Friday, December 29, 2017

Check the rear-view mirror!

"Looking in your own 'rear-view mirror' can fill you with gratitude for God's work in your life."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation 12/29/17

As 2017 comes to a close, this seems like such a wonderful prayer activity. It's like the nightly Examen, where we look back through our day and notice our experiences of God. We can look back through this year as it winds down...where did we see God most vividly?  It's often easy to see God in the good things that happened--the celebrations, the times we received good news, the happy days. But, if we reflect deeply, we will see God holding us up during the difficult doctor visits, in the midst of a quarrel, or taking a terrible phone call. That's where God was doing the heavy-lifting, not necessarily by manipulating events, but by gifting us on the inside, giving us what we need to cope and even grow.  We may be able to look back through the year and wonder how we even got through the dark days. And then we'll marvel that we did and we'll sigh, recognizing God's presence in the darkness.  I invite all of us to take some time, before we chime in a new year, to mine through the old year and see God's handiwork in our lives.  Blessings as you ring out the old and ring in the new...see you next year! Love, heidi

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Holy "Innocence"...

..."the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you...'"
Matthew 2:13

And, just like that, our Holy Family, just celebrated a couple of days ago, becomes a refugee family. Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee persecution in Bethlehem and go to a foreign land, just like so many other holy families in our very own day. Here we are, still merry from our Christmas celebrations and we are struck with the reality of life on this planet. Jesus becomes a refugee child just after the stunning visit from the Magi, who laud him with extravagant gifts. A while back in the news there was a photo of a young boy, bleeding, dusty and scared, sitting on a chair.  Do you remember that? There, in that dear, dirty little face, was the holy innocence that our Gospel reminds us about today. When I read this today I thought of the picture of that young boy and I saw Jesus.  Jesus is indeed in the terrified faces of the refugees we see everyday in our news feeds. What can we do for them? On this day of the Holy Innocents, let's find a way to help. They are not just nameless unfortunates from far away places. They are our brothers and sisters, our own children and, in fact, Jesus himself.  Love, heidi