COMPILATION OF GLIMPSES 2019

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of December 29, 2019

Do you believe in miracles? What is miracle? The Oxford Dictionary defines a miracle as: an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency”.

I think in simpler words, a miracle is an act of God that remains a mystery to the mind, yet provides an invitation by God’s Holy Spirit for a personal transformation of the heart. 

When I think of a miracle, I first think of the Holy Family. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, chosen by God at her conception to be the mother of His Son, our Savior.  Joseph, the miracle and his gift of faith as He fell in disbelief at the announcement, to trust and courage as an angel visited him. Jesus how He was able to undergo His passion, death and resurrection. All of which these three individuals would never been able to respond to without faith, trust, and courage and the desire to surrender to God’s will, which allowed them to be His instruments for the salvation of souls today, yesterday and all our tomorrows.

Miracles happen every day?  God’s divine intervention occurs every time our heart is involved and our minds need to make changes, or be changed so that we can be our best self before God, others and in the mirror. Do you recognize them?  A miracle requires as least two things; an openness to God’s working in

your life so that you can recognize His action, and a willingness to accept the miracle as meant for you and not everyone else.

A miracle to me can only be an act of God.  The first miracle that I would like to focus on is the breath from God that keeps us alive.  Humans are not plugged into an electrical outlet to get their power supply or energy.  No God created humanity in His image and likeness so that we would depend on Him to receive our spiritual and physical energy, nourishment and power. Power to do what?  To choose love over hate, pardon over injury, peace over division, compassion over judgment, understanding over differences and acceptance over hatred. God gives us our very breath and live so that we can honor Him, serve Him and build up His kingdom here on earth.

Another miracle occurs when a baby is born. Think of how a baby grows in the womb for the nine months, and then is ready to be born into a new world, from the warmth of the womb to the warmth of a parent’s loving embrace. Only God can form a child in the womb, although the mother feeds the new life that is growing and provides the nourishment that is needed, only God can be credited for the wonderful, amazing gift of life that comes forth. To me that is a mini miracle. New life is a gift to the parents and how they respond to it is there gift in return to God.  All children are God’s beloved sons and daughters, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation, and it is up to the parents to acknowledge, reverence and love that child into that reality.  I pray that God will transform the hearts of parents who are unable to do that, and I thank God for all the parents who through the various and many struggles that go with child rearing and raising, seek to do that.

Another miracle is the miracle of death. It is a grace filled moment to be in the presence of someone who is preparing to meet their God face to face, and to know that God is actively bringing them back home to Himself. To witness their last breath on this earthly journey and how it will become their first breath into their eternal reward, is a moment and grace from God. God creates and calls us into life as an infant, and then brings us back home to Himself when He feels that our time, our mission here on earth is complete, and Jesus says to us: Come ye, blessed of my Father, and possess the kingdom which was prepared for you from the beginning, where thou reign with the Son and the Holy Spirit, and where  we hope to reign with Thee, world without end.

Life is God’s gift to us and what and how we choose to live that life is our gift to God.  Are we able to recognize the many miracles that occur every day? From the moment we awake to the moment we sleep and the many moments in between? And when we do, are we grateful or afraid or unaccepting of such a gift?

 

Do we allow our self to recognize the miraculous powers that our family, friends, and community hold? When they can love us in our lowest and most vulnerable times, when they forgive us of our most hurtful actions or words directed toward them, when they see our best self when we can only see our worst self as it emerges.  That is God, that is God’s divine intervention at work.  We can’t deny the presence of the Almighty when we see our weakest self-emerge, and others seek to see our best self even as it is hidden, but they know can and will come forward. Do we see others as God’s instruments of peace, joy, healing, pardon, or do we try to find a logical secular reason for events that occur that we didn’t expect and or surprised us?

For someone to be canonized in the Church to sainthood, 2 verifiable postmortem miracles need to be attributed to the candidate saint.  Saints are ordinary people who lived life and did things in an extraordinary way.  I believe that we are all sinners striving to be saints as we live and not after we die. We might not be recognized by the Church for our good deeds, or our acts of kindness, or our great love shown, but God knows our heart and all that is in it, He has seen it expand and sometimes shrink.  He sees our heart and He wants us to know that when it comes to matters of the heart, only His grace and intervention can lead us to become our best self and live up to our potential, so that we can not only recognize His power within us, but that we can bring about his miracles, both mini and major, to others. Miracles are a surprise to many and a revelation to others.  We are or can be surprised when we think of miracles happening in our life. We don’t expect them, and we don’t necessarily pray for them, but if we think about it long enough, we can see more clearly God’s intervention as we reflect on difficult situations, people, or events that we found our self-choosing love, being loving and allowing the grace of mercy overflow from the core of our being.

So, as we begin this new week with a new year tucked in, let us strive to see more clearly the many mini and major miracles that occur. May we not be afraid to embrace them, acknowledge them or share them with others. Let us seek to recognize the many miracles that will embrace, surround and transform us to be a better person, a Eucharistic person, and Incarnational person knowing that Christ dwells within us and all about us.

 

SUNDAY - “M” The Mundane

In the mundane, the routine of work, raising a family, providing for your family and the demands on your energy, sometimes make you feel as if you are going around in circles and not producing any good.  We sometimes look at our daily routines and get discouraged because we can’t or are unable to see progress, or we feel underappreciated and taken for granted.  We can feel as if we are not living up to our potential and this makes us feel as if we are disappointing God. Being bored, underappreciated, physical and spiritual weariness, can lead us to thinking that we are not doing our very best, but then the miracle occurs. When we take a moment to reflect on what we see as mundane, God sees as gift, when we feel underappreciated, He wants us to know that He not only appreciates our efforts but rewards them with His love, peace, joy and calm. When we look at the hard work it takes in raising and providing for a family, and we find that we do it out of and in love for them, God and our self, we begin to see things differently. The mundane becomes an avenue for miraculous. God’s grace opens our minds, hearts and spirit to see His action so that we don’t feel as if we are in the mundane alone. He allows us to see the love that binds us to our families, to Him and to others, and that love is what motivates us to endure what seems to be mundane, but, is a transformative avenue, agent or power to share.

For today, look at your mundane and see the face and presence of God in you as you plow through it and refuse to be mastered or defeated by it.

 

 

 

MONDAY - “I” Invitation God invites you to draw nearer to Him

God can be selfish.  Yes, He can. He wants us to be in relationship with Him, to honor Him as the one true and only God and to place all our cares, concerns and worries on His shoulders so that He can work with us to use them as sources of strength and not weakness or worry.  He wants to be in relationship with you and He gives you so many ways to enter in that relationship with Him. He created  you so He knows your weakness and strengths, sins and celebrations, He is not waiting for you to become perfect but rather for you to take  your imperfections to Him so that His miraculous power  can transform them from imperfections to invitations to seek personal and spiritual transformation, renewal and conversion. I would say that God wants you all to Himself, and that He will get that when He calls you back home to Himself. But during this earthly journey, he is being selfless because He wants you to spread His love and message of Good News to all those you encounter.  He fills you with His love so that you can share it, spread it and come back to Him for refills.

For today, invite Jesus into your heart, mind and spirit so that you can be His instrument of miracles that He intends you to be.

 

TUESDAY - “R” Making it through the rough patches

God knows that you feel as I you need a miracle to get through the rough patches, heavy crosses that life presents. Whether the rough patch be the death of a spouse or a close family member or friend, unemployment, financial worries or concerns, broken or estranged relationships or health issues, they can leave us drained and unable to see or recognize God in their midst. We need a miracle or divine intervention if we are to carry the cross and make it through the rough patches. Yet in the worst situations and heaviest crosses, miracles surround us. When we lose a loved one, the miracle of many heartfelt memories overflow from within us, and the consolation, support and encouragement of friends and family lift us up.  When darkness abounds, when we feel the pain of separation, divorce or a broken relationship, we feel broken, betrayed and deeply wounded. Our free will gives us the choice to choose His grace so that we can seek the healing that only God can provide, or we can choose to turn away from His grace and choose to selfheal or medicate to escape the pain.  God wants us to know that even in the darkest moments, hours or days of brokenness, He is there with us, walking with us through our darkness so that we can enter the light of healing wholeness, conversion and transformation together. The miracle is that you desire the grace to forgive and not seek revenge, to let go and not hold onto grudges or bitterness or anger, and you want to move on and wish no harm on those who have hurt you. The miracle is in forgiveness. It is a humble and selfless act that requires the presence and miraculous power of God’s grace so that it is genuine and lasting. We cannot forgive on our own. We as a sinful people, sometimes guided by the secularism of the world and the ‘me’ mentality, seek to get revenge, and get even with those who have hurt us at whatever cost.  Yet the miracle lies in the presence support and prayers of those who know you and the kind of person that you are and how you want to be your best self. They pray for that and God hears and answers their prayer for you. When you find yourself forgiving or seeking forgiveness, when you find your self ready to bury the past and begin anew, when you find your self at peace and happy in the Lord, the miracle of healing has occurred and the rough patch has no more power over you. When you find yourself doing the very thing that you didn’t want to do, or didn’t think you could do, God action in your life is powerful and at work. You can pray that others experience healing in their life as well, but your healing, wholeness, becoming your best self and reaching the potential that God knows you can, does not depend on others choices only your own.

For today, thank God for the rough patches that have made you the strong person that you are today. Thank Him for calling you from the darkness and heavy weight of your cross to His marvelous and miraculous light that has allowed you to move towards becoming your best self, the person that God created you to be and have the potential to become.

WEDNESDAY – “A” Admiration of your hero, mentor, spiritual guide

When we admire someone of hold them in high esteem it is usually because of how they have guided us and brought us to see the goodness and love of God for us and in others. God places people in our life as His instruments to bring us to a greater knowledge of His love, His presence and His desire to draw closer to us. Our heroes, our mentors, our spiritual guides are and have been chosen by God for us.

We look up to some people differently because they have brought us through some rough patches and have led us to learn about what true love is; the gift, work and presence of God. For many their heroes are their parents. Because as they reflect on when they were children and the heartaches, worries and stresses that they caused them, the challenges that they presented, their parents loved them through all of that and didn’t give up on because of them.  They taught them what true love was in forgiving and seeking forgiveness, in compassion and empathy instead of judgment and self-condemnation, in acceptance of their responsibility and not self-justification of their actions. When a couple exchanges wedding vows, they do so not just for themselves, but for the family, the children that they hope to raise. I will love you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer until death when we part.  Their vows extend to their children. Parents vow to be there for and love their children through all times; the times that their children experience growing pains, identity struggles, independence fights, financial battles, curfews, driving privileges, and wanting to be on their own because they thought that they knew better and could do better without their rules and responsibilities. Parents are there for their children when they are sick and when they return to good health, when they struggle in school and when they improve and excel, when they move out and begin a new life of their own with their own family, when they are burdened financially and unable to support them self because of  unemployment or unexpected health issues.  The miracle of admiration be it of a parent, friend, mentor or spiritual guide, is that it is due to God’s grace and how He has enabled you to see His presence in them because you needed to see it more in yourself.

For today, think of those you admire and why, and take a moment to thank them personally or in prayer. And then take a moment to thank God for the gift of His grace that has enabled you to recognize with greater clarity those qualities that you admire in others you also possess.

                     

THURSDAY - “C” Your compassion, care and concern or others

In the compassion, care and concern that you show, we all know and realize that it is difficult to show when one is weary or stressed out.  It can be difficult to be present to another who is in need when you are needy and aren’t sure how your own needs will be fulfilled or can be fulfilled, your energy levels are low and what you do have left is minimal. Face it, it’s not a sin or weakness but rather a human limitation and reality. 

When one is suffering, ill, carrying a heavy cross, you are always there to help them by listening, consoling, offering whatever assistance you are able to offer.  God knows that you thought you would not be able to be present to another, yet He also knows that if you are called upon you would be an instrument of His presence as He reveals it.  The time that you take to be compassionate and caring in your most depleted moments is God himself in a miracle moment.  The recipient needed to hear from God and since only God knows our hearts, He called on you to be what they needed.  God doesn’t say Hey, it’s me, or give me credit, but rather He invites us to recognize His presence in the soft whisper, the gentle calming voice of others like you. He sends you and you choose to enter into that covenant of love with Him and with those who are in need and seeking to see a glimpse of God as He chooses to reveal himself and asks us to do the same for others. God’s grace and His miracle is when we choose to be patient so that as we extend our care, concern and compassion we do it in and out of love and not obligation.

For today, pray for tall those who have been instruments of love by how they have extended their compassion, care and concern to you and for you in your most difficult and trying times.

 

 

FRIDAY – “L” the miracle of Love

He miracle of love can build bridges, climb mountains, heal broken hearts, bind wounds, bring lives together and bring about new life from the tomb and frit e womb. Love supports, sustains and challenges our hearts so that we can be and become our best self, but most of all, love reminds us that in our weakest moments and most sinful times, Christ redeemed us out of complete, unselfish, selfless and unconditional love. We were redeemed in and out of love when Christ chose to die for our sins and open the gates to heaven for us so that we will one day be reunited with God our creator, Christ our redeemer, and the Holy Spirit our advocate. In love and out of love, Christ comes to us every time we receive Him in the Sacraments of the Church. In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are not only forgiven of original sin, but we are also called by name and given the light of Christ so that as we enter His passion and death here on earth, we are led with His light to continually seek resurrection. In the Sacraments of  Reconciliation and Anointing, we receive His healing and merciful touch, in the Holy Eucharist, we are spiritually nourished and sustained,  in the vocation covenant of Holy Orders and Marriage, we are strengthened to remain in a covenant relationship with our spouse and the Church, we receive His strength and are nourished and in the last rites before we enter into the loving embrace of God, we are forgiven, nourished, and called to trust and not be afraid for God is with us and calling us back home to be with Him where there is no more suffering or pain, only eternal joy, happiness and peace. The Sacraments of the Church are God’s miracles given to us out of and in love so that we can grow in love with Him and others, and learn to love our self as His beloved children. When we love beyond our imaginings, we are responding to God’s presence and intervention. When we choose not to love, we are closing our heart, mind and spirit to love which is God.

For today, reflect on your miracles of love and thank God. Thank God for them and those who have been His instruments.

 

SATURDAY - “E” God’s loving embrace

We all know the pain of grief when we lose a loved one in our family or in our circle of friends. Yet we believe, maybe not right away, that they truly are in peace and in the loving embrace of God. God calls us back home to be with Him, and when we look back a the lives of those who have touched us and have been called back home, we remember the many mini miracles that they were a part of; the many times, instances, circumstances and events that they showed great love in the midst of contradiction and turmoil, congratulations and celebrations.  They were instruments of God’s presence and intervention and when they touched our life, God invited us to go and do the same. We will all called to come home. The last major miracle that we will witness to is when we are called back home by God where there is no more pain or suffering, sin or sadness.  We are now at our final destination and resting place where we will see Jesus who loved us to death, Mary who loved us to life with Her Son by her Yes to God, and to our loving God and father who created us  and loved us to  life both here on earth and heaven.

For today, pray to those and for those who have gone before you in faith and thank them for their ability to bring about God’s many mini miracles to you from Him. What a gift!

Glimpse of God for the week of December 22, 2019

Merry Christmas….and Yes, let us keep Christ in Christmas!

 

As we prepare to celebrate the wonderful gift and feast of the Nativity, let us be mindful that the gift of Jesus is given to us each time we attend and participate in the celebration of Holy Mass. The gift of His real presence is one that we can receive every day, and not just one day a year. Yes, we can behold Christ every day. As we behold Him, we become the Body of Christ, so as you encounter your family, friends, coworkers, community members and neighbors, remember that the presence of Jesus is in each of them. Seek Him and you will find Him.

As Mary wrapped Jesus in a warm blanket, take the season to wrap others in the warmth of your love as you offer it in the form of a hug, in laughter, in mercy, in prayer or in silence.

As Joseph listened to the Angel and trusted in God as He was led to the unfamiliar, the uncertain and the risky, take the time to listen to God as he leads you on the road that might hold a great deal of are uncertainty, possibly risky as you are called to go out of  your comfort zone, and unfamiliar as you place your complete trust in Him as He calls you to personal transformation, conversion and spiritual growth.

 

The spirit and gift of Christmas is a state of mind and one that we are blessed with every day. We are called to be a selfless and not a selfish people. We are and can always try to give of our self. If someone is grieving and is in need of comfort, be God’s instrument of consolation and support. If someone is ill and is in need of a good listener, be the ears of Christ and listen in silence. If someone is alone and in need of a visitor, be the visitor of compassion, support and empathy. If someone has hurt you, be merciful, listen and forgive as God has forgiven you. IF someone is joyful, be joyful with them and don’t let your life crosses, struggles and challenges overshadow their joy, God loves a cheerful giver.

 IF you are carrying a heavy cross, don’t try to carry it alone, remember Jesus accepted help, so let others help. If you find that you are not your best self, remember that what you see is only a partial view where God sees the whole picture. That picture is one of love, compassion, healing, and wholeness, so rejoice that your better self IS emerging, just move out of your way so that you can see it more clearly.

IF you find that you are being tough on you self because of mistakes, weaknesses or sins, there are two words that God knows are in your heart, that He wants to hear so that He can take action to heal, forgive and make you whole. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Embrace it, extend it, receive it.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and this is my prayer for you as you prepare to celebrate the wonderful feast of Christmas.

May Jesus open your eyes so that you can see the wonderful gift of His presence in those that surround you: your family, your friends, your community members, your neighbors and yes even the stranger.

May Jesus open your ears so that you can hear the laughter and listen to the stories of those around you and respond with the empathy, compassion, joy and love of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. May your ears be open to hear the message that Jesus has for you that will expand your heart and open your mind.

May Jesus touch your nose so that you can smell the various aromas of the food that is being prepared for your table. As you enjoy the aromas, may that prompt a prayer of thanksgiving for those who are preparing and serving your Christmas dinner.

May Jesus touch your sense of taste and allow you to enjoy all the food that you partake of. Taste and see the Goodness of the Lord.

May Jesus touch your mind, body, spirit and soul with His grace. May you reach out and touch someone today that is in need of comfort, consolation, healing, empathy, compassion, peace, joy, love and laughter.

 

Being and giving might not always be easy, but like Mary and Joseph, if we trust in God and follow the star of His grace that guides us, we know that He will always protect us and show us the right path to follow. There are so many ways that Christ is calling us to be His beacon of light, love and compassion, we just need to listen, look and respond the best way we can.

Merry Christmas. Happy Christmas. Enjoy the presence of Jesus in those that surround you.

Keep Christ in Christmas by your words, deeds and attitudes, don’t give the secular world the credit for Christmas.

Jesus is the reason for the season, so wish people a Merry Christmas!

Enjoy your time with family and friends. Don't let the stress find you saying I can’t wait till this is over.

Christmas comes one time a year and for some, family members can only make it to see you one time a year, so enjoy their presence and recognize the gift of this day.

Find time to spend with someone who cannot seem to find the joy of Christmas in their heart. The peace, joy and happiness that the Baby Jesus wants for each of us is a far deeper than the peace, joy and happiness the world offers or wants you to believe in. As we carry the crosses of life, and they get very heavy and seemingly unbearable, but we, as Christ's followers, are called to let others know that even in the midst of heavy crosses, Jesus is with us and loves us unconditionally and we will get through all of life's crosses with His help.

 

Peace be with you and all those you love, near and far.  As we gather to celebrate with our loved ones, let us remember all those who will be absent from gatherings with loved ones.

To those in our military, we pray that God continue to protect them and bring them home safely. For those who God has called back home to Himself as they made the ultimate sacrifice, may their loved ones find peace and consolation in the fact that they followed the example of their Savior and offered their life unconditionally, selflessly and without a doubt.

For those who are separated from family due to distance, estrangement or personal life challenges, may the grace and love of God penetrate the core of their being so that they can reach out to their loved ones, and may their trust in God give them the strength to follow His direction.

For those who are ill and in hospitals or hospice, and unable to come home for Christmas, may they find the healing, courage, and strength in those that God has placed to care for them. As they are away from family, may the trust of Mary, the hope of Joseph, and the love of Christ be the connection that places them at the seat of the table of their loved ones in spirit and love.

PEACE TO ALL OF YOU and A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR.

 

Glimpse of God for December 8 and 15th, 2019

As you get ready to purchase gifts, exchange gifts or even return them, my glimpse for thess two weeks comes considering how we look at a gift and the giver.    When we choose a gift for a loved one, a friend or even the stranger, we should do so out of love and not of obligation or guilt.  The spirit of Christmas s a spirit of love; the love Mary had when she said Yes to God, the love that God has when HE sent His only Son born of a virgin in a manger, and the love that Jesus had as He took our lowly form. Our love, our heart, should be a heart that loves more deeply than what it cost to purchase a gift, it should be a love that when one chooses a gift, it is should be chosen out of love and not just to fulfill the gift exchange at work, community, church or family.  This Christmas, give the gift of love: love that forgives and is merciful, a love that shows compassion and not judgment, a love that builds up and doesn’t tear down because of ego, social status or personal insecurity,  a love that radiates acceptance and not rejection, a love that invites and embraces the stranger, the estranged, the lost, or the forgotten. Give that gift of love for God, self and others as you wish others a Merry Christmas and truly desire that they have a blessed and merry Christmas.

 

What is in a gift? How do we open a gift?

Do we open the gift slowly or tear it open?

Do we honor the gift giver? and the gift?

Do we silently cherish, hold, and look intently at the gift?

 or do we put aside the gift,

paying no attention to the work, love and care that went into presenting the gift?

 

When we receive a gift, we often look at the wrapping

and then we tear it off, as if we only want to see what is inside;

is it what we asked for? what we wanted? what we need? or just a token gift?

Then there are times when we open a gift with great thought and very slowly.

 

As we receive Jesus into our hearts

in the Holy Eucharist,

do we use the time prior to encountering Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

to prepare our hearts for the King?

or do we go through the motions just to fulfill our Sunday obligation?

Going through the motions, is like tearing off the paper

we miss the gift, the giver and the reason for the gift.

The gift is Jesus and eternal life with Him

the Giver is God the Father who loved us so much that He sent His only Son

into the world to redeem us, the reason for the gift:

LOVE, PURE, UNCONDITIONAL AND PERFECT LOVE.

 

When we take time to pray,

when we take time to see Jesus in and through our lives

it is like one who slowly unwraps the gift, we see, appreciate and honor each moment

of the encounter between God and our self.

When we receive a gift in a gift bag, we tend to pull the gift out of the bag and

then we look at it and choose to honor or reject it.

Do we pull Jesus out of our "gift bag" when we need Him?

or are angry at Him and need to blame someone,

or when we feel abandoned and life seems out of control?

Or are we in a relationship with Him 

one that recognizes that He loves us and will never abandon us?

 

Do we see that God never changes whether we wrap Him up or put Him in gift bag.

He is the gift giver and Jesus is the gift whether we honor the gift,

ignore the gift, put the gift away or in hiding,

whether we respect the gift or not we are always living out of our human limitations.

 

God on the other hand, is not limited.

His mercy, His love, His compassion,

His sense of Humor are not limited,

and never end.

 

Jesus is the greatest gift to us

but do we realize, can we imagine,

that we are God's gift to others?

Do we know that He loves us and has created us to live in union with Him on this earth

and as we do that, we are gifting others with a glimpse of His presence, 

by how we love and care for others?

 

Each time you give a gift to another, you are giving a part of yourself,

the part that loves, cares and appreciates another.

You are giving someone else the gift of God

as He is revealed through you and seen in you.

 

As we draw nearer to the Holy Birth

let us thank Mary for saying YES and allowing God to dwell within her,

let us thank God for saying YES

when He chose to use you and me to be His instruments in His world,

that HE wants us to do His work, that HE believes in us and knows our potential.

Let us thank Jesus for coming into our world, our life, and our hearts

and for making us one with Him;

in and through our baptism into His passion, death and resurrection.

Let us thank each other for being the gift of God's presence

a Glimpse of God,

to us in and through their prayers, works, words and example.

 

During this Advent season,

as we prepare to receive the Baby Jesus into our hearts,

let us pray to be open to recognize that Jesus

is the greatest gift given to humankind,

and that we have been chosen by God to receive Him.

YES. YOU AND I,

have been chosen by God

to receive the gift of His Son Jesus into our lives forever.

As recipients do, we ever say thank you to God for loving us

and presenting us with such a great and awesome gift?

Let us thank God

now, later, tomorrow, next week, on and every day

and may we never grow weary of being a gift giver

or a recipient

because both are avenues to encounter God and His great love for us.

Glimpse of God for December 8 and 15th, 2019

As you get ready to purchase gifts, exchange gifts or even return them, my glimpse for thess two weeks comes considering how we look at a gift and the giver.    When we choose a gift for a loved one, a friend or even the stranger, we should do so out of love and not of obligation or guilt.  The spirit of Christmas s a spirit of love; the love Mary had when she said Yes to God, the love that God has when HE sent His only Son born of a virgin in a manger, and the love that Jesus had as He took our lowly form. Our love, our heart, should be a heart that loves more deeply than what it cost to purchase a gift, it should be a love that when one chooses a gift, it is should be chosen out of love and not just to fulfill the gift exchange at work, community, church or family.  This Christmas, give the gift of love: love that forgives and is merciful, a love that shows compassion and not judgment, a love that builds up and doesn’t tear down because of ego, social status or personal insecurity,  a love that radiates acceptance and not rejection, a love that invites and embraces the stranger, the estranged, the lost, or the forgotten. Give that gift of love for God, self and others as you wish others a Merry Christmas and truly desire that they have a blessed and merry Christmas.

 

What is in a gift? How do we open a gift?

Do we open the gift slowly or tear it open?

Do we honor the gift giver? and the gift?

Do we silently cherish, hold, and look intently at the gift?

 or do we put aside the gift,

paying no attention to the work, love and care that went into presenting the gift?

 

When we receive a gift, we often look at the wrapping

and then we tear it off, as if we only want to see what is inside;

is it what we asked for? what we wanted? what we need? or just a token gift?

Then there are times when we open a gift with great thought and very slowly.

 

As we receive Jesus into our hearts

in the Holy Eucharist,

do we use the time prior to encountering Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

to prepare our hearts for the King?

or do we go through the motions just to fulfill our Sunday obligation?

Going through the motions, is like tearing off the paper

we miss the gift, the giver and the reason for the gift.

The gift is Jesus and eternal life with Him

the Giver is God the Father who loved us so much that He sent His only Son

into the world to redeem us, the reason for the gift:

LOVE, PURE, UNCONDITIONAL AND PERFECT LOVE.

 

When we take time to pray,

when we take time to see Jesus in and through our lives

it is like one who slowly unwraps the gift, we see, appreciate and honor each moment

of the encounter between God and our self.

When we receive a gift in a gift bag, we tend to pull the gift out of the bag and

then we look at it and choose to honor or reject it.

Do we pull Jesus out of our "gift bag" when we need Him?

or are angry at Him and need to blame someone,

or when we feel abandoned and life seems out of control?

Or are we in a relationship with Him 

one that recognizes that He loves us and will never abandon us?

 

Do we see that God never changes whether we wrap Him up or put Him in gift bag.

He is the gift giver and Jesus is the gift whether we honor the gift,

ignore the gift, put the gift away or in hiding,

whether we respect the gift or not we are always living out of our human limitations.

 

God on the other hand, is not limited.

His mercy, His love, His compassion,

His sense of Humor are not limited,

and never end.

 

Jesus is the greatest gift to us

but do we realize, can we imagine,

that we are God's gift to others?

Do we know that He loves us and has created us to live in union with Him on this earth

and as we do that, we are gifting others with a glimpse of His presence, 

by how we love and care for others?

 

Each time you give a gift to another, you are giving a part of yourself,

the part that loves, cares and appreciates another.

You are giving someone else the gift of God

as He is revealed through you and seen in you.

 

As we draw nearer to the Holy Birth

let us thank Mary for saying YES and allowing God to dwell within her,

let us thank God for saying YES

when He chose to use you and me to be His instruments in His world,

that HE wants us to do His work, that HE believes in us and knows our potential.

Let us thank Jesus for coming into our world, our life, and our hearts

and for making us one with Him;

in and through our baptism into His passion, death and resurrection.

Let us thank each other for being the gift of God's presence

a Glimpse of God,

to us in and through their prayers, works, words and example.

 

During this Advent season,

as we prepare to receive the Baby Jesus into our hearts,

let us pray to be open to recognize that Jesus

is the greatest gift given to humankind,

and that we have been chosen by God to receive Him.

YES. YOU AND I,

have been chosen by God

to receive the gift of His Son Jesus into our lives forever.

As recipients do, we ever say thank you to God for loving us

and presenting us with such a great and awesome gift?

Let us thank God

now, later, tomorrow, next week, on and every day

and may we never grow weary of being a gift giver

or a recipient

because both are avenues to encounter God and His great love for us.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of December 1, 2019

 

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from a different place. It is a place that after many deep and painful conversations this week, I began to realize that many people are visiting it, some want to stay and learn more about it, and others want to deny that it exists and run away.

I like to say that this place is one, that I believe, we are all familiar with, but sometimes don’t want to visit, it is a place that we are aware of, but yet sometimes choose to ignore, and it is a place that can be an instrument of healing, or a source of constant pain. It is where God dwells both in silence can in a gentle whisper. It is a place where God invites us, to grow, be reconciled, and be transformed so that we can become healed and whole. In this place, once we choose to personal and spiritual transformation, we can then humbly and intimately stand before Him and others with grace and courage.

What or where is this place? The place is where our brokenness lies. Our brokenness due to illness, life circumstances, others bad choices against us, or our own bad choices that have led to sin and an open wound. It is  a place where we realize that although we may be God’s vessels, there are some weak areas that need to be strengthened. It is in our brokenness where we can choose to run away, yet we realize that God is calling us to run towards; it is in our brokenness that we become aware of our limitations, yet we realize that with God there is no limitations, it is in our brokenness that we can invite God to transform us, or we can choose to remain broken and become bitter.

What is brokenness or woundedness? It is when we recognize that we have been deeply hurt by another in body, mind or spirit, and how that hurt has affected how we live our life, and how we are unable to be at peace and harmony with our self, others and God. As we recognize our woundedness and that we cannot heal it our self, this can lead us to desire more deeply God’s grace so that we can seek and accept His healing. When that desire takes root in the core of our being, we then begin to recognize that we need God’s grace so that we can be open to His healing, mercy, love and peace.  When we can recognize this, it is then that we can see how He is calling us to be the whole person that He knows we can be, have the potential to become and He created us to be.

This week as we look back on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and the beginning of the Advent Season, let us take the time to pray for those you know who feel, broken, and in need of healing in body, mind, heart and spirit. Take the time to pray for those who, because of their woundedness, don’t feel that they are loved or can be loved by God or anyone else. Before the week is up, take time to say a prayer of thanks for the brokenness that has brought you to seek healing, and has opened your heart to the love, compassion, mercy and peace of God.

As we begin our Advent journey, may Christ be born in our hearts every day as we approach the Savior’s birth on Christmas day. May we always strive to see the face of God in others as they strive to see the face of God in us.  If we truly desire to see the face of God, God will show it. When we behold the face of God, it is then that we choose to see God in others more clearly and not put blinders on, we choose to speak His good news, to be a voice for the voiceless more readily and not be silent, we choose to hear His message and listen with our hearts and not be deaf to the cries of the poor, we choose to smell the scents of hard work, sweat and tears, and not hold our noses in judgment and disgust, we choose to console the sorrowing and not force a smile, and we choose to honor the wisdom of those who bare  wrinkles and gray and not dismiss them.

 

 SUNDAY - for today, take the time to rest and remember the joy of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is the weekend, one that may include recuperating from the big meal that seems endless: turkey soup, turkey salad, turkey stew, turkey sandwiches, cold turkey, hot turkey, it’s still turkey everywhere, decorating for Christmas, going Christmas shopping, making trips to the airport as loved ones return to their home, or are returning home. Don’t forget that being thankful isn’t reserved for just one day, but rather it is an attitude, a spiritual disposition that God has planted in our hearts, one that He nurtures every time we attend Mass and receive Holy Communion. Eucharist means thanksgiving. We are what we receive.

 

MONDAY – For today, as you begin a new week, think of the people that you work with, those in your neighborhood, and those you are acquainted with that feel broken.  Say a prayer that God heal them the way that He sees best, and ask Him if He is calling you to be an instrument of His healing to them. How can you be an instrument? By listening, by showing true and genuine care and concern, compassion and kindness, by your presence and in your silence. Others often share their pain with us, not to dump on us, but because they see that they can trust us with their story. Trust in another is a step towards healing, but it also brings with it a great responsibility. Once someone trusts us with his or her story, we cannot betray that trust. God expects us to honor it so that the healing that has begun will not be hindered. Who do you trust on your healing journey and who trusts you?

 

TUESDAY – for today, as you think of trust and brokenness, think of whom you have trusted in your brokenness, how they have honored your trust, and how they helped you in your healing process?

How has your relationship with them grown? Can you recognize the presence of God in that trust and in the person? How has your life changed, spiritually, emotionally or physically since you were able to share with that person and know that what you shared was going to be held in confidence, not betrayal? Can you say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for them if you can’t tell them directly?

 

WEDNESDAY – for today, don’t allow your circumstances or situations to overwhelm you. As you get ready to go to work, get the children ready for school, prepare to help your parents, volunteer locally, clean the house, do the grocery shopping, go Christmas shopping, or just relax at home, think of this: when Martha and Mary had the honor of Jesus being at their home, remember that Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his every word, while Martha was preparing the meal and doing all the hospitality work.  Martha complained to Jesus for Mary to help her. Jesus kindly said to Martha that she was worried about many things but Mary has chosen the better part for herself…..

I believe that what is important is that we listen to Jesus, as Mary did, so that we can do what Jesus asks of us, as Martha did. Jesus was not disciplining Martha but rather showing her that we need to listen well if we expect to do what is necessary as followers of Jesus. Sometimes it is normal to want to complain especially when things are stressful and we feel under appreciated. As you begin your day, remember that God understands and He does appreciate you as you spend time with Him time to sit and listen as well as doing the household chores.

 

THURSDAY – For today, think of the brokenness of our world. Think of the many people who are wounded and feel broken and without any hope of healing or wholeness being theirs; victims of prejudice, bullying, war, homicide, terrorism, human trafficking, poverty, homelessness, pray for them and ask God how you can put your prayers into action to help alleviate their suffering. 

 

FRIDAY – For today, as the weekend approaches and I realize reluctantly or excitedly, that I need to go out into the world of Christmas shopping, my thoughts are not in the malls or department stores but rather, I want to go shopping to prepare for Christmas so that I can truly appreciate Jesus’ coming.

