Friday, October 20, 2017

Look for grace...

"What if God's grace had a bright face and chased us around the block?"
Fr. Guerric DeBona, Give Us This Day

So there's a fun image to get us through our Friday! We can't as much see God's grace as we feel it, at least that's the way with me. I can feel the warmth of the Spirit flowing through me at times, but seeing God's grace seems abstract. Unless we remember that seeing any goodness at all is seeing God's grace. Just yesterday I watched a school crossing guard at a busy intersection. The care with which she shepherded her little charges seemed grace-filled to me. I experienced a moment of grace when I reached out to a coworker who gently, kindly explained why my braille-writer wasn't working--operator error. Even the harried UPS guy who came flying in at the bitter end of the day, when it seemed all hope of him arriving in time, was lost. Grace. We once heard, in a homily, that grace is our next breath. We can certainly take that in and feel it, but let's actually look for the bright face of grace in our autumn weekend, Friends! We will see it when we see anything that looks like love. Love, heidi

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roll up your sleeves!

"It is not enough for a Christian to condemn evil, cowardice, lies, and use of force, hatred, and oppression. He must at all times be a witness to and defender of justice, goodness, truth, freedom, and love..."
Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, as quoted in Give Us This Day

A martyr in our own day, Fr. Jerzy died for the cause of solidarity in Poland in 1984. Over thirty years ago, but yet the cause of suffering with the oppressed lives on this very day. If one of us on this planet is oppressed for any reason, we all are. If one of us is bullied, maligned, turned away when seeking help, refused medical treatment, tricked, abused, ignored in our need, we all are. If one of us suffers due to race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, we all should be feeling that pain. We are one human family, united under a loving God, who relies on us to minister to each other.  There is goodness in this world, but things seem so difficult right now with the negative blaring of division from places of power.  Lord, please help us to speak truth to power and help us to roll up our sleeves and help those among us who suffer. Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, pray for us!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Clean the whole cup!

"Give for alms those things that are within and see, everything will be clean for you."
Luke 11:41

Wow, I was surprised this morning, at the difference between this verse in the Pray-As-You-Go version (UK) and the US version: "But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you." The UK version seems to imply that we can give from our inner selves, letting go of our anger or our tendency to judge others, and thereby clean our insides. While the US version seems open to our giving alms from our physical wealth.  This is fascinating to me, Friends! I think we can cover all our bases and take a both/and approach. Let's think about what within we can let go of to clean ourselves from the inside--any grudges, bitterness or lack of forgiveness? And we can also see so much need in our hurting world for our physical wealth. What can we share with others? Let's ponder how we can clean our insides and outsides, both, it seems, require a letting go... Love, heidi

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sneaky snow...

“For just as from the heavens the rain and the snow come down and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful...”
Isaiah 55:10

Saturday morning we woke up, surprisingly, to several inches of snow! Oh, the weather guy had said we might get some, but what does he know? When I got up to let the dog out, I was caught  completely off guard! What is this? It was so quiet and sneaky...just coming and piling up like that. I didn’t go back to bed like I usually do on Saturdays. I opened the blinds and lit a candle and just prayed with the sneaky new snow. Is this how God sometimes comes into our lives? We may invite God’s Presence and then we forget we asked. Suddenly, we wake up to see our hearts rearranged, wiggled around, feeling different. We may be surprised, wondering, When did God sneak in and wiggle my heart around? Why do I feel differently about this or that? When did God quietly take that anger away, or help me forgive that person? I am convinced that God can work like the sneaky Saturday snow...quietly, gently, while we are sleeping. Love, heidi

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Deeper Place...

"That's why I have to go into the wilderness, where I let God call me by name to a deeper place. This is the peace that the world cannot give. But I promise you that it is also the peace the world can no longer take from you."
Richard Rohr, "Simplicity-The Freedom of Letting Go"

This was one of my retreat books and this is taken from the last paragraph.  I read this, put the book down and said, "Yes!" That is why I go into the wilderness. I hear God call me by name to a deeper place. I sit in that deeper place and soak in the grace God gives me there.  This time the deeper place calls me to a deeper simplicity in my life...trying to let go of the need for power, prestige and possessions. There are many ways to live a simpler life and letting go of stuff is just one part. There is also the need to let go of, what St. Francis called "the purse of our own opinions," which, in my case, is more like a footlocker and weighs almost a ton! I will be continuing to explore and pursue this journey for the next several months and the above book was a wonderful guide, as was my second retreat book, "Eager to Love," also by Richard Rohr.  Dear Friends, I learned so much! And the beauty of the high desert was breath-taking this time of year!  Stay tuned for more, heidi

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fleeing to the desert...

"We don't come to the monastery to get away from suffering; we come to hold the suffering of all the world."
Thomas Merton, as quoted in Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, 10/5/2017

Tonight, I head over to the western side of the state to begin my five day silent retreat at Marymount. I shared with Sister Beverly that I have never felt more need to get away from the suffering of this country and world, but, I see that going on retreat I can learn to hold the suffering instead of escaping it. Even as I can escape the news when I am unplugged at the hermitage, the images of the suffering of our fellow humans beings, be they hurricane victims, refugees, immigrants, or those running from crazed gunfire, are still in my mind and heart. No, I will not be getting away from the suffering, but as I tune into the Holy Spirit in the silence, I can learn to hold it and somehow allow it to transform. And, as always, anything I glean on retreat I am meant to share when I return. Dear Friends, you will all be in my prayers at the hermitage, and will place your intentions on the altar while there.  Much love, heidi