In My Corner

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Backs up against the wall prepared for an uphill battle, or at the very least a ready argument we turn anxiously to look for just who is in our corner. Even for the smallest of tasks we seem so ready to face everything on our own and only when we see the overwhelming odds do we recognize the depth of our need. Like a boxer, we stand bruised and bloodied with eyes nearly swollen shut before we fall on our knees .And yet, the fact of the matter is that it never has to be this way.

Corners

First a little observation about corners. As a friend of mine recently noted, corners are not the neatest, most brightly lit or cared for of places. That is where we keep the things we choose to hide or cannot deal with in the light of day that simply form the cobwebs of our lives. It is where we relegate the things that we hold onto, just in case we might find them of use one day. Now while it is true that God is needed to shine light on all of the hurt, guilt, and sin that lies here his love is never meant to only exist in this confined space. For if we let him, he longs for us to lay our heart and lives wide open for him to walk and guide our every movement.

Trust

So then why are we content to relegate God to the corner, asking only for his help when we feel we need him most?  Quite personally, it has been for me when I have suffered most from a misplaced trust in my own abilities or those of others. Forging ahead without consultation or consideration of his advice, I set off assuredly on a course that most certainly was doomed from the start. “Where did it all go wrong?”, I ask myself knowing the answer even before I ask the question.  It isn’t even a new story either. For time and time in the scriptures, God is asking us to include him in the planning, to wait to act. And yet time seems to stand still, and the uncomfortableness of the silence and the restlessness in the waiting tempt us to action. What I do not see, however, is the interplay of God at work in the hearts and lives of others seeking to bring us all to be a part of his master plan. While God can most certainly accomplish it all without me, he longs to have my trust and participation in the effort.

Rightful Place

Well, if the corner isn’t the sole rightful place of God in our lives, just where should our  Advocate and Comforter, Counselor and Deliverer  be? Truth is at times God is more than willing to take the lead, to walk beside us, and albeit carry us when we think we cannot go any further. All he asks is that he be first in our lives. The first consultation, the first consideration, the door that we first approach and move through in our day.Yet, how do we invite God to occupy that space in our lives if we have only turned to the coach’s corner in times of crisis?

  1. Pray- talk, surrender your concerns and difficulties but also  be willing to share your joys and blessings. It is all important to our loving Father.If we ever want to move God from the remote corners we have to give our all the good and the bad and include him in the decision making.
  2. Reconciliation- In considering what remains in our corners, now is a good time to “clean house”, maybe even do a little construction and eliminate the corners all together. Add some light to the darkest areas of our life by throwing open the shutters through confession and allowing God’s love to penetrate our hearts.
  3. Discernment- When a big decision seems to suddenly erupt on the scene..chances are that there were several smaller issues that were went unnoticed  or that led to this crossroad. Take time to allow God to lead. Discernment may appear at first glance to be inaction when really it is the most important part of any action that we take in our Christian lives.

My hope for you today is to recognize the friendship that our loving Savior is calling you to- not just a hiding place but a constant light, shield and hope of our life to come. Not for a moment does he ever forsake us. Isn’t it only rightful that we honor his choice to be with us always?

Peace,Signature

 

 

Worth Revisiting: When God Talks

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What is it to say that God talks? How do we know that God is really speaking and guiding us as we seek to follow?

I would venture to say that nearly every believer has at some point in their walk of faith has questioned and sought certainty of God’s constant dialogue with them. Silence might seem deafening at times and the fear of abandonment or trial just too great. Hang in there, you are in good company…what you are describing has been felt by countless saints and even uttered by our Lord himself on the cross.

Not that long ago, my teenage son who had experienced a very difficult day with a friendship, and dealing with academic pressures found himself unable to sleep. Pausing by his room to say goodnight, I became suddenly aware that he needed to talk.

“Mom, why is it that when I pray I cannot hear God speaking to me? I pray every night, even apart from our family prayer…and I never hear anything back.”

“What is it that you are expecting to hear”, I ask, “an audible voice?”

“I’m not sure, he responds, but right now it’s just silence.”

“What is it that you feel…can you feel God present even if it may seem he isn’t that close?”

