Compilation of weekly Glimpses of God

 

This week's Glimpse of God (Week 1)

Glimpse of God: You are the breath of life, God's life to others. God called you by name and loves you unconditionally as His beloved son or daughter. Your very breath is God's gift to you, given out of complete and unconditional love.  No one person, no sin, no action, or thought can change or lessen God's great love for you. You are the breath of God's life to others. So, this week, don't hold your breath, don't be short of breath and don't breathe too quickly. but rather take a deep breath and reverence it because your breath is God's Holy Spirit.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (Week 2)

Continue to remind yourself that you are the breath of life to others, (week 1), that you possess that life giving breath within yourself, and that you received that breath from God and remember to say thank you.

This week's glimpse of God: As you begin a new week; start by taking a moment, just 60 seconds, to stop and focus on your breathing. As you do that, become aware of what is going on in your life at that moment. With whatever is going on, positive or negative, calm yourself so that you can see with the eyes of God His presence in that moment. Be it in that person, that circumstance, that choice, that situation, that joy, that sorrow,  that regret, and see Him embracing you, calming you, celebrating you, forgiving you, and loving you. Then as you inhale and exhale your next breath, think of it as spiritual CPR; Christ's Power being Renewed in you.

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This week's Glimpse of God (Week 3)

This week's glimpse of God: as You begin a new week, and a new month, first begin by looking all around you to see the newness in  nature. The new flowers that are blooming, the leaves on the trees that are taking color, and the grass that is very green and growing (thanks to the many occasions of rain that we have had.) We begin to see the newness in the added minutes of daylight and how we can see more in the light than in the darkness. We look to see the newness in people's outlooks and attitudes possibly because the weather is different; refreshing, warmer,  sunnier and in many ways delightful.

In all of the newness, try to recognize God's call, God's beckoning to you to a newness of life. We are a resurrected, sacramental people. Our old selves have been redeemed and we are to put on the new self of compassion, mercy, love, peace, joy and happiness. The newness comes when we can let go of the old self and possibly its negative ways, and put on newness of a different way.

Will putting on newness be easy? No!!! It is different and change can be difficult, but not impossible. Next time, when you feel discouraged, try to smile, not a fake smile, but rather one that reflects you feeling God's loving embrace at that moment. Remember YOU ARE GOD"S BELOVED CHILD, LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY, BEYOND MEASURE AND NOTHING YOU DO, OR HOW YOU FEEL, OR WHAT YOU THINK, WILL MAKE GOD LOVE YOU LESS.HE CAN'T.

Allowing oneself to feel the newness of life, is allowing oneself to feel the newness of God's love in a special way. Be re-newed, after all your newness of life began when God formed you in the womb and called you by a new name. Celebrate the peace, the joy and lightness that comes from this new life experience and share it with another.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (Week 4)

This week's glimpse of God: Can you find a Glimpse of God in your wallet? If you lost your wallet, would that mean that you lost everything that you had, all that you worked for, what was important to you? I would venture to say NO!

Let's think about this.......In your wallet you might have some credit cards, a debit card, some  cash and some change, right? What does having this mean and how is it a Glimpse of God? If one is to recognize that God is the true and only source of our accomplishments, our success, our happiness, then one can easily see a Glimpse of God in their wallet.

For instance, if you have a credit card or two, then you can begin to see how God is to be given the credit for all the gifts and talents that you have. As you look at the credit cards and how easy they are to use, you can say thank you to God for the many gifts and talents that you have and you use them to give Him glory and be a reflection of a spirit of gratitude. Remember that we do not get these talents on our own, but rather God has gifted us with them and we are to cultivate and nurture them wisely. Humility recognizes that God is the source and foundation of our accomplishments and success, pride fosters a sense of self that takes credit for one's accomplishments, without recognizing God's hand in them.

If we have charge cards then we can remind ourselves that we have been charged by God to build His kingdom here on earth, to spread His good news, and to love one another as He has loved us.

If you have a debit card, remind yourself that you are in debt to God who sent His son, Jesus Christ who loves you so much that he suffered and died for you. Remember that you are God's beloved child, loved unconditionally and chosen to be His instrument in His world to bring about His love to all in your world: family, friends, community, work and even the stranger. We owe our very hearts and souls to God. He loved us first and all He asks of us is to love Him in return.

If you have some cash, perhaps not as much as you like, but as you look at  the bills in your wallet, start with the lowest bill, the $1 bill, and remember that God is the one true and only GOD and give Him reverence, honor and glory. If you have any other bills, don't hesitate, but thank God for giving you that which you need to provide for yourself and your loved ones.

What about that change? Isn't there something in your life that you want to change? Don't make a big leap here, if  you think about how your attitude is at this very moment or how you wish you could forgive someone or ask someone for forgiveness, or perhaps how you want to be closer to God but don't know how to go about building that relationship. All God wants from us is to be open to His grace in our life and that will bring about the greatest change and personal transformation you could imagine.

The desire to change any aspect of ourself that we feel is not in alignment with what God is calling us to be, is the first step toward becoming a clearer reflection of God's presence in your life.

What if your wallet is empty, it doesn't have anything in it? Spiritually that can be the best stance to have because then you are more open to allowing God to fill you with His grace, love and the many blessings He wants so eagerly to give you. When we fill our lives with other "Stuff"  and we don't have room for God, then we are empty in the worst way because God can't force His love on us and we will always be lacking.

What about your license or identity? If you lost your wallet, would you lose your identity as God's beloved? That can never happen. God called you by name, created you in His image, and loved you into existance. This is no accident, you are no accident. God knew what He wanted and what He was doing when He created you. So even if you lose your ID card, close your eyes and remind yourself that you belong to Him. He will never abandon you or forsake you. That your home is in heaven and the road that you take is God's road back to Himself. If you allow God to be your compass on your earthly journey, you can't get lost.

So if you lost your wallet, would that be the worst thing to happen? A wallet can be a symbol of the many graces and gifts that God has given you, a reminder that these gifts and graces are within you and no one can take them away from you. You may lose your wallet and be frustrated and upset because it seems to hold all that you worked for, but the greater reality is that what God has given you can never be taken, lost or stolen, that is: His unconditional love for you as His beloved son or daughter, His only Son who loved you to death, His Holy Spirit, His many graces and blessings, His peace, His mercy, His life in and through the Sacraments of the Church, and your love for Him. As your wallet holds your ability to enjoy life and the many blessings that you have been given, God holds you close to Himself and wants  to enjoy your life with you.

 

This week's Glimpse of God: (week 5)

This week as we seek to see and recognize glimpses of God, let us start by going back to the basics.

Tonight, my husband and I are staying at a Mennonite bed and breakfast in the Lancaster, Pa area. Lancaster is a place we like to visit frequently because of its peaceful landscaping, the respect and love for God found in the Amish and Mennonite people that is reflected in their love for others, and for the lack of modern technology. The biggest Glimpse of God for me when we arrived here is the one that is everywhere, the lack of traffic and horns beeping, and the simplicity of the house and its decor. In every room there is a Bible on the table, at least two prayers of blessings on the walls, short spiritual readings on the bureaus and lots of peace and quiet. There is no TV, phone, radio or computer in the rooms. The modern technology that God has graciously  provided for us, that we sometimes can't seem to live without, is not a necessity or a requirement for being happy and living peacefully here.

 

I believe that a Glimpse of God can also be found in what is not seen or heard but rather what is felt from within. If you close your eyes and think of how you feel when you see a sunset, or the waves in the ocean or experience a lull of peace and quiet in the midst of daily chaos, they are opportunities to feel a Glimpse of God from the inside out.

 

What springs up inside you when stress, anxiety and fear is replaced with a calming sense of awe and wonder? The greatest Glimpse of God comes when we can recognize Him once again where we have temporarily lost sight of Him. The absence of technology, TV, mp3 player, or a phone is a gentle reminder from God that He is and has always been present, but these things may be getting in the way of us seeing Him more regularly and clearly. He wants to correct and refocus our vision.

 

So next time you are ready to turn the TV on, charge up your computer, turn on your mp3 player, or talk on the phone, just be still and WAIT a moment. God is in that minute waiting to reveal a part of Himself to you. Close your eyes and wait with eager expectation, like a bride on her wedding day, or with with the giddiness of a child at the arrival of a parent, a pet awaiting their master's arrival, wait with a sense of joy and trust because you are about to be surprised. If you can wait a minute several times during the day, I can assure you that God won't wait a second to show you His love in the gift of a glimpse.

 

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

 

This week's Glimpse of God: (Week 6)

This week's Glimpse of God was one that was very clear, lasting and profound.  I recently had the opportunity to be in the presence of, talk with and listen to, our WWII and Korean War Veterans, and our present active duty military and reservists, through the Honor Flight Program.  This program brings Veterans from all over the United States together on one day to go to Washington DC to visit the various Memorials and not only to see them, but to collectively experience for the first time, how how they are recognized and honored in our history. It is these very Veterans that sacrificed their time with families to fight for liberty, freedom and peace in foreign places and for those they knew not.  They went willingly to fight knowing that they might not return home and if they did, they would return a different person physically, emotionally and spiritually. They went as peacemakers and sought to bring about the peace and the freedom that God wants for all of His children.    

Our military are one of our greatest Glimpses of God that He can send  us.  Those in the military are those who desire to be God's peacemakers in a world that has lost the meaning and the sense of peace.  In our society today, it seems that we are doing everything that we can to take God out of everything. Yet, it is our Veterans that are not afraid to praise God, thank Him for the gift of life and for bringing them home safely, to echo His name in prayer and blessings end entrust their fallen comrades and critically injured service members to His tender love, care and mercy.

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

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

 

Our military, both active duty and reservists are a Glimpse of God. Family, friends and supporters are big glimpses of God, so where do you fit in? Don't just make this Memorial Day a day off or all about parties, car sales and picnics, but rather see it as a Glimpse of God in and through our memory and those who have created our memories: our Veterans. 

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

One Nation Under God

 

This week's Glimpse of God. (week 7)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 8)

This week's glimpse of God probably would seem obvious, but then again…..

When we talk about glimpses of God, I am referring to how we see facets or aspects of God in a very quick view. Glimpses are not long stares or still photos, but quick peeks at the awesome, beautiful, surprising presence of God. God chooses to reveal these glimpses in the people, places, events, and circumstances of our life. To see a glimpse of God in the many ways that He chooses to be revealed, one must have the eyes of their hearts open so as His presence is revealed, one has the ability and humility to recognize Him.

 

I had the joy of spending the afternoon with a dear friend. To ask if she is a glimpse of God, without hesitation, I would say YES. How is she a glimpse of God? My friend is a glimpse of God by her faith and trust, her love for God, her love for others and her desire to be present to those in need. These are just a few of the many glimpses of God that I have been privileged to see these past several years.

 

It seems that for friends, we can immediately recognize how they are glimpses of God. It is the way they do this or that, how they listen, and how they are compassionate. Whether we have known them for years or months, we are able to recognize how God is reflected in and through them.

 

Have we, do we, support that glimpse of God in our friendship? Do we encourage them by our love, our compassion and our honesty to continue to be a reflection of God? Have we ever told them that they were and are a glimpse of God to us, and if we have, what was their response?

 

Being a glimpse of God means that God dwells in a person and God has chosen them to be His instrument to others and us. In and through our life challenges, have they remained that glimpse of God to us? Have we continued to recognize God in and through them or have we let our life experiences let that glimpse fade? Do we continue to seek God in others because we desire to know Him in the many ways that He chooses to reveal Himself, or do we close our eyes hoping that we won’t be called to be His witness?

To recognize friends and others as being a glimpse of God, it takes one to be open to seeing God in some expected and unexpected ways, people, events and circumstances. Ones eyes, but mostly one’s heart, must be in connection with God so as to recognize Him.

 

So my question to you is, if you are able to recognize that your friends are glimpses of God to you, do you think that you are a glimpse of God to them? Do you believe that God has chosen you to be His instrument and witness or is that just for everyone else? It takes one to know one. Do you think that you are one of God’s chosen so that you can be His light and a reflection of His love, despite your weaknesses, to those you encounter?

 

Being a glimpse of God does not mean being on your knees, or being in church or being a pious person necessarily, but rather living and trying to be the best person you can be by your example of being a loving, compassionate, merciful, caring person. Your daily living out of these characteristics are seen quickly by some and this is what a glimpse of the God is. Life is busy, life is quick, what we see in a glimpse has the capacity to change us and transform us. With God’s grace, you have that capacity.

 

So……….as you spend time with your friends, think of how they have brought you to see God and remember to say thank you. If they are humbled by your sharing, remind them that humility is not only a glimpse of God, but an encounter with a living, loving, personal God. This God dwells in each of His beloved son’s and daughter’s hearts, and you both are His beloved.

As His beloved, celebrate and continue to let His love shine through you. Peace!

 

This week's Glimpse of God: (week 9)

This week's glimpse of God can be found in one word, "routine". To  me the word "routine" means a regular occurence of tasks, schedules or events that do not require much creativity because we do them so often that we know them by heart. For instance our morning "routine" is probably the same every day. We get up, we exercise, we eat, we shower, we get ready for work, we go to work, we do things around the house.

This can seem boring, but it also can be the opportunity for God to peer through the window of our lives and in the "routine", place new seeds of faith, new seeds of peace, new seeds of joy, and give us new eyes to recognize them. His seeds can take root in even the most "routine" situations of our lives, because He created us and can work with all that we have to offer, from the "routine" to the "chaotic". 

The challenge to all of us is are we able to recognize God's presence in the "routines" of our daily life? Have they become so familiar that we fail to see them differently? Can we acknowledge that God works with the "routine" and dwells in the "routine" as much as He works and dwells in the new and different?

So as you begin a new day, a new week, try to see God in your everyday routines. And as you do, enter into the "routine" with a prayer of thanksgiving because even as much as life can become "routine", we would probably miss the "routine" and wonder why.

Also, as you enter into your routines, you probably will become more aware of your senses and how blessed you are. For instance when you awake, the ability to see what is around you; yourself, your family, your home and the gift of nature that surrounds you. You will recognize various noises: the alarm clock, the chatter of family, of TV,  the birds outside your windows. You will be able to smell the coffee, or whatever brings yor energy level up in the morning. You will notice all the objects and people that you can touch and you will be grateful for the gift of taste as you enjoy your breakfast and the various snack foods that you enjoy. This isn't routine, this is gift.

In all of these experiences, God dwells. God dwells in you as His beloved and He  has gifted you with the senses so that you can grow to experience Him in and through the many diverse ways that He wishes to reveal Himself. So, my question to you is, are your routines really "routine"? Since God chooses to reveal Himself in so many new and exciting ways, is there anything "routine" about that? Can anyone become so or too familiar with God and how He chooses to reveal Himself? I don't think so.

God is a God of surprises. As you think of the many familiar and "routine" tasks that you participate in, look at them with new eyes and there will be your glimpse of God.

Enjoy the new seeds of faith, joy, peace and make sure you water your garden with God.

 

This week's Glimpse of God: (week 10)

This week as we continue to seek and find glimpses of God in people, events, circumstances and situations that we encounter in our daily life, my glimpse this week is one that is personal. It is all about YOU.

So the first thing that I would like you to do is look in the mirror. What do you see? What does God see? God sees a beautiful you. God sees someone that He created and loves very much. God doesn't see any flaws.  God sees Himself shining through you and how you are a beautiful Glimpse of Him. Even as sinners, God sees only the good in us. Use the mirror to check in on how God loves, created and chose you to be His instrument in the world. Don't use the mirror to see any flaws or to be self centered, but use the mirror as a jump start to then look out a window and  be His glimpse in His creation as He chooses to reveal Himself through you.

It is that face in the mirror where, I believe, God chooses to dwell and has dwelt since the very beginning of our existence. If we cannot see God within our own being, then it is hard to recognize what He should, could or does look like in others, in life situations and in life experiences, both positive and negative. 

I believe that we, as human beings on a faith journey, are aware of our sinfulness and how it conflicts with our desire to please God and be in relationship with Him. We tend to dwell on the negative instead of the positive. We  are all sinners and Christ died to save us and restore us to His friendship because He loves us unconditionally. No sin is greater than His love. It is through the sinful experiences, when we recognize that we have sinned, are sorry for our sins and want to change, that is personal transformation. It is that moment that we are seeing a Glimpse of God in our very self. God dwells in that moment of our personal and spiritual transformation.

God is love, mercy, compassion, peace, joy..... and as we desire to return to Him, so as to regain a sense of peace, among other things, we have just encountered a big glimpse of the living God.

We have just been embraced by a living and loving God, not a God who dwells in heaven above that isn't in relationship with His children, that is at a distance, but rather a God who dwells in our hearts, is personal and is always present to and for us. God invites us to have a deep and personal relationship with Him. We have the free will to choose to respond to His invitation, and even if we ignore Him, He does not ignore us. God waits for us to come to Him, and when we do, He embraces us. How? to begin with, through the gifts of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist, as well as through the people in our lives and through our own recognition that we are His beloved son or daughter. Once we recognize that we are His beloved, we are seeing that being beloved means that we are allowing oursleves to be-loved by God, and being open to receiving His mercy, extending mercy, being compassionate and living in the light and joy of His great and bountiful blessings, graces and love.

We only need to look within ourself to see God's presence. We may live through expriences that make it feel like He is absent or pray and not get the answer we want, but I think that it is in those times where we may have placed human expectations on and of our divine and true God. Expectations of what we think He should do for us, and what we think is best for us, instead of us seeking to learn how we can best love Him in and through the experience. 

This week as we celebrate Father's Day, the first day of summer, and the longest day of the year, let us see God's action in our lives. In all of these days, God is inviting us to see Him as our loving and ever present Father, to feel the warmth of His love (and no summer day can even come close to that degree of warmth) and that in the longest day filled with light, that you are filled with His light to reflect His love and share His warmth with others.

Remember that His warmth will never burn you, His love will never leave you and His light will never cause you to stumble and fall. Enjoy!

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 11)

This week's glimpse of God is focused on one word" "Distractions"

We can look at distractions as little or big annoyances that take us away from what we are doing or had planned to do. Distractions can remove us from our commitment to a certain task, promise, job or train of thought and cause us to stop and rethink what we were doing and how it will be accomplished.

For instance,when we are studying or working and  a child comes and asks for  our attention, or a phone call comes and we need to stop what we are doing to listen and be present, or we are trying to accopmplish all the things on our "To do" list and we sudddenly don't feel well and have to rest. These are all distractions that take us away from what we had planned to do, to doing what was unexpected.

We can be annoyed with the distractions because we have the type of personality that needs to complete the tasks that we had set to do, or we can accept the distractions and incorporate them into our prayer life. Sometimes  distractions can keep us from fulfilling our commitments and other times they can help us to fulfill that commitment with a  greater zeal and hope because we know that through it all, we can return to our plan and accomplish the tasks that we had originally set out to do.

Where is God amid the distractions? He is in the distractions if we are willing to recognize Him there. When we are called off course, sometimes I think it is God's way of telling us that we need to refocus our minds so that we can fulfill our commitments with the distractions as a tool. When we are comitted to our vocation as a spouse, a lay person, a young adult all trying to fulfill God's will in our life, we seek to focus on what God wants and how we can do His will in our daily life. Sometimes what we think God's will is, is really what we want it to be, and it can be in the distractions that God is tweeking our understanding of His will.

Some distractions can just be annoying, like a telemarketer calling during the dinner hour. How do we deal with that? Can it be a glimpe of God? When we are annoyed, let us begin to think about what lies at the other end of the phone call. It is a person trying to do their job. They have a hard job becuse I am sure many people hang  up on them which can be very frustrating.  Perhaps the next time you get an annoying call, remember that  one of God's children is on the other end and treat them with the respect that they deserve as they are only trying to fulfill His will in their life by doing a difficult job. Pray for them.

Distractions can come in the form of a phone call, a child wanting to play, an illness or a person that just needs someone to listen to them. All of these can be avenues to a greater prayer life and  connection to God through His children. I believe God uses distractions so that when we are called off course, we can reevaluate to see if our commitment to the course, to doing His will, is strong or can it be made stronger? The distractions, although they take us off our course, do we return to the course? When we do, I see those times are when God strengthens our commitment, our promise and fills our minds and hearts with a greater appreciation of His presence in the least expected things.

It is a time to see if our commitment is truly set on doing His will.

Distractions can be used as occasions of sin or avenues to wholeness, healing and mercy. Children, phone calls or whatever you identify as distractions, can be times of healing and occasions of mercy. Instead of getting annoyed or angry, think and pray for the person or event that distracted you and pray to see how God wants you to respond. When we pray for another, that is a gift that we give to that person and God hears that prayer of humility and petition. When we focus on another and not ourself, that is a time to see that we can be selfless and not selfish.

Where is the glimpse of God? It is in the next distraction that sets you off course. Remember that distractions are things that interfere with our commitment, yet can strengthen our commitment as we walk on our journey of faith. The journey is an opportunity to see more of God's presence in the surroundings, people and events that merge into our daily life activities.

