Thursday, March 16, 2017

Open the door...

"Jesus said to the Pharisees, 'There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus..."
Luke 16:19-20

As I pondered this reading this morning, I wondered to myself (that's what happens when you live alone) who are the Lazaruses (Lazari?) at my door? I know there are people I step over each day to go about my everyday life.  It pains me to recognize this, but it also is the point of Jesus' story to the Pharisees. There are people in our lives who have much to teach us, but we ignore them. They may seem difficult to us, or they make us uncomfortable.  The guy on the corner by Walmart with the sign. The relative we never contact. Jesus is reminding us that we don't need to look far to find the people who have the most to teach us. We don't need to go to a far off land to help far off strangers, admirable as that may be. All we need do is look outside our own door, in our own little lives and the lesson is right there.  All this makes me so ill at ease. I like being in my cozy little world with me inside and Lazarus outside.  The idea of inviting Lazarus in is unsettling.  Blessedly, I don't have to do it alone.  Lord, please help me to see Lazarus, invite him in and show him hospitality.  He is You...Love, heidi

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Santa Fe, All the Way!

"'Holy Faith all the way. Lord, it is good to be here.' It will be your holy faith which tells you that wherever 'here' is at this moment in your life is a gift from God since the purpose of each 'here' is to transform us."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Lenten Labyrinth"

Fr. Ed refers to the slogan from the Santa Fe Railroad, "Santa Fe, all the way!" which translates to Holy faith, all the way! It is such a fitting slogan for Lent, as is the quote from Peter at the Transfiguration, "Lord, it is good to be here." (Matthew 17:4) Though these two phrases may seem contradictory, they are actually quite compatible. I surely need both in my life right now, as I'm one who likes to have the future planned to the day and that just isn't possible. Or realistic. Or even spiritually edifying! I need to shout Santa Fe all the way! And rely on God to guide me into the future God wants for me. And, just as importantly, I need to relax in the knowledge that this "here" is exactly where God wants me to be right now. What about you? Is your faith allowing you to leave the future in God's hands? Are you appreciating that the "here" you are experiencing is just where God has placed you to grow? Food for thought, right?  Love heidi

Oh, the website Catholic Moms was kind enough to publish a reflection from me today! Please check it out:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Choose joy...

"I am convinced that we can choose joy. Every moment we can choose to respond to an event or a person with joy instead of sadness...To choose joy does not mean to choose happy feelings or an artificial atmosphere of hilarity. But it does mean the determination to let whatever takes place bring us one step closer to the God of life."
Henri Nouwen, "The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey"

I have been blessed to read enough of Henri Nouwen to know his life was not a bed of roses, so his saying that we can CHOOSE joy makes me sit up and take notice.  But what about when things seem really difficult? (I rhetorically ask Henri Nouwen, who has been in heaven since 1996).  I think the main thing is the difference between joy and happiness and Fr. Nouwen clearly knows the difference. He was a man of deep thoughts and deeper feelings, so he knows joy when he talks about it, but also the frivolity of surface happiness, too.  Joy is so much more God-ish, really. Joy is the sensation that all will be well, as Julian of Norwich told us. We go through ups and downs of human life and we can feel like we're on a roller coaster at times. But joy is deeper, more lasting, more penetrating all we do and are.   Joy is the God-presence in our experience, no matter if it is happy or sad. The presence of God in it can give us a calm and peace, even if the circumstances don't seem calm or peaceful. That is worth a pondering this last Tuesday of winter! Love, heidi

Monday, March 13, 2017

Message of the heart

"God also speaks in braille, in messages that must be felt in the heart."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Lenten Labyrinth"

Wow, has this ever happened to you? You just feel or sense a message that either comforts you or compels you to do something? It's not like a voice, really, but a sense, a stirring, deep inside that has results.  I think if we pay attention we may find that it happens frequently. This morning I was praying for someone and had a sense to invite them to join the prayer. It was as clear as day. It just stirred in my heart to reach out and ask them to pray with me.  Today, as we go about our "Wish-I-Had-My-Hour-Back" Monday, let's pay attention to the stirrings of our hearts.  God is embossing them with braille messages.  We need to feel them to read the message.  Love, heidi