GLIMPSES OF GOD FOR 2020

Glimpse of God for the week of March 22, 2020

This week’s Glimpse of God comes as we experience the pandemic crisis and how it is randomly and without bias, affecting each person, young and old, rich and poor, healthy and the non-healthy, and from all corners of the globe. This corona virus isn’t a virus that only affects the elite or the poor, but rather it is affecting everyone and anyone. Although children may have not gotten the virus directly, with the economic hardships that it is causing for the adults, the children are being affected indirectly and possibly more seriously.

The virus has called every one of us to look more deeply at how we live each day and how we take so many things for granted.  I believe that with all the restrictions and bans, especially from attending religious Worship services, we have been forced to look deep within our self and examine the strength of our foundation and what it is built on. If we are founded in faith in Jesus Christ, then our foundation, no matter how challenged it is, will not fall or be demolished, it may get sustain a few cracks, craters or holes, but it will never crumble. As we are restricted from where we can go or what we can do, we are then forced to look what is truly important to us and what we can live without or with less of, reminding our self that all the measures are for our continued good health and wellbeing.

So where is my Glimpse of God amid the pandemic Corona Virus? How has God revealed himself in our struggle to cope and come to grips with the devastating effects, restrictions and bans resulting from the virus, remembering that they are for our own good so that we can remain healthy?

As a volunteer at the Assisi House, John, Clover and I have come to love the Sisters and I truly enjoy volunteering there. Although there are restrictions, one being no dogs, on who can enter Assisi House, volunteers are still permitted to volunteer with the Sisters. With the fear of the coronavirus spreading, Sister Peggy the Administrator of Assisi House, has been gently but lovingly enforcing all the restrictions to ensure the continued good health and wellbeing of the Sisters of Assisi House.  Although having the restriction of no visitors to the house and being self-quarantined is difficult for the sisters to accept, they have done so in a spirit of obedience and love. Sister Peggy has enforced the restrictions as head of the house not as a matter of control, but rather out of love for her fellow sisters and deep concern for the health and well-being.

I believe that the Sisters see this challenge as a call to continued conversion and personal transformation.  They can choose to see the restrictions as a negative experience and complain about them, but instead, they choose to see them as an opportunity to draw closer to Christ as He reveals Himself to them uniquely, intimately and face to face. In their self-quarantine, they can choose to see Christ face to face, they can choose to see Him speaking embracing and loving them so intimately and uniquely as they face the challenges and not be defeated by them. Jesus is their primary visitor who chooses to abide with them in and through the celebration of the Mass and their community recitation of prayer.

As Sister Peggy serves as the Administrator, she first serves as a Sister of Saint Francis and member of the Body of Christ. She is called to balance being the “boss” with being a fellow Franciscan Sister to those who reside in Assisi House. Although she has had to institute many rules and restrictions, she does not do so out of a need for control, but out of love and compassion, she doesn’t do so from a lofty ladder but rather from within the murky waters. These rules that the Sisters have to abide by are for their own good and continued good health and well-being which is Sister Peggy’s first concern.  When rules are given to follow, as with Moses, we can choose to follow them so that we can grow to become our best self, the person that God created us to be, and have the potential to become or we can choose to ignore them.  I believe that the Sisters choose to obey, not so much out of their vow of obedience, but rather out of a spirit of love, cooperation and compassion for Sister Peggy and each other.

The Assisi House is a home where the Sisters reside and God dwells both within them, in their love for each other even when they don’t see eye to eye, and in their love for the staff and volunteers that serve them. In their differences they choose to see to the heart of each other with the eyes of Christ where they know they will find love and not division. Assisi House is a place of refuge, where there is a sense of security, and where peace, mercy, trust, compassion, companionship and understanding are found.

As we enter a new week on our Lenten journey and are faced with the overwhelming effects from the corona virus, may we not lose heart or hope. Let us pray that our hearts expand in compassion and mercy and that our hope spring eternal like a spark through stubble. Let us seek the shelter of the Lord, as he reveals it to us, from the storms of doubt, fear, anxiety, discouragement, despair or hopelessness. Does your place or refuge or your shelter have these building blocks as part of your foundation? Can you imagine your shelter being built with these gifts that God has so graciously given you and wants you to share and use to build His kingdom here on earth?

 

SUNDAY – “S” – Security

Do you feel safe and secure from all the evil that surrounds you? Is the home of your heart, the place where Jesus dwells, built on solid ground or sand? In the midst of chaos, uncertainty, fears and limitations, do you feel secure, do you believe that Jesus is with you and that you have nothing to fear, or do you allow yourself to be overwhelmed with  anger, anxiety and angst? As with any household, feeling safe is a big concern. Do you make those in your household or family feel safe by exhibiting trust, openness, hugs, family time, checking in with each other, an open-door policy? With social distancing, do we make others feel safe with a smile, prayers, words of encouragement, understanding, compassion, patience, and mercy.

For today’s reflection: As you seek a shelter with a sense of security, what are you looking for and what does the Lord’s shelter with a sense of security look like to you?

 

MONDAY - “H” Healing

I believe that we are all in need of some form of healing, whether emotional, physical or psychological. With all that is occurring on our world this day, and will be for many days ahead, we need to be healed where the fear and anxiety have creeped in and taken over. The wounds that come from fear can be as deep as anger and as wide as selfishness, both of which isolate us and take us away from God and others. These wounds, although not visible, can cause greater harm to our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. As we are faced with many restrictions and bans, out of anger and fear, we unconsciously seek to regain control by lashing out on others. We hurt others, we hurt our self and we hurt God, and we need to be healed, collectively and as individuals.

As we seek shelter in the Lord, we need to recognize our brokenness and woundedness and seek God’s grace to be healed and made new. As we continue our Lenten journey, we are called to trust and not fear our invitation to continued conversion and personal transformation and wholeness. What is your greatest area of brokenness or woundedness that you would like Christ to touch and make new, so that the foundation of your shelter is made stronger?

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and healing, what are you looking for and what does the healing touch of the Lord look like to you?

 

TUESDAY – “E” Entrust

Entrust and surrender your cares, worries, and concerns to the Lord. Sounds easy, but it is most difficult. Surrendering our will is a challenge yet it is necessary if we are to experience personal conversion and transformation. Jesus entrusted His will to His Father and we are called to do the same. How do we do that? In and through our lived experiences, we are often challenged to entrust our concerns, cares, crosses, and challenges, to the Lord. We are invited to let go and let God fix that which is shattered, mend that which needs torn and tattered, and repair that which is broken, both in our relationships and life experiences. We are called to trust in God who created us and knows our hearts better than we do our self.

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and entrusting your cares to the Lord, what are you looking for and what does entrusting your cares to the Lord look like to you?

 

WEDNESDAY – “L” Love

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?

God loves you and that is an undeniable truth, confirmed on the cross and celebrated in the resurrection.  He loves you just as you are; a sinner, and is not waiting for you to become what you are not; perfect. He waits only for you to come to Him so that He can tell you again of His great love and remind you that it is unconditional, selfless and without cost. His love is an everlasting love, one that will bring you from this earthly life and temporary shelter to our eternal shelter.  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. As you seek shelter in the Lord and strive to build a strong foundation, love for God, self and others is critical and necessary, without love, your foundation will crumble.

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and the love of the Lord, what are you looking for and what does the God’s love for you look like to you?

 

THURSDAY – “T” 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.

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and the being the eyes of truth in the Lord more, what are you looking for and what does being the eyes of truth in the Lord look like to you?

 

FRIDAY – “E” Empathy

Being empathetic is a gift, it is not a quality that you can steal, borrow or forge, but rather it is a disposition of the heart that invites and embraces the story of another with understanding, compassion, kindness, care and gentleness. Into Being empathetic is an opportunity to grow into the person that God knows that we can be and have the potential to become, but it is not always easy. In a world where understanding of individuals, ideals, choices, and change is minimal and judgment, condemnation and hatred are chosen first, we need to reevaluate our decision-making process and the foundation from which we make those decisions. If we claim to be followers of Christ, but we choose to pass judgment on another, then we need to ask our self who is guiltier, them or us? When we choose to turn away from the wounded, the outcast, the afflicted and yet claim to be people of compassion, we need to ask our self what does compassion mean? When we choose to close the doors of our heart to mercy, peace, and love, we need to ask our self how we will live if the doors to Christ remain closed?

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and a greater sense of empathy for others in the Lord, what are you looking for and what does a sense of empathy for others in the Lord look like?

 

SATURDAY – “R” Reverence

Do you reverence yourself? Do you have self-respect? Do you see yourself as Blessed? By God? Special and chosen by God? Do you respect the body that He has given you? Do you stand in awe and wonder at the creation that is YOU? Look at all that is in you: your beauty that lies within, your talents and gifts, your creativity, your virtue, your genuine goodness, your love, your openness,…and reverence YOU,  do not discard YOU as not important or not talented….God has no room for nots. Reverence yourself as Blessed by God at your baptism and deserving a respect by all. No one should be made to feel less than a person no matter what. We are all created in God’s image and thus deserving to be treated as the members of the Body of Christ. When we were baptized, we were blessed with Holy water and at that moment on our life, we were chosen by God as His own, His greatest creation, unique and special, one to be reverenced and treated as his child.

For today’s reflection: As you seek shelter and a greater reverence for yourself as God’s beloved child, what are you looking for and what does having a greater reverence for yourself as God’s beloved child look like to you

 

 

Glimpse of God fro tje week of March 15, 2020

The Celebration of the Cross

As we continue our Lenten journey of prayer, sacrifice and selflessness, I know that we do so with joyful expectation of celebrating Easter and being renewed as a resurrection people. I know that we cannot celebrate our Easter Resurrection if we are unwilling to celebrate our Good Friday. If we fail to celebrate our crosses, we will miss the greater reality of how we rose above them and walked forth from the tomb to be where we are today. We can complain about our crosses, we can look downtrodden because of them, and we can be angry at God or others for causing them, but the reality is that we are called to carry them and if we do so in faith, trust and hope, our cross can become the stone that we roll away so that we can truly experience our mini resurrection.

At our baptism as followers of Jesus, we were immersed into His passion, death and resurrection, and it is in light of that reality that we go forth each and every day to bear our cross with Him, so that we too can rise with Him, and additionally help others to also experience their mini resurrections. Our cross is a sign of hope for us to embrace, and others to see. Our cross is a sign of love, unity, hope, and peace with Christ. 

This gives me reason to want to call my cross a cause of celebration, because in and through it, I know that I am in God’s good company, that I am never alone or abandoned and that I am strengthened by His grace. My cross with its sorrows, challenges, joys and struggles make me who I am today and reminds me of how I became my best self through it all.  As I think about the crosses that I have carried and continue to carry, I am blessed to see the faces of those people that God has placed in my life to help me, my Simon’s of Cyrene. It is through the many faces, shoulders, hands, feet, hearts, minds and spirits of those Simon’s of Cyrene, that have empowered me to continue to bear my cross, not quit or give in to defeat, weakness, sin or temptation. How about you?

Can you look at your crosses and see them as a cause for joy and not sorrow, peace and not turmoil, compassion and not revenge, mercy and not bitterness, love and not hatred and truth and not deception. This week as you continue your Lenten journey,  look at your cross and seek the grace to recognize it for the gift that it is, and how it has made you your better self, the person that God created you to be and have the potential to become.

