let us pray for those whom we are called to remember, our military past and present, that selflessly sacrificed and continue to do so for the good of others. Let us close our eyes and see that through their faith, courage and determination, we are free and know what peace is.

 

If you are looking for Glimpse of God, seek out, talk to a Veteran, an active duty member or a reservist, and listen to their story, learn from their wisdom and discover the God that called them, sustained them and loved them through the most difficult period and time of their life. Their time, their sacrifice, their love for God and others, all formed them to be the selfless and courageous person that they are today. We all need examples of faith, hope and charity. We can find it in those who served and are serving our country, the family members, close friends, neighbors and all others of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who support the home front while their loved ones are deployed far away.

Our military, both active duty and reservists are a Glimpse of God. Family, friends and supporters are big glimpses of God, so where do you fit in?

As you celebrate the weekend, take each day to pause, pray and remember how and why this day came about. Don't just make this Memorial Day a day off or all about parties, car sales and picnics, but rather see it as a Glimpse of God in and through our memory and those who have created our memories: our Veterans. 

Duty, Honor and Country; Honor, Courage, Commitment; Semper Paratus, Semper Fi.

One Nation Under God

Indivisible

With liberty and justice

For all.

 

This week, instead of taking each day to reflect on one aspect, let us take each day to see the whole picture and reflect on how blessed we are and how our blessings blend in and create the life that we have today. Let us never forget, but choose to be grateful for and remember, the many gifts and blessings that we have been given because of our military.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

 

HAPPY JUNE TO ALL 

   

 

Glimpse of God for the week of May 20, 2018

As I begin this Glimpse, I want to take a moment to recognize the many graces that the Church of Philadelphia has received through the open hearts of many men and women who have answered the call to serve as Priests, Consecrated Religious and Permanent Deacons.  This month we celebrated and rejoiced with the  Ordination of 6 men to the Priesthood and the Jubilee celebrations for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, as well as other Religious orders, and in june we will celebrate the Ordination of the Permanent Deaconate. God continues to call men and women to serve Him by serving His Church, and we celebrate with those who recently responded, those who continue to discern God’s call, and those who continue to say Yes as they celebrate many years of faithful service.

My Glimpse for this week comes from the retired Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia who celebrate their Ruby (80 years) and Diamond (70 years Jubilees. All are gems and precious in the eyes of God and all those they encounter and serve.

Every week when John and I take Clover, our Golden Retriever, for pet therapy, Clover is welcomed, hugged, fed, complimented, fussed over and given many kisses. From the moment that she enters the doors of the vestibule to the moment that she walks out, she is the hit of the parade. They make her feel welcomed in their home. Although it is about Clover and the calming affect that she has on the Sisters, they always make us feel welcomed and a part of their family. They are present to us as they spend time with Clover. They share their stories with us, their challenges, their wisdom and their prayers and they embrace our stories, our challenges, and offer us their prayers, support and encouragement.

As I reflect on their jubilee and their vocation as Consecrated Religious I am inspired and in awe. These Sisters who are celebrating 70 and 80 years as a Consecrated Religious said YES so long ago, and yet just moments ago as well. Their YES is a daily YES. They live out their YES to God by the life that they live, have lived, and hope to live: that of a faithful service with a heart that remains open always ready to be transformed, conformed and reformed to the heart of Jesus.

They said YES with no treasure map to follow, no guarantee or refunds, no promises or exceptions as the world would ask or expect. Instead they put their trust in God’s wisdom and knowledge of their deepest desire and love for Him, their treasure map was and remains in the Sacraments of the Church, for it is in them they find the direction and path that they need to follow, their promise was eternal life and the guarantee was given to them by Jesus as He was nailed to the cross, and there are no exceptions, we are all included.  All who choose to follow Christ will inherit eternal life.  The Sisters have remained faithful followers despite and amidst any physical limitations, pain, discouragement and disappointments. In the midst of it all they renew in their heart their YES to Christ as His beloved bride. All of the Sisters are not only a Glimpse of God but a clear picture of God and His wonderful all-encompassing love for all of His children. They, like Saint Francis, exude the simplicity, humility and compassion that makes them truly God’s instruments of peace in a world torn by division.

As we begin a new week and enter into Memorial Day weekend, let us take a moment to thank God for all of those individuals, both religious and military, who have given us our freedom so that we can practice our religion, have given us religion so that we can pray for freedom, and who have united us as one under God so that we will not be afraid to be religious, be military, and be proud.

As I write the daily reflections, I have included the definitions from Marian Webster because they truly reflect the Sisters of Saint Francis at the Assisi House and how they continue to live out their YES.

SUNDAY – “J” – JOYFUL - The feelings expressed or a causing of great pleasure and happiness.

Are you a joyful person?  What brings you joy? What takes away your joy? Joy is not a fleeting gift from God, but rather one that is planted with deep roots. It is up to us; we can choose to cultivate it or ignore it. We can be a joyful person despite the challenges that come our way, or we can allow them to make us bitter and unhappy.

For today, take a look at the various events, people, circumstances that bring or have brought you joy and offer a prayer of gratitude. Then take a moment to think of when you were the cause of joy for someone and how it made you feel and offer a prayer of gratitude.

 

MONDAY – “U” - UNIQUE - Someone or something that is unlike anything or anyone else, very special or unusual, belonging to, connected with only one particular thing, place or person.

Do you see yourself as a unique individual? Do you recognize that you have been given special gifts and talents by God that make you who you are and the special person that you are? God sees you as unique, special and He calls you His beloved. Can you allow yourself to be loved by God? It is a gift to be different and not blend in with everyone. God has created you to be you and not anyone else. Do you like who you are or do you try to be someone else? Can you allow God to love you and show you how special and unique you are and that you are gift?

For today, look in the mirror and begin to identify your uniqueness, your giftedness by God, what makes you special, intellectually, physically, or emotionally, what makes you stand out from the crowd, what people notice about you. Honor who you are, reverence who you are, and recognize that God created you and wants you to see how unique and special you are to Him and all those in your life.

 

TUESDAY – “B” – BOUNTIFUL - Giving generously, unselfishly openhanded.

We all have opportunities to give generously of our selves: by being present to another as we listen and words are not necessary, by offering our prayers to those who are seeking to feel God’s presence, by lending a hand to someone who is need, and by lifting up one who has fallen by our showing of compassion, mercy and understanding.

For today, look at how you have been bountiful and how others have been bountiful in your life. Ask God for the grace to continue to extend yourself to those in need, be it spiritual, physical or emotional and thank Him for those who He has sent to you when you needed them most and, in some cases, didn’t realize it.

 

WEDNESDAY – “I’ – INTUITIVE -  Having the ability to know or understand things without any proof or evidence.

The prayer of Saint Francis can be a prayer of intuitiveness because it is in the prayer where we identify those areas that are “off”, hatred, doubt, despair, darkness, … and we want to make right with God’s love, pardon, faith, hope,…We want to make right what we spiritually intuit to be bringing us away from the Lord. We might not be able to identify the exact moments where we have fallen to hatred or how we have doubted God or the how or why we gave into despair, but we sense deep within that something is not right and we want to change. Hatred, injury, doubt, despair, discord, darkness, sadness, can permeate our very being, but it is the desire to bring forth love, pardon, faith, hope, truth, light, joy, understanding, and consolation that enables us to act in a positive way toward others before the weakness of sin wins.

For today, slowly pray the Prayer of Saint Francis and pray for the grace to identify one aspect in your life that you want to change, or that needs healing or has been healed.

 

THURSDAY – “L” – LOVING - Feeling or showing love or great care.

The Sisters have lived their life showing great love for all those that God has placed in their care. We all have the potential to be loving people, yet there are times when our love is overshadowed by hate, our compassion is overshadowed by rash and harsh judgment, and our mercy is overshadowed by bitterness. Yet in an instant, we can change and be loving and better people. We just need to ask God for His help and His grace.

For today, ask for His grace to let go of those dispositions, attitudes, actions, judgments that make you unloving and ask to be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that will make you become the best person that you can be, the person that God knows you have the potential to become and wants you to be.

 

FRIDAY – “E” – EFFUSIVE – Expressing a feeling of gratitude pleasure in a heartfelt matter.

The celebration of the Mass is an act of thanksgiving. We come together to give thanks and to celebrate as a community the great love of Jesus as He gives us His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. We are the Body of Christ. We are commissioned to be the hands, feet, voice, eyes and ears of Christ in our families, our church, our neighborhoods, our community, our workplace, with those we know and the stranger, the outcast and the forgotten, the humble and the proud. We are all called to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. When we possess a spirit of gratitude, we can build without being inhibited or restricted, where there are no walls only open spaces.

For today, express your gratitude to those who need to hear it. If it is God, pray it, if it is to a family member, say it, but don’t let it go.

 

SATURDAY – “E” – ENDEARING – Inspiring love or affection

Do you inspire love or affection or do you shy away from it?  God draws us to love.

For today, as you prepare for the weekend, think of how you have inspired love and how you have shared that love for God, others, self and country. Remember not to forget those who have inspired love by paying the ultimate price with their life for their country, their fellow man and for their God so that we can be free, safe and live in peace

             

Glimpse of God for the week of May 13th

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are moms, grand-moms, single moms, widows, foster moms and single women who also exude the qualities that our Blessed Mother possessed and passed on to you: Love for others, compassion, a joyful heart, a giving spirit, and a nurturing woman of faith. Thanks for being that to all of those you have encountered and may you know that your mother is proud of you as she continues to walk with you here on earth or looks down from heaven.

My glimpse of God for this week comes from my eye doctor, Dr. Strine, OD, 

This week I was in the way of our cat Cannoli as she got spooked and used me as a spring board. Unfortunately, as she did this, she managed to slice my eyelid with her back claws. At first, I didn’t realize the severity but as I sat on the sofa, Clover began to lick my hands so much so that I had to go and see why. I did not see the great amount of blood that was coming from my eye and how bad it was. She saw it and was trying to help. I looked at my eyelid and saw that it was badly cut from one side to the other. It was deep and it probably needed to be stitched but I was not ready to go anywhere. So, as I kept gently dabbing the blood from my eye, I noticed that it was clotting pretty quickly, and that was a great sign.

The next morning, I went to the eye doctor. Although I did not have an appointment she took me right away. She was quick to examine my eye, check for vision damage, and any other damage that could have occurred and offer solutions that would assist in the healing process without having to go anywhere else as long as I was careful and followed her directions. She was concerned since she said that it was a bad cut and was not healing as well or as quickly as she would like it to, and she wanted to see me again in two days. 

As an eye doctor, she is a very caring, compassionate, and personable doctor. She is a person that takes the time to be with her patients and gets to know them. She is a person that dedicates her life to helping people see more clearly so that they can have a better quality of life. She is more than a glimpse of God she is the abiding presence because in her vocation as a Physician of the Eye, she has committed her life to healing the diseases of the eyes.  I believe that they eyes are the lenses that God uses for us to possess those graces that will allow us see Him more clearly love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly each day.  As a Physician, and I believe a woman of faith, she possesses the quality of compassion that enables her patients to trust her, follow her directions and know that the best result will occur. I know that I do and I know that I dodges a bullet. The eye has gone through the various shades of red, black and blue. It feels better, and my vision has not been affected. I am blessed.

There are times when our vison can be blurry and distorted or it can be crystal clear and we can see for miles, when we need help to see better and when we are at able to see 20.20, but in any case, we can close our eyes when we don’t want to see something, or we can open them widely so that we can take it all in. How do you choose to live life each day? As a participant or as a bystander?  

As we walk through this week, let us look at how we help others heal. Let us be humble before God and others and try our best to be a glimpse of God for them to see, a view of what we can be as we place our trust in Him and in those He places on our life on our journey of healing.

SUNDAY – “H” – HEALTHY

Most of us are either trying to stay healthy or get healthy. For many reasons we tend to lose sight of what it means to take care of our self and the one and only body that we will ever live in. We fall short by either not eating right, minimal physical exercise, too much work and not enough sleep, too much stress and not enough rest or quiet time.  In any case, our bodies, our minds, or spirits and our souls suffer. As we journey towards healing and wholeness we cannot walk our own journey, or the journey with another, without a healthier attitude or disposition. That doesn’t mean that we will or need to lose weight, that we have to stop working, or that we need to join the gym or enter the monastery. What it can mean is that we begin each day with a prayer of self-care and a desire to make the best decisions so that we can not only be our best self before God, but that we can help others become their best self before God as well.

For today, look at your healthy decisions and how they have a positive impact on your life and the life of those around you and then take a look at one unhealthy decision and the impact that it had. How did your body respond to your decisions? Can you recognize that you are cooperating with God on your journey of health, healing and wholeness through your decisions?

MONDAY – “E” – EMPATHY

Being willing to walk in another person’s shoes so that you can be present to them with understanding hope, compassion and love that invites them to believe that they can and will be healed and whole.  It is your gift of empathy that can make the difference and show them that where there is despair there can be hope, where there is isolation there can be inclusion and where there is sin and weakness there can be mercy and compassion.

For today, think of someone who may need empathy and how you may be God’s instrument of healing by your understanding, compassion and hope.

