Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wake up to the signs!

"In the daytime the cloud of the Lord was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house of Israel in all stages of their journey."
Exodus 40:38
Somehow it became August.  I'm not sure how that could be possible, but there it is on my calendar--August.  A new month prompts us to look ahead, but also may give us pause to look back.  August memories bring to mind the kids heading back to school and all that entailed (the scavenger hunt search for the school supplies!) I'm sure we can look back long term or short term and see God over our Dwellings...both as cloud and fire.  God's Presence was there, but it may take us looking back to see it.  During the time we are going through something, we may be wondering where God is.  But in retrospect, we can look back and see where God was--with us, helping us, cheering us on.  How fortunate for the Israelites, that they had such an obvious sign of God's Presence!  All they had to do was look outside and see manna from heaven each morning, quail to eat each evening, the cloud over the Dwelling and the fire column at night.  How could anyone lose faith with such visible and obvious signs!  But even with such vivid signs, they still wobbled at times.  We may feel our signs aren't so obvious, but if we spend time thinking and REALLY looking, we can see our signs are just as profound.  We just may need to be awake to see them.  Blessings on your First-of-August Day!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Help me radiate!

"Then the children of Israel would see that the skin of Moses' face was radiant..."
Exodus 34:35

This morning, as I continued our journey through Exodus, I was struck by the word used to describe Moses' face after he visited with the Lord: radiant.  Radiant is a word that brings to mind many images for me.  A radiant bride.  A woman may look radiant while she is pregnant.  But, also, when I see a picture of Blessed Mother Teresa I think of the word "radiant" too.  True, she was elderly and her face showed her advanced age, but she radiated.  She radiated a joy that Christians should ALL radiate--that is, the joy of Christ.  That inner spark or full flame that should put smiles on our faces and tell the world that we are joyful people! We have heard Pope Francis say that there shouldn't be any dour-faced could there be when we have Jesus inside? We should all be radiant like the beautiful bride coming up the aisle, or the lovely soon-to-be mother, or the elderly Mother Teresa, with Jesus shining from her eyes.  Today, let's think of the word "radiant" and then catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror...we should look radiant too. Lord, please help me to radiate YOU today.  Through all my activities and endeavors, shine Your light through my eyes.  Amen! Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My prayer tent...

"Anyone who wished to consult the Lord would go to this meeting tent outside the camp."
Exodus 33:7

Whenever I read this it reminds me of my freshman year of college, at Regis College, in Denver.  It was a particularly difficult time for me--I didn't really fit in there and I struggled to find my niche, away from home.  Every night, I would walk around the practice football field behind the dorms.  I would walk for an hour or so, until it was time for the nightly mass at 10:00, which I attended faithfully (you can see why I didn't really fit in as a college freshman!) The time spent on the football field was time spent alone with God.  I felt calmed, more relaxed, more able to be myself. I poured my heart out to God during these walks and it was the only time I felt less alone.  I felt secure in God's presence on the football field.  It got so that each night as I set out for the football field (my "meeting tent"), I would say to whomever I was with, "I'm going out to pray, anyone need anything?"  People would say, "I have a test tomorrow" or "my aunt is having surgery." People gave me prayer requests I took out to the field to bring to God.  I found God so concretely there on the field and it was so comforting!  In fact, the way the lights on the field illuminated it, I always had three shadows, no matter which direction I walked and that reminded me of how un-alone I was.  Now, thankfully, I can go to the "prayer tent" in my own mind or imagination.  I can close my eyes and enter a quiet place within to encounter God, no matter where I actually am.  Do you have a "prayer tent?"  Think about it.  Love, heidi

Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's get busy!

"If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done."
Ezekiel 33:13
I was very fortunate to be able to watch many of the events of World Youth Day online from Brazil over the past week.  Some were so beautiful, they made me teary. But, mostly, I found myself so inspired to be a better Christian, a better Catholic, a MUCH better human being. If I can glean that inspiration from just watching it on the computer, imagine how inspirational it would be to actually be there?  Pope Francis' message to get out there and help the people who need help the most resonated with me, and seeing him do just that really brought it all home. Just how concrete is this?  I feel I must give of myself more; share more of what I have with others, conserve the resources like water and energy, in honor of those who have little access to same.  If I have difficulty with the institution or bureaucracy of the church, channel that energy into a positive action for someone else. Find out what really matters in the day to day life of individual people and affect change there, don't fret and stew about things I cannot change.  Simplicity, charity, discipleship.  This is the charism of the Sisters of Charity and was demonstrated so powerfully to me by the pope and the youth of the world.  Let's get busy and put legs on them!  Love, heidi