We don't need to look for distractions, they seem to find us. When they do, welcome them as you do a stranger and allow them to teach you, help you and enable you to fulfill your commitment as God's child seeking to live and do His will to the best of your ability and potential.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (Week 12)
As we prepare to celebrate our nations's independence by flying our flag, going to the shore, wearing red, white and blue in support of our country and what the colors symbolize, by having friends and family over for cook outs and perhaps by just chilling out and reading a good book on our only day off.
The glimpse of God that I see comes in and through the word  "Freedom".
We are free to do almost whatever activity we choose to celebrate our nation's independence. As we celebrate our independence day, we are free to be aware of, we can choose to be aware of, those who cannot celebrate because they are not free, but rather are fleeing their country because of war and strife. As we celebrate by having friends and family, we are free to be aware of,we can choose to be aware of, those who have lost loved ones in the various wars to gain us our freedom. As we prepare to celebreate, we can be aware of, we can choose to be aware of, those who are not free because of sin, addiction, or inprisonment. From the simple fact that we are not in jail we think we are free, but are we?.
 
As we begin to celebrate do we call to mind God, our Creator, who gave up His only Son Jesus Christ so that we might be free? not from the war outside of ourself, but rather the war waged between sin and our free will? Can we dare to say we are free when we are bound up in the various powers and idols that take us out of our churches and into a deep and pervading world of consumerism, entitlement and self satisfaction? Does it mean that just because we ar not in jail or prison, that we rae free and others are not? What is our jail, what is our prison? Is it our addictions, our self serving attitiude, our need to always be right, our judging of others that has caused us to be on the outside looking in, is it our lack of mercy, is it our inability to forgive ourself or is it the lack of faith that God has forgiven us and loves us unconditionally? God wants us to be free and unbound.
 
The glimpse of God  comes from the word Freedom and what  it mean to truly be free comes when I look into the sky. As I look into the sky and see the clouds, the sun, the birds flying, what I experience is a deep sense of awe and wonder. God chose to give us this great gift, this beautiful gift and I can freely choose to honor, accept and recognize it, or not. My freedom enables me to choose. Unlike so many whose lives are bound up in one "unfreedom" or another, no one can take God's sky away with its eternal beauty. Thv sky can't answer my questions, solve my problems, make me healthy or provide for my needs, but what it can do is remind me that I have a choice. I can stay bound by my concerns or worries or be free trusting in that through it all, God is with me,
The truth can and does set me free. With that truth, I am free to honor the God who created me, a human being made in His image and likeness. or not. As I suffer through daily challenges, I know that as I close my eyes and look into the sky, that I am free to soar like as eagle and there is nothing that can bind me as long as I have faith and hold onto the cross that allows me to reach up, seek strength, and never lose hope.
 
As you celebrate this holiday weekend, take a moment to look into the sky, see the endless beauty of God and know that just as the sky has no limits, neither does God's love. ....and if you really have time, fly a kite and experience the awe, beauty and majesty of our faith in God! 
 
Have a great 4th and remember our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms!
 
This week's Glimpse of God (week 13)
This week's glimpse comes in response to the ambush of police officers in Texas.
The glimpse that I see very clearly, but yet in other places, it seems very foggy is that ALL LIFE MATTERS. Life from conception to natural death, life of the physically, emotionally or psychologically challenged, the life of those in other religious affiliations other than ours, the life of all of God's people, matter.
No one has the right to just wipe out a person or group of people because of how they feel. Anger and hatred has pervaded our society and caused it to become one that has no tolerance for difference, no patience for justice and no love,compassion or mercy for the sinner.
 
In our communities, cities, country and world, people are killing people as if they were a nuisance to be gotten rid of and not a person, not someone's mother or father, sister or brother, aunt or uncle, grandparent or friend. We are killing people every day over what? As a people we need to communicate better with each other and not use weapons to solve our problems. We as a people are called to love each other and extend that love and compassion that is within us to others.
A glimpse of God comes when we extend a hand to others in peace, when we offer prayers for the deceased among our communitis without worrying about being politically correct. It is when we say thank you to those who place their lives on the line every day for us, to protect us, our communities and our nation.
 
God created all of us in His image and likeness. It is that likeness that we are called to radiate His presence in and by our lives, by our attitude, actions and deeds. Whether we are Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, or whatever our faith denomination is, I dont believe that any sincere follower of God is justified to just kill another. There are people that make bad choices, and these choies have caused a great deal of mistrust among people. We have experienced where the police, priests, coaches, teahers and others in authority have made bad choices in how they have treated children and adults. They chose to abuse their authority. Yes they need to be held accoutable, but that doesnt mean that all police, priests, coaches or teahers abuse their authority or are bad people. I think we can all bring to mind the names of those who have been good examples; good priests, good coaches, great police officers, effective teachers, I know I can.
As a society we generalize and make all of those who  are in the profession all bad and not to be trusted and that is wrong. We have allowed our judgment of those who have made bad choices to affect those who are in the very same profession or religion, living good lives and making good choices. We have caused many to live in fear because of our generalizations.
 
Every life matters and when we allow that reality to become a non-truth, then we are saying that only certain life matters and we show no compassion or love towards others.
 
The glimpse of God that I am focusing on is the very phrase and truth that "all life matters". I feel that as I look to a person who is physically challenged that I am reminded that their life is a precious gift and that God has decided to show it to us where the wrapping is different.
 
When I encounter someone who is emotionally or psychologically challenged, I am reminded that although they don't think or respond to life experiences as I do, they still are trying to live their life to the best of their ability and so where they appear to be different, we are very similiar.
 
When I encounter someone whose religious affiliation or belief is different than my own, I am truly reminded that God doesn't come to us in all the same way. He chooses wach person to reveal His love and presence. As I encounter the different perspectives, I begin to see how many facets of God there are and I learn to appreciate them and God better.
 
When I think of the the elderly,the homeless and the poor, the most vulneralble of our society, I pray that we as a people, a society, we extend to them the respect and compassion that they deserve so that they can live their life with dignity.
 
The lives of the unborn, God calls them back to Himself. We as society deem is ok to abort them and not give them the chance to live life as they deserve because they were unexpected, a surprise, an incomvenience, or a mistake. All life matters and when we take a life because we don't believe that, then we are saying to God that His creation isn't as important as we think we are.
Remember that violence only begets more violence, hatred begets hatred and death only begets more sorrow, pain, grief and desolation. We need to be a people that show God's glimpse of love, peace, mercy, understanding, compassion, and tolerance. 

 

As I reflect on the activities of this past week, both international. national, community and personal, I am remnded that even in the midst of the pain, suffering, sorrow that others are causing in our world, there is the grace and the unexpected surprise of God that comes through a smile.
 
This week's Glimpse of God (week 14)
I am a resident of Delaware County and many of you may know or may have heard about Linvilla Orchards. I was getting ready to meet some friends there and although every employee that I have encountered there has always been very helpful and courteous, there is one person that always comes to mind because of her great and pleasant smile, her joyful and helpful conversations and her love for life.
 
I met Judi many years ago at a parish that I was employed at. We hadn't seen each other for quite awhile and when I recently started coming to the store, she always greets me by name and we strike up a conversation as if we had been in touch throughout these years.
 
I know that there is so much pain and suffering in our world, pain and suffering that can cause one to become bitter, feel angry at God and every other human being and tc choose to seek revenge just to alleviate their own hurt and anger. We have seen so much of it just in these past few weeks and even today as we witness to another ambush of officers who were only doing their job and they paid the ultimate sacrfice by losing their life.
 
When I encountered Judi this week I encountered someone who by her smile witnesses her joy for life and her love for others. I am sure that her smile isn't a denial of the stark realities that she may have to face or is facing, but rather she chooses to be a beacon to a greater reality in the hope, peace and compassion of a God who is also crying as His children's lives are being snuffed out by His own sons and daughters. Our God gave us a free will and we can choose to believe in Him and in His love or we can chooe to deny it. He is not going to interfere with the gift of free will no matter what.
 
When we smlle, we are choosing, we are using our free will to allow God's love for us and others to permeate our being. We are not denying our pain or suffering or that of others, but rather we are trying to show that we are not a people without hope. A smile is a sign of hope, s sign of love and a sign of reaching out because when we smile we hope that one returns a smile even if it is just for a short while. Even if one cannot return a smile, we know that we have done our best to enter into their world to bring them a moment of peace, joy and happiness, with the hope that they will remember it at a later time.

 

Our world and the media focus on the painful and sad events that occur. We don't often hear of the good news, the good people, the good situations that are happening because that isn't as news worthy. I believe that if we heard more stories about the good things that are occuring, the random acts of kindness that people are extending to another, the acts of heroism where people think of others before themselves, then I think that we would be in a world that felt hopeful and not despairing. I can't change what people see on TV or hear on the radio, but I can change my outlook and  my attitude about the world and its affect on me. I will not choose to be negative no matter how bad things get becasue then I am allowing evil to win. I will not choose to judge another who is different because of race, religion or social status because it is then that I am choosing to tear down someone who has every right to stand tall and proud and not be comdemned because of what someone else has done. I will choose to radiate the presence of God in my life through my  smile,because that is a very special gift that I have been given. I want to not only share it with others, but also let them know that it is a gift free of charge, that requires no dues to be paid, and isn't a gift given to only certain people. Your smile is a gift. Extend that gift to others. Don't be afraid to smile because of fear, but rather know that when you share your smile with others, you are sharing a part of yourself,
the part that loves, lives and laughs with others and in our world today, don't we need to do that more often?
 
Thank you Judi for reminding me that the simple act of a smile can bring about so much joy, hope and peace. Our world needs more smiles, our world needs more people to believe that a smile isn't an act of denial but rather an act of faith, trust and hope in a God that, although they cannot see, He is very visible in the many glimpes that He wishes to reveal Himself in all of us.
 
Remember that a tube of toothpaste can only make your teeth white, and brighten your smile, but a heart that loves and lives life can make your smile as big as the sun, as deep as the sea and as high as  the sky.
 
This week's Glimpse of God (week 15)

This week's Glimpse of God comes in the form of a “Compliment”

A compliment as defined by dictionary.com is” an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration.”

Compliments are always nice to hear and nice to give.  A compliment is when someone goes out of their way to recognize a specific aspect of another person, be it their style of clothes, nails, hair style, smile, a job well done, there are many aspects that deserve compliments, but yet few are given. When we give a compliment, is it sincere, are we being honest? Are we really recognizing something special in someone and want to let them know or are we just saying it so that we are liked by that person or even deeper, are we saying it because we are insecure and need someone to make us feel better or that we can gain a friend?

Giving a compliment shouldn’t be like making a shopping list. We don’t want to pay compliments just to make ourselves feel better, but rather because we really recognize something in another that stands out and we want to express our praise or admiration.

Giving a compliment to someone can make their day! Doesn’t a compliment make your day? After all, if someone pays you a compliment about your hairstyle, your clothes, your nails, your weight, your golf game, your shoes, wouldn’t you want it to be an honest compliment? What happens after someone pays you a compliment? You feel better about yourself, you choose to wear or do the thing that people notice. I know that when someone pays me a compliment about my nails for instance, I feel that they notice something that I saw as ordinary and simple, where they see it as creative and colorful. I don’t really notice what guys get compliments on, but I know if I guy is reading this, there is something that people notice and they compliment you on it. Doesn’t make you feel better?

My glimpse of God comes when one gives a sincere compliment, a moment of admiration and praise. When that comes, we are recognizing a special gift from God given to another person and honoring it. God loves us, has created us and we are all His beloved sons and daughters. When we look into a mirror, it is God’s opportunity to pay us a compliment. His is truly saying to us, in the depth of our hearts, that we are beautiful, that our smile reflects His goodness, that we re beloved especially to Him and that He admires us for our love, witness and dedication as His disciple.

When we take that joy, that peace that sense of serenity that comes from hearing and listening to God’s complimenting us, it can make our day so much more meaningful because it humbles us to see and offer that same compliment to another, perhaps one that does not know God as you or I do.

When we look into the mirror and then take that glimpse of God to the window, we then see all of God’s creation, our brothers and sisters, and are given the grace to recognize something special about them. So the next time you go to pay someone a compliment, remember that what you say, what you honor and how you show them your admiration, is a reflection of God’s presence in you and that you are being a glimpse of God to another.

And when someone pays you a compliment, don’t brush it off as if it was nothing, but rather say thank you. Sit with it, honor it, no matter how trivial it seems and when you look into the mirror again, try to see God saying it to you. God sees all and nothing is beyond His vision, or His love. You are beautiful from within and anything that you wear can only reflect that beauty.

A compliment, a glimpse of admiration and praise is a glimpse of God’s goodness shown through you, in the style of: your hair, your dress, your shoes, your golf game, your work performance, your smile, your joy for life.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 16)

This week's glimpse of God comes from a friend and her husband who are basking in the joy of becoming first time parents with their newborn baby girl. The joy, love and  happiness that they are experiencing with the birth of their baby girl is one of the best and greatest glimpses of God that one can imagine. The gift of a child is a special gift from God. Unfortunately some people do not, can not and or are unable to recognize that the child is a gift, but rather it is seen as an inconvenience, a burden or a bother.The gift of human life is one that should be cherished, respected, and treated with dignity from conception to natural death and when we fail to do that we are failing to be the best that we can be as God's sons and daughters.

My glimpse of God is on the joy and love that parents are given when God blesses them with a child whether it be their offspring, or an adopted or foster child. The innocence and naivete of a child is a reminder to the adults in that child's world of what it means to trust, to believe and to have hope. These qualities are what God gives us as His sons and daughters so that we can continue to turn to Him, seek Him, love Him, cry to Him, be angry with Him and be embraced by Him. God is our Father and we are His children. God's love for us, God's care for us, God's graces within us, all surpass anything that our human fathers can or can not do, can or cannot give. God's unconditional love for His children is beyond words. It is best reflected in and through the person of Jesus Christ.

 

As I reflect on the gift of a child and on my friend, I am reminded that the joy and love that they have for thier baby girl is rooted firmly in their love for God. There is a peace, joy and humility that radiates from them that can only come from God, is shared by family and resepcted by friends. Being a parent is a privlege, honor and gift. The repsonsibility that a parent has  is one that will last a lifetime and in that lifetime, one has the opportunity to see the person of God and honor God in and through their child.

 

I am not a parent. I  pray for parents everyday because I know that it is very hard to raise children today when there is so much in our society and world that contradicts the values and morals that one believes, professes and holds on to. When I think of the various and many challenges that confront parents today, I am drawn back to the face of a newborn and realize that as that child's life is just beginning and the path is being laid out for them, so to it is with us. God gives us each day to begin anew and start again. We have the opportunity to see each day with new eyes and  a new heart. We have the opportunity to spread love, compassion and joy where there is discord, disharmony and discontent. 

 

The gift of a child: the gift of their excitement, the gift of their smile and the milestones that will come are all reasons to celebrate and give thanks. Celebrate and give thanks not only for the gift of the child, but also for the gift of you. You are God's beloved son or daughter and if you can only imagine the joy and love that God has for you and how He wants and holds what is best for you, it is beyond human imagining.

 

I thank my friends for their enthusiasm, their faith, their love for God, self and others , their genuine and authentic graces that afford them the ability to smile, look forward to, gain more excitement about, and entrust their child and their family to the love, care and goodness of God.

 

I pray for all women who are preparing to give birth, for the fathers of the children who seek to set a good example for their child, for single parents, for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, for children who have lost their parents, for young women and men who are preparing to become parents and are not ready to take on the great repsonsibility, for all children, and parents, that they  realize that they are a gift from God and no matter how diffocult or challlening their life is, that they take time to cherish the gift of themself and  see the goodness and beauty in themself as God sees them.

 

As  the baby girl grows and begins to experience the joys of life, as her parents soak in the awesome moments as their baby girl develops, my friends are expereincing it with God in a deep and lasting way that nothing on earth can provide. God bless all new parents as they look into the eyes of their child with the hope that they see life with a newness and an anticipation, and God's instrument of hope.

 

This week's Glimpse of God {week 17}

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

 

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

 

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

 

The branches are spread out and at this time the leaves are clinging to the branches. There are times when we cling to God out of love, sometimes out of fear and other times out of a desire to grow nearer to Him. All are good. As the branches spread out, we too spread the good news of Jesus Christ by our lives, our actions, our attitudes and our words. As God’s children, and as a people that need to live the resurrection, we also will lose our leaves. We will experience times when we die to self so as to live for God and others. We will experience Christ’s passion through our crosses so that we can rise with him in our healing, personal transformation and spiritual restoration. As winter comes we know that spring will follow. We need to go through the stages that God has designed so that we can grow into the persons that He wants us to be.

 

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

When we look outside and behold God’s creation that embraces us, try to imagine how carefully God planted and placed it in our lives and how it can be an instrument of spiritual growth and transformation.

 

Look at the trees and bushes in light of your faith and how you are also firmly rooted, how you spread the good news and how you are a resurrection believer. As you see the leaves fall and things look bleak and bare, try to remember when you felt lost, that you were vulnerable and when you couldn’t or didn’t have hope. Think of where you are today, a little less lost, not as vulnerable and have hope even if it is just a glimpse. It is still a hope that shows you that things will get better. As we experience the winter of our lives, we must hold onto the belief that spring and new life will follow, maybe not immediately but it will come.

At our baptism we were immersed into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our lives are lived in the shadow of His cross and as we suffer and die to self, we are promised that we will rise with Him. Hold onto the promise, appreciate the winter of life, and look forward to the spring of new life, possibilities and adventure.

 

Have a great day. enjoy and rejoice in the newness of this day as if you just discovered it

 

This week's Glimpse of God: (week 18)

This week's glimpse of God comes from experiences of a family member, a friend, a spiritual directee and a relative. They are adult women who are moms, are faith filled, carrying crosses and living through some very challenging life experiences, that are pain filled, painful and beyond stressful. I am not going to reveal what the individual life experiences of these women are, but I can say that in light of the cross of Jesus Christ, they are truly following in His path of suffering. Everyday in their suffering they continue to choose to live as His witness by their example of unwavering dedication, self-determination and personal conviction.

 

If I were to ask them how they feel about their cross and their life challenges, one might expect or think that they would respond in a very negative and complaining way, but yet they don’t. All of them speak in a very strong voice about how they will not be defeated by their challenges or give into them because that is not an option for them. They have jobs, they have children, and they have to move through their challenges for themselves, their kids and their families.

 

My glimpse of God comes when I have the opportunity to talk with these women and how they do not even want to talk about the negative challenges, but rather other things. They are all personal prayers in that they have faith, they live it out, but they don’t wear it on their sleeves. They choose to witness to their faith by the choices they make with how they will carry their crosses. They choose to pray to God knowing that they can not and will not make it without Him. They choose to trust in His time for all things to be made anew. They choose to recognize God’s presence during the quiet times of prayer. They choose to reverence Him even when the challenges and the cross gets beyond heavy, seemingly unbearable and unbelievable for them.

 

What I have realized in my relationship with these women is that as much as I wish I could make it all better for them I can’t, only God can. I can be for them is a good listener: I can listen without offering empty words or suggestions, only what God inspires me to speak, a good prayer partner in that I pray for them daily that they continue to have the courage, faith, perseverance and hope that things will get better, and that God is with them, and a good spiritual and personal friend in that they can call me at any time and I will be there for them if they need to talk, pray, cry, be quiet, scream, complain or vent.

 

In these women, I see God. I see a great glimpse of Him in their spirit, in their heart and in their response to their life experiences. They are His beloved daughters, loved unconditionally, chosen and called by name and filled with His mercy. They all choose noT to be bitter, but to see their life experiences as an avenue to grow as better women of faith.

 

My question to the rest of us is that do we need difficult life experiences for us to choose to be better women or men of faith?

 

I believe that for some, there are times when we face a crisis that we delve into our faith life to see where or how it is going to help us out or through the situation that we are facing. If it doesn’t offer a solution or get us out of the pain, we tend to just dismiss it, get angry with God and perhaps stop praying for a time.

For some, there are times when we don’t face any crisis. We can sometimes take our faith for granted and stop choosing to grow deeper in that relationship with the God who loves us so deeply and is waiting to be in a much deeper relationship with Him.

For some, when we face a crisis, we find ourselves doing what we do during any other time our life, and that is we bring it to God, surrender our burden and trust in His love and mercy to answer our prayer as He sees best.

I would venture to say that as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, sinners who are striving and want to be saints, seeking a greater maturity in our faith, we all go back and forth on our response to serious life challenges. I don’t think it is one response or another, but rather a growth from one response to the other. We are God’s children, we are growing up, growing older, growing more in love with our God, our self as God sees us, and others. When you take all of those factors, we can only conclude that yes, we are a work in progress, that progress makes perfection, and that perfection can only occur with the graces and gift of God through faith in the person of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Mary our Blessed Mother.

 

So as this week begins and we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, let us remember her fiat to God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, her life lived as the sorrowful Mother, and her being lifted us to heaven so as not to experience the pains of death.

As I reflect on the women at the beginning of this Glimpse of God, I entrust their needs and their prayers to Mary, our most Blessed Mother, for her intercession. I pray that God will continue to fill them with His blessings and graces of courage, perseverance, trust and hope. I pray that Christ will continue to walk with them as they carry their crosses in the shadow of His great cross as they journey their road of Calvary.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire them with the gifts of mercy, compassion and peace as they strive to listen with wounded hearts and broken spirits.

Let us pray for all women and men who are parents and struggling because of life challenges. Let us remember them, as well as all people who are struggling, to our God who is a loving, compassionate and merciful God who hears the prayers of our hearts, reads the thoughts on our minds, and sees the brokenness of our spirits.

