Thursday, August 7, 2014

Good advice!

"Well, when you spend one hour a day adoring your Lord and never do anything which you know is will be fine!"
Mother Teresa's advice to Henri Nouwen
In his book, "Spiritual Direction," Henri Nouwen relates a time when he sought the advice of Mother Teresa (I know, right? Two spiritual superstars in the same room! Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall there?)
Anyway, Nouwen says in the book that he was going through a difficult time and he sat there with Mother Teresa, telling her his troubles, "trying to convince her of how complicated it all was." After he finished, she looked at him and gently gave him the advice above.  Incredible.  He said it was like a bolt of lightening.  No matter what we are going through, spending time alone with God, in silence, can give us perspective.  It all goes back to being with God, worshipping God, adoring God.  God is the only way to peace.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Come down the mountain with me!

"Lord, it is good that we are here.  If you wish, I will make three tents here..."
Matthew 17:4
OK, I confess that the mystery of the Transfiguration for me is this:  How can we extend that spiritual experience as we come down the mountain?  How can we bring Jesus with us as we travel back to our everyday lives?  Like Peter, I tend to want to stay "up there."  I want to linger at the Hermitage on the mesa.  I want to stay with the fellowship of Cursillo.  I want to stay where Jesus is, where I have such a rich and full experience of Jesus right there with me.  It never fails that, when I return to daily life, I just don't feel that same closeness.  This morning, I am realizing that it's not up to God to keep that closeness alive, it is more up to me.  The time that I spend on retreat is time I'm more open to God being there, it's not that God is anymore "there" for me than any other time.  It's me who is paying closer attention to God in those mountain top situations.  Lord, I thank you and praise you for giving me these mountain top spiritual experiences...please help me to be more open and attentive to you all the time, so we can come down the mountain together! Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Don't say it!

"It's not what enters one's mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth..."
Matthew 15:11
This is one of those scriptures I need to have embroidered on a pillow so I can see it all the time!  It always happens so fast.  It's not that I intend to say something wrong, but suddenly--bam! there it is, in a bubble over my offensive utterance.  Later, I look back and think, "Why on earth did I say that??" In Spiritual Direction training we have a motto of sorts:  "Silent, slow, stupid."  That is, appreciate the silence...God can speak in the silence and it's better to have silence than to say something you'll regret. Also, prayerfully and slowly say what God gives you to say and don't pretend to think or know everything--because you don't.  I think I need to apply that to ALL my conversations!  The fact that I eat cookies in threes isn't going to defile me, but the things I say surely can!  Lord, please help me to engage the clutch on my mouth when I'm about to say something I shouldn't!  Love, heidi

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reach out and touch...

"'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' Jesus said, 'Come.'"
Matthew 14:28-29
I was just a twenty year old college student when I got a summer job across the country in North Carolina.  I had never really traveled east before and taking on a twelve week position at a camp for blind people was just what I wanted to do, but, whoa!  As the time got closer, I got more and more scared.  The Sunday before I left was this Gospel of Peter climbing out of the boat and walking on the water to Jesus.  Even then, I could see the connection to my own life.  Jesus was beckoning me out of the boat and onto the water.  As soon as I started to falter, I remembered Jesus' hand reaching out to grasp Peter and steady him on his quest. That summer launched my whole career in blind rehabilitation.  I'm so blessed that I was able, with Jesus' help, to take that first step out of the boat!  I invite you to take some time and think about a time you were called forth into a scary situation...did you reach for Jesus' hand?  Love, heidi

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What would Jesus do? What he did do...

"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick."
Matthew 14:14
When he saw the little children at the border...
When he saw the boat filled with refugees...
When he saw the people infected with Ebola virus...

...his heart was moved with pity for them and he cured their sick.  If Jesus walked in our world today, what would his response be to those who are suffering in our times?  The exact same reaction he had when his feet actually touched our earth--compassion and love, healing and help. And, as Jesus' followers and the hands and feet he actually has in the world today, we must respond with the same love and compassion.  "They should stay in their own country."  "They should do more to help themselves." "They shouldn't bring that deadly virus here!"  These are all things I've heard spoken out loud recently.
"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd his heart was moved with pity for them..." And so should ours.  Love, heidi