In praying with this reading this morning, and listening to Pray-As-You-Go, I've come to realize that guilt and a lack of forgiveness are two sides of the same unsavory coin. Jesus tells us to forgive others as God forgives us. God forgives us. Do we forgive ourselves? I can harbor resentments toward myself just as I hang onto long-past hurts from others. Both are not of God and something I need to pray to move past. Lord, please help me to forgive others and myself. Your mercy is big enough for all! This is a beautiful summer day with all the good gifts of your bountiful harvest! Let nothing, especially my weakness in forgiving others and my guilt, come between us today! Love, heidi
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone."
This instruction is so clear and logical and yet, it often seems we're inclined to tell everyone BUT the actual person who hurts us, don't we? Instead of going to the person, we avoid that confrontation and gather support for our side with others. Clearly, the right thing to do is to take it up first with the person we feel hurt us and them alone. There is no need to involve anyone else at all, at this point! Lord, please help and guide us in our relationships with one another. The Gospels give us such wonderful guidelines, but we often get too tangled up in our feelings and emotions to act as you urge us to act. Today, and everyday, help us to treat each other with love and respect, compassion and care. Love, heidi
"Give me a lively faith, a firm hope, and perfect charity, so that I may love you with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my strength."
St Clare of Assisi
I really like the idea of praying for a lively faith. We heard in our Sunday homily that the Bread of Life brings us joy. There should be none of us dining at the table of the Lord with a dour, sad face! Our faith should be lively and inviting, not sad or fearful. Our faith should show on our faces--smiling, hopeful, welcoming. Let's try that, this summer Tuesday. As others see us throughout the day, will they want what we have, based on how joy-filled we are? Let's see to it! Love, heidi
"Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."
The grain of wheat gives itself fully to be made into bread and thus, be nourishment for our bodies. Jesus, our Bread of Life, gave himself fully, his very life, to give us a life worth living. In what ways can we die to ourselves, this summer Monday, to enhance the lives of others? Can we make an effort, all day, to put others first? Can we help someone in need, visit someone who may be lonely? Could we even just greet a stranger we pass by on the way into the store? How can we let go of our own little comfort to share with someone else this day? Dying to self sounds so hard; reserved for saints and martyrs. But it needn't be. It can be as close as lending a hand to someone who needs one today. The grain of wheat itself is a very small entity and yet it can feed and nourish us. A seemingly small effort on our part can go a long way to bearing much fruit! Love, heidi