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
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.
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