We all have our periods of dismay and discouragement. But the image in this reflection gave me food for thought ... and comfort.
“Okay, Lord,” I said aloud amidst my weeping. “It’s you and me now.” The loosening of my stiff grasp on life’s steering wheel was underway, although it’s an ongoing process in continuation to this day. I cried myself to sleep and woke up several hours later in the quiet stillness to a strange but tangibly soothing peacefulness. My eyes roamed the room and fell upon the chair that was usually tucked beneath a desk, now turned and facing the bed. It was as if Jesus had been sitting there throughout the whole ordeal, watching me sob and then drift to sleep.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he told me. “Just wait till you see what’s in store for us.”
The chair that Jesus would sit in when he appeared to Rhoda Wise.
New Year's resolutions: have you made yours yet? Or have you already abandoned them? Here's a list of resolutions that was given to Vatican employees by Pope Francis last year. They are still worth considering in this new year.
1. “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
2. “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”
3. “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
4. “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”
5. “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
6. “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”
7. “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
8. “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
9. “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”
10. “Make sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.”
Photo by MicroStockHub, Getty Images/iStockphoto
TOO NEAR TOGETHER
As we are still in the Christmas season and beginning this month dedicated to pro-life causes, take a moment to contemplate this quote from G.K. Chesterton's book, The Everlasting Man, and the significance of two persons "too near together".
“When I was a boy, a more Puritan generation objected to a statue upon my parish church representing the Virgin and Child. After much controversy, they compromised by taking away the Child. One would think that this was even more corrupted with Mariolatry, unless the mother was counted less dangerous when deprived of a sort of weapon. But the practical difficulty is also a parable. You cannot chip away the statue of a mother from all round that of a newborn child. You cannot suspend the newborn child in mid-air; indeed, you cannot really have a statue of a newborn child at all. Similarly, you cannot suspend the idea of a newborn child in the void or think of him without thinking of his mother. You cannot visit the child without visiting the mother; you cannot in common human life approach the child except through the mother. If we are to think of Christ in this aspect at all, the other idea follows it as it is followed in history. We must either leave Christ out of Christmas, or Christmas out of Christ, or we must admit, if only as we admit it in an old picture, that those holy heads are too near together for the haloes not to mingle and cross.”
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."