This is my list; this is what I want so that I can truly embrace the spirit of Christmas and share that experience with others.

I want to learn what it means to be poor in spirit and not to not seek the riches of this world but rather the riches of heaven, so I will visit or pray for the many religious Sisters , Priests and missionaries who have joyfully given their life to poverty, chastity, and obedience to serve God and His people,

I want to learn what it means to behold the face of God, from the heart and not from the wallet, so I will look for the face of God in the poor, the prisoner to addictions, the homeless, the unemployed and the outcasts.

I want to learn what it means to be compassionate and still and not get caught up in the materialism of the season, so I will go and sit with a parent whose child is dying of cancer, addiction or whose life ended in suicide or homicide, or sit with a child whose parent is slowly passing from this world to the next from Alzheimer’s disease, or is in hospice, unconscious and unaware, not knowing or remembering who their child is.

I want to learn what it means to be selfless, so I will close my eyes and pray for all those who because of their pain and woundedness are not able to find joy during this holy season of preparation, anticipation, expectation and fulfillment of the child Jesus.

I want to learn what mercy is so I will reflect on the many times where I have offended God and how God in His unconditional love and mercy forgave me and filled me with His grace and peace.

 

SATURDAY – For today, as you prepare to attend your Sunday worship service, reflect on how it makes you feel and the thoughts that go through your mind. Do you feel that your time spent with God, community, and self in prayer and worship fulfills you, brings you comfort and healing and is a source of peace, whereas sometimes when you leave for Sunday Worship you approach it feeling hungry, downtrodden, broken and discouraged? When you attend Sunday Worship, do you feel as if a burden is lifted even though circumstances may not have changed? Are you able to surrender to God all that is weighing you down; the stress that comes as you unceasingly worry about family, work, finances, health? Do you believe that God hears you and will answer your prayers as He sees best, but when you leave for Sunday Worship you are thinking that God is deaf and you are only going out of guilt? Where is your heart now? Where do you want it to be after Mass or worship this weekend? Do you feel as if in your brokenness, God knows, and will bring you healing, and can you accept that it may not be in the form or way that you think it should be?

 

Glimpse of God for the week of November 25, 2019

My Glimpse for this week comes from a spirit of gratitude or thanksgiving 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.  I will share a few thoughts about this week.......

Today, liturgically, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, and this Thursday we celebrate with a Thanksgiving Day feast. 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 mixed emotions; anger at those who are estranged from the family and who will be missing from the table, there will tears of sadness as family members remember the lives and love of those who recently have gone before them in faith, who were gathered at their thanksgiving table a year ago and now will be absent and their seat empty. There will be tears of joy come as the heartfelt memories spring forth from those gathered as they freely share and give thanks for the living and the deceased. Also, as individuals gather to celebrate the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday they will gather with family and friends to spend quality time in each other's presence, share stories and partake of a meal. There will also be those who celebrate quietly and alone on this Thanksgiving Day. There will be those who feel that they have nothing to celebrate or be thankful for because of their life challenges or situations. On this Thanksgiving Day we must be mindful of those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit, and we must pray that God will touch their hearts so that they can uncover and rediscover the seed of gratitude and thanksgiving that has been buried or quenched by their murky waters. In gratitude and as members of the Body of Christ our King, we must pray for each other.

As you gather around the table on this Thanksgiving Day, try to recognize with a greater clarity, that God is very thankful for you and to you for being His beloved child, His greatest creation, loved unconditionally and beyond your imaginings. That each day you strive to be your best self and seek to reach your potential that God knows you can, He is very thankful because you do so by choice, your choice. You have chosen to follow Him, be His witness in the world, and to Build the Kingdom of God here on earth.

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.

Last Sunday we celebrated the last Sunday in Ordinary time. Yet, I must ask, if it were your last Sunday in the ordinary time of your life, how would you respond? Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King.  A thought to ponder…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? Today as we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, are you celebrating with anticipation of meeting Christ your King when your earthly journey is ended, or are you stressed out because you are realizing that you haven’t focused on Christ being your King? God knows and understands your heart and I can tell you that He is your King and will always be that for you and to you. He is a King that doesn’t use His power to rule or control you, but rather He shows His power, the power of His love, by creating you in His image and loving you unconditionally. Through others, through the sacraments of the Church, through your payer life, He is there to remind you that you are His beloved child and that there is nothing that you can say or do that can make Him love you less. That is the true power of love it is a power that enables and invites one to grow and not to shrink. Christ gave up His life so that you will never forget or doubt that love.

Sometimes we become stagnant because we do some of the same things each day like going to work, cooking meals, cleaning the house, helping with homework, paying the bills, taking care of the pets, school work, 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, that He has called you by name 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 and those that they are in the company of. 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.

I KNOW THAT I AM THANKFUL FOR THE GIFT OF YOU: THE YOU OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, PARISHIONERS, SISTERS, AND EXTENDED MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, THAT HAVE ALWAYS  BEEN A CONTINUAL AND CONSTANT SOURCE OF SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, PRAYER, AND HAVE REMAINED FAITH FILLED, JOY FILLED, AND A TRUE SIGN AND BEACON OF GOD’S LOVE.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of November 17th

This week my glimpse of God is that of my Pastor, Father M, and how I see God in and through him. He has been our pastor for 6 years. When he came to Saint John Parish, the task or cross that he was given was to merge three parishes into one; Saint John Fisher, Immaculate Conception and Holy Savior. As the process became clear and the parishioners of the two other parishes felt hurt, lost and defeated, he approached them as God’s instrument of healing and hope with mutual respect, understanding and dignity. Throughout everything he has always been a sign of healing as we merged the three parishes, a sign of trust as we  chose to worship as one united and not divided, and a sign of hope as we all continue to walk on our journey of faith as one church, the Church of Saint John Fisher.  Throughout all the renovation, re-building and fund raising for the church reconstruction” Raising the Roof” campaign, he has managed to take control, guide all the work for the renovation, keep the parish abreast of the progress, maintain his sanity and humor throughout, and still be a humble and unpretentious priest..

Amid everything, especially the church renovations, the relocation of Worship to the parish center, and the many miscellaneous parish activities, he remains a joy filled priest. Father M. reverently honors the gift of His vocation and celebrates, shares and nurtures that gift with his flock. In and through his vocation as a priest, he freely and selflessly shares the fruits of the gift and graces that overflow from those graces of his vocation. This is evident as he celebrates Mass, and brings others to know God better and in a deeper way as he baptizes, absolves, nurtures, anoints, unites, and commends.

My glimpse of God comes in and through the priest and his role 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, 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 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, often incorporates his sense of humor to explain the readings in way that can be better understood by the congregation. Many of the congregation get it 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.  In many cases, as there are priests, 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 Father M’s words in the homily, I am given the opportunity to see him as a person who, amid the many challenges to the priesthood, stands firm and committed to serving Christ freely, selflessly and 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, where he 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, he gives us our true and only source of spiritual nourishment, the Holy Eucharist.  So 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, and 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. The Eucharist means thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the gift of Father M. and his ordination that allows me to be nourished at the table of the Lord so that I can be God’s light and love to those  I encounter. 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.  We are all called to be transformed and be the best person that we can be, that God created us to be and we have the potential to become.

Father M. and all priests, give us what we so desire as Catholics, the opportunity to receive the love of Christ through the celebration of the Sacraments. Through the Mass and other encounters, I am[C1]  given a chance to experience who God is because of his humility, love for Christ, desire to bring us to know Christ, and in his humanness, he chooses not to exude the holier than thou attitude.

This week, as Members of the Body of Christ and builders of God’s kingdom here one earth, let us strive to be the best person we can be, that God created us to be and have the potential to become. Let us take the time to reflect on how God uses our Body and its parts, as an instrument to spread His love, extend His compassion, and be His peace maker with those we encounter. 

 

SUNDAY – PRAYERFUL SPIRIT - At your Sunday Mass or Service, pray for your Priest, Pastor or Minister that they be strengthened and renewed  by their prayer life, the Sacraments, other priests, 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 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 maybe a few extra minutes for those who have entrusted you with their needs and concerns.

 

TUESDAY - HAPPY FEET - try to spiritually walk in the shoes of the suffering, the outcasts, the despairing.  Pray with and for them as you listen to their story either in person, on the phone, from the TV news, or from the internet. If you know of someone whose journey has been difficult, they feel over whelmed, and they don’t have the energy or desire to put one foot in front of the other, pray for them.

Instead of judging, ignoring or minimizing their struggles, pray for the grace to better understand them. You may not be able to physically walk in their shoes, but you can pray for  the grace to be present to them even when it is difficult, to pray for them even as you think of all the other prayers that you want God to hear, and to not judge them but rather be compassionate towards them.

 

WEDNESDAY – EYES OF TRUTH – try to be the eyes of truth by looking at those who you live with, work with, live near and even the stranger, and seeing the good in them. Remind them that they are God’s beloved child, that God unconditionally loves them, and that they are His greatest creation.  See past their fears and flaws and see the face of Christ in them. See the GOD who loves them and has chosen you to love them in return.  Choose to open the eyes of your heart, mind and spirit to their goodness as God’s beloved child, and close them when your heart, mind or spirit is tempted to tear down, judge, or see only their shortcomings. 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.

I believe that the two hardest and most humble acts of love come when we can sincerely say “I am sorry” and “I forgive you” When we can admit our wrongs against another and humbly tell them that we are sorry, that is God’s grace working. His grace and our desire to be our best self, enables us to feel contrite and make amendment. When we can forgive one who has wronged us and when we say those life changing and transformative words “I forgive you” that wrong is no longer, that is humility and grace again at work. There is nothing that we can say or do that will make God love us less; His love is unconditional, free and without cost.  As Christ’s followers, builders of God’s kingdom here on earth and children of God, we are commissioned to share that gift of mercy and compassion with others. Christ freely gave it to us so that we share it with others.

 

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, when we truly listen to someone, we are inspired to give. 

 

SATURDAY – BREATH OF LIFE –Every breath that we take 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 November 10, 2019

Holy Grounds at Assisi House

 

I tried to download a picture of the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop

but it would not come through so just imagine what it could look like. 

 

Walking on Holy Ground to receive Holy Grounds

What are Holy Grounds? They could be the coffee grounds that people need to begin their day or continue their day with the energy that the grounds provide. The grounds also provide the avenue for a holy encounter with God and others. The grounds, once brewed with the water to make a fresh pot of coffee, become a source of life. If we think of them as we consider our baptism, the holy water, blended with our love for God, help to become one with God and others.

Holy Grounds is a new coffee shop at the Assisi house, the retirement residence for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia.  It is a place to gather and chit chat over coffee, tea, hot chocolate, baked goods and other interesting items. 

Walking on Holy Ground……I believe that the ground that we walk on every day is Holy Ground.  Why? Because it is a gift of God, from God, given to us out of love by God.  The ground we walk on has been trod by many before us, it will be trod on with those we encountered in our yesterdays, todays  and in our tomorrows, and will be trod on by many after us.  The Holy Grounds, that which our feet have walked on, run on, skipped on, fell on, and at times, stood still on, tells a story; our story.  Our feet, our journey embodies who we are.  It encompasses our mind, our heart, our spirit and our soul.  Our walk, our journey of faith in this world, is our total gift of self, given to God and others, one step at a time.   When we walk on this, our earthly journey, in the company of others, we sometimes need to walk in our own shoes with our crosses, victories, challenges and defeats, or we try to imagine walking in another’s shoes with their crosses, challenges, victories and defeats. In either case, we never walk alone and all that we walk on, as a sinner striving to be a saint, or as a humble sinner, we walk hand in hand with Christ. Our walk, or the walk of another, could be slow due to weariness or illness, or quick due to busyness, it can be accompanied by a walker, wheelchair or cane, or it can be at a slow crawl. In any case, the ground is still holy and those who trod on it are going at the pace of their body with its own unique needs and limitations. It is not one that we can change or should expect them to change, so our walk should be one of dignity, respect, encouragement, support and prayers. When we walk with others on the journey, we should try not to walk ahead to show our control, power or authority, and we should try not to walk behind because we feel diminished in the presence of the other, but rather we should try to walk with, side by side, to show that we believe as God’s beloved children, we are not better or less than another, but equal. 

When one stops by Holy Grounds to receive Holy Grounds, one could use that as a spiritual pit stop. A place where one walks in empty handed and walks out with their hands and hearts full of Holy Grounds. By stopping at Holy Grounds, either intentionally or not, one shares from within, the Holy Grounds that God has carefully placed, brewed and made just perfect to be shared.

What are the Holy Grounds? What do, or could they look like? Perhaps it is in the jewel of a smile, a word of encouragement, a greeting, a handshake, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on or cry on, a joke, a baked good or a hot cup of coffee, stories, situations, memories, spiritual joys and victories, all shared and given out of love. Holy Grounds is a spiritual experience, an encounter with God where He reveals His presence through the ordinary; a cup of coffee, to the extraordinary; a beloved child of God. (grounds= seeds of faith, water = the waters of baptism that make the seeds grow, brewing= the sacraments and the presence of each other that mature the seed to be shared)

 

So, as we continue to walk on God’s gift of Holy Ground, and we begin a new week whether it be in our kitchen, on the road, at work, at school, at Starbucks, or at the Assisi House, let us look at our spiritual cup of Holy Grounds and see if our cup; our heart, mind and spirit, needs replenishment of Holy Grounds or if our cup is overflowing and we need to share our Holy Grounds with others.

 

SUNDAY – “G” - God centered

This doesn’t mean speaking the theological language of God, but rather it is the language of love as spoken through in and through your heart. Is your heart God centered? Can it be heard speaking words of compassion, mercy, love, peace, and understanding? Or is your heart stressed and in need of healing and replenishment of Holy Grounds so that you can be a better instrument of God’s peace, healing, joy, happiness, love, reconciliation, and encouragement? Is your heartbeat palpable as you reach out to lift another up, heal one who is broken, or embrace one who is alone and a stranger? Who do you know whose Holy Grounds are soaked due to their own brokenness, hurts, pains, or sin? Who do you know that has walked away or is estranged from God? As you reflect on those whose grounds may be soaked, can you recognize where God is inviting you to walk closer with them because they need encouragement, forgiveness, hope, healing, or a kind word? Who is God leading you to, and are you responding reluctantly or with joy?

For today: Being God centered is another way of stating that God loves you unconditionally, that you are His beloved child, that He abides in and with you, and that He is the center of your life. As you look at your grounds: those you walk on, and those you share, is this truth obvious to you? If it is thank God, if it is not, seek God’s grace to recognize His presence in your presence; both in your feet as you encounter others on  Holy Ground, and in your hands as you freely share Holy Grounds with others.

 

MONDAY - “R’ – Respectful

Today is Veteran’s Day. This is the day that we remember and honor those who have gone before us by giving the ultimate sacrifice of their life for their God, Country, and Fellow man, as well as those who have survived war and have returned home wounded, grieving and in need of our respect, prayers, support and presence. Their Holy Ground was the ground of war where blood was shed, lives were lost, wounds remained open, and hearts were eternally broken. Their Holy Grounds were perhaps their prayers, their expressed fears as shots were heard getting closer and when they reached home, their hands upon the shoulder of their wounded comrades,  their words of encouragement in the face of fear and death, their silence, their reverence, their tears, and perhaps their hope in the God who chose them to follow in His footsteps.

For today: Pray for all veterans, thank a Veteran and Support Veterans. Pray for eternal rest for those who have gone back home to God. Ask God to bless all those who must return to their homes or hospitals wounded in body, heart, and spirit, with courage, self-determination, support and hope as they learn to adapt to their new Holy Ground.

 

TUESDAY – “O” – Open Minded

What does it mean to be open minded? When we encounter another on our spiritual journey, walking on our mutual Holy Grounds, and being open and present to them as they discover, discern and decide to follow God as He has revealed Himself to them as He chooses not as we choose. It means to be open to the possible differences of opinion, ideology, theology, prayer, understanding of God and Church, and not passing judgment or condemnation. Their story can come out one word at a time, or in a run-on sentence, after a gasping breath or after a deep breath, in silence, or in their tears.

 

As we listen to another and as others listen us, we are called to have the open mind of Christ so that others and we ourselves, can discover or recognize with greater depth, meaning and clarity the love God has for us. The undeniable truth shown on the cross, that God loves us all unconditionally, that we are His beloved and that there is nothing that we can say or do that will make Him love us less. Being open minded on Holy Ground allows us to experience a blessed and holy encounter where God speaks and as we listen, we are willing to produce and share our Holy Grounds with others.

For today: look at the openness of the door of your mind, heart and spirit. Thank God for those areas that you can see clearly through because the door is wide open and you have experienced His healing, peace and reconciliation. Next, ask God for His grace so that you can allow Him to open up the door of your heart, mind or spirit that is either closed or barely ajar due to woundedness, pain, sin or personal hurts.

 

WEDNESDAY – “U” – Unwavering

When we walk on Holy Ground to receive Holy Grounds, whether we are at home, at the Assisi house, at work, at school, in our community or at our Church, we need to pray for the grace to be unwavering in our faith so that the grounds that we share remain holy, and are not oversoaked in discouragement, bitterness, anger, or ego. We need to truly desire to share Holy Grounds and not grounds that we make up as holy.  God knows our hearts and He understands our desire to witness to Him as His follower. He also understands how sometimes our good intentions get clouded by our own thoughts, doubts, discouragement and misunderstandings. He sees that when that happens, they do not lead us to the knowledge of His will. This can do more harm than good because it is then that we drench or soak the Holy Grounds with false statements, overzealous approaches, and understanding and this can make the grounds less productive. Having unwavering faith does not mean being perfect in our understanding and knowledge of God or His will, but rather an openness to God and how He chooses to reveal Himself in and through us and others. As we encounter others on Holy Ground, and in our desire to grow in a deeper relationship with God so that we can develop into the best person that we can be and have the potential to become, this opens the door to an unwavering and strong faith that can draw others to want to know God and not turn them away.

For today: Seek to be truly unwavering in your faith and pray for those who are wavering in their faith, have denied their faith, or have led others astray because of their personal experiences and misunderstanding of God and His will.

 

THURSDAY – “N” – Nurturing

How nurturing are you? Do you think that you nurture others by your words, deeds, actions, and attitude? To be nurturing is to be God centered and selfless. Parents can be the most nurturing as they realize that God is the true parent and that they have been chosen by Him to be His instruments of love as respond as co-creators in His Kingdom here on earth to raise the children that they have been blessed with so to make them one with His creation as Children of God. Our spiritual nourishment comes from the Holy Eucharist and the Sacraments of the Church. We are the Body of Christ. Children are the Body of Christ. We nurture each other, we can learn from each other, we can grow with each other. When we receive the Sacraments, God’s grace allows us, invites us, to be more nurturing to others as we walk on Holy Ground. Being nurturing comes when we freely share God’s gift of our Holy Grounds with others. We feed or nurture others spiritually as we spread the Good News of Jesus and act according to the Gospel message and not in  contradictory to it, when we forgive one who has hurt us and when we seek the forgiveness from one we have hurt, and when we can humbly seek God’s mercy and accept it so that we can forgive our self and let go of our shame, guilt and remorse. We nurture in silence by a smile, a handshake, a sign of peace, or a warm embrace. When the joy and love of Christ comes forth from us, that is contagious and can raise the spirit of another without a word being spoken.

For today: As you walk on Holy Ground to share our Holy Grounds, take a moment to reflect on and thank those who have nurtured you; your parents, family members, siblings, religious community members, friends, coworkers, parishioners. If you have the opportunity, take a moment to write them or call them, if they have gone before you in faith, offer a sincere and thorough (how they have been a nurturing source for you) prayer of gratitude to God.

 

FRIDAY – “D” – Delightful

God loves you, adores, you, abides within you and is delighted with you. God delights in the Holy Ground of His Kingdom here on earth, that His followers do their best to walk on with respect, reverence and take care of. God delights in His encounters with all His beloved children, those near and those who are still far off. God dwells at Holy Grounds because the message that is shared is shared out of and in love; love for God, others and self, and although the Holy Grounds may vary, their effect can be very delightful.

For today: as you share your gift of Holy Grounds in whatever form it takes, see, recognize, and find joy, as God is delighting in you and in those you walk on Holy Ground with.

 

SATURDAY – “S” – Spirit Filled

In the name of the Father...The God who has created us and has placed us on His Holy Ground so that as we encounter each other on His Holy Ground, we can share His Holy Grounds with them…

And of the Son…..Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are members of the Body of Christ and are called to be the Body of Christ in what we say, in and through our actions, through our deeds and in our prayers. We are the Body of Christ when we choose to reach out and lift up one who has fallen, when we encourage another who is discouraged, when we choose to be a message of hope to the hopeless, when we embrace and not judge or condemn the outcast or stranger, when we choose to vulnerably walk in the shoes of another and seek to listen to them as they share their story and when we choose to truly and genuinely pray for the less fortunate in our community and in our world and not forget them or dismiss their plight.

And the Holy Spirit…..when we seek to recognize the gifts or Holy Grounds of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord) in our life and in the lives of others, the fruits of the Holy Spirit can take root and flourish ( Love, Peace, Patience, Joy, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control)

For today: As you make the sign of the cross and think of God’s gift of Holy Ground and your Holy Grounds, say with great conviction I BELIEVE, AMEN!!!!!

Glimpse of God for the week of November 3, 2019

A Reflection on All the Saints that walk with us,

on this our mutual holy ground,

 and

All the Souls that have walked with us on their journey of faith

to their final reward: Eternal rest, peace and happiness in the loving embrace of God

 

As we begin a new week, we enter it by looking back at the past two days: All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  These two days encompass that which we strive to be here one earth, sinners striving to be saints so that when we enter our eternal reward, we can join all those beloved souls of who have gone before us in faith.

To me, All Saints day is not just about those who have been officially declared saints by the Church and through their example and love for God, inspire us to seek a greater holiness. To me it means more than that. For me it is about those who walk on this mutual holy ground with us on our faith journey every day. It is about those who we are blessed to walk with; our beloved family members, friends, community members, neighbors, parishioners and even the stranger.

As we walk with each other, the saints are those who endure our impatience, our weaknesses, have been the recipient of our sinful choices, tolerate our moodiness and our inability to be compassionate, pray for us as we are merciless and selfish, instead of being merciful and selfless, and see us at our worst and not our best and choose not judge us or condemn us. They choose to remain with us because they know that that is what God would want them to do, and they also realize that is what God does for them as well. They, those saints in our lives; our parents, our family members, our spouse, our community members, our friends, fellow parishioners, that choose to love us through and in all of that.

You might think of them as martyrs, but the difference is that they are not dying for their faith in us, but rather they are dying to their very self as they invite us to be a better person, the best person that God created us to be, and they know we have the potential to become.  They call us to a greater, deeper and better knowledge of God through their life and their example. They invite us, by God’s design, to grow in relationship with Him. Those saints in our life choose to die to themselves, their desires for themselves while they are walking with us, so that they can show us what God truly desires for us and how we can best reach that. They are allowing God to make them His instrument as they walk with us on our mutual holy ground. As we walk with each other on our faith journey here on earth, on this our mutual holy ground of God’s great creation, we walk together one with each other, one with Christ, so that we stay focused on the direction that will lead us to our eternal reward, that true and lasting holy ground.

Who is your faith journey saint? Who are you walking with that is inviting you to become your best self and at the same time, challenges and does not condemn you, when you are your worst self?  When you are in their presence, can you admit, that you see a something greater than just a Glimpse of God, but maybe a bigger picture of who God is? Does you saint inspire you? Lead you to a deeper sense of holiness and a spirit of humility? Is at peace with their God as they look in the mirror? And they can recognize themselves as a sinner, but more importantly they know and believe that in their sinfulness, God’s loves them unconditionally because they are His beloved child, His greatest creation?

Has God called your saint back home to Himself? As you remember their saintliness, can you pray to them now as they stand before God in the company of Mary and the communion of saints? Can you ask them to pray for you as you continue to be a sinner who also strives to be as saint here on earth?

All Saints Day and All Souls day should bring us a sense of peace as we think about the saints here on earth that we will walk with today, have walked with us in our yesterdays, and will walk with us in our tomorrows. Their souls, the souls of the just, are now resting in God’s loving embrace, but their memory, their love, their presence, will always remain in our hearts, and we should never forget them or think them to be gone forever. Although we miss their physical presence, their presence and impression, their impact and their love will remain in our mind, within our heart and a part of our spirit, as long as we choose to remember them and not forget them.

As you enter a new week, take each day to remember your saints that walk with you and your saints that have walked before you to their final journey. Thank God for them, and in and in a spirit of humility, thank God for calling you to be a saint in the lives and on the faith journey of others.

For the souls who have gone before you in faith, pray to them and for them as they find eternal rest, peace and happiness in the loving embrace of God. If they have harmed you, or if you have caused them harm during their earthly journey, seek greater saintliness by forgiving them and seeking their forgiveness.

 

SUNDAY - the saints in and of my family

MONDAY - the saints in and of my friends

TUESDAY - the saints in and of my community: religious, parish, neighborhood

WEDNESDAY - the saint within myself

THURSDAY - the souls of those whom I love

FRIDAY - the souls of those who had been less than saintly to me

SATURDAY - the souls that I have caused harm to on their earthly journey

Glimpse of God for the week of October 26, 2019

As I reflect on this glimpse and how Sister Mary Teresa challenged me to write it, I realized that, we as God’s greatest creation settled in the very midst of His creation, are like the weather conditions that surround us. We go through the thunderstorms in our life where the thunder and noise of our surroundings get too loud and then the rain of other’s worries, concerns, stresses shower upon us. As God’s instrument of presence, as a parent, sometimes we feel as if we just experienced an avalanche of emotions as we are present to our children, spouses, and family members as they experience life and its many challenges. We sometimes are freezing cold because we have been hurt and are very wounded, and at other times we are experiencing a heat wave because we have allowed  and have been embraced by the love and warmth of our God and others, we at times feel as if we are in the midst of a hurricane, a whirlwind due to stresses, concerns, things beyond our control and we don’t know how to seek refuge and surrender to God so that He can keep us safe. We cannot escape the weather. We cannot escape God. We cannot escape our self. We can run from these, we can hide, we can cover up or be our bare self, but in the end, God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and has created us to be our best self in the midst of His creation, not apart from it.

The weather that we are in the midst of and cannot run and hide from can be a reflection of our relationship with God, and how we either run towards or run from Him, seek to feel the warmth of His  love or cover our self up with shame, guilt, self-abasement, and doubt. Like the weather, we can be prepared or take our chances, we can prepare our hearts for God in prayer or we can move on as if it doesn’t matter. We have no control over the weather, only how we deal with or respond to it.  It can be harsh at times: thunderstorms, flooding, showers as well as refreshing: the rain and sun helps things to grow, and is refreshing on our face like a summer rain. The sun can be a source of growth and relaxation; summer times at the beach, but it can also be cause of death for those who have trouble breathing during a heat wave.   We can decide that we don’t want to deal with it (snow, sleet, cold, ice) so we move to a warmer climate, or we can decide that we want it more often, so that we can participate in more skiing, ice skating, and sledding. The weather can kill and destroy lives and people’s livelihood like hurricanes, tornados, floods, but it can also bring people together during the aftermath.

The seasons can hold a vast variety of difficult days that can consist of extreme heat, cold, rain and heat waves as well as a great deal of heavy winds and rain with tremendous flooding conditions. Although having air conditioners may help deal better with the heat, it can also make those who are older stay inside more days in a row then they normally would. The heat can make being outside difficult and can cause worry and concern because of the cost to run an air conditioner. The heavy winds, rains, sleet and snow can make it difficult for driving, for those who are employed outside to do their work, and for the electric company, to keep power on.

So… as I begin this glimpse, I ask you, how do you deal with the weather and where is God as you try to cope? Are you able to hear God’s gentle voice in the winds, through the sunshine, rain and heat? After a challenging summer, was your emotional state on the verge of going bonkers because you didn’t know what to do as you found yourself stuck inside or at a spiritual place that you didn’t want to be? Did you get tired of listening to others complain about the weather as you were trying to maintain a positive attitude? As you reflect on the summer, as you were stuck inside and had ample time to be in communion with God, did you find yourself avoiding time with Him or spending more time with Him?

Were you able to see God in the clutter and noises of the winds, rain, the complaints, the unexpected and constant presence of others around you? Do you see God in your frustration?

Now that is autumn or fall, are you able to see and enjoy the beauty of the newness, the colors, the growth that surrounds you? As day light savings time approaches, and we turn the clocks back an hour, are you able to prepare for the hours of darkness that indicate winter is right around the corner?

In our area, we probably will not experience any hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, typhoons, yet we can experience them in our spiritual life. In this area, we most likely will experience snow, sleet, hail, blizzards, thunderstorms, heat waves and a Nor’easter and yes, we can experience them in our spiritual life as well.

Like the weather we can prepare by carrying an umbrella in the rain or we can decide to get wet and allow the waters to cleanse us so that we must change.

Our spiritual life and the weather conditions are very similar. We can experience a thunderstorm outside and in our spiritual life, we can feel the storms of life, family, work, community,

where we can’t see in front of us and are afraid to go back. The winds and rain can be a source of inspiration if we choose to stop and listen to God’s gentle voice and whisper. With heavy snow, it is difficult to walk in, and with our spiritual life it is similar in that we can go within our self and walk with God as He speaks to our heart, or we can choose not to.

As with the weather as with God there are some basic truths that we cannot deny or escape from: the weather is what it is, the sun will shine, the rains will come, the winds will present them self, God is everywhere in His creation. We cannot run, hide or escape from Him. As the sun permeates our being so does the warmth of the Son of God’s love. He is within us, in our hearts, no matter how much we try to avoid him. The winds are his gentle voice and the rain is opportunity and invitation for renewal and reconciliation, cleansing and refreshment. The tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods of our spiritual life are when things are overwhelming and we get caught up in our life challenges, struggles, and crosses.

But do we believe that they too will pass? This week let us look at the weather conditions of our spiritual life and see how we can best prepare for them with God.

 

SUNDAY - “W” The Wind

The wind can be refreshing if it is a gentle wind or fearful if it is a wind that can carry you away. With our faith life, if our heart is rooted in Christ, our hands are holding onto God’s, and our feet are walking in His path, there is no wind that can carry us away.  When God speaks to us through a gentle breeze, we can listen to Him or dismiss or ignore Him. Sometimes when we experience life’s winds, I believe that it is when God is speaking louder to us so that we do hear, listen and choose to follow His will as He speaks to our heart. He knows our hearts and He knows that we want to do what is right and best, but He also knows our weakness and the challenges of the world and how they pull us away. So when you feel the winds of life pulling you away from the voice of God, choose to hold onto His hand and    keep your feet steady for the ground that you walk on is Holy.

FOR TODAY: Honor the ground that you walk on as holy ground, and those that you walk with as God’s instruments, His hands, holding yours so that you can overcome the winds of the world, and embrace the voice of God as He speaks to you as a gentle whisper or a loud call.

 

MONDAY - “E” An Earthquake

Not being a meteorologist here, but for simplicity, I will use this definition of an Earthquake as the sudden and violent shaking of the ground, sometimes causing great destruction.

OK now as for our spiritual life, our spiritual earthquakes, my question to you is what sudden or violent upheaval of your foundation has occurred? Is your foundation built on rock, sand or cement? Do you waver in your faith; whereas you feel as if you go from believing wholeheartedly to doubting more, not being in communion with God, to only praying only when you need something? Is your foundation that which your house is built on, the temple where God dwells and has dwelt since your baptism, built on the faith as it has been revealed to you through your parent’s, family, friends, community, the sacraments, Worship, the Holy Spirit? Or is it built on the lies, and deception of the world as it tells you that happiness lies in your possessions, your wealth, your education level, your social status?

A spiritual earthquake is not meant to cause you damage and harm, as much as it may be to open your heart and mind to the truth of God and how only by living in that truth, can your foundation be strengtened and firm and not be like the sand; hard to walk on and get our bearings, or cement; no openness to change or to be changed.

For today, if you have experienced a spiritual earthquake, or are in the midst of one, instead of falling under the sudden destruction of your foundation, ask God to hold your hand and keep your feet steady so that whatever needs to be destroyed, that which is keeping you away from God and his Truths: That you are His beloved child, His greatest creation, loved unconditionally, and that there is nothing that you can ever do or say that will make Him love you less, be destroyed, so that your mind, heart and spirit will be restored in His love, peace, compassion and mercy.

 

TUESDAY - “A” An Avalanche

Not being a meteorologist here, but for simplicity again, I will use the definition of an Avalanche as an event that occurs when a cohesive slab of snow lying upon a weaker layer of snow fractures and slides down a steep slope.

What is our spiritual steep slope? What are we doing that can and will affect our spiritual life in a very negative way? Is it staying away from the Church, avoiding prayer, holding a grudge, being revenge filled, hating our brother or sister, turning inward and hating our self because we think that God couldn’t or doesn’t love us because of our sins and weaknesses? In any of these, God wants us to know that there is no reason that our slope continues to be steep. He wants us to know that He understands us and knows our hearts better than we do. That He is waiting for us to come back to Him. The slope may be steep and difficult to walk alone, but with God, He will take us by the hand and walk with us to a place where the ground is level and smooth. Smooth not being without challenges, but rather with God so that the challenges do not cause us to trek alone.  Doubts and the world make us weak in spirit so that when other things come along that seem better or a quick fix, we take them. Once the devil knows our weakness, He will never stop tempting us, but the good news is that God knows our hearts and He will never stop loving us.  He will love us through our weaknesses and temptations, and He will bring us through them so that we can look back and see how our better self emerged and that we stand strong on our holy ground.

For today, look at one weakness or sin that you feel is making you walk a steep slope. Seek God’s grace to listen to Him as He tells you that in your weakness and sin, His power, grace, compassion, mercy is reaching perfection in you. In your humility and contrite heart, your weakness is becoming a source of strength because in and through it, you are seeking God’s help so that you don’t fall under the avalanche of self-doubt, or feeling that you are unlovable or unforgivable.

 

WEDNESDAY - “T” A Thermometer

An instrument used to measure temperature outside. Ok I think that you will figure out where I am going to go with this as it applies to our spiritual life.

We look at the thermometer and that helps us to decide how we will dress: If it is below freezing, we will put on sweaters or heavy coats before we go outside, so that we will not get cold. If the temperature is high, we will wear as much modestly as possible to stay cool and not get overheated. In many cases we decide what activities we will participate in according to the temperature.

So.. what is your spiritual thermometer telling you? Is it reading a high number where you are warm or hot or is reading a low number where you feel cold and chilled? If God had a thermometer in His hand, what do you think the temperature is telling Him about you?

