St. Marcella (324-410 AD) was a wealthy woman who gave her fortune away to the needy, 'preferring to store her money in the stomachs of the needy rather than hide it inside her purse.'"
"Blessed Among Us," Give Us This Day
Oh, do I love that! The idea of storing our money in the stomachs of the needy sounds so much like something Pope Francis would say, too. How can we incorporate some of this message into our lives today? Can we store some of our belongs with those who may not have a warm coat? Can we share some of our bounty with St. Vincent de Paul, whose in-gathering is at the masses this weekend in Idaho Falls? How can we best store our own fortunes? Besides in our own purses? Let's think and pray about how we can follow the example of St. Marcella as we leave January behind...Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi
"Make known to me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God my savior.
For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, Lord"
Sometimes you just need a good Psalm on a cold winter morning! And this is so beautiful. There are times I feel almost desperate to know what God wants me to do. And other times, it's just as clear as can be. During the murky times, I need to remember if I am seeking God's instruction, I need to make myself teachable. I need to let go of my own agenda and open myself up to God's lessons. If my mind is closed tight, I cannot learn God's ways or will. It reminds me of the classroom chant to get the kids' attention, "One, two, three, eyes on me!" Help me to fix my gaze on you, O Lord. Help me to be open to the new lessons you have for me today...O let me be teachable! Love, heidi
We are all familiar with today's Gospel about the sower and the seed and it falling on various types of ground. And while it seems to represent different people, it also seems to me to represent different stages of our lives, too. There are times in our lives when our soil can be rocky and unwelcoming to God's word. We may hear it at mass but it doesn't linger in our minds much longer than the church steps we bound down to get to the parking lot! Other times, the word may linger a bit longer in us...perhaps until Monday, when we give it a glance and then carry on with our busy lives. Other times, we may give honest effort to living the word of God but worldliness and demands of our culture choke it right out of us. Finally, we reach a stage of life where we hear or read the word of God and it sticks. We can take the message of love, peace, forgiveness and compassion out into the world and live them, just as Jesus taught us to do. I may be partial to the time of life I find myself in right now, but it seems like now is the time when following Jesus and living God's word is more fruitful for me. The career is in perspective, kids are living their own interesting lives, and I can spend more time studying and applying God's word to daily life. What about you? Love, heidi
"Then David...came dancing before the Lord with abandon..."
2 Samuel 6:14
Have you ever felt this abandon? Admittedly, it doesn't happen all the time (perhaps just as well!) But there are times when I feel so filled with the Holy Spirit that I could absolutely burst! Just this past Sunday, the music swelled up inside me and it was all I could do to stay in my shoes. My soul was just soaring with joy! And that gave me a tiny glimpse of what David must have experienced as he danced down the aisle with the ark. In reading the book, "Between Heaven and Mirth," by Fr. James Martin, SJ, I've learned that our relationship with God is just that, a relationship--as between two dear friends. And friends share joy, laughter, just as they share in difficulties. Imagine how God shared in David's joy as David danced! Now, imagine God sharing in our joy in every wonderful facet of our lives. Dancing with holy abandon is as spiritual a celebration as any other action on earth. Sometimes you just get so filled up with God, you just gotta dance! Love, heidi
Saturday was the feast of the conversion of St. Paul and this was one of the readings. On his journey to Damascus, Saul encounters Jesus and is knocked down and struck blind. He asks the voice he hears, "Who are you, sir?" (v. 8) And when Jesus identifies himself, Saul says, "What shall I do, sir?" I love this! One encounter with Jesus (albeit a splendid one!) and Saul knows he's met his match! He knows he's encountered God and he puts himself immediately at God's service. How many encounters with Christ do we need before we are willing to let it all go for God? Let's spend some time thinking and praying about the many encounters we've had with Jesus. Those encounters should change us, as powerfully as Saul's encounter changed him into Paul! They need to leave us asking, "What shall I do, sir?" What do we need to be doing differently? Is there anything in our day today that will look different because of our encounter with Jesus? Let's make our Monday morning prayer, "What I shall I do, Lord?" Love, heidi