“Yes, but I really wish he would answer me, and help me figure out how to handle all that I am dealing with”

Smiling, “Were you just praying earlier? Have you ever considered that is why I am here now?”

Thinking of this moment today, I am reminded that perhaps we sometimes set expectations on just how God is to respond to our prayer and miss him working in the events and lives of all those around us.

Setting time aside for scripture is another way that we, if open, can “hear” God speaking to us. This past week was a beautiful testament of this! With a number of prayerful concerns on my mind last

 Monday,

I picked up my coffee and sat down with a few scriptural reflections for some Father-daughter time. Asking God for guidance, I opened my eyes and to my delight was a reflection on Luke 11:8-9..

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

God was asking me not to carry these matters alone but to ask, seek and depend on him. Though I was pleased with this consolation, God was not satisfied. He underscored it with the 2nd completely distinctive reflection on James 1:5-6…

“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.

It wasn’t enough for me to simply ask, God was telling me I needed to trust that he had it all in control. Without faith and trust, my prayers and conversation were shallow and superficial, not at all the deep friendship that God longs to have with each and every one of us.

Wednesday:

I had hit the ground running from the moment my feet first met the floor. Scrambling to get put into place things that should’ve been done earlier I had skipped my morning reflection time. God had not given up on me though. My chosen post for Worth Revisiting was a reflection on Matthew 13:1-9, and focused on the essentials of prayer, mass, love and scripture. Quickly I had uploaded it and opened the linkup for the week without giving the post itself the needed read. That is until the Holy Spirit got my attention. Unbeknownst to me initially, my colleague Allison Gingras had also chosen that very same scripture passage to revisit. As she and I both sat in amazement, I knew that there was something God wanted me to notice in that passage and post. Then there it was, in my writing by my own hand. I had woken up without tending to my own weeds and preparing my soil adequately. “Father, thank you for your patience, persistence and humor in seeking me- when I am otherwise occupied and not always seeking you!”

Thursday:

Having come to the realization that all of my notes for my radio interview that day no longer existed, I was feeling quite dismayed. That is, until I turned to this reflection,

“We must always be starting again. These continual recoveries, this endless beginning again, tires and disheartens us far more than the actual fighting. We would much prefer a real battle, fierce and decisive. But God, as a rule, thinks otherwise.” — Dom Augustin Guillerand

Once again I found strength and determination to take up the task at hand, knowing that God had a purpose in the re-do, in my beginning again. Humble but reassured, I saw purpose in the work ahead.

So, how do we know when God is talking to us?

This tangible experience of his presence, which is at times overwhelming and also more subtle, is both anticipated and yet surprising. It lifts us up, reassures, comforts and guides, giving us hope when we have none. Even when we are not aware of it, God is ever present and faithful.. waiting for us to make space in our day. When we do– the more attentive and attune to the sound of His voice we are, no matter what the world throws at us. When was the last time you heard God talk?

Peace,

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The Gift of Retreat

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Last weekend I experienced the gift of an Ignatian silent directed retreat at Campion Retreat House in Weston, MA . Just the thought of an unhurried, unscheduled day and release of self-imposed expectations was enough to fill my heart with joy. Teeming with insights and brimming with grace, my soul longed to soak up every moment and respond in gratitude.

Reciprocity

The word gift used here is a very full word as it implies not only what is received by the retreatant but what each person brings to the retreat as well.It is a reciprocal relationship, for truly you are only able to receive when you are willing to offer and surrender all.

Sucipe      ~St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

When there is response and surrender, there is an openness and an emptying, brokenness and renewal, discernment and clarity.

Silence

“In nature we find silence – the trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere—in the closing of a door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals. ”
–Mother Teresa,  At Play in God’s Creation

A weekend in pure silence..my family playfully remarked might be difficult for someone, like myself, who loved a good conversation. Yet, as the days drew nearer to retreat I was almost giddy with anticipation of this alone time with my heavenly Father. Oh how we fill our days with “noise”, and clatter our prayer with the unnecessary that it’s a wonder we hear his voice at all sometimes! Silence is, for me, not nothingness, but an absence of the commotion and turbulence we are so accustomed to.

