Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Lady, our Friend

"Mary is someone who helps us live through our troubles as she did--with faith, courage and love."
Sr. Melannie Svoboda, "In Steadfast Love"

Today's feast of Our Lady of Sorrows got me thinking. I really got to know Mary during a time of difficulty and this quote by Sr. Melannie was spot-on. Mary's quiet presence with me was exactly what I needed. Mary's example of a woman of faith and courage was the perfect example for me. And, with all due respect, sometimes we women just need a girlfriend to share the difficult times and Mary was that for me, too. Mary's life was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. She was a devoted daughter of God, handpicked to be the mother of the Savior, and yet, her life was anything but easy. She experienced much of what we mothers experience in our lives and much, much more. What better companion to us could there be? Mary is the picture of faith, hope and love we can gaze upon and see how to do it. She knows our struggles and can share in them. Just like a girlfriend. Love, heidi

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jesus gave him to his mother

"(Jesus) stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, 'Young man, I tell you arise!' The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother."
Luke 7:14-15

When I read this today, the words, "Jesus gave him to his mother" gave me pause. It was an amazing miracle, surely. But, "he gave him to his mother" jumped out at me. Jesus knew that a mother and son have a special bond. Jesus had a special bond with his mother, too. So much so that he assured his mother would be cared for as his was dying on the cross: "Woman, behold your son," (John 19:26). Jesus was giving his mother to the care of John. In a sense, Jesus raising the young man from the dead was a foreshadowing of his own death and resurrection, wasn't it? At the surface, Jesus is showing his deep concern for family and loved ones and care for the vulnerable among us. Jesus knew that elderly women in that time could not make their own way and needed the care of others. What is our lesson from this today? To care for the lonely among us. It may be an elderly neighbor, a stranger in line at the store. Speak to people, be kind to people you pass on the street or in the hall. You do not know their stories, but they may really just need to be greeted kindly today. Love, heidi

Monday, September 12, 2011

A channel of your peace...

"Peter approached Jesus and asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?'"
Matthew 18:21

I sat outside yesterday in the beautiful nearly-Autumn morning, pondering the day, 9/11. We'd heard an amazing homily the night before at mass, talking about forgiveness. In the blissful quiet, I thought back on where I was, how I'd heard about the tragedies. I was at daily mass, in fact, and we'd prayed for "whatever was happening in New York," the news was just getting out and we didn't know what it was. I thought about our reaction. First, fear. Then, anger. Clearly we would never be the same again. It would slowly evolve to a "new normal" of weird security at the airport and a wary mistrust of other religions and people. But, now, ten years later, the gospel for 9/11 talks of forgiveness. Forgiveness? Can it be done? Is it possible? It is only through forgiveness that healing can happen. Jesus tells us "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times" (Matthew 18:22). Can we argue with Jesus, who, as he was dying on a cross, asked God to forgive his murderers? He told us what to do and then he showed us what to do. Can we imagine the legacy of 9/11 being forgiveness? Wouldn't that be God turning all things into good for those who love God? That is my prayer as we move on past this ten year anniversary. We sang "The Prayer of St. Francis" as we left mass..."Make me a channel of your peace...where there is hatred, let me bring your love." Please, let it be so. Love, heidi