If God had a thermometer in His hand and you are in communion with Him; living the best you can and trying to be your best self and live up to your potential, I believe that temperature would be very high because you are absorbed in the warmth of His great love for you and honors you for your choice to live and witness to that love. You are His greatest creation, loved unconditionally and His beloved child, there is no reason that His thermometer would red any less than the highest it can be.

It is we who think that we are too cold, that we don’t pray enough, that we are the worst sinners, that we don’t deserve His love. We think that we are less than what He expects us to be, thus we are not able to recognize how this goes against His truths for us.  The love that we hold for God, others and self is the love that only God can give us and He has. Love grows from God. It is his grace that allows us to love more, beyond our imaginings, beyond our self, to and for others and God. God’s love is a warmth that covers us and permeates our very being. Look at you love. Look at those you love. Look at how your heart has been expanded in love as you have grown in your relationship with God. Look at you have been able to love when it was or is difficult. Look at the love God has for you and how you have shared that love with so many: your parents as they aged and became more dependent on you, your siblings as you have grown and matured and gone in different directions, your spouse, your children and grandchildren, your religious community members, the stranger and the friends. Love is a warmth, a gift, a grace that God invites us to share with others. Love is not too cold or too hot. It cannot burn you or make you freeze.

Rather is invites you to be open so that when you are experience the various weather conditions in your spiritual life, you can receive and embrace the warmth of His unconditional, the selfless gift of His great love.

For today, look in the mirror and ask God to show you that He is not holding a thermometer or taking your temperature or measuring your ability to be loved by Him by what you do or don’t do. Your identity lies in being His beloved child, His creation and not in what you do. Don’t take out a thermometer and tell God that you feel too cold because you haven’t prayed or that you have sinned. HE knows all of that and yet you stand before Him, still.  Be open as He tells you that He not only surrounds you and covers you with His love, but graces you with the ability to love, be loved by others, by Him and that you love yourself as His greatest creation.

 

THURSDAY - “H” The Heat

The heat can be a source of enjoyment. We go to the beach to sit, relax, read, tan, or swim in the ocean. We open our pools in the summer so that we can enjoy the beauty of the cold water in the privacy of our back yards.  We open our pool so that Clover can have her swim dates with her best buddies and be refreshed from the heat of the summer. The heat can cause some stress as those who suffer from breathing problems must stay inside with an air conditioner running or a fan. In either case many worry about the bill that will come from the necessity of using the air conditioner. The heat can make the season of summer a source of enjoyment and refreshment. How does our spiritual life reflect the heat that comes or the heat waves that we encounter?

The heat in our spiritual life is the warmth of God’s love covering us so that we can feel it through and through from the tip of our toes to the top of our head. The heat is a gift from God to remind us that no matter what storms that we have faced, His love will never die or be diminished, end or be taken from us. Sometimes when we feel a heat wave coming and we think that we will melt, that God can’t love us that much, so we seek a cool place to go, we run, or we try to hide.

For today, when you feel the heat wave of God’s love covering you, stay still and know that it is God protecting you so that you will not get burnt and loving you as only He can do.

 

FRIDAY - “E” Endurance: patience, staying power, perseverance, persistence, stamina, resilience, determination.

Endurance and all the various personal choices that we make to stand firm in the various weather conditions that our spiritual life may encounter can make us our best self, the best person that we can be, and have the potential to become. We can choose to give in and bury our self when the storms of life are intertwined with our life, or we can stand up to them with Christ so that we will not be overcome by them.

If you look back on any of the storms that have pounded your heart, mind and spirit, or the avalanches that have caused you to run or move quickly away, or the earthquakes that have shook your, thought to be, strong foundation, can you recognize that you are standing stronger now and are more determined not to be defeated?   Do you see the hand and love of Jesus as the apostles did on the boat? Yes, they were afraid and told Jesus as much, but in their fear, He loved them through to the calming of the sea.

He loves you through your fears, He doesn’t turn away from you because of them.

He admires and loves you for your ability to persevere, your self-determination, your prayers, your patience with others during the difficult times, your resilience, your flexibility, your stamina and your desire to carry your cross despite the storms, and not run away because of them.

For today, thank God for the gift of endurance in all its forms.

 

SATURDAY - “R” The Rain

Rain comes in many forms; there are rain showers, thunderstorms, scattered showers, rain drops, misty rain and its raining cats and dogs, whatever that means, in all its forms it can symbolize a need for cleansing, renewal and refreshment. Rain can cause major flooding as well as be a source of nourishment for all crops to grow and provide nutrition for everyone.  Rain can help those who garden feel as if they struck gold, and those who own car washes, shutter. In any case it rains and we need to endure the rain in whatever form it comes.

As with our spiritual life, we can have showers that might symbolize our need of cleansing from significant guilt, anger, bitterness, resentment, shame, or low self esteem before God. God sends us showers not to drown us, but rather to cleanse us so that we can walk with our head held high, wet but high. We may experience little rain drops that can symbolize that we need refreshment so that we don’t walk that slippery slope and fall into the need for showers. We can experience a warm summer rain or a cold winter rain.

Our souls, our spirits an be in line with God and the rain drops can remind us that HE is always there to provide refreshment and reconciliation, peace and happiness. When it rains, we tend to be unhappy, yet we can look at it as a time to see God in the drops, call to mind His refreshing love for us and remind us of our baptism and how we were cleansed from sin and began our new life in Him.

For today, if it rains, go out and get wet, not too wet, but wet enough to call to mind how refreshing God’s love is and how we can always start over, one step, one rain drop at a time. If you carry an umbrella, see it as God’s warmth and love protecting you so that you do not get drenched in the worries and stresses of life.

 

GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 20, 2019

The Spiritual Significance of the Rose

How it represents the passion, death, resurrection

Of Christ and our new life in Christ

The Rose; a precious and beautiful creation and splendor of God.  To me, the rose is a constant reminder of the love, presence, mercy and compassion of Christ.  As I look at a rose, I see not only the beauty of its color and perfection of the petals, but also the pain that the thorns can cause and the connection of the beauty and the pain through the stem. Life is filled with both great beauty and enough pain.  As Christians, we are baptized and are called to live our new life in light of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

At our baptism we were immersed into our spiritual humanity,

and the pain and beauty that it will present to us.

With the rose, the beauty of the petals and their colors is our Easter Sunday, the leaves are our invitation to live our new life in Christ. The pain, as we touch or get hurt by the thorns, is our Passion, the stem is the death of Christ as He reaches out to us and invites us to embrace both with the beauty and the pains with faith, courage, trust, peace and hope and the leaf is the healing, the new and transformed life that grows from the painful experiences.

As followers of Christ, we cannot and should not expect to experience just joyful times, and we cannot get stuck on our death or tomb experiences without faith in our resurrections, our healing, our conversions and transformations through God’s mercy.

Life is an ongoing experience of Good Fridays and Easter Sundays.  As we experience sorrow and joy throughout our life time we are called to embrace both and not dismiss one or the other.  If we choose to cut off the stem to eliminate the painful times or the thorns of life; we can miss out on experiencing personal transformation, healing, renewal and conversion. If we decide to focus only on the painful times and are not open to experience joy or happiness, healing or wholeness, we can miss out on discovering and recognizing the courage, strength and self-determination that lies within. We would or could miss out on recognizing how we overcame the struggles and carried the cross without being defeated,

or bleeding to death. Jesus did that once for all. The leaf that grows from the stem along with the rose and the thorns is God’s gift of surprise, healing, and personal and spiritual growth. Christ suffered and died for us. Mary’s YES to God opened her heart to His will and the joys and sorrows that she would experience as the Mother of God and our Mother.

Christ is the stem, the connection between the joyful beauty of life and the sufferings that will take place in life.  He is the root of our strength, the courage, hope, peace, joy and happiness of our life. He is the height, length, and depth of unconditional, selfless and eternal love.

The rose had many colors and various meanings. Why do we give roses to another? Why do we like receiving roses? My hope for you after today is that as you reflect on the various colors and meanings of roses, you will not only see the many faces of those who have enhanced your inner and spiritual beauty in and through your joys and sufferings, as well as those you have touched and helped them to become their better self before God and others.

 

THE PASSION OF CHRIST; our passions experiences, not my will but thine be done

In our life, we experience many passions; times when we turn to Christ and ask that this cup pass by us, as He did in the Garden, yet in our passion, we don’t find our self immediately surrendering as Jesus did to Not my will, but thine be done. There is no shame in asking that our suffering or heavy cross be lifted or taken away because we don’t think that we can endure it or carry it as He wants us to. BUT when we ask Jesus to either take it from us or give us the grace to carry it, not my will be His be done, it is in the NOT that we place our explicit trust in Him, knowing that in His way and in the way that is best for us, that He will help us, be with us and that He will never leave us alone.

We surrender to Him our weakness, our self-doubt, our fears and we allow Him to fill us with His grace to face our passions with a greater trust and peace. 

Look back on your many passion experiences. Are you able to recognize how God’s grace, strength, courage, and fortitude enabled you to carry that cross? Our thorns, our passion experiences are those painful times that have brought us to appreciate the beauty of our resurrection and our conviction to live our new life in light of Christ’s love and presence.

 

THE DEATH OF CHRIST; our tomb experiences.

Jesus is the stem. He brings life, death, resurrection and new life to have greater meaning. He is the one aspect or person, that keeps us connected and as one with Him. We can’t experience death without new life.  Easter Sunday always follows good Friday, but we can’t stop there.  We have an obligation to live out our new life as Christ’s followers and disciples.

Death is the times that we spend in our tombs. Jesus spent three days in the tomb. He experienced his passion and death and those eagerly were awaiting his promise of resurrection and new life. After we experience or passion and death, we enter our tombs. We enter a place where only God’s grace can bring us out of our self so that we can experience resurrection. Out tombs call us to die to self and to live for him.

Our tombs can be dark and make us feel isolated, they can either make us hide, turn into our self and leave Christ outside, or we can experience them with Christ knowing that we will emerge, come forward as a resurrected and eucharistic people.

Christ death is the stem, it is our connection to be and remain connected to Him.  We can’t cut off the stem to avoid death or the tomb, because if we do, we could possibly miss out on recognizing how we were given the courage, patience, strength, and perseverance to remain in the tomb until we were ready to emerge. Jesus leads us out of our tombs, we can choose to follow Him or remain behind. Our free will is a gift from God, how we choose to use it is our gift to Him.

 

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION; our emerging from our tombs

We have risen from our death or tomb experiences; we have emerged with Christ. We realized that we were not defeated by death in whatever form it took. Christ called us to come forth in new life and we did.  We have experienced some type of dying to self and we have risen as new self, a better image of the person God created us to be and have the potential to become. We arose from our darkness where we never thought that we could. We have stayed the course and trusted in the darkest moments. We said Yes as did Mary and lived out that Yes even when we didn’t know where or in what direction our next step would take us.

We have emerged from out tomb, our darkness, our woundedness, our shame, any guilt that we carried, to the gift of God’s peace, reconciliation, joy and love as only He can give. Our hearts, our minds, our spirits were touched with His healing and mercy.  We can’t go back into the tomb. We need to fearlessly step out of the darkness into God’s wonderful light, so that we can share His light with others. So that we can live our new life.

 

OUR CALL TO NEW LIFE; our obligation to live our new life in Christ, to turn over a new leaf

As Christ’s followers, disciples, we are called, expected, commissioned to live out the message of hope and share it with all those we meet. Hope that comes in the form of mercy, compassion, healing, reconciliation, love, joy and peace.  The leaves are the new life that is ours every time we emerge from our tombs, no mater how long we were in them. We come forth transfigured, transformed, renewed, a new creation in Christ. We have experienced spiritual and personal conversion, growth and transformation.

 

A YELLOW ROSE represents CARING, sun, friendship, joy, delight, welcome and encouragement.

Imagine receiving this yellow rose from Jesus and listen to him as tells you how much he cares for you and delights in you. He is your best friend and he sees you as His friend; A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter, He who finds one finds a treasure. (Sirach) You are a treasure to Christ. He wants you to know that you fill Him with great delight each time you have befriended others in His name. When have you done that? Every time you have reached out with compassion and love to lift another up who had fallen to sin, weakness, temptation; and self-defeat, how you have and continue to offer words of encouragement to the discouraged and downtrodden, and solace to the grieving, how you have welcomed the stranger and  the outcasts, how you  have forgiven and welcomed back one who had harmed you.

Who has done that for you? Consider presenting them with a yellow rose.

 

A PURPLE ROSE represents DIGNITY, Pride, Success, Accomplishments, Admiration.

Imagine receiving this purple rose from Jesus.  He presents it to you to let you know that He is proud of you for the person that you are and have become. He admires you so much because no matter who has crossed your path, you have treated them with the care, dignity and respect that they deserve as children of God.  You have so witnessed to this truth and have invited others to see and live it as well.  You have learned with the help of others that your identity lies in being a child of God and that it does not lie in possessions, social status or education level.

You have achieved success in your heart. You have built others up and not allowed them to be torn down. Purple tends to be color of penance or contrition, and Christ presents it to you and asks you to continue to pray for all those who are not treated with the dignity and respect they deserve; the unborn, the physically, emotionally or spiritually challenged, the elderly, the homeless and the outcasts.

As you behold the petals of the purple rose, see the faces of those who have invited you to grow and appreciate your own dignity and self-worth before God. Pause and pray in gratitude for the person that you admire the most.

 

A PEACH ROSE represents APPRECIATION and sincerity.

God is sincere, you are sincere. Sincerity allows us to be true to our self and enables others to be true to them self as well. If we are not honest with our self, we cannot be honest with others.  If we are not sincere with God, we are the greatest of all fools and no one laughs. God created us and knows our hearts, minds and spirits better than we will ever know them.  He knows that our deepest desire is to be true to Him and not to deceive Him, but out of weakness and sin, we give into insincerity and dishonesty and not being true to our self or Him.  God gets it. He knows and He understands, the question is; do we? Sincerity is a grace and gift given to us by God to use for the building up of His Kingdom. The kingdom that is built on a foundation of humility, honesty, authenticity, genuineness and truth. God loves all that you do for Him and wants you to know that His kingdom is stronger because of you. He thanks you.

Imagine receiving this peach rose from Christ. Reach out to receive the rose of appreciation that Jesus has for you for not only being the best person that you can be in His name, but encouraging others to be the same by your loving example and witness. As you behold the petals of the peach rose, see the faces of those who you appreciate for their sincerity, authenticity and honesty even when it was difficult. Pause and pray in gratitude for the person that you appreciate the most.

 

A WHITE ROSE represents GOD’S EVERLASTING LOVE, purity, innocence, youthfulness, new beginnings.

Imagine receiving this white rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how much He loves you and is there for you each time you fall and choose to get up and start again. Life is full of surprises, some good and some not so good.  We surprise our self when we do something that we never thought we would or could, things that others did, but not us, and it leaves us feeling guilty, full of shame and unlovable. It is called sin. Sin is erased by God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness, it is called unconditional love.

It is God’s unconditional love that gives us a new lease on life, an abundance of grace not only to begin anew, but to keep going and not give into despair, discouragement or defeat.

We surprise our self when we do something that we didn’t think was possible, and that is to accept God’s forgiveness when we believed that our sin, our choices were beyond His ability or desire to forgive, that we had done something that not even God would or could forgive.

When we choose to accept forgiveness and own up to our bad choices, we are responding to God’s grace and desire to become our better self, the best person that we can be and have the potential to become. Our baptisms gave us new life and each day we are renewed in that new life as we enter each day with Christ and for Christ. Allow yourself to be surprised by Jesus and you will be amazed.

As you behold the petals of the white rose, see the face of someone who has inspired you to begin again and not give up, to seek renewal and not fold up, and to embrace the everlasting love that God has for you and not turn away. Who have you shared the love of God with?

 

A LIGHT PINK ROSE represents Gentleness, Grace, Joy and Happiness.

Imagine receiving this light pink rose from Jesus. Imagine Him reminding you of the significance and importance of being gentle with one self as well as with others. What does it mean to be gentle? When you are gentle with yourself, you are taking care of yourself the way Jesus would. 

He is a gentle God and Savior.  

When others are aggressive, or treat you in ways that are uncharitable, and you have responded in love, you were being gentle with the grace of God. Your gentleness is a sign of God because just as you are gentle in the face of difficulty, God is reminding  you that in and through your passion experiences, your tomb experiences, that you have emerged a gentle soul one that rests in the comfort of Christ and calls others to experience the same.

Reach out and accept the light pink rose reminding you of how important it is to be gentle, calm and peaceful with yourself and others. As you behold the petals of the light pink rose, see the faces of those who you are most grateful for and have grown in a greater appreciation of because of how gentle they are and have been with you. Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has not only touched your life, but has transformed your body, mind, spirit and soul with their gentleness, grace, and joy. Say a prayer of gratitude for them.

 

A DARK PINK ROSE represents GRATITUDE, appreciation, grace and elegance.

Imagine receiving this dark pink rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how grateful He is to you for you. God formed you in the womb and called you by name. You are His beloved child, one of kind, and His greatest creation. There will never be another you. God created you to be your best self so that you can help others recognize their best self in the light of His great love. When you choose to share and witness to the Gospel message, when you choose to build up His kingdom one prayer, one act of kindness, one act of mercy at a time, He is grateful. When you choose to stand up for what is right and not fall for the luring of the world, God is grateful. When you choose to pray so that your desire to grow in relationship with God is fulfilled, God is grateful, honored and reverenced.

 

God appreciates and understands how difficult it can be to do His will in a world that contradicts it. In those dark times He fills you with grace so that you can radiate His light in the darkness, and He knows that you are and will be grateful.

Reach out to accept the rose of His appreciation and gratitude to you for being His loving disciple, witness, follower and builder of His Kingdom here on earth. As you behold the petals of the dark pink rose, see the faces of those who you are most grateful for and have grown in a greater appreciation of. Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has not only touched your life, but has transformed your body, mind, spirit and soul with their grace, elegance, inner peace and joy. Say a prayer of gratitude for them.

 

AN IVORY ROSE represents THOUGHTFULNESS, charm, gracefulness, richness and perfection.

Imagine receiving this ivory rose from Jesus and listen as He tells you how graceful you are especially when it is difficult. You are so thoughtful of others and it shows. When you seek to make others happy, to comfort and encourage others who are struggling and in need of encouragement to console the grieving, to visit the elderly, to call a family member far away, to pray for others; these are all acts of thoughtfulness and a response to grace.  Jesus wants you to know that He knows of how selfless you have been especially when it would have been easier to be selfish. You possess the gift of being thoughtful by the way you spread joy, laughter, happiness, peace, mercy, compassion and love to others.  Being thoughtful is not easy though. When you are thoughtful you have a great and humble way of putting the needs and desires of others before your own. Your thoughtfulness is a response to Jesus’ invitation to be more like Him and be the Body of Christ in your world.

As you behold the petals of the ivory rose, see the faces of those who have been a true and deep source of thoughtfulness, gracefulness and charm to you through their selfless acts of kindness, care and concern. Pause and pray for someone who has been the heart of Christ by their selfless acts of thoughtfulness.

 

A GREEN ROSE represents the CONSTANT RENEWAL OF LIFE, energy, spirit, richness, and abundance

The renewal of life and energy, what does that mean or look like? If you are thinking the energizer bunny and being able to do so much and not ever get tired or weary, great, but that is not what I think God wants us to see it as. For me, the renewal of energy has more to do with where we get our strength so that we can live and be the Body of Christ in our families, communities, church and world. 

Who of what gives you the courage, strength or ambition to be the best person that you can be? Who or what gives you the desire to get out of bed and begin a new day with joy and anticipation? Who or what helps you make the good choice to be life giving, and not tear another down? or to be a positive and encouraging person instead of a discouraged and negative person? Who or what gives you new life?

Jesus is the only source of new life. At our baptism we received new life in Christ and we continue to receive it through the sacraments of the church and each other.

You are a positive energy source, God’s instrument of renewal and new life to those around you. Your faith and your focus on Christ enable you to be that for those you encounter. Green also symbolizes hope when you are a source of renewal and new life for others, you also give them hope that they will not fall into discouragement or become stagnant.

Imagine receiving this green rose from Christ. You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, and reach out to receive the rose of new life, new energy and renewal that only Jesus can provide and wants to provide to you. As you behold the petals of the green rose, see the faces of those who have been a positive, encouraging and supportive energy source for you. Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has renewed your energy, passion and desire to live life to the fullest, to be your best self and to recognize how blessed you are as God’s beloved child. Say a prayer of gratitude for them.

 

A RED ROSE represents COURAGE, love, romance, passion, and respect.

Imagine receiving this red rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how much He loves you and is in love with you. Listen as He reminds you that your love for Him is what has given you, and will continue to give you, the ability, courage and strength to witness to the gospel message and build the Kingdom of God here on earth.

As you behold the petals of the red rose, see the faces of those who have been your source of courage, inspiration and a renewed passion and love for Christ. Pause and pray for someone who has inspired you to become a more loving, courageous and respectful child of God. Who has been a source of courage for you? Who have you been courage for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of October 13, 2019

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from our stay in Orlando. It is not on the 7 dwarfs or Mickey Mouse but rather the various modes of transportation that we used to get around. As I sought to finding or recognizing a Glimpse of God from God, I was struck with what could be an obvious one, yet it also can be seen as an obscure one, you decide…..

In Orlando, we drove to and from various destinations, walked in the parks, took the monorail, as well as the new sky liners, we enjoyed several boat rides, flew in a helicopter, and took the shuttle bus. After we got off of these various types of transportation, I just stood still for a moment as I realized that God was speaking through and in all of those.  The glimpse came as I though t of how do we see God and all His creation? Do we look around us for Him or just where we want or expect him to be?  Do we see Him in the obvious as well as the not so obvious? The different as well as the familiar? How do we embrace, view, become an active participant in God’s creation? How do we enjoy all that surrounds us, is above us, below us, within us, those things that we can see and those things we are unable to see? How do we put God’s vision into action? Walt Disney did it so well and continues to do so. He had a vision far before his time and it involved bringing joy, happiness and fun to and in people’s lives.

When John and I go to Disney world, I tell people it is a time to Grow Down and allow the inner child to come out and have fun. Disney World is a time to leave the stresses of life behind so that a renewed sense of joy, happiness and fun can emerge and be embraced.

How is the vision of Walt Disney and God similar? Are they?

Walt Disney created a world that brings out an inner joy and desire to have fun. It is not world of denial, but rather a world of becoming child like all over again. Jesus calls us to be childlike, not childish.  To have the trust, faith, joy, inner happiness of a child. Jesus calls us to trust in Him when the adult life gets to be overwhelming, stressful and beyond our imaginings. God wants us to have fun, enjoy life and experience the true happiness that only HE can provide.

How do we enjoy all of God’s creation? Do we? Or do we pass it by as if we were just going from one destination to another and not focusing on the journey itself? When we are compassionate, merciful, joy filled, peacemakers as members of the Body of Christ to others, we are making God’s vision of His Kingdom here on earth a reality. When we strive to be like little children, we seek not only to grow in a greater trust and love for God, but also to become our best self before Him, our self and others. In bringing God’s Disney to others, we hope that it will help us to live in greater harmony with each other and be at peace with our self.

As I mentioned earlier in this glimpse, we took various forms of transportation in Disney World. I would like to use them for our daily reflections and how we see God in and through them.

 

SUNDAY – THE CAR 

We drove to the parks and to the Cathedral for daily Mass. As we got in the car, we saw how Florida driving habits are no different than here. We saw the distracted drivers, the heavy foot drivers, the tourist drivers, and the careful, focused drivers. We went from one destination and as we drove, I was able to see the beauty of Florida, Disney World and the parks. It is amazing.

In the eyes of faith, how do we see God when we are in a car? Do we keep out eyes focused on Him and try to avoid the various types of distractions that can come or way? Do we recognize Him in all those we pass by and stop next to? Do we honor God’s speed limit for our life trusting that He knows what we need to do, when we need to do it and that it will happen in His time, not ours? Do we speed up so that we can get through the painful times and not learn from them, or do we go too slow because we don’t want to face what lies ahead because of fear, apprehension or sin?

For today, look at the speed limit of faith that you are traveling, and ask God to help you to either slow down or go a little faster, so that you can stay on His course.

 

MONDAY – WALKING

We did a lot of walking. My Sister also did and I know that it was painful for her, but she didn’t let on.

When we walk in a new and stimulating area. I tend to wander off as I stand in awe and wonder with what is surrounding me that I walk ahead without thinking. When I walk, I tend to see the many acts of God’s creation both above and around me that both spark my interest, curiosity and amazement.

As we walk, God invites us to focus on our breathing and how we are the breath of life; His life. We are a vessel by which our words, our very breath, can give testimony to His presence in or life. How we use our words to build another up and not tear them down is a sign of His life within us. When we walk, we must not only focus on the direction that we are going, but how we need to put one foot in front of the other if we expect to go forward.

In the eyes of faith, when we walk with God, do we walk with Him trusting and knowing that He is with us on our journey and that we are not walking alone? OR do we wander off in our own world, our own agenda, our own plans? Do we wander off in joy and anticipation of what God is showing us or do we wander off into sin? When we don’t think about the journey, we can fall into sin much easier. When we recognize that God is walking with us, it is then that we receive the grace to turn away from sin. God gives us the grace that we need when we need it so that we can take things in stride and learn to patiently to put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

For today, pray to walk and not run, to take one step at a time, one prayer at a time, one act of kindness at a time as you seek to build up the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of God here on earth.

 

TUESDAY – SKY LINER GONDOLA

The sky liner gondola is a new attraction at Disney World that just opened to the public last Monday.

The sky liner goes to the Riviera, Caribbean Beach the Art of Animation Resorts, as well as to Epcot Center and Disney’s Hollywood Studio. They are new and amazing.  We took three rides on the sky liners. Although the ride was relatively short, the view was amazing because we were at the right altitude to see clearly what was below us. Even though the sky liner swayed in the air, we still felt safe and secure. The movement was minimal, but the perspective from which we viewed that part of Disney was cool and different.

As we journey in life in the eyes of faith, how is that journey like being on a sky liner? Do we feel safe and secure in God’s love or do we feel shaky and fearful that we are far from His embrace? When life challenge’s cause us to sway back and forth in faith, do we hold on to God’s hand or do we hold onto our own?

As you think of being on a sky liner and feeling it sway back and forth, can you imagine that swaying to be more like God holding you in His loving arms and rocking you to sleep in peace, to comfort you, console you, or to calm you down?

For today, try to imagine being in God’s loving embrace as He rocks you to comfort you, bring you peace, calm your spirit, or help you get some restful sleep, and open your arms to embrace Him instead of closing your arms out of fear, shame, discomfort, or weakness.

 

WEDNESDAY – BOAT

The boats took us from resort to another and from one side of the park to another. They were boats that could easily seat 25 people. As we sat and took a comfortable, unchartered ride, I was able to see everything from the center. It was a peaceful ride each time. 

As I think about water and going sailing or going for a relaxing boat ride, I think of how we sometimes feel as if our heads are barely above water, that we have to sink or swim or that we are treading water. These images bring about a sense of stress, being overwhelmed and struggle.  YET, in all of these images God is there trying to throw us a life raft to show us that we do not have to overcome our challenges on our own and that He is with us. There are times in our life that we would like to imagine our self on a boat just sailing and enjoying the view. There are turbulent times when the waves and the storms bring us to want to get off, and run away just to find some peace. There are times when we feel like there is a hole in the boat and that we are sinking in our struggles and crosses and we lose hope.

In our faith life, when we feel as if our heads are barely above water, can we imagine God holding us and as our life saver or life guard? He is holding our heads so that we don’t get too much water in our mouths where we start to choke whereas we can’t proclaim His message to the ends of the world. He is protecting our eyes so that we can see Him clearly and not be blinded by the world and its false securities. He is protecting our ears so that we can not only hear His voice but listen with our hearts to His message. When we are sinking in shame because of our weaknesses or sin, can we see Him embracing us so tightly so that we don’t get in too far and that we can swim in peace and reconciliation? God is our life guard, our life saver and is always there to rescue us from our self and those who want to bring us down or make us sink.

For today, ask God to help you go with the flow, to carefully and joyfully enjoy the refreshing waters of new life of peace and reconciliation and not think that you are sinking under the stresses and worries of your life.

 

THURSDAY – MONORAIL

The monorail is a great ride that gets you from one park to another and from the various parks to the transportation center. As you ride the monorail, you can see the parks and resorts very clearly. Once you get on, you will see how parents are so good a to get not only their children on the monorail before the doors close, but also all the strollers, the carry on bags with all of the snacks, water bottles, toys to amuse and other children’s essentials. I am always amazed at how they do it. While on the monorail, you can look out the doors and quickly see the beauty that surrounds you both above and below. The monorail is a quick ride to either a fun destination, a connection to another destination, or a destination of rest, but in any case, you get wherever you need to, very quickly.

In life, there are times when we want to get through something very quickly because of its or impact on us. When we experience the death of a relationship or a loved one, loss of a job, financial worries, health challenges or family dynamics, we struggle to sit with the pain and we tend to seek a quick escape. We want to get past it and connect with something else, something that will make us happy or help us to temporarily forget our pain or the weight of our cross.

During those times in our faith life, can wee see God as the driver of the monorail, the one who knows our pains and struggles and wants us to enjoy our life, see our strengths, realize our courage, and see our determination?  He slows down our monorail so that we don’t miss our moments of spiritual growth, conversion and personal transformation.

For today ask God to slow down your monorail and help you to look and embrace all the moments and crosses that you have so that you can realize and recognize more clearly your inner strength, courage, wisdom and self-determination.

 

FRIDAY – HELICOPTER

Hovering over Disney World. What a feeling of freeness and openness. From the heights the pilot pointed out the various parks and attractions in Disney. The pilot hovered, and flew to various areas so that we could see their main attractions, like Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Sea World, Blizzard Beach and the resorts, more clearly and with a better view. During the flight the pilot spoke about other points of interests so that we could get the big picture of all that Disney has to offer. In life there are times that we hover, or linger and fail to make important decisions, or we choose to walk away from doing the will of God and choose to follow the will of the world.

In or during those times can we see God as the pilot showing us who we can be an have the potential to become despite our weakness or sin? God is there to show us how beloved we are as His sons and daughters, how unconditionally loving He is and how much He wants us to be in a deeper relationship with Him? God is our pilot; the one can safely get us to our destination of eternal life with Him. Do we want to hover over being His follower, or do we want to focus and stand firm in our decision to be His witness and follower in this world? Our free will makes it our choice. In any case, with God as our pilot, He is always ready to make an emergency landing and save us from our self.

For today, ask God to help you become more grounded, rooted, and stronger in your decision to follow Him.

 

SATURDAY – SHUTTLE BUS

The shuttle bus gets you from your hotel to the parks, it is a great service because you don’t have to pay for parking in the parks

In life, we have our shuttle buses. We have those people, situations, circumstances that pick us up from our beginnings and take us to the next place. They transfer us from what is to what will become, from who we are to what God knows we can become, our best self. When we are hurting or in pain, when we need healing and desire to become whole, our shuttle buses are those people who pick us up and help us on our way to what God knows we need and can provide. Our life here on earth is a temporary journey, or shuttle bus of faith.  How we choose to live our life here on earth will determine our destination. God gives us the sacraments of the Church, our faith community, and our prayer life to help us get from one life challenge to another, from pain to healing, from sin to reconciliation, from darkness to beholding His wonderful light in heaven. It is our choice to get on the shuttle bus, if we choose not to and decide to just walk aimlessly, that is on us, but even as we walk in circles trying to avoid our truths, God still holds the bus knowing that we will decide to get on and go for the ride that will be transformative and enlightening.

For today, offer a prayer of gratitude for those who have been on your faith shuttle bus. Those who have picked  you up and carried you, walked with you as Christ walks with you as a steady companion, walked besides you and behind you to make sure that you didn’t turn around or away, and in front of you to lead you on the right path.

Glimpse of God for the week of October 6, 2019

WE ARE BACK FROM ORLANDO!!!!

MICKEY AND HIS CREW WERE VERY GOOD TO US!!!!

due to returning home late and not having the time to write up the

Glimpse of God that I have,

I decided to offer you this past week's Glimpse as another opportunity to reflect on God's goodness

in and through our human characteristics and how they impact our daily life and outlook on life.

The 7 dwarfs offer us an opportunity to take the human limitations that we have

and turn them into human opportunities to shine and share the love and joy of God with others.

I will have  a Glimpse of God as seen from Orlando for you next week. 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 29, 2019

This Glimpse of God comes as we; John, my sister and I prepare to go to Orlando for a week’s vacation.

We normally go during Labor Day week, but Hurricane Dorian took over our plans until now. We eagerly await the good weather, the fun shine, the time to GROW DOWN and let the little kid within us to come out. I don’t believe that anyone can really be an adult in Disney, it takes the little kid inside all of us to recognize and appreciate all the joy and happiness that one will behold in Disney. God invites us, in his unique and surprising ways, to let the little child from within come out so that we can allow our self to truly embrace the beauty and fun that surrounds us.

At the same time, we can also appreciate the vision that Walt Disney had when he created a place where dreams come true and happiness is an experience that is not out of anyone’s grasp. For us, Disney is God’s gift that reminds us that no matter what is going on in life, there is a time and place to be still and know that God is God. Disney is place, and experience, an encounter with God that invites us to remember what it means to have fun, to put away the masks that we use to hide behind so that others don’t or won’t get to know who we really are, and to allow our hearts to expand as we embrace and love the child that emerges.  It is a place where we can easily break down that walls that keep our true self from emerging and keep others from getting close to us.

Disney is a Glimpse of the God who created all things, and provides for us, His children, those things in life that will allow us to grow and become the best person that we can be.  Disney calls us to grow down and be more childlike so that we can grow and rekindle the trust, love, joy, respect and mutual understanding in each other. God invites us to be a kid at heart, to laugh, to smile more often, to sometimes say the dumbest or weirdest thing and not feel embarrassed or beat our self up over. God wants us to be childlike in that He wants us to live without the fear, anxiety, stress, worry or discouragement that has taken over the adult body that we live in. He is in control and wants us to be more open to new things and the changes that can heal us and make us more whole, and an inner realization that when we take life too seriously, we can miss the moments of joy, laughter, and peace that God provides.

There are many characters in Disney World that bring make me smile and remind me that God is behind their character and within their heart. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Daisy and Donald Duck, Pluto, Dumbo, Pooh and the many others, but for this week’s daily reflection, I have chosen the 7 dwarfs and how they call us to emerge from our serious self, to our fun and true self.

