Thursday, October 20, 2011

Go deeper still

"Only in your depths can you come to know the love that surrounds you on all sides. And the most direct way to your depths are silence and prayer."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made"

I remember coming away from my silent retreat feeling as though I'd met a new friend and not wanting to leave that friend. There, in the silence and quiet, I felt a peace I'd never known before. I remember asking my new friend to please travel with me back to Idaho so the peace would last. So, when I read this today, I understood well what Fr. Stinissen was saying. We can't appreciate ourselves if we don't know ourselves and the REAL selves we need to get to know are deep inside. There, is the True self, the Authentic self, the self that God knows and touches. That self is so often lost in the world, amid all of our daily doings. Our daily doings are essential, of course, but still, we need to take the time to go deep. Fr. Stinissen also says, "The deepest human longing is to be completely affirmed as we are, and to be loved unconditionally." And my favorite quotation is, "All human longing is longing for God." (Goethe) And they are so much the same. Only God can love us unconditionally and as we really are--the way we long to be loved. And the way to find that, to experience that deep love is to find the Silence. Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Desire to change--first!

"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not!"
Romans 6:15

This was thought-provoking for me today. Sometimes we can get so comfortable in the sin-forgiveness model. God's forgiveness is so vast and God's grace so wonderful that we can get complacent. We attended a Fire Rally years ago and one of the talks still stands out in my mind. A sister told of going to Reconciliation one time and, as usual, had the same old list of offenses. It had become routine. The priest, sensing this in her, and possibly, tired of hearing the same old list of sins, pulled back the reigns. No, he told her, I am not going to absolve you this time. You need to get to the bottom of why you do the same sinful things and actually make an effort to stop. Can you imagine? She said she felt as though she walked out of the confessional with a huge letter "U" around her neck (for UN-absolved). But, she said it really helped her turn a corner in her walk with God. We need to ask ourselves if we have gotten a bit lax in the areas of our lives we need to work on. Do we go to Reconciliation with the same old list, get that Forgiven card and then walk out, ready to do it all again? St. Paul knew exactly what that was about and he wrote about it to the Romans here in this scripture. We need to go into Reconciliation with the fervor to change our behavior, before we even ask for forgiveness. The desire to change is essential to the process! Love heidi

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Laborers are few?

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
Luke 10:2

It used to be, when I read this, the "laborers" were those who entered the religious life. I thought that the only laborers were priests and nuns! Ha! Not so fast! God certainly has a bigger imagination than that! Now, I can see that we are all called to be laborers in one way or another. We are all called to go out into the world and do God's work; feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, the naked and the prisoners. We are the workers for the harvest. What we are asking God to do is stir up our hearts and align our will with God's will. We need to realize our call doesn't depend on what we can do, but what God can accomplish through us. Our call doesn't have anything to do with our abilities at all. Only God can give us what we need to do the work. The only skill we need is the ability to surrender ourselves and listen to God. Today, let's think of ourselves as the laborers God needs to harvest the field. What does God call us to do today? Love, heidi

Monday, October 17, 2011

Of greed and grain...

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

If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that wealth can be fleeting. That grain we stored into silos seem to drain out overnight and what we thought we had stored was no longer there. And what did we learn from that? Many people have learned to live on less and be actually satisfied with less. Many people have learned to share because they have realized that others have even less than they have. It is a struggle, but a valuable struggle with a valuable lesson. There is something so much more important than the stored-up grain in our silos! Yesterday, Fr. Dan said such a powerful thing. He said, "What you have may belong to Caesar, but who you are belongs to God." Let's think a bit about who we are and not so much about what we have. We belong to God and that is so much more fabulous than what we have. Love, heidi