Friday, January 4, 2013

A happy January thought...

"The Father of Jesus is very fond of me."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

In today's reflection, Brennan Manning tells the story of a priest who goes to Ireland to help an elderly uncle celebrate his eightieth birthday. They take a walk together and watch a beautiful sunrise. His uncle is smiling and the priest asks him why. He responds, "The Father of Jesus is very fond of me." Truer words have never been spoken. Our spirituality can get so complicated! We seem to have to muddle everything in our own heads and make it ten times harder than it really is. Why is that? Does complicating things make them more valid? More impressive? I think if we could spend some time just contemplating the fact that "The Father of Jesus" is so incredibly fond of us, we could simplify things greatly and be able to just bask in God's love instead of trying to earn it, figure it out or justify our own worthiness of it. This frosty January dawn, I am sitting here reveling in this indisputable fact: The Father of Jesus is very fond of me. And you. And isn't that grand? Love, heidi

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Child of God

"See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are."
1 John 3:1

It may be hard for us to grasp the concept of being a child of God. At our New Year's Day mass, the second reading was Galatians 4:4-7 and verse 7 states, "For you are are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son then also an heir..." So our being a child of God gives us an inheritance, not of money or property, but of life! It surely helps us to wrap our heads around being a child of God if we grew up in a loving, nurturing family. I've said before that my parents were a wonderful combination of loving indulgence and kind, yet firm, discipline. That showed me how being a child of God can give me a good, solid foundation in the world. In today's Living Faith reflection on this reading, Sr. Melannie Svoboda gives a wonderful image of how we can realize the "familyship" of all of us in the family of God. She went to a family reunion that was so large everyone wore name-tags describing their particular branch of the family! She suggested we all have a name-tag that states we are a "child of God." I love the idea of us all going around with name-tags that say simply, "Hello! I am a child of God." Today, we may encounter someone difficult. Let's imagine their name-tag and the fact that they are, too, a "child of God!" Love, heidi

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An attitude of gratitude

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans."
Lou Gehrig, Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939
Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? I usually don't get caught up in those really, but I watched a couple of episodes of Ken Burns' documentary, "Baseball," and one absolutely hit me between the eyes. I need to be more grateful. Instead of concentrating on the things that may be missing, I need to be grateful for what is here. The glass is half full, not half empty! It is way too easy to get wrapped around the problems, tragedies, bad stuff and not take enough time to appreciate the good and glorious. So, this brand, new year, I am taking a page out of Lou Gehrig's playbook. I am amazingly blessed with everything I could possibly need in this life! Amen! Alleluia! Love, heidi

Monday, December 31, 2012

Bring on the Light!

"What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:3-5

There seems to be something especially "dark" about December 31. True, we are in the darkest part of our year--the days have just begun getting longer, minute-by-minute. But in the vein of "it is always darkest before the dawn," we think of New Year's Day as a new dawn, don't we? Tomorrow dawns a new year, a fresh new start. What does that make today? I think it makes it a great day to remember the Light. This Light that shines in the darkness and the darkness can never win. The Light of Jesus! The Light is still fresh and new in the manger. The Light can fill us with something special even before tomorrow's turn of the calendar. If we get a chance today, let's take some quiet time and ponder the many gifts the Light has brought into our lives. Let's be thankful for all the times of darkness we may have experienced this past year that didn't swallow us up, but, indeed, helped us to grow. Let's ring in the new year with the knowledge that the Light we know as Jesus will always be with us. Happy, healthy, Light-filled New Year! Love, heidi