Friday, March 30, 2012

Joining Jesus

"I love you, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer."
Psalm 18:2

"But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion."
Jeremiah 20:11

I couldn't choose between these two readings today so I chose both! They both reflect so much of what I have experienced when going through a difficult time. No matter what the circumstances, there was God, in the midst, holding my right hand. I may not have recognized God at first and I may have felt fairly alone for a time, but eventually I realized God was there and I was never alone. In our Wisdom Gathering last weekend, reflecting on Transformation, Sr. Maureen spoke of times in our lives when we may be led to transformation. I won't talk about all five today, but one: in times of suffering. She reflected on our times of suffering and explained that it is very transforming when we realize God is present with us in our suffering. We are transformed by the fact that, no matter what we go through, our suffering never goes unnoticed by God and in fact, God cries when we cry. That is a beautiful thought as we begin Holy Week, isn't it? Let's think about God joining in our suffering as we begin to walk the journey to Calvary and join with Jesus in his suffering. Love, heidi

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The gift of simplicity

"'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight."
Traditional Shaker hymn

Just when I firmly resolve to pare down, clean out, get-by-with-much-less and simplify my life...the 30% off coupon from Kohl's arrives in the mail. The pull of the world, represented by the 30% off coupon from Kohl's, is so hard to resist! We are continually given the message that we need more, should want more and that our lives will be so much better with...well, more! When, in reality, we already have so much more than we need. As we approach Holy Week, next week, what can we do to prepare our own lives for the symbolically bare altar of Holy Thursday night? We need to clean ourselves up, inside and out. There is the Sacrament of Reconciliation Monday evening at 7:00 at Christ the King. That can help us clean up the inside. Can we spend some time this weekend, going through our pantries, cupboards and closets and find things that will help others? Can we share what we have with those who have less? That seems like a good way to prepare for Holy Week. Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good fruit!

"For example, when I choose a particular way of life or a specific path in life, I have to 'die' to other paths that I might have chosen to follow. But if I have chosen the path in life that the Lord has called me to walk, then my life will produce the most good."
The Little Black Book, Lent 2012

This struck me today. Many of you know that I attended a "Come and See" weekend while in my mid-twenties in Montana, pondering the religious life. It was made quite clear to me, at the time and certainly later, that the religious life was not my destiny, but I reveled in the vocation of the married, family life. It is when I spend wonderful time with the Sisters, now as an Associate, that I look back and wonder...could I have traveled that path? Should I have traveled that path? So, this today in the Black Book gave me pause. Yesterday, as it happened, I had wonderful conversations with all three kids (even had dinner with Blaine!) and my answer to the fleeting question is affirmed. I walked the path in life that the Lord called me to walk, and my life produced some pretty good fruit! Thank you, God! Love, heidi

Monday, March 26, 2012

How can this be?

"Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be...?'"
Luke 1:34

This was one of the questions we were asked to ponder at this past weekend's Wisdom Gathering. The theme was Transformation: A Passion for Transforming Possibilities, and the Annunciation was given as an example of a young woman open to radical transformation. It doesn't get much more radical than Mary's "Yes" to becoming the mother of God! So, we thought a lot about Mary's question, "How can this be?" We certainly may need the same kind of clarification when faced with transforming events in our lives. If I am to move, how can I sell my house? If I am to change jobs, how can I find a new job? If I am to do something new, how am I to let go of what I was doing? Change, or transformation, begins with our openness, or our availability to something new. Our openness comes with the faith to allow God to show us the way. Both our openness and our trust are helped by remembering past situations where God has led us to something new and fresh and it all worked out. So, as we begin these last two weeks of Lent, let's think about our "Yes" to God. Are we open to transformation? Are we available and willing to change, to be touched by God and have that show in our lives? Love, heidi