Friday, January 20, 2017

Lessons in threes...

"Three things that please God most are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirit, and generosity inspired by charity. The three things that most displease God are a mouth that hates people, a heart harboring resentments and confidence in wealth."
St. Ita, as quoted in Give Us This Day

We learn today that St. Ita lived in the 500's AD, in Ireland.  And of all the over 10,000 named saints (according to she is the one quoted for this day's readings. We, this day, need to learn her simple formula for what pleases God and what does not.  What happens around us may not be within our control, but we can control our responses.  We need strong faith in God, grateful spirits and generous hearts to go forth. We need, not to close in, but to reach out to others.  It is entirely up to us to Be the Good we want to see in our neighborhoods, cities, states and country.  God has no hands or hearts but ours.  And our hands need to lift up rather than cast out. Our hands need to heal rather than chastise. Our hands need to build bridges instead of walls.  Gracious God, help us... Love, heidi

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What hardens our hearts?

"Then he said to the Pharisees, 'Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil?'...But they remained silent."
Mark 3:4
Pray-as-You-Go had an interesting question based on this Gospel today..."What was it that hardened the Pharisees' hearts?" Their silence to Jesus' question and the fact that they were watching so closely to trip Jesus up lead us to wonder...why are their hearts so hardened? They were religious folks. They loved God. They thought the rules were important. I thought about it and came up with legalism being the cause of their hardness of heart. The law becoming everything instead of just a guide to a closer walk with God. Jesus shows that the spirit of the law--love and compassion for each other--is more important.  Can we fall into the legalism trap ourselves? Let's think about that.  Check out another reflection on this Gospel I wrote for Catholic Moms for today:
Love, heidi

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hope for today...

"When we hope, we live generously and gratefully in the present because deep down we know that all will be well--not perfect, but well."
Kevin O'Brien, SJ, Give Us This Day

One of the things I do in the winter to help me in my hope for spring is to watch the Ken Burns nine-part documentary "Baseball." It is so much more than just about baseball, it is about life. The colorful characters, from Ty Cobb to Babe Ruth to Buck O'Neil to Jackie Robinson teach us so much more than just how to play a game.  Their lessons are on how to live and how not to live.  One of the main lessons, threaded throughout the history of baseball is hope. Hope for "next year" if you're a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Hope for one day playing in the major leagues if you're a black player, barred from the majors until Jackie Robinson broke that barrier.  Hope each time you come up to bat or walk to the pitcher's mound. Hope is the fuel that pushes you to do what it is you do. I feel called, not so much hope for the farther-away future, but to help me live generously and gratefully today--this winter Tuesday. Whatever happens the rest of this week or month or year, somehow it will be OK. (For some of us, this is a harder week than for others!) So my hope for today is that I can do what God has asked me to do, in my circle of influence, to the best of my ability. That is to live generously and gratefully and lovingly. And if I strike out, there will be another turn at bat. There's hope in that, too!  Love, heidi