GLIMPSES OF GOD 2023

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 29, 2023  

What does Clover, our Golden retriever, who is recovering from torn ACL surgery, me becoming the first female, lay, catholic chaplain for a law enforcement agency, my book, Glimpses of God: Seeing God in Everyday Life, about ready for publication, and Christine Flowers have in common? At first it would appear to be nothing, but the more I reflected on what a glimpse of God is and how this week was filled with many, it became clear.

First Clover’s torn ACL and her recuperation. It has been painful for both me and John to watch her struggle and not being able to take away her pain and make her feel better. She limps but she is determined to get where she needs to go. Her ACL being torn, is not from any knee jerk reaction or words that we humans might express without thinking, but arthritis and her being a 12-year-old active puppy and therapy dog. On Tuesday, I was finally cleared to become the first lay, catholic female chaplain for a law enforcement agency, signing a great deal of paperwork honoring my word, respecting, and keeping confidential the words of others that are shared with me, and respecting the meaning of the words; integrity, fidelity, and courage as I encounter the many and various settings and individuals as a Chaplain. My book, the compilation of many words to describe the various ways that God has chosen to reveal Himself, is almost ready for print. And the person of Christine Flowers who is a columnist for the Inquirer and Delaware County times. I feel that she shares with her readers the written word through the lens of compassion, empathy, and integrity. I have been reading her columns for years and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for her and her writing. She is proud of her Philadelphia Italian roots, cherishes her family, professes, and lives out her Catholic faith, and is passionate about her work as an immigration attorney and as a writer.  The written word, her written word, is not one that diminishes another or tears them down. She does not use her column to force her opinion out there as the one and only, or to purposely inflict pain on another by her words. She is true to herself as she speaks the truth, she presents it clearly, and she doesn’t back down or get backed into a corner due to political, economic, or social expectations. Her word, the written word, sheds light on issues with the truth. I am sure there are some people that may not agree with her perspective, but as it is explained, one can get a clearer understanding of the issue presented.

So, are we with being true to ourselves and speaking the truth without being afraid, insecure, or intimidated? How do we use the written word to guide us? And what written word do we use? The only one that we should use to keep our moral compass in the right direction is the written word of Sacred Scripture. It is through reading and reflecting on Sacred Scripture where we are invited to listen to God’s Holy Spirit speak to our heart and as it invites us to follow that which will enable us to grow in relationship with the one and only God, Christ His Son and His Holy Spirit.

As we live each day and seek guidance so as to discern what God was calling us to do, do we refer to His written word and allow the message to permeate our being, do we listen to the Holy Spirit so that we can be true to the written word of God or do we turn the page or close the book when it gets to be too demanding or challenging for us?

After reading God’s written word in Sacred Scripture, do we keep silent or share its message with those who we encounter? We live out the written word of our life. God has written our name in His book of life and through our baptism, we are called to share the truth of that gift. If we just read the word and then shut the book, or remain silent, not only would we be in the dark about its meaning but so would others. We are children of the light, not of darkness. Whether you write a column in the paper, a blog on the computer, a letter to a friend, or in a journal, the words have a message and, in many cases, invoke a response. God writes His message of love on our heart; all He asks from us is to respond in love. How do we do that? By reading His written word. As we read Sacred Scripture, we will learn the best way to be a more loving person, our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become. Our spiritual journey is one of ongoing growth and spiritual transformation and we can’t allow the periods of fear, anxiety, or our crosses to cancel out the commas of trust, surrender and hope.

Gods written word is open to read and reflect on so that the meaning of its message may permeate our very being and we in turn, may profess what we have come to believe and believe what we profess.

This week, as we hear many words spoken out of love, compassion and in peace, let us reflect on how these words reflect God’s written word in Sacred Scripture. If we hear words of anger or hatred, let us pray for mercy and peace. As we read many written words, from various sources, may they form spiritual sentences that don’t end with a period, with no further growth, but with a comma indicating that there is more to come. But if our journey calls us to form a spiritual period due to weakness or sin and we feel we need to start anew, let the written word of God strengthen us so that we can continue reading, listening, discerning, and sharing His message.

 

SUNDAY – “W” the written word. God’s Word build ups and strengthens us.

