Friday, October 12, 2012

Thank God...

"If you wish to find unity and coherence in your life, the best thing you can do is to thank God for everything."
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made"

I can glimpse an understanding of how this works, but it is hard to thank God for the difficult stuff. By thanking God, even for the tough stuff, we show trust in God. I'm not sure that God manipulates events, but I strongly believe that God gives us what we need to get through the difficult events and bolsters us from the inside out. So, thanking God for the trials, as well as the triumphs, is such a beautiful sign of faith. I just finished reading the book "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer, and, in it, he uses an expression for feeling down--having "heavy boots." It is such a perfect expression for feeling the weight of our fears, cares, worries. So, the message I am feeling today is to thank God, even in our heavy boots. God is most certainly walking beside us and feeling the weight of our heavy boots right along with us. These heavy boots may have a lesson to teach us. They may be leading us somewhere beautiful. Thank you, God...for heavy boots. Love, heidi

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Open your hands...

"What is possible is to open your hands without fear, so that the One who loves you can blow your sins away/"
Henri Nouwen, "With Open Hands"

I absolutely love this image. Henri Nouwen talks about our clenched fists and how we desperately cling to the dysfunctional, maybe because it is all we know. We cling to bitterness and hurts and anger and negativity because it is familiar, certainly not because it works well for us. All of this we cling to with clenched fists. He talks of coming to God, trusting God and slowly, opening our clenched fists, exposing the yuckiness we may want to hide from God. But, as in this quote, exposing it gives God the chance to blow it away, off of our hands and out of our lives. Try this if you have a moment today...close your eyes and clench your fists around your shadows--the anger you may still feel after all this time, the bitterness, the fear, even the disappointment you may feel in another. As these things come to mind, slowly, prayerfully, open your hands. Imagine God, so present there, seeing your hurts and gently blowing them off your hand. Imagine God taking your hands and caressing them. Just sit there, basking in God for a time. Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All will be well...

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich

There are several things that seem to be disturbing me right about now. And they all seemed to come to a head about the time I was trying to go to sleep last night. And, thankfully, I was able to pull this quote from Julian of Norwich from some deep recesses of my memory. "All will be well." Mind you, she didn't say how all will be well, but it was comforting just the same. Sometimes, in the hamster-wheel of our lives, we need to turn to a fourteenth century mystic for answers. It was such a relief to me that I didn't need to actually solve the world's problems as I tried to get to sleep! So, the next time you find yourself wallowing in the senselessness of the world and all its ills, rest assured, "all will be well..." Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What is a family?

"But he said to them in reply, 'Who are my mother and brothers? ...Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.'"
Mark 3:33, 34

Our priest on Sunday asked us an interesting question in his homily; "How do you think Jesus would define a family?" After a wonderful liturgy, we discussed the question during breakfast (that is the sign of a stellar homily!) He had given us a couple of definitions he'd found, and one jumped out at me. "A family is a loving and supportive unit." I feel a part of many families, as it happens. I told my friends right then and there that they were family to me. We talk, share and visit fairly often and I feel their love and support constantly. I have a church family, a 4th day family, even a Zumba family. A group of good friends and I share a web page at "My," where we share recipes, photos of our antics, and books we've enjoyed. That group is definitely loving and supportive...another family. I have my family of Sisters of Charity, some of whom have known me most of my life and still love me! And of course, I have my family-family...cousins in Montana and Texas and my own kids, who are the lights of my life. Family. A loving and supportive unit. So true and so God-given. Love, heidi