TUESDAY – “A” - ATTENTIVE

Being willing to listen to the needs and concerns of others without a personal agenda or selfish motive. By putting attentive into action through our listening, caring, compassion and mercy we help in the healing process of body, mind and spirit.

For today, look at how you pay attention to others. Are you present to them with your whole heart, body, mind and spirit or are you sitting before them with your mind on other things and your body language that speaks volumes of disinterest?  

WEDNESDAY – “L” – LEARNED

It doesn’t take an advanced degree to be a learned person in matters of the heart and spirit. It takes one who desires to be in the presence of God as their true self, and by being true to our self as God calls us and we are true to then that is what others will see in us and this can lead them to seek healing and or express gratitude.

For today, look at what you think being learned means in matters of the heart and spirit. Only with God’s Holy Spirit can we truly be learned when it comes to matters of the heart and spirit, so ask Him to show you how learned you have become because of His help.

THURSDAY – “I” – INSIGHTFUL

Seeing beyond appearances, excuses, masks, and guilt and recognizing the true presence and image of God in another especially one who is wounded and in need of hope, healing and wholeness.  We are all God’s beloved and it is our mission here on earth to let others know and believe that they are loved unconditionally by God and that they are His beloved child, His greatest creation. Being insightful means seeing through to the heart and not judging on the way, of showing understanding and not criticizing, of being ready to embrace and not run away from.

For today, look at how you have been insightful and how through your insight others have come to recognize how loved they are by God, how blessed and rich they are because they are His beloved child, and how there is nothing that they can do, no sin that they can commit, that will make Him love them less.

FRIDAY – “N” – NEWNESS

When we think of newness, we think of something being renewed. A newness of life and renewed passion for living. When it comes to healing, it can be through the sacraments of the Church that one feels renewed and given a newness of life. When it comes to relationships, a newness can come when one sees the other with a greater respect, dignity, and appreciation.  Being renewed in spirit is a gift that God offers to all of His children when our relationship with Him is strained. Being renewed in body is when we seek to be healed and believe that God will heal us in the way that He sees best. Being renewed in heart is when our heart is expanded so that we can love with a greater passion and zeal. All bring about newness.

For today, look at how your body, mind, heart and spirit have been renewed.  Can you recognize the difference? When it comes to healing, do you see where you have been healed and renewed and how that through your healing you can be the wounded healer for others?

SATURDAY – “G” – GRATEFUL

Being grateful, are you? Are you grateful to others for their presence, their attentiveness, their empathy, their understanding and compassion? Do you recognize how God has blessed you with the gift of His presence, His Holy Spirit, His peace? Are you grateful that you have been renewed and that you are on the journey of healing, hope and wholeness?

For today, express to God how grateful you are and if needed put it into action.

Glimpse of God for the week of May 6, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from Dr. Paul C, my surgeon at FCCC.  Dr. C. is not only my Glimpse of God for this week but has been a big glimpse since I first became his patient is 2014.

This week has had some painful physical challenges that not only have followed me most of this year but culminated to a point that I had to contact Dr. C. to help to resolve the problem.                     

Dr. C, when you first meet him, is a very unassuming, genuine and personable man.  When he first enters the room, he extends his hand out to shake yours and then begins with conversation. He always makes me feel comfortable and at ease, and as he begins the conversation, I know that is fully abreast of my situation and the issues at hand. He is prepared with his ideas and suggestions, and ready to listen to my responses as well as with any questions I may have. He comes across as a doctor who is ready to walk with me on this part of my journey to the best of his ability of what that walk can or will be like as he understands it. He understands my apprehension, frustration, and fear and is willing to go there with me, and I bet with all of his patients. He doesn’t run away from his patients as they express their frustrations and fears but chooses to respond to them as best he could; as a surgeon that can help relieve them by his healing vocation as a surgeon. Once the procedure is scheduled, I feel at peace because I know that not only is God present in and through the healing hands of Dr.C, but also because I believe that the compassion and care that Dr. C continues to extend to his patients is in response to God’s invitation to be more like Him in and through his ministry of healing.

Being a Glimpse of God is a gift, being the healing presence of God is a special gift and grace from God. I believe that Dr. C recognizes his giftedness by his humility, openness, care and compassion and how he shares that with his patients.  As I prepare for another challenging week, I know that I am in the best care and am blessed with Dr.C and all those at FCCC who work to make me and others experience healing and live with a better quality of life.

As we begin this week, let us think of what a surgeon does and how they remind us that when there is something that is endangering our body and causing us problems then it needs to be removed. Let us think of how we encounter those things, people or circumstances that endanger our spiritual life, our physical life or our emotional life and cause us not to be our best self and seek God’s grace to remove them or put them in their proper place.

SUNDAY – “S” -SURROUND

God surrounds us with His love. A surgeon looks at that which is unhealthy, and surrounding the healthy; be it tissue, organs or limbs, and seeks to remove it so that the healthy can thrive, we can be healed and move on with a better quality of life.

For today, look at who or what is keeping you from being healed and whole physically, emotionally or spiritually and ask God, the true healer, to surround you with trust, courage, strength and self-determination so that you will believe in yourself enough to face that which is holding you back from being healed and whole.

MONDAY – “U” – UNCOVERS

A surgeon uncovers that which is covered up or that we are unaware of so that we can see the whole picture and see how it affects our whole being and not just a part of it.  God uses surgeons to show His children what the body is fighting against with as much wisdom and knowledge that we can gain so that we can fight our best fight and not fight with our eyes closed.

For today, open your eyes and allow God to uncover your fears and speak to your heart His message of healing, trust and courage. Let Him show you how to uncover your fears and face them so that you can leave them in your past and live in the gift of the present, not looking back with regret but rather looking forward with peace.

TUESDAY – “R” – RENEWS

One surgery takes place, and healing begins, one can begin to feel renewed, rejuvenated and refreshed because something has been done to bring about wholeness and better health to the body. 

For today, look at how you have been renewed, healed, made whole and take a moment to thank God for this gift and those who have made it possible.

WEDNESDAY – “G” – GENTLE

My doctors and all those entrusted with my care have always had a gentle and caring approach with me. I know that not all patients can say that about their medical care, but at FCCC I can and I consider myself very blessed and them a big blessing. Being gentle as a doctor is not a sign of weakness but rather of strength, compassion, humility and true concern for their patients. Gentleness exudes a peace from within and one that is graciously shared.

Look at how you respond to your own needs and how gentle or rough you are. When you are weary and your body is aching, do you push ahead when perhaps God is asking you to steady and slow down? Do you ignore the signs that your body is speaking to you because you are afraid? What would you tell a loved one who was perhaps doing the same thing? Do you believe that you need to be rough because being gentle means being weak?

For today, try to see yourself as the God, who loves you unconditionally because you are His beloved child, sees you: a gentle, loving, caring person that He has called by name, and that you are His special gift to those He has placed in your life. Be gentle, God centered and see yourself as gift and God will do the rest.

THURSDAY – “E” – EMBRACE

God’s embrace is greater than any other. He embraces us each day as He calls us to life and invites us to walk with Him each day.  Sometimes we don’t recognize that embrace because of what we are experiencing in life:  ill health, financial stress, family obligations, estrangement in the family, our own weaknesses yet in all of these God is right there with His arms around us to surround us and show us that we are never far from His embrace or His love.

For today, if you know and experience that loving embrace of God, thank Him. If you know someone who is not able or willing to allow themselves to feel the loving embrace of God, or the warmth of His love and the peace of His healing and forgiveness, pray for them. Is it a spouse who feels overworked, or a child who feels burdened or a neighbor who is unemployed or a friend feels alone and unloved? How can a gentle hand shake, hug, expressed words of concern help them or make them feel the love and presence of God?  It is through your actions that they can begin to see how they are loved and not alone and that they will not be defeated but will defeat that which is trying to bring them down.

FRIDAY – “O” – OPENS UP

A surgeon opens up, looks in and removes that which is problematic to and within our bodies.  God opens up our hearts, expands them and fills them with the graces we need: the graces of healing, peace, joy, mercy, reconciliation, compassion, humility, and thanksgiving.  God is always ready to fill us with what we ask for and for what He knows we need, when we are ready.

For today, look at how you may be closing your mind and heart to the many gifts that God has for you and His presence and how He is trying to reveal it to you. What are you still afraid of, covering up or running away from that keep you from believing in God’s great love for you and how He is revealing that love to you. Ask for the grace to open yourself to His healing, strength, and courage so that you can be more open to receive them and be the wounded healer with others who are also struggling.  When your hands are open you can receive the gifts easier than when your hands are clasped because then they just fall out. The same with our prayer. When our minds and hearts are open, our prayer stems from love and is more humble and honest, when our minds and hearts are closed, our prayer stems from self-righteousness and strays from reconciliation, peace and joy. Are your mind and heart open and ready to be filled or closed and waiting to be empty?

SATURDAY – “N” – NURTURES

God nurtures us and is our strength. Our body gets our spiritual nurturing from God. It is through our faith, family, friends, surgeons, colleagues, or specific life experiences that also have the ability to nurture our spiritual life, so that our physical life is also strengthened and sustained. All of these have the ability to nurture us so that we can be the best person that God has created us to be and knows that we can become.

For today, look at the things that nurture you, that give you strength, that sustain you, that keep you going, that raise you up and lift your spirits. If you are experiencing ill health, take a moment to see how your doctors are a nurturing source, if you are experiencing family struggles, look at how the love that binds you as family has been a source of strength in the past and seek to find it again, if you are unemployed and struggling to believe in your own self-worth, remember that your worth does not come from what you do, but rather who you are, and that is God’s beloved child, whose worth is never  measured with a ruler, only shown with by the cross.

You have been nurtured in many ways, look at how nurturing you are to others. Take the time to recognize that gift within yourself and how others have grown and become their best self because of you. You are nurturing, selfless and caring and that is because God has created you that way. Don’t let anything come in between who you are and the person God wants you to become

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of April 29, 2018

 

As I reflect on our week here in Lancaster, I can’t help but see how God is revealing Himself. There have been many glimpses of His love, light and presence in and through the home that we are staying in, seeing “JESUS” at the “Sight and Sound Theatres, seeing the movie, “Paul”, the ability to go to daily Mass, the two dogs that are our neighbors and how I was just able to sit on the ground and have them approach me, the peace and beauty that surrounds us in the landscaping of Lancaster, and the people that are so God centered, friendly and peace filled.

As we approached the house that we are staying in, the first thing that we noticed is the style of the home, it is in the shape of an “A”. It is very different from the homes that surround it. As you walk in you might have a problem if you are tall in stature because the walls do form an “A”, and this requires that one walk in the center of the room if one does not want to walk into the walls and hit one’s shoulders, toes or head.

SO…. where or how is God revealing Himself? What is my glimpse for this week? It came to me as I entered into the home and realized that I needed to walk in the center of the room if I did not want to walk into the wall, stub my toes, rub my shoulders or hit my head. As one walks into the room looks ahead, one can see the beauty of the outside through the windows. God’s creation awaits anyone who is willing to appreciate it.

Our faith requires that we walk straight and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. As one stays in this home, one constantly is reminded that they need to stay focused and walk in the center of the room. Christ is our center and if we are to walk with Him, we need to keep our focus on Him. When we stray, we hit the walls hit our heads and feel the bumps that come. As we walk with Christ, He does not lead us to darkness, but He leads us through the darkness. This home is a reminder of the great love that He has for us and how in some extraordinary and rare way, He reminds us of how we are walking with Him, how we are keeping our focus on Him, and how He blesses us on our journey with the His sacraments.

As one stays here, one might say that there is a lot of wasted space, but yet it is in the empty space that one is called to walk straight and keep their focused. Is there a lot of empty space in your life? Is it too much work and not enough prayer time, is it consumerism? Social status? What is holding you back from keeping your focus on Christ? How are you bumping your head, rubbing your shoulders, and stubbing your toes as you try to keep focus and can you get back on track?

As we approach this week and the beauty of the month of May, let us try to look at those things that are making us bump our heads, toes and shoulders and see what we need to do to get back on center. Let us REFOCUS on Christ.

SUNDAY – “R” – Refocus. Can you see where you need to refocus and how Christ may be calling you in a different direction? How difficult is it to admit that you need to change the direction that you are walking in or want walk in? Are you bumping your head, stubbing your toes or rubbing your shoulders on the walls as you try to avoid listening and seeing the direction that Christ is pointing you in?

For today, try to look straight ahead and put one foot in the front of the other so that if there is one choice that you want to make that will stub your toe or make you hit your head, ask for the grace to change your mind.

MONDAY – “E” – Embrace. Take the gift of God’s direction and embrace it. Make it yours, choose it and as difficult as it may seem to be, once you choose to walk in His light, the path will be clearer and there will be less opportunities to walk into the walls that surround you. Walking into walls, as painful as that is, is also an opportunity to look at the wall and examine and evaluate your direction and the choices that you are making and make better choices, ones that don’t hurt as much, give you a sense of fulfillment and allow you to go forward.

