Thursday, February 23, 2017

Live Godfully!

"Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions."
Henri Nouwen, as quoted by Brother Silas Henderson in "Give Us This Day"

This is a wonderful little Examen we can pray at the end of every day! As well as looking back through our day and seeing the God tracks, we can pray with these questions and ask ourselves, how did we do? I don't know about you, but I have so many opportunities each day to smile at strangers, comfort those who are struggling, and, certainly, curb my resentment as I rant and rave in the car. I have chances everyday to live more Godfully, with the mind and heart of Christ. Maybe if I know there will be a quiz at the end of the day, I will be more aware throughout the day!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Looking for God, in all the right places...

"The coming and going of our moments of awakening begin to graze our hearts with longing."
James Finley, Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation for 2/22/2017

James Finley is describing meditation as a form of prayer and, during this week of exploring it, I find it resonates with what goes on during silent retreats for me. Finley describes meditation as moments of awareness which transcend what we are actually prayerfully observing. He shares that Jesus taught us that we are "drenched through and through with God's love." Meditation can give us glimpses of that and leave us longing for more...a kind of homesickness for heaven.  And this is exactly why I'm trying to wiggle several silent retreats into my calendar this year! I can sit on the porch of St. Helen's hermitage at Marymount and just gaze at the draw and ridge in front of me and it just shouts of God's glory.  I can observe all the little critters and creatures there and it seems like I'm looking into God's own eyes.  These moments of awakening leave me wanting more and more of them, because they affirm God's presence and glory all around me.  I feel very tiny under the immense star-studded sky, but I also feel important enough that God wants to show it to me, personally.  And, just recently, I've learned I don't have to go too far away to experience the awakening that comes with just sitting in silence, with God. I sat on my own front porch last fall and looked at my very own bushes and noticed these tiny little orange berries on them. I marveled at them and recognized what I had missed even though they are in my own front garden. We just need to take the time to sit in silence and prayerfully observe the many gifts of God all around us.  The more we do that, the easier to see God all around us! Love, heidi

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Upside down order...

"But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest."
Mark 9:34

How human of the disciples! How very human of us when we do the exact same thing! It's human nature to jockey for position, isn't it? It feels like there's a hierarchy--an order of people, and we humans like that order. We appreciate having everyone in a predictable, logical order. But Jesus turned all that upside down when he put a small child on his lap and said, "Whoever welcomes this child welcomes me..." (v. 37) Children, at that time, we not highly valued in society, so Jesus' action was surprising.  What if we turned the world upside down in our time and put those who seem to be de-valued on top? Pope Francis does that all the time when he speaks of the plight of immigrants and refugees. Jesus is reaching through 2000 years of human hierarchy and telling us our "order" of people is all wrong. Welcoming those who struggle the most in this life and putting their welfare before the powerful, before kings and queens and presidents, is the true order of the Kingdom of God. And what does that look like on our Feels-Like-a-Monday Tuesday?   Love, heidi