Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holding our hand...

"I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
Isaiah 41:13

This scripture was a huge help to me many years ago and, instead of just thinking about then, when it comes around, it has new meaning for me now. Each day, as we inch along in our lives, we have need for God to grasp our hands, don't we? Each day is brand, new territory for us to navigate. Each day we may feel we are plowing sagebrush. Just because we may be doing the same things we were doing yesterday, each day holds the promise of something new--it may be a good new or a difficult new, but each day holds a promise and invitation for us to grow. I find, the older I get, even the familiar may hold challenges! Even what I've done for years has changed and evolved and I need to hurry to catch up with it. Today, let's spend some time thinking and praying with this incredible passage. Think about God holding your hand and even give your hand a squeeze a time or two through the day. Remind yourself that every minute is a new possibility for a God-encounter that may surprise us. And each and every minute of our day, God is there with us, holding our hand, as we encounter it. Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pray for us!

"Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.' Then the angel departed from her."
Luke 1:47

We may think the most difficult part of this reading is Mary's "Yes!" But, after reading "Jesus--A Pilgrimage," the first time and re-reading parts of it many times, I can appreciate the hardest part is the last line, "Then the angel departed from her." Mary was left on her own, with her tremendous faith, in this monumental mission. In another time, 1531, in another place, Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego on a hillside. The image, however, didn't depart at all, but is still present and visible on the tilma of Juan Diego, hanging in the Basilica. Our Lady left behind her image on the 16th century cloak for all to see and millions go to see it each year. It's as if Mary understood even as the angel left her, a physical image is very nice to have, to hang onto, once the vision is gone. So today we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of the Americas. Please, Mother, pray for all of your children from the southern point of South America to the very tip top of Canada. We are all in need of your prayers, especially for the poor, for peace, and for justice for all...Love, heidi

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fear Not!

"Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God..."
Isaiah 35:4

We seem to be hearing that often during Advent--Fear Not! The angel told Mary, "Do not be afraid, Mary..." (Luke 1:30) and so often Jesus told those around him, "Do not be afraid..." What is it about human creatures that we constantly need to be reassured not to fear? I was re-reading the chapter on the Annunciation in "Jesus--A Pilgrimage" yesterday. In it, Fr. James Martin says that fear is a very common and reasonable response when we experience the Divine. God knows us so well that God is constantly reassuring us not to be afraid. What are we not to fear in our little human lives this day? Do we have new challenges in our day today? Are we facing a scary doctor visit or trying to figure out how we can possibly afford the winter?  In our troubled world, in our uneasy country, how can we not fear? There's a lot of scary out there, but God tells us not to be afraid. Our lives are in God's care; we are living in God and God is living within us. God needs us to rise above our own fears and get out there and help in this world. God will strengthen our weary hands and bolster us up to do God's work. We just need to be like Mary and say, "Yes!" Love, heidi