Let us listen to Mary as she reminds us that Jesus Her Son went before us to show us that we are never alone, we may feel lonely at times, but are never alone.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 19)

This week's Glimpse of God came to me as my husband and I went to an antique store.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can we do anything less than Jesus did? Not!!! If we claim to be His followers, if we are baptized believers, baptized into His passion, death and resurrection, We have to do as He did, nothing less is not an option.

 

Seek His mercy, find His peace, share His love  and freely offer these gifts with those in need.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 20)

This week's Glimpse of God came when my husband and I visited the 1 Liberty Place Observation deck.and from that building with the highest view of Philadelphia, we were able to see  the entire city of Philadelphia. We were able to zoom in on the many significant buidings, neighborhoods, sport complexes, universities, waterways, bridges, hospitals,  and many other vital locations that not only make the city what it is today, but it formed what the city has become from its very birth and inception.

William Penn and Benjamin Franklin are amongst the many that should be very proud of their legacy and how it is fondly reverenced, remembered and honored today. It is amazing how the builders with vision have created it to be this greaet city and how Philadelphians have taken great pride in calling it home. I hate to admit that I  never knew a lot about Philadelphia until I married John. He worked  as a Police Officer in the city of Phialdelphia for over 20 years and he knows a great deal about the city and the many facts that we were told today by the tour guide.

God was in all of it from the past to the present, in its founders, the families that first settled her and in those who are living here today. God was in the hearts of the forefatihers as they discerned what to do in and with the founding of the very first city in our nation. There was great vision and pride, but more so a great Holy Spirit alive and well as they built on the Holy Ground that they had found.

God was in the past and is in the present as we view all the progress through our many medical schools and universities,   the various creative evolutions such as the rivers, the  green spaces and designated areas, the neighborhoods, the sports complexes where families can go to enjoy thier time with their favorite sports teams, the shopping districts that provide employment for many, many people, the many Churches that provide faith formation, spiritual nourishement and Biblical educaation to live by, and the neighborhoods that people are honored to call home. God is in the hearts of all of His creation from the builders to the individuals that He is proud to call His beloved sons and daughters.

 

So as you walk out your front door to go wherever this week, try to see God in:

Sunday - The city of Philadelphia, its people and unique heritage and how it is  the foundation  and cornerstone of where you live today.

Think of its founders, their vision, their hardships and see how God was working in them to create where you aer today and how it has formed who you are today. Look at all that is in the city and how much we can learn from  it.

Can you appreciate what everyone before you went through to build and bring to you this great gift? Each day we benefit from the insight from our forefathers which led to the the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and the tremendous nation which we have today, one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

Monday - Your home. As you leave your home, your apartment your condo, can you close the door recognizing that there is love in the place you  are leaving? Do you see God in yourelf and in those you reside with?

Tuesday- Your neighborhood community, those who live near to you and far from you.

Is there any one that you are at odds with? or don't really know that well that you want to get to know better? Can you see God in the starnger that passes you by everyday and no words are exchanged?

Wednesday - Your means of transportation.

Whether you walk, drive, ride public transportation via bus or train, can you, do you recognize that you are blessed by these various means of transportation and those you encounter each and every day even if you don't know or speak to them? Everyone has a story and not only are you apart of theirs, they are apart of yours. Eye contact, a smile, defering to them in traffic, all that makes an impression and is a glimpse of God. Are you able to see that presence of God in the ride, the people that create your new day, that are painted on the canvas of your life by God?

Thursday - Your workplace  - Do you see God in those you work with? Can you try to see Him in the person that possibly annoys or irritates you the most? Can you recognize that those who create unhappiness for others are very unhappy themselves and are to insecure or embarrassed to share what is going on in their life?  Can you genuinely and sincerely pray for them, and ask God to bless them? If you work alone or get along with everyone, can you say thank you to God for such a great gift?

Friday - Your gifts and talents that you share at work?

In a spirit of humility and gratiitude can you see that the gifts and talents that you have are gifts from God? We don't gain any knowledge or talent if God hadn't placed it in our lives from the start. We really can't take credit for the talents that we have, God gets the credit since He created us, but we can and we are called to build on the talents and gifts by on going training, education, self determination and faithfulness. Today, we have the jobs that we either like or dislike, but it is the special ability that we have that we need to recognize comes frm God and how we choose to use that special ability is up to us. If you are personable, joyfilled despite stresses in your life, peaceful, if you see the good first instead of the bad, if you are merciful then you are a glimpse of the God that  has blessed you.

Saturday - Your means of relaxation - your retreat from work to more time with family, friends.

You have worked  hard this week and even if your day off isn't today, try to see the weekend as a different experience of God. Try to see those around you as a gift that God has placed in your life to enjoy, build up, show mercy when mercy is needed and show love when love seems to be missing, to be His Glimpse when all seems bleak, dark and joy is fading, and be His peace when there is division.  God has created all of us and we are good. Enjoy your goodness and be grateful, enjoy the goodness of others and be thankful, enjoy the goodness of God and reverence it, for He has blessed us and we are His.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 21)

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

Today, John and I had some friends over for an end of summer BBQ. It wasn’t anything formal, just something where people could enjoy themselves in the pool after a long summer of heatwaves.  

Today some people met for the first time and others got reacquainted. In all of the conversations and laughter, I saw a different kind of rainbow, a promise being fulfilled. The gathering of friends was an incarnational sign of the fulfillment of God’s promise that He would always be with me, and that He would never leave or forsake me. I saw it in friendship.

The friends that were gathered were the extension of that promise as Members of the Body of Christ. As faithful, faith filled individuals, trying to live and be the best people that God has created them to be, and sinners striving to be saints, they are tangible witnesses of God’s presence in my life. Their presence reminds me that God’s promise is being fulfilled in the many different and varied ways as there were friends in the room. They are signs of hope when things are tough. They are merciful. They are instruments of peace and vessels of joy. They are humble disciples that through their lives profess their love for God, others and self.

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

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

Sunday (RED) – Love.

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

Monday (ORANGE) – Openness

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

Tuesday (YELLOW) - Joy   

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

Wednesday (GREEN) - Hope

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

Thursday (BLUE) - Rebirth,

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

Friday (INDIGO) - Integrity

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

Saturday (VIOLET) - Peace

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

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 22)

This week’s Glimpse of God is that which I found as I returned home from vacation. As we returned to our home from Orlando, I saw things with a greater appreciation and gratitude. I was able to see God so clearly in the flight home as we flew over the clouds, the airports filled with people  from all over the world, the familiar drive home where our dog and cat were excitedly waiting. It is in these simple and routine events that I learned to appreciate the gift that they are and how God reveals Himself in them. As I returned home, I was and am very grateful for the vacation experience that I had with my husband, sister and nephew. I returned home with anticipation, excitement and feeling of being renewed. I wanted to come home and get back to my regular routine, not because I didn’t appreciate the vacation experience, but rather because I am now able to see God more clearly in my daily life and all that I may experience.

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

This is your home, where God dwells and others see His face in and through you.

Pease keep in your prayers all who died and were injured on September 11th, 2001.

Peace, Dr. Cookie
 
This week's Glimpse of God (week 23)

This week’s Glimpse of God is that which I found as I returned home from vacation. As we returned to our home from Orlando, I saw things with a greater appreciation and gratitude. I was able to see God so clearly in the flight home as we flew over the clouds, the airports filled with people  from all over the world, the familiar drive home where our dog and cat were excitedly waiting. It is in these simple and routine events that I learned to appreciate the gift that they are and how God reveals Himself in them. As I returned home, I was and am very grateful for the vacation experience that I had with my husband, sister and nephew. I returned home with anticipation, excitement and feeling of being renewed. I wanted to come home and get back to my regular routine, not because I didn’t appreciate the vacation experience, but rather because I am now able to see God more clearly in my daily life and all that I may experience.

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

This is your home, where God dwells and others see His face in and through you.

Pease keep in your prayers all who died and were injured on September 11th, 2001.

Peace, Dr. Cookie

 

This week's glimpse of God (week 24)

This week, God’s glimpse came through His creatures: the hawk, the rabbit and our dog. As I was in the kitchen and my husband’s niece was relaxing on our deck, she heard a noise that sounded like something being dropped in our pool, a distinct “plop”. Immediately after that our golden retriever, Clover rushed over, went into the pool, retrieved the rabbit that had been dropped by the hawk, brought it out of the pool with her mouth and placed it on the grass and proceeded to lick it to health. At that point Jackie in a panic said that Clover got something out of the pool so I ran out to see what it was. Clover was very protective of what appeared to be a baby rabbit that had an injury on its back area. I looked closely at the baby rabbit that she was licking and as I did I saw the injury and knew that we had to do something quickly if the rabbit was going to survive.  As Clover was licking the rabbit, the rabbit was raising her head and trying to move. She was responding to Clover in a positive way.

After many calls, I found a wildlife rescue in Kennett Square and I was able to take her there.

Where is the glimpse of God? The thought that comes to my mind is that God drops many blessings in our lap, but do we recognize them? The rabbit, the hawk the dog are many signs of God’s presence and blessing. All were doing what they are raised to do, but in the mix, the creature’s “normal” became “abnormal”. The hawk dropped its prey, something that doesn’t normally happen, injured baby rabbits can’t swim too well, but this one was trying to, the retriever, who doesn’t usually jump in the pool to retrieve anything, rescued it from a worse death of drowning and suffering. Clover was being a big mommy rabbit to the baby and since then she has been looking for the box that we had placed the bunny in.

All of these events were unexpected and “odd” for those who participated in them. Let’s face it, hawks do not usually drop their prey and more so directly into a pool. If the hawk had dropped the rabbit a few inches or feet in any direction it would have ended the rabbit’s future.

From what I know baby rabbits that are injured can’t swim, so for the rabbit to try and swim after being dropped and injured and for the dog to have heard it and rescued it was unique.

Do we recognize when God places blessings in our lap? The blessing of an unexpected good phone call, a day where we are feeling really well and the pains have gotten less difficult to handle, a compliment on our job performance, or a hug? All of these can be missed. Do we see God in the many unique occurrences that happen? When we are blessed and the blessing seems unexpected because it seems out of sync, it is then that God is showing us to look at the many unexpected events, situations and circumstances in our life because it is there that He also dwells.  When we don’t think that we can see God in someone or something, He then chooses that person or event to show us to try harder to see with His eyes and the eyes of our hearts and not with our rash human judgment.

 

As you begin this week, try to see with the eyes of God, and recognize the blessing that is being placed in your lap, be it through or with something that seems ordinary or in someone that you are close to or estranged from. God sees through and to the heart, not just the surface, and since we are all God’s children we can and are called to do the same.

 

Sunday – (in the Mass)

The Eucharist is our greatest gift; it is our spiritual nourishment that can give us spiritual, physical and emotional strength if we are open. This week at Mass, where you think it is the same thing week after week, try to listen to the readings with your heart and hear the message of the good news that Jesus is trying to tell you directly. As you receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, don’t just return to your pew and think of what you are going to do today, but try to see the special gift of the Eucharist as Jesus giving you a spiritual hug and allow yourself to be embraced by Him. Hugs are great to receive, one from Jesus is the best and you deserve the best.

 

Monday – (in your closest family member)

Do you really appreciate your family members? Do you take them for granted? They may be the same people that you see everyday and maybe you don’t see anything special about them, but they are special. Today take a moment to see with your heart a unique and special aspect of them; a special talent or gift that they have been blessed with, the way that they treat you, their smile or their sense of humor, or their ability to make you feel better. Whatever you are able to find in them, take a moment to say thank you.

 

Tuesday -  (in the person you are physically or emotionally distant from)

There may be those in your life that have caused you harm and you are now estranged from. Yet, being honest, we all have caused others harm. We are all guilty of saying or doing something that has hurt another, just maybe not to the same extent that we feel we have been hurt. As part of the year of mercy, but more importantly, as part of your healing process, pray for that person. Sincerely pray for that person. Pray for whatever is best for them as only God knows. Pray for your strength that you may reach out to them in a spirit of reconciliation, healing and peace. God hears and will answer your prayer.

 

Wednesday – (in the experience that occupies most of your day)

In your routine and ordinary day, try to see God and His blessings that are being presented to you through the ordinary and routine. In the ordinary and daily commute, routine schedule, work load, conversations, try and see God peeking through and speaking to you by the gift of employment, the quiet time of commuting, the work that you perform, the conversations that you are a part of. Blessings can fall right in our lap and yet we don’t look that close to see them.    We tend to look outside or away from, yet our daily life is in our lap. The bodies lap is where God chooses to place Himself. The lap is where others can sit and give us a hug. It is where parents can place their children to talk to them and comfort them. It is the place where we place our arms when we pray as a sign of openness. It is a place where we put things so that we can look at them better. It is a place where you can’t miss if anything is on it. God places His blessings on our lap to remind us that He is so close even when we think He is so far.

 

Thursday – (in your neighbor)

Your neighbors, do you know them? Do you just see them as they are coming and going? Do you have a chance to converse with them? They are what make up your neighborhood community. Today, whether you see them from a distance or have a good relationship with them, try to see the important role they play in making your neighborhood community the safe, close, pleasant atmosphere that it is. As you do this, can you recognize that they are God’s beloved sons and daughters, and in being His beloved they are joined with you as part of His spiritual family? In a spirit of gratitude, how would you like God to bless them? What would you like to see occur to those who make your community what it is? Pray for this.

 

Friday – (in your best talent)

Can you and do you see that your talents and gifts are from God? Do you see that they are blessings that are unique to you? Whether you have been acknowledging your talents and gifts from a very young age or as you grew up, are they something that you have just gotten used to? Do you see them as anything special, just something that you grew up with or grew up doing?

They have been in your lap for a long time and God continues to bless you with them so that you can share them with others. How do you share your gifts and talents with others?

Can you identify them with a sense of humility, pride and gratitude? Or does an ego slip in there and you find yourself saying how great and good you are and it becomes all about you? I would say with the latter, that they may have fallen off your lap and you need to pick them up, dust them off and reverently place them back on your lap with a prayer that you never let them fall off again. Your gifts and talents are God’s gift to you that as you share them, others see that they also have a gift to share. If one is selfish the other will not have the grace filled glimpse from you to see that God has also blessed them.

 

Saturday – (in the person of YOU)

YOU are an extraordinary person that acts in ordinary ways. You probably don’t see that anything you say or do is anything special or different than the next person, BUT you are wrong. You are a blessing from God for and to others. You are God’s beloved son or daughter, loved unconditionally and His greatest creation. There is nothing ordinary about you. To God, you are a gift and a blessing. You are a glimpse, and you are love. Do you believe? Do you hear God speaking to your heart and telling this to you? When He speaks to you do you listen or turn the channel? Hello! God never stops loving us or speaking to us. It is we who stop listening to Him. So today allow His message of love to penetrate and permeate your very being and see yourself as the blessing and gift that you are.

It is your lap that God is sitting on, hugging you and placing His blessings on everyday; so just don’t stand up too quickly!

 

Have a blessed week!

Dr C.

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 25)

This week's Glimpse of God comes, once again, from a six year old girl, Samantha, and our golden retriever, Clover.  Yesterday, Clover, our 65 lb golden retriever was walking with my husband's six year old niece, Samantha. Samantha is walking down the block with her one piece cat pajamas along side of Clover. For the first time ever walking with a little girl, Clover, the intuitive dog that she is, is walking with Samantha, not ahead pulling her, or running, but along side of her. My husband's niece is an avid animal lover and when she visits, she is the cat's and the dog's best buddy. It is refreshing to have her and her two siblings visit us. They remind my husband and I what it means to have the faith of a child and not be afraid of anything, nothing that is bigger or different or unknown, but rather to just trust.

The glimpse that comes to me is that God doesn't pull us ahead or leave us alone or behind, but rather walks along side of us on our faith journey. Sometimes we try to do things on our own and we forge ahead and leave God in the dust. As a loving and patient Father, God waits for us to return to Him and humbly try again, this time with His help and guidance.

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

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

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

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

Clover is an intuitive dog and Samantha is an animal lover. They walked together without fear. God is asking us to do the same; He said fear not, I am with you always, That is God's promise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May we all try to be the compassionate, loving, caring, fun and joyfilled persons that God created us to be. May we never forget that as a child can walk with a dog and have no fear, God wants us to walk with Him without fear, but rather with a joyful , trusting,. excited heart.

Peace and happy autumn.

Dr.

 

THIS WEEK'S GLIMPSE OF GOD - (Week 26)

This week, as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis, the Saint known not only for His love for animals,

but more importantly for His simplicity, His love for the poor and his love for God.

As we live each day, and we seek to God in our daily life, may we strive to be a Glimpse of God as Saint Francis was to those he encountered and served.

THIS WEEK, TRY TO BE AN INSTRUMENT OF GOD'S PEACE, A GLIMPSE OF GOD AS YOU LIVE AND PRAY

 

SUNDAY  - Where there is HATRED, let me sow your LOVE (One mustard seed at a time)

One cannot stamp our hatred, it runs deep within one's being, but love,  mutual respect and  uderstanding can begin to soften the heart that has become so hardened and bitter. As one person, your love might seem insignificant, but in God's eyes, your love for your enemy is the strongest defense against hatred and the brightest reflection of His love in you.

MONDAY - Where there is INJURY, let me be the first to extend PARDON (Seventy times seven)

Forgivenss is not easy, especially when the one that has done you wrong is not sorry, but when we carry a grudge and become so bitter that we are consumed by it, then we are  the cause for our pain, not the other.  Mercy is not an option, it is an obligation as followers and disciples of Christ. Today, fulfill your obligation and pay the debt of pardon for your persecutor.

TUESDAY - Where there is DOUBT, let me bring, exude and live your FAITH, (We walk by faith, not by sight)

We all doubt, we are human, but when we let it consume us and we spread it to others, we are denying the resurrection.

Christ is not dead, He is Risen. Alleluia, Alleluia

WEDNESDAY - Where there is DESPAIR, let me extend, show and offer HOPE .

There are times when we feel that things will never get better and that we have failed. HOPE is the gift that allows us to get up each day, trusting that even in the midst of our daily crosses, struggles, and pain, we will not be defeated, we will not be overcome. Today, take a look back and see where you have come from and recognize your inner strength, personal conviction and perseverence and honor the hope that has been, is and will always be yours in Christ.

THURSDAY - Where there is DARKNESS, let me be God's beacon of LIGHT, ( This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine)  When we feel that life is a continuous dark room and we can't find the switch to turn the light on, it is then that we must depend on, and trust, that the love and mercy of God will see us through. As we journey through life, and we encounter others who are walking in the  darkness of sin, error, pain, and confusion, let ue take their hand and help them to find the light of the world which is JESUS.

FRIDAY - Where there is SADNESS, let me be a source and an extension of the great and inner JOY that fills my soul.

We are a resurrection people. Today, even in the midst of your pain and struggles, pray that the Joy of Christ free you and heal you as you seek to serve Him faithfully. May you, in turn, be a source of joy to the brokenhearted so that in their brokenness, you may be the one that helps them to gather the pieces that God will use to make them whole and healed again.

SATURDAY - Where there is ERROR, let me stand for, be the and witness to the TRUTH that is Jesus Christ (The Way, the Truth and the Life)

Our society has created an atmosphere where there is a great lack in good judgment and a sense of mistrust among people. We seem to think that what we want is what we should get and that there are no moral codes to follow. Today, be the truth, live the truth and speak the truth so that  others may see that Christ's truth is the only path to true happiness and a life without error and discord

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 27)

This week my glimpse of God comes everyday when I attend Mass. My glimpse of God comes in and through the priest and his role Christ’s representative as he celebrates the Mass.

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

The next part of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where he stands in the place of Jesus Christ and through the process of Transubstantiation; the complete change of the substance of bread and wine into the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood, he gives us our true and only source of spiritual nourishment, the Holy Eucharist.  So no matter who Father is, how young or old, a good homilist or not, personable or introverted, when he celebrates Mass he is standing in the place of Christ, and when he raises the chalice and the bread and prays the prayers of consecration, the bread and wine become the body and the blood of Jesus. The Echarist means thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the gift of the priest and his ordination that allows me to be fed and nourished at the table of the Lord. Through reception of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are all invited to change and to draw power and strength to make Christ present and alive in our life as Christians.  We are all called to be transformed and be the best person that Christ invites us to be. The priest gives us what we so desire as Catholics, the opportunity to receive Christ. As he prays through the entire Mass I am given a chance to experience who God is because of his humility, love for Christ, desire to bring us to know Christ, and his ability to be human and not exude the holier than thou attitude.

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

 

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

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

TUESDAY - HAPPY FEET  - try today to walk a little bit for your own health and well being, or by donating some of the shoes that you don’t need or wear anymore to the poor and homeless.

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

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

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

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

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 28)

This week's Glimpse of God comes in and through the care and compassion that one person has for  her father who is terminally ill. We all know someone who has taken care of a loved one who has been or is ill. The illness can range from being terminal to being long term and debilitating. In either case, the patient provides an oppotunity for the caregiver to grow in their faith, recognize their inner strength and the presence of Christ in the face of those who suffer. When we are called to cope with and suffer alongside of another, it can cause us to draw from the deepest recesses of our being. The suffering  of another takes us out of ourself and unites us to the person of Christ as He dwells in the heart of another human being.

