Friday, March 15, 2013

I love you, my Friend...

"I love you, my Friend."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"
Brennan Manning was reflecting on a time when he was preparing for Adoration and just didn't feel it. He questioned his own sincerity and why he was doing what he was about to do. Once he sat there, however, these words came to his lips. "I love you, my Friend." The Christian journey can be difficult, as we all know. Jesus asks difficult things of us...being servants, loving our enemies, forgiving those who hurt us, not judging those who bug us. But, what we need to do along the way, is sit in Jesus' midst and pray, "I love you, my Friend." That's what it is. It all boils down to Jesus and me. Together. And me acknowledging that I love my Friend, Jesus. Let this be our own Lenten prayer today! Love, heidi

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Francis, repair my Church...

"Francis, repair my church."
St. Francis' call from God at San Damiano

Because our new pope has chosen the name, "Francis," I thought we could reflect at bit on St. Francis of Assisi, his new namesake! St. Francis was born into wealth and privilege, but turned his back on all that and embraced a life of poverty, simplicity and caring for the poor. He gave away everything he had, even the cloak off his back, to a man he encountered who had even less. St. Francis heard this call from God, "Francis, repair my church," and thought God was calling him to physically repair the rundown church at San Damiano, but, actually, God was asking him to repair the Church (capital "C"), which had become racked with scandal and had lost its focus on the Gospel. Though St. Francis was never ordained as a priest himself, he is considered the founder of the Franciscans, an order of priests and sisters, who are dedicated to simplicity, loving and serving the poor and appreciating the beauty of nature and God's creation. Let us take time today to pray for our new Pope Francis and celebrate the saint whose name he now bears. May we all turn to the Gospel and live more simply, caring for the poor, the disenfranchised, and do it all with the joy of St. Francis! Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How much?

"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you."
Isaiah 49:15

Obviously, dear Isaiah never knew the story of me leaving a sleeping infant (Sam) locked in the car long after we put away the groceries! No matter, his point is well-taken...MOST mothers don't forget their infants! God loves us, never forgets us, never leaves us. Somehow, we need to chew on that until we really believe it! I think we can get so caught up in God loving us according to our value or worth, and, if we don't think much of ourselves, we can feel so unworthy of God's love. God is eager, willing and wired to love us, no matter what. And we seem so eager, willing and wired to wonder how God could love us that much. As we journey through these last weeks of Lent, we only need to look to the cross to see how much God loves us. Let's leave our worry and our "wonder-how" at the foot of the cross and just relish the love that is shown to us there. Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get out there in the crowd!

"If you want to be closer to God, just rub shoulders with the crowd. If you want to do penance for sins, just rub shoulders with the crowd."
Fr. Ed Hays, "A Book of Wonders"

Jesus was always rubbing shoulders with the crowd, wasn't he? I mean he sought solitude and time alone to pray, but it was always to refuel before he got right back out there...with the crowd. If God is close to the crowd and we want to be close to God, it is only logical that we get out there in the crowd too. I always think that if I was a hermit, with no contact with others, I could be practically sinless! But the fact is, I need others to challenge me, teach me and help me draw closer to God. Yes, I need solitude and refueling too (love those "Silent Sundays!") But, that is just to prepare me for getting right back out there Monday. Today, as we meet and mingle with the crowd that makes up our Tuesday, let's think about how our interactions with them draw us closer to God and, even how we may help them draw closer to God. Blessings on you and your crowd! Love, heidi

Monday, March 11, 2013

The faith to head home...

"Jesus said to him, 'You may go; your son will live.' The man believed what Jesus said to him and left."
John 4:50

I would love to say I have that much much as the man with the dying son in today's Gospel. But, I am pretty sure I would have pleaded with Jesus to come to my house and heal my child, in person. And after the healing, Jesus, please stay around a few days more in case of a relapse! Jesus didn't even go to the dying son's side...he healed from a distance. I would want more hands-on support, I'm afraid. The man showed great faith in the first place, coming to Jesus, asking for a miracle. And then, perhaps, even greater faith by heading home. The other lesson I took from this today is the lesson of intercessory prayer. Notice the father is asking for healing for his son. The son isn't asking for himself. That teaches us that Jesus answers intercessory prayers for others....and from a distance! That is so beautiful and sure encourages us to pray for others, doesn't it? Hopefully, we have the faith of this father here today. We have the faith to ask and then return home, hoping and knowing that our prayer is answered. Blessings on your Monday! Love, heidi