For today, as you hear Sacred Scripture proclaimed at your worship service, seek to recognize that what you heard proclaimed is God’s message to you to strengthen you, build you up and empower you to proclaim it to others.

MONDAY – “R” Offer the words of remorse, contrition, and apology.

The written word of remorse. When we write a note of apology to another, the written words of remorse, apology and mercy fill the page. When we think of the person that we are sending it to, we shamefully see their face in light of the pain or injury that we caused them. We express our need or desire to be forgiven.  Christ died for all and as we seek to be forgiven, we must also forgive another. The written word allows us to form our feelings through the words so that the recipient can truly see that we are sorry. In and through the sacrament of reconciliation, we are given the act of contrition so that are sorrow and remorse is summed up perfectly. For today: take a few moments to reflect on the words of the act of contrition and how freeing they are.

TUESDAY – “I” invitation: God’s invitation to come and share in the banquet meal, do you RSVP or reject it?

The written word of invitation. How do you feel when you receive an invitation to a special event? A birthday party, a shower, a wedding…Do you ever think about your relationship with the sender and how special they think you are to invite  you? Sometimes we cannot attend the special event so we send our regrets, and there are other times when we are over the moon because we were invited that we quickly send our rsvp in, and yet we all know that there are events that we kind of want to attend, but we are on the fence about attending for one reason or another, and we wait till the last minute to respond or not. It is not that way with God’s invitation to join Him at the banquet meal of the Holy Eucharist. That invitation is always open. When we respond, He joyfully accepts our yes to attending, He rejoices when we show up at the last minute, and He understands when we say; Lord, not today….HE knows our heart better than we do and He knows and understands our responses. He will never go against to our free will. The invitation to join Him so that we are nourished at the His table is and will always be open as He awaits our response.

For today: the next time you receive an invitation to a special event or you remember that it is someone’s birthday or special event in their life, pray a prayer of thanks for their feet walking with yours on the journey of life.

WEDNESDAY – “T” thank you.

Does the gift of gratitude fill your heart or are you on empty due to life challenges and crosses? The written word of gratitude can be a powerful source of transformation. When we write a thank you note to someone for their thoughtfulness as shown through their gift or special act kindness, we are letting them know how much we appreciate what they did and how it made us feel. This act of acknowledgment has the ability to bring us to a WOW moment as we realize that they thought of me to do that. Sometimes when we feel overburdened due to life’s challenges, we tend to forget to say thanks to God, others and ourselves.  

To God for the gift of life and the life of His Son Jesus who selflessly died so that we may inherit eternal life when our earthly journey has ended. We want to thank God that this life has meaning and purpose. To others for journeying with us during our weakest moments, for them not giving up on us but inviting us to become out best self despite the devils lies and deception. To ourselves for not giving up and believing the devils lies that we are no good and that God doesn’t love us because of our sinfulness.  Jesus selfless love for us sinners and His dying on the cross is our reason for gratitude not discouragement, hope and not despair, peace and not discord.

For today: write a list of at least 10 things that you are grateful for and 10 people that you have been inspired by for their spirit of gratitude, especially in the face of a heavy cross, life stresses and challenges.

THURSDAY – “T” – trust in God that He will guide you in the right direction

The written word of trust, surrender and freedom. Twila Paris sings a song: Do I trust you, Lord(I would like to write the words here, but I do not have copyright permission, so if you have a chance to look them up, do so).

In the song she expresses God all-knowing power and that HE knows all that she is experiencing and that she would rather die than to lose her faith in the God she loves. God knows your heart, your life struggles, the cross that you carry, your worse fears and anxieties, the question, is that have you told Him how you feel? As humans we often try to run away from our feelings, we hide behind masks of work, addiction, sleep, negative behavior, ego, shame, guilt, and sinfulness, so that others would not, could not, see what we are going through. Yet we cannot run and hide from God.

The final refrain includes these words: I will trust you Lord, when I don’t know why, I will trust you Lord till the day I die.

For today: Ask God to help you surrender your worse fear, trial, cross, stress, so that you too can say to Him, I will and I do trust you, Lord.

FRIDAY – “E” The gift of encouragement as you carry a heavy cross and help others carry theirs.