For today, pray for the grace to know God’s will, direction and desire for you. Seek to live up to your potential and ask that God help you to embrace it and achieve it. God does not want us walking into walls when He has our path ready for us. When we fail to live up to our potential, we are failing to listen to the Spirit of God and how the Holy Spirit is calling us to go forward, in the light of God’s love, in the direction that He is pointing out to us. Sometimes, that comes in the form of an” A” house, the house with a foundation that immediately leads us to the center of our life, the person of Jesus Christ.

TUESDAY – “F” – Follow. Follow your heart. Allow the love of God that dwells within you be your guide especially when you are facing decisions, either difficult daily ones or life changing one’s. In either case, that God knows your heart and wants only the best for you. Follow the path, walk in His way, trust in the journey, and you will find peace.

For today, try to make a difficult decision, one that you have been putting off. Look at your choices and ask for the grace and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to follow your heart, listen to the truth that is spoken in the depths of your heart, and make the best one. As you go forward and try to avoid bumping your head, stubbing your toes or rubbing your shoulder, remember that it is only when we truly desire to see God in all things, that our hearts are open and the presence of God is revealed.

WEDNESDAY – “O’ -  Outlook. What is your outlook or attitude towards life? Are you a positive person, one that tries to see the good in most circumstances, situations and people? Or do you look for the negative and seek to bring others down instead of raising them up? What is your outlook when it comes to your faith? How do you see God in your life? Are you in a relationship with Him, one that is nurtured through your prayer and the sacraments of the church, or is He the God that you call on only when you need Him and expect Him to clean up the mess and fix things?

For today, listen and choose to believe that God’s outlook for you is much brighter, healthier, wholesome than you can ever imagine or hope for. He knows your heart, your potential, your desires and yes even your weaknesses and sins. BUT the good news is that His love is still greater than anything that you could do, no matter how many walls that you walk into or hit your head, no matter how many times you lose your focus, or even choose to stay stuck with decisions that you need to make. His outlook is one of healing, wholeness and peace for you and He wants you to believe that and live accordingly.

THURSDAY - “C” – Change. Change can be difficult for some and yet for others, is viewed as an invitation to do, see or respond to something differently. In any case it is not always easy. Personal or spiritual change is an invitation by God to personal and spiritual transformation.

Change can be deeply painful but yet eternally rewarding. God sees those things that we do that cause us to move away from Him and the good that HE wants and has in store for us. God doesn’t force us to make decisions or changes but invites us to see how the decisions that we are making are causing us to stray and be confused, not at peace with our self and never really happy within. Change can alleviate the darkness that we feel we are walking in and bring about light and understanding and peace.

For today, invite the changes that you know that you need to make and seek to take one step at a time to make them. I remind you of the serenity prayer, one that brings serenity and peace: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”

FRIDAY -” U” – Unobstructed view. What is obstructing your view to God, the cross, healing, wholeness or peace? What in your life is keeping you from seeing the truth and the direction that God is trying to point out to you? Whatever is obstructing your view can be removed, ask for the grace to move it and God will give you a clearer view, one that had no obstacles, but rather opportunities to see Him more clearly.

For today, recall the times in your life when you were able to recognize the presence and view of God clearly. What were the choices that you made that helped you see God clearly and with an unobstructed view or obstacles in the way? Seek to discern His will again as you make a decision, but take one decision at a time, and seek to take one step at a time and that way you won’t be walking into the wall, but rather recognizing the wall and stopping short of it.

SATURDAY – “S” - straight ahead. This has been a challenging week one where you have to examine and evaluate your choices and the direction that you are taking and where that direction may be different than the one that God has in store for you. Take a look at where you have gone straight ahead towards God and thank Him for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  We know that it can be difficult going straight ahead when we want to take our short cuts, go the back roads or just pull over, but yet when we believe that the God who created us knows the best and wants the best, then we need to go straight ahead.

For today, go straight ahead and take a moment to thank God for the shot cuts, the back roads and the rest stops, because it is through all of those, that you came to realize the truth and the direction that is of God. Also, think of how you have been chosen to build God’s Kingdom here on earth and go build it one act of kindness at a time.

Glimpse of God for the week of April 22, 2018

My Glimpse of God for this week comes as I reflect on Good Shepherd Sunday and thank God for the pastor and staff of Saint Pius X, where Father John resides. Father Kaufman, the pastor and Cyndee, the secretary of Saint Pius X, are two people, along with the other staff members, who truly exude, witness to and live out the presence and love of Christ in their life. I believe that I, along with many others, have been and will continue to be recipients of their love for God and the joy that comes from that love every time we enter the doors of the rectory.  The words that come to mind as I reflect on their true sense and spirit of hospitality are warmth and welcome. 

As often as I go there, I am always greeted with a true spirit of warmth, I am always made to feel welcome and I feel as though I belong there even though I am not a parishioner.  As I reflect on what it means to be Church, what it means to be a member of a parish, and what it feels like to belong, I can say that Saint Pius X embodies and embraces these ideals, fulfills the mission of the Church on the parish level, and responds to Christ’s call to welcome all.

As a pastor although I do not know Father Kaufman well, every time he sees me at the rectory, he greets me and I feel welcomed.  As a pastor, he is called to welcome with the hospitality of Christ and help those who he encounters to feel that welcome as if it were Christ Himself at the door. As a pastor in the Catholic Church today, he has, as do all pastors, the role and responsibility of pastoring the flock of believers to come to know their true shepherd, Jesus Christ better, so that they may want to love Him more dearly, serve Him more faithfully and follow Him more nearly day by day. As an observer, I can see that he embraces his priesthood, as do the other priests, and often goes beyond to help others to see Christ in their specific experience or circumstances. 

People today are looking to belong when they feel outcasts, to feel welcomed when they feel like the stranger, to feel loved when they feel unloved.  As a church and the Body of Christ, we have the responsibility to be Christ and to welcome, forgive, embrace all those we encounter as if we are encountering Christ, and we might just be. Saint Pius does that and does it very well. Through Cyndee and her smile, her ease of conversation, and her ability to relate to people is a great gift and of Christ’s presence.  We often chat and recently as I shared a medical dilemma that I was having, she was very warm, helpful and quick to make me feel less embarrassed and self-conscious.  

Hospitality is God’s invitation for us to be our best self and greet all those we encounter as if we were greeting Christ himself.  This gift is a call of faith for us to see beyond what appears, and to look at the heart of others with compassion and not judge, but to embrace and not to turn away from. We are all called to be extend the warmth of Christ’s hospitality. How we choose to do that is as special as God’s call to each of us.

So…. as we begin a new week, let us look at how we are called to extend Christ’s hospitality and seek to be His warmth and WELCOME to all those we encounter.

SUNDAY – “W” – warmth

In a world where people can be cold and uncaring, how are we called to bring the genuine warmth and tenderness of God ‘s love to others?  When we are stressed and feel overwhelmed, it can be easy to be cold and uncaring, judgmental and harsh, but yet as followers of Christ, that response does not work and it goes against what we stand for and who we stand with. Christ’s warmth melted the hearts of the most sinful and ashamed and He welcomed and embraced all, even those disliked and judged by others.

Being warm can melt the coldness of our hearts, our harsh judgments, our deep-rooted anger, our past hurts and can ignite the passion of our mercy, our compassion, our peace and bring about healing.

For today, think about how it feels when you are warm and caring. Take a moment to pray for those who either choose not to be, cannot be, do not know how to be, and those in our society who are the recipients of our cold and uncaring responses. Ask God to melt the coldness of their hearts and fill them with the warmth of His love, mercy, compassion and healing.

MONDAY – “E” – embrace

How do we embrace others? What does a hug or embrace mean? Do we embrace others or do we turn away? When we are embraced, how do we respond and how does that embrace make us feel afterwards? Do you believe that Christ embraces you in and through the Sacraments especially Eucharist and Reconciliation, in and through each other, and just by the virtue of your baptism?

For today, as you strive to be God’s instrument of warmth and welcome, spiritually embrace someone who is far from embracing; an estranged family member, an outcast of society, someone who has caused you harm, someone who is alone and has no one. Ask Jesus to help you embrace them with His compassion, mercy, forgiveness, healing, and love and try to see yourself embracing them as Christ embraces you. Do not limit your embrace but ask Jesus to completely embrace them so that they may know that He loves them and is always with them even when you are unable to be.

TUESDAY – “L” – laughter

Do you laugh enough or do you take life so seriously that you can’t find it within yourself to laugh? Laughter is good medicine, iit lets go of stress and lowers one’s blood pressure. If we can laugh at our self, then we are able to see that in the midst of our goodness, we can find humor in something that we say or do even though it may have been embarrassing. Laughing is good. I believe that Jesus laughed, after all look at the crew He chose, the many times they missed His point and the many more times that they put their foot in their mouths. Jesus wouldn’t have laughed at them to make them feel bad or embarrass them, but rather to show them that although He knew their hearts and loved them, they provided a moment or a source of humor and He wanted to celebrate it, not ignore it.

For today, take a moment to laugh and see how your body responds to laughter. Think of a good joke, a funny story, your own personal embarrassing moment that you can look back on, and yes laugh at, a funny show, your favorite comedian….You can think of something that makes you laugh, so find it, laugh at it and then thank God for the gift of  laughter. It is truly a gift and if one tries to live without it, life just becomes too serious and less joy filled.

WEDNESDAY – “C” - compassion

How compassionate do you think you are? What does compassion mean to you? Do you feel that you extend compassion or hold on to it? Have you experienced compassion being shown to you and if so, how did you feel? Do you feel that extending compassion is a sign of weakness or a sign of humility and selflessness? Compassion is a gift of love. It is a gift that shows how your heart has been expanded and filled with love over hatred, acceptance over judgment and peace over bitterness. Jesus had compassion on those who were rejected and scorned by others.  He reached out and lifted up those who felt that they were far from His embrace, compassion and love. You are within His grasp and embrace. He has touched you with His compassion, not to be done in vain, but so that you can extend it to another.

For today, seek to be more compassionate towards someone that you will find it difficult to love. Being kind, caring and selfless towards someone that causes you stress, makes you feel less than the person that God has created you to be, or makes you think badly about yourself is difficult, painful and not immediately rewarding, but it is required if we are serious about our decision to be like Christ. When you perform a random act of kindness, please look to the cross to see that your return was an everlasting act of redemption.    

THURSDAY – “O” – oversight

How do you respond when there is an oversight with something or when you miss something that you thought was important? Do you get angry and take it out on someone, do you blame others, or do you just take it in stride and go forward? Oversights or misunderstandings can make or break relationships, cause life to be miserable, and make us feel like failures, yet they happen and will happen again. God doesn’t want us to beat ourselves up when we make a mistake, but rather learn from it and try not to repeat it. Done deal!.

I think that the biggest oversight that we should be grateful for is the one God has for our sins and shortcomings. God does not beat us up when we sin, but He gently invites us AND waits for us to come back to Him.

He waits for us and He embraces us. He doesn’t make us feel like the worst people because He can’t. We are His greatest creation, loved unconditionally and there is no sin that is greater than His love for us.

For today, as you think of an oversight that happened, a mistake that you made or something that did not go the way that you expected it to, think of the many other times when you got it right, hit the mark and were pleased with your efforts, and be grateful. God loves a grateful heart.

FRIDAY – “M” – mission

Our mission as disciples of Christ and witnesses to His presence in our life, is to build the Kingdom of God here on earth and to be His instruments of peace, healing, mercy, compassion, truth, hope, joy and healing to all those He places in our life. But there are times when we do not feel as though we are fulfilling the mission due to low self-esteem, our own sinfulness, or the belief that God has chosen us to be His missionaries, yet we were and continue to be. We don’t need to go to school or be the best or brightest, all God requires of us is an open heart, one that desires to love Him and serve Him.

For today, think of how you have been chosen to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. Think of how you have been working at it: either one brick at a time, one prayer at a time, one embrace at a time or one moment of silence at a time. Try to see how your action has been a glimpse of God’s presence and how that glimpse brought light and peace to His kingdom where there was the darkness of doubt, discouragement or despair.

 SATURDAY – “E” – empathy

In a world where understanding of individuals, ideals, choices, and change is minimal and judgment, condemnation and hatred are chosen first, we need to reevaluate our decision-making process and the foundation from which we make those decisions. If we claim to be followers of Christ, but we choose to pass judgment on another, then we need to ask our self who is guiltier, them or us? When we choose to turn away from the wounded, the outcast, the afflicted and yet claim to be people of compassion, we need to ask our self what does compassion mean? When we choose to close the doors of our heart to mercy, peace, and love, we need to ask our self how we will live if the doors to Christ remain closed?

For today, ask yourself where is Christ in your decision-making process and does He need to change places? Is He on the front line and the foundation of your decision-making process, or do you place Him in the back, and blame Him when your choices don't go the way that you wanted or expected them to go? He is big enough to take the blame for your decisions, but you need to be big enough to accept the responsibility for them

re on earth. Think of how you have been working at it: either one brick at a time, one prayer at a time, one embrace at a time or one moment of silence at a time. Try to see how your action has been a glimpse of God’s presence and how that glimpse brought light and peace to His kingdom where there was the darkness of doubt, discouragement or despair.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of April 8, 2018 

What did Mary Magdalene, The Apostles, Thomas, and The Disciples on the road to Emmaus, have in common after Jesus rose from the dead?  What they had in common was that they were prevented from recognizing Jesus after He rose from the dead. They thought that He was the gardener, a stranger in town, or just another man. What was preventing them? What did Jesus know about each of their hearts that needed to be healed by His presence after He died on the cross and they felt abandoned, left alone to figure out things, led to a darkness that they never felt or expected?

