Thursday, October 6, 2011


"If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Luke 11:13

Most parents know that you cannot indulge every wish and whim of your kids or they will be spoiled and never amount to anything. It is such a delicate balance between giving them things that they want and need and teaching them about life...they can't always get what they want. (The Rolling Stones song just flew through my head!) But, as with so many other areas of life, God's ways are so different than our ways. God wants us to be happy and productive, not spoiled and self-centered. And so, God will give us the Holy Spirit in vast abundance! The Holy Spirit is love in overwhelming quantity. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom we need to get through this maze of life. We can't get enough of the Holy Spirit. And God will never stop giving us the Holy Spirit, (and here comes the caveat) when we ask! We need to recognize our need for the Holy Spirit. So often, though, we want to seem to be strong and independent. In reality, the Holy Spirit can feed us a continual banquet of gifts; wisdom (who doesn't need more of that?) counsel, fortitude, understanding, piety, knowledge and awe of the Lord. Let's make a conscious prayer today for the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jonah, Jonah...

"Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry that God did not carry out the evil he threatened against Nineveh."
Jonah 4:1

Oh, Jonah, Jonah. One would think, at this point in the story of Jonah, he would be a little more aware. This is after Jonah had refused God's initial request to warn Nineveh and tried to sail away from God. The storm on the sea, Jonah is cast out and ends up in the belly of the whale for three days, before he is spit up onto the shore of Nineveh and God asks him again to warn the city. He does God's will this time and, to his surprise and dismay, Nineveh repents and begins to obey God. God is happy and says the city will not be destroyed. And Jonah? Well, he is mad because he liked the idea of God punishing Nineveh. How short is Jonah's memory of how God spared him, even though he had displeased God too? So, here we are, today's reading, and Jonah is pouting outside the city under his little hut. Aren't we so much like Jonah sometimes? We like to bask in the comfort of being the Good Guy and take a front row seat to watch the Bad Guys get what's coming to them. But it just doesn't work that way if it's God directing the movie. God's love and mercy are the stars of the show, not our little brand of justice. Instead of being thrilled that God is merciful, we find it "not fair." That is, until we find ourselves basking in God's forgiveness. Then, hopefully, we can be grateful. Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

St. Francis Day!

"Courage isn't the absence of despair and fear but the capacity to move ahead in spite of them."
Soren Kierkegaard, as quoted in "When the Heart Waits," by Sue Monk Kidd

This quote seems so perfect for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi! St. Francis, who didn't fear poverty and rejection, but embraced them for the sake of the Gospel. St. Francis, who even in his last days, while suffering terribly, sang to the Lord in pure joy. If we could all just have a little bit of St. Francis in our hearts; willing and eager to sing out for the love for God! Today, in celebration of St. Francis, hug your pet and sing a song of joy to God. Even if you don't think you can sing, God loves a joyful noise! Embrace the living, breathing world around you in nature, today. And, before you go to bed tonight, pray the prayer of St. Francis here below...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Monday, October 3, 2011

Come sit, in silence

"Among the hardest things in life is the art of listening."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made"

I sat outside yesterday morning for my prayer time. I couldn't have imagined I would be able to be outside on an October Sunday morning, but there I was. It was bliss. In the stillness, I heard the birds and only an occasional human. It was the closest thing to heaven this side of Easter, my Friends! We so need to spend time in silence with God! God aches for us to come and sit in silence! God wants to share so much with us if we'd only stop and listen. In the midst of our busy lives, we need to take time to sit at Jesus' feet as Mary did. It sure makes it easier when we can be outside on a glorious autumn morning, but we need to do it anywhere, anytime. Today, let's carve out some time to just sit and be with God, in silence. You pick the time and place, God will be there! Love, heidi