The written word of encouragement is amazing, it can be emotionally, spiritually, and physically transformative. It offers hope amid despair, encouragement amid disappointment, and peace amid panic. For today: Offer Saint Francis’ prayer for peace for someone you know who is seeking to find peace and for yourself as you continue to be a peacemaker.

SATURDAY – “N” now is the time to listen to God’s Holy Spirit as He speaks to you

The written word of living in the present, Sacred Scripture

God has a surprise for you today in His Written Word. Here is glimpse of some of His surprises, after a week of listening and discerning His will, as you have helped others carry their cross and as you have borne your own, as you have made it through another week of winter with the threat of the flu, virus, covid around each corner and as you have reflected more on the significance, importance, and transformative power that is found in the  written word; God’s yours and others, God has a message for you. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11: 28 -30

 

Remember: Your breath is your life, use it wisely. Your heart is big, fill it wisely. Your mind is open, expand it wisely. Your God is present, reverence Him wisely. You are God's temple, honor yourself wisely.

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 22, 2023

My glimpse of God comes from a very God like place filled with wonderful people and awesome, strong and determined clients .

The place is Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital. Everyone there, from the staff that greet you when you enter, the techs that assess your pet’s situation and the veterinarians, are all very personable, professional, empathetic, and compassionate. I have experienced a great glimpse of God as they minister to the many patients that come to them, with the respect, dignity and compassion that is of God. They see those in their care as a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. The care and the empathy that they exude from the moment we enter the building when we are in the exam room with the vet and as we prepare to leave.

Clover has been a patient at Blue Pearl since 2019 when she was diagnosed with glaucoma, and this week we had to bring her in for surgery for a torn ACL. As long as Clover has been a patient, through the pandemic and now post pandemic, the care that she has received has been extraordinary. The doctors and the staff are truly instruments of healing, understanding, compassion, empathy, and love to Clover and all the kids that enter their door as well as their owners. They explain things so that we understand and treat Clover as if she were their own. Everyone ministers to the patients and their owners, with a great and contagious smile. Not a fake smile or one that diminishes the illness or concerns of the pets, but rather one that exudes the dedication and devotion that comes from the depth of their being.

As we begin a new week, let us try to recognize, with greater clarity, the instruments that God chooses to use so that we can become our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become.

As we journey through the first month a new year, let us celebrate the newness in our life in whatever form it takes. As we bring in a new year, let us pray in gratitude for the many blessings, crosses, and graces that we received it the past. Let us strive to recognize them in our present so that we can appreciate and be strengthened by them in the future. Let us pray in gratitude for all those that take care of God’s 4 legged, flying, and crawling creatures: our cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, birds, snakes and others…, that as they serve God’s most vulnerable, helpless, innocent, forgotten and abandoned creatures, they are serving God who created them. As we begin a new week, let us also remember that our pets are reminders of what we can be and are called to be: unconditionally loving, forgiving, and happy to be alive because they are in the care of great owners, or in our case, a great God.

 

SUNDAY - “wag the tail” – Dogs wag their tails, as a greeting, to show that they are happy. How do you greet others? Are you happy and look them in the eye, or are you unhappy and pass them by? Does your happiness depend on material things, or do you recognize that happiness comes from within, and that God is the only source of true happiness? Dogs wag their tail, some people clap their hands, what do you do to show that you are happy? Do you smile, are you able to laugh, do you radiate that inner happiness by your attitude towards and with others, or do you dwell on your stresses?

In the midst of life’s pains, challenges, and crosses, we can learn from our pets that we will not be defeated. Pets have owners that are entrusted to take care of them; we have a loving God who takes care of us. We are all God’s creatures, and He takes care of all of us. We have a lot to wag our tails and be happy about.

 

MONDAY – “give the paw” - Dogs are good at giving their paw on command. I see it as a gift. They want to make us happy so they listen and follow the command. Their paw is a part of them that they lift up for one to take and shake.

Do we give our hand to another to take and shake, or do we raise it against another as a sign of power? Do we give of our self to make another happy, or do we isolate ourselves? Are we selfless or selfish? We don’t need commands to do the right thing. We know in the depth of our heart what is right and what is wrong, yet there are times when we know better but we still choose the wrong. When we do this, we can say that we are sorry; we can reach to another and either extend peace and mercy or ask for it. God wants to take our hand and extend His peace, mercy and love so that we can be happy and share His peace and happiness with others. Can you reach out today and touch someone or ask to be touched by the God of all mercy and love? 

