Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Come, Holy Spirit

Tonight is the youth confirmation Mass at my parish; I will leave in a short while. I prepared little gifts for them (a Rosary and some poems) and in anticipation of that I looked for Holy Spirit images on the Internet. What came up astounded me: a plethora of diverse images, mostly doves, that represent the immense power we are given in the Holy Spirit. Just think of it: He dwells within us! What He gives is beyond understanding. May the eleven youth being confirmed tonight be filled with power from on high and may it remain with them always.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; kindle in us the fire of your love.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lord, Have Mercy

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Well, I failed a test last night. I didn't live up to what I posted below, graciousness in times of trial and difficulty.

There is something about withstanding trials with dignity that just feels good. God gives peaceful endurance when times are tough, and He doesn't ask us to do ANYTHING for which He doesn't provide strength... if we are willing to receive it and not battle against it.

Like the "Little Engine that Could" (a favorite childhood book), I must believe that there is a top to the mountain with a strength-bolstering downhill side. It will come, and probably sooner than I think.

Lord, I love you. Thank you for every bit of strength you have given; thank you for every bit you will give. Help me to put myself aside and shoulder the burden. I know you are with me. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

This Morning's Office

Here is something I read today in the Divine Office during morning prayer:

"Whoever hates his life in this world keeps it safe for life everlasting."

This was an antiphon from the "Common of One Martyr" and it struck me. (It was read today because we honor John I, Pope and Martyr from the 6th century.)

What does it mean to hate one's life?

What rings true for me now is accepting with humility, grace and dignity unpleasant situations that may come my way. If there is hatred... or judgment... or misunderstanding... or misrepresentation... I must simply bear it. I cannot hold with a tight fist what I wish for others to think of me. I can get lost in the battle to defend my life now... or I can choose to turn my life over to Christ with hope for life everlasting.

Later I read this in the Canticle of Zechariah:

You, my child, shall be called the Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of their sins.

I marvelled at the great privilege St. John the Baptist was given... and then realized the privilege came with a great cross to bear as well. He was ostracized and eventually beheaded. Sometimes privileges and hardships go hand in hand. If I follow Christ, am I willing to accept unpleasantries with dignity and humility? Lord, may it be so!

Of Blossoms and Rustling Leaves

Our cherry tree was in bloom several weeks ago; soft, pink blossoms hovered about its branches like a cloud. Despite the pleasure of the sight, I felt a bit sad as I admired them. It seems the blossoms are here so briefly, as though they float away on the breeze as quickly as they arrive. While I thought of this, a quiet voice within asked me to appreciate goodness while it's here and not to mourn its passing. I was reminded that each good-bye brings something new. God's world is full of wonder when we are willing to receive.

* * * * * * *
I sat on the small stone bench outside the church as I waited for noontime Mass. Lost in thought about a particular care, God pointed out to me that my focus was a distraction from the whisper of His voice. Looking up, I saw the leaves on the trees blown by the breeze with their gentle rustling sound. One must be quiet and still to listen and see.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Around Another Corner

Someone I know once said, "Never lose hope, for you don't know what's waiting for you just around the corner." Despite struggles that might tempt others toward depression, she chose to see each day as a new opportunity.

I love seeing things like that, too, though I sometimes forget; that is, until I turn another corner to find a surprise waiting for me. I had a light-hearted surprise a couple weekends ago - I was asked to be part of a contest at a local cooking school. I was a little nervous, but ended up having a blast cooking my entry, chicken mole' using Oregon Chai Tea, which was the sponsor of the contest. (That's me stirring the sauce. ;)

There was a bonus surprise, too: I was asked to consider teaching a class or two there. That was something I didn't expect... and I greatly look forward to it. You see? You never know what's just around the corner. Our Lord loves to surprise us with His goodness that comes in unexpected ways. May your day be full of His love.