Thus, silence came to me like a wave of His hand, gently clearing away the seemingly immovable objects I had placed in my path. And with each difficulty surrendered to His care, I could once again discern the sound of His voice calling me home to where I belong. No longer a desire to fill the space, I breathed- taking in the fresh and all encompassing movement of the Holy Spirit. Complete and resting in the grace of His presence.

“Oh God, you are my God in and through it all. My heart is free to love you and I long for nothing more”

Encounter

This experience of God is one of encounter, of discovering anew who our Creator is but also who he intends each of us to be. And since we never travel alone in our journey of faith, it is an encounter of Christ in others. While exchanging  only prayerful glances, and smiles my soul did exactly this amidst complete silence. From the elderly Jesuit priests in respite, and those preparing and serving  our meals,  to those also with me on retreat- I encountered both Christ and community.

Even still, there was one whom God especially drew me to. One evening in prayer, I heard the prompting to not sleep yet, but to gather my rosary and the young woman next door and take a rosary walk. Without questioning and gently tapping on her door, I held up my rosary and moved my fingers on the other hand to signal a walk.  Met with the biggest smile, I heard her unspoken yes. Unknowingly, she had just been praying  for a prayer group. There we were joyfully moving the beads on our rosaries and lifting one another in prayer. Every step had purpose and together we embraced the grace of community. Having explored our surroundings previously, our steps quickened as we neared Our Lady in the small grotto. Looking at one another, we couldn’t hide the pure delight and recognition that this place was special to each of us.

– “Lord, I am so overcome by your generosity. You are the answer to our prayers.You call us beyond ourselves to witness your transforming love.You lead us to walk with one another, to share the journey and see your love magnified in the lives of others.”

Perhaps you find it difficult to go away on retreat right now. If so, try to carve instead some time in your day to consider and embrace these fruits of retreat found in reciprocity, silence and encounter.

Peace,

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Worth Revisiting: Walking the Road of Peace

This was written a year ago as the Scotus decision on the redefinition of civil marriage was first issued and with tensions at their peak. Perhaps today we have attained a measure of distance from the issue- to listen better and speak less and to witness through our lives rather than instruct through a sharp tongue.

For as long as I can recall, God has placed deep within me a compelling summons to see and walk the road of peace in the midst of heated disagreements, and to mediate when necessary.  Yet, not a diplomat in a shallow sense, I see the people behind the conflict, and the far reaching consequences of the steps we take today. It is not an easy path, and at times diplomacy entails being disliked by both parties, but the cause of peace and respect for the human person within the human family is worthwhile enough to pursue.

As some may have noticed this past week, I have been noticeably silent as the Scotus decision on the redefinition of civil marriage was proclaimed.  While unwavering in the sanctity of marriage as a sacrament in our faith, I also understand the real need for compassion and active listening. This polarizing issue, which has turned our Facebook profiles rainbow, and overlaid with the Vatican flag for Catholics and non-Catholics alike is a visible expression of the division we have been experiencing as a people of faith.  Many have felt that the need to take this visible stand, and though I understand your need to do so, please consider why I have not.

Most notably, with emotions on the issue at an all time high, a majority of people are responding reactively. Finding ourselves in a position of either defending our beliefs, or asserting alternative ones few seem to be in a position of listening. The immediate consequence that I see is that we begin to alienate whole groups of people by our actions that we choose going forward. I have personally witnessed people selectively removing others that have chosen to bear either flag from their contacts. Where do you go from there, if there is to be true dialogue possible?

I am not arguing for a compromise in values, but instead a time of prayerful discernment in choosing our words and actions. So many things are being spoken from positions of fear, judgment, and righteous indignation without full consideration of their effect. When the dust settles from all of this, we as a people of faith will be truly in want of reconciliation and healing. Given the long breath of our church history, we have been here before as a Church.

Still there may soon come a time when there will be a need to consciously and conscientiously attend to a line drawn by secular intrusions on the practice of the right to religious freedom. That is why this time is so very important. Before we speak, pray. Pray for our shepherds who have been called to lead, that they do so attentive to the teachings of our faith, and pastorally to the people they are to tend to. Pray that everything we do is with the eyes of Christ, and everything we say is spoken with love.

