Friday, July 12, 2013

Blessed to be sent...

"A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit."
Psalm 51:12

I had a change of heart yesterday. It was Day Two back at work after vacation.  I struggled to get back into the swing of things and I was crabby.  I had a negative attitude. I wanted to turn the calendar back a week and begin vacation again, instead of it being over.  The lady I'd gone to see didn't answer her door.  Grumble, grumble.  Apparently, she was taking a nap with the air conditioner on and didn't hear me knocking. Wouldn't that be nice? Grumble.  Something had to change inside me. And, then, it did. I was able to turn from grumbly to grateful. I was able to return to her place, discuss her needs, and find some things that helped her.  She was so thrilled! As I drove back to the office, I remembered the lessons from Fr. Anthony Gittins--I am sent.  I am an apprentice disciple, who is still learning, but I have been sent to share with others.  I certainly don't know it all, and it will take a lifetime for me to know much of anything.  But that doesn't change the fact that I am sent to help others. I only really need to know how blessed I am to be on this journey. And I am blessed that today is Friday! Blessings on yours...  Love, heidi

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crazy love

"Life in the Spirit is the thrill and excitement of falling in love with Jesus Christ."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

OK, so I don't remember this lesson in my Religious Ed classes.  This wasn't the message I learned in the Baltimore Catechism. But it is the message of my faith today.  This lesson in Christianity cannot be taught.  Falling in love is more of a natural experience, not something you read in a book or hear in a lecture.  Human beings are wired to fall in love, that is the way God made us.  And it's very hard to fall in love with someone you do not know personally.  Oh, I know, people think they fall in love with movie stars or entertainers, but that isn't real love.  In order to love someone on a personal level, you must get to know them.  And then, watch out! Falling in love overtakes you and robs you of common sense!  You do things like vacuum in the middle of the night, because you're too busy with your new love to vacuum at a sensible time! You think about that person day and night and nothing else seems important.  Other activities and even people fall to the wayside and you seek out time with your love.  And that is human nature, what God wired us to do. But it is also Divine, because that is the way God loves us--madly, passionately and crazily!  Carve out some time today to think about falling in love with God.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ready or not...

"Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them..."
Matthew 10:5

We learned from Fr. Anthony Gittins at the All-Community Gathering, that there are two kinds of learning: the first is academic, and the second is what the apostles were experiencing, apprenticeship--or learning by doing.  They had been apprenticed to the greatest Teacher of all, Jesus.  Apparently, in this reading, Jesus felt they were ready to go on the road, so he sent them with his authority. Were they ready?  Fr. Anthony explained that it takes a lifetime of apprenticeship to be able to take a community along.  But that doesn't mean we sit around and use the excuse, "Oh I can't, I'm not ready!" We apprentice disciples learn by doing--ready or not, here we come! We take what we have; knowledge, goods, encouragement, compassion, caring and love, and set out to serve others.  Jesus sent these apostles out long before they knew all they would know or had all they would have.  And Jesus sends us out too.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The path not chosen...

"Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.'"
Luke 1:38

I never leave Kansas without this feeling of wanting to stay and be a deeper part of this community (the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth). In pondering these feelings, sitting in the gazebo swing in the middle of the Mother house campus, I realized something.  In saying "Yes" to a vocation, we must let go of another that would have been wonderful too.  In my case, saying Yes to marriage and family, I said "no" to the religious life I had briefly and tentatively explored in my early 20's.  I'm sure there are many sisters who hit a point where they are wistful for the life of marriage and family, and they may ponder their path not taken, too.   But, just as Mary, just a young girl, we answer the call we hear.  We discern that small voice that is deep inside, the call of God.  In my case, that was the call of marriage and motherhood.  I thank God each and every day for that gift of vocation and the life I have now.  Sometimes, though, it may be good to ponder the path not chosen, and realize that God gifts us with a longing for what is out of reach.  All that said, I have many rich and wonderful ponderings to share with you after three full days of celebrating at the Mother house!  Love, heidi