My cousin is taking care of my uncle who is suffering through lung cancer and other health challenges. She is the eldest of three and  has chosen to care for her father. Now we know that caring for a sick person can be challenging, but when it is a parent, this brings on a new dynamic. Their relationship is a very strong one and the love that they have for each other is very visible and inspiring. She is a dedicated, devoted and caring person. She is a daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.

As I witness to her care and compassion for her father, I can’t help but be reminded of Christ’s call for us to care for the sick and minister to those who are in need. She serves and gives herself out of love. She is the face and hands of Christ to her dad as well as to those she encounters.

Her Catholic faith and her belief in the power and strength of prayer and Eucharist sustain her as she humbly serves the needs of her father. God’s love is seen in her smile. God’s breath of life is heard in her gentle voice. God’s compassion is exuded in her making him feel comfortable in the midst of his pain and effects of his chemo treatments. God’s peace is seen as he is able to close his eyes for a short time.

The glimpse of God is a glimpse that I believe we all see as we serve Him in and through the sufferings and pain of other human beings. We can be a glimpse if God as we carry the cross of illness, whether it is our own or that of another. Being a glimpse does not deny the cross but we walk with Christ and others as we carry it. Carrying the cross can be seen as a burden or a blessing. It is all on how we look at it.

God is with us and calls us to unite our sufferings to His Son, Jesus. Sometimes burdens are seen as a weight being placed on our shoulders that we feel we need to carry on our  own, whereas blessing recognizes the weight on the shoulder, but allows the hands of Christ to help lift it up. Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His cross, even our Savior needed help. Can we allow others to help us carry our cross so that we don’t feel over burdened? Overwhelmed? Can we allow the many or few Simons in our life to be there with us as we try to be Christlike in the face of suffering and  pain?

As baptized Catholic Christians we all enter into the passion, death  and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As faithful sinners striving to become saints, we are invited to walk our own road to Calvary and follow in Christ’s footsteps. As believers in Christ, we can stand or kneel at the foot of the cross and recognize that we have been chosen, that we are called, and that we have been blessed by God. With this knowledge, we can stand in the truth or run away.  Living out our faith is a choice!

 

SUNDAY – Today, let us choose to stand for truth and not accept the emptiness of gossip or falsehoods. Let us pray for our presidential candidates, that God’s truth and vision will take root in their hearts, and that they place the needs of our country and its citizens before their own.

MONDAY – Today, let us be God’s instrument of compassion, mercy, and concern through our prayers for and our service to others.

Let us pray for the victims of hurricane Matthew and other natural disasters, that God relieves their suffering through the outreach and generosity of service organizations throughout the world, especially the American Red Cross.

TUESDAY – Today, let us reach out to comfort another. Let us pray for those in hospice care, in hospitals and nursing home facilities and that they feel the peace and presence of God through the staff that minister to them and the care that they receive.

WEDNESDAY – Today, let us be Simon of Cyrene to one who is suffering and whose cross seems overwhelming. Let us pray for the homeless, the unemployed, the outcasts of society, that they allow and experience the compassion of God through those who choose to help them, especially the residents and staff at Saint John’s Hospice and Saint Francis Inn.

THURSDAY – Today, let us reach out to those who fought to make us free. Let us pray for all of our military, past and present, that they know and experience our nation’s gratitude by our support, prayers and recognition for their service; especially the veterans in the Veteran Administration hospitals and rehabilitation centers. May they continue to have the courage, perseverence and strength to overcome the many obstacles they are faced with.

FRIDAY – Today, let us listen to those who are suffering alone and have no hope. Let us pray for those who will die alone today, especially for all the souls who will die on our streets as victims of homicide, suicide and terror attacks.

SATURDAY – Today, let us reflect the presence of God by our sense of gratitude, simplicity and respect. Let us be grateful and pray for those in our Church who serve God by serving us; our pope, bishops, priests, and religious. Let us remember and pray for the souls of the many priests, nuns and missionaries who are being martyred for the faith, especially the priests recently killed in Mexico.

 

This week’s Glimpse of God (week 29)

This week’s Glimpse of God came to me in a sign that I see all the time and everywhere. The signs are “House for sale” and “Open House”. These signs we see all the time: in every neighborhood, the rich and the poor, for big houses and small, for old houses and new, for those that are in the beginning stages of construction, as well as those that are in the poorest of conditions, we see these signs during every season through out the year and seem to survive any of the weather conditions that hit against it.

What is in a sign and how is it a Glimpse of God?

What is a house? It is a building with a solid foundation and is constructed of strong walls that protect its inhabitants from the various and difficult weather conditions that Mother Nature can cause. It is place that is heated in the winter to keep one warm and cool in the summer to keep one comfortable. It is a building that is a dwelling for an individual or a family. It provides one with an address so that one can belong to a community and develop a sense of belonging. A house is a place where one can return after a long days work and relax.  Owning a house is big responsibility and one that is taken on by those who feel that they are mature and can accept the responsibility and all that goes with it.

How is this a Glimpse of God?

A house is just a building, but with the love and the presence of God’s sons and daughters, it becomes a HOME. A house becomes a different type of dwelling when one chooses to dwell with God. When one chooses to dwell with God, their heart becomes God’s home. When I see a sign “house for sale”, I often wonder what took place in the house and what is being left behind as the house is put up for sale. When I see the sign “open house” I wonder what is being left open for others to see and what doors have been closed so that no one can see through or past them.

As Catholic Christians, as God’s sons and daughters, God’s home should be our heart. Our heart is what we open to God so that He can enter in and help us to become the best loving sons and daughters that we can be. God chose us before we came into existence. He created us and knows us better than we know our self. He chose to dwell in our hearts and our very soul when we were conceived and He called us by name when we were baptized. Our being, our very existence is not like a house that provides the temporal safety or the warmth or coolness or the sense of relaxation. Our presence in this world is a choice by God and only when we choose Him can we truly feel the peace, the warmth, the comfort, the safety and the sense of belonging that He alone can provide.

The sign “house for sale” is all about a building. I wonder at times what events, memories, celebrations, positive or negative, took place in that house and how are they being remembered, cherished or forgotten. How has that house changed the persons that dwelt in it?

The sign “open house” is about showing the house and the condition that it is left in. This often includes upgrades as well as additions since the house was first purchased. If we were to open our heart, our home to God, what would that look like? What has been upgraded in our life? Our sense of God? Our morals and values? What have we added? Religion? Prayer? Community? What aspects, areas of our life are we keeping closed? What areas or aspects, memories or circumstances are shutting out and not allowing God to enter in and heal? Have we opened the doors of our heart to God completely? Partially? Not at all?

What areas, memories, aspects, and situations are we opening our heart to and allowing God to touch with complete faith, surrender and hope? How has our heart, changed, become more open, been more loving since we invited God to dwell there?

 

This week, let us reflect on our heart, the home that is God’s dwelling place. Let us remember how He chose to dwell in the various memories that pervade our heart, our very being.

 

SUNDAY - today, let us remember the many birthdays, anniversaries, celebratory events that took place in our life and opened our hearts to rejoice, feel joy and happiness and let us be grateful.

 

MONDAY – today, let us remember the events that broke our hearts, the loss of loved ones that created emptiness and void because of their absence: the death of a parent, spouse, child, or pet. Let us ask God for the healing and the grace to see that they are at peace and that through the memories we can find consolation, be filled with peace and know the hope that Christ promised through His resurrection

 

TUESDAY – today, let us remember, with the grace of God, the painful memories, the times that we were not respected or respectful of another, the times when our heart was broken due to the sinfulness of another. In these memories, let us seek to forgive and become healed and whole so that our hearts can truly love again as God intends.

 

WEDNESDAY – today, let us remember the times when our hearts were made bigger,

when they were expanded beyond our comprehension. For the times when we first said, “I love you”, to a parent, or a sibling, and when we were told that we were loved. Let us be grateful for the times when we were able to forgive another and receive forgiveness from another. In the silence of our hearts, let us love those who have loved us with the words that only the love in our hearts can form.

 

THURSDAY – today, let us remember when we were the healing touch and presence to another whose heart was broken. When we were the wounded healer. For the persons whose relationships ended, or one whose love was not received or was rejected. For the parent, sibling, friend whose heart was broken because it was promised love and a sense of belonging; through addictions, power, prestige, money, and found that these were all empty promises. Let us ask God to continue to open their hearts and heal them of the pain that comes from the deception the world offers.

 

FRIDAY – today, let us remember the events that caused us to see our inner strength and realize that we were growing up and becoming the person that God called us to become. Our reception of the Sacraments, when we got our drivers license, when we graduated high school, and college, when we became engaged or became parents. In all of these events, God was present in our life and that we were responding to His invitation to grow into the mature, loving children that He knows that we have the potential to become.

Let us look back with a sense of humility, pride and thanksgiving recognizing that He entrusted us with these decisions to draw us closer to Himself and we said yes to Him. 

 

SATURDAY – today, let us remember, that God is always knocking at the doors of our heart and is always ready for us to open them to Him. The doorknob is on our side. God will never force Himself on us or in our life; He gave us free will so that we can choose Him out of love and not out of fear or obligation. He invites us to be with Him and no matter what our sin is, that invitation is always open to us. God waits for us patiently, lovingly, compassionately, joyfully and mercifully. He waits for us with the unconditional love that only He as our Creator can have for us and chose to give us by the death of His Son Jesus our Lord.

 

Do not let your heart be troubled…find peace in God and know that He loves you and will always love you no mer what!!!!!!!!

 

 

God's peace be with you today and everyday.

Dr.C

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 30)

My glimpse of God comes from our time today at Bark in the Park. This is an annual event held in Rose Tree Park in Media, Pennsylvania. The monies raised are given to the various organizations that shelter, medically treat, feed, foster, adopt and take care of the overall well being of all dogs.

There are doggy favorite activities like the popular 5k race, 1-mile Walk for Animals and the Purina Pro Plan Performance Team There are many Pawsome pet contests, animal-centric vendors, the doggie agility course, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. This a great time for all doggy lovers, owners and just admirers to gather and celebrate the gift of canines in our lives.

The glimpse comes in the form of how there are hundreds of dogs present.  There are all types of dog breeds from the pocket size dog to the huge size dogs, the miniature and the far from miniature, the long hair, the short hair and the no hair, the domestic pet to the herding pet, the rescue dog and the foster dogs needing to be rescued, the service and therapy dog as well as the newly adopted and grateful dog and family.

As I saw all of the dogs getting along, there was no growling or barking, no aggressiveness or attacks, just all walking with their owners in their peace and harmony.

 I am reminded of how they are living as builders of the kingdom of God. They are living out what God intends for his children; that we all get along, that we are loving and that we seek to live in peace by putting aside our differences and living in and out of love. The example of the dog’s behavior was one that we should follow.

I believe that all of God’s creatures give praise to Him in their own unique and special way. When the dogs gather at events like this, they do this by not being territorial or aggressive, but by being peacemakers. They do this by their sniffing of each other, by their unique way of greeting each other and by their frolicking with each other, even though they never met before. They know how to have fun and just be a loving and fun dog. They have their responsibility and place when they return home, but for this short time and on such a beautiful day, they were all united with their owners in the world of paws for a cause, whoofs and sniffs and just for today canine costumes and doggy treats.

I also believe that there is no such thing as a “bad day”. God created only good and so when things are challenging, it is for that short challenge that the day might be darker or more difficult, but I don’t like to quantify the whole 24 hours as a “bad day” Every day is a good day, some more challenging than others, but all is good since God created all for our good and happiness.As a beloved dog owner of a 6 year old golden retriever and a 1 year old rescue cat, I see that even in the midst of  the most challenging days, the pets that my husband and I call, “our kids” are always there to make me smile, remind us of  how loved we are, and call us remember that God is present in and through their pethood and their personality.

 

This week let us try to be the loving persons that our pets think that we are. If you don’t have a pet, no problem, the daily meditations will hopefully help you to see that God dwells in and through your daily life, without the wet nose or the pitter- patter of their paws.

 

Sunday – today let us see that pets unconditionally love and that no matter what your day has been like, they see you and they want to make you happy. They do this no matter if you ignored them before you left for work, or that you forgot to feed them or you said a harsh word to them out of personal frustration. They love you anyway. Isn’t that love a reflection of the great love God has for you? Can you believe that God loves you and only wants you to be happy in and with Him. He forgives your sins, your shortcomings, and your neglect of Him in prayer and the celebration of the sacraments. He only wants you to come home to Him and celebrate your day with Him with or without the wagging tail or the wet nose, only an open heart and open hands to hold up in gratitude for your blessings and His love.

 

Monday – today, let us see our pets as reminders of how we need to take care of our self and those entrusted to our care. We can only keep going and going for a short time, but if we fail to nourish our bodies and those of whom are entrusted in our care, we will either burn our, get sick or fracture the relationships of those we love. We are not gods  but our body is a temple f God’s living and loving Holy Spirit. Can we take time today to be especially gentle and caring to the bodies in our life: our own, our spouse, the children, and the pets. Rest, rejoice, relax and remember that God created all and celebrates all in love and laughter.

 

Tuesday – today, let us see our pets as reminders of God’s never-ending mercy. He loves us always and through every sinful and painful choice that we make. As our pets don’t remember, God remembers less. He calls us to seek His mercy, extend it to others and celebrate it with the peace and joy that He offers.

 

Wednesday – today, let us remember that our pets are somewhat helpless and that they can only survive in a healthy environment if we create that healthy environment. Our pets, our children, our family cannot survive well in a non-healthy environment. If we fail to be the loving, joy-filled, compassionate  peacemakers that we have the potential to be, those around us will pick up on the negativity and seek other ways to find peace and harmony. Let us try to extend God’s peace to those in our environment and seek to be peacemakers. There is no time to be aggressive, angry or unloving. Life is too short. Holding a grudge and carrying it around to hurt others with is not a God centered activity. Let us look at the many dogs today and how they all got along in peace and harmony, it might seem like a fantasy, but for the short time today, it was a reality, and can be for you as well. Take one short step at a time. Place the grudge down and pick up the compassion and the mercy that God has waiting for you. God has doggy bags to take home.

 

Thursday – today, let us see through our pets the great patience that God has for us and shows us through them. God waits patiently for us to seek Him, to turn to Him, to talk with Him. He knows us better than we know our self and He sees and knows our hearts to the very depth. Let us pray for a greater patience with our self, so that we can be more patient with others. Let us see the example of our pets patiently waiting for attention and remember that once they get it, they only make us smile and we are often overcome with a deep sense of warmth and peace. God is that source of warmth and peace. He is the one that waits and is there to help us put aside the challenges and the darkness that they day may have provided. Patience embraces peace. Impatience embraces discord, but love embraces greater love and God embraces us.

 

Friday – today, let us be God’s kingdom builders one paw or person at a time. Where there is hatred let us sow love, where there is injury, let us offer pardon, where there discord, let us be the truth. When we fail to be peace, we fail to see peace. When we choose not to stand for the truth, we fall for the lies and the mistruth that society offers. When we choose to love, only then will love prevail. When we choose to put aside our differences and offer the olive branch, only then will we experience the true meaning of compassion, mercy and selflessness. God will provide the grace to be His Kingdom builder. Seek it, pick it up and go build His kingdom.

 

Saturday – today, take your dog for a special walk. Bring your children, your spouse, your family, into your world and let them know how important they are in it and how significant they are in God’s plan as Kingdom builders. God loves us all unconditionally and calls us each by name to be His beloved sons and daughters. He knows us each personally and had a plan for us, no matter how young or old we may be, God’s will can and is accomplished through us if we are open to Him. Let us all be open and allow His presence and love to fill us and may it overflow in abundance to all those we encounter, both pet and person.

 

 

Have a pawsome week!!!!

 

 

This week's  Glimpse of God (week 30)

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

This week, a long time friend of ours was diagnosed with colon cancer. She is mother of two, a loving daughter to her parents, a helping sister and aunt to her family members,a great friend to us. She is shocked to hear at her age that she has colon cancer. We are as well. Being a cancer survivor, I know what it is like, but it is still devastating to hear and process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

WEDNESDAY - The big C of COMPASS - for today, look at the direction that you are going? What direction is it? Are you going toward healing and wholeness or rather towards anger, bitterness, resentment, pride and selfishness? Who is guiding you on your journey and how are they helping you grow towards healing? Is it your God that knows best what your needs are or is it your emotions and pride that will not allow you to seek mercy or extend it to another? God is the compass, He is our direction, He knows what lies ahead if we place our trust in Him and seek to know His will. God doesn't cause cancer, but He is there to help you find healing and peace. SEEK HIS DIRECTION AND YOU WILL NEVER GET LOST.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

This week let us pray for healing for all those who  are facing the terminal illlness of cancer.

Let us pray for the companions and caregivers that they companion those who suffer with cancer with patience,  understanding and compassion..

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

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

 

This week's Glimpse of God (week 31)

This week's Glimpse comes from a group of women that are members of the Saint Vincent De Paul Society. The mission of the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul world wide is to bring the love and mercy of Jesus to those who have been forgotten, left out, discarded, and abandoned by society. The SVDP Society is called as disciples of Christ to hear the cries of the poor with compassion and to offer them comfort. The group of women at their parish answered Christ's call to minister and one of the many ways that they do this is by holding their annual BINGO night.

 

The members held a BINGO at their parish to raise money for the Saint Vincent De Paul Society so that they can continue to minister to the poorest members int the parish and locally if needed. To organize the BINGO night took a lot of work, cooperation, creativity, time, talent, and good leadership. I believe more importantly that to organize such a great event, it was more about each women's personal conviction about their ministry to the poor; their humility that spoke so loudly that this wasn't about personal recognition or accolades, but rather it was focused on raising money so that they can continue to  minister and serve the needs of the poorest of poor in the parish. It was about selflessness and being willing and open to do whatever was needed to make the event a success. It was about sharing their faith, about serving the poor and involving as many as possible directly or indirectly in this ministry, but in a fun way.

The members are a humble, faithfilled, faithful, dedicated, caring group that want to follow the voice of Pope Francis and serve the poor as Christ served and ministered to the poor. There were young and old present and all were having fun.  The set up for the event was a very welcoming and not one that made the participants realize that they were playing BINGO in a school gym. The warmth and the welcome made the event more of a family gathering and not a fund raiser.

I realize that not everyone can participate in this ministry because some parishes don't have a Saint Vincent De Paul Society, but the poor are everywhere. If we can't serve we can pray.

We can pray not only that poverty be eliminated, but that the poor be honored, reverenced, served, cared for and treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve as beloved sons and daughters of God. We can not, as Christians, ignore the poor. We are called to minister to all of God's people and see Christ in all of God's people.

We are called to be the hands of Christ, to reach out and lift up, the feet of Christ that will walk a mile in the shoes of the homeless rather than passing judgment on them, the mouth of Christ that speaks words of encouragment and inspiration  and not condemnation or criticism, the ears of Christ that are willing to listen to their story with empathy and compassion and the eyes of Christ that will see God's love for each person.

This week let us strive to be more Christ like as we think of the poor, meet  the poor, serve the poor, but more so, try to walk in the spiritual shoes of the poor with the attitude and insight of Christ.

 

SUNDAY -  Selfless - Let us try to think more about othe poor and their needs and how we can answer their cry today. Can we help them by serving them at a local food pantry or by donating items to a local shelter? If we can't physically contribute can we offer our prayers for them? Prayer is a selfless act because you place the needs of another before your own when you  have your time with God. Can you give some of your time with God and pray for them and then ask God how you can help today?

 

MONDAY - The Magnificat - Mary's prayer when she visited her cousin Elizabeth.

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior....

Can we, do we, proclaim the greatness of God in our life? Can we proclaim the greatness of God for the poor, for they are God's beloved sons and daughters just as we are. Do we honor others who are poor and reverence them or do we judge them and turn away from them? If we proclaim the glory of God in our life, then we in turn must glorify Him by our actions. How will we do that today?

 

TUESDAY - Thankful - Are we thankful for what we have or do we always seek to have more? Are we thankful to God for His love for us and the many ways that He has blessed us? If we encounter the poor, can we be thankful for the blessing of their life and let them know by our compassion and presence to them or will we make them feel as though they have been abandoned and forgotten and are not worth anything? What does being thankful look like to you? How will you show your appreciation and gratitude to God for His many blessings and  graces in your life?

 

WEDNESDAY  - Welcoming - the warmth and welcome of the BINGO night was a souce of blessing and peace as you entered into the gym. How will you welcome Christ in your life today? Has He been invited into your heart and mind where so much is going on or has He been knocking at the door waiting to come in? How can you be a warm and welcoming instrument of Christ for others?

 

THURSDAY - Table of Plenty - God provides a table of plenty every Sunday when we attend and fully participate at Sunday Worship services. What does that table of plenty look like?

It is a table where our spiritual nourishment is provided so that we are strengthened for our spiritual journey here on earth so that we can enter into heaven when our earthly journey is over; it is a table where our community gathers and offers its praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of the week; it is a table where we place our shortcomings and receive God's mercy; it is a table that we leave every Sunday so that we can carry the graces, blessings and prayers that we received and be the Body of Christ in our daily life. 

What does your table look like and is your  table set? Are you ready for the meal? The Saint Vincent De Paul Society set the BINGO tables up so that people can serve the poor by their attendance and participation. Their table of plenty was one that will flow out and enter into the lives of the poor they serve.

Our table is one that we set up so that we can place what we feel is important and necessary for the meal. Our meal nourishes our body and strengthens  us so that we can serve and be God's instruments here on earth. Do we hunger for God?