 

 

SUNDAY – “C” COMPASSION vs COMPLAINT

As you look at the cross you carry, can you recognize where you have shown more compassion than complaint? Do you see the hand of God in your ability to accept your cross and share your compassion with others, rather than complain about things and bring both yourself and others down?

For today, see your cross and an instrument of compassion and empathy to share, and seek to grow in God’s grace so that when you are tempted to complain and not see it for the good that it is and that it can bring you, His grace will strengthen you to see this truth more clearly.

MONDAY – “R” RESPECT vs REJECTION

When you look at the various crosses that you have carried in your life and still do today, can you respect them as a gift, the presence of God in your life? As you unite your suffering with Christ, your cross is that gift which enables you to surrender to His will so that you can be united in His passion and death and experience the resurrection.

If you reject your cross, you will not be able to recognize how Christ has heard your prayer to be united with Him and thus you will not be able to see how closely He is walking with you carrying your cross and calling  you to himself.

For today, look at what you want to reject in your cross; a person, an illness, financial stresses and worries, estranged family members, and ask God for the grace to see beyond that rejection. Ask him to help you see what your life would be like if this splinter of the true cross were missing, and you missed out on the opportunity to forgive, grow, have your heart expanded, trust more, worry less, and be at peace.

TUESDAY – “O’ OTHER-CENTERED vs SELF-CENTERED

Sometimes when our cross seems too heavy to bear and we think that we can’t go on, we can become very self-centered and absorbed.  When this occurs, we are not able to see others in need or hear the words of those who want to lift us up, comfort us, console us or call us out of our self because they see that we are getting on our own way of healing and losing our self under the weight of the cross. Christ did not get lost under the weight of His cross, He accepted help to carry it even though He would be the only one crucified on it. He allowed others to comfort him, He did not refuse even the most insignificant gesture of compassion.

If we choose to become self-centered because of our crosses and its afflictions, challenges, worries or stresses, we are not living up to our potential, to be our best self, the person that God created us to be. Christ didn’t call us to whisper the good news to our self, but rather proclaim it from the roof tops. We cannot proclaim the good news of healing, freedom, wholeness, mercy, compassion if we fail to recognize it because we are busy being self-centered and not other centered.

For today, reflect on one person that you know, but that you keep your distance from, that could use your prayers, support and encouragement to help them carry their cross. Ask God for the grace to reach out to them especially when it is difficult as you carry our cross.

WEDNESDAY – “S” SELFLESS vs SELFISH

Being selfish; It is one of the devil’s greatest temptations and acts of deceit. He tempts us and leads us to believe that we are most important, and that it is all about what we need or want that should be our focus. He leads us to believe that it is ok to get all that we desire no matter how we attain or acquire it, that it is ok to hurt others if it means that we will come out on top, it is ok to tear others down because we believe that they are inferior to us.

When we think that we are the end all and be all of God’s creation, we can become so absorbed and selfish that we are unable to see the needs of others or recognize what it means to be selfless. Being selfless is a gift and an invitation to be a better reflection of Christ and His call to follow and serve.

In God’s eyes as His beloved children, He wants us to be our best self. This isn’t accomplished by being selfish, but rather when we can see the needs of others first, pray for them, assist them in whatever way we can, and trust that our needs and prayers will be met by our very caring and loving God. It is when we surrender to this great truth that we begin to walk the selflessness journey and off the selfishness path.

For today, seek to recognize the temptation to be selfish and towards whom, and ask for the grace to see their face and respond to that grace with the action that God inspires.

THURSDAY – “S” SELF-CONFIDENT vs SELF-DEFEATED

For many having self-confidence is a challenge. It takes balance to be self-confident without having an inflated ego. God has blessed each one of us with our very own unique gifts and talents. He has blessed us so that we can share those gifts with others to the best of our ability.  It is when we think that  we don’t have any gifts or talents  or that others are better because they are economically superior, better educated or of privileged class, it is then that we become more self-defeating and let go of the grace to share the gifts that we have with others.

Being self-confident is an oxymoron. It is not about being confident in our self as if we came up with our gifts all by our self, or that our special talents developed because of our work and practice. No, self-confidence is about recognizing the presence of God as the giver of our gifts and talents because He knows that we can develop them and use them to glorify Him. We need to believe with a humble heart, that we have been chosen and not give in to thinking or believing that others are always better than we are.

For today, ask for the grace to recognize your unique giftedness and how you can share that with others. Think to about at least one gift or talent that you have been blessed with and try to honor it today.

FRIDAY – “E” EMBRACE vs ELUDE

We an embrace our cross or turn away from it, we can deny our cross or recognize it in all its challenges as gift, we can elude the cross or face it. We all have a cross to carry and if we are blessed not to have a heavy cross, then we should take a moment and look at our weaknesses and sin as the cross that will always call us to Christ and His mercy and compassion.

A cross Is an invitation to personal and spiritual conversion and transformation. It is through our crosses that we can not only learn how strong we are but how much Christ like we have become. If we elude the cross or think that others have it better because their cross doesn’t seem to be as heavy as ours, we are not only deceiving our self but denying Christ’s wisdom and understanding. God knows our heart better than we know it our self. He knows what we need before we ask, and He also will not let anything befall us if we trust in Him.

For today, think about one aspect of your cross that you really want to elude or run from very quickly and ask for the grace to stop, look at it squarely in the eyes and accept it as a call to recognize your inner strength, courage, fortitude and hope. Let God embrace you with your cross because it is then that you will see that He is carrying it on His shoulders with you.

SATURDAY – “S” STILL vs STUCK

For today’s reflection, you fill in the blanks…..

With my cross of……….. I have listened to God’s invitation to be still and know that He is God.

Because of the weight of the cross of…….., I have gotten stuck and chosen not to go forward.

For today, I will strive to be more still so that I can truly listen to God’s voice as He tells me that I am His beloved child, loved unconditionally and called to be my best self, the person that HE created me to be and have the potential to become.

I will see where I am stuck and ask for His grace to move forward and accept His grace in whatever form it takes.

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of February 8, 2020

This Glimpse is the retreat sessions from my Lenten retreat that was held yesterday. The topic was Walking with Saint Peter on his journey of Personal Conversion and Self-Discovery.

 

As you read on the flyer, the denial of Jesus is focused on how we experience the denial

of Jesus in our world, society, community and self. I believe that what we experience outside, in and through others, affects how we respond.  When we experience great negativity all around us, we can either choose to be negative alongside everyone else, or choose to be positive apart from everyone.  

We can go from denial of Jesus within our very own self, yet we know that we really don’t want to, we just fall short of our best self and the weaker self emerges. Jesus knew that Peter loved him. Jesus also knew Peter’s weaknesses and fears and in them, Jesus knew what Peter would do, not out of hatred, but rather out of fear.

During this season of Lent, Jesus knows that we love him and that we are always striving to walk with Him, yet it is our sinful choices, our weaknesses that get in the way of the our footsteps going forward and instead they slip and slide back and forth.  It is during this season of lent and every day of our lives, that we have the chance to go from denying Christ to confessing Him as Lord and redeemer. We also have the opportunity to invite others to come to know Christ as their Lord and redeemer so that they can embrace Him and not run from Him.

(Session I) The denial of Jesus by Peter   Mark 14: 66-72 ..I do not know that man….(This occurred after Jesus was arrested)

So how do we experience denial of Jesus in our world, society, and in our self? Materialism: There are many ways that we experience the world around us deny Christ, we also find our self-doing the same things. The devil tempts us with those things that are appealing thus we give in. The devil knows what he is doing. He subtly throws things out to us that will take us from Christ. This usually occurs slowly so that we don’t see him as he really is: a deceiver. The devil does not tempt us with things that we don’t like, but rather things that appeal to us so that we can justify wanting them. As we do that, he watches us go from merely wanting them to believing that we need them.  It is ok to want to look good and have nice things, but when we think that we are nothing without them or that they diminish our self-worth or make us feel empty without them, then we are denying Christ and God as our creator.

Secularism: when we make it a point to take religion or God out of everything. When we choose to abandon religion because it is politically uncomfortable or incorrect and we go along with it. We’ve taken God out of so much and look what is happening in our world. People can’t even say God bless you when one sneezes or Merry Christmas.

Yet if we were to think about our existence and how God created us to be, when we react out of fear or just to please others, our hearts are empty, and we miss the love that Christ came with at Christmas. And although our hearts don’t stop at a sneeze, many believe that it does, so asking for God’s blessing is a prayer for the other, yet that is not correct to do anymore.

My definition of individualism

When we think that we are the end all be all and those around us are not as important or that we are better then they, we are falling into a selfish self-centered person and when we are focused only on our self and building our egos up at the cost of putting others down, then we are experiencing the denial of Jesus and his call to love others. Individualism focuses on us and us alone and leaves Christ out. As members of the Body of Christ, when we diminish, disrespect or deny others dignity, we are denying Christ. When we choose to put others down with our words and actions, we are in turn, putting Jesus down. The worst part of it is when we  think that we are justified or when we rationalize our behavior and continue to believe that others do not deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, we are not living out of the Gospel of Good news.

How do we deny Christ personally?

When we look not the mirror and can’t seem to forgive our self for our sinful choices and actions. We do not know Christ because if we did,  we would hear Him say I forgive you go in peace.

When we seek to hold onto a grudge, seek revenge, grasp onto bitterness, act out of fear or distrust, we are denying Christ because if we knew Him we would seek His grace to let go of bitterness, anger, hatred so that we can forgive.

We would seek His strength so that we can open our hands and heart to let in His compassion, mercy and peace, instead of dwelling on our weakness and believing that we can’t change. We would want t0 be our best self and live up to our potential.

When we are afraid of standing up for our faith, beliefs or convictions, When we choose to be silent and not be the voice for those whose voices have been silenced, then we do not know Christ, because if we knew Him, we would use every breath to speak and bring about His peace, mercy, compassion and message of love to those who don’t get to hear it.

When we choose not to believe that we are forgiven by God, loved unconditionally by God or that Jesus died for us on the cross and not just for everybody else, then we are denying the presence of Christ in or life. We deny our redeemer, we deny our salvation because we think that God can’t forgive us or that we are not worthy. No one is worthy. Jesus didn’t die for the worthy, but for sinners. There is no sin that God can’t or won’t forgive, there is no sin that is greater than his love for us.

 

 

(Session 2) The confession of Jesus by Peter   Mark 8: 27-30  You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (this occurred before Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection)

Others deny Christ, call him all things, but what do you call Him? Apparently, some people missed the boat as to who Jesus was. They couldn’t see Him for who He was but rather who they thought he was; John the Baptist, Elijah…. They saw the surface. Peter saw beneath the surface. As we confess that Jesus is Lord, we might use words as healer, consoler, peacemaker, and all would be accurate if what you confess with your lips is rooted and dwell from and in your heart. Jesus is all, yet each day through our lived experiences, we call him that which drew us to know Him better.

How do we strengthen our conviction and confession of Jesus as Lord?

By our prayer life as we strive to deepen our relationship with God. Through the love and support of others who are like minded. Through the sacraments of the Church. But mostly as being one with the Lord, believing that you are God’s beloved son or daughter, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation. That even during sinfulness, you are striving to be your best self, the person that God created you to be and have the potential to become. If we believe what Jesus lived and died to tell us, then we are on our way to a stronger conviction and confession.

