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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Humility

If you should ask me the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is still humility.  Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless. - St. Augustine

All week the concept of humility has been playing in my head like a broken record.  Our Lord it seems has taken many opportunities to humble me.  I wish that I could report that I was grateful, alas, I was chaffed and complained.

Perhaps it was watching Pope Francis in his simplicity and humility that made me look at myself.  The Pope, like my sister has a way of saying hard truths in a gentle way and then quietly guides you to the right path.  Me, I like to take a more direct approach that can be intimidating and irritating and not humble at all.  I have struggled with this all my life.  I like to be right.  I want you to believe that I am right and most of all I want you to do it my way!  This is not to say that I am not without compassion.  I am more like the bull in the china shop.

I have been having a difficult time getting back to my routine.  I am restless and at loose ends.  This is a difficult time of year for my historically.  I struggle with depression and feelings of worthlessness.  I miss Michael more than I can say.  I feel that I am sitting in the pit. Then one of my sons sent this to me:

God found Gideon in a hole.  He found Joseph in prison.  He found Daniel in a lion's den.  He has a curious habit of showing up in the midst of trouble, not the absence. Where the world sees failure, God sees future.  Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God remember this. He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal.

Today Father Michael with his wonderful Irish brogue gave the homily.  He reminded us that we can't wait to the end to get ready for eternal life.  We mustn't think that we are insured because we go to Mass.  We must humble ourselves and be like little children.  We must do all things with humility and in preparation for eternal life.

Lord, here I am,
in the pit.
Help me to trust that You will
lift me up.  Lift me up and use me,
an empty vessel to do Your will,
NOT mine.

~Cindy

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being a Saint...

"Beware not to disturb yourself, nor to be irritated on account of the defects of others,  for it would be folly, because you saw a man throw himself into a pit, to throw yourself into another." ~St. Bonaventure

Pope Francis has been talking about how to become a Saint.  One of the things he says is that we should not talk about others.  You know Gossip!  He also has talked about gossip among our own Church members.  He states that this is a great sin.

I am guilty.  Guilty not only of talking about others, but of listening to negative things about others.  I was discussing this with my sister.  One point that she made was, "Well, then what would we talk about?  It is so much easier to point out the negative in our family, friends and others.  Looking for the good is harder."  I have to agree.  It is so much easier to find fault.  I think we do this so that we can feel better about ourselves.  That is part of the struggle.

Instead we should be looking for the good in everyone and in our commonality.  I know that I struggle with judging others and being irritated is so easy.  If I looked at others with the compassion that I ask Our Lord to look at me how much more peaceful would we all be?

Another conversation that I have frequently is; when persecution comes will I be able to stand up for my Faith.  I usually answer that I hope so. The question remains then, if I can not be compassionate and stop talking about others how will I find the courage to stand up for my Faith?

Lord, I believe.
Help me in my unbelief.

Give me the Grace to be compassionate.
To place myself in other's shoes.

Lord put on lock on my lips when
I speak ill of others.

~Cindy