Friday, October 20, 2017

Look for grace...

"What if God's grace had a bright face and chased us around the block?"
Fr. Guerric DeBona, Give Us This Day

So there's a fun image to get us through our Friday! We can't as much see God's grace as we feel it, at least that's the way with me. I can feel the warmth of the Spirit flowing through me at times, but seeing God's grace seems abstract. Unless we remember that seeing any goodness at all is seeing God's grace. Just yesterday I watched a school crossing guard at a busy intersection. The care with which she shepherded her little charges seemed grace-filled to me. I experienced a moment of grace when I reached out to a coworker who gently, kindly explained why my braille-writer wasn't working--operator error. Even the harried UPS guy who came flying in at the bitter end of the day, when it seemed all hope of him arriving in time, was lost. Grace. We once heard, in a homily, that grace is our next breath. We can certainly take that in and feel it, but let's actually look for the bright face of grace in our autumn weekend, Friends! We will see it when we see anything that looks like love. Love, heidi

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roll up your sleeves!

"It is not enough for a Christian to condemn evil, cowardice, lies, and use of force, hatred, and oppression. He must at all times be a witness to and defender of justice, goodness, truth, freedom, and love..."
Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, as quoted in Give Us This Day

A martyr in our own day, Fr. Jerzy died for the cause of solidarity in Poland in 1984. Over thirty years ago, but yet the cause of suffering with the oppressed lives on this very day. If one of us on this planet is oppressed for any reason, we all are. If one of us is bullied, maligned, turned away when seeking help, refused medical treatment, tricked, abused, ignored in our need, we all are. If one of us suffers due to race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, we all should be feeling that pain. We are one human family, united under a loving God, who relies on us to minister to each other.  There is goodness in this world, but things seem so difficult right now with the negative blaring of division from places of power.  Lord, please help us to speak truth to power and help us to roll up our sleeves and help those among us who suffer. Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, pray for us!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Clean the whole cup!

"Give for alms those things that are within and see, everything will be clean for you."
Luke 11:41

Wow, I was surprised this morning, at the difference between this verse in the Pray-As-You-Go version (UK) and the US version: "But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you." The UK version seems to imply that we can give from our inner selves, letting go of our anger or our tendency to judge others, and thereby clean our insides. While the US version seems open to our giving alms from our physical wealth.  This is fascinating to me, Friends! I think we can cover all our bases and take a both/and approach. Let's think about what within we can let go of to clean ourselves from the inside--any grudges, bitterness or lack of forgiveness? And we can also see so much need in our hurting world for our physical wealth. What can we share with others? Let's ponder how we can clean our insides and outsides, both, it seems, require a letting go... Love, heidi

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sneaky snow...

“For just as from the heavens the rain and the snow come down and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful...”
Isaiah 55:10

Saturday morning we woke up, surprisingly, to several inches of snow! Oh, the weather guy had said we might get some, but what does he know? When I got up to let the dog out, I was caught  completely off guard! What is this? It was so quiet and sneaky...just coming and piling up like that. I didn’t go back to bed like I usually do on Saturdays. I opened the blinds and lit a candle and just prayed with the sneaky new snow. Is this how God sometimes comes into our lives? We may invite God’s Presence and then we forget we asked. Suddenly, we wake up to see our hearts rearranged, wiggled around, feeling different. We may be surprised, wondering, When did God sneak in and wiggle my heart around? Why do I feel differently about this or that? When did God quietly take that anger away, or help me forgive that person? I am convinced that God can work like the sneaky Saturday snow...quietly, gently, while we are sleeping. Love, heidi