Friday, July 26, 2013

Sturdy supports!

"In those days: God delivered all these commandments..."
Exodus 20:1

We have, no doubt, heard the ten commandments countless times, but can we ever learn something new from them?  Of course!  Today, as I was reading them in our first reading, I was thinking about how these commandments, not only aid us in our relationship with God, but are just, plain, wise rules for living.  If we did not believe in God at all, these guidelines would allow us to live a worthwhile and good life with others. They are really good rules to live by! But, as Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, points out in her reflection in Give Us This Day, the ten commandments reflect God's commitment to keeping us safe and cared for, too.  They don't just monitor our behavior.  I remember Fr. Caleb's homily on this very topic.  He spoke of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and looking at the supports holding the bridge in place.  He recalled being so grateful that they looked so sturdy and he felt more secure as he crossed.  He related the commandments to those supports and how grateful we should be that they are sturdy guidelines to support us through our lives--our crossings.  Today, let's be mindful of our words and we need to improve? We have a Sabbath coming up in a couple of days...could we use it more restfully? Let's rejoice in the sturdy commandments that keep us on the path! Blessings on your weekend!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Eat up!

"On seeing it, the children of Israel asked one another, 'What is this?' for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, 'This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.'"
Exodus 16:15

If we think about it we can think of many times we may have "missed the meal." That is, God has given us a nourishing, rich nugget to chew on that will help us grow, and we may have missed its meaning.  What it is about? Why do I have to go through this? Why do I have to be on a committee with her? What else could go wrong? We grumble in the desert of our experience, just as the Israelites grumbled in the real desert.  But God never misses a chance to feed us, and this is demonstrated throughout all of scripture.  Food is so essential to human existence, that God uses every opportunity to drive home that we are loved and will be cared for.  God will provide. In our lives, God's Word and Eucharist nourish us every single day, if we will just recognize and eat. God gives us food for our soul to nourish our spiritual journeys. But, just like the Israelites in today's first reading, we may not recognize its nutritive value.  The experiences we have in our lives, especially the more challenging ones, feed us a nutritious diet compromise, tolerance, appreciation for others and even compassion.  A meal fit for a queen! Today, let's keep our eyes open for the ways God is nourishing us..."This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat." Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Loved like royalty!

"Evening meditation (July 22):
Today the eyes of millions of people were on the famous pope and the famous prince.
But God's eyes were on you.
... Even in the hidden parts of your life, God sees you, cares about you, loves you.
Today and everyday, God is with you."
Fr. James Martin, SJ
Yesterday was a busy news day.  The pope arrived in Brazil for World Youth Day and was mobbed like a rock-star the minute his plane landed.  And, across the sea, the long-awaited new prince was born to Prince William and Princess Catherine.  And yet...God's eyes were on you!  Isn't this an amazing thought?  So simple, and yet, so profound. And so true.  As I listened, with one ear, to the hub-bub surrounding the royal birth, I thought of a new baby being born, this day, in the jungle of Africa, or in a slum in India and I thought to myself...each baby is just as beautiful to God.  Each new life is just as precious to God as this royal baby.  So, this day AFTER all the news, let's stop and pray for all the new babies born each minute all around the world.  And let's pray for safety for our Pope Francis and for his wonderful ministry there at WYD.  And let's pray for each one of us, who are as loved and adored by God as we can possibly be!  Oh, and please pray for my dog Eiger, who is having surgery today.  St. Francis, pray for, heidi

Monday, July 22, 2013

Balance doing and being

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing..."
Luke 10:41
Yesterday's Gospel was the story of Martha and Mary.  Martha's mistake was not so much that she was "doing," but that she was complaining about "doing" and even freaking out about "doing."  I think it was the complaining and freaking out that really earned her the gentle reprimand from Jesus, not so much that she was going about the business of getting dinner on the table.  There is definitely a time for doing, or else nothing gets done.  Jesus gave us many things to do: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners and the sick.  Just last week, we had the Good Samaritan Gospel and there was a whole lotta "doing" going on there, wasn't there?  I think the lesson of Martha and Mary is balance.  We need to balance our time of doing with time spent at Jesus' feet, soaking him into our hearts.  A balance between the two is God's desire.  I read a very good description of that balance: 
"The value of activity lies only in the meditation that prepared it and in offering it to God."
Elisabeth Leseur as quoted in "Give Us This Day."  
So there we go.  We need to balance our prayer and contemplation with doing the work of Jesus, and all of it for the love and glory of God.  And we shouldn't whine about it, either! Love, heidi