Peter loved Jesus very much. But he was weak and after seeing Jesus arrested, he became afraid of what could happen to him. He didn’t deny Jesus out of hatred, but rather out of fear. We all do the same thing. our world, our Church, our communities and even our families act out of fear. What are we afraid of? If we accept Jesus into our lives, our hearts and minds then we are accepting his invitation to be transformed, to be changed forever. We are called to surrender our control and allow Him to be in control. When we are afraid, we are afraid of others being in control of us and that is scary, yet with Christ, His being in control puts our life in order and not the chaos that we create.

It is a matter of the head. Our heads calculate and estimate losses, damages and clean up, and once we determine that it is not worth it, we choose to go away from Christ, and this is our greatest loss. When we deny Christ, we will see that what we lose is our ability to love, and be loved by others, Accepting Christ empowers us so that we will not be defeated no matter what. The damages that are incurred are many when we deny Christ, but the greatest loss and damage to our spiritual life is that of our failed relationships with others and God. We isolate our self and become self-centered mirror folks instead of selfless, lookout the window folks. Clean up, well we can try to clean up our messes, but if we continue to deny Christ the mess only gets bigger. Our pride, our ego, our selfishness, our complacency expands and heart shrinks, If we ask and pray for  Christ to help in our clean up, then our heart expands with compassion, mercy, and peace, we undergo a personal and spiritual transformation that permeates to the core of our being and we begin the process of a deeper personal conversion and self-discovery.

 

How do we confess Christ in our daily life? Our confession is not in our words as much as it is in our actions.  We can say that we believe in Christ and that we are His followers, but if we don’t follow through by our actions, our attitudes, our deeds or our prayers, then other’s will not see a congruency, but rather a contradiction. When we can love others by forgiving them, by showing compassion and mercy, then we are confessing Christ. When we can teach our children that we too are not perfect, but that we are trying to be our best self so that they can learn from us how to love and be their best self., then we are confessing Christ.  When we can become humbled in the eyes of one that we have hurt by saying that  we are sorry, and not embarrassed to a point that hurting others is acceptable, then we are confessing Christ, When we can forgive those who have hurt us badly without revenge or holding a grudge, then we are confessing Christ.

Jesus said forgive them for they know not what they do…..Do we always know what we are doing? When we sin, are we really intending to hurt others and God? If we are striving to be our best self each and every day, our sin, our denial creates or impels in us our desire to make amends and our contrition leads us to our confession, because it is through God’s grace that we have been transformed, experienced His healing, had a change of heart and desire to do better.

Peter confessed “Truly you are the Christ”. How do I know that Jesus is the Lord and Redeemer of my Life? I know this because of how He has blessed me with a great faith, a good family, treasury of friends,  good or bearable health, a sense of peace amid life’s struggles, a  desire to be in relationship with Him, and knowing and believing that Jesus want to be in relationship with me. I believe that I am your beloved child, your greatest creation, loved unconditionally and filled with your grace so that I can be my best self, the person that you created me to be and that I have the potential to become.

Without Christ I am just a shell without life within me. He gives me the breath of life and His Holy Spirit is poured out in me so that I can be His breath of life to others in what I say and how I am present to another.  It is through Christ, through receiving the sacraments of the Church and living them out, that I am His witness in the world, a builder of His kingdom here on earth.

How do you confess Jesus as Lord in your life? What has brought those words to life within you?

(session 3)

As Peter denied Jesus out of fear, fear of being arrested, being killed…He wept when he realized what he had done. Jesus knew his heart and allowed Peter to experience his compassion when he asked him three times, Do you love me and for the three denials he answered yes, and Jesus entrusted him with the care of his flock here on earth. That is us. We are in the care of  our earthly shepherds those who are human, yet weak but still called by Christ to lead His Church to Him , to be their best self, not worthy self, but their best self so that we, the flock, can become our best self.

(Session 3) Peter’s declaration of Love

After His resurrection, Jesus askes Peter and He asks us: Do you love me?

Do you love me more than these: secularism, individualism, materialism, what would you say? Is having the latest, the biggest, being a person of power and prestige, high on the social ladder, but losing your soul and heart  in the process, more important than being poor in spirit, happy in the Lord, at peace with yourself and others and not seeking the goods of the world at the cost of your relationship with God?  Is selling your soul to the devil for a fleeting moment of pleasure more important than entering into the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus in this life so that you can enjoy eternal peace, joy and happiness with Him in the next?

I believe that Jesus hears you say, Lord you know that I love you more than these.

Lord, please help me to love you more dearly, serve you more sincerely, see you more clearly in myself and others, and follow you more nearly one step at a time. AMEN.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of March 1, 2020

My Glimpse of God for this week comes from Dr John Gallagher, My ENT for the past 30 years.  Dr. G. is not only my Glimpse of God for this week but has been a big glimpse of God since I first became his patient back in 1991.

Dr. G, when you first meet him, is a very unassuming, genuine and personable man.  When he first enters the room, he extends his hand out to shake yours and then begins with conversation. He always makes me feel comfortable and at ease, and as he begins the conversation, I know that is fully abreast of my total health situation and the issues at hand. He is prepared with his ideas and suggestions, and ready to listen to my responses as well as with any questions I may have. He comes across as a doctor who is ready to walk with me on this part of my journey to the best of his ability of what that walk can or will be like as he understands it. He understands my apprehension, and frustration, and is willing to go there with me, and I bet with all his patients. He doesn’t run away from his patients as they express their frustrations and fears but chooses to respond to them as best he could.

Once the procedure is scheduled, I feel at peace because I know that not only is God present in and through the healing hands of Dr. G, but also because I believe that the compassion and care that Dr. G continues to extend to his patients is in response to God’s invitation to be more like Him in and through his ministry of healing.

Being a Glimpse of God is a gift, being the healing presence of God is a special gift and grace from God. I believe that Dr. G recognizes his giftedness by his humility, openness, care and compassion and how he shares that with his patients.  As I recuperate from another Sinus surgery, I know that Dr. G has done what is best and His best for me. As for another challenging week, I know that I am in the best care and am blessed with Dr. G and all those at his office who also exude the compassion, understanding and patience of God. It is through their presence and calm work that allow me and others to experience healing and live with a better quality of life.

 

As an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor/surgeon, I see that his skills and expertise are as much spiritual gifts as well as learned gifts.  How do we walk with an ENT doctor on our faith journey?

Start with our ears; what we choose to hear and listen to. We can choose to hear and listen to God’s will in our life, we can choose to listen to Him as He speaks to our heart and tells us how much we are loved by Him, that we are His greatest creation and that He hears our prayers. BUT if our ears are blocked with the messages of the world, messages that take us away from God by telling us untruths, myths, gossip, then our ears are not able to hear God’s good news and then we turn away.  God is the ENT that pulls out the yuk, that blocks us from hearing His voice either in a gentle whisper or a loud cry.

Our nose is a gift that allows us to smell the various aromas that surround us. Some of these aromas can stink, others can have a very calming effect, some can be very strong and others very subtle, but in all, our noses know and cause us to react on one way or another.

If we suffer from our nose being congested because of a cold, infection, or an allergy, our noses get clogged, we can’t breathe well, and we talk funny. When we have a spiritual nose infection or congestion, we can be infected with those things or aromas that we just struggle to breathe in. They challenge us because of our faith, yet we can’t avoid them. These aromas or infections that want to enter our body through our nose, can be of materialism, power, ego, consumerism, self-centeredness, selfishness, retaliation, revenge or bitterness. All of these are not God centered but rather self-centered. God in HIs infinite wisdom knows that they will harm us, so He makes it difficult for us to breathe them in, but rather helps us blow them out.

Our throats, we can have a good voice or we can suffer from laryngitis. Our throats are the avenue that take us from what we put in our mouth or inhale through our nose, down our throat to the lungs…..When we choose to be the voice for others, we can sometimes develop a sore throat because we need to raise our voices for those whose voices have been silenced. Our throats get sore, red and then we can lose our voice.

As followers of Jesus, if we raise our voice for the kingdom and others, a sore throat is a low cost to pay, but if we raise our voice to harm others and put them down, as a source of control or manipulation, a sore throat may be a gift from God so that one can’t cause any more harm. Only God knows how we can best serve him with our voice. Our throat is what an bring out the best in us by the words that we say, the consolation hat we offer, the encouragement that we give or the song that we sing. On our journey of faith, an ENT is God’s instrument that can help treat or remove the various aspects that we can use to make our voice a negative sound and that gives us a sore throat, or he can treat those aspects that will heal the voice so that it can continue to be a voice of peace, healing, mercy, compassion and love.

 

 

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

 

SUNDAY – “S” -SURROUNDS

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

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

MONDAY – “U” – UNCOVERS

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

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

TUESDAY – “R” – RENEWS

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

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

 

WEDNESDAY – “G” – GENTLE

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

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

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

 

THURSDAY – “E” – EMBRACES

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

For today, if you know and experience that loving embrace of God, thank Him. If you know someone who is not able or willing to allow themselves to feel the loving embrace of God, or the warmth of His love and the peace of His healing and forgiveness, pray for them. Is it a spouse who feels overworked, or a child who feels burdened or a neighbor who is unemployed or a friend feels alone and unloved? How can a gentle handshake, hug, expressed words of concern help them or make them feel the love and presence of God?  

It is through your actions that they can begin to see how they are loved and not alone and that they will not be defeated but will defeat that which is trying to bring them down.

 

 

FRIDAY – “O” – OPENS UP

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

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

 

SATURDAY – “N” – NURTURES

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 23, 2020

As you prepare for Lent, here is a daily reflection to begin with.

LENT IS A TIME TO:

(Sunday)

SURRENDER those things that keep us from being the person that God has created us to be

and keep us from becoming the person that He knows we can be,

those things that are standing in the way of our seeing Christ more clearly in our self and in others,

 in life’s challenges and in our crosses.

 LENT IS NOT A TIME TO GIVE UP and think that we can’t do what God knows we can and invites

us to believe that we can and that we, with His help, will.

 

(Monday) 

STRETCH OURSELVES: our imaginations, our minds, our spiritual comfort zone and our hearts.

We need to stretch so that we can see ourselves accomplishing and overcoming

the hardest challenges that face us, but we think will defeat us.

We need to allow God to stretch that which is set and confined so that HE can reset,

reform and renew us into His image.  

 

(Tuesday) 

LOVE ourselves and others, especially those who don’t like us,

and to HATE those things that take us away from God

and make us want to be more self-centered and selfish instead of being more Christ centered and self-less.

 

(Wednesday)

FORGIVE and not to be bitter.

We are called to forgive ourselves and others,

and not hold on to the past of bad choices, deep hurts and poor decisions.

Only in true forgiveness can we experience genuine and lasting freedom

so that we can be the beacon of Christ’s mercy, love and compassion for our self and to others.

"Forgive them for they know not what they do”

 

(Thursday)

BE STILL so that you can feel the gentle breeze of God’s Spirit

as He touches your heart and opens it to His healing love and deep abiding peace.

 NOT BE BUSY just for the sake of being busy or to run from anything.

Lent is a time to listen as God tells you

that there is only one thing that matters to Him.

That you know and believe with all your heart that you are His greatest creation,

His beloved son or daughter, that He loves you just as you are,

and that His love for you is free, unconditional and everlasting.

 

 

(Friday)

LOOK OUT THE WINDOW

and see and appreciate His presence in all of His creation; the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass,

the creatures that crawl about and those that hover over,

the people that we know and the stranger that we pass by,

the beauty of the day,

the beauty in the hearts of those that care about us

and the beauty of a God who cares even more for you.