All were prevented, unable to see or recognize the risen Christ. The very Jesus that they broke bread with, ministered together with, experienced His miracles, and probably shared their stories about their brokenness, their joys, their hopes, their sorrows, and their hopes about the Messiah and how He would change things for the better. Christ raised people from the dead, healed the blind, the deaf, the crippled, he ate with sinners and ministered to the outcasts, and these very apostles, disciples, and women followers were with Him to see it first hand. They had come to know Jesus and the kind of person He was. They learned of the kind of person that they would need to become if they were going to be His followers and follow His example from His life to and through His death and to His resurrection.

Yet they were unable to recognize Him after He rose from the dead, Why? Seeing Him after He rose from the dead, frightened them instead of being jubilant and happy to see Him, they were unable to recognize Him for who He was and they stood in disbelief. What was preventing them from seeing Him as Jesus and not the gardener or a stranger? Was it their grief at His horrible death, was it their anger at how they followed and believed in Him, and now they had no one to follow and they felt abandoned and left on their own? Was it fear? Was it overwhelming disbelief at all that happened and they still couldn't make any sense of it all?

What causes us to not see the resurrected Jesus in our life and in the face and life of others? Is it the pain or separation that comes from the physical death of a loved one? is it our woundedness where we need to healed and made whole? is it the death of a relationship through separation, divorce, disagreement? is it the death of an ideal? of a dream?  is it anger, loneliness, or fear? We are prevented from seeing the risen Jesus in the faces and lives of others when we can't see past the pain of our cross, our own personal suffering; whether it is spiritual, emotional or physical.

I believe that our anger, our sorrow, our weariness at what we are coping with can prevent us from seeing the Risen Christ and  experiencing the resurrections in our life that Jesus has in store. You can't have a Good Friday without a Resurrection Sunday. They go together. Jesus' first words to His followers who stood in disbelief were "Peace be with you!" He didn't reprimand them for not recognizing Him because he knew their hearts and how much they loved Him, but yet how they were filled with so many other emotions. The resurrections in our life comes in the forms of peace, joy, happiness, reconciliation, healing, compassion, mercy, understanding and a renewed desire to be the best person that God created us to be despite our crosses and the challenges that they bring. It is difficult to experience resurrection if we cannot let go and let God bring us these gifts because of our disbelief that He wants to give them to us and our fears that we will be called to change and be transformed forever.

When Jesus saw Mary Magdelene, she at first was unable to recognize Him as Her Lord and Teacher. He saw through her fear and instead of causing more pain for her, He touched her heart because He knew the depth of her love for Him. He brought that forward, past her fear, her pain, her deep sense of loss and much confusion, and it was then that she recognized Him.  He offered her Peace. That is what He offers all of His children. He knows that depth of our love for Him even in the midst and the weight of our crosses. When we say Yes to His will, and desire to do and be the very best we can and surrender our will to Him each day, then we are experiencing a resurrection.

So this week, let us take time to see the resurrected Jesus in our lives and in the faces and lives of others.

            "Rabboni" which means teacher. Your prayer for the week can be: Teach me your ways O Lord and make known to me the path that I must travel to walk closer to you.

SUNDAY - "T" - Thanksgiving

Are you thankful for the gift of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection that gives you your personal resurrections? Through Jesus' passion, death and resurrection you have someone that knows your pain, your suffering and your confusion and can help you as you carry your cross. He blesses you with His peace, joy, and happiness here on earth, so that you can move forward and recognize your resurrections and rejoice in them.

MONDAY - "E" - Empathy

Are you empathetic, understanding, compassionate towards others who fail to recognize the risen Jesus in their life because of the weight of their crosses and the pain that they are feeling? or do you put them down, judge them, lose patience with them, see yourself as better than them? Empathy requires an open heart, one that is in relationship with God and wants to share His good news of mercy, healing, peace, love with others, and how they are His beloved children, loved unconditionally, and His greatest creation. You can't be empathetic if you want to hold others back and think yourself as better than them. Recognizing the risen Christ and the resurrections in your life means that you have the heart of Christ and the desire to expand it so that Jesus can fill it with His presence in the way that He chooses to reveal it.

TUESDAY - "A" - Amazement

Are you, can you allow our self to be amazed? Can you see, do you see the many signs of resurrection in your life?  Do you recognize your resurrections, the place where you experience the Risen Christ in your life? Do you see them in and through the healing that has taken place through reconciliations? Can you recognize the Risen Christ, your resurrections in your joys, your family, your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your church, and your place of employment? All of these can provide signs of resurrection and the peace that Jesus wants for you. Can you see them? Ask for the ability to recognize the Risen Jesus as you encounter others, see circumstances differently, recognize that personal grudges as an unnecessary weight that is holding you back from peace and seek the grace to let go.

WEDNESDAY - "C" - Charity

Are you charitable in your words, deeds, actions and attitudes? Do you offer peace, reconciliation, mercy, compassion and forgiveness to others, especially those who have caused you pain and have made your cross heavy? Jesus offered peace to His disciples even after they denied Him, abandoned Him and hid in fear. He forgave them because He knew their hearts. He knows your heart and how it wants to be the best in love. He offers you His mercy and peace so that you can be more charitable. He does not want you to hold onto grudges because it is then that you miss out on the possibility of reconciliation, renewal and reconnection.  

THURSDAY - "H" - Honor

Do you honor yourself, others and God by how you treat yourself, others and  in your relationship with God? Can you honor others, who are also God's beloved children, who have offended you in some way ? Do you recognize that God honors you? Or are you your greatest offender? Do you want to ask God for His grace and love to penetrate your brokenness so that you can recognize not only how He honors you, but loves you beyond any sin or weakness that you have committed? God's love is greater than any sin that you committed and He wants that to be your resurrection. He wants you to embrace your new life with the Risen Christ. 

FRIDAY - "E" - Embrace

Do you go towards Jesus as He holds out His arms to embrace you or do you run from His embrace? What brings you towards Christ so that you can be embraced by Him? Is it your desire to say thank you and talk to Him about what you are experiencing in your life? Is it because you want to be healed and you realize that only he can heal your woundedness in whatever form it is taking? You can't fix what is broken or shattered, only Jesus can. You can become the wounded healer though and that is a great gift, a big resurrection, the recognition of the risen Christ in your life.

 SATURDAY - "R" - Revelation

What or how has God revealed Himself to you this week that has made you respond with joy and happiness, that brought you a deep sense of peace and gratitude, thanksgiving and serenity? Was it a reconciliation of a relationship? forgivenss of self for something that you have held on to but now are able to let go of and forgive yourself for? Was it a blessing that you have been praying for and have received and found it to be better than you could have imagined?  What resurrections have you experienced this week? Do you see the Risen Christ because of your resurrections, more readily in those around you? How has He revealed Himself to you? How have you revealed Him to others this week? How do you want to reveal Him to others?

limpse of God for the week of April 1, 2018

Happy Easter !!!!!!

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from a variety of sources. As I think of a Glimpse of God, I think of those places, people, events and situations that I have encountered or experienced this past week that led me to recognize Him more clearly. It is those glimpses that I share with you as I hope that they too will help you appreciate and recognize Him more clearly as well.

Today, for this week, I am seeing His Glimpse not from what has occurred, but rather what is yet to occur, what He has in store for me. This is not about looking past the present and wanting to jump into the future, but rather, appreciating the present and seeking to grow in a greater appreciation of the present by what lies ahead.

As I reflect on the upcoming days, I realize that I have been entrusted with the cares and concerns of many and it is through their trust in me that I have come to a greater trust in God and His will for us. I pray for my nephew and godson who both are having major surgery this week, I trust in God and that He will guide the surgeons as they seek to bring healing and a better quality of life to both men.  I am lifting up in prayer several friends who have lost siblings suddenly and without much warning. I have been asked to pray for those whose jobs are affecting their physical health and how they need to trust in God as they prepare to make some difficult decisions. I am praying in gratitude for the successful surgery outcomes that have come to be for several friends and acquaintances. The gift of prayer is a great gift, it is the gift that unites our hearts to the heart of God, it is the gift that we all possess, one that is an act of selflessness and humility and not selfishness or self-centeredness. It is the hidden glimpse of God, the glimpse that expands our hearts to know, love and serve Him without reservation, and with a greater determination.

As I celebrate the joy of Christ’s resurrection and the Easter season, I celebrate how I have been called from the tombs of my life so that I can see the Son rise and experience reconciliation, peace and freedom as only He can offer it to me. As I reflect on the great love that Christ has for me and how HE selflessly gave of His life so that I may live forever with Him when my earthly journey is over, I am stilled in peace, renewed in love, filled with awe and silenced in humility.

So as we prepare to be renewed and refreshed this coming week, take this week to look for the ways that God wants to renew and refresh you and use this week to appreciate in a deeper way where you are coming from and what direction He wants you to go.

 

SUNDAY – Rejoice - This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Are you able to rejoice and celebrate the love that God has for you, and the love that you have for God? He has created you, He loves you, you are His beloved and He with His angels is rejoicing over you. Do you believe this? For today, celebrate and rejoice in His love and share that love with those you encounter. Rejoicing is another source of renewal. As you rejoice, allow yourself to feel the joy that comes from the depth and recesses of your being, and smile.

 

MONDAY - Remember – As you begin a new work week, try to not dwell on the stresses of the past week, but remember them, surrender them and leave them behind. This week, allow yourself to remember the promise that for those who seek, they shall find, for those who knock the door will be opened and for those who ask it will be given. What is it that you truly seek from God? What do you want God to do for you? What are you looking for that you want God to provide? What doors are closed that need to be opened, and what doors are still ajar that need to be closed? In the process of remembering, strive to focus on the positive and seek the grace to let go of the negative.

 

TUESDAY - Renewal – For today, just take and pray for one aspect of your life that you would like to be renewed. Is it your faith; would you like to deepen your prayer life and grow in a deeper relationship with God? Is it family; do you feel that as a family you are not able spend quality time together because everyone is always on the go? Has the busy ness of life taken away your time together?

Is it relationships; do you feel that you are taken for granted or that you take another for granted? Are there people that you would like to appreciate more or that you would like to be more appreciated by?

In these areas, are you in a “rut” where you find yourself and others doing the same thing and there is no quality time being spent or nurtured? Are you seeking to be renewed or are you happy with the way things are? Ask God to renew those areas, those relationships that He knows are not the best that they can be.

 

WEDNESDAY – Restoration  - What in your life do you feel needs to be restored? Ask God to restore those things, those areas, those relationships, that once restored will bring you to a greater recognition and appreciation of His presence, His grace, His healing, in the restoration. God brings back, or returns something, someone, to you, when He feels and believes that you are ready to receive it. As you seek restoration, seek wisdom so that you will see with clarity the change and the newness that you are being blessed with.

 

THURSDAY – Relaxation – take time to relax and use your senses to bring your body, mind and spirit to a deeper awareness of God’s gift of serenity, peace and calm. Use your eyes to see God resting on the 7th day, after the creation of man, His greatest creation. Use your ears to hear Him say IT IS GOOD, after He was finished with the creation of Man. Listen to Him tell you that you are Good and that He is happy with you and loves you very much. Use your nose to smell the aromas that surround you, those of the spring flowers, coffee brewing, meals cooking, fresh cut grass. Appreciate the ability to smell and breathe in the story behind the aroma. Use your hands to reach out and feel the presence of God in and through everything that He has created. When you reach out and touch someone or something, you are touching a part of creation given to you to cultivate, appreciate, reverence and tend to. As you touch someone who is grieving, rejoicing, carrying a heavy cross, you are reaching out in the name of Jesus and offering His love, compassion and mercy to them.

 

FRIDAY – Resist – For today try to resist the temptation to talk about another, hold a grudge, remain angry, carry a hurt another day, but instead, seek to forgive and be forgiven. God’s grace is there to grasp as you strive to be His witness in the world. The devil tempts us with those things that we like and are drawn towards. If we like being angry, holding a grudge and talking about others, then we will not be able to resist the temptation to continue, but if we recognize that these are not healthy spiritual practices, then God will give us the grace to say no, and seek ways to build up others and His kingdom here on earth.

 

SATURDAY – Reconcile – Is there anyone that you would like to be reconciled to? Are you estranged from God, from others? Are you punishing yourself for a choice or choices that you  made and feel that you can’t be forgiven? The grace of reconciliation is always there. As you seek to be reconciled, know that you will be called to forgive, seek forgiveness from another, and experience the joy that comes from the healing. Sometimes we hold on to things because we are afraid to experience true happiness; God’s happiness for us. God wants us to experience His happiness for us, not the world’s idea of happiness. As you seek to live as God’s beloved, allow yourself to be loved. You are loveable and loved. God rejoices when we are reconciled to Him and each other

 

 

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.