 

FRIDAY - Faithful - the women are faithful and faithfilled as they minister to the poor. How are we faithful in our daily life? to our spouse, children, job, community, Church? Does being faithful make us feel weary or refreshed? If weary, where is God in that relationship? If refreshed, thank God for that relationship and for His presence in it. God is always faithful. He never abandons us. The poor are often made to feel abandoned and forgotten. How can we alleviate their sense of abandonment when we do not know them? God who knows our heart will answer that prayer if we pray it with all sincerity. Are you sincere and ready for the answer that will lead you to a greater and deeper depth of faithfulness?

 

SATURDAY- Sacrifice - the greatest sacrifice that was ever offered was Christ dying on the cross. He offered Himself for the salvation of all. He gave of Himself so that we can be saved and enter into eternal life with God. His sacrifice was one of pure love.

The Saint Vincent De Paul Society ministers out of love and sacrifices all for the sake and needs of the poor. All that they do is in response to the needs and cries of the poor in their community and in the world. BINGO was a night of sacrifice and of giving for a cause and a great ministry. They follow in the footsteps of Christ and answer His call to reach out, lift up and walk with those less fortunate. How will we show our love and sacrifice today? What can we sacrifice to the Lord so that we can truly hunger for Him?

 

Have a blessed and great week

This week's Glimpse of God, (week 32)

     My Glimpse of God this week comes in many forms. As I look back on this week, it is hard to come up with one Glimpse since there were many. So today I would like to share a few of the many glimpses of God that I was privileged to see. These experiences were jaw dropping, awesome glimpses that really touched me deeply.

      The week was filled with many different experiences of God’s presence in my life. There was a time where I had to be present with a friend who had to put Molly, her twelve-year-old golden retriever down due to cancer. This golden was her owner’s life; Molly was the talk of everyone that knew her. She traveled with her owner everywhere and whenever she saw me, she cried and barked until I came over to pet her. She was our gift to her owner so she remembered me even though she was gifted many years ago. I was blessed and honored to know Molly and to be there when her owner had to make the difficult decision to let her go since her quality of life was diminished. God spoke through Molly. She smiled and wagged her tail even though she was slowly going away to the rainbow bridge that I firmly believe in. God smiled on us in Molly.

Another glimpse came in the form of a good neighbor, one that we are truly blessed to call a friend. We conversed and he entrusted us with some of the cares that he carries. Illnesses of close family members and how he responds to their needs before his very own. God is so present in Him in how he reaches out to so many that are in need, not just family but the stranger and the estranged.

Another glimpse of God came though the beautiful day that we all had the chance to experience yesterday. John and I were in Lancaster and to see the beautiful farms and animals and the endless green. God spoke through all of that to remind me that life is meant to be a life of simplicity and not complications. He reminded me that all good things really are free: the fresh air, the beautiful landscape, the friendly and God fearing people and their hospitality, the sunshine and the gift of being in all of that with my husband. It was another jaw dropping great day!

Another glimpse came in the form of John’s nieces and nephew and how at a swimming meet, they swam like I never could have imagined and all came in first. It was another jaw dropping experience, one that was a surprise, but yet not really because these children put their hearts into everything they do and it really showed. Seeing God in their effort and their heart was truly a blessing and a side of them that I had not had the chance to see before.

Another experience came in the form of a friend that has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Her faith and her trust is one that goes beyond words. She lives it and even in the midst of the many other crosses that she is carrying, she does not lose hope but believes and knows that God is near and is with her in the suffering and challenges. God speaks through the fear and calms her and directs her to a greater and deeper trust and hope.

The various glimpses are just a few of this week. I invite you to see God in the ordinary and the extraordinary, the pets and the people, in a life of simplicity and in the sometimes very complicated. God is there, wherever you are.

 

Sunday – Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. A simple question to you is this: Is Christ your King or have others things taken His place? Is He the reason you get up every morning so that you can live the day and give Him the glory and honor that He deserves or does He come to mind only when you need something? Christ lived and died for you, do you recognize that you are His beloved child and that He loves you more than you can ever imagine? Does His being King of your heart and life empower you to live more for Him and not for the world? Can you give your heart to Him today and let Him heal the brokenness, bind up your wounds and make you whole?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Have a great day and very Happy Thanksgiving.

Dr. C

This week's Glimpse of God  (week 33)

This week’s Glimpse of God comes from my husband John as he took time to relax and was pleasantly surprised to see God in the many faces of His creatures and in His creation.

One day last week I was looking out our back yard and was watching all types of birds playing in the water that was on the pool cover, there were blue jays, cardinals, robins, sparrows and doves.  This went on for several minutes and I was left wondering.  Then I reflected on what day it was……Thanksgiving!!!!

In light of all the recent turmoil in our nation I found myself asking many questions and having many concerns about the future of our great nation. Often, we seem quick to judge, to criticize, to cast aspersions and often, it seems, to not accept another point of view. We, as a people, need to engage fully in our civic duties and to recognize our democratic process and its inherent wisdom. We need to reflect fully and completely, as we truly are our brother’s keeper.

We have much to be thankful for; the beauty of nature, our church, friends, family, job and the list goes on. Perhaps we need to step back and look around us. There is beauty in everyone and everything, even though it may be difficult to discern it at times.  Perhaps, it is as simple (and refreshing) to remember what peace there may be in silence and the majesty of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the miracle of nature in all of its glory.

Simplicity, kindness, thoughtful gestures……..each day we can strive to become better persons and we have truly have much to give thanks for!

This week let us strive to be the better person that we know we can be and that God created us to be. Let this first day of Advent, the new liturgical year, be a period of spiritual renewal, refreshment and preparation for the coming of Jesus that is reflected in our conversations, in our relationships, in the quiet whisper of our prayer and most importantly in the deepest recesses of our hearts.

 

SUNDAY - for today, the first Sunday of Advent, let us be mindful of the many events, occasions, circumstances, people, and situations that we will encounter on our journey to the holy and humble day of revelation: the Birth of Christ our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us resolve to keep Christ in Christmas and be His messenger to all those we encounter: in our homes, on the road, in the workplace,  in our neighborhoods, in the malls, through the tweets, the texts, the face times, the befriended and the unfriended. May God use you to tell others about His Son Jesus Christ and how He is the reason for the season, there is no other.

 

MONDAY - for today, let us be mindful, that as the many types of birds gathered on the pool cover to bathe, play and enjoy the sunshine, that we too are called to be of one mind and heart, that is of God, and see each other as God sees us. Let us pray that we come together as a family, as a community, as a church, and as a nation, in the name of God, to honor, respect and love each other. As we begin the season of Advent, let us surrender to God any grudge, any anger, any barrier that is getting in the way of us being one and opening our hearts to the Christ Child, and ask Him to fill us with His compassion and  mercy so that we can come to Christmas renewed in His love, peace and joy.

 

TUESDAY - for today, let us strive to live as the birds on the pool cover, with no judgment of another. Let us try to see each other as God sees us, as His beloved sons and daughters, chosen by Him to know, love and serve Him in this life so that we can all see Him face to face in the next.

Let us pray for all those who are incarcerated, estranged from their families, outcasts in society, and earnestly ask God to bless them with His peace, consolation and hope.

 

WEDNESDAY - for today, as the birds gathered from all directions, that as we live in the fast lane, going to and from so many different places with very little time to be still, that we take time to be still and bask in the presence and the love of God. As you prepare for the secular aspects of the Christmas season; shopping, decorating, baking, cooking and traveling, allow yourself the spritiual blessing and renewal of quiet time. Take time as you travel, as you decorate, as you shop, to offer God a prayer of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication. Prayer is the lifting of your mind and heart to God, you can do that anywhere and at anytime.

 

THURSDAY - for today, let us be mindful that Mary said Yes to God and allowed herself to be His instrument in His act of redemption. Mary said yes and was embraced by God's Holy Spirit and brought forth God's only Son to redeem us. Mary was filled with God's love and lived in His light with trust, faith, patience, peace, compassion,mercy, joy, humility, and courage. Let us seek to grow in relationship with Mary and come to a greater understanding of how she faced the many challenges in her life and did not waiver or stray away from God, but remained steadfast and faithful and ask for her help so that we can do the same.

 

FRIDAY for today, let us bemindful that as birds fill the sky and fly freely in God's presence, we too are free to be and live as God's children. As one looks in the sky and sees the many clouds, the stars, the moon, and even a rainbow at times, all of these created things point towards God their creator so that all glory be given to Him. In all that you do, do  you give God the glory? or do you take the honor for yourelf? Are you able to recognize the giftedeness and talents of others so as to give them credit for their work or are you sometimes selfish and proud?  During this humble season of Advent, let us strive to see the gifts, talents and the presence of others, and of our self and give God the glory, gratitude and gift  of our hearts so that it can continually be molded to be more like His.

 

SATURDAY - for today, let us pray for those who are wounded spiritually, physically and emotionally and unable to live the life that they desire. Ask God that they find hope and peace through the prayers and support of others. Let us pray for those whose hearts are broken and wounded and do not know the healing touch of God and feel unloved. Let us pray for those who lives have been touched by tragedy that they seek the consolation of God and find it in those surrounding them  in their community, in their church, and in their extended family members. Let us pray for those who are estranged from those they know: Their God, their family and their friends, and ask God to fill them with His mercy, His humility, His hope, His compassion and HIs peace so that they, like the prodigal son, may return  home and be reunited to those they truly do love and love them. Let us pray for those who are institutionalized for various illnesses and  unable to be at home, may they find  strength in the presence of the medical staff, in their medical treatment, and that they be treated with the dignity and repsect they deserve as God's beloved son or daughter.

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Glimpse of God for the week of December 4th (week 34)

 

This week's Glimpse of God comes in a group of medical professionals that not only exude the presence of God, by their compassion, empathy, friendliness, and concern for another but they embrace it. I see them as God's instrument of healing and wholeness that I have been blessed to encounter.  I am speaking of the nurses and doctors that work at the Fox Chase Cancer Center Direct Referal Unit (DRU). Although I do not know the names of all the staff that work in the unit, I am very familiar with the unit as they are very familiar with me. I was sent to the unit this past week because of an undiangnosed and painful health issue. I have been in the unit many times before and just like this past week, I am and always have been treated with the utmost professionalism, concern and care. I know that for the many years that I have been a patient at FCCC, I have always been treated compassionately and personably. I am always recognized by name, and never as a number. I feel as though it is my second home and considering the level of care, the compassion of the entire staff and my doctors, I am very happy and pleased with the high standards of care that I receive.

The glimpse of God comes in the form of the nurses and the doctors that I encountered this week and their concern, empathy, honesty and desire to make me feel better. It was through them that God showed me that even in the midst of pain and discomfort, frustation and weariness, He is ever present and always there to remind me that I am not alone. 

 

This week let us strive to live as though we believe and know that God is radiating His presence  through us and whatever our situation or challenge may be. He is present and His light will always shine. Let us be that light to others.The staff that helped me this week were intrumental in  keeping me from getting frustrated and I am very grateful.

 

Sunday - Kristen, MD - Care. Today let us reach out and try to "Take Care" to those in our families or community that are ill, facing difficult life challenges or decisions and feel alone.   During this very busy time when the season calls for one to be joyful, let us pray for those who cannot find joy. To "Take Care" of someone should not be seen as burden but rather a source of grace and blessing. To "Take Care" can be an opportunity to take them our presence, love, compassion, and  concern for them and show them that you care about them.

 

Monday - Crystal, RN - Compassion - Today, let us be compassionate and merciful towards those who challenge us and try to take us away from the goodness of God. Let us seek to be the face of compassion when we feel hurt, angry, vengeful, and cannot see another's goodness. Let us try to be the person that God is calling us to be and who the baby Jesus was born to show us true faith in God.

 

Tuesday - Ruthie, RN - Respect - Today, let us show respect to all those we encounter. Try to be more respectful of yourself and see the presence and the goodness of God within your very being.

It is hard to respect another if you do not respect yourself. So if you are being hard on yourself for a decision that you made or a situation that you found youself in, please know that the God who created you, believes in you, wants you to believe in yourself, and loves you beyond measure.

 

Wednesday - Sherri, NP - Selflessness - Today, let us think of another first. See how it makes  you feel when you think of another and their needs before your own. Try to lend a hand to those less fortunate during this busy season. In our society where it is easy to be selfish and think of what we want, let us take the monetary value for our biggest "want" and give it away. God will show you where the greatest need is. Pay it forward!

 

Thursday - Donna - Determination- Today, renew your determination and desire to reach your goals whatever they may be. Determination helps one to keep going and not quit no matter how difficult things may get. When you face a challenge that you do not think that you can overcome, look inside yourself and see that you are stronger than you think and that you will not be defeated. During my time in the DRU, they were all determined to find a cause for what was occuring, but they were not able to do so. I appreciate their determination, humility and honesty as they worked together to reach a diagnosis.

 

Friday - King, MD - Knowledge - Today, let us take time to learn something new. Knowledge is a great tool if used correctly. The doctor that I have come to know very well is one that has a great deal of knowledge and wisdom, yet he is a deep source of humility and compassion.

As a member of the medical staff at FCCC, I have found him and all of the doctors to be instruments of humility and they use their knowledge and wisdom to heal and help those in their care. Let us pray that we use our knowledge to help others and not use it against them. Whether it be knowledge about a choice that one has made, or knowledge about a person's past ot present history, as we appraoch this holy and blessed season, may we use our knowledge to raise others up and not put them down.  We can, and ultimately will, stand before God and  humbly say that our knowledge was used for good.

 

Saturday - Hallaran, MD - Helpful - Today,  let us try to be more helpful. Now that seems easy and you are probably saying that you always try to help others. The challenge that I present so that you are another Glimpse of God, is to go and help those you find most difficult to help. During this season, ther are many avenues where people are in need and could use help. Find a group or an organization where you struggle because of personal judgment and serve them. Being helpful is another way of serving another. Jesus served and calls us to serve. This isn't meant to be an easy task but rather one that stretches our spiritual comfort zone and opens our hearts so that God can expand our ability to love and serve Him.

 

Glimpse of God (week 35)

 

This week’s Glimpse of God came to me in the presence of a young man that had come to the house to do closet installation in our basement. When he arrived, he was by himself, and I was surprised since I knew that the work that needed to be completed really would require the hands of two individuals. He was a young man, on time and very courteous. As I introduced myself to him and he to me, I did ask if he was going to have any help and he responded that his coworker had just quit that morning and that he would be doing the work solo.

As he was preparing to begin the installation of the closets, he was faced with a few unexpected problems. As we discussed options, I found myself saying that he could do whatever he thought he needed to so that he could complete the work in one day without having to come back another day. He phoned his supervisor several times and sought direction on how to proceed. He was very knowledgeable and so when his supervisor suggested some things, he was able to do them easily. He never lost his patience or seemed to get frustrated, although I knew he had to be.

As a young man, mid to late twenties, he showed how professionalism and respect was primary and most important.  He never spoke about his coworker who had just quit and left him with a big job to do on his own, or did he complain about it. He just did what needed to be done. At one point, another young man did show up to help, but he was here for only about two hours and then he had to go to another work site. At one point I offered to get pizza for them since they intended to work straight through and they were very appreciative.

As we begin this week, the third week of Advent, a week where hope springs up eternal, let us be mindful that in the most stressful of situations, we are called to keep our focus on God and let God be in control where and when we have no control.

 

Sunday – Selfish / Selfless– For today, be a little selfish and take time out for you. In the midst of the busyness of the season, you need to keep and recoup your energy and your strength. As you prepare for Christmas, try to remember that you can’t give what you don’t have. If you try to do everything for everyone, and you don’t take care of your own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, you will be unable to truly be present to others. Jesus spent time alone in communion with God His Father; don’t you want to follow His example?

 

Monday – Melodious – For today, let us work in harmony with others and try to be a peacemaker in our surroundings. Peace comes with many faces: the face of harmony, the face of reconciliation, the face of love, the face of serenity and the face of joy. As we encounter others who are struggling and seem “non-peaceful” let us try to bring true peace to them by our love, mercy, compassion and inner joy. In these many faces, we have the opportunity to experience and spread the message of Christmas: May the Child Jesus fill you with deep, abiding and lasting peace, joy and hope of Christmas and bless you with His eternal love.

 

Tuesday – Thoughtful – For today, think of others and reach out to someone that you know is alone and could use your thoughtfulness, kindness and care. There are many individuals who are not looking forward to and even fear Christmas day. Not because they don’t believe or have joy, but because their joy is overshadowed by personal sorrow, pain, family drama, estrangement of loved ones, illness or other factors that make them feel isolated, hurt and sad. Let someone know that you are praying for him or her and that you care.

 

Wednesday – Wisdom – For today, make wise decisions. When you have to choose something that you are not comfortable with, then don’t do it. Life will go on if your child, sibling or loved one doesn’t get the expensive gift on their list because you simply can’t afford it. The gift should come from your heart and guilt should not be the motivating force in your gift giving process. Love is the perfect gift and no one or nothing can change that. Christmas is all about Christ’s love; unconditional, perfect and eternal.

 

Thursday – Time out – For today, give yourself a time out. Stop and get the rest that your body is telling you that you need. Eat properly even if that means taking healthy food on the go with you and avoid eating fast food. I know that this seems ideal, but the reality is that if you get sick or burnt out, those around you feel the repercussions of your ill health and weariness and no one is joyful.

 

Friday – Faithful – For today, seek faithfulness. Look at the example of Mary as she remained faithful to God and said Yes to being the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God. Mary was God’s instrument of faithfulness, cooperation, courage, humility, obedience and love. Mary never wavered from God. She was steadfast in her determination to follow even in the midst of her many sorrows. Let us seek her guidance as we strive to remain faithful to God, self and others.

 

Saturday – Sadness – For today, let us acknowledge and honor the areas of our life: family, community, nation and world that make us sad and seek to find joy in God. There is so much sadness in our world and its face is in those who are mistreated, killed, abused, forgotten and left alone. We as followers of Christ should feel sad because our bothers and sisters are not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.  May our prayer be for true and lasting joy to replace the sadness that fills our hearts and the hearts of those who are deeply saddened and distressed. Only God can answer that prayer, and we can be His answer to others. So as faithful followers, may we pray as did Saint Francis: where there is sadness let me bring Joy...

 

Glimpse of God (week 36)

My Glimpse of God for this week came in the person of Angela W.  I first met Angela in the parish that I was previously employed. She was a young middle school aged girl and was involved in the ministry of Altar Server. She and her family were and still are very faith filled, joyful and overall a great family. As the years passed, she grew into a very loving and caring woman. She continued to serve in the ministry of Altar Server throughout her middle school and high school years. She served until she left for college, as did her younger sister. Angela left a very positive and hopeful impression on me as a young girl and now as an adult.

For many families where children are involved in so many activities, fitting Church in their schedule isn’t easy. But as I remember Angela and her family, the ministry of service was always a priority and they were always willing to help in any way that they could.

Fast forward five years, I was at a Women’s group meeting where Angela did a special presentation and I saw her again after many years. She is still the remarkable person that I remember and I was thrilled to see her again and catch up. The work that she is involved in since she graduated college is just another reflection of the selflessness and compassion of God shining through her.

As I reflect on the last week of Advent and how we have been preparing our hearts of the birth of Jesus, I am reminded that there are angels everywhere and it is in and through those angels, that the presence of Christ is announced, and where we have the opportunity to open our hearts and invite Him in.

Let us take this week to reflect on how we are preparing for Jesus to be born in our hearts and come to Christmas with the gift of our presence to God, others and all those we encounter.

 

Sunday – Angels – for today let us announce the goodness of God through our lives. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed but be ready and willing to speak the truth and let all people know that Jesus is the Savior and that we need Him to live and be the best people that we can be. Do we recognize the many angels that are present in our life and the message that they give us?

 

Monday – Mary – for today let us trust more as Mary did. As we prepare for Jesus’ birth, let us look to Mary for Her courage, Her conviction, Her humility and Her love for God and commit our lives and the lives of those we love to Her all encompassing care and intercession. Mary said Yes to God’s will and God gave Her the grace to carry it out.  Do we believe that He will do the same for us?

 

Tuesday – Joseph – for today let us seek the protection of Saint Joseph over our hearts, our families, and over our world from the evil that exists in the world. Saint Joseph followed the direction of the angel and was given the charge of protecting the Holy Family. Do we recognize that we need to be protected from evil in our family and in our community?

 

Wednesday – Shepherds – for today let us be mindful of those who are seeking Christ. Let us pray for those who are poor and do not have the opportunity for catechesis. God knows the hearts of all His children and will answer their prayer. As we think of the poor shepherds that were present before the Christ child, let us remember that blessed are the poor in spirit for the Kingdom of God is theirs. Are we poor in Spirit, do we seek to pay homage to Christ or do we seek to be given glory and honor? Do we go in the direction of Christ or do we walk away?

 

Thursday – Inn Keepers – for today let us open our hearts and our minds to Christ. Let us open wide the doors and let Him in. Let Him enter as He comes through the poor, the outcast, the sinners, the estranged, the weak and the proud. Let us make room for God as does God for us. Is the door to our heart open, locked, ajar, stuck, sealed, or wide open and ready? How is God going to get in if we don’t let Him in?