 

(Saturday) 

BUT LENT IS NOT A TIME TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR

if you are looking to point out your sins, your flaws,

your weaknesses or your shortcomings,

but only if you are looking to remind yourself

that you are loved by God just as you are

because His love is much greater than all of these.

His death is a reminder that He sees all that you see,

but He looks into the depth of your heart

to see that which you have not begun to. 

 

 

AS your journey of LENT begins, continues and gradually comes to an end,

and you find yourself asking,

“How have I grown in my relationship to Christ,

or how have I been a reflection of His presence in my life to others”?

As you look back and recall how you found yourself helping others

and giving of your time, talent and compassion,

know that your desire is in response to God’s grace,

so trust in God and believe that you are closer to Him than you think.

 

 

We measure our progress

and that of others with human expectations and limitations,

but God looks into the very heart

that He created

and sees its width, its depth,

its woundedness, its potential

and fills it with His compassion,

His mercy,

His peace and His grace

so that we can be the best loving person that we can be.

You are what He wants you to be,

for you can be nothing less.

What you are is God’s gift given in love and out of love,

 what you become is your gift to God.

 

 

 

THE SEASON OF LENT CAN

BE A SEASON OF GIFT GIVING:

THE GIFTS OF

SPIRITUAL AND

PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION,

CONVERSION,

GROWTH

AND RECONCILIATION ARE YOURS.

IF YOU ARE OPEN TO THESE GIFTS,

GOD IS OFFERING THEM TO YOU,

NOT ONLY TO RECEIVE, BUT ALSO TO SHARE.

YOU HAVE 40 DAYS TO RESPOND,

WITH GOD IT IS NEVER TOO LATE

TO OPEN YOUR MIND, HEART, SPIRIT AND HANDS

TO RECEIVE HIM AS HE CHOOSES TO GIFT YOU.

Glimpse of God for the week of February 16, 2020

Last week’s Glimpse of God began with the question If God were to invite you to write a book about your life, what type of book would it be? I then listed 7 types of books: A Recipe book, An Encyclopedia, a Comic book, A “Did It Myself” book, An Inspirational book, a Mystery, or a Pamphlet.

This week, I am offering you another perspective to look at. This perspective is related to another 7 types of books/puzzles/fun activities that can describe your spiritual outlook or personality and how you approach God in prayer and in life experiences. Although this is not meant to draw any spiritual conclusions, I hope that it offers you an insight as to how you approach God when life experiences or dilemmas are challenging, and how through those same experiences, you see yourself. The question after each reflection is do you see yourself in the light of God’s unconditional love, as God sees you; the beloved and cherished child that you are, not perfect, but rather a sinner striving to become a saint.

With these 7 types of books/puzzles/fun activities, the focus should not be on “they are childish, or I don’t have the time to waste on them, but rather; How do I see my spiritually reflected in them? How do I relate to God, others and myself with them?

No matter what type of book that I relate to, it can initiate personal conversion, transformation and growth, if I am open to it. Do I believe that?

SUNDAY – A coloring book

How do you approach coloring a page in a coloring book? Do you look at the big picture, and then carefully choose the colors that you will use, or do you just randomly pick out colors and begin to color in the various aspects of the big picture? Do you outline the picture first then fill in the colors, making sure that you stay in the lines and color in the same direction?

When we think of our relationship with God and how we approach a coloring page in a book, either a big picture or an intricate adult coloring book, what we do first a be an indicator of how we approach our relationship with God.

Do we think that we need to be perfect before we can approach God? Is that what we think God is wanting and waiting for? Do we think that God wants us to look perfect as we carry our crosses and face the concerns and stresses of life? Do we think that we cannot approach Him if our life imploded due to anger, stress, worries, frustrations or the like?

When we approach a coloring book, do we begin by outlining the picture and then filling in the colors? Can we recognize that as God sees the big picture, He begins by outlining our life with those things that will keep us safe and protect us from any physical, emotional or spiritual harm? The outline that He creates is one that is of a protector. He fills the picture with colors that last and won’t fade. He chooses to use colors that are solid, some dark, some light, but all used to create the big picture of life and love that He sees in you.

So, as you approach coloring, can you allow God to begin where He wants to? He knows your heart and if he wants to make a pulsating red heart, will you deny Him that gift so that He can show you how loving and loved you are? He isn’t waiting or expecting you to be perfect and to always color in the lines, what He is waiting for is for you to be honest and allow yourself to color outside the lines, with whatever colors that truly represent how you are  feeling so that He can heal, make whole, transform and restore you.

MONDAY – A crossword puzzle

The goal of a crossword puzzle is to fil in the white squares with letter that form words by solving clues which lead to answers.  Some puzzles have themes, some do not.

So how can our approach to solving a crossword puzzle reflect our spirituality or our approach to God? When we pray, we place our intentions before God and hope that they will be answered as we want them to be.  Our theme may be one of gratitude, frustration, stress, appreciation or even desolation.  Sometimes we want the answers to be either black or white, clear and uncomplicated and other times we want to see the grey, where there is room for discussion. When we pray, we want answers now and not later, we don’t look kindly on God saying no or not yet and we will go back again as an arbitrator when we think that God gave us a bad deal.

As with a crossword puzzle, all our experiences, emotions and feelings blend in and can’t be separated.   Stress can lead to illness, anger can lead to an ulcer or depression, all can affect our physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing. When God is looking at the crossword puzzle of our life, He not only gives us the clues, but He also knows the answers and where they are best served.  God’s love, mercy, compassion and greatest desire for our happiness, has many facets and are always available even when we might not be experiencing them.  We might start by putting in words like stress, sorry, pain, fear or anxiety thinking that they  are the proper answer or response to our present life experience, but God is there to show us that He can take those same experiences and with His grace transform them into words like calm, peace, happiness, serenity, truth, and respect.

God is not waiting for perfection, but rather patience so that our words are His words , that our answer is from our deep desire to serve and follow Him, that we might stay focused and allow His answer of NO or NOT YET be our answer as well.

TUESDAY – Seek and Find
Is God more like a seek and find? Do you approach Him only when you need something? Your desire to seek God is in response to His grace to be in relationship with Him. Does that make sense to you? Do you approach seek and find with the question Where are you God? or I need you, I can’t feel your presence, or why have you abandoned me?

With seek and find puzzles, the words that you need to find can be found either forward, backward, diagonal, up or down. 

As you look for words, you need to carefully look for all the letters before circling them because they can sometimes be a letter off. Many of the letters are used for more than one word.

God’s word or desires for our life come from His knowing, as our Creator, our mind, spirit and heart better than we know our self.  As we search for peace or mercy, they are not isolated gifts or graces, but rather connected.  God’s love, His desire for us, His plan is all connected. With mercy there is the cross, with the cross there is forgiveness, with forgiveness there is Christ and with Christ there is hope. 

When we seek to find God occasionally, we might miss how well all our life experiences are connected and how they have made us to be the person that we are today.  We see only one thing and we can’t look ahead in hope, but rather we look back with regret. Yet if we seek to see God in our life experiences, both the positive and the negative, we then are given the  ability to look in the direction that God points out so that we can be healed, made whole and restored or find happiness and gratitude amid the stresses that we face.

WEDNESDAY – Connect the dots

Do you allow God to connect the dots or do you? Are the various dots that create the big picture of your life, those of hurtful and painful experiences, or joyful and happy experiences, or a balanced combination of both? As you connect the dots are you excited to see a big, more complete picture emerge? or… when you look at the painful, perhaps, hurtful experiences, do you tell God that you can’t forgive or that you don’t want to? In those experiences, do you see where God isn’t able to connect the dots? All our present and past life experiences, good, challenging or indifferent, make us who we are today.  They gave us the strength and courage to move on, go forward and not be defeated. If we choose not to allow God to connect the dots out of fear or resentment, the big picture, the complete picture will remain incomplete and a skew.

As you ask God to connect the dots, all of them, don’t be afraid of where the connections take place. Look with excitement as He connects those life experiences that you once were afraid of and now you see as a source of where your strength, determination, selflessness and courage emerged.

THURSDAY – Find the differences

In find the differences, there are usually two pictures that although look identically the same, they are not due to a few subtle differences. In our spiritual life, find the differences can be the subtle acts of transformation and conversion, or the devils alluring temptations. As you look at the pictures of what appears to be the same, they subtle differences don’t stand out, they blend in.

With God, our transformation or conversion experiences can be as subtle as an act of mercy or as brilliant as falling off a horse. God is waiting for us no matter how big or small our transformation is. He isn’t waiting for us to fall off a horse, but rather for us to get down on our knees in humility and trust. He isn’t waiting or expecting what drastic changes but rather subtle sincere changes that can lead to a greater spiritual and personal transformation and conversion. 

These changes can lead to a better recognition of His great love for us and how we are called to love one another and not see that which is different, but rather that which unites us: That we are His beloved children, loved unconditionally and HIs greatest creation.

FRIDAY – A cryptogram

A cryptogram consists of a short piece of encrypted text that needs to be deciphered to make sense. The letters that you first see do not make a word as they appear, but only after you figure out what each letter stands for and how they make up the phrase. As you begin to figure out the code then you begin to form real words that eventually complete the phrase.

Do you sometimes find life more like a code that needs to be deciphered or a mystery that needs to be solved? Where things just don’t make sense on the surface? Do you approach God as if He is writing your life in code and you have no idea of what the code means or how to solve it? Do you approach God as if He were trying to manipulate and control you because of the confusion, crosses or stresses in your life?

Life is not always clear or neat and tidy.  It gets messy, we don’t always understand the how’s or the whys to life experiences. God knows the how’s and the whys.

He doesn’t present our life as a cryptogram to be solved, but rather He invites us to open our mind and heart to the various people, places and events that made our life experiences what they are, and how they complete us, really do make sense and don’t isolate or defeat us.

SATURDAY – A maze

In a maze, you enter in one way but there is only one way to exit.  As you seek to exit the maze, you are faced with many false leads, shortcuts, seemingly way outs.  As you encounter these you find yourself going back and forth until you find the only way out.

Does your approach to God, your prayer to God sometimes sound like this? Help me Lord, I can’t figure this out, I am lost, I need your direction, please get me out of this mess.

Only God can show you the true way out since He is the way, the truth and the life. Only God can show you the path of love, peace, joy, reconciliation and happiness.  Our life journey may have many winding roads, tempting short cuts, dead ends, false paths, but with God and His grace, they can all be paths that lead to personal transformation, conversion and restoration.

At first a maze can be interesting because you approach it with a sense of confidence that you will find the exit in a reasonable amount of time.  You look at the page and begin to pencil the path that you think will work and lead you out, but then you see that it leads to a dead end, false path. So, then you begin again. Life is a path that we take and due to weakness and sin are placed in a spot where we can choose to begin anew or to keep going in the wrong direction. God’s grace, mercy and reconciliation are amazing part of our life that allow us to go in the right direction and find our way out into the amazing and warmth of God’s love and healing.

 

Glimpse of God for the week of February 9, 2020

If you were approached and invited to write a book about your life, what type of book would it be?  Would it be a comic book, an encyclopedia, a self-help or Did It Yourself book, a recipe book, an inspirational reading book, a suspense novel or a quick read pamphlet?

