Friday, October 26, 2012

Praying in hope...

"When we live with hope we do not get tangled up with concerns for how our wishes will be fulfilled. So, too, our prayers are not directed toward the gift, but toward the one who gives it."
Henri Nouwen, "With Open Hands"

I read this the other day and am still chewing on it. It seems that when we pray, we do have a certain outcome in mind for our requests. We would like this to happen or that...the outcome we desire. We pray, hoping what? To convince God of our desired outcome? But, what if God has a better solution? I think I am gradually growing away from praying for certain outcomes and am praying more for the strength to grow through any outcome. Life is not a straight line, a very wise friend told me once, and it is so true. But what we learn along the way is so amazing! Back to Nouwen...praying in hope is allowing for God's better idea. Praying in hope means that we can let go of our desired outcomes and allow God to fill us with whatever God desires for us. Praying in hope is more about our relationship with God, the Giver, than what we think we want or need. Hopefully, this weekend we can all take some quiet time to ponder what praying in hope means for us in our lives. Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Radical love...

"May we come to realize a radical dependence on the love and mercy of God."
~Sunday's homily at the Motherhouse

This, the last in the series of blogs, "Things I Learned at the Motherhouse," was so powerful to me, I pulled out pen and paper right there so I wouldn't forget a thing. The message was primarily for retreatants, sisters deep into their eight days of silence. But it is a message I need to hear regularly. "Radical dependence on the love and mercy of God..." Whoa, Nellie! The word "radical" can mean foundational or extreme and I think it means both when it comes to God's love and mercy. God's love for us is so far beyond anything we can imagine that it is very extreme. It is also foundational; it fills every, single cell that makes up our being. We can spend our time on this planet trying to please God by doing good. Or we can spend our time basking in the absolute incomprehensible love of God and do the good we do just to say "thanks." God's love for us is radical. Our dependence on that love needs to be radical, too. Bask in God's love today! love, heidi

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You are mine!

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine."
Isaiah 43:1

We did a bit of Lectio Divina this past weekend, as part of our gathering, and this was part of the scripture chosen. As I meditated on it, the phrase, "you are mine," lingered in my heart. We belong to God. Whatever or whoever else may have our attention or allegiance in this world, the bottom line is that we are God's. This reminded me of the quotation from Goethe: "All human longing is longing for God." We long and search for God because we belong to God. Our lives may get muddled and cluttered by our misplaced attachments here on earth, but God lovingly and tenderly calls us back. "I have called you by name; you are mine." That is so rich and beautiful, Friends! It sort of reminds me of the children's story about the just-hatched baby bird who goes around to several other critters saying, "Are you my mother?" We search for the fulfillment we can only find in God, who made us. God's, we are. Blessings on your Tuesday! Love, heidi

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leave everything behind...

"When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus."
Luke 5:11

I spent a long weekend with the Sisters of Charity in Leavenworth, and began that experience with Taize prayer Thursday evening. This chapter from Luke's gospel was read. The last sentence jumped out and me and I had an amazing time of reflection about it. The phrase, "they left everything and followed Jesus," played over and over in my head. What would that look like now? They literally left their livelihoods, family and friends behind and followed Jesus from town to town. If we did that today we would be considered quite irresponsible, don't you think? So, I thought of what that would mean in our world, today. It seems to mean we would leave behind anything that kept us from focusing our lives on Jesus and what Jesus taught us to do. We are to love each other and care for each other and over-involvement with ourselves and our own hang-ups would hinder us. If we are too prideful and all about what WE do and say, we surely would be hindered in our devotion to Jesus. Likewise, if we have other idols in the world, possessions, prestige, power; these would keep us from following Jesus fully. Jesus calls us to leave behind anything that gets in our way of loving God and serving God's people, because that is what Jesus has asked us to do. What does that look like in our lives? Love, heidi
View from the swing in the gazebo at the Motherhouse...such a beautiful and peaceful place!