 

 

GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 25, 2018

Glimpse Of God for Holy Week,

 

As we enter into Holy Week, my Glimpse of God is not in a single experience that I had this past week or in any special situation that I found myself in, but rather in the anticipation of this Holy Week and what it means to me.

As a source of personal reflection and to discern my motivations, I often ask myself; What is Holy Week and what is it all about to me? Is it about the long passion gospel narratives that I hear on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, or the passing out of palm, or the unusual crowds, or the different liturgy times on Thursday and Friday, or the misunderstanding that people have about lent and the triduum, or the barrenness of the sanctuary and the empty tabernacle on Good Friday, or even the long Easter vigil and how people either avoid it or are attracted to it?

I don’t believe that it is these elements that make the week “holy”; they make it different, but not holy. These elements are necessary to celebrate and remember the specific events of Jesus, but it is not the outward celebration of the events that make them “holy”. I think that it is the spirit in which they are celebrated, and the inner disposition of those who participate in the celebrations, both the celebrants and the congregation, that make them “holy”. “Holy” means sacred, and blessed, as well as consecrated and hallowed.  Liturgy is sacred. We are blessed. The celebration of the Mass is the most sacred and holiest events that we are privileged to attend. It is through the Mass that we encounter Christ in Sacred Scripture and in the reception of the Eucharist.

We were blessed at our baptism as we were immersed in the waters of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. All that being said, if our hearts are not present to the reality of the liturgy, then we are going through the motions. We miss the true meaning, the “holy”, of the holy week services.

Jesus often criticized the religious leaders for “looking” holy, by saying all the right things but they were not doing the right things. Jesus said that the people could listen to what the religious leaders said because they knew the law, but do not follow their example, for their heart was far from God. I don’t think that Jesus would want us to celebrate His entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, or the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, or His passion and death on Good Friday out of obligation or guilt but rather out of love, desire and gratitude.

Out of Love for Jesus in that He endured His passion and death for you and me in complete selflessness, unconditional love, mercy and sacrifice. If we are truly in love with Him and desire to draw nearer to Him and live out our baptismal call to enter more deeply into His passion, death and resurrection, then we would want to attend the special liturgies. It is in and through them that we encounter the suffering Jesus, the Jesus that although did not and could not sin, endured the death of a hardened criminal out of pure love. We want our hearts to be more like His because His heart is the perfect heart and we want to strive to love as He loved and be more perfect in our love. He said Yes to His Father and gave of Himself completely so that we may live in eternity with Him, what love, what gift.

He would want us to celebrate with a spirit of gratitude in that we have been redeemed and forgiven and that we are grateful for such a wonderful life changing, life long gift. He would want our hearts to be united with His in His passion, death and resurrection so that we can truly appreciate and be thankful for the gift of His love and life in ours. We can choose to enter into the liturgies as just a body in the pew but I think that it would be better if we entered into them with a heart ready to be loved and embraced and a mind open to being truly present at the special events of Jesus’ life.

So as you enter into Holy Week, my idea is to just take each day and reflect by using your senses as you draw nearer to and enter into the Holy Triduum.

 

SUNDAY – PALM SUNDAY – As a bystander at the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey,

Are you one that is throwing palm or your personal cloak on the ground to make a path for Jesus? (touch)

As you listen to the crowd, are you also shouting Hosanna to Jesus as He passes by you? (hearing)

Are you so far back in line that you can’t see Him and you are experiencing so much frustration that you are ready to leave for you home miles away? (sight)

When you hear that Jesus is entering on a donkey, the worse smelling animal, do you just turn away and go home, missing the greater purpose for which He is there? (smell)

When you hear that Jesus is coming and you want to be there because you witnessed His miracles and wanted to see Him again, can you taste the excitement in the air? (taste)

 

MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK  - Using your sense of mystery, can you recall Jesus entrance into Jerusalem yesterday, and look ahead to Holy Thursday and Good Friday and see such a stark change, and ask yourself where would I have been in these events? Would I have changed from glorifying Jesus to condemning Him? Every time we sin, we are not choosing Jesus, so are we denying Jesus as did Peter and are we choosing Barabbas, as did the crowd?

 

TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK – Using your sense of Wonder, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and calls us to do the same. Jesus washed the feet to show us that we must serve the needs of others. How difficult that is for us, yet as followers of Jesus we must. Do you wonder when you are going to be called to do such a thing?  To wash someone’s feet? It may not be someone’s feet that you are called to wash, but you may be called to serve the needs of another by your compassion, mercy, consolation, forgiveness, or humility. When you find yourself being present to the needs of the poor, the homeless, the forgotten, the unforgivable, the estranged, then you are allowing yourself to be servant, not the judge, but the humble servant being and bringing Christ to them by your words, deeds, attitude, actions and love.

 

WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK – Using the sense of Awe, do you try and make sense out of Jesus’ actions, or do they leave you in a sense of awe because you can not explain or understand how He can do what He did out of complete and unselfish Love? That is so hard for us to believe, understand or imagine, but if we are truly His followers, it is not impossible for us to imitate.

Do you believe this? Get ready, the Triduum is coming and if you are still trying to understand Jesus, you will truly not understand Him in these coming days, so get ready, be open and allow Him to speak to your heart. He will stretch it, open it, embrace it and return His mark of love on it.

 

HOLY THURSDAY – Using your sense of sight, can you be present and allow yourself to experience the humility of being a servant and serving the needs of others as Jesus did in the Washing of the Feet? Or can you use your sense of taste and perhaps as you receive the Holy Eucharist in the Commemoration of the Last Supper, reflect on how Jesus gave us of Himself to His apostles at the Last Supper and continues to give of His real presence today in every celebration of the Mass? This is Jesus’ real presence, His true Body and Blood, not a symbolic representation, but the real deal. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord…..

 

GOOD FRIDAY – Jesus dies on the cross. We hear Him being condemned, crucified and dying on the cross. We know that He did nothing to deserve such cruel and terrible treatment, but we also know that He willingly, selflessly and lovingly accepted His fate so that we may live forever in His and His Father’s love. Are you listening? As you venerate the holy cross, are you allowing yourself to be present at the cross to tell Jesus how much you love Him and how sorry you that your sins are the cause for His suffering? Not just do you hear, but also are you listening when He says “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”? He was talking about you and me, not just His persecutors. He forgives us when we say we are sorry, do you listen when He tells you that He forgives and loves you or do you just walk away?

 

HOLY SATURDAY – We celebrate the joy of the resurrection. We celebrate all of our senses in that we have the blessing of the fire, the lighting of the paschal candle and the lighting of the congregation’s candles, the proclamation of the Exultet, the Liturgy of the Word, the blessing of the Holy Water to be used at the baptisms of those being received into the Catholic faith that evening, and to be sprinkled on those at Mass reminding them of their baptismal call and promises, the Confirmation and the reception of Holy Communion by those entering the faith and the congregation. We are truly a resurrection people. We proclaim the Gloria and the Alleluia again to celebrate this great mystery. Lift you voice and proclaim the great things that the Lord has done, they are marvelous in our eyes. Let us fully be present to this great and glorious gif

 

Glimpse of God for the week of March 18, 2018

I apologize for the lateness of this week's Glimpse of God.

 

 

This weeks Glimpse of God comes from a variety of eye opening experiences. It is in and through these experiences, that I have been able to see how God reveals  Himself and how, through that revelation, I have come to be transformed and renewed in His love.

 

Some of these experiences are: speaking to a cousin who is still grieving over the loss of her dad, and having to sell his house, the very same house that she grew up in; a friend who is facing the challening and difficult task of having to possibly retire earlier than she expected due to the stress of her job and toll that it is taking on her body, another friend who lost her sister suddenly due to the flu and the devastation that she feels because they were so close, a good friend who is enduring the pain of metatastic colon cancer and has decided not to undergo any treatment, and my sister who despite her many and serious challenges, never gives up or seeks self pity, but rather manages to  tie another knot on the rope so that she can keep holding on.

As I reflect on the above conversations that took place and how I was informed of what was happening in the lives of those I love, I find myself often in prayer. I am praying for all of those who I call family and friends, who are suffering greatly and in need of  strength, hope and courage so that they may continue to carry their crosses as they seem to be getting only heavier.

My personal transformation and renewal has come as I have been gifted with their trust as they shared their story, their pain, their hope and their desire. 

Every person has a cross to carry and each person's cross is a heavy cross to them. We cannot, nor should we, compare our cross with that of another, thinking that theirs is not as heavy as ours or that ours is a greater burden than theirs.  We all have gifts and graces that God has instilled and bestowed upon us, and it is through God; His graces, His gifts and His love,  that we are able to carry our crosses and help others carry theirs.

Since this is late, and since I could not publish a glimpse last week due to computer issues that carried themself through to today, I am not going to offer daily reflections, but rather offer a prayerful suggestion.

Winter is coming to an end as of today, reflect on those areas of your life, the cross that you carry, and ask God to show you, if you don't know or are unable to recognize, the ways that you have died to self and have become a greater, stronger beacon of His presence to others in your life. What area of your life, your heart, have you been stretched and have allowed His healing presence in? Do yo see youself as a wounded healer?  God does.

Another suggestion is: Since spring starts tomorrow, Tuesday, relfect on those areas of your life that are springing up with new life and are calling you to think, act, behave, or pray differently, and say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Another sggestion: Summer has to follow the spring. As you reflect on the areas of your life that are springing up with new life, look and reflect on how much spiritual, emotional, and physical work that you do to be the best person that you can be, the best person that God has created you to be and knows that you can become. As you look back on the work that you've do to be your best, take time to rest in His presence and relax in  His Love. Take some RnR so that you can be renewed, refreshed and rejuvenated. Take time to enjoy the summer of your spiritual journey.

One more suggestion: As you have already figured the theme of my suggestions out, there is only one more season to reflect on and that is autumn or fall. 

the beauty of this season is how the leaves change colors,the trees are full, there is more of a breeze in the air and the weather is not hot nor cold, but in the middle.  As you reflect on the joy of the season of thanksgiving and color, take a moment or many moments and rcall how you have been color to others. God offers us and invites us to be color to others. His colors are those of  compassion, mercy, healing, peace, joy and happiness. How have you brought color into the lives of others? How have others brought color into your life?

God wants to bring color, lots of color into our lives. He has the best colors, ready to use and

 in abundance for us. We jsut need to be ready to paint, get paint on us and help others paint so that when God is finished, we will see the beauty of His rainbow of color in ourself,  and in others.

His rainbow is His promise that He loves us, that He will always be with us and that He will never leave us. He is our hope. How can we be hope for another whose rainbow is without color?

Go and remember that you are never too old to color or too young to know how

Glimpse of God for March 4, 2018

 

My Glimpse of God comes from time. (As we prepare to set our clocks ahead next weekend and we lose an hour of sleep)

Time is a precious gift. What is time? It can be seen in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, year, etc. We often find our self-looking at our watch or clocks to see what time it is so that we know when something is either going to begin or end, or where we need to go and be. There are times in our life that we celebrate and there are those that we mourn, there are times that we are fearful of and times that we face with all the courage and conviction that we can muster. Time is an experience where we not only see where it has passed and realize that we cannot get it back, but also where we can see ahead and not know how it will unfold. We are given time here on earth to live and become the best person that God has created us to be.

From the beginning of time God has been continually showing Himself to His people, revealing to His people His presence and calling them to take their time and use it to Worship and adore Him alone. God’s time is not our time. We sometimes waste time or overbook our time. We watch time pass us by and then we get bored and wish time would hurry up. I would say that many of us do not take the time to appreciate God in the experiences of our life and the lives of those that we encounter and surround us.

Next weekend we are going to set our clocks ahead 1 hour for daylight savings time. What do we gain by setting our clocks ahead 1 hour? Certainly not more sleep or energy when we wake up, but rather more sunlight for the days ahead.

When I think of daylight savings time in the light of my faith, I come with a few similarities. For instance; when we are in the previous mode  we are usually journeying through the winter season, where it is darker longer. This isn’t a bad darkness but rather a period where God is planting and preparing for things to flourish and grow. It is a necessary time if creation is going to be what God wants it to be. It is the same for us. Although it is difficult and challenging we need to accept those dark, barren times in our life so that we can recognize the light and the newness that will soon become ours. Everything becomes a matter of perspective and balance with the darkness, light and many shades of gray.

The glimpse of God is how we recognize, reverence and honor the gift of time that God has given us.  No one is promised tomorrow so carpe diem (those that know Latin!) and for the rest of us “Seize the day”!

Reflections of time…….

 

Sunday  - Today honor, reverence and appreciate your time with God. During this Lenten season, seek God’s wisdom to discern how you can grow in a greater and deeper relationship with Him, and be a greater reflection of His presence to others.

 

Monday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time with family and friends. Time goes quickly, children grow and friends move, appreciate all of these many blessings today for only God knows their destiny of tomorrow. No one knows when their time on this earth will run out so before regrets settle in, bless all of those whom God has placed in your life. Forgive those who have offended you, seek forgiveness from all you have offended. Ask for God’s healing and peace in those areas of your life where you are broken so that you may become whole.