 

TUESDAY – “roll over” - Our dog and cat roll over mainly because they want their belly rubbed. In this position they are vulnerable and submissive, but also trusting and content. God doesn’t ask us to roll over and just accept what we are asked to do as a robot would, rather He wants us to be in relationship with Him, and through prayer, discover what it is that He has in store for us so that we can be more trusting and content. He asks us to trust Him and know that He will not hurt us or take advantage of us. We have pets that trust us and we have friends and family that we trust and also trust us. In our relationships, when we feel vulnerable and afraid, we are not expected to just rollover and accept whatever we are told, but rather we are called to love our self enough to stand up for our self and be true to our self because that is what God has created us to do.  

 

WEDNESDAY – “purr” Our cat purrs when she is happy. It is a sound and sign that she is comfortable, happy, and her belly is full. You can hear her even if she is not right next to you. When you are still, does your body resonate with stress, tension, or peace? Are the sounds that come from you sounds of disgust, anger, frustration, or do you resound with happiness, peace, love, and joy? Do you treat your body as a temple of God’s Holy Spirit? Do you get enough rest; do you try to eat right, and what about exercise? Do you take care of your body, as you know you should? Do you work or are you always so busy that you don’t have time to truly relax with family, friends, or others? Our body is the only one that we will be given so it is up to us to take care of it as best we can. Progress leads to Purrfection.

 

THURSDAY – “cuddle” - Our pets Clover and Cannoli cuddle when they want to be close to us. They come to us to cuddle and sleep. It is nice to know that we are useful.  Anyway, to cuddle involves a comfort level that comes from within, one that calls us to let our defenses down and just be in the presence of another.

Do we feel the need to have our defenses up with others or do we trust others?   We may not cuddle with our friends, but we are called to be open and not have our defenses up all the time. Are you comfortable with others where you can be yourself without feeling the need to make yourself something that you are not out of fear or insecurity? Do you hide behind a mask so that others do not see the real you, but rather the person that you think they want to see, or you think that they rather see? Do you recognize that God loves you just as you are and that He wants to cuddle, embrace, and hold on to you because of His great love for you?

 

FRIDAY - "stay" - We ask Clover to "stay" because we don't want her to go ahead and possibly get hurt. When we walk and are ready to cross the street or go a different route, the "stay" command is what she will hear and obeys, at least most of the time the rest of the time she is just her Deliberate self.

What are we being called to "stay" with? What do we need to be with, to honor, to process, to discern, to acknowledge? There are times in our life that we want to just get through and not deal or feel that we expect will come. Yet in those times, we can experience great peace, healing, joy, comfort, consolation and solace, if we are willing to stay and not just run ahead. It is in those “stay” moments that God fills us with His grace so that we can make it through the difficult times without running away. God doesn’t tell us to stay, but rather He invites us to stay and be still and know that He is God, He is in control and that He will never abandon or forsake us.

 

SATURDAY – “come” – Our pets come to us when they want or need something. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart

We also come to Jesus when we want something; that something can be peace, joy, forgiveness, love, presence, companionship, a spiritual hug, and a loving embrace. Jesus invites us to come to Him, He wants us to come to Him, and He waits for us to come to Him. He rejoices when we come to Him. When we come, we are responding to the words of encouragement, support and healing that Jesus expressed, are you ready to come?

                                                                                                                     

 

Remember: Your breath is your life, use it wisely. Your heart is big, fill it wisely. Your mind is open, expand it wisely. Your God is present, reverence Him wisely. You are God's temple, honor yourself wisely.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 15, 2023

Happy New Year.  I hope and pray that this new year of 2023 brings you a greater sense of joy, peace and true happiness that only our Lord can provide.  As each day approaches may you see Him more clearly in yourself and others, love Him more dearly through your prayers, acts of love and acts of mercy, and follow Him more nearly, as you take each step of your earthly journey one step at a time, not looking back with regret, but looking forward with and in hope.

As this new year enters its third week, is anything different for you? Have you made your New Year’s, resolution and can you see how it has made a difference or have you forgotten what your resolution was?

People with all their sincerity, personal conviction and self-determination make New Year’s resolutions.

