Friday, June 15, 2018

Listen for the whisper...

"After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave."
1 Kings 19:12-13

Elijah, going to wait for God in the front of his cave, totally reminds me of sitting on the porch of St. Helen's hermitage at Marymount.  In the early morning, I wrap myself in a cloak of sorts, too, a blanket. I sit and wait for God, who has been waiting for me. It's hard to describe the silence necessary to hear the tiny whispering sound of God. The "silence" around me can be quite noisy with critter and bird sounds, but the actual silence is within me. My heart seems to slow down and my breath becomes slower, too. It feels like a state of repose. Blessedly, with practice I can go to this special place without going to the hermitage, but it sure comes more easily there! Here are some little helps for finding this place within yourself where you can go to meet God to listen for the whisper...

Sit comfortably and close your eyes
Pay attention to your breathing, taking long, lingering breaths
Place your hands open on your lap or, maybe, one on your heart
Feel a stillness wash over you
Pray simply, "Jesus"
If your mind wanders, just come back to your "Jesus" prayer.

Let's all take the time and do this for a few minutes this weekend!  I know I will need this place of peace in the midst of packing. As we bustle through our activities, let's find the time. Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tired, but happy...

"God is my love, my fortress,
my stronghold, my savior..."
Psalm 14

We are nearly mid-way through our program for teaching teachers and para professionals who work with visually impaired kids. I freely admit to you that I have fallen asleep on the couch each night, exhausted, after eating a wee bit of dinner. But it is such a gratified and happy exhaustion! The teachers are eager and enthusiastic and their zeal is contagious. I'm excited to be working with them. I think I even volunteered to come back and do this again next year! For free!  I know, I may need to lay down until that feeling goes away, but the fact is, God is giving me such a wonderful way to share with others before I pack it all in. I'm getting to teach people who teach people and it's fabulous. God must have known how great a send off this would be. Today, as we go about our nearly-officially-summer Wednesday, let's think about what it feels like to do just what God wants us to do.  In his book, "Sacred Fire," Fr. Ron Rolheiser calls it "stand where you're supposed to be standing and let God provide the rest." In other words, doing what God has asked you to do where God has asked you to do it. For me, it has been exhausting, but it is such a great and wonderful exhaustion! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The salt of the earth...

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'You are the salt of the earth.'"
Matthew 5:13

I watched a PBS documentary last night on the life and work of Walt Disney. It was long, but very interesting and what I learned was that the man was troubled. Chain-smoking, with an explosive temper, his employees were often terrified of him. He fought with his brother and business partner all through his life, not speaking for months on end. The man who gave the world Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins was, himself, quite driving and difficult. But, at the end of his life, as he was dying from lung cancer, it was his brother who was at his bedside, warming his feet and easing his suffering. At the end, the body of his work, gifting millions with his wholesome entertainment, is what is remembered about the man. The life of an individual is not just about his mistakes and difficulties. The whole life, good and bad, joy and sadness, success and failure, paints the picture of a life well-lived. Walt Disney wasn't an easy man to work for or work with, truth be told. And neither are we. But when we are nearing the end of our days, it will be the whole of our lives that we see played out for review. And, hopefully, there will be loved ones there to warm our feet.  We are the salt of the earth. Love, heidi

Monday, June 11, 2018

Pure of heart...

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8

As the Pray-As-You-Go folks were reading the Beatitudes this morning, this one jumped out at me. Pure in heart; what would that look like in my day today? Well, I think it would look honest and filled with integrity. I'm going through some last minute details with the sale of my house that are irksome (now, there's a word we don't use often enough!) and I need to be absolutely pure in heart, not greedy or miserly. I need to think more big-picture. Also, I'm helping in a program all this week teaching teachers how to better work with visually impaired kids. I need to be at the top of my game, not thinking ahead to retiring in a couple of weeks. Pure of heart means I need to be my very best self, the self God has placed in these situations. Pure of heart means I'm not just out for my own gain, but for the betterment of others. Pure of heart means operating out of love for others, from my very heart--where God resides. I trust my heart because God lives there. Today, as we pray with the Beatitudes, which one jumps out? Is there one speaking to us today? Love, heidi