 

Tuesday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time spent with your self, you are your best company. One is never alone, but at times may feel lonely. Today honor your alone time as a gift from God to be in communion with Him, His Son Jesus and our Blessed Mother Mary. Don’t run away or be afraid of the quiet but invite it, embrace it allow it to transform you as you listen to the gentle whisper of God speaking to your heart.

 

Wednesday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time in and with God’s creation. Go out into the world and see it in all of its beauty, magnificence and splendor. God has given us His creation to take care of so that it may flourish. We are all called to build up His kingdom here on earth. As we learn to appreciate and honor all of God’s creatures in His creation, let us remember that we are all created to work together to be God’s presence in the world.

 

Thursday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time as you work. Work satisfies us, compliments us and allows us to use the talents and gifts that God has given us. Today, look at your work as an instrument that God has given you to help be His beacon of light, love, and understanding to those around you, and allow it to be a source of humility, peace and joy.

 

                       

Friday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time with Christ on the cross. He suffered and died for you on the cross, spend time in quiet gratitude with Him. We are all called to carry our crosses, yet we think that we need to carry them alone. We are never alone. Christ walks with us and just as Christ accepted help from Simon of Cyrene, we too are called to accept help when the cross seems too heavy. Surrender and acceptance are characteristic of a true follower of Jesus. We must surrender our will as Jesus did so that God can do what is best in and through us and we can openly accept the many graces and blessings that God wants to share with us.

 

Saturday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time in prayer for all of those who have entrusted their needs, desires, prayers, hurts, and pains to you. When we can take our personal prayer time with God and offer it up for others, we are acting in a very humble , selfless and compassionate way. When others entrust their needs and prayer to you they see in you the presence and spirit of God that enables them to ask you for prayers. This may seem easy, but when one truly feels the needs, pains and prayers of others, their empathy draws them in a closer union with Mary our great intercessor, and to her Son Jesus

 

Glimpse of God for the wek of February 18and 25th , 2018

I apologize for the lateness of my weekly Glimpse of God. My computer completely gave up and it was unable to be repaired, so it had to be replaced. I also am preparing for surgery on Thursday so my reflections will hopefully offer enough for you to reflect on for                the next two weeks. 

 

This week's Glimpse of God comes, once again, our golden retriever, Clover and the Sisters at the Assisi House. Both yesterday and today,Clover, our 75 lb golden retriever visited the Sisters at Assisi house and was an instrument of transformation, inspiration and a source of magic.  As soon as we walk into Assisi house, Clover is like a magnet that attracts the Sisters from every direction, and when they come to pet her, talk to her, or give her treats, she just sits there for as long as the Sister needs her to be there.  Clover, although a very excitable dog, when she arrives at Assisi, knows or intuits that she needs to be still.  When the Sisters approach her, she doesn't run away, she sits and waits for them. When the Sisters are walking with their walkers, Clover will walk along side of them. When there is  Sister that is physically challenged, due to bad eye sight, or the inability to speak, or the inability to communicate, Clover will sit or lay in front of the Sister and be present to her. It is a moment of personal transformation becuase it seems like Clover is communicating with the Sister in a way that only the Sister can understand. Clover has aslo been known in intuit when a Sister was not feeling well and she wanted to be right there for her. She senses when someone is not feeling well or when something is wrong and when this happens, we follow her instinct.        

The glimpse that comes to me is that God doesn't pull us ahead or leave us alone or behind, but rather walks along side of us on our faith journey. We often think that we walk our dogs, in that we know what direction to go in and thus we are in control. Yet when it comes down to it, the dogs in our life give us the direction that we need to walk in. They, by their unconditional love, forgivenenss, their joy to see us, and their inability to hold a grudge,  are a reminder from God of how we are called to be and how we should act. When we try to do things on our own and forge ahead leaving God in the dust, it is like the dog got off the leash. We break away and run and we even try to hide, but yet if we stay still, calm down and remember that God is a living and loving God, He will e right where we left Him. We can run from God, but God does not run from us, we can try to hide from Him, but He sees all of our hiding places, we can pretend that we are invisible, but God knows that we are His visible and shining witness in His Kingdom.

As a loving and patient Father, God waits for us to return to Him and humbly try again, this time with His help and guidance.

There are times when we walk behind God and we don't even try to move, but rather we choose to stay stuck because it is easier and less frightening. We fear moving ahead because we don't know what lies ahead and that scares us. God waits for us to try, not to make big leaps but rather to take baby steps toward Him and His will for us.

There are times when we don't even see God, we fear that He has left us and that is why things are going badly for us. We blame God for all the  bad things that are happening to us. We blame Him for the times when He didn't answer our prayers, for the times when the answer that He gave wasn't the one we wanted to hear, and for the times that He just said NO.

Yet, in our life, on our faith journey, if we are open and honest, we are given the grace to  recognize that God walks along side of us, in our pains and struggles, in our joys and in our laughter, in our births and in our deaths. God feels every pain and joy that we feel and lets us know that in all times and in all seasons of our life. He is present to and with us.

Clover walking with, along side of, or just sitting in the presence of the Sisters, is a reminder that God is always with us, sometimes He is quietly sitting with us or walking with us, at our pace, on our journey. We have nothing to fear, nothing to back away from, or run from, but rather He gives us the confidence and assurance, that as long as we trust Him, no harm will come to us that will separate us from Him.

Clover is an intuitive dog and the Sisters are animal lovers. For some, like Sister Angela, who have been afraid of dogs, or for those who have always loved dogs or for those who grew up with dogs, but    They are present to each other together without fear. God is asking us to do the same; He said fear not, I am with you always, That is God's promise.

This week, let us recognize the times when we are not walking along side of Him, but rather  are walking ahead or behind Him. Let us also recognize when we choose to walk with God and He, with us, as a loving Father walks along side of His child.

Sunday - Today, as you rejoice in the beauty and love that surrounds you, ask God to shower His blessings and graces upon you as you begin the new week nourished by His Body and Blood. Ask God for the courage and self determination to be the Body of Christ in all that  you do at work, at home and in your community.

Monday - Today, if there are times when you are tempted to run ahead and try to do things your way, ask God for the grace to recognize that only with His guidance, can you truly grow, learn and make the right choice. Pray for a greater insight and a slower pace.

Tuesday  - Today, if you feel overwhelmed by your fears, your mistrusts and your challenges, ask God for His nudge and courage take one small step at a time. Seek to walk  a steady pace in shoes and not to stumble in flip flops.

Wednesday - Today, if there are times when you feel abandoned and don't see God in the midst of your pain and suffering, pray and trust that even in the silence and stillness, God was and is ever present. Ask for a greater trust in God who knows your every desire, sees the depth of your heart, and answers your every prayer.

Thursday - Today, if there are times when you feel that God has appointed you as judge and ruler and you dismiss the feelings and experiences of others, in humility seek the compassion and mercy of God and extend it another. Ask for the gift of blinders so that you can accept the humanity of others in a spirit  of humility, mercy, compassion and love.

Friday  - Today, if you are tempted to see yourself in a negative light because of your sinfulness, ask God to shine His light into your heart so that you can see in a greater light, how you are  created in His image and likeness. Light your candle so that it may shine before all.

Saturday - Today, if you feel worn out and lifeless because of the this week's many challenges and responsibilities, ask God to refesh and renew you. Close your eyes and see yourself resting in God's His loving embrace.

As my front license plate reads"Lord help me to be the person my dog thinks I am"

May we all try to be the compassionate, loving, caring, fun and joyfilled persons that God created us to be. May we never forget that as a Sister of 90 can overcome her worse fear of dogs and become best friends with Clover, that we are all called to surrender our fears so that we can recognize the power and strength of God's grace through our newly experienced courage, trust and peace.  God wants us to walk with Him without fear, but rather with a joyful , trusting, excited heart. Who are you walking with?

 

 

Weekly Glimpse of God, February 12, 2018

 

This week’s glimpse of God is that of a very special Franciscan sister who not only was a glimpse of God but also the love, joy, humor, presence, fortitude, perseverance, humility and faithfulness of God.

Sister Angela, OSF was a nun who was in her 90s but had the attitude, disposition and wit of someone much younger!

She suddenly passed away last night and it was a great shock to all, especially the sisters in her community.

Clover, our therapy dog, visits with the OSF community each Sunday and Sister Angela was one of her favorites. Over a year ago, Sister Angela confided in us that she was deathly afraid of dogs because she had been bitten when she was a child. Sister Angela, with Clover’s help, conquered her fear and was able to greatly enjoy the visits of Clover, giving her treats, kisses and petting her. Sister Angela called Clover her “Miracle” and giggled when Clover was with her…….a life changing experience for Sister Angela (and us)!

To see the joy and happiness with Sister Angela when Clover visited was amazing and inspiring

We will greatly miss Sister Angela (as will Clover) but we were blessed to be part of the “Miracle” and know that Sister Angela is with the loving embrace of God in the company of Mary and the Saints.

Rest in peace, Sister Angela

As we begin new week, a week that celebrates the gift of love both in Ash Wednesday, where we are reminded to repent and believe in the Good News, that of God ‘s great love for us, and in Valentine’s Day, where we celebrate the gift of love for each other. In both instances, it is God’s love for us that is the foundation of our experience of love: our love for God, others and self.

As we realize every day that only God knows when He will call any of us back home to Himself, let us appreciate, be grateful and recognize how blessed we are for all those in our lives and how their  presence is a blessing and a gift from God.  Let us also take the time to remember those who have gone before us in faith, hope and love: our parents, our grandparents, our spouses, our children, our siblings, our extended family members and our friends. As we remember them, let us offer a prayer of gratitude to God for the gift of their presence in our life. Let us reflect on how their presence changed, transformed, and touched our life and made us the better person that we are today. With God’s mercy and compassion, let us forgive those whose memory causes us pain, but in love we seek to forgive and ask forgiveness.

SUNDAY – “A”……AUTHENTIC

What does it mean to be authentic? Do you see yourself as an authentic person? In the people that surround you and that you encounter on a regular basis, do you recognize their authenticity and how it has influenced you? One does not have to be a religious sister to be authentic; one only has to possess and recognize the love of God in their life and strive to be faithful to that love.

For today, look within and ask for the grace to recognize how authentic you are and how your authenticity influences and inspires others to be their best authentic self before God and others

MONDAY – “N”……NOTABLE

A saint was a sinner who strived to love God in their everyday life and did the ordinary things of life in an extraordinary way. For some that meant bearing their cross without complaining or helping others without the need for recognition, they sought to live and serve their God and neighbor in a spirit of humility, love and compassion. Being extraordinary or notable reminds me of Sister Angela and how she carried her cross of illness without complaining, but rather when she saw Clover, she became a beacon of joy and laughter. She was able to see past her pain and suffering and allowed Go to embrace her through our dog Clover. She overcame her deep fear of dogs at 90 years old and from that day on she found a new joy amid her pain and discomfort. To me that is an extraordinary, notable person.

For today, in a spirit of humility, look within and ask for the grace to recognize how notable or extraordinary person you are. Ask for the ability to recognize the things that you have done and continue to do that are remarkable. We are all called to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth and there are times that in that building we have to do or are called to do things that are challenging and difficult. It is in that building that our humility is challenged and our ego can be inflated, but with the grace of God we can and are able to put things in perspective and do God’s work.

TUESDAY – “G”……GENUINE

We are all called to be our genuine self before God, self and others. Being honest is a grace and gift from God. The temptation to be dishonest is always there, but God’s grace is there to overcome it. When we encounter an honest person, it can sometimes be painful if their honesty with us is for our own good and given out of and in love.

For today, look within and ask for the grace to recognize how honest you are with yourself, God and others. Is your honesty used as a weapon to hurt others or a tool to build them up? Honesty if used as a tool can help others become their best self, the self that God created them to be and knows that they can become. Honesty and being genuine are great qualities to possess. How rich are you? What do you hold as important before God, self and others? Does whatever you hold as important make you a more genuine person?

WEDNESDAY – “E”…….ENTHUSIASTIC, wholehearted, passionate, aflame on fire, excited…..

These are some of the words that come to mind when I think of not only Sister Angela, but also all the Sisters at Assisi House. They exude their joy for life, their love for God and neighbor each and every time we encounter them either in the hall as we walk with Clover, in the chapel at Mass or in the dining room as we assist in serving them at supper time. They are always a joy to behold. Their joy is contagious and Sister Angela definitely caught it.

For today, look within and ask for the grace to recognize what makes you enthusiastic. What are you passionate about and how do fulfill your passion? Being passionate in faith means being full of God’s love and sharing that love with others in and through your words, deeds, actions, attitudes and behavior.