The ones that I have heard range from going on a diet, exercising more, praying more, eating better, refraining from foul language especially around their children, calling family members that live far, reconciling with an estranged family member or friend, and getting more rest. All are great resolves to make, and in the end can make one a better person; a healthier person, a more spiritually connected person to God, and a person that knows what true peace is. With all the good intentions, I imagine that by this 15th day of January, many people have already forgotten their resolution or haven’t had the time to put it into practice.

This year when people say I resolve to…. It sounds good and the resolution is made with great conviction, hope and a sincere desire to accomplish what they desire to change or improve in their life. The question that I present is WHY? Why do people wait to make until the new year to make a resolution? I believe that if one is seeking to change, improve something about themselves; their physical well-being, their behavior, or their spiritual relationship, why wait? If the resolution is that important, why would you want to wait, why not begin today? God wants you to best your best self, the person the person that He created you to be and have the potential to become, so why wait? God is knocking at the door of your heart, He knows your desires and wants to fulfil them today, now, not later, not tomorrow, not next year….

Today is the only day that we have, yesterday is in our history book, and tomorrow is not here, nor are we promised it. Today is the day that the Lord has made. Made for what? We are God’s greatest creation, His beloved children and loved unconditionally, and what we can give Him is our gift of love each day by seeking to know and love and serve God to the best of our ability. How can we know, love, and serve God if we do not know or love our self?

Each and every time we pray the act of Contrition, we make a resolution “ I firmly resolve with your help and your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin” or some forms say “I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, Amen” with means I believe. What do you believe when you pray that prayer? That God will forgive you and that you will do your best to keep your resolution that says you will sin no more, avoid the near occasion of sin, to confess your sins and to amend your life. How important is that to you? If it is that important, why would you want to wait to make it, wouldn’t you rather start right now to sin no more, avoid those things, people, or situations that cause you to want to sin, go to confession so that you experience the healing presence of God as your sins are forgiven, and amend your life? These are such crucial acts and ones that can bring about personal, and spiritual transformation.  

If you say that prayer on a regular basis your resolution will bring you great strength and you will see a difference in your spiritual life that will overflow into your personal life and in your actions, the words that you speak and in your deeds.

I don’t make a New Year’s resolution. Why because I would probably forget it by the first week, but more importantly and seriously, I think that whatever I would resolve would be important to me and I wouldn’t want to wait until another day or year begins. My prayer and resolve on January 1st, is the same every day after that. My prayer and resolution each day is to be the best person that I can be, that God has created me to be and that I have the potential to become.

And unfortunately, when I find myself not being my best self before God, others, and in the mirror, and I see my worst self emerge, I find myself praying the Act of Contrition, a prayer for mercy, so that I can start again with God’s grace and do better. 

The gift of each day is the most important gift that we receive from God, and since we are not promised tomorrow and yesterday is on our history book, why wouldn’t we want to make this day our best day and our gift to God? If our resolve is to eat healthy and get healthier, to refrain from foul language, to refrain from any negative behavior, contact loved ones more frequently, forgive or seek forgiveness from one that you have injured, but also miss in your life, why wait until tomorrow or next week or next year, today is the day!!! Today is the day to begin to make the changes that will make you a better, healthier person physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, a person that will be able to look in the mirror and recognize that you did your best to know, love and serve God and see Him in others and in yourself.

If you want to be your best and true self, if you want to be a better person, then today is the day. I believe that we all want to see God more clearly in our desires and in our life, and we want to make a resolution to recognize Him and make the changes that are blocking our view. When we seek to follow God’s will in our life, we become a person who is at peace and others can see that peace in us. When we seek to undergo personal or spiritual transformation, our loving God who knows our heart and our deepest desires better than we do, will answer our prayers in His way and in His time. If our resolutions have transformative powers, why wait to experience them?

A new year has begun. We can look back at the year that has passed and offer prayers of gratitude and contrition, and we can look ahead with hope and great expectation for God’s continuing surprises. What are we hoping for and waiting for with great expectation? Only you can answer that question.

My hope, and I believe that is yours too, is that the spirit of Christmas become a daily frame of mind or mind set, and that we recognize with greater clarity, in this year of 2023, that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world completely out of unconditional and selfless love, for you and me.  

