Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Getting Unstuck

I’m boxed in. The decisions that would move me forward aren’t mine to make. So, I’m stuck – and tempted to become discouraged, angry, and resentful.

So, I followed the advice of St Ignatius of Loyola: ask the Lord to “take and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will, all I have and possess…Give me only your love and your grace. They are enough for me.”

And the first time I prayed this prayer in earnest a couple of weeks ago, I could feel the Lord breaking up logjams inside me.

Then, friends have sent messages of support:

A good friend told me to have no expectations for my life, except the Lord’s love for me.

A wise Jesuit told me that when I wait with patience and hope, I give glory to God.

Another good friend said that I’m in the tomb on Holy Saturday, awaiting the resurrection.

These are such wonderful images and insights that have been so helpful. My experience is that what I need at any moment or era of my life comes to me.

Because the Lord is always looking for me to care for me.

My challenge is always to be sure that I have found him looking for me in each day.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Introduction to this Blog - Welcome!

Welcome !

God looks for us in the concrete details of our daily lives. “God works and labors for me in all creatures upon the face of the earth, that is, he conducts himself as one who labors…He gives (us) being, confers life and sensation…” says St Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises. God wants relationship with us.

Have you seen God looking for you?

The following posts are quite brief – shorter than this Introduction. I hope they will give you little hints or inspirations about God in your life. And, I know from experience – God is looking for you.

Please feel welcome to leave a comment – to encourage other readers and me. Church becomes real as we help one another.

Please visit my two other blogs: The Good News, providing posts on Catholic themes and my experiences of Christ in my life.

Living Christ's Eucharist in Our Daily Lives, offering nine posts that link Jesus’ experience of Passion, Death and Resurrection to our experience of suffering, death and resurrection in the world and so in the Eucharist.

Thank you for your visit. May Christ – our ultimate hope and friend – bless us all!

Cold Out There, Warm in Here

Such snow today! Such wind! The snow came down horizontally, leaving paved sidewalks unpaved and plowed streets unplowed. It all nearly pushed me off the road, down a steep hill. My stomach churned, my pulse rushed. It can be like that out there.

Later, the young people were playing football in the snow outside my window. Such a lot of shouting! Such a lot of fun! But they finally had to take their chilled fatigue inside where it was warm.

It’s comfy in here. It can be exciting out there, but also cold and tiring. So I need this place to be warmed in what is nourishing and trustworthy. My comfy place is where I abide in the Lord as he abides in me.

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up. My eyes are not raised too high. I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. For I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother. My soul is like a weaned child that is with me…” Psalm 131

What was cold and fatiguing for you today? Have you had at least a little chance to be the quiet child with its mother? Have you and the Lord abided in one another today?

God Blessed Them Through You

A Jewish friend married a woman of Christian background some time ago. A rabbi presided, and at the reception the families and friends rejoiced, ate and danced. The unity that the bride and groom promised one another flowed over everyone. A friend greeted the couple warmly afterwards and said with great feeling, “I don’t know if Jesus was here today, but God certainly was!”

Family and friends from many parts of my past attended my priestly ordination. Few of them knew one another prior to the ordination, and a number of them were doubtful about “religion” in any form. But by the end of the day we all felt a kinship, a bondedness that was peaceful and fulfilling to us all, and those most doubtful about “religion” were the most moved.

God’s presence brings union among the disparate and healing among the estranged.
We have only to engage one another in hope and blessing – sometimes in words, more often in intention and desire, most often in actions.

Whom did you bless today? In words or in deeds? Whom might you bless tomorrow?

What I Hear in Confessions

I heard confessions today.

What I hear most often in confessions is people’s goodness:
-- People like you and me desiring to rebuild damaged relationships.
-- People like you and me wanting to restore some order to their lives.
-- People like you and me wanting what is good, not what is just expedient or the good-enough or the dull daily routine.

I hear people’s wisdom: “I don’t regret doing the thing I did because I learned from the mistake, and now I know I regret having done it and resolve not to do it again.” “I knew that I didn’t want to behave that way, and now I understand how I can avoid that way of behaving.”

I hear people’s courage: “I want to make things better…” “I will ask God to help me.”

Name a time today you acted out of your goodness, your wisdom, your courage.

Thank the Lord and ask him to help you keep up the good work tomorrow.