Peace,

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A Slippery Slope

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She was a bit surprised to see him there..standing among his homeless companions of many years. For several months he had found sobriety along with an apartment and a day job, maintaining his distance from a number of his former friends. The last time we had seen him he had appeared healthy and in much better spirits thankful for the care and concern shown. Not today though. Today, he was visibly agitated and the closer she got the more she realized his sobriety was no more. Greeting everyone present, one by one she checked in with them and handing them coffee as they spoke.

“I need 5 dollars and if you really cared about me you’d give it to me”. “Jim”, said one of the other men “now you know she doesn’t give money. Leave her alone.” Yet, he persisted getting more belligerent each time he spoke, till finally he said. “You know what I need it for, and if I don’t have a drink soon I will die”.  Sadness, filled her heart at that moment. She had seen him at this point before and it had nearly taken his life. There was no such thing as one small drink, or a stopping point for “Jim” it was all consuming. He had fallen into his addiction again, and all of the old habits that befriend it.

As any conversation with an AA or NA member will tell you..sobriety is not a sprint but a lifelong cross country journey. A constant attraction towards your own destruction, with the deceptive lure of rationalization and self reliance there at the ready. Those family members and friends that stay the course are well accustomed to the roller coaster of pain, joy, success and failure that are present along the way.

Yet this is true, though perhaps to a lesser extent, of every battle with temptation, sin and desolation.  Do we recognize our own weaknesses and the slippery slope that we start down when we once again find ourselves facing our worst selves? Will we be pulled under, will we try to go it alone, or will we seek help?

Awareness and Accompaniment.

While each of us were made for more, we repeatedly find ourselves choosing less. Being aware of that which is lesser and our own inclinations to a particular temptation or sin is a good step towards being better prepared when we meet it again. Still, the beauty of our faith is that we are never alone in our journey towards God. Though sin usually carries with it guilt, shame, and insecurities- our faith bears mercy, love and hope.  Through reconciliation, and in community we find both strength and accompaniment, encountering not condemnation but an all loving and merciful Father. Only then are we truly able to accompany others- to offer love and mercy in the struggle, and compassion and hope where none were evident before.

“Lord, thank you for loving me- knowing all of my weaknesses and being there to catch me when I fall.  Help me to keep my eyes open to the pitfalls ahead, and my ears ready to hear your voice. Carry me through, Lord. And please I ask dear gracious Father, make my heart ready to respond to the needs of others.” 

Peace,

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An Engaging Faith: 2/8-2/12

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Breadbox Media daily at 4pm EST

Getting ready for Lent with great invitations for Reflection and Action!

Greg Wolfe with God For Us, Fr. Don Maldari with The Creed, Fr. Albert Haase with Saying Yes!,  Karee Santos, will be joining  us again this time to talk about how to celebrate Valentine’s during Lent…

and Encores Fr. Paul Farren with Freedom & Forgiveness: A Fresh look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Danielle Shroyer with Where Jesus Prayed.



Snowstorm- Greg Wolfe rescheduled for 2/15

 

 

Tuesday: Donald Maldari, S.J. is a Catholic theologian who earned a doctorate and a master’s degree at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University. A member of the Society of Jesus since 1977, Professor Maldari began his teaching The Creed: the Faith That Moves Evolutioncareer in 1980. Having a keen interest in ecclesiology and spirituality, he has taught at Le Moyne College since 1999. Father Maldari, fluent in five non-native languages, has ministered as a chaplain in a Mexican prison and by teaching and providing spiritual direction in Haiti

Wednesday: EncoreFreedom & Forgiveness: A Fresh look at the Sacrament of ReconciliationFr. Paul Farren a native of Clonmany in Co. Donegal, was ordained in 1997. He studied in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and in the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.  He served as a curate in Derry City from 1997 – 2004.   Fr. Paul has served as Director of Religious Education in the Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of ReconciliationDerry Diocese and the Director of the Catechetical Centre as well as administrator of St. Eugene’s Cathedral and Long Tower Church. He has also been a vocations director in the Diocese of Derry for the last 14 years.  In 2006 he founded The Pope John Paul II Award to help young people become more involved in their parish community. Fr. Paul joins us to discuss Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thursday: Karee Santos, will be joining  us again this time to talk about how to celebrate Valentine’s during Lent as a family. Karee and husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., a psychiatrist, began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. Their Catholic marriage advice book The Four Keys to Everlasting Love will be published by Ave Maria Press in 2016. She also blogs aCan We Cana? a community to support Catholic Marriages.