This week to help us to make Christmas a constant mindset, I suggest we revisit what the corporal works of mercy are and how we can fulfill them every day and not just at Christmas. Every day we are afforded the opportunity to give of yourself, your presence, your love, and time. It is also an opportunity to give of your talents and treasure so that others may see the gifts that God has showed upon you, and this might help another uncover and recognize their special gifts and talents as well. All are God given gifts, and we are called to share them with others. If we are trying to become a better person, to know, love and serve God, to see Him more clearly in our life and in the life of others, then the corporal works of mercy will invite, enable, and empower us to accomplish our resolution, one day at a time. Look at what you can do and are comfortable doing. Remember helping those in need should not be done out of guilt, ego, control, or obligation, or holiday, but rather. out of selfless love, compassion, concern, and care for those that are our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. 

SUNDAY – FEED THE HUNGRY

For today, There are many who are hungry right in our back yards. In your local community, there are food banks that give to the hungry men, women, and families. Think about donating food items to them so that they have more to share with those who are in need. Let us pray for the hundreds of men, women and children that will go to bed hungry and do not know where their next meal is going to come fromGod will give you the words of your prayer. 

MONDAY – GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY

For today, If you are traveling and you see folks working outside, or elderly people walking outside, perhaps you can offer them something hot to drink water to keep them hydrated. If you have children or know someone that is active in sports, think about donating bottled water to their team. If someone is thirsting or pining to be wanted, and not feel as if they are an outcast or on the fringes of family, community, or society.

Give them a drink of the life-giving waters of faith, love. and compassion by being present to them and letting them know of the great love that God has for them, that they are His greatest creation and that they are His beloved child.

 

TUESDAY – CLOTHE THE NAKED

For todayif you know or see an elderly person or a family that does not have the proper clothing for the weather, ask them if there is anything that you can do for them. If you are uncomfortable doing that and you would prefer to give them an anonymous gift of a hat, gloves, coat, or shoes that are in good condition, then do it. Ask God to show you how you can best help them. Let us pray for those who feel naked before God because they don’t think they have anything to offer, because they feel vulnerable and have been stripped of their dignity and self-respect. Ask God to clothe them with His love, compassion, adoration, peace, healing, dignity, forgiveness, and compassion, so that they can find comfort and be clothed in the warmth of His love.  

WEDNESDAY – SHELTER THE HOMELESS

For today, seek to find a way to help the homeless in your community. You may not be able to shelter the homeless by bringing them into your home, but you can shelter them with love, surround them with compassion, build the walls with strength, dignity, courage, and self-respect, pray for them in love not out of judgment or ego. There are many shelters that need casseroles, food that can be carried, clothing, and blankets. Find out if you can deliver items or if someone will pick them up. Our homeless men, women and children can use whatever items you can give out of love, to help them keep warm especially during these cold days and nights. Let us pray for those who have a home but are spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically homeless because it lacks love, presence, support, encouragement, understanding, and forgiveness. Pray f or those whose house is filled with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect, bitterness, control, manipulation, and silence. Pray for those who are trying to adopt or become foster parents, and for the children who are abandoned, left alone, or taken away from their parents and families.

THURSDAY – VISIT THE SICK

For today, if you can visit someone you know who is sick and feeling isolated. If a physical visit is not possible, contact them and speak with them so that they can hear in your voice, your concern, love, and care for them.  

Spiritually, let us pray for those who are sick that God provide healing, strength, and courage as they carry their heavy cross. Physically: suffering from a chronic illness, terminal illness, or sudden illness, psychologically; suffering from mental illness, depression, anxiety, or spiritually; suffering from a lack of faith, deep seeded anger, resentment, and bitterness, or sin that is eating away a person’s soul and spirit and causes them to reject God.

FRIDAY – VISIT THE IMPRISONED

For todaypray for the imprisoned, both physically and those whose heart, spirit and mind are imprisoned because of fear, anxiety, anger, and feel as if they are unloved, despised, and unforgivable. Pray that they open their hearts to God so that they can recognize the unconditional love that God has for them, that He abides within them and that He wants to heal them and make them whole through His mercy, unconditional love, and compassion.  Let us pray for the grace so that we do not judge them but accept them as a fellow sinner striving to be a saint that needs our prayers and support

SATURDAY – BURY THE DEAD

For today, pray for the many babies that will be aborted and for those who perform the abortion. Pray for those who will die in war, homicide, gun violence, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and whose bodies will not be discovered or given proper burials. Pray for those on death row who will be executed. Pray that those who take the lives of others have a conversion of heart and realize that life is sacred and should be treated with dignity, respect and love and that GOD is the author of life and death. As we bury the dead, let us also take a moment to bury the past hurts, bitterness, injuries, and seek God’s grace to forgive, let go and be free.

