Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lost and found

"Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost."
Luke 15:9

I lost my ring in Kansas a couple of weeks ago...the ring I wear all the time. It is inscribed and represents a commitment I made many years ago and, despite just being an inanimate object, it is important to me. I was hiking in a beautiful state park when I looked down at my hand and froze. My ring was gone. I can't believe how it affected me and I'm embarrassed to be so attached to just a thing, but, because of how I felt that day, I can totally relate to the woman with the lost coin in today's Gospel! I was ready to move heaven and earth to be reunited with my ring. Fortunately, a quick call and message to the Motherhouse and a dear sister searched my room, finding my ring on the bed. It was swiftly mailed back to me and I rejoiced when it arrived in the mail. So, I totally get this lady today. And it gives me such an appreciation for the message in the story. God rejoices mightily when one of his children come Home. Our "lostness" gives God a feeling of sorrow and of things being incomplete. We aren't where we belong--with God. Today, let's make a special effort to be "found" by God, by asking for forgiveness or forgiving a hurt. God will rejoice in our return! Love, heidi

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls Day...and I mean ALL!

"But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6

Today is the Feast of All Souls; perhaps the "rest of us" who aren't saints, yet! Fr. Jairo had a wonderful homily last night about how all those we consider saints started out as sinners, and, through coming to Jesus in humility, have washed their garments in the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 9:14). Great truth, that.
I love this reading from Romans because it shows us that we don't have to pretend with God. We don't have to try and be someone we are not, like we may have to with humans. We can be ourselves. God knows every inch of our hearts and every hair on our heads and JUST as we are, God sent Jesus to us. Today is the Feast of ALL Souls...not Good Souls, or Perfect Souls or even Trying Hard Souls. It is the feast for all of our brokenness, weakness, sinfulness and pain, God reached into our reality and sent Jesus. And that is worth celebrating today! Love, heidi

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In our brokenness

"If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart."
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"

This is quite a good reading for All Saints Day if you think about it. Think about what happens when our hearts are broken. There is surrender, for one thing. We let go of our own agendas and surrender in our brokenness. Also, we do not give up on God...realizing that God is as present in our pain as God was a part of our celebration. God hasn't left the building just because things are difficult for us--quite the opposite is true. We may feel closer to God as our hearts are broken and laid open. We can join our broken hearts to Jesus in the Garden and His brokenness, and realize that God can work for good in our weakness as well. Now think of the saints we celebrate today. Reading the lives of the saints teaches us that they had their share of broken hearts and struggles in this world. Not one of them lived an easy, perfect little life without troubles. And yet. They thanked God for breaking their hearts. St. Francis rejoiced in Lady Poverty. St. Therese found her Little Way of serving God. Blessed Mother Teresa took her broken heart to the streets and cared for the people she found there. Today, as we think about the saints, let's remember that it was in their broken hearts that God brought goodness into the world. Love, heidi

Monday, October 31, 2011

Loving us, masks and all

"To be loved so totally, so unconditionally, should call forth a response from us, just as it did from those whom Jesus loved and refused to judge. Such a love invites a response of humble gratitude."
Fr. Ed Hays, "A Pilgrim's Almanac"

Tonight our doorbells will be ringing with ghosts and goblins on the other side, wanting candy from us...craziness, all. So, today, let's think about how much God loves us and how that must change us. Just knowing we are so richly loved must make us feel differently about ourselves. And that knowledge cannot go without a response from us. The masks and costumes we will see today can remind us that only God knows the Real Us under the masks and costumes we wear continually trying to be the people we are not. And God loves us in spite of ourselves. And we respond? By loving the Real in our friends, neighbors, and family and thanking God continually for loving us, masks and all! Love, heidi