If God wanted you to write a book about your life and the message that HE wants you to share so that you can help, inspire and encourage others, would you choose to or refuse to? If you accepted His invitation, would God be the main author, co-author, a critic or an anonymous source?

Your life is a gift from God, a gift that HE gives you so that you can be gift to others, to those He places on your life journey. Your life is a gift from God from the moment of your conception to this present day.  All the seconds, moments, hours, days, weeks, months and years that you have experienced are a sign of God’s great and unconditional love, deep abiding presence and an overflowing of His graces. All of the time that you have been given here on earth has been filled with many stories, both happy and sad, jubilations, celebrations, crosses and tombs. In all of these, God has chosen to write your story so that you can not only read it with a greater perspective and appreciation, but also with hope that you can be His beacon to others. No life is lived in vain. The love of family, friends, community, church and even the stranger has enriched your life.

Each chapter would not only tell about a specific aspect of your life, it would also show your growth and transformation as a beloved child of God, seeking to become your best self, the person that HE created you to be and have the potential to become.

As you write your book, would there be things or details that would want to include as well as exclude? Are there times in your life that you wished had never occurred because of the pain and trauma associated with them? Are there times in your life that you would want others to know about? that you are willing to shout from the rooftops?

God has been writing your book since He loved you into existence. He knows each chapter and He also knows that not one can be omitted or embellished if you want to be true to yourself, God and others.

You have a lot to write. With the type of book that you are writing and the periods of your life and reflect on the following questions: Can you recognize in the midst of any pain suffering or sorrow, the presence of God’s love, mercy and compassion? What are you grateful for? What are you sorry about?  What do you want to thank God for? Who or what do you want to lift up in prayer? What do you want to let go of so that you can grow and be transformed?

As you reflect on the various types of books that you can write, remember that when it comes to the word and presence of God in your life, no matter what type of book that you choose, your life story and how it is unfolding in the light of God’s love, is what will shine and become the message for others.

SUNDAY – A recipe book

A book that includes all the necessary ingredients for a great product to emerge.  In the light of God’s love and presence, some of the ingredients were trust, faith, courage, mercy, compassion, love, truth, honesty, respect and humility.  In your life story, you sought as His follower, and continue to seek to combine, envelope and embrace all of these graces and many others, so that your life is a beacon, a sign of God’s love for all to see.

What other ingredients would you use? What ingredients do you desire to improve and use more of?

MONDAY – An encyclopedia

Just the facts…If you were to write your life story, would it be a cold writing of words, facts and details void of any emotion? Would your life story be a complete encyclopedia or maybe just a portion of it? God is an emotional God, a God of love, peace, joy, healing and happiness and as his child, He does not want us to live without feeling these emotions since they are His gift to us.

What facts bring about pain and can you ask for the grace to forgive or be forgiven? In the midst of all the facts, are you able to recognize moments of joy, laughter, peace, happiness and encouragement offered and experienced by you and others in your life story?

TUESDAY – A comic book

Was it the gift of humor that has gotten you through life’s challenges, crosses and joys? Were you the one with your good sense of humor that was able to bring others through their difficult times?  Amid humor, are you able to recognize the cross or do you seek to deny it? The ability to laugh and bring others to laugh is a very healthy gift, use it wisely and you will see more smiles and less frowns on the faces of those you love and those who seek to find God in humor.

WEDNESDAY – A “I Did It Myself’ book

This is how I got to where I am today. I didn’t get help from anyone nor did I ask for it. I didn’t nor do I depend on anyone to do things for me, to get me out of trouble or to fulfill my needs, I am a survivor.

As a survivor, are you able to recognize the many curve balls that God threw in to help you survive so that you became the strong person that you are today? You may think that you did it yourself, but the reality is that God brought you through so that you can help and bring healing to others. Can you take that which you survived: abuse, broken relationship, betrayal, ….and ask God for the grace of healing, wholeness and courage to help others who are surviving as well.

THURSDAY – An inspirational book

A story about the presence of God in your life. The presence as it shined through others, life experiences, circumstances and situations. A story of truth, although ugly at times, it is the truth that you choose to live by, accept and proclaim.

As you write your life story as an inspirational message, what would be the one message that you want to share? Is it a message of hope, healing, God’s awesome presence in the aha moments, His deep abiding peace, His unconditional love and forgiveness?  What message inspires you to want to write?

FRIDAY – A mystery book

A book that draws to no conclusion. Is your life truly a mystery? What is unknown to you is known only to God. You heart, your motives, your inspirations, are always known to God. He knows you better than you know yourself. There may have been times in your life where you had no clue of what was to come, there was great uncertainty and anxiety, but as you look back can you see that what was hidden from you was known to God and He chose to reveal it when you were ready to receive it?

As mystery to you is an opportunity from God for revelation.  A revelation of your great strength, courage, love; a revelation of the truth that you are God’s greatest creation, His beloved child, loved unconditionally and without end. That is no mystery, that is The truth.

SATURDAY – A quick read pamphlet

Sorry, there is no quick read pamphlet. Your life is full of many details, joys, celebrations, crosses, exultations. These are all gifts from God to be shared, not excluded, to be celebrated and not extinguished, to be remembered and not forgotten.

God doesn’t want any of His children to think or feel that their life is not important or a reason to celebrate. We have the gift of a birthday, not only remember that we are alive, but also that we are His gift to others, and we celebrate that gift each year. Each day, each year, we grow, our story also grows. Our story is a sign of His action in our life and  His action is not a quick and passing action, but rather an action of love through time and growth, conversion and transformation.

Can you make you quick read pamphlet a short story with the intention of it becoming a novel or even a psalm of praise to God?

 

Glimpse of God for the week of February 1, 2020

My glimpse of God came to me as I drove on I-95 several times this week. The Glimpse that I received came as I looked at the various life experiences that come from the inside of a car in motion, as well a when my journey was over and I got out of the car and looked around.

God speaks to us in various ways. He chooses the instruments that He feels we will respond to; ones that can penetrate our consciousness, our mind, our spirit and our heart; the very core of our being. If you are a person that enjoys the freedom of getting into a car and being able to come and go freely without depending on public transportation, of if you are a person that commutes to work and is often faced with a long ride due to unexpected circumstances, or if you enjoy taking long walks in the midst and beauty of God’s creation, I believe that God speaks to you in your car and on your feet through the various situations you see and encounter.

No matter how we get from one place to another, we cannot move forward if we do not put one foot in front of the other.  Even if we are in a wheel chair and are unable to stand or walk, it is in our desire to go and grow forward in our spiritual life, that is the one foot in front of the other. It is through our will and our desire to do and be our best before God, others and self, that we go forward in love and trust and not fear or worry.

God can use these various situations to show us many things about our self. He invites us to see how we need slow down so that we can recognize His presence in our life more clearly and how we need to get up and move forward and do what we are called to do and have the potential to complete. He gives us an opportunity to recognize His blessings in our life when things are going well, and He invites us to use these times as opportunities to be more empathetic towards others.

It is in these times when God speaks directly to our hearts and asks us to listen just a little bit more and with a greater attentiveness and an openness to change the direction we are presently going, to a safer and better route that He has carefully planned out for us.

 

As you begin this week, whether you drive or not, walk, are driven by someone else, or take public transportation, try to see your experiences as you go to and from one place to another, in the light of God’s love and through His instrument of a highway, an automobile, public transportation or your two feet. Try to keep an open heart and mind, so that you can recognize Glimpses of God in the seemingly most ordinary and mundane ways. And when you encounter a road that is winding and not straight, or a journey that is dark and uncertain, proceed with some caution, a greater trust, a sense of adventure and a faith that allows you to go forward with God as your compass.

 

SUNDAY – A day where the weather was sunny and clear day and you were able to travel with no traffic problems.

Can you recognize that God is and has blessed you abundantly and that He allows His light to shine on you so that you can share His light and be His beacon to others?

Can you reflect on how your faith journey is going well because you are open to listening to God’s Holy Spirit in your life? Does that mean that everything is perfect? No, but what it can mean is that as you walk each day with the Lord, the light of His love will be your guiding force and there will be no darkness or detours.

 

MONDAY – A day where the weather is bad, it’s raining, it’s foggy and people are driving dangerously.

If your life is filled with challenges and you cannot see clearly what God wants of you, then this is an opportunity to slow down and pray for a greater openness to God’s Holy Spirit acting in you and through you.

Sometimes we enter into life’s challenges and try to carry our crosses alone. It is when we don’t seek God’s guidance or help that things continue to be foggy and unclear. As the fog lays over you, ask that God shed His light on the issue or situation where things are not clear so that you can seek His will and wisdom in the light of His grace and compassion.

As you journey on the highway of life, and you encounter others who seem to be living dangerously, it is in those time where you are called to pray that others may see life as an invitation from God to take care of one self and live in the light of His love, and not take life risking actions.

 

TUESDAY – A day where you found yourself speeding because you were in a rush to get somewhere and you were pulled over for a speeding ticket.

There are times when you are in a rush to get through something so you choose not to deal with it properly.  It could be a hurt that someone has caused you, or that you have caused another, it could be dwelling on a mistake that you have made, it could be something that happened to you as a child, in any case if you choose to run away, you will never experience the healing and wholeness that God has in store for you.

A spiritual speeding ticket is a reminder that God is watching over and loving you and that He sees the direction you are going and wants you to stop so that you can reevaluate and redirect yourself in the light of His direction. Getting pulled over for a speeding ticket may be God’s way of telling you to slow down and take a look at what is happening so that you can change your coping strategies before you hurt yourself.

 

WEDNESDAY - A day where you were stuck because of construction and could not get around it.

We are all under God’s construction; we are all in process to become the best person that we can be, the person that God created us to be and have the potential to become. There are times when we are not happy with the way things are going. We don’t like the way we look, how tall or short we are, how thin or heavy we are, our noses, our hair, our bodies, we want to change what God has created. We want to change our outside appearance because we feel that we would be happier and more accepted by others.

If you are feeling that there is something about you that you want to change because of what others have said, then I suggest that you ask yourself; is this what God wants me to do? God is your creator and He knows what is best for you. If there is something that you want to change about yourself, can you do it the light of God’s grace and blessing?

If you are experiencing health challenges that frighten you, can you allow God to show you how these challenges can make you stronger?  Health challenges often cause us to stop in our tracks. This can be an invitation to be a more reflective person, a person, like Mary who sits at the feet of Jesus and listens attentively to His words.

 

 

THURSDAY –A day where you got a little lost or really lost.

Today is a day where you just couldn’t concentrate and made a wrong turn and got lost.

We all make wrong turns and get lost, both physically and spiritually. It is the times when we turn away from God and make wrong choices that He eagerly awaits our return. There is no bad choice that we cannot learn from. It is in our bad choices that we can get a little off and lost or we can become really lost and off course. It is in recognizing that you are lost, that is when God is slowly bringing you back home to His love, compassion and mercy. 

If you have a sense of direction and you make a wrong turn, this can sometimes be seen more as an adventure to be taken, and not an obstacle to be afraid of. It is during those times where you have an opportunity to travel the roads less traveled and find new routes, short cuts and back roads. It can also be seen as a spiritual source of enlightenment because it can be seen as new way home. We can travel through our mistakes, our wrong choices, and our sins and see the impact and the repercussions and this can make us want to strive even harder to get back on the right track. Trust in God and He will always bring you back home safely and unharmed

 

FRIDAY – A day where you hit from behind. A fender bender that has now become an inconvenience and a delay.