 

Sunday “BASHFUL”

There are times when we are bashful and can’t be as outgoing as others are. That is who we are. God didn’t create us to all be the same, that would be boring. It is through our differences, our varied talents and abilities, our gifts, and our hearts that brings to life the picture that God has created on His canvas of creation. God doesn’t want His children to feel in adequate or less than human. When we shrink into our self and fail to be God’s voice or action because we are bashful, then we fail to act as His follower.

A curse……Is being bashful or shy a mask that you hide behind so that others cannot approach you, or is it a wall that allows you to hide behind your own emptiness, weaknesses or feelings of inadequacy? When you are bashful, is it because you don’t have the self-confidence or self-esteem that would bring you out of yourself to speak and be with others?

A blessing….Being bashful can be a blessing as well. When we are bashful, we are allowing others to step out of themselves and be the center of attention. We are allowing others to speak, clown around, have fun and we don’t have to be in the center of it all. Being bashful can be an act of selflessness in that we step back so that others can step forward.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

Monday “DOC”

What’s up Doc? Do we associate Doc with Doctor? What feelings does that suggest?

If we think of a Doctor, we might think of the men and women that are God’s instruments of healing and compassion as we, or those that we love, carry their crosses of physical, emotional and psychological illnesses. The Doc is the one that gives direction, shares wisdom listens attentively and has your best interest at heart.  God is the divine physician that we turn to when our bodies, minds or spirits, are drained and in need of healing, replenishment, renewal and rejuvenation.

A curse

There are times when we, or those we know, fall into the litany of illnesses and ailments. The first thing that they choose to talk about is what is wrong and aching, and not what is right and good. There are those who try to doctor their illnesses and avoid seeking professional help. There are those who must see Doctors frequently. Only God knows what is ailing us and how we need to be healed. We can try to be our own doc by going online and reading up on a certain condition, or help diagnose others, but the reality is that only God knows what truly needs to be healed and ow it can best be done. Although we have a great deal of information at our disposal, we cannot cure our diseases or properly diagnose them alone. We need the help of professionals.

A blessing

As you reflect on your medical conditions or of someone you are close to, seek to see God’s healing in the attitude that you possess. The attitude of gratitude will enable you to be free and open to God’s healing power as He chooses to reveal it to you. As you feel the aches and pains that your body has become too familiar with, remember that healing isn’t always going to occur the way you expect it to and that cancer isn’t an obstacle to getting into heaven as much as bitterness, anger and resentment. Your ailment may just be God’s grace to gain true healing and peace.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

 

Tuesday “DOPEY”

We can all recognize times in our life that we were dopey or just not with it, where we may have said or done something that was completely out of our character. We can look back and laugh now, but probably couldn’t then. Sometimes we can claim to be dopey, simple or ignorant of something just to get out of our responsibilities or to use it as an excuse. Yet….Being dopey or simple can be a time where we choose to learn and not act as if we know it all. We can take our Dopey moments to seek wisdom from another so that we can share it with others.

A curse

We can falsely claim to be simple, dopey or ignorant, but if we are only doing so to get out of something or to ridicule those who are physically, emotionally or psychologically slow, then we are disrespecting God and doing others a great injustice. We cannot and will not always be the brightest bulb in the pack, but if we are true to our self, God and others, our light, though dim at times, will be the beacon that draws others to see God, and want to know Him better.

A blessing

Thank God for the spirit of simplicity. The gift of a simple mind is not one that is to be ridiculed but rather respected. It is a mind that has learned or is learning how not to complicate things, to appreciate all of God’s gifts and not to take them so much for granted. As you look back on some of your Dopey moments, take another moment to see how it has been in and through them that you have grown to better appreciate and respect the gift of wisdom, silence, compassion and mutual understanding.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

Wednesday “GRUMPY”

Being Grumpy or being around someone who is grumpy is no fun. The lack of joy can bring down one’s spirit quickly. When someone is being Grumpy, there is a spirit of joy that is lacking due to stress, weariness, worry, discouragement probably because of life’s demands and challenges. One can choose to be grumpy or not. One can choose to share their misery with others or keep it between themselves and God.  Being Grumpy also shows others that things are not right. It shows others that one is stressed whereas one would not choose to talk about their hidden stresses or concerns. Being Grumpy, although not pleasant to experience, is a sign that one needs to seek the consolation of Christ and not the carry the worries of the world without Him.

A curse

We can make excuses for being Grumpy, but in the end, no one deserves our bad attitude. We can try to carry the world; its problems, sins and struggles, on our shoulders and complain when it gets too heavy, but the reality is that only God can carry his creation on His shoulders, and He does not ask anyone of us to do it for Him. Jesus did that once for all on the cross. We may want to act as a martyr and when no one recognizes that we are acting as one, we get mad because our efforts go unnoticed. We become grumpier and less desirable to be around. If we stop to think about how we are acting and why, we then can recognize that we have no reason to be Grumpy. The martyrs and the saints did not walk around Grumpy, but rather happy in the Lord, and they rejoiced in their suffering because they knew that they were not alone and that God was with them.

A blessing

As you feel the weight of the physical, emotional and psychological demands of your life, your family’s well-being, your employment demands and the personal health issues that are your cross to carry, take a moment to reflect on the cross. Pray and ask to see how Christ responded to those who threatened His inner peace and strength, and seek His grace to do the same.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

 

Thursday “HAPPY”

Only in, with and through God can true and lasting happiness be experienced.  We can try to find happiness in the things of the world, but it is an elusive happiness, one that does not last, and one that can take us away from God and not towards Him. What does it mean to be happy? Does it mean winning the lottery, or being without aches or pains, or having the biggest and the best of everything? Only God knows what can make each one of us truly happy, but we need to seek that answer from Him and not from the world.  There are those who pretend to be happy by pasting a smile on so that others don’t know their pain or suffering. There are also those who don’t know how to be happy, who choose not to want to be happy. I believe that true happiness comes when we realize that God is with us, that He loves us unconditionally, that we are His greatest creation and that there is nothing that we can say or do that will make Him love us less. We don’t have to wear a mask, or paste on a smile, but rather accept the challenges of life with a surrender and trust that enables us to see through the darkness moments to God’s amazing light.

A curse

When we fake happiness to make another feel good, we are not being true to our self. We can say that we are happy, yet we are really confused, miserable and discontented. When we strive to make others happy at our own expense, we can diminish our own self-worth. Being happy isn’t something that we should fake, but rather we should be honest about. God knows our hearts and knows when life stresses disrupt or challenge our happiness. God does not want us to lie and say that we are happy if we are not. When we do this, we are denying that which is robbing us of happiness.

Instead, God would like us to be honest and say whey we can’t feel or experience happiness so that He can help us rediscover the deep and true happiness that only He can provide and that lies within.

A blessing

Pray for someone who is grasping for the elusive happiness of the world and not of God. Pray that they may experience the true happiness that only God can provide.  Happiness isn’t fleeting, we can be happy during our struggles as well as in our joys, we can smile and share our happiness with others. Others can recognize when you are truly happy. If you are truly happy wouldn’t you want others to also have that experience? God wants you to share the wealth of joy and happiness. Pass it on.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

 

Friday “SLEEPY”

God rested on the 7th day. He created our bodies to get rest. He knows our needs. He knows that for us to best serve Him we need the proper amount of rest, nutrition and relaxation. Jesus ate and relaxed with friends. Jesus rested

A curse

When we are tired or sleepy because we work too much or are so busy that getting the proper amount of rest doesn’t happen, then our bodies suffer. We can be sleepy all the time. If we are, then not only will our bodies suffer, but our mind and spirit will also suffer. Sleep deprivation can be traumatic to our body and can cause us to make some horrific mistakes. Parents are the heroes that when it comes to sleep deprivation, they know it best. But even the best parents will admit hat not getting enough sleep makes them grumpy and not their best self.

A blessing

Pray for those who are suffering from sleep deprivation due to being new parents, illness, sleep apnea, physical pain, worry, and ask that God give rest to their bodies, refreshment to their souls and peace in their heart.

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

 

Saturday “SNEEZY”

Sneezing…can be many things, but the one aspect of sneezing at I will focus on is how it is a call to prayer and a cause for blessing. When we hear someone sneeze, we naturally say God Bless You. We don’t know if they ae believers or not, and yet we still invoke that blessing and prayer. We don’t do that to cause any tension with the person that sneezed, but rather we realize what a sneeze signifies, and for that brief period we ask God to watch over them.

A curse

Sneezing can be due to allergies, a cold or the flu. In any case, sneezing can be annoying and very frustrating. Ask God to heal your cold or flu  or at least to make sure that you don’t spread your germs to the next person.

A blessing

The next time you hear someone sneeze, say God Bless You. Don’t abbreviate it by just saying bless you. When we sneeze, our heart stops briefly and asking God’s blessing is a selfless prayer. Don’t let society or what is politically correct or incorrect dictate how you pray or express your concern for others.  

For Today…God has placed before you a blessing and a curse. Choose that which will allow you to grow into the best person that God has created you to be and have the potential to become.

Glimpse of God for the week of September 22, 2019

This week’s Glimpse of God comes from God’s kaleidoscope of people and situations. These very special people in my life and are where I have encountered the presence of the living God as He has chosen to reveal Himself. It is in and through these Glimpses that I have been given the grace to behold new life in Christ.  

My week of Glimpses began with the men at Saint John’s Hospice, who I meet with once a month to talk and reflect on the topic chosen by them the month previously. They all share openly because they know that it is a space where respect is shown, where there is no judgment passed, and that there are no right or wrong answers. Their love for God and others is so deep and their desire to move beyond, and not get stuck on, their situation is amazing. They are men who filled with hope, not despair, with peace and not discontent with anger yet not revenge. They have welcomed me into their heart, their mind, their spirit and their home for the past 5 years and I consider myself very blessed because of them and mutual friends. They have also been attending the advent and Lenten retreats that I have been facilitating for the past 5 years, and have been an integral and dynamic part of the retreat days that they have attended. I can truly say that I am a better person and become even a better person because of the trust they have placed in me.

…..God’s Glimpses continued this week with Pat who so graciously makes copies of my Glimpses of God for the Sisters and staff at Assisi house. Her smile and her willingness to fit in this task is God’s reminder that my work needs to continue and that others are there to assist me with this ministry.

…..In and through Edie, my home nurse, a very caring and compassionate women who truly exudes the healing and compassion of Christ,

…The staff and Sisters at Assisi House, where I come away feeling refreshed and renewed in spirit and mind as I encounter a group of individuals who not exude the friendliness of Christ and the simplicity of Saint Francis, but how they live out their vocation in action and not fill it with just words,

…..The staff at FCCC who had to do a difficult procedure on me, yet in all of the difficulty, they never stopped asking if I was OK and apologizing when things were obviously painful for me,

…..For Jimmy and his brother Pat, our pool maintenance men who always stop to see and pet Clover before beginning their work, they stop to ask how John and I are doing, if we have any concerns, and if there is anything that they could do to improve. They are truly hard workers with an excellent work ethic,

…..For parishioners who attend daily mass and regularly stop to see how I am doing since my last hospital visit, and how my sister is doing after her recent stroke, and remind me that they are praying for us,

…..To two good friends, Debbie and Dorothy, who in the midst of their busy schedule, always make time to phone to see how I am doing, if there is anything that I need, and to let me know that they are praying for me and John and that we will connect up soon.

…..and lastly for this week, the faith sharing group that has been meeting for the last 7 years at my house. We meet to talk about, share and reflect on how the Spirit of God is alive and well in our lives, and when we don’t feel it, others share how they have come through that stage in their faith life. We have walked together on our individual faith journey for many years and I can truly say that they have not only been a Glimpse of God, but more importantly an instrument of His understanding and non-judgmental listening. I consider myself blessed because I see them not only as likeminded followers and friends of Christ, but instruments of God’s love and peace that have allowed me to be a better person, that person God knows I can be and desire to become.

All of my Glimpses of this week are clear and visible signs of God’s love, support, concern and encouragement, the body of Christ in their outreach, their prayers, their care and concern, their love for Christ and how they choose to pass it on to those they encounter.

 

I can only pray that each day I not only appreciate the gift of each day, but the people that I share that gift with.

I think that we can all tend to take things, people, and events for granted. It is when we lose them through death, moving on or busyness, that we realize how significant and special they were. I know that  if I were to lose any of the Glimpses of individuals that I have been given the grace to behold as friends and workers in God’s vineyard, my life would be a little empty and less joyful, yet I know that God will provide and fill the space with another one of His Glimpses that would not only fill me, but would also enable me to recognize the gift of the graces that came before them.

Let this week be a week where you look at the many Gifts, Graces and Glimpses that God has enabled you to behold with eyes and hearts wide open.  Seek to re-appreciate them and let Him know that you are grateful, appreciative and blessed because of them.  

 

For today, think of the great love that you have for your spouse and how he or she demonstrates their great love for you. If their life were in danger, what would you want them to know as you see them injured and unsure of the harm that they have sustained?

The last words you spoke to them? The last disagreement that you had? The last time you told them how much you loved them?  What do you want them to know? Tell them today.

 

MONDAY – your Children and those entrusted to your love and concern

For today, as you think about your child or children, your nieces or nephews, and they were going away, what would you want them to know?

Perhaps you would say….It is because of  you that I have grown and become the person that God has created me to be.  Because of you I have learned how to be selfless and not selfish, to give of my time and not to count the cost, to forgive you and to seek your forgiveness. You may have challenged my patience, but I have challenged your potential to grow beyond your imagination, in your desire to be independent, I have learned to let go and trust that you would use the tools that God and I have provided so that you would and could be your best self, and in your weakness and fears I have faced my weakness and fears.

Tell them today what you want them to know because you want to affirm their giftedness in your life and how much you love them.

 

TUESDAY – Your best friend

For today, reflect on the gift of friendship and how your life has changed because of the friends who have touched your life. If you and your best friend were gathering for a meal and you wanted them to know how special they were and have been to you, what would you tell them, what would you want them to know?

Perhaps you would say…..We have been through thick and thin together. We have made it through so much and yet remain friends. You have made me a better person because you befriended me in my lowest moments and have never let me down. I have become stronger, thanks to you.

I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your presence in my life. You are my best friend.  You have changed me and made me a better person, I don’t know if I could have made it without your encouragement, support, honesty and love. Tell them today.

 

WEDNESDAY – Your parent

For today, as you think of your parent who are suffering from the early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s, disease and you have the day to spend with them. What would you want them to know and remember from this day forward? In and through all of the ups and downs that you have experienced together, do they know that you love them more because of the person that you have become?

Perhaps you would say…..I care and love you very much and I never meant to disrespect you during or in the heat of the arguments that we had. I truly love you and am grateful to God for giving me such good parents, not flawless, but open to His grace to say that you were sorry and to forgive me when I said that I was sorry. You guys were the best and will always be the best in my eyes and heart and I thank God every day for you. I will always remember and cherish the gift of your selfless love and understanding and I hope that I can be that way with my children. Tell them today.

 

THURSDAY – Your siblings or extended family members

For today, think of your sibling or someone that you think of as a big or little sister or brother as they tell you they are joining the military and will be out of touch, what would you tell them or how would you want to let them know that you are proud of them and thank God for their courage of conviction that lead them to make such a big decision..

Perhaps you would say….That I am sorry for the fights that we have had and the harmful words that were exchanged, for the times that I wanted to be far from you and not embrace you, I was acting foolishly and never meant to hurt you. I am grateful for the times that you listened as I cried and poured our my heart to you. I thank God for the gift of your presence in my life and for never giving up on me, and I will always have your back no matter what, because I love you and know that you love me. Tell them today.

 

FRIDAY – Your neighbor

For today, as you think of your neighbor as they fear and face a terminal illness, what would you want them to know?

Perhaps you would say……I often think of the many times that you have watched and cared for me in my most fearful times, and I want to help you through this time in your life. I always appreciated how you were available to watch my home when I was away and how you have trusted me to watch your home in your absence. I cherished the times that we were able to talk and share what was what was happening in our families, our work, our familiar stresses and our weakest moments. I admired your ability to drop everything to be there for me because things were so stressful that I didn’t know what to do, you were right there, no questions asked, no sense of burden but rather you were a light in my darkness. I enjoyed the times when we gathered to just relax and have fun. I wanted to let you know that I am very grateful to you for everything and there is no other neighbor that I would want to have or could cherish more. Tell them today.

 

SATURDAY – Yourself

For today, think of how you have lived and the legacy that you want to leave behind. As you think of leaving this world and going back home to God, what thoughts are you clinging to? Perhaps God would say….

That He loves you unconditionally and that He is with you now and always has been and not to be afraid. That you are His greatest creation and His love for you is beyond any sin or weakness that you may have committed. That He is calling you back to Himself not as a punishment or to hurt those you will leave behind, but rather to fulfill His promise of eternal peace, joy and happiness to those who were faithful to Him in this life.  That He not only knows that you did your best, but even when you thought that your best wasn’t good enough, it was beyond good in His eyes because it was done in and out of love for Him.

 

 

 

 

HAPPY AUTUMN TO ALL AND TRY NOT TO FALL SHORT OF RECOGNIZING YOUR GOODNESS.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 15, 2019

Thank you God, for the refreshment of Summer,

and let us celebrate with you, the newness and your tapestry of Autumn.

Next week, wewill enter the season of autumn. Take this last week of summer to look back and reflect on summer and whta it has offered: the many more hours of Son light, the rain, the storms, the winds and the variety of miscalculated weather conditions, let us seek to see all of this in the light of God’s love. The many hours of God’s light, the warmth of His love, the abundant showers of His blessings and graces, and the gentle whispers as heard in the wind.

As for the miscalculated weather conditions, let us humbly seek His forgiveness as we have sought to know His will without asking Him, and then doing our own thing, as we thought best, without seeking His direction. They were the times perhaps when we experienced the storms of life, the uncertainty, the fears, the personal frustrations that became overwhelming to our spirits and overflowed in prayer life, our words, through our actions. BUT in all this His love was overwhelming and present through us because there is nothing that we can say or do that will make Him love us less. HE CAN’T. HIS LOVE IS PERFECT EVEN WHEN OUR LOVE IS NOT.

Summer is not over, although school has begun, the time at the shores seems to have ended, the pools have been covered and the cookouts, well might have lessened, it is still the time of light, wearing white and a light heartedness that can still abound from you. So don’t let the cookouts end as long as there are family and friends to gather with, still wear white to symbolize the refreshing spirit that should still abound from within you, and even though most pools are covered and times at the shore are minimal, look back the many memories that you have collected this summer and share them, don’t just put them away for next year or never.

As youprepare for the season of autumn, strive to let go of any negative thoughts, attitudes or emotions, let them fall away from your desire to be your true self. Let the radiance and brilliance of mercy, empathy, compassion, love, understanding and selflessness be what people see in you as you try to be the tree that not only bears good fruit and whose leaves never fade, but genuinely looks good as well.

Let the glory and awe of the tapestry of color that is before you remind us of the awe and love that God has for you. The love and awe that He has because you are His beloved child, touched and filled with His grace as you desire to change, and be transformed so that you can become your best self, the person that He created you to be and have the potential to become. 

SUNDAY - “S” = a SINCERE Compliment

For today, let us be sincere in what we say to others. It is nice to compliment others, but if we are not sincere, we are lying and misleading them. Sincerity comes from a heart that loves and is caring, selfless and not selfish or self-centered. Can you see that God has given you a sincere heart, one that loves and has been filled with His grace that invites you to not count the cost or hold onto grudges?

As you behold the beauty of the autumn leaves and the splendid color that they behold, can you see how splendid you are and how much color you bring by your sincerity and love for others, your selflessness and compassion? Do you see that in your sincere words and actions, you have helped another recognize that they are God’s beloved son or daughter, loved unconditionally and without limits?

MONDAY - “A” = Living God’s Great ADVENTURE

For today, let us try to be more open to God’s wonders. Being young at heart is a gift. It means that we try not to get stuck in an attitude or disposition that is “old”, one that has no room for growth, openness, self-awareness or transformation. No matter what our number age is we can be old at heart at 21 or young at heart at 105. Being young at heart can make living life like a great adventure whereas being old at heart can make living life like a tedious challenge. 

Are you ready for a great adventure? Can you prepare for the adventure, the journey, that Jesus has ready for you? The journey that promises that no matter what may come, you will not be overcome or defeated but will overcome, that your heart will not shrink but will be expanded?

TUESDAY - “F” = seeing the FACE of Christ in others

For today, let us strive to be more thoughtful with and towards others. Being thoughtful requires being other centered and knowledgeable and not judgmental or ego centered. When we take the time to get to know others, we get to know the true person and not the image or the façade that they try to present. Being thoughtful means seeing past the points or aspects of someone that we may not agree with or like, but seeing the good and the face of Christ like in them. When we are not truly genuine or thoughtful, we can be like the leaf that is falling off the branch, it has no root or growth, but rather it has become colorless and lifeless.

How thoughtful are you? How thoughtful are people towards you? Can you remember how you touched someone’s heart by your acts or words of thoughtfulness, sincerity and genuineness? Can you recognize the many colors of your thoughtfulness, genuineness, sincerity and joy for life in your new leaf of life in Christ? Keep looking, God knows that you are thoughtful, genuine and sincere, others have experienced your new life and leaf in Christ and God wants you to know it to. You have taken the time to see the face of Christ in those you encounter and have encountered, as you look in the mirror do you see His face? If not, why? What hold you back from seeing Him in you? If you do see His face, do you thank him?  

WEDNESDAY - “L” = Becoming LEARNED in the wisdom of God

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, experiences, but most importantly the lessons taught by Jesus in the Gospels.  People becoming learned so that they can share their knowledge with others and relate to more people. Becoming learned as a Christian is about knowing the will of God and how we can live that out in our life. Becoming 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. We become learned in the will of God, an experience that is ongoing because it is an ongoing movement of spiritual growth and is not stagnant.

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 become a learned individual about the will of God? They are given as tools to help, but should not be seen as the final tool to seek and know 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. 

THURSDAY -“S” = Being SELFLESS and not selfish

For today, when tempted to be selfish choose to be selfless, not with a grudge but with a smile. Being selfless or selfish, what do you want to be?  Being selfless is about giving of one self for the good of others. To be selfless is a challenge because it goes against the devil’s desire for us to be selfish and self-centered. When we seek to know about others for their good, to be sincere, to become learned about others and  their experiences, it is an act of selflessness. When we focus on our self and the desire to use the knowledge about others as a tool of power and control, that is selfishness. Being selfless is not easy, being selfish is. As we look at the fullness of autumn, imagine that your acts of selflessness are the new colors that ware emerging before you in the trees and the leaves, the fullness that they show and the brightness that they exude.

Do you see that you are selfless and not selfish?  What would others say? In your prayer, do you hear and listen as God gently speaks to you in gratitude for your acts of selflessness and thanks you for not choosing to be selfish instead? And…. even if you realize that you were selfish, can you listen as Christ speaks lovingly to you as He did from the cross, Father forgive them for they know not what they do?

FRIDAY “I” = Listening to God’s INSPIRATION within

For today, let us listen with our hearts and minds to God’s inspiration. Spiritual motivation and inspiration are when we are given the gift of God’s Holy Spirit that allows us to speak his gentle whisper to others or a challenging word, to write His words for others to read or for us to reflect on, to help others to carry their cross or to ask others to help us carry ours.  Our response involves a personal surrender of our own words in speech or writing or actions so that God’s words, desire or invitation may be revealed through us.

When we feel motivated or inspired, we feel blessed that God has given us the words to speak perhaps at a difficult time or a time when we had no idea what we were going to say, but trusted that God would provide the words that needed to be said. Motivation and inspiration come when the Spirit of God is stimulated and alive and through that action and life we choose to use His words and not ours, when we choose to trust in Him and not in what we think we need to say or write.

God’s inspiration or motivation is what allows us to help others, especially when we had no idea that they were struggling, or when sought the aid of others when our cross seemed too heavy to bear alone. Your inspiration to others was your autumn of color in their life when perhaps their leaves, their color seemed all too black and white and they were seeking to see God’s tapestry of color that they knew was there. As we enter into the season of autumn and we look at the tapestry of color that is before us in the tress, leaves and the fullness that brings the tapestry to life, be open to the reality that you are the fullness and the new life that others are seeking and by your inspiration that had they chance to experience.

When was the last time that you felt motivated to speak his voice or write His words, or help others to bear their cross or asked others to help you bear yours? Your response was the Holy Spirit’s invitation to share His gifts and fruits in and through your words, actions, deeds and prayers. Can you listen to the words of consolation, understanding, and empathy that you offered another and see that you were truly motivated and inspired?           

SATURDAY - “T’ = The gift of genuine TRUST

When we can trust another and when someone trusts us, it is a gift. When someone betrays our trust, it hurts beyond any physical pain that we may endure. When we find someone that is trustworthy, we know that we can open our hearts to them and be received with tender love and care, as well as with tough love, honesty and truth.

As you think of being trustworthy, can you think of a time where you were betrayed and how it felt? Can you remember when you betrayed another, maybe unintentionally or not, but in any case, someone was hurt very deeply. Can you also think of how it feels to be trusted by another, and how it feels to finally trust others? Jesus was trustworthy yet He was betrayed. As His followers we can expect to experience the same thing. Are you ready to forgive or seek forgiveness? Do you have an attitude of gratitude to God for those who He has placed on your path so that through your trustworthiness, they have come to see a glimpse of God in and through you? The past hurts and betrayals are the old leaves that are falling to the ground and your ability to forgive are the new and colorful leaves of mercy, compassion and trust, and fullness of love in and through your expanded heart of love that God has given you and you have accepted.

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of September 8, 2019

My Glimpse of God for this week is that of CC, a very caring and compassionate woman that I met as I was trying to obtain information on housing for my sister. I met with CC to express some concerns that I had for my sister regarding moving into the development.  CC answered my questions with great empathy and compassion.  She was able to calm the fears that my sister had about what would be required of her to move in when a unit was available.  As we talked, I recognized the presence and calm of God.  She addressed my concerns in a very gentle and compassionate manner. In our conversation, I also recognized that as mother to a young son, she was passing on the faith to him by her understanding and her ability to see in her son his potential to be the best person that he can be. She spoke about the faith with pride.

What I saw in her was the presence of God by her desire to be the best person that she can be so that her son would also strive to be his best self. My encounter was one of compassion as we discussed my sister’s situation and the hardships that she has faced and continues to face. As she spoke of her position, she didn’t speak of it as a job, but as an opportunity to help others to the best of her ability. She helps people find a home, not just a house or an apartment. The home that they find is one founded on empathy and compassion.

As we begin a new week, let us reflect on what a home is and how it forms us to becoming our better self, the best person that we can be and have the potential to become. Let us take a moment to reflect on what each room means and how God uses each room to remind us that He dwells there.

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 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 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 for 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 blocking your path to becoming the saint that you 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 or community, 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 of nourishment 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 must go down into the basement. Where in your life have you fallen or descended instead of standing up for your faith, a loved one, or ourselves? Today, can you ask for the grace to stand up, stand tall in humility and not let others or false guilt bring you down so that you feel unloved or that God has abandoned you? God’s mercy is far greater than any sin that you 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 your greatest meal, your 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 1, 2019

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 2019 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

- 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 by the 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.

 

2 – You and God always walking together

0 – where you are never alone

1 – when it comes to it, you are the one

that God chose to know, love and selflessly serve Him,

in this life so that you can join Him in eternal life,

9 – remembering that salvation would not be possible if Christ did not die on the 9th hour of the day, or 3 p.m. to make the way of salvation open to everyone.

Glimpse of God for the week of August 25, 2019

This week’s Glimpse of God will hopefully resonate with you. If you have ever experienced woundedness in the physical, emotional or spiritual nature, my hope is that you will be able to relate to what I share.  This is not the glimpse that I had originally expected to share, but after spending 9 days in the hospital, I thought this was a more appropriate and Holy Spirit inspired glimpse of not only God, but more so, of His awesome presence in the form of healing.

Healing occurs on at least three levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. One can be healing from major surgery to a bad case of shingles, from a sore throat to knee replacement, from cancer to the flu, but in all these cases healing is taking place and afterwards one feels sense of renewed energy, a new spirit in their step. The human body is amazing and fascinating in that it takes the most serious illnesses and finds ways to cope, heal and renew itself.

The human heart is perhaps more fascinating when it finds the need to heal. It finds healing through the conscious choice of its owner, comingled with the grace and power of God.  The heart is often in need of healing from various wounds and hurts; death of loved ones, broken relationships and trust, betrayal, misuse of power, and self-abasement. The heart, once broken, wounded or hurt can become a vessel where forgiveness, mercy and compassion flow over and take root so that anger, resentment, and bitterness can’t.  The human heart can expand, stretch and become stronger to love in ways only known to God and unimaginable to us.  To forgive where one could not think possible, offering mercy in the face of betrayal, being compassionate when the passion to hold on and be bitter takes hold of us instead of the other way around. The heart, unlike any other organ, can expand with the grace of God so that in the face of woundedness and brokenness, healing can begin and take an everlasting root.

Within the human Spirit is also a place where healing can occur.  One’s Spirit, the inner abode where God dwells or not, depending upon us, can also become a source of woundedness.  One’s Spirit, one’s relationship with God, can change and become stronger because of life’s hurts and crosses. When one chooses to allow God to abide within, then the crosses, the pain, the hurts can become instruments of personal transformation and spiritual growth and not the cause of further pain and alienation.

Through spiritual, physical or emotional hurts, no matter how deep, big or insignificant they may seem, we as humans can walk with God and face them, or away from God and become absorbed by them. We can hold onto anger, resentment, a godless life, and blame God for everything that is wrong or we can take the wrong and give it its proper place; the Altar of God so that we can learn by it, and become better because of it. Only we can make that choice and God is always ready and waiting for us when we fall short of choosing what is best for our well-being, and out of weakness choose what is easier. God can handle whatever we choose to give Him, call Him, hold back from Him or surrender to Him. 

He created us and knows our heart better than we know it. His greatest desire is that we become our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become, that we recognize, without a doubt, that we are His beloved child and that there is nothing that we can say or do, or not do, that will ever make Him love us less, that we are His greatest creation and that His love is unconditional and free .

We as humans, try to fix things before we surrender them to God, and God is there waiting for us, with a smile, to give Him our brokenness so that He can not just fix, but heal it.

His healing is ours for the asking. It is only with God that we can truly experience healing from our physical, emotional or spiritual wounds and hurts.  When we pray for healing, we must first surrender our idea of what is in need of healing and seek to be healed in a way God knows is best, the healing that will benefit our earthly journey so that we can truly be embraced by Him when it is over and we enter into our heavenly reward.

I believe that when we choose to be His instrument here on earth, that our healing and our journey towards wholeness begins. When we choose to be His instrument of peace, joy, love, hope, compassion, pardon, light, faith, it is then that we have experienced God’s healing touch.

I believe that we all know that to be His instruments here on earth, the healing that we need to be seeking is the deep and long lasting. The healing is that which will bring us closer to Him, and remove the road blocks that can get in the way.

For this week, as you reflect on healing; that which you know you need, think that you need, and are not ready to admit to, ask God to shower His grace on you so that your healing will be a true source of personal strength, conversion, conviction and transformation.

 

SUNDAY – “H’ - be HAPPY

What in your life is keeping you from experiencing true happiness? What does it mean to be happy? I don’t think that it means that you always walk around with a smile or being giddy, but rather that you are able to recognize in the midst of your woundedness and pains, that you are loved by God, that He is with you always, that there is nothing in this world that can make Him go away, that He dwells in your pain, that He cries with you, that He forgives with you, that He smiles on you, that He wants you to be healed, and it is all out of and in His love for you. Can you ask Him to help you give yourself permission to experience happiness as He wants you to?

 

MONDAY – “E” - EMBRACE the unembraceable

If you recognize one aspect of your woundedness: physical, emotional or spiritual, that is keeping you from healing and you could choose to embrace it, what would it be? We sometimes give our hurt and pain power that it doesn’t deserve. We choose to allow it to overpower us so that we feel overwhelmed and unable to overcome it. What do you really want to be healed from? Once you realize what your wounds are, that is the moment your healing begins. Can you ask God to show you what He would like you to embrace and not think that it is unembraceable?  I believe that our deepest hurt, be it physical emotional or spiritual can make us the best instruments and light for others to see and seek healing. The inner strength and fight of cancer survivors, the desire of abuse victims to help others who are abused, those in a 12 step program who choose to sponsor others, those who have experienced all forms of poverty reaching out to those who are presently experiencing it, those who because of bad choices, have left their Church, family, community and offering hope to those who are thinking about doing the same. They have and you can also, embrace the unembraceable or pray for those who are also afraid of embracing the unembraceable.

 

TUESDAY – “A” - God ADORES you

God adores you. God adores you in your woundedness, your embraceable moments, your unembraceable moments, your healing, your happy times, your sad times, the times when you seek Him last and the times when you seek Him first. You are His greatest creation and as your creator, He isn’t going to choose only to love and adore you when you are good or make the best choices, but rather out of His unconditional love, He is there to love and adore you always. He only wants you to come to Him and trust Him to doing what is best for you. Do you believe that God adores you? What does that mean? what does it look like? If you don’t believe that you are, ask God to show you.

In all your woundedness, God loves you more and more. He cries, is angry, is merciful and extends compassion with you, and understands when you are unable to do so. Your wounds, weather self-inflicted or caused by others, can be avenues for God to bring us closer to Him and others, and to bring us healing so that we can become whole. His love is absolute. He offers it with no conditions, no expiration date, no return, and no refunds. Can you ask God to show you what that truly means from His perspective and not from your human perspective?

 

WEDNESDAY – “L” God LOVES you just as you are, not the person you think you need to become

That is the hardest truth for people to believe. We as humans think that we need to become something for God to love us, yet it is just the opposite, He loves us just as we are. Do you love yourself?

What do you think that you need to be or become for God to love you? What holds you back from believing that you are loved as the sinner you are and not the saint you think you need to become? God formed you in the womb, He knows you, He loves you and He wants you to believe that? If you can’t or don’t, ask His help to remove any obstacle or non-truth that is preventing you from believing that.

 

THURSDAY – “I” - you are a vessel of God’s INSPIRATION

You are an inspiration to others. You possess the ability and the grace to inspire others. You exude the light of Christ by your words, deeds, humility, truth, and love so that they too will choose to know, love and serve God. Who has been an inspiration to you? How and Why?  What have they inspired you to do?

