"Relieve those burdened by old worries, stored grievances, or recurring fears...Uphold us, O God."
Give Us This Day...
This was one of the Morning prayer intentions for today in "Give Us This Day," and I sure identified with it! It seems that, day after day, year after year, I have the same old "stuff" to deal with. The old worries, stored grievances, recurring fears...it's like the author of this intention could read my mind! Same old stuff; same old sins, same old triggers, same old, same old. I want to break this cycle and maybe get some new concerns...like maybe more concern for the poor, for the immigrant, the people who don't feel they belong. In today's Gospel, the "sinful woman" broke her alabaster jar and anointed Jesus' feet, much to the ire of the host and religious leaders. She was a fringe person, who was seen as someone who didn't belong at this party. She was an intruder, and was looked down upon by everyone except Jesus. Jesus saw her, loved her, forgave her, and held her up as an example to all. O Jesus, help me to get out of all my old stuff and take up new concerns--like people on the fringe of life. Help me to see them as you saw the Woman who washed your feet with her tears and dried them with her hair--with love. Love, heidi
"The Father cares. He knows each of us by name. He is deeply involved in the little drama of our personal existence."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"
This astounds me this morning. I guess because there are so many Big Things in the world for God to be deeply involved in...why my little dramas? I had a particularly frustrating day yesterday and, looking back on it, I didn't think of God once. Not once, during my little dramas, did I pray. Not once did I turn to God. It would have been so much better for me if I had! You see, once I did sit down and contemplate the frustrations of the day, God was right in the middle of it all. So, why couldn't I seek God at the time? Interesting. As spiritual as I like to think I am, I still sometimes think of God as the court of last resort. Today, God is going to ride shot-gun my whole day! I'm not just going to think back, regrettably, of how I could have called on God, but I will call on God. My weaknesses can be turned into strengths with God, and that could ease so much frustration! Blessings on your day, too. Let God ride up front! Love, heidi
"(Jesus) stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, 'Young man, I tell you, arise!'"
As I read this today, I paused to ponder a little reflection on it in "Living With Christ." This young man was raised from the dead and given back to his mother. But he eventually died again. Presumably after his widowed mother, so he could take care of her as long as she lived. She had him with her longer, which was so critical in those days when widows with no children had to resort to begging to live. It reminded me of my dog, Tess, who was about three dogs ago. Tess was old and ill and, we assumed, at death's door. Chris kindly agreed to take her in to have her put to sleep. (Chris always got the tough jobs!) I was so sad and it was just such a hard time...for all of us. I spent the day grieving for Tess. Later, the doorbell rang and when I opened the door, there was Tess (and Chris)! Turns out she had a bit more life left in her and could be treated for her ailment. We had her another whole year! By that time, we were all better equipped to go on without her and she died peacefully in my arms. God gave us more time as Jesus gave the widow, and her son, more time. Today, let's pray for all those suffering loss, especially those who lost loved ones in the Navy Yard shooting...such a senseless, terrible loss. Love, heidi
"The procession for mass doesn't begin when the priest walks down the aisle, but when you leave your homes to come to mass."
Thoughts on the Eucharistic Conference by Deacon Wence
This really made me think when I heard it last night. I remember when the kids were little and it was a frantic, Herculean effort to get everyone ready for mass, then getting them into the car, and, finally, we'd tear down the road, trying to make it on time! Even last night, I'd just barely gotten into town from a fabulous weekend away, picked up the dogs, dropped them off at home and tore into mass with minutes to spare. So, the idea that that mad dash to get there was part of the processional? Wow! Then, it dawned on me--maybe the desire to get there was a true and valid part of the processional. I wanted to be there, and I wanted to make it on time. I wanted to cap off a wonderful weekend with a time of thanksgiving. I wanted to give the glory to the One who made it all so awesome. That makes perfect sense to me. Our desire to be with God in God's house is part of the mass itself! So, here it is, Monday, again. Blessings on your fresh, new week! Love, heidi