Friday, May 19, 2017

Love to share

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.'"
John 15:12

Pray-As-You-Go this morning offered a good question, How have you experienced God's love in your life?  Good one, right? I sat and thought about it and the one answer that jumped out at me is People. I have experienced God's love through People. What people? Well, certainly the people who have loved me throughout my life; I have experienced God's love through them. But, also, I experience the love of God through other People. People I may not even know, really. People across the world or the country who challenge me to love better--with the love of Jesus. The poor, the marginalized, those on death row, those who have lost their way in the world, those who struggle, those I too-often judge harshly, the addicted, refugees, those who I can never imagine how difficult their lives are because mine is so cushy in comparison. The love of God challenges and compels me to love more deeply, more convincingly, more genuinely. And not just the people who love me back. Loving Jesus, you shower me with love, but not to cling to and hoard just for myself. You know that your love can only come to life and bear fruit when I share it with others. And that's harder for me to do! Please help me to love love like you. Love, heidi

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Abide, Stay, love

"Abide in my love..."
John 15:9

Today is a good time to ponder and pray what that means, exactly. I think it means to be in love, to stay in love, to let love influence all we do in a day. We consider each person we encounter is a child of God. We see our work as God's work, done with our human hands. No matter what we do, if we do it with love, we do it abiding in God. This may sound simple, but we cannot do God all by ourselves. We can only love with God's loving us first.  God is love and abiding in God means abiding in love.  Today, as we go about our mid-ish May Thursday, let's think about God's love extending out to our world through us! Love, heidi
If you'd like a little more on this, click here for my last Gospel Reflection on Catholic Moms for this year:
Gospel Reflection

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prune away fear...

"...everyone that does (bear fruit) he prunes so that it bears more fruit."
John 15:2

About the only plant I can reliably grow is a philodendron. They must thrive on neglect because I can grow them living up to the name "Gainan." (visit The window sill in my office has a row of philodendron plants and they seem to grow overnight, winding all around each other and filling up the whole space, taking it over, like in a B movie. During a particularly profound pruning phase, I trimmed them all back and they burst forth from their centers, creating even bigger plants than before. Ah! The lesson of pruning on my very window sill! Sometimes, we need to cut back in order to grow forth. Sometimes, we need to let go before we can truly strengthen. Sometimes, there is more of us if there is actually less of us.  Less is more. Yada, yada. Let's think and pray a bit about what this can look like in our lives, this Windy Wednesday. I find this lesson building on the one from yesterday, about realizing what I can and cannot change; letting go of what I cannot change to concentrate on what I can. I need to allow God to prune away from me the anxiety and fear of what I cannot influence to allow me to burst forth with what I can. Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What can I do?

"In the second half of life, one has less and less need or interest in eliminating the negative or fearful, making rash judgments, holding on to old hurts or feeling any need to punish other people...You learn to ignore and withdraw your energy from evil or stupid things rather than fight them directly."
Fr. Richard Rohr, "A Spring Within Us"

When I read this last night, just after reading a troubling news article, it hit me.  I'm not called to fight THAT big fight. I'm called to operate within my own circle of influence and do what I can to help people in my own life. The world is just not mine to fix. I have a mission but it is much smaller than the whole world, and that should comfort and reassure me.  I am still called to pray for the world, surely. But as far as what I can do, I am to just serve God's people in my job, my neighborhood, family and the strangers I meet each day.  I am called to care for God's creation, by simplifying and recycling all I can. I am called to love those who are easy to love and also those who seem hard. All of that should keep me busy for all my days! If I can withdraw my energy from all I cannot change, I can channel it to what I can.  Love, heidi