Who have you been an inspiration to? (you are an inspiration, so you should have an answer to that last question) As God’s beloved child,  a sinner striving to be a saint,  you inspire others not as a pious person, but rather by your honesty, your ability to carry your cross despite its heaviness and pain, your love for those who have been unloving, your desire to seek God when you feel blind and not certain of the next step to take. You are God’s vessel not only of inspiration, but also of love, compassion, mercy, peace, joy, happiness and perseverance. Can you ask God to fill you where you feel you are lacking? Then ask Hm to show you where you are a vessel that is overflowing.  Get ready! Open your hands! He wants to fill them with the overflow!!!

 

FRIDAY – “N” - you are a NEW creation

When one experiences healing there is a renewed sense of hope. You are a new creation. Can you take a moment to recognize one area of your life that has been touched by God’s healing power and how you have responded to that healing? Was there one person that you were angry with and you find that you are at peace with? Is there one area of your life that has been an obstacle to God and now is an avenue to God?

Is there one person in your life that you did not want to forgive but rather wanted to hold a grudge towards and now find that the anger and pain no longer has control over you? You are a new creation. If you can identify one aspect of your life that you have experienced God’s healing touch then you are a new creation.

If you can’t, ask God to help you.

 

SATURDAY – “G”- Healing is a sign of GOD’S GOODNESS and GRACE

It has been along week, and how appropriate since we are approaching Labor Day weekend. Your labors are many, so as you prepare for the weekend, I offer you one last prayer as you celebrate God’s healing touch in your life.

Can you take a moment to recognize one area of your life where you have experienced God’s healing touch and pray to be able to recognize with greater clarity the presence of God’s grace and goodness in and through your healing?

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 25, 2019

This week’s Glimpse of God will hopefully resonate with you. If you have ever experienced woundedness in the physical, emotional or spiritual nature, my hope is that you will be able to relate to what I share.  This is not the glimpse that I had originally expected to share, but after spending 9 days in the hospital, I thought this was a more appropriate and Holy Spirit inspired glimpse of not only God, but more so, of His awesome presence in the form of healing.

Healing occurs on at least three levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. One can be healing from major surgery to a bad case of shingles, from a sore throat to knee replacement, from cancer to the flu, but in all these cases healing is taking place and afterwards one feels sense of renewed energy, a new spirit in their step. The human body is amazing and fascinating in that it takes the most serious illnesses and finds ways to cope, heal and renew itself.

The human heart is perhaps more fascinating when it finds the need to heal. It finds healing through the conscious choice of its owner, comingled with the grace and power of God.  The heart is often in need of healing from various wounds and hurts; death of loved ones, broken relationships and trust, betrayal, misuse of power, and self-abasement. The heart, once broken, wounded or hurt can become a vessel where forgiveness, mercy and compassion flow over and take root so that anger, resentment, and bitterness can’t.  The human heart can expand, stretch and become stronger to love in ways only known to God and unimaginable to us.  To forgive where one could not think possible, offering mercy in the face of betrayal, being compassionate when the passion to hold on and be bitter takes hold of us instead of the other way around. The heart, unlike any other organ, can expand with the grace of God so that in the face of woundedness and brokenness, healing can begin and take an everlasting root.

Within the human Spirit is also a place where healing can occur.  One’s Spirit, the inner abode where God dwells or not, depending upon us, can also become a source of woundedness.  One’s Spirit, one’s relationship with God, can change and become stronger because of life’s hurts and crosses. When one chooses to allow God to abide within, then the crosses, the pain, the hurts can become instruments of personal transformation and spiritual growth and not the cause of further pain and alienation.

Through spiritual, physical or emotional hurts, no matter how deep, big or insignificant they may seem, we as humans can walk with God and face them, or away from God and become absorbed by them. We can hold onto anger, resentment, a godless life, and blame God for everything that is wrong or we can take the wrong and give it its proper place; the Altar of God so that we can learn by it, and become better because of it. Only we can make that choice and God is always ready and waiting for us when we fall short of choosing what is best for our well-being, and out of weakness choose what is easier. God can handle whatever we choose to give Him, call Him, hold back from Him or surrender to Him. 

He created us and knows our heart better than we know it. His greatest desire is that we become our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become, that we recognize, without a doubt, that we are His beloved child and that there is nothing that we can say or do, or not do, that will ever make Him love us less, that we are His greatest creation and that His love is unconditional and free .

We as humans, try to fix things before we surrender them to God, and God is there waiting for us, with a smile, to give Him our brokenness so that He can not just fix, but heal it.

His healing is ours for the asking. It is only with God that we can truly experience healing from our physical, emotional or spiritual wounds and hurts.  When we pray for healing, we must first surrender our idea of what is in need of healing and seek to be healed in a way God knows is best, the healing that will benefit our earthly journey so that we can truly be embraced by Him when it is over and we enter into our heavenly reward.

I believe that when we choose to be His instrument here on earth, that our healing and our journey towards wholeness begins. When we choose to be His instrument of peace, joy, love, hope, compassion, pardon, light, faith, it is then that we have experienced God’s healing touch.

I believe that we all know that to be His instruments here on earth, the healing that we need to be seeking is the deep and long lasting. The healing is that which will bring us closer to Him, and remove the road blocks that can get in the way.

For this week, as you reflect on healing; that which you know you need, think that you need, and are not ready to admit to, ask God to shower His grace on you so that your healing will be a true source of personal strength, conversion, conviction and transformation.

 

SUNDAY – “H’ - be HAPPY

What in your life is keeping you from experiencing true happiness? What does it mean to be happy? I don’t think that it means that you always walk around with a smile or being giddy, but rather that you are able to recognize in the midst of your woundedness and pains, that you are loved by God, that He is with you always, that there is nothing in this world that can make Him go away, that He dwells in your pain, that He cries with you, that He forgives with you, that He smiles on you, that He wants you to be healed, and it is all out of and in His love for you. Can you ask Him to help you give yourself permission to experience happiness as He wants you to?

 

MONDAY – “E” - EMBRACE the unembraceable

If you recognize one aspect of your woundedness: physical, emotional or spiritual, that is keeping you from healing and you could choose to embrace it, what would it be? We sometimes give our hurt and pain power that it doesn’t deserve. We choose to allow it to overpower us so that we feel overwhelmed and unable to overcome it. What do you really want to be healed from? Once you realize what your wounds are, that is the moment your healing begins. Can you ask God to show you what He would like you to embrace and not think that it is unembraceable?  I believe that our deepest hurt, be it physical emotional or spiritual can make us the best instruments and light for others to see and seek healing. The inner strength and fight of cancer survivors, the desire of abuse victims to help others who are abused, those in a 12 step program who choose to sponsor others, those who have experienced all forms of poverty reaching out to those who are presently experiencing it, those who because of bad choices, have left their Church, family, community and offering hope to those who are thinking about doing the same. They have and you can also, embrace the unembraceable or pray for those who are also afraid of embracing the unembraceable.

 

TUESDAY – “A” - God ADORES you

God adores you. God adores you in your woundedness, your embraceable moments, your unembraceable moments, your healing, your happy times, your sad times, the times when you seek Him last and the times when you seek Him first. You are His greatest creation and as your creator, He isn’t going to choose only to love and adore you when you are good or make the best choices, but rather out of His unconditional love, He is there to love and adore you always. He only wants you to come to Him and trust Him to doing what is best for you. Do you believe that God adores you? What does that mean? what does it look like? If you don’t believe that you are, ask God to show you.

In all your woundedness, God loves you more and more. He cries, is angry, is merciful and extends compassion with you, and understands when you are unable to do so. Your wounds, weather self-inflicted or caused by others, can be avenues for God to bring us closer to Him and others, and to bring us healing so that we can become whole. His love is absolute. He offers it with no conditions, no expiration date, no return, and no refunds. Can you ask God to show you what that truly means from His perspective and not from your human perspective?

 

WEDNESDAY – “L” God LOVES you just as you are, not the person you think you need to become

That is the hardest truth for people to believe. We as humans think that we need to become something for God to love us, yet it is just the opposite, He loves us just as we are. Do you love yourself?

What do you think that you need to be or become for God to love you? What holds you back from believing that you are loved as the sinner you are and not the saint you think you need to become? God formed you in the womb, He knows you, He loves you and He wants you to believe that? If you can’t or don’t, ask His help to remove any obstacle or non-truth that is preventing you from believing that.

 

THURSDAY – “I” - you are a vessel of God’s INSPIRATION

You are an inspiration to others. You possess the ability and the grace to inspire others. You exude the light of Christ by your words, deeds, humility, truth, and love so that they too will choose to know, love and serve God. Who has been an inspiration to you? How and Why?  What have they inspired you to do?

Who have you been an inspiration to? (you are an inspiration, so you should have an answer to that last question) As God’s beloved child,  a sinner striving to be a saint,  you inspire others not as a pious person, but rather by your honesty, your ability to carry your cross despite its heaviness and pain, your love for those who have been unloving, your desire to seek God when you feel blind and not certain of the next step to take. You are God’s vessel not only of inspiration, but also of love, compassion, mercy, peace, joy, happiness and perseverance. Can you ask God to fill you where you feel you are lacking? Then ask Hm to show you where you are a vessel that is overflowing.  Get ready! Open your hands! He wants to fill them with the overflow!!!

 

FRIDAY – “N” - you are a NEW creation

When one experiences healing there is a renewed sense of hope. You are a new creation. Can you take a moment to recognize one area of your life that has been touched by God’s healing power and how you have responded to that healing? Was there one person that you were angry with and you find that you are at peace with? Is there one area of your life that has been an obstacle to God and now is an avenue to God?

Is there one person in your life that you did not want to forgive but rather wanted to hold a grudge towards and now find that the anger and pain no longer has control over you? You are a new creation. If you can identify one aspect of your life that you have experienced God’s healing touch then you are a new creation.

If you can’t, ask God to help you.

 

SATURDAY – “G”- Healing is a sign of GOD’S GOODNESS and GRACE

It has been along week, and how appropriate since we are approaching Labor Day weekend. Your labors are many, so as you prepare for the weekend, I offer you one last prayer as you celebrate God’s healing touch in your life.

Can you take a moment to recognize one area of your life where you have experienced God’s healing touch and pray to be able to recognize with greater clarity the presence of God’s grace and goodness in and through your healing?

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 18.2019

Due to unexpected hospital stay.this weeks glimpse will be last weeks glimpse

  Take more time to listen in the silence to God as He reveals Himself

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 11, 2019

As I sat and reflected in my Glimpse of God for this week, I had a different one ready, but then I thought that the one I had ready would go better following this one, so I hope you agree. As I have often said, God shows us Glimpses of Himself in many and varied ways; in and through our self and others, in the many situations that we find our self in as well as in our lived experiences both positive and negative. In the beauty of nature, in His various creatures that crawl, fly and sliver, in common words and phrases and how we have come to understand them, and in the many other surprising and mysterious other ways that He chooses.

As I realized that we are half way through the season of summer, I also realized that this summer included a vast variety of difficult days that consisted of extreme heat and heat waves as well as a great deal of heavy winds and rain with tremendous flooding conditions. Although having air conditioners may have helped deal better with the heat, it also made those who are older stay inside more days in a row then they normally would have, it made being outside difficult and it caused worry and concern because of the cost to run an air conditioner. And for those who had fans, well they survived and I am sure that it was difficult. The heavy winds and rains made it difficult for driving, for those who are employed outside to do their work, and for the electric company, to keep power on.

So… as I begin this glimpse, I ask you, how did you deal with the weather so far this summer and where was God as you tried to cope? Were you able to hear God’s gentle voice in the winds, rain and heat? Was your emotional state on the verge of going bonkers because you didn’t know what to do as you found yourself stuck inside or at a place that you didn’t want to be? Did you get tired of listening to others complain about the weather as you were trying to maintain a positive attitude? As you were stuck inside and had ample time to be in communion with God, did you find yourself avoiding time with Him or spending more time with Him?

Were you able to see God in the clutter and noises of the  winds, rain, the complaints, the unexpected and constant presence of others around you? Do you see God in your frustration?

I composed a brief reflection on the words SILENT and LISTEN. As I reflected in the summer months of surprising weather,

I offer this reflection as an instrument of healing and hope.

Instead of daily reflections, I offer this idea,.As you begin each day, take time to see with the eyes of your heart, to listen to with the ears of your spirit,  and be embraced by the love of your God as He blesses you with the rain of renewal, the heat of healing, the sunshine and warmth of wonder, the winds of wholeness, and the days of light and laughter.

Offer a brief prayer, any thought that comes to your mind, to the God as you listen in the silence.

 

 

TAKE TIME TO

be SILENT............. and LISTEN

 

SILENT

Both of these words use the

exact same letters

but in different order.....

It takes you being silent

to hear

and listen

to the

voice of God

in the depths of your heart.

 

Is your heart able

to be silent

so as to listen to God's

gentle whipser, His soft voice

in the rain, the wind, the thunder

or the warmth of His gentle touch in the heat,

or

is your heart filled with the noises

around you that

you can neither listen or be silent?

 

Perhaps today

you can be silent so that you can listen to

what God wants so  much to tell you...

that He loves you, that you are His beloved child,

that you are loved unconditionally and His greatest creation,

and even amid the noises and clutter,

your frustration, your vulnerability and your lack of control,

He still knows your heart

and hears and listens to your prayers.

LISTEN

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of August 4, 2019

 The Bunny Rabbit

Early the other morning when John and I were leaving the house, in our neighbor’s front yard, we saw three little baby cotton tail bunny rabbits chasing each other in a very playful and joyful way. I stood in amazement and gratitude as I realized God was showing me how to enjoy each moment of the day without allowing the concerns that lie ahead to take away from the joy that is right in front of me. It was a great beginning as I prepared to go to daily Mass.  

Around our house, and especially in our back yard, the bunny rabbits have many hiding places and often come out of them to find food, get some fresh air and stretch their legs. They like to take chances with, and tease Clover. When Clover was young, she would try to chase them and to this day, she never had a chance to catch them, even though they knew that, they still teased her into playing catch me if you can. Today, there are times when they have sympathy for Clover. They just sit there and wait to see if Clover will move. When she is too tired to move, she will just look at them, they in turn look at her and it seems like they wish each other a good day, and go their separate ways. BUT there are times when Clover wants to play. The rabbit will sit in front of the back door and wait until Clover sees it. When she does and we open the door, let the games begin….Clover leaps off the deck, the rabbit runs, Clover runs after the rabbit, the rabbit runs faster, they do about 2 laps around the yard, and then you will see the rabbit run under the shed, and Clover come to a quick halt. She then goes on the deck and lays down in complete exhaustion.

All of God’s creatures are a beauty to behold. Rabbits are especially a beauty to behold in an instant, because of their long ears that tug your heart strings and their cute little cotton tails. They are gentle loving creatures.  

How are rabbits a glimpse of God? I believe that all of God’s creatures, both human and animal, are glimpses of His presence to those who open their minds, hearts and spirits to seeing Him in them. I also believe that for those who cast their eyes upon God’s creatures with an openness to seeing God’s presence within them, will always be blessed by seeing God.

This glimpse is for Sister Stephanie who loves rabbits. I As I prayed over this glimpse and read up on rabbits, I learned a lot about them and thought that you would be interested in what makes them such an amazing creature.

A baby rabbit is called a kitten. A mature female rabbit is a doe, a mature male is a buck.

A group of rabbits is known as a colony or nest. A group of rabbits produced from a single mating is referred to as a litter. The female rabbit can have up to 12 to 13 kits in one litter.

Rabbits groom themselves, like cats, throughout the day by licking their fur and paws.

Rabbits have 360-degree vision which allows them to see what is coming from behind and the sides without turning their heads. They have a very small blind spot directly in front of their face.

Their long ears, as cute as they are, not only provide great hearing but also are a cooling agent for them. They can rotate their ear 270-degrees allowing them to detect any threats that might be approaching from up close to 2 miles away.

Their legs make them good jumpers, great for evading the predators in a hurry.

Despite popular beliefs and pictures, rabbits can’t live on carrots nor is it recommended, perhaps occasionally as a treat. They prefer greens like weeds, grass and clover. Since carrots are high in sugar, they can contribute to tooth decay in rabbits.

Rabbits are hard to catch, ask Clover, because they run in a zig zag pattern which makes them hard to target, and they can run as fast as 18 mph.

They get bored in the same environment so they benefit from change in scenery, but not too much since they need to be familiar with their surroundings if they are to escape from a predator.

They dig special complex tunnel systems called “warrens” with special rooms made for nesting and sleeping as well as multiple entrances that allow the rabbit to escape in a pinch if needed.

 

The rabbit is a lot like the human in that they mirror some of the same needs, characteristics and behaviors.

As you begin a new week, may the rabbit help you to reflect on the love that God has for you, and how He shows you His love as you behold the beauty of the rabbit.

 

SUNDAY - ‘R’ – Rousing

Rabbits Binky when they are happy.  Binky is when they jump in the air, twist their body and kick their feet out. How do you show that you are happy? Do you smile? Greet others with joy? If you could imagine yourself doing a happy dance, a “Binky” what would it look like? Would you kick up your feet, or jump in the air? Would you clap and sing for joy? Can you imagine how happy God is with you and how He does his own happy dance? What do you think it looks like? With a great imagination but more importantly faith and trust in God and His love for you, I see God singing and dancing with the angels. I see him embracing you as if you were slow dancing to a waltz. A song or melody where you can listen to him tell you how happy He is with you, how loved you are, and encouraging you to go on despite the difficulties that you are facing. Does God jump in the air and twist His body? Yes, every time that you behold His creature Binky, I know that as their creator, they reflect the joy and happiness that God has and wants for all His creatures.

Let your imagination go and try to see God singing and dancing with you. What is your favorite song? Will you let Him lead?

My prayer: Lord, help me to sing and dance with the joy in my heart that you have placed and continue to nurture and expand.

 

MONDAY - “A” – Affectionate

Rabbits show affection with licks and nibbles.   They show their affection by grooming, a gentle nuzzle, lick and nibble. When they do this, they are showing you that they love and care for you.

How do you show affection? Is it hard to show affection or is it easy? Do you show it out of love? or just to be seen? How do you show God affection? We can show Him affection by the way we show it to others especially those for which it is hard, and not reciprocated. We can’t give Him licks and nibbles, but we can give Him our hearts and the love that we have. We can approach our prayer time with great anticipation, joy and happiness. We can embrace our encounter with God and not run away from it.

Rabbits show their affection by grooming and nuzzling up to their owner. God shows us His deep affection by giving us His grace so that we can be the best person that He created us to be and have the potential to become. We can keep our hearts, spirits and souls groomed, cleaned and sin free by maintaining a deep personal prayer life, being an active participant at Mass, receiving the sacraments of the Church, by dying to self so as to live for Christ, by being compassionate and merciful and helping those in need, especially the stranger and those hard to nuzzle up to in our family, community, church and workplace. 

The Eucharist is God’s hug around our heart, the gentle breeze is His kiss on our cheeks, the wind on our back is God pat on the back supporting all that we do, the gentle rain is God crying with us as we mourn, and the snow is God giving us a blanket of love to cover up that which is in our past to show us that we are forgiven and need to go forward renewed and reconciled.

My prayer: Lord help me to show and receive affection as a gift and grace from you, and not just a public act to display.

 

TUESDAY - “B” - Belonging

What or who do you belong to? Where does your identity come from? There is our family that we belong to, churches that we are members of,  a religious community that we are a professed member of and communities that we are a member of. It is not in what we do or say or our job that give us our identity. Our greatest identity comes from being a child of God and a follower of Christ His Son. It doesn’t matter what we do, or who we are on the social latter, but rather how we loved God, others and our self, and how we served our God and built His kingdom here on earth.

Without human interaction, rabbits can become lonely and depressed.   They need to be held and feel like that they are loved and don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. I believe that signs of affection and interaction remind us that we are cared for and loved. Without human affection, we can become hard of heart. When we are without human interaction, we can feel depressed, all alone and unloved. God does not want that for us. He wants us to know without a doubt that He loves us unconditionally, and that He is always with us no matter what. We all need quite time, stress free time, time in prayer, time to refocus and be renewed in body, mind and spirit. God does not leave us alone nor does He want us to leave Him alone. He knows our hearts better than we know them our self, and it is that knowledge and love that He calls us to interact with Him and trust in His promise that He will always be with us, that He will never leave or forsake us. We belong to Him, we are His. We are His greatest creation and sign of His presence here on earth.

My Prayer: Lord help me to remember that my greatest identity comes from being your beloved son or daughter.

 

WEDNESDAY- “B” – Bountiful

Rabbits are a symbol of prosperity, abundance and fertility. Prosperity is a sign of blessing from God. Abundance is an overflowing fullness and fertility is bearing fruit with fertile soil. Jesus suffered and died that we may inherit eternal life. Only through, with and in Him can we experience true happiness and peace in this lifetime. Our foundation is Christ. We can choose to make our foundation strong through prayer, by receiving the Sacraments and the reading of Sacred Scripture, or we can or allow it to become weak. We are prosperous in that God’s graces are overflowing. Our abundance is the overflowing love that comes from God for us and that we share with others. Our fertility lies is the ability to build the kingdom of God here on earth, one prayer, one act of love and mercy at a time.

My Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize that it is only in you and through you that I am prosperous in your graces and desire to love others as you have loved me and to build your kingdom here on earth.

 

THURSDAY- “I” – Independent

Rabbits are independent, loyal, playful, lovable, social creatures that can survive in the wild, but would make an excellent domestic family pet in a loving household.

It is nice to be independent. When young adults are venturing out on their own for the first time, they think that they are now independent. They think that independence means that they don’t have to listen to anyone, they can come and go as they want, that they can do what they want when they want without the rules of home to follow them. Yet true spiritual independence means the opposite, I believe it means that we can be on our own knowing that we need God, others, and our self to keep our feet on the right path, to keep our hearts open and our minds clear. If we think that we don’t need others, we have no one to be loyal to, no one to receive love from or show love for, no one to cry with or shed tears of joy with. God calls us each by name and we are one of a kind. We can stand on our own knowing that when we fall, we will always fall into God’s loving embrace.

My Prayer: Lord strengthen me with your grace so that my sense of spiritual independence grows and my desire to be on my own and do things on my own, is lessened.

 

FRIDAY - “T” – Trainable

Rabbits know their name when called and respond to it.  

Good for them. Now if we as humans, all believed that God calls us by name, that we are His beloved children and not a random act of creation, how much more loving would we be towards our self, others and God. God formed us in the womb and gave us our name. We are not accidents. Although rabbits are trainable and respond to their name, we are not God’s robots. We are His children and He gently and not forcefully, calls us to follow Him. Yet, as a rabbit wants to follow the voice of their owner, we too want to follow that voice of our shepherd, Jesus Christ. So we are not too different from the rabbit in our need to be lead in the right direction, hear the voice of the one who loves us and follow that voice so that we don’t get lost.

My prayer: Lord open my ears so that I may hear and listen to your voice and not the voices or the noises of those who try to take me, mis direct me on another path.

 

SATURDAY – “S” – Sorrowing

Rabbits shed tears when they are sad, suffering or ill.

I would melt if I saw or heard a rabbit cry. It would break my heart to know that this vulnerable and helpless creature was suffering. How much more does God’s heart break when He sees us, His vulnerable, weak creatures suffer? God cries with us. He cries when we cry and when we are suffering. When we can’t seem to shed a tear, He cries even more because He knows the depth and extent of the pain that we are feeling inside. Can you see God crying as you cry or can’t seem to cry? Do you know that the pain you are experiencing He is also experiencing and is crying even more? Tears are very healing and cathartic. By shedding the tears of pain, aggravation, stress, happiness, peace and joy which are inside you, you shed the negative energy and share the good.

God hears and cries with you, will you allow yourself to cry with Him? Crying is a sign of strength and courage and not of weakness. We are humbled through our tears, and it is in that act of humility that God can heal us and bring us new life.

My prayer: Lord, grant me a spirit of humility so that as I cry with you and share my joys, sorrows and desires with you, I may be healed and made whole.

 

 

 

 

I am sure that you heard this before, if you did laugh again, if you didn’t laugh anyway,

What do you call a line of rabbits hopping backwards? Answer: A receding hare line..sorry, had to….

 

Glimpse of God for the week of July 28, 2019

WAITING: THE GIFT

Waiting? How well do you wait? What do you wait for? We wait with joy and anticipation for special occasions: the birth of a child, the graduation of a child or your own, the right job to come, your wedding day, the day of one’s ordination or religious profession. With a certain eagerness and concern we wait for to hear good news about a medical condition, or to hear from someone that we haven’t heard from, or for an apology. In need and vulnerability, we wait for a repair person to come with the widest window and the widest amount of time where you can’t get a lot done. In some anticipation and or frustration we wait for the seasons to change so that we can be more comfortable and away from the too cold or too hot days.

Like Mary we await the birth of Christ so that we can be renewed and transformed in and through His life within us.

Like Jesus we wait for people to come to believe in God His Father, so that they can experience true happiness and peace. Like God, we wait for people to recognize that they are truly God’s beloved child and that there is nothing that they can do to that will make God love them less.

BUT how do we wait for death? Do we wait for death or do we think that it won’t come too soon so just keep putting it aside?

Death is the one of the most uncertain events that we face. Not uncertain as to how we will die, but rather what lies beyond this life and wondering if we be held in God’s loving embrace, or will that embrace be delayed as we wait in purgatory? As you think about death are you fearful, joyful or fear filled? Where is God during your fear or uncertainty? If He is in your joy do you thank Him?

Do you realize that God is always waiting for you? God waits for you every moment of every day. He waits to hear from you as you approach your prayer time. He waits for you to honestly tell Him your concerns and stresses and all that lies heavy on your heart as well as your joys. He waits for you to come back home after a long and painful journey of self-discovery and conversion. He waits for you to surrender your will to His so that He can help you become your best self, the person that He created you to be, and have the potential to become. He waits for you to listen to Him as He tells you that He loves you unconditionally and that you are His beloved. He waits for you to tell Him that you love Him.

Sister Barbara Lucas waited patiently, with courage, trust, hope and peace.

But I believe that there is one occasion that He waits with great joy and expectation. That time, I believe is the time that you are preparing to return home to Him in death. How do we wait? The reason for this glimpse if because I had the gracefilled opportunity to befriend a spiritual companion at the Assisi House who waited for death with a true peace and surrender. Sister Barbara Lucas passed from this life and entered eternal life this week. Although her physical presence will be missed, her gentle spirit and her deep faith and trust in God will always be remembered and shared with those who might be afraid and need an angel of courage to touch their heart.

God was waiting for Barbara and although she had been ready and waiting to return home to Him, God knew that He needed to touch the hearts and spirits of those who Barbara encountered daily, so that we could wait with expectation and anticipation and not fear. I believe that God waited to bring Sister Barbara home not because He wanted her to continue to suffer, or that there was no room in the inn, but rather He was waiting for us, her family and friends, to learn something from her about waiting for death and take it to heart. Sister Barbara recognized God’s presence and love for her and how she was His beloved daughter. She exuded that love by her gentle smile, her trust, her courage, her hope and her love for others. Sister Barbara waited in great expectation and eagerness to meet her God face to face. She waited for her cross of suffering to be transformed into the cross of resurrection and exultation, her brokenness into healing and wholeness, and her sinfulness into forgiveness and reconciliation. While she waited to return home, others waited with her during a very grace filled time. In the face of dying and death, they waited with her in peace despite the grief, in trust despite the uncertainty, in hope despite the unknown, in love to honor her God, in silence to honor her spirit, in hope to reverence her God and in joy to honor His promise. As she breathed her last breath here on earth, it was her first breath in eternity.

Sister Barbara loved Her God, her community of beloved Sisters, her friends, the staff, and herself as all beloved daughters and sons of God.

As we enter a new week, let us enter with a courage and spirit of trust as we wait. If you find yourself waiting for a phone call about medical challenges, your death or the death of a loved one, a repair person to arrive, an joyful occasion to come, the weather to change, medicine to kick in, or if you are waiting to become your better self with your prayer for more patience, a greater trust, more self-confidence or forgiveness of yourself or from another to be answered, wait with God knowing that He is waiting with you and for you. What is God waiting for us to do? Not for us as His children to get our act together, because even in His time that could take forever. I believe that He waits for us as to discern His will and choose to follow it. He knows our hearts better than we do, and He knows that we want to serve Him as best we can.

SUNDAY - “W” - Watchful

As you find yourself waiting, are you watchful and vigilant at the expense of other things? Are you waiting in fear or worry or are you trusting in God that all will work out as He intends? If you don’t find yourself waiting for anything, take a moment to think death and reflect on your feelings and response to it? Do you think that you will live as if you are dying, or will you live as if death has no power over God’s promise of eternal life to those who love Him? Death is not the end of light and the beginning of darkness; no, it is end of darkness and the beginning of light. Do you believe that? Physical death, spiritual death or the death of a relationship all involve a dying to self so that resurrection can occur. The pain and effects of personal sin, human choices, hurts and alienations bring about darkness, but Christ light overcomes the darkness. Remember that you are a child of the light and not of darkness.

For today: Lord help me to wait in the light trust, patience, and peace and not in the darkness of impatience, worry or fear.

MONDAY - “A” - Authentic

As a trustworthy and faithful witness for God, do you find that when you are waiting on things, people or yourself, that you are not the patient person that you like to be? Mary waited as a woman of faith in the face of her challenges and crosses. Mary waited for nine months for the birth of Christ and I believe that it was a very challenging and painful nine month period: after the Annunciation she then had to then tell Joseph and he at first didn’t believe that it was by God that she was with child, she waited as the Angel of God appeared to him to reassure him that it was by God that the child was conceived. She had to leave her home and give birth in a manger and did not have the help or support of her parents, family or friends. She waited for three days to find Jesus. She waited at the foot of the cross as Jesus suffered and died. She waited for three days for His resurrection. In all her waiting from the beginning of Jesus’ life to the end, she did so with trust in God and His will. She knew that whatever He asked, she could do, but not on her own, only with His spirit and help.

For today: Dear Mother Mary, please help me to wait more patiently and trust more deeply that in all things God is at the end of what I am waiting for and He will give me the grace and strength to receive it.

TUESDAY - “I” - Invincible

In the face of life challenges and crosses a good chant to remember is that you are invincible and that you will not be defeated. In all of life challenges and crosses, God wants you to know and believe that you will not be defeated or overcome by life’s crosses, but rather that He is and will always be with you. It is hard not to become discouraged or stressed out when life continues to incorporate various crosses in your life and you automatically must go a different direction or adopt a different mindset to overcome them. But in all of that, you are invincible because the spirit of God dwells in you and you are the body of Christ.

For today: Lord help me to remember that in all my waiting with the crosses of my life, that the crosses that I carry will never defeat me but only strengthen me to be a better person. Please help me to recognize that my strength, courage and determination are your gifts, your Simon of Cyrene, that remind me that I can accept help, that I am never alone and that you are always with me.

WEDNESDAY - “T” - Timeless

God’s love is everlasting and eternal. When God calls us back home, it is to a home that lasts forever, a home where there is no more pain or suffering, death, dying or darkness, only eternal joy, happiness, peace and life. Aa we live our life here on earth, we wait on many things, people, and events, yet with God, He is waiting only on us to know, love and witness to Him in this life so that we can be with Him in the next life.

How do you use your time? Do you feel that you waste time, or do you feel you use it wisely? Is time with God a priority or an afterthought? God’s time is not your time but that doesn’t mean that you can forget Him or ignore His many signs that He is waiting for you to come and be with Him. Love is eternal. God is eternal. Our time here on earth is short and limited. Our time in heaven is eternal.

For Today: Help me to wait with an unchanging heart to the sound of your voice and the stillness of your spirit as I discern your will and choose to follow it.

THURSDAY - “I”- Indomitable

Determined to live in the face of death, that was Sister Barbara. In life, we can choose to live despite our crosses or we can choose to be dead in the face of our crosses. No one knows when God will call them back home. When someone is in hospice, the know that their time will come sooner than they thought. Even in the face of death, we can choose to live in the light of God’s love, carry our cross in faith and determination, and trust the Christ will take us by the hand to walk us to our eternal reward.

Do you have any regrets? Are you living in fear or discouragement? Do you feel as if God doesn’t love you and that you are unlovable by anyone else? Choose life. Choose reconciliation over anger and resentment. Choose to listen to God, and not run away from Him as He tells you how much He loves you, is in love with you and that you are His beloved child. Listen as He tells you that you are His greatest creation, loved unconditionally, beyond measure and the cost was His son Jesus’ death on the cross.  Let go of the heavy baggage that keeps you bound so that your burdens will be lighter and your journey a delight.

For today: Lord help me to remain steadfast in my commitment to follow you and serve you to the best of my ability today. Let me not give into discouragement in the face of my trials, but rather seek with a determined heart and spirit to face them knowing that you are always with me as my strength, courage and hope. Help me to wait in hope and trust as I live with my cross and to choose life despite it.

FRIDAY - “N” - Nurturing

You are a nurturing person. You give of yourself, your presence, to those in need, you pray for those who entrust their cares and concerns to you, you visit those who are ill and you try to spend time with those who have no one to spend time with.

Only God can allow you to be all of that and to do all of that. We can choose to do good and follow His will and that is what He waits for. He waits for us in life and in death. He waits for us to honor Him by our lives as we witness to His presence and build up His kingdom here on earth.

As you build up His kingdom here on earth, are you able to recognize the source of your strength and determination, nutrition and sustenance? The Eucharist and the Sacraments of the Church are Jesus’ gift to us to help us on our earthly journey so that we don’t go hungry or ever thirst again. The graces that we receive from these gifts enable us to journey on earth to our heavenly reward, so that when we get to heaven and are in God’s loving embrace, our hunger and thirst will have all been fulfilled.

For today: Lord as you come to me in the Eucharist, let me wait and listen to you as you tell me again, how much you love me and how I am called to share that love today.

SATURDAY - “G” – Graceful

Being graceful as one waits is sometimes hard. As you wait for a phone call, do you become impatient, more concerned or even fretful? As you wait for a special occasion to come, do you become stressed over details, as you wait for another to apologize so that you can mend bridges, do you become more resentful, angry and frustrated? As you wait, do you lose that cool demeanor and your other self emerges. (not your best graceful self)? God gets it! He understands how difficult waiting can be, after all He created you and knows you better than you know yourself. As one faces death, one can lose that gracefulness or choose to grasp it tighter. That doesn’t mean that fear won’t creep in and choose to stay, but it can mean that in the face of fear, one chooses to trust God that the fear will not overcome the grace.

Sister Barbara lived and died with dignity. She lived and chose to leave this world with the gracefulness and beauty that God instilled in her heart and spirit, and soul at her baptism, renewed in her at her religious profession, and strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church and her religious community.

