And she didn’t even have to ask

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Do you remember that Verizon commercial?  Illustrating all the different locations where Verizon gets service?  It was catchy, clever and certainly memorable.  Sometimes I feel as though my prayer life is like a Verizon commercial!  I need to pray for ___, and ____, or and don’t forget ___.  Did I remember ____, oh and _____, and didn’t she ask for my prayers last week??????  So many people to pray for, so many needs, such a long list, I don’t want to forget anyone who asked for my prayers……yikes!  Prayer is stressful!

Really????

St. Luke tells of a story of Jesus approaching a town called Naim.  As he got near the gates he saw a man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother.  St. Luke tells it like this, “The Lord was moved with pity upon seeing her and said to her, “Do not cry.”  Then he bid the dead man to get up and we all know the rest of the story.

Did you notice?  The woman didn’t even have to ask…..’the Lord was moved with pity’.

Forget the lists, forget the proper posture, forget the formatted words and forget the timed prayer sessions.

Lift up your eyes, open your heart to Him and let Him heal.  “The Lord was filled with compassion”….and she didn’t even have to ask!

Is this me?

 

Unknown(Thank you Prior Lake American for creating a visual of the way that I am feeling)

So I’m thinking’…..as I have my Noah snowsuit on……

Should I start building an ark with skis?

Should I start eating those chips because comfort food adds layers of blubber?

Should I take a mental vacation to the Caribbean?

Or should I take some quiet time to reflect…..what can I learn from this weather? Silly question?  Our God who counts the hairs on our heads, watches each sparrow that falls to the ground, and catches our tears as they fall, isn’t random.
There is something for me to glean…
Open my heart O Holy Spirit and help me to learn the wisdom that you offer as gently and freely as the falling snow.

 

 

It’s so tempting, isn’t it?

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Lessons to learn from Pope Benedict’s Resignation:

Whatever faith we choose, whatever religion we belong to, whatever spirituality we adopt, we can all learn from the news this past week regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict’s XVI.  Here are the points that I want to take away from this:

+  No job is so important that it can’t or won’t continue when I step away from it

+  It takes a real humility to accept my limitations

+  Whatever my position is, even if my title may be the Head of the Catholic Church on earth, the Church ultimately belongs to God and the Holy Spirit will guide it

+  There comes a time, no matter what my role or service in the church may be, when it is time to remember that the relationship is ultimately between God and me

+  And…..it is at that time that I must really look deep inside and, through prayer, get my personal ‘house in order’ and be willing to take a step into the darkness

It’s so tempting to think that I am in control…..but….

I must pray for the strength to not ‘eat that apple’.

Please don’t rush lent….

Lent Cross Email SalutationOh please don’t rush lent this year, I’m just not ready!  

Lent takes work, lent takes discipline, lent takes sacrifice, lent takes energy.  
Everywhere I look I see lent – lenten flyers, lenten blogs, and lenten booklets.
Not quite yet – please!

I need a bit more time….
to think of only myself
to be too weary to pray
to play on the computer instead of read my spiritual books
to say whatever I want without watching my words
TO EAT CHOCOLATE

I’m not ready lent – don’t come too quickly – I don’t want to change
I’m comfortable just as I am

oh,

how I need lent this year!

Tug of War

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1 Peter 4:7

Intercessory prayer has always been a mystery to me.  Oh, I believe in it….I always ask for other’s prayers and often offer to pray for them as well.  I know that it is important.  I know that it makes a difference.  I can’t really explain how, but I suppose that it may not really matter if I understand it or not.  As a Christian, we must find peace in Mystery.

So, someone close to me is hurting and in pain.  I present her to God, I pray for her and then, according to St. Peter, I’m supposed to let it go?  Much easier said then done!  Here is where my little brain goes:   If I let it go, will God think that I don’t care anymore about it?  Don’t I have to keep telling God how worried I am?  I would feel guilty if I don’t obsess about it….

It’s like a tug of war with God.  I pray and surrender – I’m filled with worry – I lift her to God – I’m anxious about the situation.  Maybe that’s the best that I can do.  I’m only human after all.  When people I care about are hurting, I hurt too.

For today, my prayer is that I can ease up just a little on my grip – not quite ready to let go of the rope and end this game of tug or war, but perhaps, just for today, I can be pulled a bit towards God’s side.

Where is your focus this lent?

   What did I give up for lent?  What am I doing this lent?  How am I journeying   through lent and will this season bring me closer to God or will I stay stuck where I am?

As long as I keep the focus on ‘me’ and what I am doing and how I am doing, this lent will not bear much fruit.  I need to concentrate on God, and take the ‘me’ out of this equation.  My desire is to increase my desire, to grow closer to my Creator, to allow him to continue to create me. 

Lent is a time to go deep, to go inside to my center, but unless I recognize that God dwells there, I am still stumbling around in the dark.  He lives in me, and sometimes that is the best hiding place of all. 

Time alone, sitting in silence, letting those thoughts come and go in a most gentle way, allowing yourself to be loved – really loved is the best way that I know of to connect with the Source, God, my lover. 

The world has a problem with silence.  The world has a problem with ‘wasting time’, the world has a problem with God.

Perhaps the greatest discipline that I can have this lent is to allow God to love me….

Wow, wow, wow….

Has it really been this long? You’ve heard it all before….hours turn into days, days into weeks, etc. etc.

It’s been a whirlwind..both good and not so good, ah, the ups and downs of life.

So much of my time, efforts and energy goes into working with kids. Our kids, our hurting, lonely, searching, scarred and scared kids…just what are we doing to them?

Turn on the TV, check out the iphones, facebooks and twitters… The toys get bigger and better and the kids get more and more lost and lonely. It’s so sad….

I ask them to write – actually type answers, reflections and thoughts. They really open up because they are typing on a computer and not sitting face to face. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in psych. to hear what they are crying out for.

Please pray with me for these kids….

We’re counting on them….let’s help them actually DO what we thought we were going to do way back when in our college days….

There is something beyond the shrugs of the shoulders, the rolls of the eyes, the glazed expressions…look inside….that’s where God lives….in them….in us.

What to say…Oh, What to say…

Next week I’m giving a short talk on prayer to adults.  I’ve done it before, I have something prepared, and the reflections and thoughts from your blog posts help to inspire me.  The problem is, however, the older I get, the more I realize that my words fall short.

Oh sure, I can define prayer, describe what it ‘looks’ like, even present many different types, kinds and methods of prayer……but, I cannot give them the ‘experience’ of prayer.  That is too intimate and too sacred.

Every relationship begins with boundaries and guidelines.  Even the Chosen People were given the Ten Commandments to help them get started.  But then, if your heart is open, the relationship takes over and everything else falls away. 

Prayer is the invitation, the embrace, the knowing.   Prayer is the heart’s voice in the Love Story.