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 8, 2023

Beholding the face of God in Christ.

The Christ child came, our salvation was born, and humanity was saved. As Mary and Joseph beheld the face of God in Christ, God made it possible for all aspects of humanity to behold Him: the poor shepherds, the strangers that allowed him to be born in their stable, the animals that watched over them, the visitors passing through and the traveling Magi.

I believe that the lives of all those individuals who beheld the savior in the face of an infant, were changed forever. Like those individuals, we too can be changed forever, one glance at a time, when we seek and find the face of God both in others and in ourselves. As humanity is given the opportunity to behold the face of God in Christ, to listen to His messengers,

we are all given the opportunity, are invited, to behold the face of God in Christ in each other, those close to us, those far away, those estranged from us, the stranger, and even our enemy, and then to take the risk to be transformed and changed.
Today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, we recall how it was through the message of an angel that the three wise men sought the child Jesus, the Messiah and found him.  It was also through the message of the angel that they should return home by another route. Although we may not hear an angel tell us what way to go, or how to get there, God does provide His messengers to guide us so that we can be our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become. With this message, also comes the invitation to be transformed. These messengers can come in form of parents, siblings, teachers, church members, religious leaders, community members, neighbors, coworkers, friends, and even our enemies. As we listen to God’s messengers as they lead us nearer to Christ, as we seek to behold the face of God, we must always be open to how God chooses to reveal Himself and as when we seek Him with an open mind, spirit, and heart, we too shall behold Him. And in that epiphany experience, we like the wise men, can be changed forever.

Let us be mindful that we are always invited to see the face of God in Christ in others and in ourselves. Have a blessed, merry, and happy Epiphany. Let us keep our mind open to beholding the face of Christ in all those we encounter and perhaps we will behold him when we least expect to.  Start by looking in the mirror, His face will be clear and bright.

This week’s glimpse comes as we behold the face of God in Christ. What does that face look like? We are all God’s beloved children and inherently, we possess His presence, His love, and His compassion. As we behold the face of Christ in others and in ourselves, the face could and often reflects the presence and compassion, love, and peace of God, but sometimes these qualities are either masked underneath other significant emotions that a person is experiencing or emerges forth from them. These could be joy, happiness, sadness, sorrow, stress, worry, disappointment, anger, weariness, peace, or love.

This week I will take each day and invite you to look into the face of some of these various life experiences and see the face of God in Christ. If you are looking out to others or in the mirror, Christ dwells in our lives and in each experience that we go through.

When we least expect to see Him, He is there. In the face that we are beholding, we may see Him in the glare coming from the eyes or in the emptiness of them. He can be seen through the smile, grin, or the frown of the mouth. He can be seen in the color or lack of color in the cheeks and how the hair is taken care of. As we behold the face of Christ, we can listen to the voice that comes forth from it, be it the voice of an infant through the cuus and whimpers, of a child with few words that sometimes make sense or not, or of an adult’s voice that comes with words of joy, sadness, or confusion. God reveals Himself as He sees best and so that we can see Him when we least expect to or are least open to. And, as we behold the face of God, are we willing to be transformed by what we see so that we can, as the wise men did, follow a new path or different direction that God places before us and become a new creation?

 

SUNDAY – JOY AND HAPPINESS

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love? When we behold the face of God in joy and happiness, how do we respond? Do we allow others joy and happiness to take root on our lives, by our presence, with empathy or do we attempt to overshadow their joy with our stresses, worries, or crosses? As we behold the face of God in joy, and we see it clearly in the face that is beholding us, are we able to see God in our very face? When we behold the face of God, are we open to personal and spiritual transformation through that which is not only beholding us but penetrating our very being? Are we able to recognize and be a person of joy: a person that is centered on Jesus, Others and Self? Are we willing to change, to trust and surrender to God all that is keeping us from being a joyful person so that we can experience true and lasting joy and happiness?

