Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who is our neighbor?

"If you are willing to help the one who needs you--if you are willing to love-- then you can be a neighbor to every person you meet."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "The is the Day the Lord has Made"

Back in Jesus' day, the Jewish people pretty much stayed away from other groups who did not believe as they did. They purposely shunned people like Samaritans, tax collectors, "sinners" (perhaps they didn't see themselves as sinners). When the young lawyer asked Jesus who his "neighbor" was and Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus really set them all on their ear. The Samaritan was the hero of the story, for one thing, and also Jesus helped them see that going out of your way to help another person, no matter who their were, was the ideal. Not only did Jesus talk about it, but he practiced it--regularly associating with people the Jewish people were used to shunning. He said it. He did it. So unlike the Jewish leaders of his day. So, we ask the question, "Who is our neighbor?" And Jesus again asks us to stretch ourselves. The people who are unlike us. The people we have been thinking we need to shun. The people who speak a different language or read a different holy book. The people we may think of as our enemies. The people who need us. Love, heidi

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The love of Abba...

"The prayer of the poor in spirit can simply be a simple word: Abba."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

I know I have been so blessed in my life to have the parents I had, especially my Dad. Forty-three when I was born, his only child, my Dad mirrored the love of God to me everyday of my life! Isn't that a blessing? Fortunately, his over-abundant love was tempered by my Mom's firm guidance or I would have fairly intolerable to be around! As I see it though, that love was a glimpse of the love of God for Abba. Today, let's think about the love we have experienced here in this life and multiply it by a bazillion...and that doesn't come close to the love of Abba. Kind of hard to wrap our minds around, isn't it? Let's bask in that this winter, heidi

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In our weakness...

"But the core of the Good News is that it is not by our own strength we act as true Christians--it has to be Jesus acting in us and through us."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made"

I know I have mentioned this point before, but I seem to need reminding of this myself, over and over. It is NOT about me and what I can do. It is ALL about what God can do if I just get out of the way. Traditionally, I think, we are weaned on the notion that we must do this and that to what...earn God's favor? Get God's attention? When, in reality, all God really needs us to do is quietly surrender our will to God's and listen carefully to God's whisper. It is in our weakness that God works through us...not through our abilities. That is why God specifically chose the people chosen throughout scripture. The sinners, the fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, the fiery, faulty Twelve, the Samaritan woman, the children, all served to do God's will though they were not the learned or considered the "Wise" of their time. This is so critical for us to learn, Friends! It is in our weakness that we can come, humbly to God and say what Mary said, "Be it done to me according to your will." Love, heidi

Monday, February 6, 2012

Believe the truth!

"O God, help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful!"
Macrina Wiederkehr

I heard this at a prayer service while at the Motherhouse in Kansas and I thought it was such an amazing nugget for a winter morning contemplation. How can we see the God-dwelling in others if we cannot see the God-dwelling in ourselves? That is why we are told to love others as we love ourselves, but, so often we are our own worst enemies! Many times our harsh judgments of others are carefully disguised dissatisfaction with ourselves. Today, let's be aware of the light of God that shines in each one of us. In realizing how God sees us as a most beautiful creation, we can look at others the same way. Blessings on your Monday! Love, heidi