Friday:  Ordained a Franciscan priest in 1983, Albert Haase, OFM, is a popular preacher, teacher, spiritual director and radio talk show Saying Yes: Discovering and Responding to God's Will in Your Lifeguest. A former missionary to mainland China for over eleven years, he is the award-winning author of nine books on popular spirituality and the presenter on four bestselling DVDs. He trains spiritual directors in the diocese of Springfield, IL. He lives in Texas. Visit his website at www.AlbertOFM.org

 

Worth Revisiting: Fill My Cup Till

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.

What a privilege it is to carry the prayer intentions of those God has placed in our path! Pulled out of our own self-absorbed overly scheduled lives, we are given an opportunity to walk with one another. Not only are we refocused but refilled, given the very life sustaining nourishment we need. Next time someone asks you to pray for them, consider taking these intentions with you to mass or adoration. If you know ahead of time, even offer to pray for others – you just might be surprised by God’s grace!


Coffee Date 2: Fill My Cup Till..

                                         Getting ready this morning I knew I needed to be there. Sure, there was an essay to write, laundry to be done, emails to send, yet that all would have to wait. Listening within, I felt an inner pull that I was being asked to put aside these things today to pray. Seeking direction, I quickly queried my friends and family to see if they had any special intentions.  So with prayers to carry and filled with purpose I opened the door to my church. Though I had written them down, I realized as I knelt that I had left them in my car. Beautifully, however, they each one by one came as a bright light in the darkness. Every prayer intention had a face, a name and a desire of the heart.

 

As I lifted each up in prayer there was an inner pause, stillness I have found only in God’s presence. “Be still and know that I am God” .

Yes, you have this all Father, all within your loving hands. There is a great awareness here, a knowing that you still the winds, calm the seas, and yet enkindle our hearts and minds to love and see as you do.

By no coincidence the readings today spoke of an attentiveness needed in fixing our eyes on what God is asking of us. With so many things to occupy our every day, I know I can easily find myself engulfed in the daily demands upon my time.                                         Today, Jesus I heard your voice and what an incredible gift to have been entrusted with these prayers this morning. Whatever else I could possibly do today, I know that this was where I was meant to be.

With the homily, a scene was painted of a sailboat and its captain on the open waters. With an eye on the horizon and hands ready, he notices and adjusts to the change in the direction of the wind. A hasty decision isn’t necessarily needed but an awareness and discernment as to the soundest course to proceed.

Jesus, you are my guiding light, the certain wind to carry me where you need me to be. When I seek you, and trust I am never truly lost. For you are The Way, the path of surest love from the Father to each one of us. And when our focus is on what is behind us, or we think that we can no longer see the path ahead, you light our hearts and call us Father, (farther) onward.

May your cup overflow with peace- goodness, and mercy as you seek God’s presence and direction in your day!

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Worth Revisiting: Fill My Cup Till..

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.


Coffee Date 2: Fill My Cup Till..

(Originally posted November 14, 2014)

Linking up with Dearest Love for a Coffee Date and Someday Saints to Embrace the Ordinary !

                                         Getting ready this morning I knew I needed to be there. Sure, there was an essay to write, laundry to be done, emails to send, yet that all would have to wait. Listening within, I felt an inner pull that I was being asked to put aside these things today to pray. Seeking direction, I quickly queried my friends and family to see if they had any special intentions.  So with prayers to carry and filled with purpose I opened the door to my church. Though I had written them down, I realized as I knelt that I had left them in my car. Beautifully, however, they each one by one came as a bright light in the darkness. Every prayer intention had a face, a name and a desire of the heart.

As I lifted each up in prayer there was an inner pause, stillness I have found only in God’s presence. “Be still and know that I am God” .

Yes, you have this all Father, all within your loving hands. There is a great awareness here, a knowing that you still the winds, calm the seas, and yet enkindle our hearts and minds to love and see as you do.

