"We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed..."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
There was a song we used to sing at the youth mass, years ago, that had these verses in it. And I was going through a particularly difficult time. When I'd sing the song I would get emotional, feeling the hope St. Paul is relating here. It still gives me goose bumps, reading this today. It reminds me that, when times are difficult, that is when God is actually the closest to us, building us up from the inside. But, the paradox is, that during those times, God may not actually feel close. We may wonder where God is, exactly. Or (my favorite question of Spiritual Direction) what is God up to? That is where our faith comes in. We know God is around, even though we may not feel God's comforting presence. We trust that God will not leave us alone, because we have felt God in the past. We rely on scriptures, such as this, to steady our heads and hearts. And, we count on the prayers of others, when we just can't muster up a prayer ourselves. Today, if we are going through a difficult time, let us cling to these words of hope. If we are coasting along today, let us pray for those who are struggling. And, no matter what, let's praise God for a summer Friday! Love, heidi
"O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."
On Pray-as-You-Go this morning the question is asked, "What would you like to ask from God today?" I flashed back to a wonderful homily I heard recently in Montana:
"To see thee more clearly, follow thee more nearly, and love thee more dearly!"
St. Richard of Chichester
Lord, I want to see you in your many disguises; the people who need me, the people who struggle with life, the people filled with joy that you sprinkle through my summer day. Lord, I want to do your will. I want to do what you want me to do, regardless of whether or not I can do it well. It's not about success, it's only about faithfulness. And finally, Lord, I want you to be my Everything, the focus of my life. All that I am and all that I have are yours, Lord...please do with me what you will! Love, heidi
"You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins..."
I really liked this image today. If you have ever gazed at the vastness of the ocean, it is a real comfort to know that God forgives and forgets our sins so completely. Since that is the case, why do we hang onto them--our sins? It is, sometimes, harder for us to forgive ourselves than it is for God to cast our sins into the sea. We certainly take away from God's greatness by hanging onto something God has already cast aside, don't we? Today, let's trust that, as soon as we are aware of them and ask God to forgive our sins, they are long gone...to the bottom of the sea. Let's continue on about our day, knowing that our God loves us beyond our own imagination! And let's remember that God wants us to forgive others as easily and completely. Love, heidi
I never walked out the door, the entire time I was growing up, without the command from my mother, "Be a good girl!" I can still hear the words ringing in my head. And this is, basically, what the prophet Micah is telling us today. It sounds so easy but we all know it isn't. Because each component--doing the right, loving goodness and walking humbly with God becomes more complicated when we factor in our human-ness. Our human need to feed our egos, justify ourselves, to be liked and admired, all seem to work against us. Yesterday we heard a wonderful homily about how our judgments of others can really trip us up on our walk with God. So many things loom ahead of us as we try to do the right, love goodness and walk humbly with God. The most important thing we have in our favor, though, is that God loves us and is more than willing to help us do the right, love goodness and walk humbly. All we need to do is recognize our own difficulties and short-comings and seek God's help. God will be right there to lend a hand! Love, heidi