It is during these times when we get the kick in the butt so that we can move forward.

Often in life, due to circumstances or situations, we fail to move forward. We choose to stay still because it is easier and we can be lazy. It is those times when God might be saying get going, go forward, there are things that I want you to see, experience, live and if you choose to stand still you will miss out. A fender bender is a little kick, a little nudge, a little push or nod to go ahead, not to be afraid, to trust and have courage, to not look behind but look ahead to your future in God’s eyes.

Is there something that you are afraid of and all you need is a little nudge, a little push to go forward? Seek God’s grace and there will be someone that is willing to give you the little push in love to get you to live and go ahead of the fear and the anxiety that might be holding you back from truly living the life that God wants for you. Fender benders come when you least expect them and they are unsettling, but in our spiritual life they can be the best nudge that God can give because they can avert opportunities to become complacent. They can call us to a greater vision of God’s will for us by allowing us to stop, evaluate, fix and go on more whole, healed and healthy.

 

SATURDAY – A day that you were cut off and nearly got into an accident.

There are days in life where we feel that we were cut off. Those times where we were innocent victims of gossip or hurtful words. We can all recall situations when someone said something about us that was not true, or that they did not have all the information and judgment was passed on us. In those times we feel cut off, made to feel less than the person that we are. We were made to feel inadequate or inferior and it hurt.

If you are experiencing being cut off or you feel inferior because of what others have said or done to you, take this opportunity to seek God’s mercy so that you can share it with others. Grace and mercy are with God’s holy ones and His care is with His elect. You are God’s elect and He wants the best for you so that you don’t get into an accident, but rather you reach out and help those who are stuck on the side of the road of anger, isolation, pride, gossip, revenge and pettiness.

Glimpse of God for the week of January 26, 2020

You’ll need surgery. How many of us have heard those words in regards to our self or a loved one?

They are difficult to hear. Those words can bring up many emotions and make us feel very vulnerable. It is our vulnerability that we need to trust that God is guiding the surgeon, be at peace with our self and remain hopeful with the outcome.

Needing surgery can invoke many mixed emotions from within us. It can produce a lot of anxiety, fear, anger, worry, concern, but also and possibly some peace and even relief. Yet even when one hears these words, it is an indication that something is wrong with our body and it needs to betaken care of quickly.

Surgery is performed for many reasons: to remove the diseased, to mend the broken, to create better vision, to restore new life to the dying, to clear the way from an obstruction, to replace the worn and torn, and to give a voice.  In all of these, our focus is to improve our quality of life so that we can continue doing all that we want to: work, raise a family, volunteer, …

When we or someone we love is about to undergo surgery, there is a lot to do to prepare.  For those who can take advantage of the sacraments one gets Anointed and receives Holy Communion. Depending upon the type of surgery that is going to be performed, one might have to plan on going to physical rehabilitation. There could be a significant period where one would have to rest and refrain from physical activity. There could be a temporary change of location for recuperation. At this point, we may have to accept help from others, as Jesus did, where we are used to helping others, and finally we must come to grips with the diagnosis and prognosis.

Although we are created in the likeness and image of God, our bodies are not invincible.  As we age, our environment, genetics and other factors, cause our body to undergo many changes. As we change our body tells us either subtly or not that there is something wrong. Sometimes there are obvious signs and symptoms that there is something wrong, but other times there is no sign or symptom. Our body is the only one we have and it is up to us to take care of it because we are all the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit and as a temple, we must reverence our body, treat it with the utmost care and respect and love it as the gift that it is from God.

Now as we think about surgery on our physical body, I would like to look at our spiritual life and address the areas that need to undergo spiritual surgery so that we can experience healing and wholeness and be restored to good health and happiness.  God is the divine physician, we are His children and His only desire is that we do our best to be our best self, the person that He created us to be and have the potential to become.  His love is unconditional and selfless. Although there are probably many areas of our life that need to be healed, God heals us the way that He sees best. We may have a terminal illness and pray for healing, yet at the same time we are bitter and are holding grudges against others. I believe that we can enter Heaven’s gates with cancer, but not with a hardened heart filled with revenge, bitterness, and a lack of forgiveness for those who have hurt us.

If God were to tell you that you needed spiritual surgery, how would you respond? Would you be surprised, angry, fearful, confused or happy? What does spiritual surgery look like? Are there signs and symptoms that something is wrong in our spiritual life that needs to be operated on so that we can become a healthier, whole and healed individual? Although spiritual surgery can take many aspects, I am choosing to focus on the following. As you begin each day and reflect on these aspects, remind yourself that God is the divine physician and if you can recognize that spiritual surgery is needed, fear not, but trust in Him as He seeks only your healing and wholeness.

 

SUNDAY - Cataracts/seeing God more clearly

How is your vision? Are the eyes of your heart, mind and spirit focused on Christ? Do you, are you able to recognize the person and presence Christ in yourself and others? Sometimes our spiritual vision gets cloudy. This can be due to stress, pressures from both inside and outside of our self, disappointments or sin. We are not able to recognize the presence of Christ in our daily life with its crosses and challenges, celebrations and jubilations. We fail to see Christ within our self because we think that He can’t love us or care for us because of our weaknesses and sins. When we fail to see Christ within our self and others, our vision continues to deteriorate, and we are blinded to the truth.  The truth is that God loves you and me unconditionally, that we are His greatest creation, and He proved this truth as He hung and died on the cross. There is nothing that we can say or do that will make God love us less, He can’t. If He is indicating that you need vision surgery, He is doing so because He doesn’t want you to be blind or have blurry vision. He wants to remove the fog so that you can see clearly how much He loves, adores and cherishes you. He wants you to look in the mirror so that you can behold the beauty from within and without, the beautiful person that are, created in His image and a reflection of His love. When we are unable to see God from within, we also fail to see His presence in others. We are the Body of Christ, and thus we are called not to judge another, but rather see them as God’s sees them; His beloved child, and leave all judgment to Him. For today: close your eyes and pray for the grace to see as God sees: How He sees you and how He calls you to see Him in others.

 

MONDAY – lung transplant/breath of God

What does it take for the body to need a lung transplant? The lungs are not able to work at their best and this causes great breathing difficulty.  When the lungs can’t improve, the medical professionals decide that a transplant is necessary. A transplant would not only improve one’s quality of life, but also prevent death from occurring so early in one’s life.

What is a spiritual lung transplant? What comes forth from our mouth begins with our lungs. When we are the breath of God and the Holy Spirit is alive and well within us, our lungs are clear and functioning 100 percent capacity. When we speak words of love, lifting others up and not tearing them down, when we speak words of contrition and forgiveness, when we speak words of encouragement and consolation and not words of judgment or condemnation, then our lungs are being life giving not only to us but to those we encounter.

When we speak words of gossip, judgment, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, and distrust, it is then that God might be telling us that we need a spiritual lung transplant.  These come from deep within. God gives us His grace to be life giving, we can either reject that grace or accept it, it is our choice. If we choose to reject it and decide that we would rather be destructive with and towards others, then we are not being the breath of God, but rather the voice of the evil one. As with any of our bad choices, if we choose to and want to change, be transformed and start over, God is ready and willing to forgive us and fill us with His grace to stat anew. 

For today: take a deep breath and think of the words that you are about to speak. Are they words that will build up or tear down? Ask God for the grace to swallow the words that will cause harm and breathe in the words that will build up.  

 

TUESDAY - Cancer/dis-ease with God

If you have not been directly affected by cancer, I am sure you know someone that is or has been.  Although cancer can be a terminal disease, it is not a death sentence. For me, I believe it gives the person a head start to live life to the fullest and yet make plans for their life’s end; God invites the person to take the opportunity to make changes, correct any wrong and make right the path to the Lord, come to a deeper peace and surrender so that one can truly enter into God’s Kingdom without fear, but rather great expectation and joy. No one is promised tomorrow. We should not take any time that God gives us for granted, thinking that we will live so many more years. God wants us to appreciate and honor every moment of each day, as His gift to us. When we assume that there will be many tomorrows, we can sometimes take the days that we have for granted; we can complain about the little things and miss the big picture.

So, what part of your spiritual life has a form of spiritual cancer? How would you respond if you heard God inviting you to a spiritual surgery that would change and transform your life forever? Would your reactions be the same or different? Would you find peace amid the unknown and uncertain, the deep and the surface illness or wounds? What part of your spiritual life is at dis ease with God? It can be a lump or in your blood stream. A lump can be an unforgiven hurt, one that continues to haunt and affect you. That lump can be the tears that you shed over the hurt or the anger that you hold because of it. If it is your blood stream it can be your woundedness, deep long hurts, or your inability to recognize how beloved you are before God. When you think of your woundedness or your low self-worth, God wants to give you a blood transfusion so that it does not continue to permeate your entire life and that you can become more at peace with Him and see Him more clearly within yourself and others. Spiritual cancer is far worst than any other.  If one does not address the cancer, it too will spread and overshadow the goodness, compassion, mercy, peace, joy or happiness that one possesses and that God has in abundance for you.

For today: take a moment and reflect on your spiritual cancer, what is it, and how can it be treated so that it does not spread. Make your spiritual cancer and your treatment method a source and catalyst of your prayer. As you desire to grow in a deeper relationship with God, His treatment will be His grace so that you can follow through with acts of kindness, forgiveness, mercy, compassion and peace.

 

WEDNESDAY - Cast/ heal the brokenness.

Have you ever broken your wrist leg or foot and found yourself in a cast or a boot? Do you remember the discomfort, the limitations, and the awkwardness that you found yourself in? Yet once the bone was healed and the cast or boot was removed and healing had occurred, you felt like a new person and you were able to return to doing what you liked doing.

Now how would you like God to heal your brokenness? Would you like Him to put a cast on your heart so that it could not be expanded, be filled with compassion, mercy or forgiveness? I doubt it. I believe that amid brokenness and woundedness, you would prefer to be healed, to be able to forgive, be reconciled and be made whole.  God would not use a cast that would create limitations, but rather He would shower you with His grace so that your heart and ability to love could expand and grow. His grace would give you the ability to do more than you ever could imagine or believe.  

To be healed of a deep seeded hurt or wound takes courage, trust and surrender. We need to ask God for His courage, and then trust and surrender into His hands that which we hold on to.  Forgiveness and reconciliation are not easy, and they do not depend on the other person. If we are wounded and ask God for the grace to be healed, it is our heart that God is working on.

We can pray for the grace to enter the hearts of those who have hurt us, but only God knows each person’s heart and what it needs most. Leave the other to God and seek your own healing.

For today: seek to forgive one person that has hurt you, and ask God to mend the brokenness and make you whole.

 

THURSDAY – open heart surgery/ open heart

Is your heart open or is it hardened and closed? Have life experiences, stresses, disappointments and defeats closed your heart to any hope that things will get better and that God has you in His loving embrace?

Do you find yourself not willing to love another out of fear that hurt lurks around the corner?

God does not want his children to be afraid to love, but rather to be open to love so that we can discover our potential and the potential of others to change us and make us our best self.

God loves us through life; in its disappointments, its challenges, its hurts, it joys, and its celebrations. He only invites us, and asks us to trust in Him and to love. We must first love our self, if we are to love others.

