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Sunday, June 29, 2014

I, Paul...

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 
 2 Timothy 6-8

Here I am Lord at the six month mark of Michael's passing.  It has hit me hard.  Half a year is gone and I feel like I am standing on the side of the road without directions.  The road ahead seems endless and oh so lonely.  And yet, I feel such great comfort when I meditate on You.

I am really not alone.  I have You in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  I have You in the Sacrament of Confession.  You are the air that I breath, the warmth of the sun on my face.  You are with me when I gather with my small community and we pray together.

Michael was like a libation being poured out.  I look at pictures in chronological order and I can see him being poured out.  He knew that the time of his departure was at hand.  He competed so well and with such heart.  He finished the race and he kept the faith.

You alone are my cup and my portion.
You alone are my companion.
You lead me by the still waters
You quiet the beating of my heart.

I am nothing but the clay sitting on the wheel,
I am nothing but the yarn in the weaver's hand,
I am the empty vessel waiting for You to fill me.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  This is one of only three Nativities that the Church celebrates.  Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother are the other two.

It is not lost on me that I was called to the desert and to be a part of the community of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

John was the precursor to Our Lord.  He lived in the desert and lived on wild honey and locusts.

It was John that leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of Mary's greeting. It was John the baptized Our Lord.

In the Responsorial Psalm we hear:

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.

Reading that response I was reminded that I am re-weaving my life.   But it was Our God that weaved me in my mother's womb!

In the Gospel according to Luke we hear these words:

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, "No, He will be called John."  But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."  So they made signs asking his father what he wished him to be called.  He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed.

Not that I think that I am as great as John the Baptist, but I too was not named for a relative.  St. John the Baptist and I have many things in common.  He cried out in the desert and God heard him.  I can only hope that Our Lord still has His ear turned to the desert.

I am sitting on the banks of the Colorado River.  The River Jordan is far away.  I too am sitting in the desert as John did.  When he heard Your call he answered with his whole heart and gave his life.  Help me to hear Your call for me.  Help me to have the strength to give you my whole heart and my life for You if that is Your Will.

O Lord, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
You understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
Psalm 139

Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Live in Love...

"To live in love is to sail forever, spreading seeds of joy and peace in hearts."

This quote of St. Therese of Lisieux sounds so easy.  It is part of her Little Way.  There was and is nothing simple about her Little Way.  It is total and complete abandonment of her self to Christ Jesus.

She focused on the little things that bothered her or caused vexation.  The little day to day things that moved her away from the one she loved.  She offered up the clicking teeth of the nun behind her as they were in Chapel.  She was sweet to the nun that irritated her.  She was in fact so good and sweet that the nun in question once said to Mother Superior, "I am not sure what I have none to make Therese love me so much."

I am not sure what I have done to make God love me so much!  I am such a great sinner.  I struggle daily with the little things that irritate me and cause vexation.  I roll my eyes in church at the talkers, the laughers during the Rosary, etc.  All the while forgetting that they are lonely and look forward to Mass as a time to talk to someone else.  I do not know their story or sorrows or needs or concerns.

Instead of feeling superior I should be humbled that I am more than willing to overlook my faults and focus on the faults of others.  I am surprised that I do not knock people unconscious with the plank that is sticking out of my forehead!

Every day God allows me to use my free will to choose to live in love or to be petty, angry, jealous, or bitter or unloving.  Every day God gives me a chance to be kind, forgiving, loving and to sail forever spreading seeds of joy and peace in hearts.

It is not my job to cure the entire worlds ills.  It is my duty to attempt to live in love!

I want to sail forever!
I want to live in love,
I want to spread seeds of joy and peace in hearts.
I am but an empty vessel lifted up to you to fill and use as You need.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven....

Hello Father,

It is me, Cindy.  I am struggling a little today Father.  You see tomorrow is Father's Day and tho I still have my earthly father, for which I am so grateful, my children do not.

Not one of my children. Not my birth children.  Not my adopted children. Not my step-children.  They have all lost their earthly fathers and I am sad for them.

I know that they have you, their heavenly Father, but they are not as aware as they could be and so they do not have the comfort of your Love.

It is through my fault, my most grievous fault that they did not fully come to know you.  I was busy with my life and I forgot to tell them about you.  So now I pray that they come to know you.  That they come to know your love for them that is everlasting.  That somehow I can be a beacon of light that reflects your love so that they may find their way home.

Yes, Father I have a request.  I ask for the repose of the souls of their fathers: David Wayne Lawson, Larry Allen Paddock, & Michael Edward Miller.



Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Week Full of Mercy

I am always a little sad to see the month of May end.  I have fond memories of being a young girl in Parochial school.  I was so thrilled when I was chosen to place the crown on Mary's statue in the front of the classroom.  Now I crown my own statue in my own home.  But May is gone and June is here.

June is the month of devotion to the Sacred Heart.  I am blessed to have the Sacred Heart statue that belonged to my grandparents.  It stands by the front door and greets everyone who enters.

Even though we have moved devotional months it does not mean that it is time to put away our Rosaries.  My devotion to the Rosary only grows with each passing day.  It is my comfort, my weapon, my words when I have none.  It is the rope of salvation between Heaven and myself.

Saint Padre Pio when asked if there was a shortcut to Heaven, replied that it was through the Virgin Mary and the Rosary.  I like shortcuts!

The week full of Mercy or some would say blessings. It seemed that the Holy Spirit was manifest on my lips and on the lips of many around me.  We were given the chance to witness to Eternal Life and the promise of redemption to a new widow. We continue to see the bond of Community grow in our Bible Study Group.

But for me the biggest Mercy/Blessing were the messages that I kept receiving all during the week.  One night when not only did night fall but my spirit was falling as well,  a spark of light in the darkness lifted me. It came not from the Bible but from a television program, Call the Midwife.  In the episode I was half paying attention to suddenly I was drawn to pay attention:  Sister Monica Jones was saying to one of the nurses who's mother had just passed, "Come to Chapel.  I often find succor there.  In Chapel the words are all aligned as in a rope for us to cling to."  That is how I feel about the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary.  When my words are muddled and unintelligible or I am so confused, it is there that the words are all aligned!

And today at Mass Father Joseph Thieu Huu Nguyen of the Diocese of Hai Phong in Viet Nam came to speak on behalf of their community.  He reminded us that during the reign of communism in North Viet Nam the people only had two Masses a YEAR!  I am so blessed to be able to go daily.

But again it was these words that he shared, "  If you go alone, you go fast; If you go together you go far." that made me think.

So Lord, here I am,
Not extremely patient and always wanting to go alone.  Yet, you have called me to go with others.  Together we will go far!