Friday, November 16, 2012

A list to live by...

"Whoever loses his life will save it."
Luke 17:33

I'm the type of learner who loves a list. Give me a nice list of things and I will memorize it and feel I really learned something! In today's reflection in "The Word Among Us," there is a wonderful list...a "spiritual wardrobe," they call it. Wearing these "outfits" in our everyday life will make us well-dressed for any occasion!
First, "keep your conscience clear." I need to try and behave myself, for cryin' out loud! As simple and obvious as it sounds, I do struggle so with people, I can easily act irritable and cold. Gotta work on that. Second, "love others." Again, isn't this a given? Not necessarily. It's hard to love people when they bug us. But, that is what makes it worthwhile. It's like baseball, if it was easy everyone could do it. ("A League of Their Own") And third, "stay close to Jesus." The way I see it, this one is necessary for us to even have half a chance at the other two. So, this will help me today, maybe it will help you too. Memorize this list, and, if you find yourself getting aggravated at anyone, go through it in your head...does it help? Blessings on your weekend! If you are traveling, God go with you! Love, heidi

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wake up to the journey!

"The Kingdom of God is among you."
Luke 17:21

It is interesting to ponder this in today's gospel (Luke 17:20-25). What did Jesus mean exactly? I think Jesus means that we need to wake up and smell the coffee. We can't live in the past and we can't live in the, the here and now, is what we have and we shouldn't miss the beauty of now. In "Pray All Ways," Fr. Ed Hays talks about going on a pilgrimage. "We are called to be pilgrims, for that is what we really are anyway; all our life is but a journey to the Holy, whom we call God." Each step of the journey is important. There may be highlights along the way--special sights to see, experiences, people. But each step we take has significance for the overall journey. If we are only awake and alert for the big attractions, we may miss something amazingly special on a humdrum Thursday in November. God has given us each moment of our lives as gift. Today, let's make sure we relish that! Love, heidi

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Praying with our noses!

"What can we do, you might ask, if we wish to awaken our sleeping noses and learn how to pray with them?"
Fr. Ed Hays, "Pray All Ways"

Pray with our noses? Are you kidding me? One of the most distinctive memories I have is that of incense in church. I remember my dad and I visiting each Catholic church in Billings on Holy Thursday night for Adoration, and the lingering smell of incense. When we think about it, smells can trigger many memories for us and those smells and memories can draw us into prayer. I jotted down a few "smell memories" that can make me pause and smile...I invite you to do the same today!
The air after a cleansing rain
Applesauce cooking in the crock pot
Bread, cookies, or anything like that baking
Coffee brewing
Fresh Christmas trees
A baby's head
I slept with son Blaine's tee shirt after he left for college, because it smelled of him.
Everyday various aromas fill our noses, but we may not think of them as prayer. If they take us back to a joyous time or remind us of Home, they can indeed draw us closer to God. Fr. Ed Hays suggests adding incense to our prayer time, so my little place is filled with a tiny waft of a beautiful smell this morning! Today, let's be aware of the aromas around us and thank God mightily for the gift of our nose! Love, heidi

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Prayer of tears

"Tears are the prayer-beads of all of us, men and women, because they arise from a fullness of the heart."
Fr. Ed Hays, "Pray All Ways"

Yesterday's lesson on praying all ways was about praying with the eyes...taking in all of God's glorious creation and appreciating that beauty. So, I went down to the Greenbelt and took a walk. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was a beautiful blue. My prayerful eyes took it all in, and my response to this moment of pure Presence of God was today's prayer form--the Prayer of Tears. Fr. Ed Hays says that our tears are prayers...powerful prayers! Our tears come from deep inside us and are not under our control. They are spontaneous and not-formulated, like our more formal prayers. They are not of our conscious doing but come from deep within our heart and soul. Prayerful tears are cleansing and can come from sorrow and joy...but, the point is that we allow them to come! I can think of so many times when the prayer of tears just took me over and the freedom of this prayer form made me feel closer to God. So, praying with our eyes involves what our eyes take in--God's beautiful creation, as well as what our eyes let out--the tears of our heart. Love, heidi

Monday, November 12, 2012

Praying with the eyes...

"Eyes are the prayer books of the mystics..."
Fr. Ed Hays, "Pray All Ways"

Fr. Ed Hays, today, urged me to pray with my I was drawn to the river and a walk around the Greenbelt.  Everything I saw was prayer-worthy! The bare, naked trees made visible many bird nests--summer homes of many of the birds who have now gone south (if they are wise!)  The sun shone brightly and the cold, crisp air nipped my face, but the walk was beautiful and I had a grand time of prayer. We need to open our eyes and see the glory of God right in front of us. I was overwhelmed with the Presence as I walked along, taking in the nearly-winter day. Love, heidi