Thursday, May 24, 2018

It's all gift!

"Poverty of spirit is a matter of gratitude. When we recognize that everything is gift, we grow in love for the Giver."
Sr. Mary McGlone, "Give Us This Day"

I pondered this a bit this morning. Time was, I admit, that I thought whatever I received I had earned. I worked hard (sort of) in school, received a good education, entered my chosen field, you know how it goes. But, during this time of winding down my chosen profession, it is clearer to me how the whole thing was a gift. The discernment I experienced even before I knew what the word "discernment" meant, was a gift. The whole enchilada--me figuring it out and doing it was a gift. And the whole time from then until now has been a gift. I sure didn't get it at first, though, which is just a condition of youth. I thought of my career as a job, a way to make a living. If I happened to help someone along the way, that's nice. But now I see it as truly a gift from God, a ministry or vocation, a way to give glory to God through encountering others. I wish I'd known this all along, but I am happy to be able to recognize it now. Maybe I'm growing up...I certainly am growing in love with the Giver! Today, as we go off to do what we do, let's be aware of how God has gifted us with the ability to do it in the first place. It is ALL gift! Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Get out there and try!

"After all, Jesus is calling me today to a future I do not recognize and cannot comprehend--and the choice to hear that call requires a loss of control that I find terrifying."
Nancy Dallavalle, "Give Us This Day"

In today's Gospel, Mark 9:30-37, Jesus tells the disciples that he will be handed over and killed. Three days later he will rise. The disciples just can't fathom all that and sort of disengage as they walk along, arguing with each other which one of them is the greatest. Jesus is laying out for them a future they cannot possibly figure out, so they just resort to talking about things they understand, trivial and silly things, really. None of us really knows what lies before us, up around the bend, do we? We can anticipate what may be coming, we have plans and know what we think lies ahead, but we cannot know for sure. Our slippery grip on control may reassure us somewhat, but the truth is, we don't know. All we can do is trust and try our best to do what we do for the glory of God. And, I really think God appreciates that. God loves it when we try. Today, our May Tuesday, let's get out there and try. We don't have all the answers, nor do we even know the questions. But we can rest assured, we love a God who loves us even more. Love, heidi

Monday, May 21, 2018

Pray without ceasing!

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We learned this past weekend at our silent retreat, "Praying with the Psalms," that the Psalms are a great way to "Pray without ceasing," as St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians. Sister Mary Beverly told us that unceasing prayer is being aware of God's presence throughout all that we do and that was surely evident to me last week. I celebrated enough life changes last week to make my head spin, and through it all, I felt like I was praying my own little psalms. "Please help me find an apartment!" "Wow, these kids are amazing!" "Thank you for all these fabulous co-workers!" And, finally, as I settled into silence at the retreat, my long exhaling prayer of just "Ahhhh..." Prayer, to me, is an on-going conversation with God. Sometimes, I can imagine poor God wondering if I will ever stop talking so God can get a word in. In the silence of a retreat, I finally let God have a say. And what does God say when I am finally listening? God just says, "I love you. You are special to me. We're in this together." And that is definitely worth turning off the phone to hear! Love, heidi