 

Friday – Animals - for today let us be grateful for the many animals that God gives us to remind us of how we are called to be. The unconditionally loving, forgiving, happy animals that surround us and welcome us home after a long and trying day. Animals are gifts, the very gifts that surrounded the baby Jesus and protected Him. Do we recognize that in their very creation, animals bless God and invoke a blessing in us? As we listen to Hebrew Scripture, recall the story of the great flood and the Nativity, and see pictures of the beloved Saint Francis, we see that God uses animals to show us how we all are called to cooperate in the building up of the kingdom of God. Can we see the beauty of God in the creation of His four legged creatures?

 

Saturday – It is Christmas Eve are you ready? The shopping, the baking, the cleaning, the traveling, the wrapping is all-complete. So what is left? Are your doors open, is your heart ready, is your house clean, (reconciled), is your mind clear? Christ is coming ready or not! And guess what, He knows we are never truly ready, but what is important is that we want to be and that we do our best to become so. Fear not, do not be anxious, trust, relax and enjoy His presence as He chooses to reveal Himself.

 

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

Glimpses of God (week 37)

the feast and blessing of this Christmas day, be mindful that the gift of Jeus is given to us each time we attend and participate in the celebration of Holy Mass. We are all the Body of Christ, so as you encounter your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, remember that the precence of Jesus is in each of them. Seek Him and you will find Him.

The spirit and gift of Christmas is a state of mind. We are called to be a selfless and not a selfish people. We are and can always try to give of our self. If someone is grieving and is in need of  comfort, be there. If someone is ill is in need of a good listener, be there. If someone is alone and i

Merry Chriistmas to all....this is my prayer for you on  this Christmas day.

 

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

May Jesus open your ears so that you can hear the laughter and listen to the stories of those  around you and respond with the empathy, compassion, joy and love of Jesus. May you hear and listen as you open your heart to His message.

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

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

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

 

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

 

This week as you prepare for the coming of the new year, take each day to celebrate and give thanks.

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

Keep Christ in Christmas by your words, deeds and attitudes, Don't give the secular world the credit for Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season, so wish people a Merry Christmas!

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

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

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

 

Peace be with you and all those you love,near and far. For our military, we pray for their safety and the comfort of the military families.

PEACE TO ALL

Have a great day since that is what God created and intended for you.

 

Glimpse of God (week 38)

Happy New Year to all!!!

As I begin a new year I begin with a prayer of gratitude to God for the year that is about to end and for the one that lies before me. I thank Him for the many graces and blessings that I have recognized and I ask pardon for the ones that I failed to see. I thank Him for the blessings of faith, family and friends, without these three life would be empty; with these three, life abounds with love.

 

As this New Year begins, I am not going to be making any new year’s resolutions. I am not going to set out to resolve to begin, do, change, or create something because I know myself well enough to recognize that in a week or so I will have forgotten what it was that I wanted to begin, do, create, or change. The reason is not laziness but rather because  these resolutions are outside of me, they are not a part of me; they are not weaved into the fiber that I have been created with by my God. For me, resolutions need to come from within. They need to compliment me as God’s beloved daughter, not add or subtract from the person I am. A resolution for me is something that I make to better myself in the eyes of God so that I can become a better instrument of His presence, peace, compassion and love as I work toward building up His kingdom here on earth.

I could say that I am going to exercise more, or diet, or stop doing something to give up something or………, but  unless I have the self-determination and have discerned that these actions are going to bring me closer to my God and His people, then they are or can be just empty promises. The world is full of empty promises, but I know that my God does not make empty promises.

These are some of God’s resolutions: these are the promises that He made and continues to uphold;

He promised us a Savior: He sent us Jesus born of a Virgin, Mary our Mother.

He promised us that He would always be with us; He sent us His Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.

He promised us that if we knocked the door would always be open to Him; He gave us the sacrament of Baptism, the doorway to new life, the other Sacraments of the Church and spiritual union with Him.

He promised us we would never go hungry or thirst again: He gives us His Body and Blood in the Most Holy Eucharist; it is the Eucharist that sustains us as we walk our spiritual journey from here to eternity.

He promised us paradise where we will dwell in eternal peace, joy and happiness. He invites us to be in relationship with Him so that we can enter into paradise when our earthly journey is over.

My daily prayer is my resolution; and that is to be the best person that I can be, the person that God has created me to be and knows that I have the potential to become.

For me, this resolution never fails because I have faith and believe in myself and in the God who loves me even when I fail, and never sees me as a failure.

I have the gift of the Holy Eucharist that sustains me and nourishes me on the journey so that what I receive, the Body of Christ, I strive daily to become.

When I fail to reflect the person of Christ, when I fail to see Him in another, I have a God who gently reminds me that when I fail to recognize His presence in another I fail to be His presence to the other.

A new year isn’t just 365 days to live but rather it is 365 days to die to self so that I can live more for Him.

I hope and pray that as you begin this New Year you have the courage to die to self so as to live for Christ, by not making resolutions that you may or may not fulfill. Rather that you make God a promise that with His grace and help, you will strive to be the best person you can be, the person that He knows and created you to be.

 

MY NEW YEAR’S PRAYERS FOR YOU!

 

H – HEART – May God bless you with a home filled with love, good health and happiness where your HEART is expanded, strengthened and stretched so that He can continue to fill it.

 

A – ALONE – May you realize that you are never ALONE, but the Holy Spirit is always with you to guide, inspire and help you in all of life’s challenges and with all of life’s crosses.

 

P – PEACE – May you be God’s instrument of PEACE in a world where harmony is overshadowed by strife, where hatred is chosen over love and where deception is chosen over truth.

 

P – PRAYER – May you continue to raise your mind and heart to God and grow in relationship with Him as a person of intimate faith, PRAYER and witness.

 

Y – YESTERDAY – YESTERDAY is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is what counts, so make it count. My prayer is that you let go of the chains that are binding you and holding you back from growing, forgiving, loving and learning, and take the key OF life that God offers you, the key that unlocks the chain so that you can be God’s instrument of mercy, compassion, and healing.

 

N – NEW – Everyday is a NEW beginning, a NEW page in your book of life, an opportunity to see yourself in a NEW light; God’s light. May the God of newness open the eyes of your heart so that you can see yourself as HE sees you; His beloved son or daughter, loved unconditionally and called by name: A NEW creation.

 

E – EMBRACE – May the God of love, peace, joy, forgiveness and compassion EMBRACE you as you live through the challenges, struggles, joys and celebrations that each day brings.

 

W – WITHOUT – If your day is blessed WITHOUT the burden or cross of pain or suffering, be grateful and say thank you to God. If it is blessed with these crosses, thank God that He chose you to walk with Him so that you can walk with others who labor and are heavily burdened.

 

Y – YEARN – “As the deer YEARNS for running streams, so my soul YEARNS for you my God.” My prayer is that you YEARN for God and don’t take Him for granted or come to Him just when you need Him, but yearn; truly seek, and desire Him so that you can be refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.

 

E – EVERLASTING – May the God whose love is EVERLASTING, watch over you, guard you from the evil and protect you from all harm today and everyday.

 

A – AWESOME – “Our God is an AWESOME God. He is AWESOME and He believes that you are too. Why? Because you are His greatest creation, you were made in His image and likeness and you choose to reflect His presence in your world. You are a reflection, a beacon of the presence and light of God your creator. Do you believe that? My prayer is that you do because it is the truth and you do.

 

R – REST – Please take time to REST. God rested and you need to REST. You can’t keep going and going thinking that you can’t afford to REST, you can’t afford not to. God gives us REST so that we can be replenished, refreshed and renewed. Our life, our bodies cannot live without REST, so please begin this New Year by being more aware of your body, and resting if and when you need to.

 

Glimpse of God (week 39)

Happy Snow!!!!! Now I realize that for some the snow is not a cause for celebration, elation or joy. For others, like children; more often than not, it is a cause for joy that school is canceled, and that there is free time to either go sledding, build snowmen, build snow angels or snow children, go snowboarding or go skiing.

For adults it can be headache. There are those who have to drive in it, wait for public transportation, arrange for daycare, miss work, and these are not times of joy, celebration or elation, but rather pure aggravation.

My Glimpse of God comes in how we see snow in relation to our lives. Snow in and of itself is a beautiful sight. Each and every snowflake is different, there are no two flakes

the same. Each holds a unique and exquisite beauty. Aren’t we also unique? There are no two people the same. We are beautiful because we are God’s sons and daughters made in His likeness and image. We touch this earth, we are created with a purpose and no matter what God’s purpose is for us, it builds upon our internal and external beauty, it doesn’t take away from it.

It is our thinking, our life experiences, the expectations that we place on our self that make us believe that we are not beautiful and our self worth is seen in a negative way. God doesn’t think or want that of us. He wants us to see our self as He sees us.

The snow causes panic because we recognize that there is ice underneath it and how dangerous it will be to walk or drive in.

We panic when we have to shovel the snow and we don’t have the physical capabilities to do such, so we have to pay someone to do it for us. We know that it is cold outside and some people don’t like the cold. There are many reasons that we can fail to see the beauty of the snow because we see ahead and the other factors that will impact our day or days.

 

Life is like the snow. Because of life challenges, crosses or obstacles, we sometimes fail to see the true beauty that lies before us. There are situations that make us fearful of taking steps towards reconciliation, healing, freedom, and wholeness. We are snowed in and until we ask for the courage to take the steps that are needed, to take the shovel or the snow blower, and get it what ever binds us, out of our way, we will remain snowed in.

God wants us to be free so that we can enjoy the snow even if we just look at it from inside. It is not about going outside and building a snowman, it is about having the courage and overcoming the fear so that we want to. One never knows, perhaps you can build your own snowman this week!

 

SUNDAY – Just take the time to see and admire the beauty of the snow. How it covers the trees and the bushes and how it creates such a clean view (before the slush), and  thank God for the gift of its unique beauty. Then go one step more and see yourself as a unique creation and how you also spread God’s presence and beauty by being the best person that you can be each and every day. That is all God asks.

At this time imagine this as taking some snow and packing it in your hands. You can physically do this or use crayon, paper, or any type of medium (indoors!) that you choose to build snow creations that reflect your God given gifts and graces!

 

MONDAY – Just take the time to recognize one other person in your life that has offended you. Reflect on that person or situation that made you feel bad; by diminishing your self esteem through their actions, words or attitude toward you. Ask God to help you see them as He sees them.

At this time imagine that you have the snow that you packed in your hands from yesterday and see the person that has offended you. Take a good look at the snow in your hand and see the relationship you had before the offense. Was it good? Did you enjoy their company? Were you happy when you were with them? Can you see them as God sees them and forgive them? Take the snow and form it, pack it more (don’t throw it!), make it firm, perhaps it can be the foundation snowball for your soon to be snow creation.

 

TUESDAY – Just take time to be careful in the snow. Be sure to make clear your pathway so that you don’t slip or fall.  Can you realize that just as you are careful and don’t want to hurt yourself or want others to get hurt, God wants the same for you. He doesn’t like it when we hurt others, get hurt by others or hurt our self. He wants us to be His instrument of peace, joy, reconciliation, and compassion.

Try to imagine taking another handful of snow and forming it into a snowball that reflects your desire to forgive. This step can be difficult. Make a snowball that can withstand any change of heart that holds God’s grace and courage to want to be a forgiving person.

 

WEDNESDAY – Just take time see the snow as a child does. A child does not have to worry about driving in it or shoveling it but rather enjoys the consequences of it: a day off, snowmen, snow boarding. Can you remember when you were a child and had the day to play in the snow? Did it feel good to go out and play as long as you wanted to? Do you remember dressing up the snowman with a hat, carrots for a nose, whatever for a mouth and ears? You made a unique creation from scratch. What a feeling of accomplishment, of completion. God created you from scratch. Imagine His joy for and in you.

Imagine now that you are in the final steps of building your own snow creation. How big is your snow creation now? You want to build on your courage, so go for it. Make another pack of snow and let it represent your courage, compassion and reconciliation to God, others and self.

 

THURSDAY – Just take the time to feel the goodness of God and how He has blessed you. How is your relationship is with Him? If you desire that it be stronger, just pray that it continues to grow and be strengthened.

Today take a good look at your snow creation and how it reflects your spiritual growth and the graces that God has filled you with. Pray for your relationships, the good and the weak and ask that God help you as you try to be His peace and truth in them. This is an opportunity to make the head of your snow creation.

What do you think your head should look like? Is it a big head, a small head, or a head that is properly proportioned to the body that has been created? God’s creation is perfect; we humans have changed what He has originally created. Our heads can become too big when we think that the world revolves around us and our ego is inflated. Our heads can become too small when others make us feel, or we make others feel, less than the person that God has created us to be. Our heads our perfect when we use our brain, senses and our mouth to be God’s reflection and beacon in our family, community and world.

If you decided to forgive, if you took the steps towards healing, reconciliation and peace, I think your head will be just right.

 

FRIDAY – Just take time to see your snow creation and see your life as building upon God’s graces. He molds us and forms us to be the best person that we can be. Can you recognize the times where you were changed and saw things in a new light? Do you see how you have spiritually matured and how you relationship with God has also grown and matured? Look at your snow creation, does it represent the better you, the changed you, the person that perhaps sees things, situations, people in a new and blessed light?

Now is the time to place the eyes on your snow creation. Let the eyes be those of God where you will strive to see people, circumstances, and situations as He does, where you will try to not place judgment, but rather show compassion and mercy.

 

SATURDAY – Just take the time to recognize where you complimented on something that you wore or how you looked or your hairstyle. How did you feel when someone said something nice to you or when you complimented someone else? The words that we speak need and should be words that are life giving. God looked at His creation and when He saw the man and the woman that HE created, His final words were they were GOOD.

He compliments you often! Do you hear Him? Do you hear Him when He tells you that He loves you that He cares for you more than any human can? Do you hear Him when He tells you that HE is pleased and happy that you are His beloved son or daughter?

God speaks to our hearts and we speak to others hearts. Now is the time to place the mouth and ears on your snow creation as a symbol of God’s life giving words to you and from you and the ears that are open to hear them.

 

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR CREATION. A BEAUTIFUL CREATION IT IS. GOD SEES YOU EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOU CAN BELIEVE OR IMAGINE.

LET IT SNOW!!! LET IT SNOW!!!! LET IT SNOW!!!!

 

Glimpse of God (week 40)

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.

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 minds, our hearts; 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, I believe that God speaks to you in your car through the various situations you encounter.

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, a time when He wants us 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 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, 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 or public transportation. Try to keep an open heart and mind, so that you can recognize Glimpses of God in the seemingly most ordinary and mundane ways.

 

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, take a look at what is happening and change your coping strategies before you hurt yourself.

 

WEDNESDAY – 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.

 

THURSDAY - 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. 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 your self; 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.

 

FRIDAY –A day where you got 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 choice that cannot be changed or corrected. In recognizing that you are lost, it is then that 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 as an adventure. It is during those times where you have the 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.

 

SATURDAY – 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.

 

Weekly Glimpse of God (week 41)

The Glimpse of God that I saw so clearly came when I visited Saint John’s Hospice for men in Philadelphia this past Thursday evening. I had an appointment to speak to the Director of the Hospice, Mr. David S, about how I may be able to minister to the men via my book, Shopping for a Lighter Cross, and its message.

When my husband and I arrived David met us as he unlocked the gate so that we could park our car. Once we parked, he took us through the hospice, introduced us to the men, mentioned that I might be coming to speak to them, and then we sat down to discuss how I may be of service.

As we talked, what came through to me were David’s faith, his love for God and his love for the men whose welfare he has been entrusted with. The homeless men face so many life challenges both from within and from with out, yet with David and his staff, they are given the courage, trust, hope and guidance to face them and not be defeated by them. At the hospice, they are given the tools of compassion, hope, trust, courage, confidence, and inner strength so that they can live each day believing that they are loved by God and not alone in their suffering. The hospice offers them a roof, but the love and concern for their well-being, gives them a home. It may not be the home that the men dreamed they would be living in, but it is a home where they are accepted and not judged, cared for and not abandoned. The men may not have many worldly goods, but what they do have is a place where their physical and spiritual needs are met by people that truly care for them.

In a world where most of us, at some time or another, have looked over or ignored a homeless person because we were afraid or felt helpless, we need to recognize that this is not acting with compassion and that the homeless person is a child of God that should be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.

As humans, we sometimes let our fears take over ability to make good decisions and this leads to others being felt less human and abandoned. This week let us take a look at how we respond to those around us and seek to see God more clearly in them so that we may be God’s instruments and beacons of peace, hope, acceptance, love and compassion.

 

SUNDAY – God’s Dignity – How do you treat those you feel are societies abandoned? When you see them on the street corner, do you look the other way? When you ride through "bad" neighborhoods, do you speed up because you are afraid? At home, how do you treat those who may not be as educated as you are, or as financially stable as you expect them to be? How do you treat the elderly parent, grandparent, or neighbor? Do you offer to spend time with them? How we look at others is a reflection of how we see our self, do you see God when you look in the mirror and out the window? Today, pray to see God more clearly in others as He chooses to reveal Himself.

 

MONDAY- God’s Reflection– Do you recognize the presence of God within yourself and are you open to see it in others? Do you hold each person up to God so that you can see God’s reflection through him or her? Do you see God’s reflection as He shines through your actions, attitudes, words, deeds and activities? Can you see God in the homeless, unemployed, the poor person by the very fact that they are God’s beloved just as you are? Today, pray and ask God to help you see how much of His reflection you truly are to those you encounter, and ask Him  how He wants you to continue to be that others.

 

TUESDAY – God’s Compassion  - You are God’s compassion every time you reach out to another without judgment. Can you remember a time when you were judged and treated unfairly? God has created all of us, we are all made in His image and we are all His beloved childen here on earth and we deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and dignity. Today, pray that you may continue to be that instrument of compassion, hope and mercy as you reach out to those around you who are carrying heavy crosses and struggling to keep their hope alive.

 

WEDNESDAY – God’s Acceptance – the homeless, the unemployed, the poor all are in need to feel and be accepted as God’s beloved son or daughter. The very fact that they are God’s beloved means that they are our equal, and no one is superior over them. When you live each day, do you sometimes make yourself lord over others? Do you feel that you are better than the next person? God loves you and wants you to know that you are His greatest creation as is your coworker, neighbor, boss, the poor, the homeless and the abandoned. Today, pray to be united to those who you feel disconnected from, and seek to be a bridge to those who are left alone, unaccepted and have no one to walk with them.

 

THURSDAY – God’s Hope  - Hope is alive by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When things are not going well and you feel that the tunnel is too long, remember that you are not alone. God is present and walking with you each step of the way and He carries your cross with you. As the homeless person walks each day in the painful weather conditions, they too walk with a sense of hope that their needs will be met by the generosity of others. Today pray that their needs are met and that others are not afraid to reach to in a spirit of mercy and compassion.

 

FRIDAY – God’s Beloved Child – You and I, the homeless person, the unemployed person, the child, the young adult, the estranged, the prisoner, the refugee, we are all God’s beloved children. Do you believe this? If so, do you live as His beloved by caring for yourself spiritually with prayer, the sacraments of the Church, spiritual direction or guidance? As God’s child, He wants you to draw nearer to Him each and everyday, and grow in your relationship with Him. Do you want to be in a deeper relationship with God? Today, ask Him to show you how you can go deeper and for the grace to respond to His direction. Today,pray also that God will touch the hearts of the homeless, the unemployed, the outcasts and the abandoned so that they too can also enjoy the riches of a deeper relationship with God, His Son Jesus and our Mother Mary.

 

SATURDAY – God’s Transformation – You are an instrument of transformation by the way you live your life. You have been transformed to reflect the image of God and live as His dear child. Spiritual transformation brings you to a better understanding of how God is acting in your life and how you can share His actions of forgiveness, mercy, healing, empathy, consolation,.... with others. When you can go outside of yourself and are selfless, you are being transformed. When you seek to be in the presence of another to listen and not feel the need to speak, you are being transformed. When you can forgive and not count the cost, you are truly being transformed. Go into you world today and be a transformer. Today, pray and ask for the grace and the courage to help others take the step to a deeper spiritual transformtion so that they too can enjoy the reward of understanding how God is alive and well and acting in and through their life

 

.This week’s Glimpse of God (week 42)

This week’s Glimpse of God comes from a source that on one hand seems dry and somewhat deserted yet in reality overflows with riches and graces and is surrounded by beauty and blessings beyond measure. The place: Calvary Cemetery in Philadelphia.

John and I were going to the cemetery to place the Veterans marker on my father in law, Leo’s grave.

How is a cemetery a glimpse of God? Look all around you and see, can you recognize that God is everywhere in this place. But what does that really mean?

When one goes to a cemetery, there are some things that stand out: huge family monuments, small grave markers, various statues of Jesus, Mary, the angels and beloved saints, American flags and military markers and of course the flowers that are carefully placed at the graves.  When one enters into a cemetery, one can be embraced by the peace, tranquility and serenity that dwell there, or not. That doesn’t mean that the one who enters will immediately experience peace and tranquility, but as the last resting place for our loved ones, I believe that as the body is at peace now, resting from its earthly journey, their peace radiates and as one goes through the grieving process, will begin to embrace it.

