It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.
Though written originally for Advent, the call to reexamine our focus as we seek to live out our discipleship is our continuous invitation to conversion. This past Saturday my son and I spent the morning with our local homeless community through Matthew’s Kitchen. I am reminded that while so many have so little..God’s love and mercy for the least of these is so great!
With Open Mind, Eyes and Heart
(Originally posted December 11, 2014)
This Advent season, I find myself disenchanted with the stores, and the constant promotion of items to be bought in order to win smiles and love. Some years are like that we say to ourselves, and yet I know that there is something much profound at work. Searching, I recognize that while society hasn’t necessarily changed, I have.
The other day, I took a moment with a local homeless man just to talk. As he stood there, leaning uncomfortably against my church, I could not pass him by. That is, without sharing a smile and asking him how he was doing. Even from a distance, I noticed that the cold weather had left his skin and lips weathered, and reddened. I suddenly realized that I had come prepared. For, inside my car were a new pair of tube socks with lotion, wipes, chap stick, toothbrush and toothpaste enclosed. Gladly, but a bit surprised, he accepted the gift.
This morning on my way to take my son to school again I saw him, with a huge smile on his face walking with a couple of other men. What a gift he had given me to see him enjoying a bit of happiness and company. The homeless life can be so very isolating, for mental illness and addictions have often served to distance them from relationships and even recognition. In our hurry and perhaps even fearful, we are accustomed to look straight ahead towards our destination.
Where are our eyes focused ? Upwards toward heaven, forward in completing the day’s events, or all around seeking God in everything? Are we, as Mother Teresa observed, “seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor”?  Times have been difficult in my suburban community, and many more families are either finding themselves cutting back, overextended, or without. Yet, while we can’t do or be everything to everyone we can greet, love, and support one another in whatever way we can. Today, an invitation was extended for more volunteers at our parish food pantry in order to serve more people, and provide rest for regular helpers. Maybe an hour this Advent season is a gift you too can give.
How are our hearts? If we are serious about preparing for Christ’s coming, it’s time now to think about the condition of our hearts. Are we hardened by our own circumstances, and the pitfalls we have found ourselves in? Where are my thoughts? Trusting the path and journey we are on isn’t easy to do alone, for the temptation is to seek control.
Prayer and the Eucharist– are for me the most transforming corrections for my squinted vision, stiffening heart, and human tendencies to control my world. In quiet prayer, I can silence the noise and hear Jesus’ voice once again. All my pretences fall away, as I stand like a child at his feet. Feeling his embrace, my heart melts and I long to stay with him. His smile reminds me who and whose I am. Created and loved I am asked to see as he does. His daughter, I am called to be ever close to him. This intimacy of the Eucharist draws me not inward but outward.
I am called to be more than I could have ever imagined, and all that you know I can be. “Let faith arise..open my eyes!”
 Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers
3 thoughts on “Worth Revisiting: With Open Mind, Eyes and Heart”
Amazing what our eyes can see if they are fueled by our Eucharistic Lord. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.
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Beautiful reflection. I love the questions: “How are our hearts?” and “Where are our thoughts?” Great for examination of conscience, any season of the year.
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The Catholic Charities in my diocese has a program for homeless, as well as welcoming incarcerated back into society with a backpack filled with items they will need, such as the things you show in your photo. It is through donations that they put these items together. They also continue with a program of support; e.g. with the incarcerated they have a mentor — making it more than just a backpack — but someone who is wish and wanting you well, and is praying for you.