For today: Lord help me to live and face all of life challenges with the grace, dignity and strength that you possess and have instilled in me at my baptism. May I wait in silence, hope and trust, and when I get tired of waiting, help me to use the waiting time as a time for personal growth, spiritual transformation, and renewal.

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of July 21, 2019

 
   

The doorposts and lintels of life.

My Glimpse of God for this week came as I listened to the Exodus account of the Israelites preparing to leave Egypt. Through the action of marking their dooorposts and lintel with the blood of the paschal lamb, this was a sign to the Egyptians that they were abandoning their former beliefs and practices and returning to worshiping the one true God.  They were risking their lives and trusted that the Angel of death would pass over their household as God had promised. 

As I think of  doorposts and lintels, I think of how we enter in and leave through them. I believe that Christ offers us various doorposts and lintels to enter and leave through.As the Israelites marked their doorposts and lintel with the blood of the paschal lamb, we as Catholic Christians already have the blood of the Paschal lamb on our doorposts and lintels.  Jesus is the Paschal lamb who offered the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins by His death on the cross.  Our doorposts and lintels are to our heart, mind, spirit, and soul. Jesus invites us to share in His life by being willing to enter into His passion and death as His followers and witnesses in the world. Our lintels and doorposts are already marked with the blood of Jesus and sealed with his Holy Spirit so that spiritual death cannot occur within us. Every doorpost and lintel represents Christ’s presence and the freedom that we have to enter and leave through them. There are various stages of life or spiritual expereinces that we enter into as our old self and leave transformed as a new creation.

The life stages or spiritual experiences that I would  like to use for daily reflection are: Our Baptism, Attending Mass, The Sacrament of Reconciliation, Death, Illness, Prayer, and Our Vocation.

All of our life experiences are gifts from God so that we can draw nearer to Him through Jesus.  The Israelites risked their life as they marked their doorposts and lintel to their home with the blood of the paschal lamb trusting in God’s promise. Are we willing to die to self as to live for God?

Do we trust in God’s promise that He will always be with us and that He will never leave us,no matter what ? Do we, or can we, open our hearts, minds and spirit to being transformed, being renewed and being made anew creation?

 

SUNDAY – Our Baptism

We enter through the lintel and doorposts of our baptism with original sin and we leave as a new creation. At our baptism we are called by name, we are cleansed of sin, we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit and grace, we are given the light of Christ, and we are immersed into the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

At your baptism, your heart was touched by Christ so that each day He can expand it, transform it, renew it and make it like His.As you reflect on the effects of your baptism and how you have become a new creation, can you recognize that each day that you have been given to live in the light of your baptism, you  have chosen to mark the lintel and the doorposts of your heart with a greater trust and openness to God? Do you recognize that it was your faith in His promise that HE would never leave you that enabled you to enter into your many passion and death experiences trusting that you would leave through them as a new and transformed beloved child of God?

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of my heart this day, may the graces and effects of my baptism bring me to a greater realization of the love you have for me, and that I am called to have for others.

 

MONDAY – Attending Mass

We enter through the doorposts and lintel of Mass expecting to be nourished and sustained by God’s presence in Sacred Scripture and in the Holy Eucharist, and we leave fulfilled, strengthened and renewed in grace, hope and mercy.

As you attend Mass, do you find yourself attending with an open mind and heart that will allow God to love you as you listen to His Holy Word and receive His only Son Jesus in the Eucharist? Or do you come with a mind and heart that is closed to compassion but open to anger, resentment, frustration, discouragement and despair? God told the Israelites to mark their doorposts and lintel with the blood of the Paschal lamb so that the Angel of death would pass over their household. They took the risk, trusted in God;s promise and did what they were told.When you come to Mass, God is inviting you to partake of the sacrificial meal so that your spiriutal life is made stronger and spiritual death does not occur within you. Do you accept His invitation or do you come just out of obligation and fear? Do you hunger for the Lord and thirst for His word?

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of my mind, may the gift and graces that you give through your Holy Word and the Holy Eucharist, bring me to a greater realization of your unconditional and selfless love for me and how I am called to extend it to others.

 

TUESDAY – The Sacrament of Reconciliation

We enter through the doorposts and lintel of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a sinner whose offenses have caused shame, guilt, fear, discouragement,weariness and self defeat to take over one’s heart. Our undivided heart and love for God has called us to approach the throne of grace to seek forgivenenss, to be reconciled and receive His mercy so that we can go forth renewed and forgiven, healed and made whole.

As you apporach the sacrament, do you approach with unnecessary and binding guilt and self defeat, or do you approach with humility, hope and a desire to be healed?

God knows your heart better than you do. He knows your weaknesses and He knows your desires. He sees that your heart, although undivided,  is sometimes torn between what you want and what you know is best. He recognizes that in that moment of choice you choose that which is easier.No sin is greater than His love and mercy.  The spiritual transformation that comes from the Sacrament of Reconciliation comes when you recognize that your choice was not God’s will, yet God knows you wish and pray that it had been.

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of my will, may the gift and grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation bring me to a greater realization that my sins will never be geater than your love and mercy for me.

 

WEDNESDAY –Death

We enter through the doorposts and lintel of death, either that of a loved one, or the reality that ours is very near, sometimes with fear, uncertainty and many questions. Death is the unknown, life here on earth is what we know. Death brings us to face the darkness of the unknown. We live as disciples of Christ, trusting in His words and building His kingdom here on earth. We live in the hope that when our earthly journey has ended, we will see God face to face and rest in His loving embrace.This is our hope for our loved ones, and as followers of Christ, it should be our hope for the stranger, the outcasts, and those who have offended us.

We enter as sinners but we embark on our eternal journey with hope, new life and an end to all pain, suffering, sin, and harm. Our doorposts and lintel are new and everlasting, they are formed and constructed with and in Christ as the one foundation.

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of the end of my, or my loved ones, earthly journey, may the hope of and in the resurrection calm my fears, heal my wounds, and bring me to the eternal joy and happiness that you have in store for me.

 

THURSDAY –Illness

We enter through the doorposts and lintels of personal illness weak and vulnerable and we leave through them as healed and made whole. How does that healing appear?What does it look like? Does our illness go away? are we finally rid of its pain and suffering? If God loved me why wouldn’t He want me to be well and healed, why doesn’t He take this pain away? We enter throgh the doorposts and lintel with great expectation, fear and anxiety, yet God does want us to be healed and made whole, we just have to be open to how that will look. At our baptism we entered into the passion and death of Christ and that means that we will suffer in this life, but not alone or without hope. He promised that we would never be alone even in what seem like our darkest moments. Christ turns His light on when we can’t reach the switch. He heals us the way that will bring us to greater peace and inner joy. We might be facing  a cancer that is destroying our body, but Christ wants to heal the cancer of resentment, bitternenss, greed, hopelessness, anger,self destruction and defeat so that our spiritual life, our soul will not be destroyed.

We enter through the doorposts and lintel of aging and all that comes with that, but Christ wants us to rejoice. The good news is that each day that we age, we draw closer to seeing Him face to face, of seeing the saints that have gone before us, of seeing our loved ones again and of being held in God’s loving embrace forever. What a great day that will be, it will be our forever new birthday.

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of illness, may the healing that you desire for me be what I see and recognize as your gift and a grace that will strengthen me to carry the cross of illness.

 

FRIDAY – Prayer

We enter through the lintel and doorposts of prayer with great expectations, hopes, needs, and desires. We enter in need and trust and we leave through them with peace and a sense of fulfillment. Does that mean  that our prayers were heard and answered,or does it mean more that our trust in God tells us that He heard us and will answer our prayers as HE sees best and that is all we desire? I believe that when we pray for others, it is an act of selflessness, when we pray for our own needs, we are being humble, when we pray for the world and  all of its concerns, troubles and tragedies, we are showing compassion,and when we pray out of despair or feel that we cannot go on any more, that our rope needs another knot so that we can hang on, we are showing God that we need Him and that we want to stay connected to Him and not let go.

Our relationship with God is and should be our primary relationship. Out of our prayer life our spiritual life and our relationships here on earth will grow, be more God centered, make more sense and make us more like Christ in all that we say and do, in our attitudes and by our deeds. As we enter through the doorposts and lintel of prayer may we recognize that our time with God, no matter how long or short, is never wasted or unheard.

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of prayer, may I never lose hope or the desire to come to you as your beloved child. May the desires and prayers of my heart bring me to see you more clearly in your YES’s, love you more dearly in your NO’s, and  follow you more nearly in your NOT YETS.

 

SATURDAY – Our Vocation

We enter through the lintel and doorposts of our vocation with anticipation and excitement. We leave through them a new creation; as a new spouse, as a new consecrated religious, as a new member of the clergy, as a new parent, as a new independent and self sufficient single person, and as new caretaker of aging or ill parents. God has created us to be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become. He has called us to a vocation that will not only allow that to occur, but will enable us to grow closer to Him and others. We become a beacon that will draw others closer to Him.

Our call, our vocation is not our own for our own benefit, but rather it is a calling that we answer with great trust in God and anticipation to fulfilling His will for our life and those entrusted to our care. As we answer our call and others answer theirs, we all become

co builders in the Kingdom of God here on earth.

A prayer for today: Lord, as I mark the doorposts and lintel of my vocation, may I cherish my calling and the calling and vocation of others. May my vocation be your instrument of new life and peace to all those that I encounter. May the joy that I experienced as I first heard your call, continue to fill my heart,mind and spirit as I strive to live it out day by day.

Mary said Yes and followed your will in the face of many trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows. May I look to Mary for strength, courage and perseverence as I encounter the trials and tribulations that come with the cross and as a follower of Christ.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of July 14, 2019

The love of Christ present in a Rose

My Glimpse of God for this week is on the Rose; a precious and beautiful creation and splendor of God.  To me, the rose is a constant reminder of the love, presence, mercy and compassion of Christ.  As I look at a rose, I see not only the beauty of its color and perfection of the petals, but also the pain that the thorns can cause and the connection of the beauty and the pain through the stem.  

Life is filled with both great beauty and enough pain.  As Christians, we are baptized into the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, we are immersed into our spiritual humanity, and the pain and beauty that it will present to us.

With the rose, the beauty of the petals and their colors is our Easter Sunday. The pain, as we touch or get hurt by the thorns, is our Good Friday, the stem is Jesus as He reaches out to us and invites us to embrace both with faith, courage, trust, peace and hope and the leaf is the healing that grows from the painful experiences. As Christians we cannot and should not expect to experience just joyful times, and we cannot get stuck on our death or tomb experiences without faith in our resurrections, our healing, our conversions and transformations through God’s mercy. Life is filled with Good Fridays and Easter Sundays.  As we experience sorrow and joy throughout our life time we are called to embrace both and not dismiss one or the other.  If we choose to cut off the stem to eliminate the painful times or the thorns of life; we can miss out on experiencing personal transformation, healing and conversion. If we decide to focus only on the painful times and are not open to experience joy or happiness, healing or wholeness, we can miss out on discovering and recognizing the courage, strength and self-determination that lies within. We would or could miss out on recognizing how we overcame the struggles and carried the cross without being defeated or bleeding to death. Jesus did that once for all. The leaf that grows from the stem along with the rose and the thorns is God’s gift of surprise, healing, and personal and spiritual growth.

Christ suffered and died for us.

Mary’s YES to God opened her heart to His will and the joys and sorrows that she would experience as the Mother of God and our Mother.

Christ is the stem, the connection between the joyful beauty of life and the sufferings that will take place in life.  He is the root of our strength, the courage, hope, peace, joy and happiness of our life. He is the height, length, and depth of unconditional, selfless and eternal love.

The rose had many colors and various meanings. Why do we give roses to another? Why do we like receiving roses? My hope for this week is as you reflect on the various colors and meanings of roses, you will not only see the many faces of those who have enhanced your inner and spiritual beauty in and through your joys and sufferings, but more importantly the hand of God, through Jesus, handing you your rose, a rose for a day to remind you of His great love for you and how beautiful you are to Him. Look at the leaves on your rose and try to see them as the obstacles and challenges that you have overcome and how you have grown despite them.

SUNDAY – A YELLOW rose represents the sun, friendship, caring, joy, delight, welcome and encouragement.

Receive this yellow rose from Jesus and listen to him as tells you how much he cares for you and delights in you. He is your best friend and he sees you as His friend; A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter, He who finds one finds a treasure. (Sirach) You are a treasure to Christ. He wants you to know that you fill Him with great delight each time you have befriended others in His name. When have you done that? Every time you have reached out with compassion and love to lift another up who had fallen to sin, weakness, temptation; and self-defeat, how you have and continue to offer words of encouragement to the discouraged and downtrodden, and solace to the grieving, how you have welcomed the stranger and  the outcasts, how you  have forgiven and welcomed back one who had harmed you.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and reach out to accept the rose of joy, delight and friendship that He has for you and in you. As you behold the petals of the yellow rose, see the faces of your friends who have enriched your life by their caring, concern, love and friendship and have helped you recognize with greater clarity the true treasure that your friendship is in Christ.

Pause and pray for someone who has been a true light of Christ to you amidst your darkest times.

Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a yellow rose to them.

 

MONDAY – A RED rose represents love, romance, passion, courage, and respect

Receive this red rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how much He loves you and is in love with you. Listen as He reminds you that your love for Him is what has given you, and will continue to give you, the ability, courage and strength to witness to the gospel message and build the Kingdom of God here on earth

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and reach out to accept the rose of love, courage and respect that is His gift to you. As you behold the petals of the red rose, see the faces of those who have been your source of courage, inspiration and a renewed passion and love for Christ. Pause and pray for someone who has inspired you to become a more loving, courageous and respectful child of God. Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a red rose to them.

 

TUESDAY – A WHITE rose represents purity, innocence, youthfulness, new beginnings, and everlasting love.

Receive this white rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how much He loves you and is there for you each time you fall and choose to get up and start again. Life is full of surprises, some good and some not so good.  We surprise our self when we do something that we never thought we would or could, things that others did, but not us, and it leaves us feeling guilty, full of shame and unlovable. It is called sin. Sin is erased by God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness, it is called unconditional love. It is God’s unconditional love that gives us a new lease on life, an abundance of grace not only to begin anew, but to keep going and not give into despair, discouragement or defeat.

We surprise our self when we do something that we didn’t think was possible, and that is to accept God’s forgiveness when we believed that our sin, our choices were beyond His ability or desire to forgive, that we had done something that not even God would or could forgive. When we choose to accept forgiveness and own up to our bad choices, we are responding to God’s grace and desire to become our better self, the best person that we can be and have the potential to become. Our baptisms gave us new life and each day we are renewed in that new life as we enter each day with Christ and for Christ. Allow yourself to be surprised by Jesus and you will be amazed.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and reach out to receive the rose of new beginnings in and through Him. As you behold the petals of the white rose, see the faces of those who has forgiven you in Christ and who you have forgiven.

Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has inspired you to begin again and not give up, to seek renewal and not fold up, and to embrace the everlasting love that God has for you and not turn away.

Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a white rose to them.

 

WEDNESDAY – A DARK PINK rose represents gratitude, appreciation, grace and elegance.

Receive this dark pink rose from Jesus and listen to Him as He tells you how grateful He is to you for you. God formed you in the womb and called you by name. You are His beloved child, one of kind, and His greatest creation. There will never be another you. God created you to be your best self so that you can help others recognize their best self in the light of His great love. When you choose to share and witness to the Gospel message, when you choose to build up His kingdom one prayer, one act of kindness, one act of mercy at a time, He is grateful. When you choose to stand up for what is right and not fall for the luring of the world, God is grateful. When you choose to pray so that your desire to grow in relationship with God is fulfilled, God is grateful, honored and reverenced. God appreciates and understands how difficult it can be to do His will in a world that contradicts it. In those dark times He fills you with grace so that you can radiate His light in the darkness, and He knows that you are and will be grateful.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, and reach out to accept the rose of His appreciation and gratitude to you for being His loving

disciple, witness, follower and builder of His Kingdom here on earth. As you behold the petals of the dark pink rose, see the faces of those who you are most grateful for and have grown in a greater appreciation of. Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has not only touched your life, but has transformed your body, mind, spirit and soul with their grace, elegance, inner peace and joy. Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a dark pink rose to them.

 

THURSDAY – An IVORY rose represents charm, thoughtfulness, gracefulness, richness and perfection.

Receive this ivory rose from Jesus and listen as He tells you how graceful you are especially when it is difficult. You are so thoughtful of others and it shows. When you seek to make others happy, to comfort and encourage others who are struggling and in need of encouragement to console the grieving, to visit the elderly, to call a family member far away, to pray for others; these are all acts of thoughtfulness and a response to grace.  Jesus wants you to know that He knows of how selfless you have been especially when it would have been easier to be selfish. You possess the gift of being thoughtful by the way you spread joy, laughter, happiness, peace, mercy, compassion and love to others.  Being thoughtful is not easy though. When you are thoughtful you have a great and humble way of putting the needs and desires of others before your own. Your thoughtfulness is a response to Jesus’ invitation to be more like Him and be the Body of Christ in your world.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, and reach out to receive the rose of His graces bestowed on you in abundance and recognized by you as His gift. As you behold the petals of the ivory rose, see the faces of those who have been a true and deep source of thoughtfulness, gracefulness and charm to you through their selfless acts of kindness, care and concern. Pause and pray for someone who has been the heart of Christ by their selfless acts of thoughtfulness. Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present an ivory rose to them.

 

FRIDAY – A GREEN rose represents the constant renewal of life, energy, spirit, richness, and abundance

The renewal of life and energy, what does that mean or look like? If you are thinking the energizer bunny and being able to do so much and not ever get tired or weary, great, but that is not what I think God wants us to see it as. For me, the renewal of energy has more to do with where we get our strength so that we can live and be the Body of Christ in our families, communities, church and world. 

Who of what gives you the courage, strength or ambition to be the best person that you can be? Who or what gives you the desire to get out of bed and begin a new day with joy and anticipation? Who or what helps you make the good choice to be life giving, and not tear another down? or to be a positive and encouraging person instead of a discouraged and negative person? Who or what gives you new life?

Jesus is the only source of new life. At our baptism we received new life in Christ and we continue to receive it through the sacraments of the church and each other.

You are a positive energy source, God’s instrument of renewal and new life to those around you. Your faith and your focus on Christ enable you to be that for those you encounter. Green also symbolizes hope when you are a source of renewal and new life for others, you also give them hope that they will not fall into discouragement or become stagnant.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, and reach out to receive the rose of new life, new energy and renewal that only Jesus can provide and wants to provide to you. As you behold the petals of the green rose, see the faces of those who have been a positive, encouraging and supportive energy source for you. Pause and pray in gratitude for someone who has renewed your energy, passion and desire to live life to the fullest, to be your best self and to recognize how blessed you are as God’s beloved child.

Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a green rose to them.

 

SATURDAY – A PEACH rose represents appreciation and sincerity.

God is sincere, you are sincere. Sincerity allows us to be true tour self and enables others to be true to them self as well. If we are not honest with our self, we cannot be honest with others.  If we are not sincere with God, we are the greatest of all fools and no one laughs. God created us and knows our hearts, minds and spirits better than we will ever know them.  He knows that our deepest desire is to be true to Him and not to deceive Him, but out of weakness and sin, we give into insincerity and dishonesty and not being true to our self or Him.  God get s it. He knows and He understands, the question is; do we? Sincerity is a grace and gift given to us by God to use for the building up of His Kingdom. The kingdom that is built on a foundation of humility, honesty, authenticity, genuineness and truth. God loves all that you do for Him and wants you to know that His kingdom is stronger because of you. He thanks you.

You bring a smile to Christ, so take a moment, close your eyes and allow the warmth of that smile to penetrate your very being from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, and reach out to receive the rose of appreciation that Jesus has for you for not only being the best person that you can be in His name, but encouraging others to be the same by your loving example and witness. As you behold the petals of the peach rose, see the faces of those who are sincere, authentic, honest and genuine with you, so that you can become your best self. Pause and pray in gratitude for the person that you appreciate the most because of their sincerity. Say a prayer of gratitude for them and prayerfully present a peach rose to them

 

Glimpse of God for the week of July 7, 2019

 

Christmas in July. This is not a glimpse encouraging you to begin your Christmas shopping or to write out your Christmas cards, so please put the keys down, the lists away and keep the stamps and address books in the drawer.

What is Christmas in July?  In our commercial and consumer world, it is where retailers have Christmas decorations and all the necessary items out for sale so that the consumer can get a jump start and shop ahead.  July is in the middle of summer where it can also be the hottest time of the year, so that when we talk about Christmas, there can be a sudden feeling of refreshment and cooling off.

But on a deeper and a more spiritual level, why is or should July be different than any other month? Why don’t we celebrate Christmas every day and not just the one day a year? On December 25th, we as Catholic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, where God chose Mary the young virgin to be the Mother of God and Joseph to be His foster father here on earth. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, we know that it is the Christmas season because it is officially Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. How do you know it is Christmas? You can’t miss the various and many clues; decorations  and advertisements abound everywhere; in the Malls, on houses, in stores and on televisions, Christmas cards are sent out,  Santa Claus appears everywhere either in his PJ’s or in his full red suit, people celebrate with parties, the poor, hungry and homeless are remembered through various food collections, special dinners, coat and clothes drives , the sick children are thought of in a special way through toys for tots, people are kinder, gifts are exchanged and children send their Christmas lists to Santa at the North pole early so that they can get everything they want.

Christmas is not just about the bright and positive, it is also about the cross of Christ experienced first by Mary and Joseph. Christmas is also a time where many people grieve the loss of their loved one and would rather cry than celebrate or smile, families are broken, wounds are renewed, lives are lost through war, homicide, suicide, and addictions and all of these lives are gifts that have been taken away, the poor are still poor, many of the homeless are still without a home, the hungry are still hungry and peace on earth is still our hope and prayer. There is still more darkness than daylight and the weather can lead to cabin fever.

My Glimpse of God for this week is not to eliminate Christmas in July, but rather that we make the meaning of Christmas our daily mindset; a mindset focused on a greater and deeper sense of faith, hope, love, compassion, service, mercy, peace, joy, authenticity, presence and trust. As we begin a new week during this month of July, let us focus on some of the aspects of our faith and discipleship and seek to live it out as if it was Christmas every day.

 

SUNDAY – Spirit of Christmas

The spirit and gift of Christmas is a state of mind and one that we are blessed with every day. We are called to be a selfless, and not a selfish, people. We are all God’s beloved sons and daughters, and when we share the gift of our love and beloved-ness with others, it helps them recognize with greater clarity how unconditionally loved they are by God and other.  The Spirit of Christmas is a spirit of self-emptying love, surrender, trust, hope and joy that penetrates our very being and dwells within our hearts if we are open to God’s Holy Spirit and His plan for us.

We are and can always try to give of our self. If someone is grieving and is in need of comfort, be God’s instrument of consolation and support. If someone is ill and needs a good listener, be the ears of Christ and listen in silence. If someone is alone and in need of a visitor, be the visitor of compassion, support and empathy. If someone has hurt you, be merciful, listen and forgive as God has forgiven you. If someone is joyful, be joyful with them and don’t let your life crosses, struggles and challenges overshadow their joy, God loves a cheerful giver.

Today, if you are carrying a heavy cross, don’t try to carry it alone, remember Jesus accepted help, so let others help. If you find that you are not your best self, remember that what you see is only a partial view where God sees the whole picture. That picture is one of love, compassion, healing, and wholeness, so rejoice that your better self is emerging, just move out of your way so that you can see it more clearly.

If you find that you are being tough on you self because of mistakes, weaknesses or sins, there are two words that God knows are in your heart, that He wants to hear so that He can take action to heal, forgive and make you whole. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Embrace it, extend it, receive it.

 

MONDAY – The Senses of Prayer for you today

May Jesus open your eyes so that you can see the wonderful gift of His presence in those that surround you: your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and yes even the stranger.

May Jesus open your ears so that you can hear the laughter and listen to the stories of those around you and respond with the empathy, compassion, joy, mercy and love of Jesus. May you hear and listen as you open your heart to His message. May Jesus touch your nose so that you can smell the various aromas of the foods that are being prepared for your table; the breakfast table, the fast food table, the dinner table, the snack table. As you enjoy the aromas, may that prompt a prayer of thanksgiving for those who are preparing your meal. Remember each meal, beginning with Holy Eucharist, is a gift given by God to nurture and sustain you spiritually and physically, so that you can be a stronger witness as a Member of the Body of Christ to all. May Jesus touch your sense of taste and allow you to enjoy all that you partake of weather at the table, or on the run. Taste and see the Goodness of the Lord.

May Jesus touch your mind, body, spirit and soul with His grace. May you reach out and touch someone today that needs comfort, consolation, healing, empathy, compassion, peace, joy, love and laughter.

 

TUESDAY – The Greetings of Christ

When we greet each other with a smile, words or a friendly gesture, it is the recognition of the presence of another that spreads love, mutual respect, understanding, peace, mercy, compassion and builds up the Kingdom of God here on earth. When the Christmas season approaches, respectful of the other holidays that are also being celebrated in and around the same time, you often hear various greetings from Merry Christmas, happy holidays to Happy Hanukah. 

I believe that these greeting are one’s attempt to be respectful of the many religious holidays and to acknowledge a person’s celebration.  Why wait till the season to greet others? A smile, handshake or a simple hello are ways to acknowledge another’s presence without causing any political or religious debate or offense.  Christ didn’t preach just at Passover. He didn’t perform miracles just at parties, He glorified the Father all the time without fear or hesitation.

 

Today or the next time that you want to greet another but hesitate because of fear, the uncertainty of their response, or because you don’t know what to say, offer a smile and say a prayer for them.  When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, the first words from His mouth were Peace Be with You!! Let these words echo in your heart as He speaks them to you, and as He wishes them for all His children through you.

 

WEDNESDAY – The Presence/Presents of Christmas

Christ comes to us and gives us the greatest gift that we could ever ask for or imagine receiving; the gift of His real presence in the Holy Eucharist, and His healing presence in the Sacraments of the Reconciliation and Anointing. His gift of Self to us was a selfless, unconditional self-emptying gift that we could never earn or deserve, yet knowing that, He came to earth as an infant through the virgin Mary, suffered His passion, died on the cross and rose from the dead, to show us, not only how unconditionally loved we are , but that there is no sin that could ever diminish or take that love from us. Do we believe that and can we live that faith?

We are the Body of Christ and we are called to be the Body of Christ to others. Being present to others and giving of our self is not  always easy, but like Mary and Joseph, if we trust in God and follow the star of His grace that guides us, we know that He will always protect us, guide us, and lead us to those who need to experience His gifts of love, mercy and peace through us. There are so many ways that Christ is calling us to be His beacon of light, love and compassion, we just need to listen, look and respond the best way we can.

Merry Christmas today. Enjoy the presence and gift of Jesus in those that surround you. Keep the spirit and meaning Christmas alive by your words, deeds, attitudes and prayers and don’t give the secular world the credit for your witness and love for God through Jesus.

 

Today be mindful that the gift of Jesus that is given to you each time you attend and participate in the celebration of Holy Mass. You are the Body of Christ, so as you encounter your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, remember that the presence of Jesus is in each of them. Seek Him and you will find Him.

 

THURSDAY – Serve in the name of the Lord

As the festive season approaches, we often and always hear of the many organizations and ministries that reach out to the military, the poor, the homeless, the addicted, the sick children and the homebound.  We as a community, neighborhood, city, town, state and country, amazingly and generously respond to the needs of those less fortunate and need help. When the season is over, it seems that the requests for these same people are silent or muted.  We don’t hear as much about them.  Yet their situation hasn’t changed and they still need help. Wouldn’t it be nice if we reached out in the same way all year?

I am not saying that they are forgotten the rest of the year. I know that there are many agencies and organizations that assist these very same groups, and many more, throughout the year, but it seems that Christmas brings their needs to the forefront so that people can respond with their Christmas hearts more generously.

 

Today, if there was a group that you were generous towards for Christmas, think about and pray for them.  With your Christmas heart, reach out to them in whatever way you feel called. You don’t need to give them a gift, but remember them in a special way throughout the day, the week, the month and the year.

 

FRIDAY - The peace of Christmas

We hear this song throughout the season but not much during the rest of the year. If we prayed for peace more often, but more importantly, if we believed that we are instrumental in bringing about peace in our home, community, church and world, peace would abound in ways that we can’t even imagine. Peace is like the ripple in the ocean, one little prayer, selfless action, random act of kindness, can bring about peace so that it ripples and grows further out from us to those who need it most. If you are like me, once a little song enters my mind, it stays, so with that, pray these words, sing these words, post them, but always remember YOU are God’s instrument of His Peace here on earth.

 

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father and family all are, we, let us walk with each other, in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now, with every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

HOW???? Listen to the Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love, injury…. pardon. doubt…faith, despair….hope, darkness…light, sadness…joy, Oh Divine Master, grant that I might not seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love, for it is giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

SATURDAY – Joy to the World

The angel announced with great joy that the savior was born. As you move through another weekend, another part of the hot and rainy month, find your joy and share it with others.  Is your joy in Christ? Proclaim it by your smile and your love. Is your joy in that you are His beloved? Look in the mirror and say thank you. Pray for your mom who accepted the seed of faith of your presence, and where God formed you in her womb and gave you your name. Pray for your dad who loved you the nine you remained hidden and loved you to the new physical life that you took on. Is your joy in your vocation: married, single, cleric, religious? God has called you and you have generously responded to His call to be His witness and Kingdom builder to those entrusted to your care, love and concern. If married to your spouse, children, extended family and grandchildren. If a religious; to your community, your past and present students, your employees, your elderly sisters, your caretakers, your family, your nieces and nephews. If single; to your friends, family, extended family and community. Is you joy in your accomplishments? God has given you the talents and gifts that have allowed you to become accomplished, but your identity does not lie in what you do, but rather in who you are: His beloved child, loved unconditionally and without measure. Look at what you think means a lot: your degree, your job, your successes and seek to see the hand of God and His Holy Spirit in your life.

 

Today, all of those that you have touched, and have touched you have been a source of joy to you and for you. They, and well as you, are a joy to the world and in the world. Our world needs more joy. Can you spread the joy by speaking of those who have given you joy in the past, or give you joy in the present? God is waiting to hear from you. The angels proclaimed it from the roof top, how will you proclaim it?  From your knees, from your lips, in your greeting

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 30, 2019

The various Ladders in our life

 

Ladders? What are they and how are they used? There are various types of ladders; folding, extension, step, that we see and can place where they need to be. These ladders are used for home repairs, painting or to get something that is out of our reach. In any case, if we choose to skip a rung on the ladder, we can cause our physical harm.

There are fire ladders that are used to put out fires, and to rescue and save people.  These are used by professional fire people and they are trained how to properly ascend and descend on them with their hoses and with people on their shoulders.

There are ladders of success that although they cannot be seen, are more important to individuals then the reputations, concerns, and lives of others, but more so at their expense. Theses professional ladders: education, economic, corporate are ascended sometimes without any spiritual discernment or love for others, but rather out of selfishness and the need to get rise higher than others to be the best, the most important, the richest, the most educated, the…..

There is the ladder of our faith life, one that we don’t climb to be better than  the next person, but rather a symbolic ladder that we  use to better recognize how we have grown from our childlike/childhood faith to the adult faith that we have come to grasp and understand, practice and profess, live and love.

How are they a glimpse of God? They are a glimpse because in and through them we can see how God places various steps for us to take so that we can become our best self; physically, emotionally and spiritually. The rungs are necessary if we expect to follow and learn, grow and be strengthened by God and His grace. We are called to rise above our self, see the needs and concerns of others, love others, be God’s, compassion, mercy and hope to those whose ladders are broken and in disrepair, and to see the rungs as graces so that we can do this with a genuine and authentic heart. It can be difficult and challenging but never impossible, and when we feel that the challenges and crosses of life are difficult, He gives us the view of the bird cage ladder so that we can strive to be our best self as the birds are their best birdself.

SUNDAY – The Birdcage ladder

As one looks at the birdcage ladder, the reason for the ladder in the cage is not so that the birds can ascend to the top where their toys or food are, but rather to descend to the bottom where their ferris wheels are. They spend all their time at the top and middle of the cage where their perches, toys, food, baths, and water are. The Sisters thought that if they place the ladder to the bottom where their ferris wheels are, they would descend and play.  The birds are not looking at the ladder as a tool or instrument to gauge their success or climb on to bigger goals and other’s expectations, but rather to go from one play area or toy to another.  Their ladder is simply a tool for pleasure as they live in their habitat, happy and simply as God created them to so that they can be their best birdself.

For today, as you look at the bird’s ladder, think and pray for the grace to see the many tools and instruments that God has given you so that you can live simply, without any great expectation or goal other that for you become and reflect your best self.

 

MONDAY – Rungs of a ladder

The rungs of any ladder are there so that those who climb the ladder can do so safely. We can try to skip a rung or two, but that can only lead to slipping, falling and suffering serious injury. If our ladder is the ladder of professional success, educational success, vocational success, spiritual growth or just used for fixing or repairs, the rungs are there to assist us, not or deter or discourage us. If we choose to skip a rung by walking on others to gain a spot of power or prestige in work or society, if we skip a rung to get to the roof or repair, if we skip a rung and think that we are better or more spiritually mature, then we are skipping an important tool or instrument that God has placed and planned for us to use so that we can ascend properly physically, spiritually and emotionally and become a more healthy and whole individual.

For today, as you reflect on some of the rungs of our spiritual ladder: Personal Prayer, The Sacraments, Mass, Sacred Scripture, the Commandments, the Beatitudes, and Community, seek the grace to recognize the rungs that you may try to skip because of stressed, lack of time, spiritual dryness and as God for His grace to replace that rung on your spiritual ladder.

 

TUESDAY - Ladder of success

The ladder of one’s professional success has many rungs all of which are significant and crucial if one is to ascend carefully and safely. One’s professional success; employment, education, relationship, or economic, or is a gift that God carefully chooses for each one of us. God has a plan for each of us, with rungs or steps that He carefully places before us. When we choose to skip His choices or steps and do it our self, we then get our self in trouble; we hurt our self, others, and our relationship with God suffers because we

 

cause dissension, pain and we are not being our best self.

For today, reflect on the various rugs on your ladders and see where they were helpful as you sought to become your best self. Also seek to recognize where you skipped a rung and how that caused you to feel less than your best self before God, others and self.