I am not a cemetery visitor. I keep and hold onto the memories of my loved ones and recall them throughout my daily life and fondest memories. I know that there are some who visit the grave of their loved ones on a daily basis, because that is where and how they experience God’s healing power. God calls each of us by name to walk in honor of a loved one and how we choose to do that is different for each of us. If one can find peace, healing and wholeness by visiting the grave of a loved one, then that is where God wants them to be. God is present in the one who finds peace and healing just by looking into the faces of the family created by their loved one.  God is present and alive in the one who finds peace in recalling memories and looking at various sentimental items of their loved one. God is where love is and how love is expressed and that can be different for each person, both deceased and living.

Being in a cemetery can be a depressing or life giving experience. As I look around in a cemetery, I think of all those I am surrounded by: the many men, and women, young adults and children, those who died fighting for our country and those who died fighting for life, those who died before they had a chance to live and those who lived while their family members died before them.  As I look at the ages on the stones, I think of the lives they lived and the experiences they were a part of, WOW! I try to imagine what it was like for the parents to have to bury their child and for the children to have to bury both parents so close together. I think of the fathers who lost their only son to war and for the mom whose daughter died before getting married and experiencing the joy of childbirth.

One can look at the many life giving experiences that were denied here on earth and be bitter, or it can help them see that being with God for all eternity is the greatest life experience because there is no more pain or suffering or tears.The grief and pain for so many had to be so deep and yet their faith brought them to this place of eternal rest and consolation. What an amazing grace to have received and recognized.

 

This week, I would like to focus on some of the markers of a cemetery and use them as a source of meditation and reflection. The markers can represent our spiritual life as well as our relationship with others. They can be symbolic or realistic; in either case they can be tools to grow in relationship with God as He draws you deeper into a greater understanding of His presence and will in your life.

 

SUNDAY – the large family monument.

Just for today think about your family and the legacy that you want to leave for others. A monument can be erected to show your families wealth and or it could represent the depth of love that you share and want to show to others. A monument usually is placed for large families, with all their names engraved on it.  Whose name would you have engraved on your monument so that others can see? Is there someone that you are estranged from that you would not include? Is there someone that you hurt and feel that they wouldn’t want to be included? Is your family yours of origin or of choice? Is there someone that you are proud of and would want them to be listed first? Or is there someone that you feel has disappointed you and you would omit? Forgiveness, reconciliation, healing can only occur when you reach out and seek to forgive and be forgiven. God will give you the grace to be healed will you accept it?  What will your “monument” look like?

 

MONDAY – the flat marker.

Just for today, can you think of someone that may have struggled through life without great wealth but lived life with a genuine and authentic spirit? A flat marker does not stand tall, but is humbly placed even in the ground. You have to know where you are going to find it. A flat marker can represent those who lived life in a spirit of humility, not seeking honor or wealth, but rather, quietly sought to do the will of God and live according to His statues and laws. A flat marker can represent those in you life who guided you in the way of God’s truth without beating you over the head, and you got it. They marked the way out for you and by their example impressed on your heart how to find God, and stay the course. Who on your life has been like a “flat marker”?

 

TUESDAY – the American flag.

Just for today, can you reflect on the great gift that your freedom is? Do you know someone who has fought and died serving our country? The flag represents those who served in our military forces and either died trying to provide freedom or served faithfully knowing that they too could have been called to give the ultimate sacrifice of their life, but was spared. When you hang out your flag on Memorial Day or on July 4th, what do you think about? Who do you pray for? Are you grateful for your freedom and the chance to live in this great country? This year, whom will you remember to thank as you hang out your flag on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and July 4th?

 

WEDNESDAY – the flowers

Just for today, when you think of flowers and the beauty they provide, can you think of someone who does not seem to have any flowers or beauty in their life? Can you pray for them as they struggle with their crosses and seem to only experience pain and isolation and are not able to embrace the beauty of life? Pray for those who can’t seem to see the beauty of each day, the gift of God’s love in and through them or others. Flowers add beauty, life and color and they can represent the hard work of a gardener or the love of the giver. Can you be the gardener for someone whose soil needs only a seed of compassion to be planted so that God can gift them with a bouquet of His love?

 

THURSDAY – the statues of Mary and Jesus

Just for today, ask for the grace to be a greater witness to the faith and grow in relationship with Jesus and our Blessed Mother Mary.  Statues are a great way to show the faith and love of the individuals and families. In today’s society, being a witness or being so bold about one’s faith is a cause for tension instead of consolation and strength.  If you were offered the gift of a 5 foot statue of Jesus or Mary or a beloved saint, would you put it on the front lawn for all to see, in the back for some to see, not take it at all or take it and give it away?  How we choose to witness to our faith, is like how we choose to place a statue of faith; we can place it proudly and boldly for all to know, see and hear, embarrassed and quietly for only a few safe people to know, see and hear, afraid and hidden so no one can see or hear or denied and not at all. If I am coming to your house tomorrow, what will I see?

 

FRIDAY – unattended graves

Just for today, pray for those who have no one left in his or her life. There are those who have no one simply because they have outlived everyone. The elderly who mourn the loss of their parents, siblings, friends and extended family members, are struggling to understand why they have endured so many losses as well as to why God hasn’t called them home yet when they are ready. The unattended graves do not mean that no one cares for them, but maybe that their loved ones live a distance away and can’t get to the cemetery or are older and are not well enough to get there. Unattended lives, those who are left behind, need to be embraced by those around them. Can you pray for, embrace an elderly person who has been left behind and let them know that God has a plan for them and that they are actively involved with it?

 

SATURDAY – newly dug graves

Just for today, pray for those who will die unloved, alone, and homeless, as a victim of terrorism, homicide, abortion, and euthanasia. Let us pray for those who will die and there will be no grave dug or prayers said, they will be left to decay because of those who do not care about upholding human life, only about destroying it.

Let us pray for those who will mourn, that God will comfort them. Let us pray for those who will fail to mourn, that God will strengthen them and give them the courage to face their loved one and to seek peace. Let us pray for those who minister to the grieving, that God will bless them with His compassion and empathy so that they can continue to be His instruments of consolation, peace and hope.

Let us pray for all of those who will see Jesus face to face today. As a member of the Body of Christ, will they see Him in you through your compassion, faith, love, hope, and mercy? No one should have to wait until to get to heaven to see Jesus face to face, they should see Him in your face. Will they?

 

Glimpse of God  (week 43)

My glimpse of God comes from three words: Distractions, Disengagement and Discernment. How do these words show me a Glimpse of God or how do they keep me on the right path so that I can more fully recognize God’s glimpses in my daily life?

Distractions: There are so many things that can distract us and take our focus off of God and His will for us and mislead us, as well as there are some distractions that are gifts that cause us to refocus and fix our eyes on Christ. What are your distractions?

In the world of social media and needing to have the best of modern technology: Cell phones, IPads, Tablets and the ability to email, Skype, face chat, text, tweet, and use face book, these in and of themselves are good and not evil instruments. They keep us in touch with others and allow us to keep up with the news around the world. The dilemma is when they become the center of our life and we make them a god before the one and only God. The distractions become the main focus and the main focus, which is God and His will for us, becomes the distraction. How do we revert and bring God back as our main focus?

Do all distractions take us away from God or can they be subtle reminders of what we know and believe to be important and a cause for change? There are good distractions that call us to reevaluate and remember that God is in charge.

Some good distractions such as a sick friend in need, someone calling us out of the blue to talk, a child crying, that take us away from our daily routine, cause a ripple in our stream of consciousness, and call us to refocus. All of these events can be seen as distractions that call us to be mindful of the caring, compassionate person that we are and are called to be with others. If you are having a difficult day and find yourself getting upset and are focused on yourself, these distractions are ways to refocus an see that others are in need and you are the instrument that God has chosen to help them.

Disengagement: How do we disengage, free our self from the distractions that take us away from God? Today we need to have a cell phone to communicate, keep up with others and to have in case of an emergency. That is all good and God has given you these things as a gift to use. The time that comes for disengaging is when these items become the center of our attentions and take our focus off of God. We then need to free our self and let God take His rightful place again. How does this happen, how does one become free from what seems a necessity? How do we disengage?

Discernment: Through prayer and discernment. It is only through prayer that one will be given the insight to recognize where these items fit in your life and how God wants you to use them. There are times when one can be free of them: at the table, with company, in a line at the store. One needs to ask; is it necessary that I be on the phone talking or texting at this time? Can I just be in the moment and allow the moment to be my source of conversation with God and those around me?

Am I comfortable enough with myself that I can allow myself the time to be quiet?

Do I recognize that God has allowed me to have these gifts and that I should use them to glorify Him and not for my own ego and glorification?

 

For this week let us be open to how God can use the distractions that are placed in our life as a source of spiritual growth and direction.

 

SUNDAY – Cell phone. For today take a moment to call someone that you have not been in touch with, someone that needs a friend, someone that could use an uplifting conversation. Today let the distraction of the phone become an instrument of compassion, understanding and hope.

 

MONDAY – Television. For today look at a channel that calls you to think and pray for the needs or concerns of others. For just a few moments try to stay away from the shows that are in contrast with God’s commands and hopes for His people.

 

TUESDAY – Music. For today, before turning on your music, try to listen to the silence and allow God to speak to you in the silence so that the music can become the gentle wind that HE uses to bring about a sense of healing and calm. Music can be used to blast out the noises in our life that we don’t want to hear or listen to, but God can use that same music to bring about an inner peace and calm, serenity and acceptance.

 

WEDNESDAY – Computer games. For today, when you want to play your computer games, pause to think of those who enter into a game because of its violence and to get a thrill. Games aren’t meant to be threatening yet people seek that thrill so to inflict the pain on others. Games are meant to be fun, mind provoking and challenging but yet there are so many games that are violent and are harmful to the young audience that participate in them. Pause to pray for those who have been hurt because of games. For those who seek the violence and the disrespect shown on them because they do not have respect for them self or others.

 

THURSDAY – Selfies. For today, look at your self and try to see yourself as God sees you: beautiful, unique, special and one of a kind. You don’t need to take a selfie to see how beautiful you are, just ask God and He will tell you. When you take a selfie do you see yourself as a reflection of God? Do you see that you are His chosen and beloved child and that His light shines through you?  A selfie should reflect your inner beauty and love not just of your outside appearance. Is there any camera or lens that can truly capture the person that you really are?

 

FRIDAY – Online ordering. For today, ordering on line is easy, yet it deprives one from seeing the item that will be ordered. One reads the reviews and then decides to order it or not. Imagine if God looked at us like an on line order. What if He just looked at us never touched our hearts but saw our flaws, our weaknesses and decided that He didn’t want us. What if like an online order, He read the reviews from our family and friends, neighbors and coworkers and decided that it may be too risky and He chose not to take a chance on us.  On line orders deprive one from seeing and touching the item, yet with God He wants to and constantly seeks to touch our hearts. He wants us to know that He is always willing and ready to take a chance on us, no matter how we feel or what others may think. Are we ready to trust Him and take a chance to grow and become more like Him?

 

SATURDAY – The big picture. For today, look at the big picture and appreciate all the distractions that you experienced this week. Look closely at those that took you away from your focus, disturbed your routine, interrupted your schedule, took you away from your true goals and disturbed your peace of mind, body and spirit. And then take a look at those that enabled you to see God more clearly in your self and others, that brought you back to your focus and helped you appreciate the gift and importance of being God’s beloved child. Distractions can bring about a healthy realization of one’s vision, purpose and goals as well as distort them.

For one to properly learn how to place them in life, one needs to discern their priority and disengage from them if they are taking one away from God or engage in them is they are drawing one closer to God.

 

Glimpse of God (week 43)

I apologize for the repeat of the weekly Glimpse. John and I  were away and the WIFI was not working, so instead of giving you a Glimpse in the middle of the week, I thought that this past week's glimpse was something that could be reflected upon for another week.

Have a great week and remember that God's Glimpses are everywhere, in all places, people and events, we just have to be open both in our heart and with our eyes.

 

 

This week’s Glimpse of God comes in a subtle but powerful way. For me, it comes from the realization that most of us probably take many things for granted. This is not an intentional act, but more of an oversight. It is in the oversight that a part of us; be it that of our physical, mental, spiritual or material self becomes neglected and is not at its best or potential. Each day as we wake up and begin our day’s worth of activities and responsibilities, we encounter various situations, events, people and circumstances that challenge us and get us to think harder about our decision making process and the choices that we end up making.

Today John had a doctor’s appointment and all that we expected was to be told that his cholesterol was up as it has been for years. It is hereditary and he has been taking medicine for it.

What the doctor did tell us along with the high cholesterol was that his sugar was also up. This was a first. It was suggested that he watch his diet and exercise more. As we left the office and talked about the suggestions, we realized that this was a concern that needed to be addressed, so we decided to walk on the Chester Creek trail since it was such a nice day. We walked two miles and this was the beginning of John’s new exercise regimen. I then introduced him to the exercise room located in our basement. (I wanted to download mapquest, but I decided not to, he still chuckles…)

Another subtle reminder of how we need to keep checks on things was when he took his car in for an oil change and found out that three serious problems had occurred and could have been dangerous if not discovered. Of course with that came the cost, but safety is primary and one cannot pay enough for personal safety. 

So within one morning, we were reminded that if one does not keep watch over the essential aspects of ones life that are important; decay, erosion, and attacks will inevitably occur and thus damage is done and serious repair will have to follow. This can lead to a great costs being incurred and not all them being financial.

What are the essential aspects of our life that we need to be attentive to so that they are not under attack, that they do not erode or decay, that they will not become irreparable?

I believe that the following aspects need our constant attention if we are to remain healthy in body, mind, and spirit so that we can use the instruments that God gives us to serve others.

 

Our spiritual health: Do we choose to pray, receive the sacraments, take quiet time so that we can grow closer to God, Jesus and Mary or do we wing it until a need arises and we realize that we are not in control?

 

Our community health: Do we take care of, honor, the gift of our family, friends, and community so that we can grow in relationship with God as the center and not be isolated and self absorbed?

 

Our physical health:  Do we eat those foods that nourish and sustain us or do they cause our body to go into an unhealthy mode?

 

Our mental health: Do we handle the stresses of our daily life well? Do we internalize them so that our stomach feels tight, our head hurts and our heart beats faster than normal?

 

Let us begin to better appreciate the whole person that we are and seek to pay more attention to the various aspects of our life that we tend to ignore or take for granted.

 

Sunday – in the spirit of gratitude recall how blessed you are. Recall the many blessings and graces that God has given you and say thank you. God has blessed you. He has blessed you with your unique, loving personality and character. He has called you from darkness to light, from sadness to joy so take the time to celebrate and rejoice for God has made you in His perfect image. You are the Body of Christ, you are His hands to lift another up, His feet to walk in the shoes of another, His heart to be compassion, mercy and love to another, His ears to listen and not pass judgment and His eyes to see Him in the presence of others. Take care of your Body because it is the only one you  have.

 

Monday – in the spirit of appreciation, recall the many people that have joined you on your journey of faith, shared with you their experience of God and left you with a deeper desire to know and love God more fully. Can you appreciate and celebrate your faith journey; the crosses that you have had to carry, the celebrations that you were blessed to participate in and the people that God has placed on your journey to show you His power and presence? Do you value or dismiss the significance of your existence?  God appreciates all that you do for Him and how you witness to His presence in your life, do you believe that? Nurture don’t ignore God’s love and spirit in your life.

 

Tuesday – in the spirit of humility, recall how you may not have been paying attention to, respected or honored the gifts, people, and relationships that have been given you and seek forgiveness, healing and peace. Remember that all of God ‘s gifts are gifts, we don’t deserve them, but He freely gives them to us for our spiritual, mental and physical benefit. Bow down in humble worship, not empty worship, to the creator and giver of all good gifts.

 

Wednesday – in the spirit of reconciliation, recognize and acknowledge that you have let things; relationships, health, spiritual growth, go and that you have not paid attention to many aspects of your life. Can you admit that you take yourself for granted, that you keep going and doing, just trying to live up to others expectations for you? Are you able to recognize that they are not God’s expectations for you? Are you living for others, for your self or for God?

Ask God to help you live for Him, seek His direction and let the past go. Once you let it go don't seek it or try to get it back.

 

Thursday – in the spirit of healing, seek to be made whole. Look at your wounded ness, the occasions, the offenses that have left you feeling less than loved and ask God to fill you with His grace and love as only He can do. Seek to forgive so that you can be forgiven.

 

Friday – in the spirit of humor, look at yourself, your flaws, your strengths, your personality quirks and laugh just a little. God laughs. He laughs out of love and joy. He laughs because He knows us better than we know our self and sees how we try to control things that we really have no control over. Having a sense of humor, a spirit of humor, will be your strength through difficult times and will empower you to go forward and not be held back by anyone, circumstance or situation.

 

Saturday – in the presence of God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, recall how you were blessed at your baptism, washed clean of original sin, called by name and chosen by God to be His witness to His life within you and say AMEN

 

Glimpse of God (week 44)

 

The glimpse for this week comes as I process the news from my uncle that his cancer had spread and that he probably had only 6 more months to live. One can ask where is God in the midst of such difficult news? I can only respond in faith by asking where isn’t He?

He is in the heart and soul of my uncle who believes and even in his anger, pain, and uncertainty, still believes and turns towards God and not away as some people choose to do. He is in his daughter who is such a faith filled, loving, caring person, cousin, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, who has been there for her dad all the way. He is in the parish priest who listens with understanding and empathy. He is in the grandchildren who make him smile and laugh. He is in the many friends and relatives who are there to be supportive and offer whatever assistance they can if a need arises.

He is in the big and loving heart of my uncle to absorb the tears that are shed, the thoughts that are shared, the memories that were created and the memories still in the making.

My uncle is a good, faithful, faith-filled man. He and my aunt were devout Catholics who raised their family of three in South Philadelphia. They not only instilled in their children strong morals, values, beliefs and the importance of a good Catholic faith, but they witnessed these by their life. They believed that these would get them through life, both the challenges and the celebrations, with a sense of integrity, confidence, strength, courage and hope. After my aunt passed away, he never stopped striving to be the best father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to others. He has created a positive, lasting legacy, one that he can be proud of.

 

What if you were told that you only had 24 hours to live? How would you feel? How would you respond? What would you say or do differently, or would you continue to do everything the same way? Once the news sunk in, how would you understand it?

Would you see it as if your life here on earth is over and whatever happens afterwards happens? Or would you see it as an opportunity to create more heart felt memories, build your legacy so that your loved ones have something to look back on and you can leave with no or little regrets? Do you see it as God ignoring your prayers to live longer or would you see it as God calling you back home to be reunited with Him and your loved ones in eternal peace, joy and happiness?

 

I believe that if we invite God into the aspect of our life that need healing God can and does heal us. If we are physically suffering and we need healing, it might not come in the form of physical healing, but rather an inner spiritual, emotional healing.

Although one may suffer physically and is not healed, it is not because God does or doesn’t hear their prayer or that they prayed incorrectly or that their sins have caused their pain or suffering. When one suffers physically and is not healed as they think that they should be, it could be because God is healing them in a deeper more lasting way. When one suffers, one can offer up to God their suffering for the needs of another who may be suffering as well. As one does this, their physical suffering may seem and feel as though they are diminished because they are not only focusing on another, but they are entrusting their own deep cares to the Lord.

As one suffers and is able to pray for the needs of another, this is God’s way of letting them know that their suffering is not in vain, that they are being heard and that they are responding to His grace to care for others needs and this is another form of healing. Healing occurs when one can look outside of themselves and see that there are others who are also suffering in one way or another. This does not mean that one should ignore their pains and suffering, but rather attend to it but do not dwell on it.

As one suffers, one might ask themselves if there is anything that they are holding onto, any grudge that they are carrying, any resentment that they are bound by and seek the grace to forgive, let go and be free and this can be their first step to spiritual wholeness and healing. When one finds out that their journey here on earth is going to change, that God is inviting them to return home to Him, instead of trying to change everything, one should choose to live their life to the fullest. Try to put things in the best order one can and then surrender to God those things that are not in order, that needs his healing touch and then seek to His grace to walk these final steps with courage, trust and hope.

My uncle is not afraid, but rather concerned about how he should live when he knows that he is going to die. Well, we are all going to die, that is everyone’s reality, but not everyone is given the heads up as to how.

We know that only God truly knows how long we have and how we are going to pass from this life to the next, but if we are given the knowledge of this ahead of time, then we can perhaps prepare better.

This week let us try to die to self so that we can live better for God and others. As we begin the season of lent, let us pray that we may draw nearer to Christ by looking outside of our-self, recognizing the needs of others and assisting by our prayers those whose earthly journey will soon bring them to see God face to face.

Let us remember that we are not promised tomorrow, so that how we act and treat others is how others will remember us. Let us cast off deeds of darkness: anger, grudges, hatred, bitterness and put on the armor of Christ which is compassion, mercy, love, forgiveness, peace and joy.

 

SUNDAY –  “solace” For today, reach out and touch someone who needs may need comfort, perhaps consolation and encouragement. We live as a Resurrection people, people who believe that there is hope and that even in the midst of life’s challenges we are never alone. If you know someone who is struggling with hope and seems overwhelmed by their cross, reach out and be God’s beacon of hope, consolation, peace, empathy and love. If doing this isn’t possible, pray a special prayer for them and let God know what you desire for them.

 

MONDAY – “more” Today look at how you are feeling and ask your self-if you need to do something more?  The more can be; more sleep, more time with family, more time to be pampered, more quiet time, more prayer time, more exercise…. Attend to your needs, emotional, physical, and spiritual so that you can walk this Lenten season following the footsteps of Christ in one heart and mind.

