BURSTING AT THE SEAMS
"No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Do you ever feel like you have “information overload” or have been inundated with TMI (too much information)? It seems as though we can only take so much before we start “bursting at the seams.” Like this utility tower, we start spouting out in every direction, sometimes by laughing, crying, yelling, or some other outburst, in order to release the pressure building within us.
Remember that there will be occasions when God takes us through a time of correction and testing. When we respond the way He wants us to, and not the way we want to, He then brings us out of it and pours His blessings upon us. Many times we want the blessings of God without the testing and correction, but some impurities in our life will only come out with increased pressure. Don’t despise this happening. Look to God and allow Him to finish the work.
Glorious God, help me to see all situations as a blessing from You. When You give me more than I think I can handle, let me watch how You turn it into something much better than I could imagine. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
ASH WEDNESDAY INVITATION
“Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart … “ – Joel 2:12
Too often, we approach Ash Wednesday with liturgical gloom and doom. It’s the “black sheep” of the family of dark solemnities in the liturgical calendar, failing even to garner status as a holy day of obligation. But when painted in this light, it’s easy to miss its beautiful invitation to claim our brokenness, embrace our vulnerability, and stand in solidarity with all those who do the same.
The difference between the good in us and the bad in us is sometimes frightfully thin. We so often fall short of the Faith we claim. We have treated people as things and we have treated things as if they were valuable people.
Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and get our lives centered, our priorities straight, and our hearts clean. This holy season offers us a new chance to say, "yes" to the Lover of our Souls who created us and who made us in his own image. Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the beauty of God’s design for us, showing once again the scale, proportion, and priorities intended by our Maker.
Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we go forth to love and serve. For by God’s grace in Christ, we do not have to stay the way we are.
God is ready to heal our woundedness, to make us more whole than ever before. Ash Wednesday is our call to make room for the divine dance to work its sacred magic within us.
Lover of my Soul, as I begin this year's Lenten Journey, turn my attention to the things that matter most to you. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS
Now that the tree is out on the curb, and you settle in for a long winter’s nap, savor these words called “The Work of Christmas” by African-American theologian Howard Thurman.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
Find the lost, and if you are the lost, may you know you have already been found by Love itself.
Heal the broken, and if you feel broken, know that you are whole, as is, even with all your cracks. That’s how the Light gets in.
Feed the hungry, and if you are hungry, may you find that spiritual food that fills one forever.
Release the prisoner, and if you are imprisoned, may you be freed from the bondage of self.
Rebuild the nations, and if you love this nation, give it your best self by voting, by serving on a jury, by speaking truth to power.
Bring peace among the people, the kind of peace that comes from within that nothing outside can diminish.
Make music in the heart and in the heart of this awe-filled, awesome world, sing your song, the one you alone came here to sing.
SOURCE: "Breathe in your new life" by Regina Brett, 12/25/2022
On this Feast Day of St. John of the Cross (December 14), let us reflect on one of his writings, “Advent Poem.” Each of us is called to be pregnant with Love, with Light, with Mercy that we give birth to in our neighborhood: “each of us is the midwife of God.”
If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say,
“I need shelter for the night.
Please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.”
Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy,
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes, there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally,
through your womb, dear pilgrim,
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.
If you want, the virgin will come walking down the street,
pregnant with Light, and sing!
"What? No parking here? Oh, I didn't think that pertained to me."
Excuses. We all use them to wiggle out of situations, or defend something we know we should or should not have done.
But excuses aren't truth, and only truth is from God.
Defend your actions with truth, not with excuses, as "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Excuses will only defile you.
Spirit of Truth, guide me at those times when I want to put myself above the truth. Let the truth prevail. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
JESUS, THEIR FRIEND
They stop in the Adoration Chapel where Jesus is waiting for them in the Blessed Sacrament. They are joyous; they are sad. They bow; they kneel. They smile; they cry. They come from all walks of life; dressed in all sorts of attire. They are all ages, all genders, all sizes. They stay for a few minutes or for a few hours.
Some are too ashamed to even enter into His presence, and choose instead to kneel in the hall before the open door.
Each of them has a need: to talk, to share, to dump, to heal. Each of them has a want: counseling, advice, direction, forgiveness.
The young woman comes in seeking blessings for her school day. The young man comes in seeking companionship as he heads off to college. The adult woman comes in seeking relief for her grieving of the turmoil in her native country. The adult male comes in seeking forgiveness for his errant ways. The priest comes in seeking guidance in his ministry.
It is a mixed population with varied histories, but all one faith.
Each of them is looking and searching and finding ... Jesus, their friend.
The address on the mailbox was "923", the Feast Day of St. Padre Pio.
The mailbox must always be full with letters, notes and cards. People sending their thanksgivings, prayers and supplications to St. Pio.
He reads them all, you know, because he had the gift of looking into souls and scrutinizing consciences. As he explained it, "Through Jesus, I see and hear all -- I see your soul just as you see yourself in a mirror."
Write to him; speak to him. He will intercede for you. While your letter may never be delivered, your concern will be "read" nonetheless.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us.
Can you hear the singing of the angels?
Can you hear the plucking of the harps?
A chorus of heavenly beings to join us on our way.
We have no need to fear,
For harm is pushed out of the way.
The angels guard us daily and lead us not astray.
Our eyes when we are blinded;
Our ears when we can't hear.
The angels protect us from danger and catch us when we fall.
We cannot see or touch them,
We sense their omnipresence.
We know they are ever near us and carry our breath to God.
Thank you, God, for our angels. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind." - James 1:5-6
Jesus, am I good?
"You are very good. Everything I made was good, and I made you."
Jesus, do you love me?
"I love you so much that I died for you."
Jesus, will you be there tomorrow?
"I will be with you always, until the end of time."
COVENANT WITH GOD
"I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." - Genesis 9:13
Witness God's covenant with us through this beautiful hymn and accompanying lyrics.
COVENANT HYMN LYRICS (by Rory Cooney)
Wherever you go, I will follow,
Wherever you live is my home.
Though days be of blessing or sorrow,
Though house be of canvas or stone,
Though Eden be lost to the past,
Though mountains before us be vast,
Wherever you go, I am with you.
I never will leave you alone.
Whatever you dream, I am with you,
When stars call your name in the night.
Though shadows and mist cloud the future,
Together we bear there a light.
Like Abram and Sarah we stand,
With only a promise in hand.
But lead where you dream: I will follow.
To dream with you is my delight.
And though you should fall, you will find me,
When no other friend can you claim,
When foes beat you down or betray you,
And others desert you in shame.
When home and dreams aren’t enough,
And you run away from my love,
I’ll raise you from where you have fallen.
"Faithful to you" is my name.
Wherever you die, I will be there
To sing you to sleep with a psalm,
To soothe you with tales of our journey,
Your fears and your doubts I will calm.
We’ll live when journeys are done
Forever in mem’ry as one.
And we will be buried together,
And waken to greet a new dawn.
Wherever you go, I will follow.
Behold! The horizon shines clear.
The possible gleams like a city:
Together we’ve nothing to fear.
So speak with words bold and true
The message my heart speaks to you.
You won’t be alone, I have promised.
Wherever you go, I am here.
Copyright © 1992 GIA Publications. All rights reserved.
Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash
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