Friday, May 30, 2014

That's what friends are for...

..."and no one will take your joy from you."
John 16:22
That is so reassuring, but what about when things are really going wrong?  The inner most joy seems so hard to tap into; hard times seem to be piling on? That may be when others come in and, through their prayers, offer to lower the mat we are on, bringing us right in front of Jesus.  There will come a time when we are resting in Jesus' arms for eternity, but here on earth times of comfort are interspersed with times of pain.  Maybe we cannot even find it within ourselves to pray.  That is when our sisters and brothers in the Lord pray for us.  Just like the paralytic's friends who cut through the roof and lowered their friend to Jesus for healing, we are often called to take a corner of the mat and do this for those going through difficult times.  That's what friends are for (isn't that a song?)  Today, as we embark on a lovely weekend, let's remember those for whom we've been asked to pray.  Let our prayers lower their mats to Jesus for his healing and touch.  Love, heidi

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grief becomes joy...

"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."
John 16:20
I'm convinced the older we get, the more instances of this we can point to in our own lives.  Time are difficult, we struggle. Some time later, we are dancing in the grass again.  It seems that, living through these situations and coming out on the other side, should reassure us while we are experiencing the next bump in the road, shouldn't it?  Let's hope so!  But, even still, difficult times can cut us to the quick.  Lord, help us to realize that life happens. The rhythm of life has its ups and downs. Hard times come and we weep and mourn, just as you tell us.  But help us to feel your comforting presence throughout the difficulty.  Help us to sense you building us up from the inside out, even as we may struggle. And, after the waves pass, help us to celebrate the joy that follows and reach out to those we can help along the way.   Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seek and find...

..."so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us."
Acts 17:27
This always brings me back to "The Wizard of Oz," oddly.  Dorothy has to leave home to find home.  We grope for God, only to realize God has always been there.  But it is in the seeking and the groping that we awaken and become aware of our yearning for God.  The word "groping" brings to my mind a desperation for God and that seems quite accurate.  We have that hole in our hearts that only God can fill; not human-y things, like power, success, or stuff.  And, there are times in our lives (I wonder if it is as we get older?) when we become desperate to fill it. It is a time of yearning, groping, seeking.  And how remarkable to find that all we seek has always been right with us, all along!  Today, as we go through our mid-week activities, let's pause and soak in the fact that our God is right with us--wherever we are.  We don't have to grope or seek.  God isn't hiding from us, but is, in fact, seeking us.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Feeling called?

"But often being called...can be more subtle, manifesting itself as a strong desire, a fierce attraction, or even an impulse to leave something behind."
James Martin, SJ, "Jesus A Pilgrimage"
This hit me over the head yesterday when I read it in the beautiful sunshine. I guess it's what I have been going through for the last several years...feeling called to something.  What struck me, on this reading, was the last part, "even an impulse to leave something behind."  Whoa...when we choose a path to take we are NOT choosing other paths.  We are saying good-bye to other opportunities and dreams.  Choosing a path seems like a positive action, but with it, comes a turning away from something else.  People who choose the religious life give up the marriage and family life, and vice versa.  People who follow one dream, give up another.  It is so interesting for me to ponder this as I am choosing a new path myself.  Fr. Martin, in this fascinating book, includes this in the chapter where Jesus calls his apostles.  Jesus' call is so dynamic the fisherman leave their nets and families, the tax collector walks away from his booth.  Is there a dynamic voice calling us this Tuesday? Love, heidi