By no coincidence the readings today spoke of an attentiveness needed in fixing our eyes on what God is asking of us. With so many things to occupy our every day, I know I can easily find myself engulfed in the daily demands upon my time.                                         Today, Jesus I heard your voice and what an incredible gift to have been entrusted with these prayers this morning. Whatever else I could possibly do today, I know that this was where I was meant to be.

With the homily, a scene was painted of a sailboat and its captain on the open waters. With an eye on the horizon and hands ready, he notices and adjusts to the change in the direction of the wind. A hasty decision isn’t necessarily needed but an awareness and discernment as to the soundest course to proceed.

Jesus, you are my guiding light, the certain wind to carry me where you need me to be. When I seek you, and trust I am never truly lost. For you are The Way, the path of surest love from the Father to each one of us. And when our focus is on what is behind us, or we think that we can no longer see the path ahead, you light our hearts and call us Father, (farther) onward.

May your cup overflow with peace- goodness, and mercy as you seek God’s presence and direction in your day!

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Why Spiritual Direction?

I have heard it say that the term Spiritual director is a misconception, since it is the Holy Spirit who is truly in charge of the direction. And yet, a spiritual director is a witness to the Holy Spirit at work within the lives of those they minister to. Through awareness, serious reflection and prayer it is a beautiful time to bring one’s heart and mind before God to bear on the events in one’s life and to seek discernment in proceeding further. In this sacred space, it is finding God in the details of life while gaining a glimpse of the bigger picture.

In an analogy, pastor and author, Max Lucado tells the story of a man going on a safari who after hours of seeming to aimlessly walk through the jungle questions his guide. “Where are we going? Is there a map that I can see?” The guide turns to him and says, “If there were- would you understand it? Do you know where you are now?…I am the map follow me and I will bring you there safely”.

That story has remained with me all these years as I too have sought to grapple and at times to take control of the map. Through challenges and trials we then, like the man lost in the jungle, cry out in our frustration asking for direction. In the good times, we can easily forget too that we still need direction foolishly thinking that we can do it all on our own. Where are we? “In a good place” or conversely “in an undesirable setting” and we respond without a depth of understanding as to how or when we even arrived there.

Reflection and prayer at all times is so important to finding direction and God’s presence in our lives. While it is true that this can be done on one’s own, having someone who enters into a spiritual partnership with you to listen, accept and support you on your journey is invaluable. For my part, this trusted relationship is held by Fr. Jim, who will forever carry my immense admiration and appreciation. Right away, I felt a kinship with this deeply spiritual, intellectually curious and reflective priest. Knowing that a priest’s unscheduled time is scarce, he joyfully meets me with patience, understanding and another perspective. I leave recognizing that God has given me a great gift in this time. Whether it be in recognizing the promptings of the Spirit in my week, or the transforming work within- during this time I am getting to know my Father better.

If you are considering asking for continual spiritual direction, or do not know who to ask- this too requires prayer.

Thomas Merton – p. rostek / piano

There isn’t really a short cut to spiritual growth, and while we might think that is what we want these attempts are short lived. Instead we are asked to trust God in what he is doing and creating us to be. Like Thomas Merton, I am persuaded that

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Peace,

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8 Examen-ations for Decision Making

Keeping it short and sweet today, but I thought I’d share my own adaptation of a spiritual decision making tree. The first three are quite essential in that they ask of us to go to the source..

God’s word, God’s voice, and the Holy Spirits guidance in all. The other five invite us to consider our intentions, and the effects of our decisions on others. I enjoy reflecting on these particular scripture verses too, giving each a bit of time to bear fruit.

When making a significant decision,  I have also found it important to discuss the situation with my husband, a close friend and when possible with my spiritual director.

Sometimes, inviting another perspective and experience can provide both distance and clarity. Notwithstanding, in taking the time to pray together, we begin to appreciate the necessity of community and the strength found through these faithful bonds of fellowship . None of us are ever intended to embark on this journey alone, but invited to reach out, uplift, lean on, and carry one another when the way seems difficult.

Thank you Father for all those you have placed in my life- my family and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For the truly prayerful counsel of Fr. Jim who continues to fill this time of discernment for me with great joy and faith-filled wisdom.  May every decision be less of me and more of You, for you know the way ahead so much better than I. 

Peace,

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