Friday, June 22, 2012

Pray constantly!

"Prayer ought never to be separated and strained clean from what is happening in the rest of our life."
Sr. Joyce Rupp, "Prayer"
Sr Joyce quotes another author, Margaret Silf who says, "If we don't meet God in the everyday, we won't meet God at all." (from the book, "Companions of Christ") The other day I was standing on the porch of a new client and I was nervous and anxious. I'm not sure why, exactly, but this was going to be a challenging situation and I had butterflies. As I waited for someone to come to the door, I prayed that the appointment would go well. The appointment went beautifully. The question is: would I be telling you this if the appointment had not gone well? Certainly! Because if it had not gone well, God would have still answered my prayer. God would have given me all I needed to confront even a difficult situation. And I know that because God always has! God is part of my day from minute to minute, second to second. When I think of prayer, I think of my constant conversation going on in my head all day. (Poor God--having to listen to all that!) Anyway, speaking of prayer, I will be at blind camp all next week, so there won't be any Heidi-Grams. We would appreciate your prayers for the camp, which is always, very much, a spiritual event! Blessings to you and yours, and I will see you in July! Love, heidi

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This is how you are to pray...

"This is how you are to pray..."
Matthew 6:9

This reading reminded me of a cute story about my mom. During the last years of her life she was in a nursing home, having had a stroke that robbed her of her memory. She could remember way back in her life, but nothing of the present. So, she could tell you the name of her fifth grade teacher but couldn't remember one minute to the next what was happening now. The care-givers at the nursing home told me that, every day in the dining room, after lunch, she would recite the Lord's Prayer...perfectly complete and with gusto--especially the Protestant part at the end, "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory...for ever and ever!" After that, she'd say, "This is Rosie Gainan, signing off." It made me laugh but also touched me that she was so boisterous in sharing her prayer with others. She was never one to wear her faith on her sleeve. So, when I think of the Lord's Prayer, I think of Rosie Gainan, proclaiming it to all assembled company at the nursing home. I think that is what Jesus meant when he said, "This is how you are to pray..." Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Alive again!

"For a brief time, we are swept up in a contemplative movement that instantly connects our inner and outer world...(These) are mystical moments filled with an unexplainable intimacy, drawing us into a communion with divinity that is beyond our comprehension."
Sr. Joyce Rupp, "Prayer"

Interesting that I should read this today, on the one-year anniversary of beginning my silent retreat! I remember the morning it began. I'd spent a comfortable night at the Mother-house, met my friend, Sr. Susan, for breakfast, and then she sent me off for a walk around the beautiful campus. "Now, you meet with Sr. Kathleen (my retreat director) at 9:00, so have a nice walk and I'll see you in a few days!" I was so filled with anticipation and even anxiety. How could I spend so much time (days!) alone? I put Matt Maher's "Alive Again" in my ears and just started walking. By the end of the second chorus I was "swept up," as Sr. Joyce calls it. "Now I'm breathing in, breathing out; I'm alive again!" Matt sang in my ears. My heart swelled to near-bursting and soon I was in tears...oblivious to the world around me, but so aware of only God's Presence. And that was only the beginning...
Pull yourself aside today and spend some time with God! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Want vs. need...

"So do not worry and say, 'What am we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'...'Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.'"
Matthew 6:31-32

So, last night at the grocery store, I bought one lemon. I set it on the cashier-belt-thing and watched its lonely little self ride to the cashier. She looked at me like I had two heads. "One lemon?" she queried. There were many things I could have purchased. It was dinner-time and I was hungry. The lemon-pepper rotisserie chicken smelled wonderful. I could buy that. But, I'd decided, for once, to only buy what I needed. I needed a lemon. We are so conditioned to stock up, fill up the cart, buy what we want. The stores count on us to do that and they look perplexed at us when we don't. But what do we really need? Sometimes it's a good idea to try to separate the needs from the wants, isn't it? We need so much less than we have! It's definitely something to think about next time you go to the store. And if you really want to stock up and fill up the cart, take items to St. Vincent de Paul. They have a great need this summer! Love, heidi

Monday, June 18, 2012

My friends, Silence and Solitude...

"Without some quiet reflection, some solitude and stillness, our inner eyes will eventually be too blurred and weary to discover God in the rushing of our demanding days."
Sr. Joyce Rupp, "Prayer"

Yesterday morning, I had the most glorious opportunity to have a mini-retreat, right in my backyard! I spend hours out there (before the gale force winds came up) and read, prayed, listened, and, at times, just sat there, staring at the pine tree. It was quiet and peaceful; only the sounds of an occasional bird and the rhythm of the neighbor's sprinkler. It was such a wonderful time! It doesn't escape me that I have these opportunities because of my life situation. I have the freedom to take several hours and just spend them with God. It is such a gift! So, whenever I feel my life is lacking something, I just have to return to the backyard and live the Gift. It is so easy for us to dwell on what we don't have or cannot do. But it really helps to take an honest look and see what we really have and can really do. Silence and solitude are two relatively new friends of mine that I am enjoying immensely! Blessings on your Monday! Love, heidi