Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life-long mission

"St. Monica (332-387 AD)  Born a Christian in North Africa, she married and bore three children..."
Living With Christ
We know the story of St. Monica...she was a faithful, devoted mother, whose husband and kids were not exactly the picture perfect family.  She prayed devotedly for them all and was rewarded, just before her death, by her husband and eldest son turning around. I am reminded of an elderly client I had years ago.  She was nearly 100 years old, still living on her own!  One day, she sighed to me, "I'm so worried about my daughter..."  I did a double-take.  "How old is your daughter?" I asked.  "Oh, she's 76.  She just found out she has diabetes."  "Holy cow," I thought.  Then I blurted out to this dear woman, "You mean I have to worry about my kids until they're 76?"  I suddenly realized that this raising children is a life-long mission! I may be 100 years old, but I will still be a mother and concerned about the kids.  Wow. Just wow.  So, we can look to St. Monica, whose oldest ended up turning out pretty well...St. Augustine.  St. Monica, pray for us, as we mother our kids until we take our last breath!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scrub your cup!

"You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence."
Matthew 23:25
I always smile at this reading, because I remember, nine years ago, when it was so vividly illustrated to me when son Blaine left for college.  We always called his downstairs bedroom the "Bermuda Triangle" because things disappeared down there, never to be seen again!  After he left, we ventured in and found a cup that had been there for years, with whatever-had-been-in-it dried and crusted.  With a little soaking, bleach, and scrubbing, the cup became like new again.  It is so much easier for me to look like a good girl than it is for me to actually think kind and loving thoughts!  Appearances alone should be enough, shouldn't they? No.  Not according to Jesus.  God looks much more at the inside of our cup than the outside.  God can see the potential of the insides of our cups, and how, with a little soap and scrubbing, we can be made new again.  I tend to think of that scrubbing as the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which sure seems to help me feel clean and bright!  Love, heidi

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...

"We are called to give of ourselves as Jesus did. To bring our bodies-ourselves-to places where we are needed: at home in a delicate family situation, in a hospital beside the bed of a dying friend, at work listening to a troubled coworker. But it can be difficult."
James Martin, SJ, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage"
Difficult, indeed! Beginning this week, I've worked in the blind rehabilitation field for thirty-five years. I know; it seems impossible to me, too!  But I started in Miles City, Montana, with Visual Services, thirty-five years ago.  I didn't know a single thing, but there I was, with enthusiasm and eagerness, to begin my life's work.  Fr. Martin says that Jesus was able to do what he did because of two things.  First, he did it all for God, the Father.  He was doing God's will, not his own and that gave him the vim and verve to deal with all the difficulties of his ministry.  Second, Jesus realized that his self-giving was an out-pouring of love and life for others.  His self-giving had a beautiful purpose.  I need to remember that as I begin Year 36 this week.  I work for God, doing what God has asked and equipped me to do, and for the benefit of those I serve.  And also, I wouldn't be able to do it at all if not for the love and grace of God, who gave me this career in the first place!  So, today, as we go back to school, or just begin another work week, let's remember who our REAL boss is! And let's do our work with life-giving love for those we serve.  Love, heidi