 

TUESDAY – “trust” Whom do you trust? And who do you not trust and why? What does it mean to trust someone and how does it feel when that trust is betrayed?  For today ask God for the grace to trust more, trust in God, trust in self, trust in friends and trust in family. Trusting in another can make us feel vulnerable, yet it can leave us with a lighter burden, an open heart and a sense of companionship on our life journey. Ask for the grace to forgive so that you can trust another who has possibly betrayed your trust.

 

WEDNESDAY -  “wisdom” For today, try to be wise, not wisdom of ego but rather try to teach more about someone whom you might be estranged from or that you don’t understand. Wisdom can be used as a tool to build another up or a weapon to tear another down. If others were seeking a greater wisdom of who you are, what would you want them to know, seek, understand or remember? You are God’s greatest creation, unconditionally loved and called by name to be His beloved. Would others have a greater wisdom of God by your presence in their life?

 

THURSDAY – “temperament” For today, express your sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself and at situations that you may find yourself in. Life is too short and if we take life so seriously that we cannot find time to laugh and experience the joy that lies within, then we are depriving ours self of finding that inner peace that God wants us to experience and embrace.

 

FRIDAY – “friendship” For today, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of friendship and the friends that you have been given. Remind yourself that you are a friend to others and that means that others trust you, confide in you, believe in you, forgive you, keep up with you, love you, challenge you, accept you as you are and call you to be the best person that God has created you to be. As the book of Sirach reads: “…a faithful friend is study shelter, he who find one finds a treasure…his friend shall be like himself” You are a treasure to God and to others.

 

SATURDAY – “salvation” For today, reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Christ and why He went through all of that for us. As we begin our Lenten season and we strive to live a life of penance, prayer and alms giving, and follow in the footsteps of Christ, we must remember that Christ’s journey to Calvary was not in vain. Our salvation is from God and without Christ there would be none. We are baptized into the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so that we can enter into eternal glory when our earthy journey has ended. Our salvation, our true freedom, can only come in and through faith in Jesus Christ

 

Glimpse of God (week 45)

 

My glimpse of God comes in an unexpected and surprising way. The unexpected and surprising is not in the people from whom the glimpse came, but rather the circumstances that surround it.

John and I took my sister to the car dealer that we had both purchased our cars from. We went to look and see if there was car that she could afford and felt safe in. Her car was having more problems, she didn’t feel safe driving it and it was costing her more than she could afford.

Last Saturday, we met with Vince, the car salesman who had sold John and I our cars. We knew that he was honest, respectable, compassionate, a really caring individual that would try to do whatever he could to see that she would have a car that was safe and affordable. As he listened to us and they took her car to inspect it, we found him to be attentive and wanting to truly help. They inspected her car and told us that two of her tire rims were bent and that is was an accident waiting to happen. I knew then that she was not going home with that car.

We talked to Vince, explained everything to him, what she could afford and what she couldn’t and after several hours he was able to get her a brand new car, with no interest, with a bumper to bumper warranty and they absorbed the amount left on the loan of her old car.

As we left, my sister was elated, shocked, in awe and grateful. She has been through so much, she is carrying many crosses and all we wanted for her was to catch a break. She never owned a new car and now she does. She has bumper-to-bumper warranty so that if anything should go wrong, she is covered. She has peace of mind that she can drive and the tires are not going to fall off and that she was not going to cause an accident.

She has a greater sense of peace, both in mind and spirit.

The Glimpse of God came though not only Vince, but also in and through his boss and fellow coworkers. They all seemed to want something better for her and they did whatever they could to make that happen.

God’s light and love comes through in many ways, both expected and unexpected. As you begin the season of lent, try to recognize God in the many expected and unexpected ways that He chooses to reveal Himself. Allow yourself to be surprised and allow His peace, grace and love to permeate your being so that you can walk this Lenten journey with a greater sense of strength, courage and conviction.

 

SUNDAY - “Sales” – Our faith is not for sale. We cannot bargain the price tag of faith. One cannot walk into a building and ask for faith. Faith does not come in the mini van, SUV or sedan style. It comes in the form of our heart. We might think that our heart is too small or not big enough, broken or wounded, but God chooses to dwell in our hearts as long as we open it up to Him, despite our doubts and fears. Our faith in Jesus is everything we need or could ask for. We don’t need to ask for extras or pay for more bells and whistles. We have to want to believe in Jesus Christ, the one who paid the ultimate price by giving up His life for us. We have to open our hearts to Him and ask Him to enter into us so that we can be the compassionate, merciful follower and witness that He calls us to be. Jesus died for us and for our sins. He redeemed us once and for all. He does not put a price on His love for us. The price was paid. All He asks of us is to live our life in love, for Him, others and our self. As this week begins, reflect on the awesomeness of His love for you and His desire for you to grow in that love with Him.

 

MONDAY  - “Mercy” Vince exuded mercy and compassion. No matter what our vocation, status in life or employment may be, we all are invited to be God’s instrument of mercy, compassion, peace, healing and love. When one does not judge another and seeks the good for others, mercy is growing and its seeds are expanding. We are all called to be compassionate and caring as God is with us. During lent, we might be called to extend mercy and compassion where it is difficult, but necessary.  Jesus invites us to walk with Him on our journey to Calvary, and Calvary is a journey of compassion, unconditional love and mercy. As you carry your cross this Lenten season, pray for a greater desire to be merciful towards those who have injured you and towards yourself as you recall your own sins and weaknesses. As you pray, a God for His grace to be at peace and the desire to be His glimpse of peace, mercy and compassion to others.

 

TUESDAY – “Trust” Trust is difficult especially when you have been hurt or betrayed. We as God’s children are weak and vulnerable, and we hold onto pain and grudges and hesitate to trust anyone that has hurt us. But it cannot be that way with the followers of Jesus. We must strive to be more like Him since He not only forgave us by His death on the cross, He gives us the grace to be reconciled so that we can build up trust again. He forgives you and He trusts you and has called you to be His witness. We are all sinners and we offend Jesus every time we turn way from Him and choose to sin. But even in the midst of your sin and weakness He loves you more deeply. He knows your heart and your desire to be the best person that you can be and He trusts that you want to and will continue to be his follower.

 

WEDNESDAY – “Wisdom” Seek to make wise choices this week. The choices that we make out of pride or ego are choices that can take us away from God and others. True wisdom comes in the form of humility and understanding. This week as you seek be wise; seek to understand so that your wisdom is rooted in compassion, empathy, peace and mercy.

 

THURSDAY – “Thankful” Bless us Oh lord for these thy gifts; life, faith, family, car, job, community, health, friends, food, and surprises, which we have received, and will continue to receive, from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen

Be thankful to God and others that He has placed on your path to assist you and bring you to know His blessings and care for you. Eucharist means thanksgiving. Go to Christ and thank Him for the gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist, and the gift of community that He has gathered to remind you that you are not alone on your faith journey. As you reflect on the gifts and blessings that you have been a recipient of, pray for those who may not be as fortunate as you are, as well as those who choose not to recognize how blessed they are, but rather how stressed they are. 

 

 

FRIDAY – “Faith” Our faith is a real gift that is given freely. Christ died on the cross and paid the ultimate price. His love is real and deep. He loves you unconditionally, has called you by name, you are His greatest creation and that He desires to be in a deep relationship with you.  Live today in the light of that love and share it with others. Do you recognize that you are a reflection of God; you are His glimpse to others?

On this Friday of lent, as you take time to reflect on the passion of Jesus and how He endured great suffering for you, in faith entrust to Him your suffering, your crosses, your life challenges to Him. Let go of the need to be in control and surrender to Him. Let go so that He can take your hands and walk with you as you walk in the light of His love, courage, grace and strength.

 

SATURDAY – “Surprise” Do you like surprises? Do you like to surprise others, in a good way? Can you celebrate surprises and not doubt or be afraid of them? A surprise is something that we do not plan on, do not know is coming and cannot prepare for.

Can you allow God to surprise you today? Can you allow Him to shower His blessings, His graces, and His love on you in both the unexpected and expected ways that you could not imagine, or prepare for and not doubt them or run from them?

My sister was surprised and grateful. The surprise came in the form of everyone working to help her when she least expected it. Her reality when she left Vince was not even a thought when she walked in the doors of the dealership. We cannot fully imagine the love and presence of God because we are limited, but He is not. He knows our heart and desire to fill it heal it and expand it so that we can be open to His many surprises.

Surprise, you are chosen. Go and bear fruit the fruit of His surprises in your life. Be the gift of surprise is the midst of someone’s life challenges and cross and let them know that they too are loved beyond imagination

.

 

Glimpse of God (week 46)

 

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

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

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

When I think of daylight savings time in the light of my faith, I come with a few similarities. For instance when we are in the previous mode and we are usually journeying through the winter season, where it is darker longer. This isn’t a bad darkness but rather a period where God is planting and preparing for things to flourish and grow. It is a necessary time if creation is going to be what God wants it to be. It is the same for us. Although it is difficult and challenging we need to accept those dark, barren times in our life so that we can recognize the light and the newness that will soon become ours. Everything becomes a matter of perspective and balance, darkness, light and many shades of gray. The glimpse of God is how we recognize, reverence and honor the gift of time that God has given us.  No one is promised tomorrow so carpe diem (those that know Latin!) and for the rest of us “Seize the day”!

Reflections of time…….

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

                       

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

 

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

 

Glimpse of God (week 47)

As I look back on this past week I am able to recognize many glimpses of God and the various and unexpected ways that He has chosen to reveal Himself. He has revealed Himself during my time with and in the presence of my spiritual directees, in and with my family members, through the antics of our pets, the time spent with friends and most especially in my preparation for the upcoming retreat. I have been given many graces this past week that have allowed me to be more open to His love, presence and peace and desiring to embrace them through the various life challenges and difficulties.

Although there are many obvious glimpses, I am going to choose one that was more hidden, less obvious but most transformative. 

My husband had gotten tickets to a special play for today. The reviews of it were excellent and both of us, and a good friend were looking forward to seeing it and enjoying the day out together. Today was a beautiful sunny Sunday and after the snow and cold, we were looking forward to the experience of a good show. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst shows that we had ever attended so we decided to leave early. So you might be asking where is the glimpse of God then? The glimpses were showered upon me; the beautiful sunny day, the last day of winter, the time spent with John and my friend, Dorothy, the time driving through the beautiful area to the play, the courage of the actors to perform before strangers, the recognition that although the show’s message was poor, the location and the seating reminded me of the old time play houses where people gathered as a community to see actors aspire to be greater and better in their profession.

I believe that God’s glimpses are not always clear. It is a special gift and grace that He gives us when we are able to recognize them in the foggy times because that means we are trying just a little harder to see the positive and not just the negative, to have hope and not be discouraged and to realize that what appears to be a failure in one way can be one’s success in another.

In today’s readings the Hebrews complained against Moses and God even after God delivered them from the Egyptians.

They missed the beauty of God’s hand and presence, but rather chose to complain against God and His chosen leaders. 

I think that one of the messages of Lent is to strive to see God in the least expected places, people and events. It is then that we are transformed and are able to experience a conversion that consists of compassion, understanding, selflessness, empathy and love.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. We changed the clocks last week, spring begins this week, and in a few weeks, we will enter into the holiest week of our faith as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. What a great life we have as Catholic Christians!

As we begin this week, let us be mindful and conscious of the hidden glimpses that God gives us, the events, people and places that we prefer to ignore, turn away from or judge, and try a little harder to see God.

 

SUNDAY – The eve of spring, take time to look at the snow or ice that is still lying on the ground and thank God for the season of winter. The winter has been preparing us for the flowering of spring, the newness of life, the resurrections of our life.

 

MONDAY – Today, celebrate the spring times of your life. Rejoice in your new beginnings; be renewed, celebrate each new day, look with expectation at the new week, be grateful for your new ideas, reverence old relationships, honor new ones.

 

TUESDAY – Today, honor the presence of God in your heart and choose to love Him a little bit more today. Be open to the greatest reality that God loves you unconditionally, and that you are His beloved. Allow yourself to Be Loved.

 

WEDNESDAY – Today, as you live in the newness of life, pray for someone who is struggling to move on and to see God in their life due to personal experiences, tragedies, illness, suffering or heavy crosses. Pray that they be renewed and refreshed so that they can rejoice in Christ’s love and be filled with His resurrection hope.

 

THURSDAY –Today, look at God’s creation with new eyes and try to see God in new ways. See His artistry in the flowers that are ready to burst with new blooms and colors, the trees that have been bare and now are looking to turn over a new leaf, the various creatures that crawl and fly and the grass that will now begin to grow with a vibrant green color, luster and beauty.

 

FRIDAY – Today, take time to reflect on ways that God has been transforming you during this holy Lenten season. Do you recognize where you have changed, been changed, need to change?

Change can be God’s way of showing you what you can become is greater than what you are now. He knows your potential and only through His grace can you reach it. Change can be God’s invitation for you to reach for the sky so that you can become a greater, stronger reflection of His presence and light. Will you RSVP or decline?

 

SATURDAY – Today, you have the opportunity to spring into action; that action being one of showing forgiveness, being reconciled, being merciful, being more understanding, being less judgmental, being more open, being more Christ like. Do your springs need oil, are they rusty or are they ready to take on the task of being the action and the movement of God?

 

Spring forward!!!!!!!!

 

Glimpse of God  (week 48)

A little background information.

Recently as part of my desire to bring about the message of God’s great love for us, I spoke to the men at Saint John’s Hospice about my book “Shopping for a Lighter Cross”.  I was well received and found it to be a very uplifting experience. The Director and the men were very positive, encouraging and affirming.  Afterwards I thought about and discussed with the Director, David S, how I might come to the Hospice once a month to talk to the men whereby they could share their faith and their thoughts on a topic that they wanted to hear about.

The Director was very excited about this idea and we will meet once a month starting in April. The first topic that we will talk about is HOPE.

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

Yesterday, I directed a Lenten retreat at the Franciscan Spiritual Center on the “The Three Temptations of Christ”. I have a wonderful retreat team consisting of 2 priests, Father John J. and Father John M, OSFS, our parish Deacon Dan B. and his wife Barb, Pat W., Dorothy O., and Theresa M. but most importantly my great husband, John. As a team we work together to hopefully bring a spiritually fulfilling experience to all those who attend the retreats.

As a continuation of the dialogue with the men at Saint John’s Hospice, I invited the men at the Hospice to attend the retreat yesterday (at no cost).  Not knowing how many ever attended a retreat, or would want to attend, I waited and hoped for their response. As we all know, people tend to forget about deadline dates, so when the deadline date for registering for the retreat was on Monday and I had only heard that 2 men were interested in attending, I was grateful and appreciative for those two even though I had hoped more would want to come. 

NOW…come Friday, the day before the retreat we had 9 men interested in attending, what a great blessing. WOW!

WOW doesn’t even begin to describe the retreat experience with the men. I cannot put into words the effect or the impression that these men made on my life and on the lives and spirits of the others who attended the retreat.  God’s glimpse came through the men in so many ways: In and through their love for God, and their desire to be God’s light in the midst of their struggles and challenges, how they had an instinctive and deeply genuine joy and sense of humor that came through them as light comes through the window, how they were truly engaged in the retreat experience, how they interacted with their fellow retreatants as if they were long time friends and how in a spirit of reverence they attended the Catholic Mass, although unfamiliar and new. They connected with the message, the retreatants and their God, and at the end of the day they were smiling and wanting to come back for another experience. 

As I reviewed all of the retreat evaluations, everyone of them commented on how spiritually fulfilling and what a grace filled experience it was to have the men from Saint John Hospice with us, and can they come back. We hope so!

I will pray to see how God wants me to continue this spiritual outreach and then I will present it to the Director of the Hospice to see if it is a possibility. 

 

(See pictures above. They are of the men of SJH with the other retreatan Today, I would like to thank the men that came: John, Jerome W., Eddie M., Domenico C., Cornell S., Anthony B., Robert B., Mitchell W., Joe B., and learn from their example not only how God dwells in all of His children, but how we are  called and can all learn from each other about God’s great love and mercy. As we continue on our Lenten journey, may we have a greater awareness of our words, attitudes and actions towards others and strive to make them life giving and life sustaining.

 

SUNDAY – Sincere -Today let your words be sincere and heartfelt. Let them be a source of strength to build another up and not of a source to tear another down. Think, and take the time to quietly pray for, those who are the outcasts of our society and the let the words of your prayers be for their continued strength, courage and perseverance.

 

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

 

TUESDAY – Thoughtful – Today, reach out to someone who could use your words of encouragement or consolation. Let them know that you truly care about them and that they are in your thoughts and prayers. Let us pray for those who are alone and have no one to be with them, that they experience the presence of God in and through the compassion, care and concern of others.

 

WEDNESDAY – Wholesome – Today, be refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated in God’s love for you and your love for God. May the love of God be a source of healing, wholeness and happiness as you continue your faith journey of personal self -discovery, conversion and transformation.

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

 

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

 

FRIDAY – Faithful – Are you faithful to God, others and self? Are others faithful to you? Let us pray for all of those who seem to lose their focus and the importance of being faithful and ask that God help them to seek mercy and pardon.

 

During this Lenten journey as we approach Holy Week, let us remember that even though His closest followers had abandoned Jesus, Jesus still selflessly, unconditionally and without cost, still chose to suffer and die for us. May we be willing to endure our trials and use them as an opportunity to show Jesus that we love Him more dearly, want to follow Him more nearly and serve Him more faithfully day by day

Glimpse of God (week 49)

 

Bishop Senior conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on 34 of our young students today. As an Altar Server, I had the honor not only of serving the Mass, but also seeing the faces of the young students as they were anointed with the Sacred Chrism. As I looked at the confirmandi, I saw 34 Glimpses of God. These glimpses were as unique and special as each one of them. They were joyful, excited, happy, anxious, and ready. They were ready to be confirmed in the faith that they had professed and chosen to witness to in and through their life. These young adults chose Christ and were ready to witness to His presence and love in their life.

Isn’t that what we all should be doing? Christ has chosen us because He loves us and wants to be in relationship with Him. Each day we are given the opportunity to not only show Jesus how much we love Him but also to show others how much they are also loved by God.

Lent is a time to build bridges of reconciliation, to take down the walls of hatred and bitterness and to clean the windows so that we can see clearly the presence, love, and graces of God that surround us. Let us take the time to recall, revisit and remember that we too have been chosen by Christ to be His witness and that He gives us the gifts and tools to be the best that we can be and that He knows we can be.

SUNDAY- Wisdom – Let us see things the way that God does and try our best to walk in the light of His will.

MONDAY – Courage – Let us seek to live in complete trust of God and knowledge that whatever cross we are called to carry, He is with us and gives us the courage to face our fears, anxieties, and apprehensions.

TUESDAY – Understanding – Let us desire to grasp and embrace the truths of our faith and seek to live according to what God reveals to us through prayer, Sacred Scripture and the Sacraments.

WEDNESDAY – Wonder and Awe – Help us to be more aware and appreciative of the glory of God in our life, and seek to live keeping away from sin and walking closer to God.

THURSDAY – Knowledge – Let us grow in a greater awareness  of God’s plan in our life and choose those things that will make us co-creators of the Kingdom of God  here on earth.

FRIDAY – Reverence – Let us always seek to serve God, Honor God, and Love God not out of a sense of obedience or obligation, but rather out of love and devotion.

SATURDAY – Right Judgment  - Let us choose Christ. Let us become one with Him at the cross, in the tomb and at the resurrection

 

GLIMPSE OF GOD (WEEK 50)

Glimpse Of God for Holy Week,

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

April 23 (week 52)

 

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

Today, for this week, I am seeing His Glimpse not from what has occurred, but rather what is yet to occur, what He has in store for me. This is not about looking past the present and wanting to jump into the future, but rather, appreciating the present and seeking to grow in a greater appreciation of the present by what lies ahead. His Glimpse lies in the anticipation of, and the joy in, this coming week where John and I will spend our vacation in an Amish house in Lancaster, Pa.

We will be staying in a house on an Amish farm, surrounded by picturesque landscape, a variety of farm animals, the scent of the farm, peace that permeates and quiet that resounds.

As we prepare to leave, we are leaving some stressful situations behind, but we are leaving with an excitement that comes in spending time together and doing fun things that we normally do not have the opportunity to do. We will miss Clover and Cannoli but we know that they will be taken good care of. We are not worried about the weather; if it rains or if it’s cold, it doesn’t matter. We are looking forward to spending time together and enjoying the experience and the newness of spending time so close to an Amish family.

We are anticipating attending daily Mass at the nearest Catholic Church, we are looking forward to seeing Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theatre, and traveling to Harrisburg to see the Civil War Museum. We are excited about going horseback riding as well as going “Antiquing” in Adamstown. Yes we have things that we hope to and have scheduled to do, but God’s glimpse isn’t so much in the activities but rather in our relationship and how He will renew and refresh us in the midst of His great creation.

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

 

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

 

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

 

TUESDAY  - Renewal – For today, just take and pray for one aspect of your life that you would like to be renewed.

Is it your faith; would you like to deepen your prayer life and grow in a deeper relationship with God?

Is it family; do you feel that as a family you are not able spend quality time together because everyone is always on the go? Has the busy ness of life taken away your time together?

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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© Cookie A Magee