THURSDAY – “L”…LOVING

What is love and how do you love? How loving are you? Do you find that you are not as loving as you would like to be? How can you change that? Do you want to change that? Being a loving person is a choice. Do you choose to be a loving person or a bitter person?  Being a loving person amidst pain and suffering can be a challenge and maybe even an obstacle. God gives us the grace to overcome obstacles and accept challenges. The Church gives us this great season of lent so that we can grow in grace, and stand firm in the good news of His great love for us, so that we can continue to overcome the obstacles that are placed in our path to defeat us and make us be unloving, uncaring and bitter people. This lent, choose to give up the bitterness or any other unloving attitude and choose to embrace mercy, compassion and life.

For today, look within and ask for the grace to recognize how loving a person you really are and thank God for this great gift. In a world where hatred and indifference is chosen over acceptance, compassion and mercy, being a loving person is a risk and a call to be courageous. Recognize and thank God that you have been given the gift of courage and have taken the risk to stand out in His name.

FRIDAY – “A” ……….ADMIRABLE

I admire you….When you look in the mirror, do you ever hear God telling you that? If you can, you still doubt it because you don’t know or can’t imagine why. God highly regards you, loves you as His beloved child and has chosen you to be His follower.

For today, look within and ask for the grace to recognize how admirable you are and the many ways that you are admired. You are a gift and inspiration to many and that is because God dwells within you.

SATURDAY – “TF”…… TRUE FRANCISCAN

Sister Angela was truly a great Follower of Saint Francis, Bride of Christ and Servant of God. She lived a life of simplicity, compassion, joy and service. She loved God, herself and others with a heart that was expanded by her love for Christ and her own passion, filled with God’s grace and open to hear God’s voic

Glimpse of God for the week of February 4th

EAGLES!!!!! SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!!!!

Of course, what else would the topic be for this week?

The Eagles football team is playing today in the Super Bowl, this day, February 4th, is a day that will be remembered as one of unity, mutual support, determination and sportsmanship of both the players and fans of the city of Philadelphia, as well as nationwide. It has also been a source of great inspiration to all of Philadelphia; the avid sports fans as well as those who have been unexpectedly drawn in by the excitement and thrill of our very own football team achieving the greatest honor a football team can accomplish:  WINNING THE SUPERBOWL AND TAKING HOME THE VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY.

The team was not expected to be competitive this year, however, they surprised us all!  So many times we have seen professional ball players be aloof to their fans or face legal issues but this team is different. They personify the aspect of teamwork and supporting one another in good times and bad. They have fun and that is apparent in all of the news coverage and many photos.

Recently, I was informed that members of the team had met a child being treated at a hospital in Philadelphia for significant medical issues.  The team actively embraced the child and spent significant time with him! Imagine, these are professional athletes showing true compassion and concern and humility ……..quality individuals and role models on so many levels!!!   Nick Foles wants to be a minister when he retires! God has called Him and He is ready to respond, can we say the same?

SO, as we prepare for a week that could include a super bowl parade in Philadelphia, let us take time to thank God for the team that has represented His presence of being good role models of compassion, support, encouragement and selflessness to their fans, the city and those in need. But let us not lose sight of where God is, has been and will continue to be. He resides in the lives and hearts of all of us as His beloved children.  I believe that as you journey through the week , the various reflections will no only help you  grow as a more prayerful person, but will also help you to see that when one plays on a team, as a true teammate, a good role model, a mentor, these qualities shine through. We are all members of God's team. We are all members of the Christian faith that calls us to build each  other up, strenghten each other and see the good in each other. I believe that the Eagles strive to exemplify these qualities on and off the field.

SUNDAY,  “E” = Empathetic

We are all called to extend empathy towards others. As followers of Christ and God’s beloved children, we are given the grace to walk with others through our care, concern, prayers and presence.

As you begin a new week, look to those in need, not to pity them, but rather to extend God’s compassion. Ask God to show you how you can be His instrument of empathy, care and kindheartedness and pray for the grace to respond. Empathy requires humility but rewards you with peace and spiritual fulfillment.

 

MONDAY “A” = Agile

Do you consider yourself agile? Have your ever considered yourself as being spiritually agile?

To discover the answer to this question, I suggest that in your prayer, ask yourself and God if you are swift to answer His call or invitation to be the best person that you can be? Do you see yourself as one that is responsive to God’s call to serve Him by serving the needs of others? Does living out your faith come easily, are you on fire or do you feel as though your fire has become a little spark? Do you believe that God is with you, that He loves you unconditionally and that you are His beloved child? Can you imagine that He wants your spark to become a fire that draws others to want to know Him better through you?

As you journey through the beginning of the workweek, ask God to increase your desire to be an instrument that draws others to Him. Ask for the grace to allow Him to take and make your sparks more like a great fire of love, faith and devotion, that draws other to love Him more dearly, see Him more clearly and follow Him more nearly in and through your example.

 

TUESDAY, “G” = Grateful

Do you have a grateful heart? Do you find that you have much to be grateful for? Do you remember to thank God for the gift of the very next breath that you take, the gift of a new day, the gift of family and friends, colleagues and community that surround and embrace you, the gift of your crosses that have strengthened you, made you a better and more empathetic person and have drawn you closer to Christ, the gift that has been implanted in you of a deeper love and concern for others, for the gifts of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, peace and joy that being a follower of Christ has made you a recipient of?

In your prayer today, reflect on the gift of gratitude that God has given you. Pray always for a grateful heart and seek to spread that desire to others especially those who are struggling and cannot recognize any reason to be thankful or grateful. Today, as you encounter family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, community members and even the stranger, take time to sincerely thank them for some quality that you recognize in their presence that has made you appreciate them more and has allowed you see God more clearly in them.

WEDNESDAY, “L” = Loving

Do you think that you are a loving and kind person? What does it mean to be a loving person?

Do you think that it means being perfect?  Being a loving person begins with desire and completes with fulfillment. If one desires to be a loving person, a desire that can only originate with and from God, and seeks to follow through on that desire, can be a very loving person. Love is of God, finds its origin in God and grows only through God’s grace. In our sinful nature, that nature that Jesus died on the cross to redeem, God loved us into being and calls us to love in return. It is in our loving, that of God, self and others, we grow in a habit to love, to seek the good in others, to forgive others, to reach out seeking forgiveness and to bind the wounds and be God’s healing instrument of love.

So today, as you communicate and interact with others, seek love. Look for love, that of the presence of God in those with whom you interact with and see how they interact with you.

Do they see the love of God within you, in your presence, surrounding you in and through your words, attitudes, actions, and deeds?

A truly loving person sees the positive before recognizing the negative, sees the good before pointing out the bad, recognizes and embraces that we are all God’s beloved sons and daughters, sinners as well, before judging and casting out.

What the world needs now is love sweet love……..be that love today.

 

THURSDAY, “E” = Esteemed

It is tough to accept being esteemed by others. It seems more like an ago trip than a trip on humility highway. Yet as Christians, who truly seek to follow Christ and bring others to know Him better, we can be esteemed by others and that is not a bad quality, if it doesn’t go to one’s head.

Who do you hold in high esteem? Why? Who holds you in high esteem? And why?

For today, take a look at whom you hold in high esteem and look at the reasons?

If they are God centered, have brought you to know God better, and have helped you grow in your relationship with His Son and our Mother Mary, then thank God for such a great gift.

If others hold you in true genuine God centered esteem, ask God to show you how you can improve, build on, grow in His love, the very love that has attracted others to Him through you.

 

FRIDAY, “S” = Selfless

Being selfless means being other centered and not selfish. It can be hard to be selfless when others seek to be more selfish and self centered. One cannot be God centered if they are always looking at what they can get, acquire, own or have. God wants us to grow and become the best persons that we can be, the best person that He created us to be, but yet we get in the way of what God’s will is for us when we seek to have things our way and not His.

Jesus died on the cross for us. It was a free selfless act. He chose to die for us and when we suffer, when we are wounded, He is dying with us as we die to self.  When we unite our pain with His, when we choose not to be bitter, but rather to forgive, then we are being selfless.

For today, look at the many ways that you are selfless: as a parent, as a spouse, as an employee, and ask God for the grace to grow in that humility and love that has placed His will first before any selfish will of yours.

 

SATURDAY, “1” = One

There is only 1 God, 1 you, 1 eagles team, and 1 chance for them to win the super bowl today.

We are all given special gifts and talents by God to be used to glorify and praise Him. Let us pray that the Eagles players take this opportunity to glorify God by playing their best and coming together as a team to win. Let us seek to see the good in both teams during the low times and in the high times. Let us not seek to diminish the other team by mean and degrading words or behaviors, for when we do that we are not giving glory to God. Enjoy the game!!!

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 28, 2018

 

My Glimpse of God comes from time. Time is a precious gift. What is time? It can be seen in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, year, etc. We often find our self looking at our watch or clocks to see what time it is so that we know when something is either going to begin or end, or where we need to go and be. There are times in our life that we celebrate and there are those that we mourn, there are times that we are fearful of and times that we face with all the courage and conviction that we can muster. Time is an experience where we not only see where it has passed and realize that we cannot get it back, but also where we can see ahead and not know how it will unfold. We are given time here on earth to live and become the best person that God has created us to be.

From the beginning of time God has been continually showing Himself to His people, revealing to His people His presence and calling them to take their time and use it to Worship and adore Him alone. God’s time is not our time. We sometimes waste time or overbook our time. We watch time pass us by and then we get bored and wish time would hurry up. I would say that many of us do not take the time to appreciate God in the experiences of our life and the lives of those that we encounter and surround us.

When I think of the winter time in the light of my faith, I come with a few similarities. For instance when we are in the previous mode and we are usually journeying through the winter season, where it is darker longer. This isn’t a bad darkness but rather a period where God is planting and preparing for things to flourish and grow. It is a necessary time if creation is going to be what God wants it to be. It is the same for us. Although it is difficult and challenging we need to accept those dark, barren times in our life so that we can recognize the light and the newness that will soon become ours. Everything becomes a matter of perspective and balance, darkness, light and many shades of gray. The glimpse of God is how we recognize, reverence and honor the gift of time that God has given us.  No one is promised tomorrow so carpe diem (those that know Latin!) and for the rest of us “Seize the day”!

Reflections of time…….

 

Sunday  - Today honor, reverence and appreciate your time with God. During this winter season, seek God’s wisdom to discern how you can grow in a greater and deeper relationship with Him.

 

Monday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time with family and friends. Time goes quickly, children grow and friends move, appreciate all of these many blessings today for only God knows their destiny of tomorrow. No one knows when their time on this earth will run out so before regrets settle in, bless all of those whom God has placed in your life. Forgive those who have offended you, seek forgiveness from all you have offended. Ask for God’s healing and peace in those areas of your life where you are broken so that you may become whole.

 

Tuesday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time spent with your self, you are your best company. One is never alone, but at times may feel lonely. Today honor your alone time as a gift from God to be in communion with His Son Jesus. Don’t run away or be afraid of the quiet but invite it, embrace it allow it to transform you as you listen to the gentle whisper of God speaking to your heart.

 

Wednesday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time in and with God’s creation. Go out into the world and see it in all of its beauty, magnificence and splendor. God has given us His creation to take care of so that it may flourish. We are all called to build up His kingdom here on earth. As we learn to appreciate and honor all of God’s creatures in His creation, let us remember that we are all created to work together to be God’s presence in the world, and to build His kingdom here on earth.

 

Thursday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time as you work. Work satisfies us, compliments us and allows us to use the talents and gifts that God has given us. Today, look at your work as an instrument that God has given you to help be His beacon of light, understanding, reconciliation, and compromise to those around you, and allow it to be a source of humility, peace and joy.

 

                       

Friday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time with Christ on the cross. He suffered and died for you on the cross, spend time in quiet gratitude with Him. We are all called to carry our crosses, yet we think that we need to carry them alone. We are never alone. Christ walks with us and just as Christ accepted help from Simon of Cyrene, we too are called to accept help when the cross seems too heavy. Surrender and acceptance are characteristic of a true follower of Jesus. We must surrender our will as Jesus did so that God can do what is best in and through us and we can openly accept the many graces and blessings that God wants to share with us.

 

Saturday – Today, honor, reverence and appreciate your time in prayer for all of those who have entrusted their needs, desires, prayers, hurts, pains, to you. When we can take our personal prayer time with God and offer it up for others, we are acting in a very humble and compassionate way. When others entrust their needs and prayer to you they see in you the presence and spirit of God that calls them to ask. This may seem easy, but when one truly feels the needs, pains and prayers of others, their empathy draws them in a closer union with Mary our great intercessor, and to her Son Jesus.

Glimpse of God for the week for January 21, 2018

My glimpse of God comes from a source that brings me a deep sense of joy, makes me smile when my eyes behold it, reminds me that even in the midst of the severe cold of winter, the snow that accumulates, the frost on the windows, the lack of daylight and the lack of desire to be outside because I get cold too easily, he or she is still a picture of joy with a great smile to go with it.

What is this glimpse? This glimpse is that of SNOWMAN or SNOWWOMAN or SNOWCHILD.

When I was a child, the first thing that I did when it snowed and the snow was good for packing, was to go out and make a snowman. My snowman was as unique as I was. It would have a variety of things that could be found around the house to be used as his ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and shirt buttons. Then the topper would be his hat, hopefully like the one that Frosty wore, but in my case, any hat that I could find around the house would do. My snowman, depending on the cold and the packing of the snow, would have two or three big balls of snow. The biggest on the bottom, the next smallest would be his belly and the smaller would be his head. If it was too cold or the snow wasn’t packing snow, he would have a big belly and a small head. When I was done, I would look at he finished product and smile.