 

WEDNESDAY – Firetruck Ladder

The ladder on a firetruck is used to put out fires where the fire people cannot reach; on roofs, in adjacent buildings, in high rises, it is also used to rescue people who cannot reach safety without the use of the ladder. The fire people put their lives at risk to save others as they minister and place their bodies over alongside of, and under others to bring them to safety. The firemen and women would not skip a rung because even though it is a life and death situation, skipping a rung could cause greater harm.  In our spiritual life, God is often putting fire ladders up to our hearts, spirits and minds so that we can get to safety. Safety from the fires of our weaknesses and sin, safety from the temptations to climb other ladders without properly discerning the right path, safety from the fires of ego, self-defeat and discouragement, feeling unloved and unimportant in the eyes of God, and safety from the fires of being burnt by others and seeking revenge. God places us on His shoulders and brings us to safety. God wants us to live in love and know that His love for us is this is what will bring us to safety and not place our self in harm’s way of sin.  

For today, look at the fire ladders that have been used to save you and bring you to safety; the fire ladders of love, mercy, compassion, reconciliation, forgiveness, love, joy, peace and healing and offer a prayer of thanksgiving.

 

THURSDAY – Ladder of independence

Today as you celebrate our independence as a nation, let us remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be a free and independent nation, society and Church. Let us thank God for the gift of our freedom that affords us the opportunity to worship Him and serve Him as His beloved sons and daughters.

Our ladder of independence is that which we celebrate today. We celebrate those who climbed from childish fear and selfishness to young adult courage, determination and selflessness so that we can be a free nation. We celebrate the ladder of freedom that gives us the ability to worship freely, serve God freely and be His Body of Christ freely. We celebrate the ladder of life today; we pray and remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be who and where we are today: Proud citizens of the United States of America. Those who climbed the ladder of ultimate selflessness that had the rungs of darkness, fear, uncertainty, courage, conviction, determination, trust, peace, and death.

For today, pray for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be a free and independent nation; for those of us who feel bound and unfree, and for our nations that we never forget that we are free and independent and not to take these gifts for granted.

 

FRIDAY –    Ladder of faith, hope and love

The ladder of faith, hope and love is a ladder that we climb daily, but do we recognize that we are climbing it or what it looks like? The greatest gifts in our life are those of our faith, hope and love. We grow as mature Christian followers of Christ as our faith deepens and strengthens through the Sacraments of the Church, Mass, Prayer, Scripture, Church and Community. As we grow to adult hood we begin to let go of our childlike faith. We begin to grasp onto and seek to understand our faith as adults. As this occurs, our ability to see hope in all things and love beyond our self also penetrates our core and desires. As adults we learn that love conquers all things and when we lose sight of hope and love, all we need to do is look at he cross, Jesus gave of His life out of complete, selfless and unconditional love so that we can inherit eternal life and live with Him forever. When we choose to stay on the ground and not use the rungs of our spiritual ladder so that we may gain a greater self-awareness of what God is calling us to and how we can grow in faith, hope and love, then we are missing out on the ability to see how we have grown in spiritual and personal knowledge, understanding and transformation.

For today, seek to recognize how you have grown from your childlike understanding of what faith, hope and love is and how you have put that understanding into action at home, at work, in your church, and with your community.

 

SATURDAY –    Jacob’s ladder

Jacob had a dream where he saw God’s angels ascending and descending from heaven. It was a dream but his dream has great significance and meaning for us God’s followers and builders of His kingdom. This is not meant to be a theological discussion, but a personal observation.

God gave the ladder to Jacob; he didn’t build it. The ladder extends from heaven to earth. Since God built the ladder, it is perfect in strength, size and width. It is a tool, or an instrument that reaches from heaven to earth, but it is just that, an instrument. What is our Jacob’s ladder? I believe that it is Jesus on the cross. Jesus came down from heaven, God didn’t force Him to, He chose to. God gave us Jesus who showed us the that He is the way, the truth and the life, and if we choose to follow Him, we will reach out eternal goal; that of being reunited with Him in heaven when our earthly journey is ended. Jesus knows our hearts and what our potential is so that when He calls us to serve and follow Him, our call is perfect. It isn’t beyond our strength, our abilities, our heart, it isn’t the call of another because we are individually His beloved sons and daughters, loved unconditionally and created uniquely as one.

God’s angels, I believe are present at each mass when the priest changes the bread and wine into Jesus body and blood. They bring that sacrifice to God and He returns with His grace so that we can be the Body of, Christ in and through our actions, attitudes, deeds and prayers.

For today, the next time that you receive Jesus it the Blessed Sacrament, see Him as He comes to you touching your heart and mind, body and spirit. Listen to Him inviting you to be touched and healed so that you can continue to be His instruments of His new life here on earth.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 23, 2019

Last weekend John and I spent the weekend at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  It was a beautiful weekend. The weather was sunny and warm, the people were very friendly and there was a lot to see both in the Harbor as well as at Camden Yards where we took in a baseball game.  We were surrounded by Boston Red Sox fans with a few Phillies fans mixed in. We also had the opportunity to visit the Baltimore Aquarium.  It was such a great experience and seeing the many young families there was refreshing especially early on a Saturday morning. Everyone seemed to be engaged in the experience of seeing the various creatures as they existed in their habitat, happy and arrayed in many colors of beauty and splendor. As we walked from one exhibit to another, we were able to see the many varieties of fish; both big, little and everything in between. The various types of water creatures not only had a great habitat to exist in, but they were very visible to those who sought to see them in natural habitat coexisting with each other.

My Glimpse of God comes as I looked intently at the various water creatures and was able to correlate how we sometimes we might see our self as a big fish in a little pond, or as a small fish in a big pond.  Yet as we visited the Aquarium, both the big and little fish all seemed to coexist in the one pond; the one body of water, where they were carefully placed, found to thrive and were free to be themselves for all to see. 

There were many thoughts that came to my mind, but the one that kept coming back is how I believe that we are all called to coexist together as God’s children. God did not call us to hurt each other because we think we have the right or that another deserves it, but rather to love another through those times when we don’t even like them. The fish, unlike humanity, don’t hold grudges or get even; they exist to the best of their ability with those that were placed in their one habitat.  They seemed to go with the flow and as easy as that sounds, if human beings were to try that and not get bitter, angry or selfish, we would learn more about each other and how we can best thrive as God’s beloved children. We are all placed on this holy ground to walk with each other as Kingdom builders and to build the kingdom we need SEALS ( I am borrowing this from the military/Navy): S: those who can swim and go with the flow; those who keep us calm and help us not to get over stressed or suffer from burn out. E: those who are down to earth and do not seek the things of this world, but rather the Kingdom of God and call us, challenge us to do the same. A: those who are the breath of God, and the air that they breathe and expel is the air of God’s Spirit abiding within them and shared with those that they encounter. We are blessed to breathe this fresh air. L; those whose love for God, others and self is not only reflected in and through their person, but freely, selflessly and unconditionally given through their mercy, compassion, and concern for others.

S: Sinners who strive to become saints, those in our life who acknowledge their sinfulness but don’t get stuck in the grip of embarrassment, shame or guilt that it can hold, but rather see themselves forgiven by God and accept His love and mercy, and don’t reject it. They call us to become our best self as God knows we can and have the potential to become; the sinner transformed to the saintly in heart, mind, and spirit and by our actions.

So this week, ask God for the grace to humbly recognize where you have been a SEAL to others and ask for His pardon where you have fallen short..

Our habitat, God’s gift to us of our home, our community, our church, our neighborhood, our world, is that which He has given us, not to be alone in, but to be with others.  Although we as humans have been at odds with each other since the beginning of creation because of jealousy, ego and entitlement, it is not God’s intention that we think or believe that this is what is to be or has to be, but that it can be better. It was made better forever with one person, one act of mercy, one act of unconditional and selfless love. This person, Jesus Christ, came to show us that love is what is required from us so that we can become our best self and empower others to be their best self as well.  Our habitat is one that can be and should be, filled with love, self-respect, respect for others and mutual understanding.

So, in your habitat, with your family, community members, relatives, do you sometimes feel like the big fish in the small pond or the small fish in the big pond?  What does that mean? What does it or can it look like? In our world, being made to feel like a small fish in a big pond comes when others are made to feel as if they were or are insignificant and invisible and what they do doesn’t really matter.  In our big world there is enough room for people to grow and learn from each other. We have a responsibility to help those that dwell within our habitat. When we choose not to or to ignore them, then we are diminishing their self- worth, and self- esteem. I believe that our world is filled with those who are made to feel like small fish. There are those who because of lack of self-respect or self-esteem, are unable to love themselves because they feel that they are unloved by others, but more importantly by God. 

So this week, take some time to pray for those who feel like the small fish and are contemplating suicide, turning to addictions, or hurting others. Also pray for those who do not or are unable to love themselves.

This is not God’s desire. In our spiritual life, when we are placed as small fish in a big pond; because we are the youngest, the newest, the inexperienced, it is because God wants us to learn from one another and so that we can grow. He places us where we can best thrive and become the person that He created us to be. No one of us should ever feel like the small fish because our self- esteem has been diminished and our self- worth has been measured by others and is lacking, and we have no hope.

The small fish learns how to swim well with the others and goes freely in his or her habitat. When we love one another and build each other up, we too can learn and enjoy swimming freely in our habitat.

What does a big fish in a small pond look like?  In our world, this can take on the appearance of ones ego or authority going out of whack. When one tramples on another because they think they can or have the right to since they are bigger; bigger because of their wealth, authority, social status, or education level. When the big fish uses power instead of love and concern for others as their priority that is when the big fish in a small pond creates a toxic habitat. This toxicity does not allow for the inhabitants to swim freely and happily. No matter how big or small our habitat is, we should never seek to hurt those who also dwell within it.

So this week, pray for those in authority and have the responsibility to care for and teach others: Teachers, Church leaders, parents, bosses, and older siblings. Pray that they empower those entrusted to their care to grow and thrive in their habitat; that of their home, school, church, neighborhood, and world. Ask God to transform the hearts of those who use their authority, ego or power as weapons of destruction and not instruments of love.

In our spiritual life, being a big fish in a small pond is where God places us so that we can teach others the gospel of Jesus Christ in and through our love for them, and by our actions towards them. Our heads should never get too big where our hats don’t fit, and our hearts should never get so small that love cannot be found within.  God wants us to build up is kingdom here on earth. How do we handle being the big fish in a small pond for the Kingdom? When we spread the Good News, live as Jesus calls us to, forgive one another, love one another, but most importantly by loving our self that is how we can best serve as the big fish in the small pond.  When we recognize this responsibility as God gives it to us, we can best help others also recognize with greater clarity that they too are His beloved son or daughter, that they are His greatest creation and that He loves them unconditionally, selflessly and freely.

So…this week, Pray that the Spirit of God guide your actions and fill you with His grace so that you can humbly receive the gift of being a big fish in the Kingdom pond.

 

WHAT IS SUMMER FOR?

What does summer mean and how can it change me?

 

S – Self – Am I taking care of my self

and finding the time to rest and relax

so as to replenish my body, mind, and spirit

so that I can more fully enjoy

and be present in my relationships with God, family and friends?

 

U – Undo – Can I allow Mary, the Un-doer of knots,

to undo the stress knots that I have,

and allow myself to rest in the presence of God?

If I recognize that stress comes from

how I handle situations, challenges, and circumstances in my life,

can I change how I react so as to live a more whole and healthy life?

Can I ask Mary, the recipient of many stressful triggers,

to calm my fears, lessen my anxieties, a

nd help me to draw nearer to her Son Jesus?

M – Measure – During these summer months, what do I measure? 

Do I measure and count the moments,

hours of my time spent with family and friends,

or my time spent in prayer?

Do I look at the time I spend in relaxation as a time of blessing

or do I see it as wasting time?

Do I look at and measure the time that I spend at work as a necessary evil

or as using the gifts and talents that God has given me to glorify Him?

If God had a measuring stick,

and He asked you to mark where you thought His love for you was,

where how would you mark it?

Would it be in centimeters, inchs, feet, or yards?

Would it be on the low end because of shame, guilt, false humility,

or the high end because you realize that His love is unconditional and unfailing?

He gave and continues to give His love freely and without measure, without cost,

the cost was paid in full on the very cross that you behold. Do you believe this?

 

M –Memory  - The season of summer often brings back memories of our youth

and the things that we did as a family on summer vacation.

If your memories are great and plentiful, continue to live them.

Try to do some of the same things with your family,

or share them memories with those who surround you,

so that they can come to appreciate your past

and the love that your family shared on summer vacation.

If your memories are painful, start your own new memories.

Create new traditions.

Build memories for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, 

so that they can pass them on to their children.

Good heartfelt memories are

very special gifts from God especially created for us.

 

E – Embrace – During these hot summer months,

are you open to embracing and being embraced?

To allow one self to be embraced, one has to let down their guard

and open their hearts and arms to fully experience the love

that comes from a genuine embrace.

Being embraced sometimes involves forgiveness.

Can you forgive? Can you ask for forgiveness?

God wants to embrace you and tell you how much He loves you.

He is waiting for you to let down your guard

that is hiding the shame, guilt, fears that you might be holding on to.

Can you open your heart and arms to God

so that He can not only embrace you,

but also touch and heal you?

Once you let down your guard and

take the time to feel the love and embrace the mercy of God,

you will also realize that God has had you in His loving embrace

since that moment He formed you in the womb.

His embrace has been love that surrounds you,

the peace that envelopes you

and the joy that fills you,

despite the challenges that confront you.

 

R – Refreshment – During these summer months,

take the time to be refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.

This is the time to rejoice in the longer days filled with sunlight,

the warmth of the sun as you relax under its rays, 

as you sit outside or even look out the window,

the brisk cold feeling of the ocean waves as they hit you,

the calm of laying on a raft in your pool,

and the ability to go on vacation

where you can enjoy the great gift of God’s creation

and the blessings that surround it

such as  faith,

family,

friends,

nature

and the joy of  having FUN !!!!

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 9, 2019

My Glimpse of God for this week comes as I prepare for eye cataract surgery both tomorrow and next Monday.  I realize that many of you either have had cataract surgery, or know someone who has, so you will be able relate to the frustration that comes when you just can’t seem to see things clearly, and that the progression of good eyesight declines as the cataracts worsen.

A cataract is defined as a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.  It is also something that facilitates and influences perception, comprehension or evaluation. How is this a Glimpse of God? If you don’t suffer from cataracts, how is this Glimpse going to help you recognize God in the various people, events or circumstances that you encounter this week?

This is my own idea as are all my glimpses of God. I propose that we rethink “cataract” in a different light, not of the eye but of our heart and spirit. The symptoms of eye cataracts can be correlated to symptoms of cataracts of the heart and how we are unable to see and recognize God clearly in our self, others and in His great and awesome mercy. The symptoms that I will take for each day can not only be from eye cataracts that can be corrected with surgery, they also can be applied to our heart and this can only be corrected through the sacraments of the Church, our personal prayer life, and a good Spiritual Counselor or Spiritual Director. It is through these avenues that God can heal that which is leading to the spiritual blurriness, double vision, the inability to see at night, and the sensitivity to light, among other symptoms.

Jesus is the healer and it is through His Holy Spirit that we all received at Baptism, and we celebrate this Pentecost Sunday, that we can ask for the graces to be healed, so that we may see more clearly His will for us, His presence in and in our life experiences. We can seek to follow Him more nearly as we walk with others who also seek to see Him more clearly and, and love Him more dearly each day.

As we begin a new week striving to follow God and build up His kingdom here on earth, let us reflect n what a cataract of the heart looks like. If we have any of the following symptoms, let us humbly ask God for the grace of healing. If we don’t have any of the symptoms, can we ask for the grace of gratitude?

SUNDAY - “BLURRED VISION”

Do we see God clearly in others? In our life experiences? In our relationship with Him? Or is our vision blurry? Is it because the eyes of our heart are unable to see Him as He is because of bitterness, hatred, resentment, past hurts, family estrangements? When these things get in the way of seeing God as He is, the eyes of our heart are not open and cannot focus on Him because these very distractions are there not only to distort seeing God as He is, but they also can cause us to turn away from him out of shame, embarrassment, self-abasement, or despair. Our hearts are unable to love as they should because these distractions take us away from love. Love cannot dwell fully where there is hatred, bitterness or other distorted ideals, or attitudes.

How do we deal with the blurry vision that extends from our heart?

For today, ask God for the grace to see more clearly the cause and root of the blurry vision, so that you can become healed, reconciled and made whole and experience the happiness, joy and peace that God wants for you.

 

MONDAY - “DOUBLE VISION”

How is double vision different from blurry vision? What is spiritual double vision of the heart? It is easy to define it of the eye; it is like where one sees the same thing twice or together. Is spiritual double vision of the heart where one sees God twice or together? I think it is where we see those things that we make gods; our possessions, our wealth, our ego, our social status, our level of education, those things that we replace God with, or make false gods, because we convince our self  and believe that they are what give us happiness and make us feel complete, at the expense of others dignity and self-respect. Double vision of the heart is where God stands by us, and behind those things that we temporarily replace Him with; the false gods that appeal to us and promise true happiness, yet only God can promise and can fulfill His promise of true happiness for us. He stands with us and behind the false gods when we fall into their clutches and we turn away from Him. God is always there for us because He loves us and knows our hearts better than we do. He is always there for us to welcome us back when we sin or fall into our greatest weakness. His love is greater than our worst sin or biggest weakness. He will never abandon us or forsake us, He can’t and He proved that when He sent Jesus who suffered His passion, experienced His death and rose from the dead so that we can experience the joy of eternal life, peace and happiness with Him forever.

For today ask God for the grace to recognize any false god that is causing you to have spiritual double vision, and seek to dispel them from your heart.

 

TUESDAY - “LOSS OF NIGHT VISION”

What does spiritual loss of night vision look like? What is loss of night vision of the heart and how does it occur and how can it be healed?

Loss of night vision of the heart can occur when we choose to be afraid and not act when we are facing our darkest moments:  the death of a loved one, terminal illness, the loss of a child, the loss of a relationship, financial instability, the uncertainty of our future, and spiritual dryness or desolation. When we fail to trust God in these, our darkest moments, then we have loss of night vision of the heart. He is the light that always shines. That light is His grace, love, peace, joy, and compassion during the dark and painful periods of our life. How does one see better in the night?

For today, ask God for the grace to face your fears so that you can overcome them. Seek His light so that in and through your darkens moments, you will be able to take the necessary steps to overcome any despair or feelings of being overwhelmed. Try to recognize that it is has been through  the darkest moments of your past that you have been made as stronger person, one that you never thought you could be, and that it is through your self-determination and courage that you will be made stronger yet so that you an be His beacon of light and hope to others who are also afraid and trying to get through their loss of night vision of the heart.

 

WEDNESDAY – “CONSTANT CHANGES IN PRESCRIPTIONS”

There is nothing more frustrating about cataracts then when you realize that your current prescription is useless and in effective because your vision has declined so drastically. It is more frustrating when you realize that you need stronger prescriptions on a weekly basis.

Through the eyes of faith, through the lens of our heart, the constant change is prescription comes when we try to fix things on our own and not surrender to God that which only, He can fix, heal and make whole.

We can deceive our self by thinking that if we only get stronger lenses, our heart will be fixed of any disheartening issues, woundedness or brokenness. When we are hurt or sin or cause pain on others, we use stronger lenses so that we can’t recognize our responsibility, hold our self accountable, or forgive those who have caused us harm. We choose to believe that we are right, that we had the right to say or do what we did, that others were wrong. We focus on the negative, like a hamster on the wheel that continues to go in circles. He eventually needs to stop and get off.

We are no different when we choose to get stronger lenses to cover up our heart’s brokenness and the choices that we make in response to our brokenness, woundedness or sin. If one seeks to fix things and see things as the world does, you will always miss out on the brightness and clarity of love that God has for you and this can lead to a greater and spiritual sense of frustration and discouragement.

For today, ask God for the grace to get off the wheel, see yourself as He sees you; through His lens and in the light of His unconditional love, mercy and compassion. Pray for the grace to see the positive in yourself and others so that you don’t need to get a stronger prescription, so that you can expand your heart to love more.

 

THURSDAY – “CHANGE IN THE WAY WE SEE COLOR”

Things are not just black and white until your eyes and the eyes of your heart are influenced in a negative way. When you see a limited view of others and not see them as a child of God, of yourself as not His beloved son or daughter and of your life experiences as punishment and not as a source of strength. When we are hurt and when we hurt others, our story is told in black and white and the color is removed, hidden or glossed over. When our story is black and white, out truth is not at the forefront, there is no real room for hope or change. When we limit our view, we also limit the ability for God’s grace to work in our life and through the various experiences and stories. We can miss out on the rainbows of our life and the colors that God has so graciously painted on the canvas of our heart

For today, ask for the grace to recognize the various rainbows of your life. The rainbows, the rays of joy that come when you forgive and when you are forgiven, when you love those difficult to love, when the vision of your heart becomes clearer and less blurry or double. When you realize the depth of love that God has for you and how you truly are His beloved child, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation, and when you decide to share that love with others.

 

FRIDAY – “SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT”

The lens of our heart has a sensitivity to God’s light when sin has entered in and we close our hearts and choose not to allow God’s mercy or compassion in to heal and reconcile us. We become ashamed, self-abased, stuck and we turn inward and this causes us to focus on our failure and not on God’s light and grace. God offers His light through the sacraments of the Church, through our personal prayer life and each other as we all strive to walk on this holy ground that God our creator has given us, seeking to remain in light or return to the light and get out of the darkness that the world and sin call us to.

For today, seek the grace from God to keep the eyes of your heart open and to choose to reverence His light and not be afraid of it no matter what.

 

SATURDAY – “HALOS”

I have saved this for the end of the week. Although with eye cataracts, halos can be quite annoying, I would like to reflect on the halos of those who have helped us see in a new spiritual light so that we can be more a more loving individual; the person that God created us to be and that we have the potential to become.

Who has been God’s angel in your life? Who has helped in your desire to see God more clearly? Who has been a glimpse of God to you and has helped you want to be His glimpse to others? On famous artwork the artists often paint halos on Jesus, Mary and the saints. This is a symbolic halo, one that symbolizes majesty and glory. Who in your life has been such an inspiration that you truly recognize that god has placed them in your life for a reason; parents, siblings, friends, community members, colleagues, spiritual leaders? Although we are all sinners striving to become saints, there are those who exude God’s presence, light, hope, love, compassion, understanding, empathy and peace in such a unique way that we see them as special messengers or instruments from God. For today, say a prayer for your special angels or messengers, those who you might place a halo on, not as a sign of perfection, but as a sign of gratitude

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of June 2, 2019

A CALENDAR…. Whne  you look at your calendar, what do you look at first? Do you look at the present day and what it has in store for you? Or the week ahead to gain a sense of the amount of time that will be spent on various activities, appointments and other “to do” things?  Or the month as a whole to  see not only what you have already done, but what you still need to do, people that you will see and activities that will occupy your time, energy and physical presence? As  you look at your calendar, do you look at it to gain a sense of pride, personal fulfilment, or purpose, or disappointment, exhaustion or discouragement?

When you look at your calendar;

do you look at your various appontments, activities or freet ime, and equate it to your self worth and self image?.... My life has meaning when I am busy and poductive vs when I have free time and appear to do nothing…\

do you experience a sense of exhaustion because you are overwhelmed at all that you need to do, appointments that you have, and places that you need to go and wish that you had more personal time for yourself? More free time to just be?

do you find yourself turning the pages quickly ahead because you want to get past all that still needs to be done and you just what it over with, or because there is a great event that is ahead and you are counting the day s until it arrives?

do you turn the pages slowly back because you want to recollect an experience, person or event that you had that gives you peace, joy, happiness or solace, or because you are stuck in the past and can’t seem to go ahead?           

do you glance at your calendar and pick it up or leave it? Does it give you a sense of structure or of stress?

do you thank God for blessing you with your gifts, talents and abilities that enable you to do and be all that you can be for His greater glory?

do you recognize your free time as a gift from God so that you can relax, take care of yourself and spend more time with Him?

Where is God in your calendar? If you were to look at your calendar, do you see your time with God as a daily, weekly or monthly appointment that you would like to keep and not cancel, or an event that you want to attend every day, rain or shine, or a personal encounter that you are open to having and willing to be surprised with? If God were to ask for your time, would you tell him that you have none or that you are free? God doesn’t keep a calendar with us. He has all the time in the world for us and is never too busy.  We have allowed our schedule to become our identity. Our identity does not lie in what we do, or who we see or how busy we are, it lies in that reality and fact that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation. There is nothing that we can do, good or bad, that will make God love us less or more. He loves us as only God can; perfectly, unconditionally and freely.

He is the one who blesses us with our gifts, talents and abilities that enable us to do our work, be present to others in need, volunteer with our free time and find our quiet time.  God’s time is not our time so when we are looking to get past something overwhelming and painful, He is there to remind us that it is in that experience where He invites us to grow and become a wounded healer. When we can’t wait for something and we turn the pages ahead, God is there to remind us that we need to appreciate the present because we can’t get it back and it is the present moments that make up our future memories.

 

 

As you begin this new week and a new month, instead of seeing your calendar as an instrument of busyness or stress, see it as a source and instrument of self-emptying. Pray for the grace each day to see how you can empty yourself; your will, your exhaustion, your stress, your feelings of discouragement, fear, woundedness and ask God to fill you with His graces so that each day can be a day of renewal, restoration, and  refreshment in light of your calendar not in spite of it. May God fill you with His grace so that you can offer your heartfelt prayers for those who are in need.

 

SUNDAY, pray for the grace to see your calendar as a gift and the many people listed on your calendar as God’s gift to you.  Pray for those that you will encounter this day; family, friends, doctors, community members, and strangers and ask God to bless them with His graces and to hear and answer their prayers as He sees best.

 

MONDAY, pray for those who have no one; the lonely, the elderly, the homeless, the addicted, the estranged, the outcasts, the forgotten. For many of these individuals, their calendar is blank, their days are empty, their past is painful and their future is unknown. These individuals will have no one to share their day with, their heartaches with, their pain or sufferings with, or their happiness and joys with. Many will die alone and forgotten, yet they are never alone and with our prayers, they will never be forgotten. No one is forgotten in God’s eyes. We are all His beloved children and we are called to be compassionate and merciful. As God is merciful and compassionate to us, may we, in and through our prayers, be a source of mercy and compassion to those in need.

 

TUESDAY, pray for those who are presently spending time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, who are recuperating from surgeries, illnesses, and accidents. May God heal their wounds, strengthen their bones, and restore their minds so that they can return to their homes and rebuild their lives with a sense of wholeness and restored health again.

 

WEDNESDAY, pray for those who are in hospice and are preparing to meet their God face to face. May God give them the courage, grace and strength to receive His hand as He leads them to their heavenly reward.

 

THURSDAY, pray for those who are in jails, penitentiaries and prisons, may they open their hearts to the God who loves them and wants to bring them healing, conversion and inner freedom.

 

FRIDAY, pray for those who are suffering from addictions. May the God who desires all His children to be whole and healed, give them the courage to seek His hand as He leads them to depend on Him and those He places in their care. May they seek God’s grace and recognize their own strength to turn away from their addiction and towards a life of freedom and independence. Pray that those who falsely believe that their addiction is their salvation, come to realize that salvation came when Christ died on the cross for them, and that as He continues to die for them as they die from within, their resurrection awaits them.

 

SATURDAY, pray for those in your family, community, neighborhood, schools and church. May the God who blesses us all with our abilities, talents and gifts, may continue to shower His graces upon those we love so that we can all continue to build up His kingdom here on earth, one prayer, one act of kindness, one kind word at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of May 26, 2019

 

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. Many people  came out on such a beautiful day 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 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 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 an opportunity for the community to do the Warriors 5K run or the  10K walk for the wounded.. It is also 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 a deep love for 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 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 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of May 19, 2019

 

My Glimpse of God for this week comes in the form of a jigsaw puzzle. How is a jigsaw puzzle a Glimpse of God? What does it take to make the big picture come into perfect focus?

When we first look at a jigsaw puzzle, we are usually looking at the many pieces that make up the puzzle and complete the scene that is on the box. We then take all the pieces out of the box and separate the pieces that make up the border from those that go within the border. Then we fit the pieces together that make up the border and then we begin sort out the others pieces that fill the puzzle in.

Everyday that I go into Assisi House, you can see the Sisters working on jigsaw puzzles all over the house.  These puzzles are far beyond the 500 pieces that I do, but they meet the challenge of the 1000+ piece puzzles. I am always amazed at how they not only sit there and piece together the puzzle, but they do so with great patience, focus and determination.  I often think that they use their puzzle time as a time of prayer as they patiently focus on the pieces with their various colors and shapes, find the pieces that fit together, and then placing them where they go, one piece at a time. There is a sense of accomplishment, gratitude and joy because the big picture is slowly coming together with greater clarity and focus. I believe that this time of prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit and reflected in how the Sisters live on a daily basis.

How are we, as God’s beloved and His greatest creation, a reminder of a jigsaw picture? God is our creator and He knows and sees what the big picture of our life is and can be. His plan for us to be happy with and in Him.  He knows what is best for us and carefully guides us to that we can be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become.

We, on the other hand, don’t always wait on God to show us what we need to do or what is best for us, we try to do things on our own. We think we know everything, where everything goes, who fits in with whom and who doesn’t, we even go so far as to judge another. We push them aside; those who we think don’t fit in because of their social status, or personal choices and convince them that they will never belong, and they walk away feeling less than the person that God created them to be.

God has a plan for each of us and He knows who and what is best for us. He sees the relationships that we are born into and those we choose to enter. He sees that when we fit in as He designed us to, we are at peace and genuinely happy. It is when we try to fit in with those who are not a part of the picture of our life that God has designed, He is saddened. When we truly cooperate and strive to build the Kingdom of God here on earth, and we seek to conform to God’s will, it is then that we find inner peace and harmony with God, self and others. We find that we fit in with our surroundings, those who we encounter, those we know and even the stranger, but more importantly our relationship with God grows as we strive to recognize, with greater clarity what He desires for us and how we fit it to His plan each day.

Every part of our being; body, mind, heart and spirit complete a part of the big picture, and it is then that we are conforming to God’s will and not ours. You can’t just put the pieces anywhere and expect them to fit in as they should. You can force them in, but that doesn’t make the puzzle complete, but rather a distorted mess because if one piece is in the wrong place, the other pieces will not fit in where they are supposed to, and this affects the whole puzzle; the big picture and not just a part of it.  When we try to fit in, or when we sin, and think that it only affects us, that is where we are so wrong, it affects not only us but our relationship with God and others.

When we sin or give into weakness, we often separate our self out of shame, guilt, embarrassment and then we feel unlovable or unloved. This is not God’s desire for us. His desire is that we seek to be reconciled so that we can become healed and whole again, so that we can place e piece or part of our life in the puzzle and see how it completes the puzzle. No part or piece of our life; past or present, no matter how big or small, is useless or in vain, all is significant because it has made us who we are today.

When we try to fit in and seek to conform to others’ expectations and wishes, when we seek to please others and not be true to our self or God, when we try to ignore a part or piece of our life,  it is like we are taking a piece of the puzzle and tossing it on the side. When we do this, we are ignoring who we really are and where we truly belong for temporary pleasure, fulfillment or satisfaction.  And once again, one piece missing leaves a big hole in the big picture, a big gap and a deep void. Our life, our spiritual life is missing God, and when we choose to please the world there is a gap and void that only God’s grace and healing can fill so that we can become whole once again.

So…. as we begin a new week, take the time to look at the various pieces of your life’s puzzle and seek to recognize the hand of God as He placed them and continues to them in your life. The various pieces of your life’s jigsaw puzzle have made you who you are today. If you were to take out, or ignore even just one piece, God’s big picture for you would be incomplete. As you look at the various pieces take the time to: give thanks for the joyful ones, offer forgiveness for the painful ones, seek strength for the challenging ones and offer an act of trust and hope for those yet unknown.

 

Sunday – Your Childhood

The piece or years of your childhood are big. They consist of what you remember and what others have told you that you were too young to remember.  These memories can be joyful and painful, happy and sad, but they are your memories and have made you who you are today. As you reflect on the many memories of your childhood, before your tween years, what comes to mind? Growing up in a big or small family and he many gatherings that you celebrated? Your siblings and how you all got along or didn’t? if you are an only child, how you were able to entertain yourself; your self-discipline? Is your first memory a good one or a painful one?

For today, take one memory that you recall and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God. If it is a good and heartwarming memory, or a challenging one, you are now a stronger, more compassionate and loving person, the best person that God has called you to be because you have chosen to live in light of God’s love for you with all of your memories. With joy and gratitude, you can place that piece in the big picture of your life as you strive to be truly happy, healed and whole.

 

Monday – Growing up as a young adult

This piece can have many memories; challenging, painful, full of growth, self-discipline, independence and many acts of tough love. Your parents tried to give you the tool that you needed to become your best self despite what society threw at you to become what they wanted you to be. You learned that growing older required greater maturity, both emotional and spiritual. You probably went through high school fit in in or wanting to fit in, attended dances and proms or chose not to, you learned to drive or realized that you weren’t ready to drive and take on that responsibility. As you continued high school, you were consciously or unconsciously, discerning what direction you wanted your life to go.

For today, in all your young adult memories and recollections, can you look at the one that mostly formed who you are today, and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God? That piece of the puzzle of your life is a big piece because it fits in with not only your childhood, but also the pieces of independence and vocation that will follow and the significant individuals who have helped you stay the course and not turn back.

 

 

Tuesday – Gaining your Independence

Your pieces of independence. These can vary depending of your family situation and dynamics. What is independence? (self-sufficiency self-reliance, freedom, autonomy) When do you first gain a sense of independence and how did it feel? Entering high school, learning to drive, taking care of an ill parent where you were able to freely give of yourself for their wellbeing, your first job, or choosing to go to college and entering college close to or away from home. In all these aspects of your life, there was a sense of independence and that not only made you stronger, it helped you, hopefully, appreciate those who have given you to the tools to be an independent and valuable member of the community.

For today, as you look back on those moments, choose one that helped you realize how you have grown and matured more than you thought. Think of those who showed you great trust and let you go so that could grow and become a better person.as you look at that piece, remember those who helped shape you and pray a prayer of gratitude to God for them.

 

Wednesday – Discerning your Vocation

What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you remember the various professions that you thought of and that appealed to you, and those that others thought you would be good at? Was it a helping profession, a profession of service, a trade, marriage, remaining single, becoming a priest brother or a religious sister?

God calls us to our vocation and only with Him can we truly decide what is best for us. We discern over time where we belong and how we can best serve Him with the various gifts and talents that He has blessed us with and we have chosen to nurture through prayer, education, guidance and the support and encouragement of significant others. Your vocation today is what God has chosen for you. It may be different than when you first started out or from one that you originally thought and expected of yourself, but as you have discerned God has revealed. Is your vocation one that enables you to flourish and be your best self before God and others? Are you at peace and do you find it a place where you are growing and maturing spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically?

