Thursday, October 18, 2018

God's efficient system...

"Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals..."
Luke 10:4

Jesus is telling his crew to travel light--no U-Hauls, no luggage racks with many tunics hanging on them, no camels carrying their stuff. They were to rely on God to provide for their needs. Unlike their ancestors in the desert, however, God didn't just send manna down from heaven. God provided for their needs through the hands of human beings. They were to receive "payment" of food and lodging from those they visited along the way. Human beings were to provide for the needs of other human beings. God thought that was an efficient system, apparently, because we see if again when Jesus multiplies the loaves and fish. Jesus provided for the needs of the multitude through the hands of the apostles, who passed out the food. It just didn't magically appear on the lawn! What we learn from this is:  Those who have been blessed with means should help those who have less. If we ask, God will provide us with generous hearts so we can turn around and provide for those who have little. It is an efficient system unless we allow greed to get in the way. If we cling and clutch what we have been given, the system breaks down and people suffer. Today, let's ask God to give us the generous hearts we need to share what we have with others. We don't need to judge them or put them through any worthiness criterion, but we just need to see a need and do what we can to meet it. That's the efficient system God has devised, let's run with it! Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Simple life = prayerful life

"I've saved the best for now. Simplicity is a natural preparation for prayer. Simplicity will lead you to prayer. It creates an inner awareness of gratitude for the material and spiritual gifts you have. It creates time and space for prayer."
Sr. Jose Hobday, "Simple Living--The Path to Joy and Freedom"

This little book is like a How-to manual for simple living. I re-read it once a year. Sr. Jose was a Seneca elder and also a Franciscan sister so she incorporates Franciscan spirituality with Native spirituality and the result is awesome--sign me up! When I first read this book the idea of having more time for prayer due to a simple life was a pipe dream; now it is more of a reality, thanks be to God. Having an easier, less stressful, less daily-grind life certainly offers me more time for quiet and prayer, but I still need to make room for it. Other distractions are definitely still there and try to lure me in! I am realizing that having and doing less leads to more--time. Having a tiny apartment means less time keeping it up (I can vacuum the whole place from one outlet!) Having fewer possessions means less time looking for stuff and taking care of stuff. Of course, when I had a dinner party I used nearly every dish I have, but it was fine! Having a half-time job instead of a full time plus a side business means I actually get a full night's sleep--what a concept! All of that leads me to prayer--prayer of thanksgiving, prayer of desire to share all this fabulousness with others. Today, our autumn Wednesday, let's look around and see if there are ways we can simplify our lives. Even if it is just carving out an hour for quiet prayer in an otherwise busy day. Love, heidi

Monday, October 15, 2018

Help us to pray...

"In the same way, the Spirit too, comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings."
Romans 8: 26-28

The UK readings for yesterday included this reading and it was the one featured on Pray-As-You-Go weekend edition. I listened to it in the early morning, in the midst of a fabulously fun weekend with a dear friend and family. As I listened, I realized that the feelings of gratitude I felt were so much bigger than anything I could say to God. "Thank You," just doesn't cut it when when your heart is that full. Our little English language words cannot begin to express what I was feeling just then. So I was so glad to be able to listen to this reading and know that the Spirit within me would take my feeble words and magnify them. The Spirit could say what I could not in my human weakness. This is good for us to remember whenever we try to pray and just cannot get the words to match our feelings. Maybe we are sad and weary. Our prayer of "Help me, Lord," can be magnified by the Spirit so that its full entirety reaches God's heart, which is right there within our own heart. Whatever our prayers this day, let's rejoice that the Spirit gives our feelings the depth we really feel as we pray, when our own language falls short. Love, heidi