We must first see the presence and love of God within, our self if we expect to see the presence and love of God in others. Spiritual open-heart surgery is an invitation from God to open our heart and expand it and its ability to love, be compassionate, merciful, forgiving and a peacemaker. As God opens our heart so that it can be expanded, He also takes out the dis-ease that makes us want to hold onto to the various events, people, hurts, disappointments, and sin that have caused our heart to become closed and hardened.

For today: accept God’s invitation to open your heart and remove anything that has hardened it and would prevent it from expanding.

 

FRIDAY -tonsils/God’s messenger

If you or your child have had tonsillitis, you know firsthand how sore the throat was and how difficult it was to talk. A simple surgery to remove the tonsils and the recuperation was short. If you were a child when you had your tonsils removed you probably remember how much ice cream you were able to have per doctor’s orders, it wasn’t all bad…

What does spiritual tonsillitis look like? Being the voice of God when your throat hurts because your voice has been muffled, you have felt the need to raise your voice to be heard, you have had to repeat God’s message to those who chose not to hear it or listen to it.

The spiritual tonsillitis occurs when you give up and choose not be the voice of God but rather to be silent. When you choose not to be the voice for the vulnerable, forgotten, suffering or abandoned. When you choose to blame others for their affliction instead of sharing God’s compassion, mercy and understanding. When you choose silence with another who has hurt you instead of expressing words of forgiveness or sorrow. That is when spiritual tonsillitis occurs, when you choose out of complacency, weariness, frustration, judgment or condemnation not to be God’s voice any longer.

For today: Is your throat sore from being God’s voice? Do you have any symptom of spiritual tonsillitis? If you have any symptom of spiritual tonsillitis, ask God for the grace to swallow any pride that is causing it so that you can return to being His voice in your family, community, church, with and toward the stranger, and all those you encounter.

 

SATURDAY – Stitches/moments of weakness

It has been a long week and we have undergone many transformative spiritual procedures. Yet, as prayerful, faithful followers of Christ, we need to be aware of our spiritual life and our relationship with God. If our relationship with God is not a priority, and we do not try to nourish it through prayer, worship and the sacraments of the Church, then spiritual transformation needs to occur.

I believe that we are all sinners striving to become saints. We are doing the best we can and trying to be our best self, the person that God created us to be and have the potential to become. It is in our daily life that we may encounter the small cuts and wounds that don’t require surgery but rather a few stitches. These small cuts or wounds can be the angry words that ushered from our mouth in a moment of weakness due to frustration and stress, words that we regret because they caused hurt to another. The cut can be when we feel ignored and others don’t seem to care about how we are doing or how are day is going. We feel insulted and this hurts our self-esteem and ego. We can feel these minor cuts at home with our spouse or children, in our community, in religious life, at work and yes even at Church. These cuts are due to others and our own weaknesses and not meant to cause us great harm or woundedness. Yet they still hurt.

God’s spiritual stitches are the times where we find our self, in all humility, saying that I am sorry and that I forgive you.  If we fail to recognize the need to say these words, then the wounds will deepen and could require surgery. The words that we express are the spiritual stitches that can prevent us from developing a deeper wound that could cause a greater spiritual infection and would require more spiritual surgery.

For today: thank God for the spiritual stitches that have healed quickly, mended relationships and made you your better self as you lived up to your potential as God's beloved child.

 

 WILL BE DONE.

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 19, 2020

This week’s Glimpse of God comes from my recent hospitalization in Fox Chase Cancer Center. I have been an ongoing cancer patient at Fox Chase for over 20 years. In those 20 years, I have received the best care from all my doctors, the nurses, and the various staff members. Everyone has always treated me with compassion, care and concern. I am a person and not a number. So, what brings me to this Glimpse? I have been roommates to many and for the most part, most have been positive experiences. This time around I was roomed with someone who was not coping well with their hospitalization stay, their illness or their negativity, thus making my hospitalization stay more challenging then it needed to be. The needless noises, too many visitors, thinking that we were in the Hilton where one should be able to sleep all day, and the false expectation that the nurses should jump when called and yelling when they didn’t. We were right next to the nurse’s station and they were always there promptly.

Now my view of being a patient is a bit different, yet it comes from a sense of peace with God’s abiding presence as my foundation. The nurses and doctors would look at my situation with a sense of sadness, empathy and wonder, because of the severe pain and complications that are involved, as well as a feeling of frustration that it has not resolved. They would ask me how I can have such a positive outlook and perspective.

Let me first saying that I do not, nor never hope to, recite the litany of aches and ailments. There are too many positive blessings in my life. I am truly happy and that is God gift to me because that happiness brings me a deeper sense of joy amid what seemingly appears to overwhelming life situations. I am filled with joy because I have a loving God and Savior that stands by me and I know that has experienced everything that I am, before me. I know that I have never been alone nor will I ever be left alone to carry my light weight crosses. God has thrown in many unexpected curve balls; not bad things but rather those experiences or blessings that have gotten me through the negative or painful life experiences. Some of these curve balls are that I am married to wonderful man, I live in a great home, have two great kids; Clover our golden retriever and Cannoli our cat, great friends, a loving sister, a supportive parish community, a great lifelong mentor, a deep faith, a will that will never be defeated, and a deep desire to be Christ’s witness in the world in whatever way He chooses. All I can say to God is; keep sending me your curve balls and I’ll try to recognize and catch as many as I can.

I choose not to focus on any negative aspects, but rather on the many positive aspects or God’s unexpected curve balls that got me through, and continue to get me through, the negative experiences, that are present.  

I don’t believe nor will you ever hear me say that I am having a bad day because God doesn’t create anything bad so how could it be that I would have a bad day? I believe that every day is a great day, but some more challenging than others. Being a patient in the hospital for over week again was a challenge, but a good one. I was in the best care as they sought to find a resolution to the situation, the nurses and all of the support staff were great,  I received Holy Communion every day, my husband came every day after working all day then driving an hour to the hospital, we had a friend who went to our house during the day to let Clover out and give her some play time. I never felt as if this medical issue would defeat me or crush my spirit, only that it would challenge me to stand firm in faith. Faith, trust and surrender that God was providing me with His patience as a patient even when the pain was severe and the frustration as to how to deal with it, although equally shared, but unable to be resolved at this time.

I choose not to complain because to me to complain over those things that I have no control over is a useless use of words and mental energy. I feel and believe that God invites me to recognize the positive aspects of any situation so that I can be strengthened in faith and

my healing process.

At my baptism I entered fully into Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Each time I am presented with what seems to be a heavy cross, and I reflect on my past (If you read my book; Shopping for Lighter Cross, which is available on Amazon or I have copies, you will have some idea of what I am referring to) and realize that Christ is and has always been there to help me carry all my crosses, they don’t seem or feel heavy.

As a follower of Christ, I am called to help others find hope as I offer them consolation, compassion and understanding, and I truly take that call to heart with all openness, seriousness, sincerity and humility.

All of life experiences are an opportunity of prayer, not a prayer of perfection but rather of honesty, humility and trust. God knows my heart and can only transform it if I am honest with Him about how I am feeling. I often need to be humbled from my independent self to accepting help, and I need to trust that God hears and answers my prayers, those unformed, those mixed up due to medication and those that come from the child who only asks for a hug.

 

My daily reflection is a little bit different than what you are used to seeing, but I hope it helps.

 

From Complaint to Prayer

Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done

SUNDAY: Lord, When I want to complain about something; the weather, how I am feeling, how others are rude, mean or disrespectful toward and to me, who said what to me....

Help me to transform my words, and thoughts into transformative actions and prayer.

 

MONDAY: Lord, When I am complaining about the cold, the rain, the snow or the heat;

Help me to pray for those who are suffering the loss of life, home, or security, because of the cold, the rain, the snow or the heat. Let my prayer be that you give them the courage, the consolation and the strength, to face another day not knowing what to expect, but trusting that You will bring them through, and believing that they are now stronger than they were yesterday and able to face the day with a greater faith, a deeper trust, more hope and abounding courage.

 

TUESDAY: Lord, When I am ready to complain about my aches, pains, my chronic or terminal illness, aging, financial or family stresses, just so that others know and I can gain sympathy or use it as an excuse for any negative choices that I make,

Help me to offer up my suffering for those whose aches, pains, chronic or terminal illness, aging, financial or family stresses are spiritually and physically life threatening and where they have no one to be with them to listen, lend a helping  hand, or to offer a shoulder to cry on as they endure and carry their heavy cross.

 

WEDNESDAY: Lord, When I fail to remember those You have called back home to be with you, who have gone before me in faith, sin and weakness, and I don’t want to believe that they are or will be resting in your loving embrace because of the hurt that they inflicted on me,

Help me to pray for them in truth, mercy, compassion and forgiveness because they too are your beloved child, created in Your image, loved unconditionally and whose heart is known only to You, and recognizing that their greatest penance is being in purgatory as they wait for the time where they will be able to see You face to face.

 

THURSDAY: Lord, When I am ready to complain about another human being: Spouse, child, family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, community member, the stranger or the outcast,

Help me to remember that we are all created in Your loving and sacred image, and that we are your greatest creation, all of us even in the midst of our sinfulness, bad habits, weaknesses and bad choices are also uniquely blessed with various and many talents, gifts and strengths.

 

FRIDAY: Lord, When I am ready to beat myself up and not be my best self because of my weaknesses, sins and shortcomings. When I choose not to remember that I am your beloved child, loved unconditionally, and your greatest creation,

Help me to recognize that you are a God of mercy, unconditional love and compassion, and choose to be my best self, the person that you created me to be, and have the potential to become.

 

SATURDAY: Lord, When I am ready to blame You for all the wrong in the world; war, homicides, homelessness, addiction, suicides, child abuse, animal cruelty, domestic violence, human trafficking….,

please help me to remember that the world is good because You can't create anything evil or bad,

but it is our choices as human beings that are evil and bad. May my thoughts and frustrations be transformed into surrender and trust so that I can build Your Kingdom here on earth and make Your vision a reality.

 

YOUR KINGDOM COME; YOUR WILL BE DONE.


 

GLIMPSE OF GOD FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 12TH 

 

DUE TO BEING IN THE HOSPITAL WITHOUT

MY COMPUTER OR ABILITY TO FOCUS 

I AM UNABLE TO PROVIDE A GLIMPSE FOR YOU .

AS YOU BEGIN A NEW WEEK

TAKE LAST WEEK'S GLIMPSE

KEEPING CHRISTMAS AS A DAILY MINDSET

AND MAKING DAILY RESOLUTIONS'

TAKE EACH DAY AND

REFLECT ON 

THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE

FOR ME TO:

SUNDAY: HOW CAN I BETTER LOVE MYSELF

MONDAY: HOW CAN I BETTER TAKE CARE OF MYSELF

TUESDAY: HOW CAN I BE MORE FORGIVING OF MYSELF

WEDNESDAY: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO FORGIVE OTHERS

INSTEAD OF HOLDING A GRUDGE

 

EACH DAY IS GOD'S GIFT TO ME,

HOW CAN I LOVE HIM MORE TODAY 

THURSDAY: BY MY ACTIONS?

FRIDAY: IN MY WORDS

SATURDAY: IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 5, 2020

Happy New Year.  I hope and pray that this new year of 2020 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 first week, is anything different for you? Have you made your New Year’s, resolution and 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 5th 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?