For today, as you look at the vocation that you have chosen, take that piece and place it in the big picture of your life. As you do that, give thanks to God for those who have helped and encouraged you to make that choice. Can you also offer a prayer of thanksgiving for those who may have discouraged you but unknowingly strengthened you in your decision because of your self-conviction, determination and faith?

                                                                                                     

Thursday – Your family and how they helped you to become who you are

God gives you your family but you can choose your friends. How do you react to that statement? Are you grateful for your family or resentful and angry about those who you must call family? Was your family dysfunctional and abusive or caring and loving? Where is your heart now? Are you in communication with your family members? And if not why? Time, distance, obligations. Have you forgiven anyone in your family that has caused you harm? Do you pray for those who you love? Parents, grandparents, siblings, distant relatives…Growing up in our family may have been a good experience or a painful one, but in any case, your family knowingly or unknowingly, has made you the person that you are today.

For today, seek to recognize who you are and dispel who you are not. Try to recognize that you are a caring, loving person because of the positive and despite any negative family influences. Ask God to enlighten you and make you an instrument of healing where you feel injured, hope where you feel discouraged, love where you feel hatred, compassion where you feel indifference, and joy where you feel saddened. If your family was a family filled with love and shared that love so generously with you, offer a prayer of gratitude to God for opening their heart and responding to His call to love, nurture, guide, challenge, and forgive. Thank them for giving you the space that enabled you to make your own decisions, learn from your mistakes and change so that you could and have become the person that God created you to be.

Friday -The health challenges that you have faced

What has it been like, or what is it like to face difficult health challenges and make certain decision in a hurry? How have you coped? Has your faith, your family, your friends, your church, your community been involved in your ability to overcome any of the stresses, fears, and concerns that you have had or have? If you haven’t faced any significant health challenges, what about any of your family members? sspecially parents or siblings?  Can you see the presence of God in the challenges? Can you take that piece of your life puzzle and see how it has changed you?

For today, continue to seek and pray for healing as God wants to heal you.

 

Saturday – The surprises in your life that helped create your big picture.

God is full of surprises. What are some of the surprises that God has showered on you? What has the surprises looked like? Were they moments of pure astonishments and wonder or shock and more wonder?

God surprises us more than we think. He often places in our life signs of His presence that we wouldn’t necessarily look for, but when we discover them, we are left in awe and wonder. For instance, when I describe the various and many Glimpses of God, I am describing how He chooses to reveal Himself to us in ways that make us see and think outside the box. When we see Him more clearly in others or in pets or in situations that we possibly took for granted, we act differently and we are changed. It is in these surprising changes that we become a better person; one act, one prayer, or one word at a time. When we see others differently or how we view another person, God’s creation or a life situation with new eyes and an expanded heart, it is then that we can say that those surprising moments have helped create and make the big picture of our life.

For today, can you take the various pieces of surprise and allow them to be placed in the big picture of your life? Can you view that picture as it is and see that God loves you unconditionally, that you are God’s beloved child, that nothing that happens in your life is in vain, and all has the ability to make you a better person, a more loving person, a wounded healer, and a fellow builder of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those who are mothers, grandmothers, step mothers, foster mothers, single mothers, expectant mothers, fathers filling the role of both mom and dad, and women religious who exude and are a beacon of the love and compassion of Mary our Blessed Mother.

Thank you for choosing to give life and be life giving to those God has entrusted to your love and care.

 I look back at the week, I see the many ways that God chose to reveal Himself to me, both from “within” (from the core of my being: heart, body, mind and spirit) and from “with out” (outside sources, people, events and situations).

The inner glimpse from within came in several ways: when I encountered Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and healing. Through the sacrament, I felt a freedom from my weaknesses and the spiritual challenges that were weighing me down. I felt the embrace of God that made me feel stronger, peaceful and unconditionally loved.

Another strong glimpse came as I looked back with a sense of peace, calm and trust, at the recent health challenge that caused me to be an inpatient at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and accepting the reality that it could occur again.

And lastly, as I walk daily with Christ and Mary to Calvary, I experience an outpouring of God’s grace that allows me to carry my cross knowing that I am never alone, and that they strengthen me to face life challenges with serenity, not stress. In all the glimpses that have come from “within”, God has chosen to reveal Himself as peace, serenity, forgiveness, healing, acceptance, determination, companionship, and strength.

The glimpse that has come from “with out”, where God has chosen to reveal Himself is different, yet profound. It is when we were informed of the need for the reconstruction of a new and safe sunroom. Recently and providentially, we were informed that the contractor that built the sunroom, did so without providing proper support, that it was structurally unsafe, that the glass windows were loose, the floor was shaky and the room  could collapse if we got a heavy rain or strong winds. So now we have a great contractor that is rebuilding the sunroom and making it an all-season sunroom.

As progress is made with the construction of the new room, I can’t help but think and reflect on how we sometimes build our foundations on shaky ground, and not with Christ or on Christ’s teachings; how the windows that we look out of are streaky and not securely locked, how the ground that we walk on, although is holy, we allow it to become cracked, and shaky. We think that we don’t need Jesus and we try to live life, find happiness, solve our problems, and heal our emotional, physical and psychological wounds on our own. We don’t see clearly how the world/society has influenced us, and how we see only what it offers and convinces us that we need to be a success. We fail to see what God desires and offers us so that we can be the best person that we can be, the person that He has created us to be and have the potential to become.

We lose sight of Christ’s will because our feet are not planted securely on the ground. We are not sure of our direction or our desires. The strong foundation that was begun at our baptism has become a little insecure. We through sin and weakness, have allowed what the world offers us to replace what God wants to offer us. God offers us what is right and best for us so that we can become our best and true self; to know, love and serve Him in this life, to grow in relationship with Jesus His Son and by living the Good News.

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, our foundation is strengthened and nurtured. Without Him, we are lifeless and our branches will not produce any leaves, they will just be bare and unproductive.

As I look out from our sunroom, I am in awe at the wonders that God has made. And although the sunroom is not yet completed, God’s gift of creation not only surrounds our sunroom, it embraces it. Let us seek to be the presence and love of God to the Sonroms, the hearts of those we encounter, beginning in our own heart.

As we begin this week, let us be mindful of how we are all called to be the branches that extend God’s peace, love, compassion and mercy   to those we encounter. Let us also be open to extend to the branches of others as they extend peace, reconciliation, consolation and love to us.

 

SUNDAY   “S”  SCENIC–

The scenic, picturesque view that the trees give.

Look at the many trees that surround you, take a moment to reflect on how that tree provides not only a beautiful and scenic view to behold, but it also provides shade in the heat and protection in the rain. There are many and various sizes and types of trees planted in God’s garden of creation and all are beautiful, and majestic and provide a splendid picture on the canvas of beauty that God has created. All trees started as a little seed and with the love and care have become a great and regal tree. God plants the seeds of faith in our hearts and we are given the choice to sow and let the seed take root in our heart and grow into a marvelous tree where our branches, our faith, is a beacon to others or not. 

As you begin this day, choose to grow in your faith and in relationship with God, others and self. Let yourself be the tree of life that shows the beauty of God’s love for you through your actions, in your words and by your prayers.

 

MONDAY – “U” UNIQUE

The branch. Each branch on a tree is unique and different. We are all created uniquely and different. Although the branches may look the same, each one has a different aspect to it, yet as a branch, as a follower of Christ, we are created to reach out with compassion, mercy, and love to others as we grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. The Son allows us to grow as the tree grows and we have the choice to extend of our self or to break off and do our own thing. the choice is ours.

Today, choose to extend yourself and be the hand that reaches out and the ear that takes time to listen. Choose to be the feet that walk in another’s shoes instead of judging another, and the heart that shows compassion, reconciliation and mercy to others.

As a branch cannot survive away from the vine, take a moment to thank God for keeping you close to Him, for sustaining your body, mind and soul through the sacraments of the Church, and for choosing you to be the hands and feet of Christ that has served others faithfully.

 

TUESDAY – “N”  NATURAL

A bush is a gift that. Look at the many types, variety and sizes of bushes that surround you, try to recognize that they all serve to create a beautiful landscape. In the story of creation, God saw that all that He made was good. All was created by Him; all was created to glorify Him.  Humanity is given the blessing of the beauty of nature to enjoy and protect. You are a part of God’s beautiful creation. Planted and sustained to glorify Him.

Sometimes we see weeds come out from the bush and we just want to pull them out. They appear as a natural part of the bush yet we want to pull them out.

 

Pulling them out is a temporary fix, but getting to their root is a more lasting fix. Sometimes we see the weeds of our weaknesses and sin as a natural part of us; we come up with excuses like we have been doing this for so long, we can’t help our self, it’s not our fault. We don’t want to pull the weeds because then it would mean that we must change.

If we see the weeds as our sins and weaknesses and desire to get rid of them, we can choose to just pull them out, or we can choose to get to the root of their growth and seek God’s grace, through reconciliation, to overcome their control and power.

As a bush is created to give beauty and weeds are a temporary interference to their view, take a moment to thank God for the weeds that have been a source of your personal and spiritual transformation and conversion, a sign of your inner strength, personal conviction and courage and reminder of the unconditional love and mercy of God.

 

WEDNESDAY – “R” A RAY OF SONSHINE – 

During your busyness, stress, pains and other various crosses that you may be carrying, choose to be a ray of God’s light, consolation, peace, joy, happiness to another.  Sometimes in our darkest moments, it only takes a word or a helping hand of another for us to see the light and have hope. When we offer hope, we are in turn blessed with hope. For one cannot offer what one does not have.

Take a moment today to thank God for the many rays of sunshine in your life that have gotten you through difficult, painful and stressful times. Take time to thank God for the people, events and situations that have dispelled the darkness that your crosses have caused, and have been the catalyst for greater hope and trust in Him.

 

THURSDAY – “O” OMNIPRESENT 

Take time to listen to the gentle breeze, the all present sound, gentle whisper, voice of God. Take time to listen to the small child, or the elderly parent or grandparent, the bored child, or the sick spouse. Loud voices are always entering our mind, body and spirit, and robbing us of the peace that God wants us to feel and experience. These loud voices can be those of complaining, negativity, gossip or foul language. When we hear them, we can choose to cover our ears or we can choose to participate with them.

God is asking us to be still and know that He is God. The only way to really experience that presence is by listening with our heart and allowing our self to hear His gentle voice. God doesn't yell at us, He calls, beckons us to come to Him. He wants us to be with Him. 

Today, take time to be silent and listen to the gentle voice of God and how he chooses to speak to your heart. The voice of God will speak to you. He might choose to speak in the form of a gentle breeze, a soft whisper, a quiet voice, or if you don’t quiet yourself, He might come like a voice crying in the wilderness, please listen to me, I love you and want to walk with you, so be still and allow yourself to listen to Him, and be open to the refreshment that He brings.

 

FRIDAY – “O” ONCE AGAIN, GOD KNOWS..

I enjoy rocking chairs because I usually can’t sit still. This can be a distraction to some, but not to me. The movement of the rocking chair brings me to a sense of peace and comfort and a relaxed spirit. I usually fall asleep rocking in a chair. God knows that sleeping is difficult and prayer is important to me, the rocking chair is a gift from Him. It is a gift that tells me, once again, that He knows my every need and the desires of my heart, that He hears my prayers.

Take time today to thank God for the rocking chairs of your prayer life. Thank Him for the instruments that He has placed in your life that have been instrumental to your prayer life, answers to your prayers and a source of peaceful relaxation in His presence.

 

SATURDAY –“M” MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Take time to thank God for the many moments, memories and events that have been, and are a source of refreshment for you.

Our pool will be opened in two weeks. Clover loves to swim and enjoys having pool play dates with her friends. I look forward to seeing them have fun as they jump in and out of the pool,

play catch with the ball, swim in circles and then roll in the grass and run in the yard. As I watch them enjoying themselves as God intends, I am happy and feel a sense of joy, renewal and refreshment.

Refreshing and joyful moments for the body, mind, spirit and soul come in many and varied ways, and they are not always what you might expect or can anticipate.  God knows your heart and your every need and provides refreshment for you in many unexpected and surprising ways. For me it is in and through the antics of Clover who is very deliberate, and Cannoli who is nuts, (but a good nut).

You may not have a dog or a cat, or a sunroom to look out from to see God’s beautiful creation, but you can always close your eyes and bring to the forefront your favorite memory of creation: the ocean, the forest, a mountain,  the valleys, the sky, and allow that memory, for a moment to refresh you and bring you peace.

In the spiritual reality, refreshment comes when you can be in the quiet presence of God. Take another moment to remember how it feels when God forgives you, encourages you, heals you, fills you with His joy and gives you His grace especially when you weren’t expected it or it came in a surprising new way.  

Today allow Him to soak you, shower you, and embrace you with His grace, unconditional love, mercy, peace, happiness and again. These are His gifts to you because He knows that you not only need them but you truly and deeply desire them from Him.

 

 

 

 

 

GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 5, 2019

 

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from another one of God’s creatures:

The parakeet or bungie.

At Assisi House there are two parakeets; Francis and Clare, (go figure) that are the center of many of the Sister’s focus as well as staff and visitors. You might ask why? There are probably as many reasons as there are Sisters, staff and visitors, some being that they are a beauty to behold, a stroke of amazing colors on God’s canvas of creation, relaxing to look at and observe, and they can learn to repeat what they are told on a repetitive basis. The Sisters, staff and visitors can be found talking to the birds, quietly admiring them, playing with them or just enjoying conversation with others in the bird’s presence, and in many cases the birds respond with various levels and sounds of chirps, words and noises.

Why or how are the birds a Glimpse of God? Think about it for a moment. Birds are in a cage yet they are free to fly and be who and what God created them to be. We are free; free to be who we want to be and or what we want to do, we have a free will that God will not interfere with, yet we are bound or unfree for a variety of reasons ranging from sin to shame, resentment to revenge and the opinion of others that conflicts with God’s message of love, reconciliation and peace.

These types of birds ae called Bungies The bungies communicate with each other with various sounds, they communicate with the Sisters with certain words, kisses, pecks and great trust. They swing on their swings, take baths, admire their view in the mirror, sleep and even bicker, yet afterwards they can be seen kissing each other.

Their little bodies, feathers, beaks and bottoms, are a canvas of color, beauty and an exquisite creation made with love. We admire their colors because no two birds are the same, no two humans are the same. God designed each of us individually, as well as the birds, so that they too have their own personality or in this case, birdsonality.

These creatures are God’s gift to us, but what does God expect us to do with them? Beyond the obvious, love, respect and care for them, but more importantly the unobvious, and that is to be open to learn from them and take the lesson to heart.

As we begin a new week, let us strive to recognize in the simplicity of the bungie, how to be the free person that God created us to be by believing in His message of love for our self, Him, and others , by dismissing the negative words, actions and attitudes that contradict His message, and by extending our self so that we can  help others to  be free and not unnecessarily bound or unfree.

SUNDAY – ‘B’ – you are Beloved, Blessed and Beautiful

We are God’s beloved, blessed, and beautiful sons and daughters, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation.  God has created us each with complete and unconditional love, compassion, happiness and joy.  Do we believe that? Many of us hesitate to. We think of the opposites; we are unlovable and missed out on blessings because of our sins, bad choices or crosses. We see only the blemishes, scars and wounds instead of seeing the beauty of God that shines through us despite the stumbling blocks or obstructions that we have placed before Him.

For today, strive to see the true beauty that you possess, the beauty that comes from within. The beauty that shines in and through your compassion, your love for God, others and self, your joy for life, how you extend mercy, seek peace and witness to Christ and give thanks to God for revealing this to you.

 

MONDAY – ‘U’  you are a Unique child of God, with an Undivided heart

God, as our creator, knows our hearts better than we do. He knows that although we sin, our heart, our deepest desire is to remain faithful to Him, witness to his love in and through our lives, actions, words, deeds, attitudes and prayers, and be His disciple as we together build up the kingdom of God here on earth. This is what we want to hold onto and not lose sight of or let go of. Sin separates us from God as we let go of, a little bit at a time, the hand of God as he tries to lead us and show us the way, the truth and the light. At the sound of remorse, sorrow, contrition, he mends our hearts again, makes us whole so that we can move forward, and be the best person that we can be and have the potential to become; our unique and undivided hearted follower, a sinner striving to be a saint.

For today, strive to seek wholeness and ask for the grace to let go of that which is keeping your heart divided; illness, estranged or broken relationship, revenge, bitterness, resentment, frustration, stress, shame or sin.

 

TUESDAY – ‘N’ –you are a New creation and Renewed in the Holy Spirit

We are all a new creation in God and Jesus His son. What does that mean? That God made a mistake and had to do us over? No. I believe that it means we are new in and through our baptism and faith in Jesus Christ. He suffered and died for our sins and calls us to live in the light of that final act of reconciliation and not in the death of sin or shame, disgrace or fear. We are renewed every time that we let go of the old way of life that has taken us away from God or others, that has caused us to sell our soul to the devil at any cost, that has made us believe that we are unlovable and that we have to earn God’s love to be loved. You are a new creation; how does it feel? Are you invigorated? Excited? Awake? Refreshed? God’s Holy Spirit dwells within you and has all your life, do you recognize Him?

For today, strive to recognize how the Holy Spirit has renewed you and made you whole. Seek to tap into that holy energy and share it with another who might also be running on empty and needs to be made new.

 

WEDNESDAY –‘G’ you are Gifted and Graced by God

You are a gift from God to others. You are gifted with many talents that are as unique as you are. We might possess the same talents, but how we use them to glorify God, share them with others and grow from them, is our gift to God. God’s grace is abundant. In many cases we think of that passage when we are struggling, stressed and need to be affirmed that we will not be overcome or defeated.

Yet, it is also true when we need to use our gifts, especially when we are tempted by others to diminish them, dismiss, them, forget them or misuse them. What could or would that look like? If you have the gift of prayer where your prayers are answered  for others, but people make you feel bad or make fun of your faith, where as you decide to deny or not talk about your relationship with God, or if you have the gift of being musically , sports, or intellectually talented and others are jealous and talk about you so that you don’t want to excel but rather would just like to hide. SEE TOP OF NEXT PAGE FOR MORE

God’s grace is plentiful and will help you overcome the negative squashing of your gifts so that you can use them to the best of your ability, and not allow others to make you feel as if you can’t, shouldn’t or will be judged negatively if you do.

For today, reverence, honor and thank God for your many talents and gifts that make you the special person that you are.

 

THURSDAY - ‘I’Individual, who is Inspired and Imaginative.

You are an individual, you are you, there is no one like you nor will there ever be anyone like you again, you are one of a kind, you are the one and only you. you are an imaginative creation and you are an inspired follower of Jesus Christ. There is a lot of you to be grateful for? Do you think others are grateful for the person that you are? Are you grateful for the people that have inspired you to be the person that you are?

Can you imagine yourself being different?  Sometimes we wish that we were someone else because of their wealth, smarts, social status, athletic ability, and when we do that, we are dismissing our own uniqueness and giftedness from God. This is not what God wants of others and this isn’t what God intends for us. It is nice to admire others, but to be jealous or to covet what others have, is to turn away from what God has so graciously given to us.

For today, thank God for those who have inspired you to be the faithful witness to His good news that you are.

 

FRIDAY –‘E’ – You are Exceptional because of your Empathy and Energy

Being empathetic is no easy task especially when your energy level is low, you stress is high and your ability to be patient is gone.  When others need us to be present to them in the midst of their pain or struggle, and we feel as if we can’t be, that causes us more angst because we feel that we should always be present and listen to those who are suffering and need to be consoled. God see through us and HE would not want us to pretend to listen, but rather be honest when we don’t feel as if we can truly be present to them. God doesn’t demand that of us, we demand that of our self. All God asks of us is that we do the best that we can, that we be the best person that we can be. We would do more harm and it would be a greater injustice if we faked empathy or pretended to be present to another especially one who is in great pain. Others can see through our pretension. We are called to serve and help others who are in need, but we can’t be or give what we are not and don’t have. It takes an exceptional person to recognize the need to be empathetic and share their presence with others, and are unable to do that.  

For today, try to be more understanding and compassionate with those who challenge your patience, zap you of your energy and diminish your self esteem; rebellious children, idle coworkers, elderly parents, siblings, estranged family members, or community members. Do unto others as God has done unto you.

 

SATURDAY –‘S’ –you freely give of  your Selfless love and choose not to be Selfish

God’s giving of Jesus to us was an act of selfless love, Mary’s YES to God was an act of selfless love, and Jesus’ death on the cross was the ultimate act of selfless love. Where does that leave us? We are not prophets, martyrs, or saints, we are ordinary people trying to live our Catholic Christian faith in an extraordinary way. What makes it extraordinary? When we encounter the living God and choose to follow, serve and spread the good news about Him by the way we live our lives. We go from ordinary to extraordinary because once we encounter our living God, we are changed and cannot remain as we were. We go from selfish to selfless, from self-centered to God centered, from closed minded and hard of heart to open minded with an expanded heart, from looking into the mirror where we can only see our needs, wants and desires to looking out the window where we are blessed to see the needs, wants and desires of others as well as God’ great creation which is bigger than we could have ever imagined

For today, do a random act of selfless love to someone that you find difficult to love

Glimpse of God for the week of April 26, 2019

Jesus said; “Come follow me” Who was He referring to? All of God’s creatures or just the humans” Are you “too chicken” to heed His call or will you have the courage to follow? The above picture was taken when John and I went out to the chicken coop on the Amish farm that we stayed at this week. Once the chickens saw us coming, they formed a group and followed the leader to come and meet us. 

With that, I had to research chickens so that I could learn about their behavior. This is what I found out.

I hope that some of these surprising facts about chickens will make this Glimpse unique, but relational, God inspired and thought provoking, and Sister MT approved.

A little background……John and I are staying on an Amish working farm in Lancaster this week for vacation, and this is just one of the many Glimpses of God that came through this week. “Come follow Me” this week and look at how much you have in common with the chicken, but how much more God has given you to rise above the chicken.

SUNDAY – Chickens can distinguish among more than 100 faces of people and species.

We humans can distinguish so much. We can choose to separate what we see or bring things together. When we differentiate or separate people, events or situations, we can do so out of love, compassion, caution or bitterness. When we choose to separate people, events or situations we do so to protect others or our self, or distance our self from others so that we do not get hurt. When we see a man coming that has a gun and we go the other way, we do so for self-protection. We also see a man that is homeless and we also go the other way. Why? It is usually out of fear or ignorance, judgement or ego.

When Christ calls us to follow Him, He calls us to be like Him and not choose the human weaknesses of holding grudges, being afraid, our own personal ego, or holding onto bitterness and resentment, but rather being a person of compassion, love, empathy and understanding. Unlike chickens who only differentiate people and species, we have the capability of build walls and not break them down, bringing the diversity of what we see together so that we can learn from each other and grow in love as God’s beloved children, all created in His image, loved unconditionally and His  greatest creation. We all are equal walking on the same holy ground that we call earth.

For today, walk with the chickens and strive not to judge others, but rather accept all others as God’s gift to you so that you can stretch your heart and expand your horizons.

MONDAY - Chickens have full color vision just like we do.

Having full color vision is such a gift that God eagerly waits for us to use, why? because things are not just black and white. When we fail to see things in the kaleidoscope of color that God provides, we are limiting our self, not only in the experience, but also God’s invitation to us to see as He sees When we choose to have tunnel vision or only see things as we think they are or should be, then we are missing out on a great, colorful and enriching experience. Chickens have the gift of full color vision and they use it, and they are God’s chickens, but what can they teach us?

As Jesus calls us to come and follow Him, He calls us to see things with an open mind, heart and spirit. When we choose to see things such as personal life experiences, people, and other events, as He does, we don’t just see them in black and white, but we see them intertwined with the colors of life, joy, peace, harmony, compassion, mercy and reconciliation. What are those colors? 

Red can be for the heart that beats, blue can be for the cleansing waters of baptism, green can be for the hope that lies within, yellow can be for the sunrise and the sunsets of our life that bring us to each new and exciting day, purple can be for the reconciliations that occur in our life, and white can be for the newness of life that God has in store for each one of His children. The page is new, ready and open for God to write his love story about us, on. So…. can you see that chickens have the gift and can teach us that things are not just black and white, but are rich in color and beauty?

For today, open your eyes to see the kaleidoscope of the colors of your life that God has ready to show you.

TUESDAY- Chickens have pain receptors that enable them to feel pain and distress.

Chickens like humans have pain receptors and can feel pain as we do, yet many people don’t realize that as these little creatures that are used to produce food for our table, how we treat them to obtain what we want, is a second thought. BUT they hurt, they feel pain and can’t take pain medicine.

We as humans inflict pain on others when we want something, or feel the need to get even, or need to make another feel less than God has created them to feel. We cause pain, we are killing each other over some very needless, idiotic, selfish reasons. We hurt one another because we feel that we have been disrespected, or wronged in some way. We, as a society, are not seeking peace through dialogue, but rather revenge through taking another’s life.  We are causing pain for others by the way we talk about others, the way we gossip, the way we make others feel less than human, the way we judge another, the way we look down because of another’s social status, and in all of these ways of destruction, those on whom we inflict pain, are not able to relieve their pain by taking a pain pill, because the pain is a deeper pain, a pain that infects not only the body, but the mind, heart, spirit and soul, and it is a pain that only God and an open heart of humanity, can heal.

For today, pray for those who are in pain; physical, emotional spiritual or psychological pain, because of anything that you have said or done, consciously or unconsciously, that God may use you as His instrument of healing, reconciliation, love, compassion, acceptance, empathy and love so that they can live with a renewed sense of life and love.

WEDNESDAY- Chickens dream like we do and they love to play and run, jump and sunbathe when they have the chance.

What is it to dream? To be asleep and have different scenes enter your mind and very being for the short time that you are in a deep sleep. I often say that dreams are God’s way of communicating with us because it is the only time that our mouths stay shut and we can’t argue with Him, but we can only listen and maybe recall when we awake. We can also dream about what we would like to be doing or places that we like to go. When we dream with a vision it is a gift that enables us to hold onto hope and think beyond what is.

Chickens can remind us of how to have fun and be a big kid without worrying about what others think. God has a sense of humor, why don’t most of us? We take life so seriously that we fail to have fun, experience joy and let the inner child that lies within, come out. When we fail to see the joy and beauty in life, then we fail to see the big picture that God has created for us. Our big picture is different then the next persons, even if the next person is our parent, sibling, friend or a stranger. God has a plan for each of us and it is as individual as each person. If you feel the desire to run and jump and lay on the grass in the sunlight, then instead of denying the desire, acknowledge it and be grateful for it. We can’t all go around laying on the grass, or jumping up and down, but we can allow the desire and the joy that brings forth that desire to penetrate to the core of our being and rejoice with God that you can dream, dance and celebrate life.

For today, even if you can’t run and jump or lay in the grass, acknowledge the desire, and relish the reality that God has blessed you with a deep join that comes forth from within.

THURSDAY Chickens know whose boss; they form social orders known as “pecking orders” and all chickens know their place on the ladder.

As we grow and mature, we learn who is the boss and where we stand: at home, at school and at work.

We hopefully realize that the boss deserves our respect and cooperation. Chickens know this and within their pecking order, they don’t overstep their bounds or get out of order. If we as humans ere to take our cue off of the chickens, children would be more respectful and obedient of their parents,

siblings would get along and not be in bitter rivalry with each other, colleagues would not be seeking to walk over each other but rather work with each other to build up each other, we would be in dialogue with the stranger and not judgment because of our differences, love would win over hate and peace would triumph over war.

The pecking order of the followers of Christ is simple; there is none. What is required of us is that we love one another and show that love in all that we say and do, in and through our actions, prayers and attitudes. We are all God’s beloved children, all equal and all walking on God’s holy ground.

There is only one boss or voice that we should follow and that is Jesus’. He has given us Church leaders to guide us, but we in all conscience, must follow the one whose voice speaks the truth, gives us light and shows us the way to eternal life.

For today, listen to whose voice you follow and decide if it is of Jesus, our one true shepherd or is it of one who has taken his place. If it is not the Lord, pray to turn your ears to Him and turn away from the temporary replacement.

FRIDAY -They can navigate using the sun, which helps then find food and water and even know what time it is.

We can learn from the chickens, our sun, our light, is Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus Christ gives our life direction, is our moral compass and shows us the way that we should go. Christ feeds us with His very own Body and Blood, in the real presence every time we participate at Mass. His body sustains, nurtures and feeds us, His blood satisfies our thirst to be the body of Christ in all that we do, and hydrates our spirit so that we don’t suffer burnout or spiritual dryness. The chickens can teach us a lot especially when we feel empty or dry, because it is then that we know it is time to turn to Him so that He can fill us with His grace and satisfy our deepest longings.

For today, ask God to satisfy your hunger for a greater love, more patience and compassion and quench or smother any thirst that you have toward being bitter or holding onto a grudge, turning to sin and not seeking the grace to overcome the temptation to sin.

SATURDAY- Chickens are adorable.

Although chickens might be adorable, we humans, God’s greatest creation are not only adorable, but affectionally cherished and adored by God. As God’s beloved sons and daughters, we are unconditionally loved, adored and cherished by Him. Are the chickens adored by God? I believe that God adores and cherishes all of His creation because as our creator and God, He saw that all He created was very good, The difference between us and the chickens, and in deed all of the creatures that fly, crawl and hover, is that they don’t have a free will and can’t choose to follow God and live the good news. 

Jesus gave us the commandments of love, and as His followers, we are called to live in love, it is our choice to do so or not. God always loves us and will always be there for us when we walk with Him and when we choose not to. He is there to lift us up, brush us off, bring us back, embrace us, dry our tears, raise us up, encourage and support us and forgive us when we fail or fall short. He cherishes us when we choose to say yes, and he cherishes us even when we say no. God has great respect for us and for the choices that we make. He will never go against our free will but will also never abandon us when our will and His don’t necessarily meet. It is in all this that He is devoted to us and finds us most adorable or able to be adored

How can God not adore you. HE respects you, loves you unconditionally, created you in His likeness and image, has called you by name. and even knit you in your mother’s womb (psalm 139)

There is no other person like you nor will there be another you. You are one of a kind. There is no heart like yours, no soul like yours, no mind that works like yours.  God created you individually and uniquely out of complete love. God creates only good and only out of love.

For today, look at how adored you are by God, and utter a prayer of thanks that the chickens reminded you of that great and awesome truth.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of April 26, 2019

Jesus said; “Come follow me” Who was He referring to? All of God’s creatures or just the humans” Are you “too chicken” to heed His call or will you have the courage to follow? The above picture was taken when John and I went out to the chicken coop on the Amish farm that we stayed at this week. Once the chickens saw us coming, they formed a group and followed the leader to come and meet us. 

With that, I had to research chickens so that I could learn about their behavior. This is what I found out.

I hope that some of these surprising facts about chickens will make this Glimpse unique, but relational, God inspired and thought provoking, and Sister MT approved.

A little background……John and I are staying on an Amish working farm in Lancaster this week for vacation, and this is just one of the many Glimpses of God that came through this week. “Come follow Me” this week and look at how much you have in common with the chicken, but how much more God has given you to rise above the chicken.

SUNDAY – Chickens can distinguish among more than 100 faces of people and species.

We humans can distinguish so much. We can choose to separate what we see or bring things together. When we differentiate or separate people, events or situations, we can do so out of love, compassion, caution or bitterness. When we choose to separate people, events or situations we do so to protect others or our self, or distance our self from others so that we do not get hurt. When we see a man coming that has a gun and we go the other way, we do so for self-protection. We also see a man that is homeless and we also go the other way. Why? It is usually out of fear or ignorance, judgement or ego.

When Christ calls us to follow Him, He calls us to be like Him and not choose the human weaknesses of holding grudges, being afraid, our own personal ego, or holding onto bitterness and resentment, but rather being a person of compassion, love, empathy and understanding. Unlike chickens who only differentiate people and species, we have the capability of build walls and not break them down, bringing the diversity of what we see together so that we can learn from each other and grow in love as God’s beloved children, all created in His image, loved unconditionally and His  greatest creation. We all are equal walking on the same holy ground that we call earth.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of April 20, 2019 

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 broke bread with them, performed miracles in their presence, ministered together with, were standing by his side as He taught the people and healed their woundedness and illnesses. Jesus knew their hopes, their sorrows, their joys and their desires. They shared their stories about their brokenness, their joys, and how they had hope in 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 firsthand. 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, and 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 in 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 own 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 how they were filled with so many other emotions. The resurrections in our life come in the form 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 fear that we will be called to change and be transformed forever.

When Jesus saw Mary Magdalene, 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 His children. He knows the 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.

For today, this Easter Sunday, take a moment to reflect on and give thanks for, your resurrections; when you were able to come forth from the tomb of physical, emotional, or spiritual suffering and experience the light of Christ and the warmth of his love, renewal and strength.

MONDAY - "E" - Empathy

Are you empathetic, understanding, and 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, and 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.

For today, reflect on, and give thanks for, someone who has been empathetic with you during a difficult time, and how they encouraged and inspired you to keep going and not give up or feel defeated.

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?

For today, reflect on and give thanks 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 your desire for the grace to let go.

WEDNESDAY - "C" – Charity

Are you charitable in your words, deeds, actions, attitudes and prayers? 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.  

For today, reflect on and give thanks for, the gift of charity and love, and how you have been a blessing of charity and love to others and how others have been a blessing of charity and love to you

THURSDAY - "H" - Honor

Do you honor yourself, others and God by how you treat yourself, and others? Do you honor God by being in relationship with Him or do you keep Him at a distance? Can you honor those “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?

For today, reflect on and give thanks for, how God's love is greater than any sin that you committed and how He wants that to be your resurrection. He wants you to embrace your new life with the Risen Christ. Will you allow Him to embrace you or are you far from embracing?

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.

For today, reflect on and give thanks for, the gift of healing and how you have been healed in body, mind and spirit. Take the time to recall the action of God in your life and how He has chosen to reveal himself in the healing that you have experienced, and the people that have been instrumental in the healing process.

 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? forgiveness 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?.

For today, reflect on and give thanks for, the gift of life, faith, family, friends, community and church. In and through all of these, God chooses to reveal Himself so that you can experience His presence in the form of the love, mercy, compassion, empathy, sincerity, genuineness, peace, and joy of others. God continues to reveal Himself to you, are you ready and willing to reveal His presence in your life to others?

 

Glimpse of God for the week of March 31, 2019

As I reflect on the many glimpses of God that I have had the privilege to see in these past two days