Friday, August 15, 2014

Mary teaches us trust

"God initiates the conversation; we fear; God reassures us and tells us what will be required; we doubt; God points us to past experiences and helps us to trust; we say yes; and finally we are able to bring into the world, with God's grace, something new...Then the angel left her."
Fr. James Martin, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage"
During this chapter on the Annunciation, Fr. Martin shows us how Mary's journey with God is so similar to our own.  Certainly, Mary's experience with the angel in Luke 1:26-38 is quite a bit more astounding than our spiritual experiences, but, ultimately, we are all called by God to do things outside ourselves that we can only do with God's grace.  God asks that of all of us.  And we hem and haw and question our abilities and God's wisdom in choosing us.  Finally, though, God may convince us and we say Yes, just as Mary did.  And then, the angel leaves us and there we are...with a job to do.  It all comes to our trusting God.  Mary trusted God infinitely; especially from the Annunciation to the Resurrection, Mary had to trust in God. As we celebrate Mary today, let's realize that we are called to have that same trust.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"I love you, too!"

"Life is just a short opportunity for you during a few years to say to God, 'I love you, too.'"
Henri Nouwen, "Spiritual Direction"
I love this!  It really got me thinking about the ways we say to God "I love you, too."  I really believe our love and compassion for others says that to God; Jesus told us that.  Our conversational prayer with God, talking to God throughout our busy days keeps us in touch in a loving way (even if we're complaining--that's just honest conversation!).  Doing whatever we do with kindness and our best effort is like a love letter to God. In this book, Henri Nouwen speaks of the difference between prayers and being prayerful.  Prayers are our specific intentions, rote prayers; our crying out to God.  While prayerfulness is sort of staying in touch with God all the time; doing what we know God would like us to do.  Our doing what we do for the glory and love of God is prayerful, without necessarily saying a prayer. The connection then, is that our being prayerful, all through our days, is our way of saying to God, "I love you, too!"  Love, heidi 

Monday, August 11, 2014

It ain't easy being breezy!

"When he heard (the tiny whispering sound) Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of his cave."
1 Kings 19:13
 I love the image of Elijah at the entrance of his cave, waiting to hear from God.  That was me yesterday, actually.  It was my Quiet Day, so I sat at the entrance of my cave (the back porch) and waited for God's tiny whisper.  I heard birds and sprinklers and my dogs drove me nuts, but, amid all that, I heard God urging me to be more breezy.  Does that sound odd? Well it was spot on advice for me! I tend to get way too wigged out about stuff...dumb stuff.  I need to be more easy going, roll with the changes, go with the flow. In everything. Jesus invited Peter to step out of the boat in yesterday's Gospel and, as long as Peter was looking into Jesus' eyes, he was fine.  The minute he looked down at his own deficiencies or vulnerabilities, he faltered.  Jesus, as long as I'm looking into your eyes, I'm fine, just like Peter.  I can be more care-free and breezy as long as I have your gaze.  Jesus, you're the key to my being breezy!  Love, heidi