MONDAY – SADNESS OR SORROW

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love?

When we behold the face of God in sadness, do we allow ourselves to enter into the life experience that has caused one to be sad? Do we shy away from beholding the face because we feel uncomfortable and it makes us feel uneasy? How are we changed when we behold the face of God in sadness and sorrow whereas we see God in the sadness and sorrow and do not turn away from Him? In and through sorrow we can be transformed into a new creation, or we can choose to stay an old creation in need of greater healing so that we can become whole. When you behold the face of God in sorrow, do you, can you allow yourself to see Christ on the cross, reconciling, healing, and loving you, or another, through the pain, sorrow and sadness?

TUESDAY – STRESS AND WORRY

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love? When we behold the face of God in stress and worry, do we feed into it or do we try to surrender it so that we can begin to feel a greater sense of calm and peace? When you encounter the face of God in stress and worry do you reject it, embrace it, or turn away from it? In your ability to accept it and discern how you can surrender it, do you? The face of God in stress and worry, is a face that some behold but for the wrong reasons. Some people thrive on stress, worry, and anxiety so that they can be the center of attention or take the attention away from someone who is need.

Life experiences can make one feel isolated then feel anxious amid the isolation. When we behold one who is stressed, the face of God is beckoning for greater love, patience, understanding, compassion, and empathy. When you behold the face of God in stress and worry, be it in the mirror, or out the window, can you pray for God’s grace so that you can see more clearly God’s peace?

 

WEDNESDAY – DISAPPOINTMENT AND FRUSTRATION

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love?

Take today to look around at the face of God in those you encounter and as you see another who is disappointed and frustrated, be attentive to your feelings. How does another’s disappointment and frustrations affect you? Are you drawn into them or are you able to distance yourself from them? When you see the face of God in disappointment, in the mirror or out the window, are you filled with hope or despair? As followers of Christ, we as He, Mary and Joseph did, will face many disappointments. But we cannot let them define us, but rather we can choose to overcome them. Can you take the latest disappointments that you experienced and one of another and redefine them? Not disappointments but rather ……discoveries, revelations, hidden treasures…

THURSDAY – IRRITATION AND ANGER

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love? Only you can answer these questions as you behold the face of God in anger and irritation. These emotions can bring about great pain and cause injury both physical and emotional.  How do you respond? Some respond with hurtful words and or actions causing more pain and a divided heart. When you behold the face of God in anger, how do you handle it? If you are the recipient of another’s anger, are you able to see the face of God that only desires healing, understanding, and peace and not injury? Not many people like to be with someone who exhibits anger, and never seems to be not angry for one reason or another. Yet we know that as God’s beloved child, who is hurting, we are invited to see beyond the anger to understanding, patience and empathy.  Can you seek to see God more clearly so that you don’t respond with more anger, but rather compassion, understanding and empathy?

FRIDAY – WEARINESS AND EXHAUSTION

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love? Are you so tired that you cannot offer any consolation to those who are

 Exhausted? I think we all know the face of God in weariness and exhaustion and as we look in the mirror, we see clearly what that face looks like. Sometimes in our exhaustive moments, we can be short with outers, inpatient, and get frustrated easily. It is these moments that our face is not one of tranquility, but rather angst. When you behold the face of God in weariness and exhaustion, can you come to Christ who says to all of us, Come to me all you labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you…..He knows your weariness and wants to refresh you, will you allow Him to as others behold His face in you?

SATURDAY – PEACE AND HOPE

What does this face look like? How do you behold it? Do you behold it with fear, apprehension, anticipation, joy, or great love? Are you longing for lasting peace and a greater sense of hope?  Happy Epiphany. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it. It is the day where God revealed Himself to the nations, to the poor and the rich, to the shepherd and the stranger. As you behold the face of God in the poor, the homeless, the less educated, can you see past the shadow of social status, a box for a home, tattered clothes, and see God himself before you? As you behold the face of God in your coworkers, in your boss, in your community, can you see God revealing Himself through their wisdom, experience, and knowledge? Can you allow yourself to be transformed by their sharing it with you instead of being too proud to accept it?

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© Cookie A Magee