Friday, October 21, 2016

With patience and love...

"I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love..."
Ephesians 4:1-2

So, I was on retreat all last week with absolutely no news, phone, or connection to the world to interrupt my bliss.  I thought I'd be curious as to what was going on but I settled into ignorance very well.  The world could certainly do without me for a few days! The problem with that is that, upon returning and hearing all that is happening around me, it had a cumulative effect--a sort of piling on. "You weren't part of this last week so we are doubling down on you this week!" It hit me hard. It certainly helps to know that, instead of watching us from a distance, God is right in our midst, suffering with us...Fr. Richard Rohr explained that in his meditation for today. That helps, but so does this advice from St. Paul. We can get along with each other by bearing with one another in patience with love.  We can disagree and DO disagree, but the bottom line is that we are all God's children and loved enormously by God. This difficult time, too, will pass and (somehow!) all will be well (Julian of Norwich). So, let's go forth this autumn Friday, in humility (we don't have all the answers!), gentle and patient with each other.  We are all loved mightily by a God who knows our sufferings, and, in fact, suffers with us.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Entrusted with more?

"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more,"
Luke 12:48

I sure can see how I've been entrusted with much! I grew up well-loved with every advantage of education and experience. I'm grateful everyday for the love of my parents, family and friends and for all I have been able to do and see in my life. So what am I to do, now that I see myself firmly in the "people entrusted with much" column?  I see it as such a responsibility to give back, but, as obvious as that is, I still struggle with it. I remember that first retreat at Marymount when I was praying that I could change my life all around and have a spiritual vocation. It was such a grand ambition, seemingly so far out of reach, and yet I felt so drawn to that.  And I remember the answer coming just as clear as a bell. Heidi-dear, what I'd really like is if you would just do your life better now, where you are right now. Any vocation is a spiritual vocation if you just do it with love and for God. Huh? What is being asked of me, as a person given so much, is to do what I do with love and for God.  I am to love those I serve in my work, love those I encounter each day and do it all for the glory of God, who gave everything to me in the first place. (See, this is why I go on retreat! I get clear answers to murky questions!)  Abundantly Gifting God, please help me to give back to you today by doing what I do, better, with more love and for your glory! Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A magnificent distraction...

As I was sitting down to do my readings and morning prayer, I had the most incredible distraction ever! Daughter Jeni Rose is in Barcelona and was texting me as she explored her neighborhood. She happened onto the Cathedral, which is a few blocks from her little flat.  She went inside and sent me pictures of it with her little commentary of how beautiful and amazing it all is. An organ was playing and a soloist practicing. She was awed by the holiness of it. And, to me, THAT was my prayer time right there. No, I didn't quite get to the readings, but traveling through the Cathedral at Barcelona with Jeni Rose was a magnificent prayer in itself.  So, thank you, Gracious God for the gift of distraction! And the gift of seeing the Cathedral through the eyes and iPhone of Jeni Rose...Love, heidi

Monday, October 17, 2016

Take care...

"Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."
Luke 12:15

This is a drumbeat I've tried to march to for quite a while, with varying degrees of success.  I first learned about voluntary simplicity many years ago and the idea of living more as a minimalist intrigued me right away. I got rid of a ton of stuff immediately. But now I can see that living with less is only part of the call of Jesus.  Jesus' own lifestyle and his preferential concern for the poor and marginalized is the more important second part of this equation, I believe. It doesn't matter if I have just thirty-three things in my closet if my lifestyle doesn't show generosity to the poor. (Although the 333 Project has been fascinating!) The real message is if I am living with less, I can share more with others.  That seems to be the whole ball of wax for me this autumn Monday. Jesus, you know how I struggle with stuff and my need for security keeps my grip tight around my resources. Please help me to live with less so I can help others.  As Fr. Richard Rohr says so wisely, "Live simply so others may simply live." Amen! Love, heidi

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Are you mad?

"Are you people in Galatia mad?"
Galatians 3:1

Since Pray-As-You-Go is a UK production, sometimes their versions of the readings are just a bit...well, British! That is the case today, isn't it fun? The US version is still a bit of a wake-up call, "O stupid Galatians!" St. Paul has had it with the Galatians, no matter who you talk to.  So what's the rub?  St. Paul is asking the Galatians if they are living more by the law or the Spirit, in faith. The Jewish people love their laws...they had a bunch of them and the law was their life-blood. It was a safety net for them.  As long as they were obeying the laws they were OK. But along comes Paul and they are baptized into Jesus and the Spirit and they're asked to step out in faith, propelled by the Spirit.  That's a bit risky when all you've had to be before was law-abiding. That safety net of the ritual laws is gone! So let's ask ourselves this autumn we believe God loves us because we are good? Or does God love us because God is good? Do we believe it is our behavior that saves us and grants us eternal life? Or are we graced with life by a God who couldn't possibly NOT love us?  Happy pondering!
Oh and I will be away from the computer for the rest of this week and all next week.  Abundant blessings and love, heidi