Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Champion needs us!

"The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion."
Jeremiah 20:11

I love the image of God as my Champion! Sadly, in our world, many "champions" have fallen mightily and proved themselves very human in their faults and failings. They may taint our view of a champion. But, God as our champion will never let us down! The trick for us is to turn to God, our Champion, continuously through our days. This Sunday, Palm Sunday, begins such a holy and spiritually rich time for us. God, who is always in our corner, needs us to accompany Jesus all through this Holy Week. Our Champion needs us to celebrate the triumphant ride into Jerusalem, attend the Last Supper feast, stay with Jesus through the agony in the garden, walk with him along the sad road to Calvary, and stand watch with him as he suffers on the cross. God is our Champion...and God needs us. Let's make plans to spend a very holy Holy Week! Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Free from ourselves!

"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:31-32

Free from what? That is the interesting question I asked myself when I read this today. From what do I need to be set free? What ties me up? The answer I keep coming back to is fear. Fear can really bind us up, can't it? We get fearful of the future: will I have enough retirement? Will I be ailing in my old age? We can be fearful of the present: are my kids on the right path? Am I doing everything "right"? We can even get tangled up in the past: was that past sin really forgiven? Good grief! So much wallowing in ourselves is the real ball and chain here, isn't it? We can barely move, we are so bound up in ourselves! So the freedom that Jesus gives us is to trust that God loves us and God is with us constantly. We can let go of ourselves and think about someone else for a change. It is not about what I do, but about what God can do, if I just get out of the way. And that is a lovely sense of freedom! Love, heidi

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A mystical profession!

"If your life work is gracefully accepting whatever life presents to you--the good, the bad, and the ugly--then you have a mystical profession, regardless what you do to earn money."
Fr. Ed Hays, "A Book of Wonders"

And we sure don't have to go far to find a great example of that in St. Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today! St. Joseph was challenged by many events of his life and he shines through as a faithful servant of God. Certainly, we can learn through St. Joseph how to roll with life's ups and downs, how he listened to that whisper of God and acted accordingly. When our lives take a difficult or uncertain turn, let's remember Jesus' earthly carpenter father. Let us be willing to change plans or routes, just as Joseph guided his little family into Egypt, avoiding Herod's murderous rage. Let's take an example of Joseph, working as a simple carpenter and turning it into a mystical profession, by accepting whatever life presents to us. Today we celebrate St. Joseph and also the installation mass of our new Pope Francis, another simple, humble servant, who is accepting what life is presenting to him--arguably a very difficult job! Prayers for him and prayers for us--all of the children of God! May our professions be mystical as we gracefully accept whatever comes our way, heidi

Monday, March 18, 2013

Prayer of the Nailing

"Whenever you are called to let go of control over your life situation, pray the silent Prayer of the Nailing: Simply open the palms of your hands, exposing yourself to whatever is about to happen and trusting in God's providential care."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Pilgrimage Way of the Cross"

We may, with all good intentions, want to let go of a situation or an issue, but in our humanness, find ourselves clinging to it like a buoy in a raging sea. And that may work so against us! Clinging to bitterness or guilt or fear over a past mistake or a future event keeps us stuck in the mud...we can't move forward. I love the image of Jesus opening his hands to accept his fate. You can't cling to something with open hands. Open hands leave you very vulnerable. But open hands mean you are trusting and willing, too. Today, let's think of a control issue we may need to let go. First, let's clench our fists together, symbolizing the tight grip we may have on our issue and thus, how we are not allowing God into the situation. Next, slowly open our hands, palms up, to reveal our willingness to let it go, let it fly out of our control and into God's. Let us pray for a total release of the issue and thank God that we have been set free, once and for all! Love, heidi