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 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 you 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 and others, and I see my worst self emerge, I find myself praying the Act of Contrition 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 hurt 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 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. We are we hopeful for and waiting for with great expectation? Only you can answer that question. Today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, where the three kings presented their gifts to the Child Jesus. If we answer those questions considering both the Nativity and Epiphany, our hope could be that we also present to Jesus the gift of our heart so that it can be a vessel where His love, compassion and mercy can be poured in and overflow, and our expectation is that we recognize God doing that for us.

Our hope 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 2020, that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world completely out of unconditional and selfless love, for you and me. He wants you to know that believe that and live in the light of that love.

 

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. 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 a t 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, but rather out of selfless love, compassion, concern and care for others less fortunate.

 

SUNDAY FEED THE HUNGRY

If you know of a food bank, community center, or Church that serves and feeds the hungry, see if you could volunteer there. Pass out granola bars to those in need that you see at stoplights. Pick up leftover at a local grocery store, bakery or restaurant and deliver them to a food bank or homeless shelter.

If you are unable to help at a food bank, there are many parishes that have the Saint John’s Hospice Casserole program. This program asks volunteers to make a casserole, recipes are provided, or you can use your own, and bring them back to the church, where they are then delivered to the men at Saint John’s hospice. Saint John’s Hospice is an outreach ministry that serves and assists the poor and homeless men in the community. SJH serves over 400 hundred homeless men every day for lunch, and feeds and houses 50 homeless men all throughout the year.

For today, 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 from. God will give you the words of your prayer.

 

MONDAY – GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY

Giving drink to the thirsty seems a bit of a challenge, either because we don’t understand what that means or who is thirsty and what they are thirsting for. If we know of someone who is thirsty due to the hot weather or their bodily need for water, we can and should give them a something to drink. Pass out water bottles to the homeless, give water to those who working in the heat or in difficult situations, donate baby formula to a new mother or family that you know can’t afford it, o ra local pregnancy help center.

If we recognize that someone is thirsting or desiring someone to listen to them then be that presence to them. We are all thirsting for the life-giving waters of Christ, and we all have an opportunity to provide them to others by our presence to and with them, either in silence or in sharing the Good news of the Gospel.

For today, 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

Do you have clothes in your closet, your spouse’s closet or children’s closet that you or they have not worn, that don’t fit and are in good condition? Consider donating them to a shelter or a charity that collects clothing for the poor. There are many shelters, community centers, group homes that collect clothing for the homeless, poor, or those who because of their financial situation cannot shop for clothing, and they don’t have the clothing that will properly get them through the harsh weather of winter.

For today, if you know or see an elderly person or a family that does not have the proper clothing for the weather, ask them if her 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. Pray and ask God to show you haw you can best help them.  

 

WEDNESDAY SHELTER THE HOMELESS

You might not be able to or comfortable bringing a homeless person into your home. God understands that and accepts it not as an act of selfishness but of discernment. But He offers you ways to help shelter the homeless. If you know of a homeless shelter or a place that brings in the homeless, see if you can help with any of their daily needs. If you want to offer your time and presence to them, see what they need volunteers for.

 If you are able to volunteer, yet you would like to make a financial donation, find out what area your donation could be best used or is in most need; it could be for the food they give to the homeless or the blankets they use for each person, or the toiletries the person needs. You can also send a care package with special treats to a local orphanage. Support the efforts and ministry of your local homeless boys and girls shelters.

For today, pray for those who are homeless and in need of shelter especially as the harsh winter weather hits. Pray for those who have a home but are spiritually, emotionally and psychologically homeless because it lacks love, presence, support, encouragement, understanding, and forgiveness and if 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

Visit those who you know are sick, but if you are unable to visit them, take a moment to make a phone call, send an email, or send a card. In whatever way you can, let them know that you are praying for them, that you care about them, that you want them to recover and heal so that they can return to their homes. If they are in hospice, let their family members or the hospice care team know that you would like to visit the sick person or give them a call. If this is not possible, see if you could send a card so that it could be read to the person and they know you care about them and that you are thinking and praying for them.

For today, 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

If you are comfortable and can visit those imprisoned at a local jail or prison, see what the requirements are to be a visitor. I know that they also need volunteers for the many different programs that are set up for the prisoners or residents. If you have a family member in prison or jail, take time to visit them or call them.

If you visit or call, let them know that they are loved by God and you, that you care for and about them, and that they are not forgotten. Be sincere and do not pass judgment on them. Only God is the judge.

If they have hurt you, you are called to forgive and be reconciled and not to pass judgment on them.

If you know of someone that is in prison and their family are unable to visit them, see if they are comfortable is you were to visit their loved one.

For today, pray for the imprisoned 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 forgives them.  Pray for the grace so that you do not judge them, but accept them as a fellow sinner who needs your prayers and support.

 

SATURDAY BURY THE DEAD

Unless you are a funeral director, burying the dead might be a challenge. If that is so, how can we fulfill this corporal work of mercy?

Burying the dead, if you have lost a loved one, either a friend or family member, and their final wishes have  been expressed, you can see that they are followed and  honored. If you know of a family that has lost a loved one and preparing to bury their dead, you can console the grieving by visiting them, providing  meals to get them through the immediately difficult times, offer to be with them as they make the funeral arrangements, or help with the funeral luncheon if they need help. Be present to them after the dead are buried, family members have gone back to their home and they left alone, and they might need help writing the sympathy thank you cards. As time passes, they will need help with their loved one’s belongings and what they want to do with them. Help a widower or widow who is now alone with no family to assist them, offer to help them with chores around their house, if they are older and can’t get around so easily, see if they need help shopping, other errands, or going to appointments.

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, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and whose bodies will not be discovered or given proper burials. Pray for those on death row who are or 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.

!

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpse of God for the week of January 5, 2020

Happy New Year.  I hope and pray that this new year of 2020 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 first week, is anything different for you? Have you made your New Year’s, resolution and 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 5th 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?

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 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 you 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 and others, and I see my worst self emerge, I find myself praying the Act of Contrition 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 hurt 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 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. We are we hopeful for and waiting for with great expectation? Only you can answer that question. Today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, where the three kings presented their gifts to the Child Jesus. If we answer those questions considering both the Nativity and Epiphany, our hope could be that we also present to Jesus the gift of our heart so that it can be a vessel where His love, compassion and mercy can be poured in and overflow, and our expectation is that we recognize God doing that for us.

Our hope 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 2020, that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world completely out of unconditional and selfless love, for you and me. He wants you to know that believe that and live in the light of that love.

 

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. 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 a t 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, but rather out of selfless love, compassion, concern and care for others less fortunate.

 

SUNDAY FEED THE HUNGRY

If you know of a food bank, community center, or Church that serves and feeds the hungry, see if you could volunteer there. Pass out granola bars to those in need that you see at stoplights. Pick up leftover at a local grocery store, bakery or restaurant and deliver them to a food bank or homeless shelter.

If you are unable to help at a food bank, there are many parishes that have the Saint John’s Hospice Casserole program. This program asks volunteers to make a casserole, recipes are provided, or you can use your own, and bring them back to the church, where they are then delivered to the men at Saint John’s hospice. Saint John’s Hospice is an outreach ministry that serves and assists the poor and homeless men in the community. SJH serves over 400 hundred homeless men every day for lunch, and feeds and houses 50 homeless men all throughout the year.

For today, 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 from. God will give you the words of your prayer.

 

MONDAY – GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY

Giving drink to the thirsty seems a bit of a challenge, either because we don’t understand what that means or who is thirsty and what they are thirsting for. If we know of someone who is thirsty due to the hot weather or their bodily need for water, we can and should give them a something to drink. Pass out water bottles to the homeless, give water to those who working in the heat or in difficult situations, donate baby formula to a new mother or family that you know can’t afford it, o ra local pregnancy help center.

If we recognize that someone is thirsting or desiring someone to listen to them then be that presence to them. We are all thirsting for the life-giving waters of Christ, and we all have an opportunity to provide them to others by our presence to and with them, either in silence or in sharing the Good news of the Gospel.

For today, 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

Do you have clothes in your closet, your spouse’s closet or children’s closet that you or they have not worn, that don’t fit and are in good condition? Consider donating them to a shelter or a charity that collects clothing for the poor. There are many shelters, community centers, group homes that collect clothing for the homeless, poor, or those who because of their financial situation cannot shop for clothing, and they don’t have the clothing that will properly get them through the harsh weather of winter.

For today, if you know or see an elderly person or a family that does not have the proper clothing for the weather, ask them if her 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. Pray and ask God to show you haw you can best help them.  

 

WEDNESDAY SHELTER THE HOMELESS

You might not be able to or comfortable bringing a homeless person into your home. God understands that and accepts it not as an act of selfishness but of discernment. But He offers you ways to help shelter the homeless. If you know of a homeless shelter or a place that brings in the homeless, see if you can help with any of their daily needs. If you want to offer your time and presence to them, see what they need volunteers for.

 

 If you are able to volunteer, yet you would like to make a financial donation, find out what area your donation could be best used or is in most need; it could be for the food they give to the homeless or the blankets they use for each person, or the toiletries the person needs. You can also send a care package with special treats to a local orphanage. Support the efforts and ministry of your local homeless boys and girls shelters.

For today, pray for those who are homeless and in need of shelter especially as the harsh winter weather hits. Pray for those who have a home but are spiritually, emotionally and psychologically homeless because it lacks love, presence, support, encouragement, understanding, and forgiveness and if 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

Visit those who you know are sick, but if you are unable to visit them, take a moment to make a phone call, send an email, or send a card. In whatever way you can, let them know that you are praying for them, that you care about them, that you want them to recover and heal so that they can return to their homes. If they are in hospice, let their family members or the hospice care team know that you would like to visit the sick person or give them a call. If this is not possible, see if you could send a card so that it could be read to the person and they know you care about them and that you are thinking and praying for them.

For today, 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

If you are comfortable and can visit those imprisoned at a local jail or prison, see what the requirements are to be a visitor. I know that they also need volunteers for the many different programs that are set up for the prisoners or residents. If you have a family member in prison or jail, take time to visit them or call them.

If you visit or call, let them know that they are loved by God and you, that you care for and about them, and that they are not forgotten. Be sincere and do not pass judgment on them. Only God is the judge.

If they have hurt you, you are called to forgive and be reconciled and not to pass judgment on them.

If you know of someone that is in prison and their family are unable to visit them, see if they are comfortable is you were to visit their loved one.

For today, pray for the imprisoned 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 forgives them.  Pray for the grace so that you do not judge them, but accept them as a fellow sinner who needs your prayers and support.

 

SATURDAY BURY THE DEAD

Unless you are a funeral director, burying the dead might be a challenge. If that is so, how can we fulfill this corporal work of mercy?

Burying the dead, if you have lost a loved one, either a friend or family member, and their final wishes have  been expressed, you can see that they are followed and  honored. If you know of a family that has lost a loved one and preparing to bury their dead, you can console the grieving by visiting them, providing  meals to get them through the immediately difficult times, offer to be with them as they make the funeral arrangements, or help with the funeral luncheon if they need help. Be present to them after the dead are buried, family members have gone back to their home and they left alone, and they might need help writing the sympathy thank you cards. As time passes, they will need help with their loved one’s belongings and what they want to do with them. Help a widower or widow who is now alone with no family to assist them, offer to help them with chores around their house, if they are older and can’t get around so easily, see if they need help shopping, other errands, or going to appointments.

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, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and whose bodies will not be discovered or given proper burials. Pray for those on death row who are or 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.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Cookie A Magee