How can it bring me to see God more clearly? Does God work through such “made up” characters? I believe that God works through and with all of His creation and creatures. We are His greatest creation and when we seek to see His joy, in the small and big ways, and desire to bring it to others, than we are working in unison with Him in bringing about and building His Kingdom here on earth. We are all called to use the gifts that God has given us. Snow is a gift. We can complain about it, tolerate it, ignore it or use it to bring joy to children and the big kid in all of us.

I still smile today when I see children creating a snowman. I don’t think that the fun that I experienced making or building a snowman can be compared to anything else.

So if you come to our house during the winter months, your eyes will behold the many sizes and shapes of various snowmen, snowwomen, snow children, and even one snow dog,but we lack a snowcats . I am surrounded by various snow creatures that make me smile and remind me that even with the simplest gift, that of snow, God invites, allows and waits for me to be attentive and creative. I also believe that as people enter our home and smile, they are remembering something that brings them joy. I don’t ask whey they are smiling,

I can only imagine that it may be for the same reasons that I do.

So as we enter a new week of winter, although without snow according to the weather people, let us think of ways that we can bring a smile to another and strive to accomplish that task.

 

 

SUNDAY  - “S”  = Sincere

In all of interactions with others, our first thought is that we need to be sincere genuine and authentic as Children of God, followers of Christ. We cannot, should not interact with others, attempting to make them smile or bring them a sense of peace, happiness or joy, if we are not sincere in our reason and desire to help them. We cannot bring happiness to others if our message is just words and not from the heart. People who are suffering or unhappy for whatever reason, are not always looking to hear the right words, as much as they are looking for someone to be honest, sincere, and humble as they interact with them. People see through our deception, our false image, our need to make our self feel good at their expense, and our ego that thinks we are succeeding and fooling them. We don’t have to pretend that we are perfect, but we do have to be sincere when we meet another imperfect human being, just as we are, and seek to raise them up.

 

MONDAY – “N” = Not me

When we seek to help another to make them happy, it should not be about us. God will reward us, will show us that in our spirit of humility and selflessness, that we are being taken care of, that we are loved, and in our being loved, we are able to love others. As you go to help others today, go with the attitude that it is about them and that God will give you the words to speak. He will show you how to be present and to that person. He will also show you how with Him, it is about you and how you responded to His invitation to build another up, and not tear them down or ignore their plight.

 

TUESDAY – “O” = Open minded

When you reach out to others today, keep an open mind. One never knows what another is thinking or feeling, yet what they say can shock, surprise or hurt you. Keeping an open mind will allow you to see things better from their perspective, experience or circumstances. As you reach out to others in an attempt to help, remember that they are in a need and in that need, they are vulnerable, and when one is vulnerable, they tend to say or do things that they would not normally do or say.

 

WEDNESDAY  - “W” = Wise

Being wise or having wisdom is not something that one can fall upon; it has to be gained by personal experience and the ability to see things from another perspective. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is wisdom. Wisdom is a gift that allows us to make the right decision, as God would want us to do. When we strive to make another happy or help raise them up, then we are using the gift of wisdom. Wisdom differentiates the right motives from the wrong, and enables us to make a decision that goes in accord with the will of God and not our own. They say that wisdom comes with age. I believe that we mature the desire to make the right decision no matter what it may be.

As you seek to help another today, pray for the gift of wisdom so that you can see more clearly where and what God is calling you to say or do.

 

 

THURSDAY – “M” = Merciful

We are all called show mercy, just as God has been and continues to be merciful with us, we are called to share that gift with others. When you seek to make another happy, you are seeing beyond any weakness and looking to the heart. Being merciful is not something that we can take lightly. As we are weak, so too is our brother and sisters in Christ. When we seek to help others, we are seeing their need, not their weakness.

Today when you go to help another, remember that they might feel vulnerable, needy, and possibly stressed to the point of being angry. See past this and look to their heart.

 

FRIDAY – “A” = Awesome

God is awesome!!!!

His gifts are not only special, but awesome because they have been chosen just for us.

People have been placed in our life to show us that we are all God's chosen beloved children and that we are here to help support each other on our earthly journey. 

For today as you recall the many memories that bring you joy, like the snowmen do for me, offer a prayer of thanks to God for those memories. As you are placed in the lives of others and you want to help them recognize the awesomeness of God, don't just use words but let your heart speak. Let your heart speak of the love that it is filled with and that you want to share. Others will see the power, presence of the awesome God more clearly and with greater clarity. 

 

 

SATURDAY  - “N” = Newness

When we attempt to lift others up, we often find our self more lifted than the person that we hoped to help. God works with the hearts of His faithful and when our hearts are in the right place, He can work wonders. We expereince a newness . We experience a refreshing spirit that not only is uplifting, but also transforming. As I look at the many snowwomen,snowmen and snow children in my home, I experience a refreshing spirit of joy and happiness. No maatter what the day had or has in store, I believe that in and through the gifts that God showers upon me: His grace, His mercy, His peace, His unconditional love, these gifts transform me and invite me to transform the lives of others. So when I seek to help others, it is not my idea, but rather God speaking.

So today when you extend a helping hand to lift another up, remind yourself that it is God extending His hand to you and lifting you up so that you can do likewise. "For what you do to the least of my breathren you do unto me."

 My Glimpse of God for the week of January 7, 2018

 

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from various glimpses that came from special events, wonderful people and unique circumstances that I found myself involved in.  One might say that my glimpse is a gathering of many smaller glimpses that were surprising, uplifting and inspiring.

 

My first glimpse of the week came as I started my new position as Chaplain at Fair acres Geriatric Center.  My first workday was filled with many graces. The first one came to me as I was called to speak to a resident that called the suicide hotline. I spoke to him for a while and he assured me that he would call me if he thought that he needed to call the hotline again. I felt comfortable with his promise and left him with the assurance that I would be available at any time if he wanted to talk.

Another glimpse came from my supervisor afterwards when she came in to tell me that she, the nurse, his social worker and the resident were very pleased with the way I handled the situation and if I would be willing to see him on a weekly basis.

Another glimpse came as I handed out the prayer that I composed last week for the New Year to the daily Mass attendants at my parish. A few of them came up to me and gave me a hug and let me know that it was just what they needed to read. It helped them to see the New Year and its resolutions in a new light. It was a prayer that they could pray that would help them grow closer to God and gain a better spiritual insight to the person that God was calling them to be and the potential to become.

Another glimpse came to me as my husband and I met with a priest friend that I have known since high school, that I had not seen since he concelebrated at our wedding in 1998. Since our wedding he had been transferred various times and we had lost track with each other. When we caught up last evening, as friends we weren’t strangers, but friends who needed to play a little catch up but we had the backgrounds still deep in our memories of where we were then, and just needed to fill in some gaps as to where we are now. A great priest still, a wonderful friend and a great witness to the faith as he continues to lead students to Christ.

The week was filled with many glimpses of God in between the ones that I have mentioned. My husband, John and his awesome support, encouragement and love, our pawsome kids Clover and Cannoli who always are intuitive to my needs and there to make me feel better despite any physical limitations, and our family and friends that have all been supportive with phone calls and texts with my new endeavor and the apprehensions that go along with starting a new position in a field that only God would have chosen. I have been involved in parish ministry for over 27 years and if you had asked me if I ever thought that I would serve the geriatric population, my answer would have been no. It was not a population that I ever saw my self ministering to. God saw differently and I am very happy with His vision and plan. It is a great surprise and it is surrounded with wonderful and caring people.

Some words that would define this week and the glimpse that came would be surprises, gifts, reconnections and support.

So as you begin a new week in this New Year and we remember that as we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, let us be mindful that we all have our gifts to share. God has given us special gifts that are unique to us, ones that we are called to share with others and not to selfishly hold on to.

What are your special gifts and talents that you have been blessed that you are being called to share? The wise men gave of their treasures to the Holy Family. They shared what they had and were called to, by God, for the Christ child. We might not have gold, frankincense or myhr, but we have our hearts, open and ready to receive the love of God so that we can share it with others in the forms of mercy, joy, happiness, compassion and peace. Christ’s gift to us was His free, complete and unconditional love. He gives us His love; as we accept His love we in turn are called to share it with others. That is our gift to Him.

 

SUNDAY – “S” –selfless

When we share our gifts with others, it is then that we are not being selfish, but selfless. We are giving a part of our self to another in trust, hope and confidence. Our gift is our treasure that when we share it we hope that it will be received. If our gift is mercy, peace, reconciliation, hope, prayer, or pardon, we want it to be taken seriously and appreciated. And when it is not, it hurts, but even in those circumstances, we cannot take it back or not share it again, because that is not what God does with us. He continues to freely offer His gifts to us because He knows our hearts and the best way to fill them, heal them, expand them, and strengthen them.

For today, are you ready to have your heart expanded? Do you need healing? Are you open to being made stronger?  Are you running on empty and need to be filled with His graces so that you can serve Him more faithfully?

 

MONDAY – “H” – happy

When we want to share a gift with someone, we are sharing a part of our self. Our gift is something that we honor and want to let others see why we honor it, what there is to honor in it and how to best honor it. If we have the gift of peace that we want to offer someone, we should offer it with a sense of happiness and not begrudgingly. Peace is a gift. Many people are not at peace, do not know what true peace is and are searching for peace. When we offer our gift of peace, we are offering a part of our self that Jesus has given us. We cannot be at true peace if that peace is not of Christ. When we are being the body of Christ to others, we are reaching out and offering the very peace that Christ freely offers us and so therefore we freely and happily should offer to others.

For today, are you ready to freely and happily offer your gift to another? Whatever your gift is, can you share it with a genuine sense of happiness?

 

TUESDAY – “A” – appreciation

Do you appreciate the special gift that you are in the sight of God and others? Do you respect, honor and cherish the person, the gift that you are? Do you recognize that others are gift and should be treated with respect, dignity and care?

For today, as you look into the mirror, try to see how much you are appreciated by God, how much He loves you, how much He cares about you, how much He wants to be in relationship with you because He thinks you are so special, and say thank you. Next take one person in your life that you may not have shown appreciation for and let them know that you do appreciate them, not for what they can do for you, bur rather for the person they are, God’s beloved child.

 

WEDNESDAY – “R” – respect

What does it mean to show or be respectful?  When you have a gift to share or when you recongize the giftedness of others, how do you respond? Respect means honoring the giver and the gift. God endows all of us with special gifts and talents that He would like us to shwre with others and when we choose to, we are respecting both God and self. When we choose to hold on to our gift out of selfishenss or ego, then we are disrespecting God and ourself.

For today, honor and respect yourself, your gifts, your talents and the person that God has created you to be. The week will include many surprises and opportunities to recognze and see God more clearly. Take them and use them to see how mauch God loves you and continues to shower you with His many gifts and blessings, graces and talents.

 

 

THURSDAY –“I” -Individual, unique, special, one of a kind.

That is you. You are God's creation, His special gift to others one that has many asepcts to share and use to build up His kingdom here on earth. How does that mek you feel? Do you think that everyone else is special but you don't see yourself as anything special? 

When god created yyou, He did so out of complete and unconditonal love. He did so that you could bless others with your many gifts talents, attributes, qualities and aspirations. 

For today, jot down what and how you see yourself as gift. what are  your talents, gifts that you so freely share with others? How do you inspire othes? How do you call others to be their better self? I can only imagine that your list will belong, pray and aks Go dot shwo you  how blessed you are and seek to share that part of yourself more freely , without reservation and with a feeling and sense of being blessed and a blessing.

 

FRIDAY -  “N” – nurturing

Do you believe that you are a nurturing individual? Do you try to build others up or do you try to tear them down? Do you offer spiritual guidance in and through your prayers, words and thoughts for others so that they can grow and become the best person that they can be? As a parent, sibling, or spouse, do you try to strengthen those you love, by they way you show your love, support, encouragement, and kindness?

For today, look at the ways that you are nurturing. Look at how you not only help others grow to become the best person that they can be and that God calls them to be, but also look at those who have nurtured you and have helped you become the person that you are now. Our ability to nurture comes from how we have been nurtured. Humans can fail at being nurturing, but God never fails, He is the perfect nurturing parent, Abba, Father.

 

SATURDAY – “G” – God –given

Life is God given. Our very breath is God given. Our loved ones are God given. You are God given to others; your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, your community, and your Church. Think of it, God has given you to others, not without thought, but He has carefully placed you in the presence of others because He knows what is best for you and how you can grow in relationship with Him and how you can help others, who choose to be in relationship with him, grow closer to Him. You have been chosen. God has a plan, a very special mission for you. He wants you to not only recognize that you are His child and that He loves you unconditionally, but He wants you to be His messenger and share that special message with those He has given to you. How does He want you to do that? By being, by bringing, by sharing love as best you can by your actions, deeds, words, attitude, gestures o

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpses of God (2018)

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© Cookie A Magee