Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"This, Lord, Or Something Better."

I was reading my Daily Guideposts 2011 this morning and found this quote. The author of the meditation I was reading said that this is how a friend of hers ends each prayer. How beautiful is that?

We think we know what we want, how we want certain situations to turn out, the blessings we want for family and friends. Christ has told us to ask, seek and knock, and so we do. We ask for more money, we ask for health, we ask for help getting this or that job that looks so great, and so on.

Often our prayers are not answered the way in which we would like. How long does it take us to see the answer and, often, get over the disappointment before we realize that the answer is so much better than what we were praying for in the first place?

If we go into the prayer seeking God's Will, we are less likely to be disappointed with the answer, especially if it is not exactly the one for which we were hoping. How wise this woman is to place all her needs before the Lord and yet be so open to His Will over her own.

When people ask me to pray for something specific, I often find that I have a hard time doing that because I know God may have a different answer. I try, instead, to pray for His Will. Now I have a way to pray for what others ask me to pray for and to pray for my own needs, as well, without feeling like I'm trying to go around the will of God in my asking.

Now I can end my prayers this way, too: "This, Lord, or something better!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Please! Don't Wear Black to My Funeral

Our parish/school community has had an abundant number of funerals this year. Three current or former students, several parents of students, and many older parishioners have died in the past 12 months. It has been a bit overwhelming for us.

One thing in common at all of these funerals was the black mourning clothes. Now, I don't take anything away from the sorrow and pain surrounding these mourners. I would just like it to be different at my funeral.

The way I see it, I will have, with God's grace, reached my goal: HEAVEN! (ok, more likely purgatory but still.) I will not be mourning.

I would like my funeral to be a celebration. Folks rarely wear black when they are celebrating. Celebrate my liberation from the bonds of earth. Celebrate my entry into the Kingdom. Celebrate the hug that I receive from Christ when He welcomes me. (He knows this is my fondest desire.) Celebrate the life I lived.

I want a rainbow at my funeral in the form of all those I love wearing their favorite celebratory color. (My favorites are red, green and blue.) Sure, you can cry if you need to. But please, make sure the tissue is colorful, too!

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Come back to me..."

I decided the next topic would be about reconciliation. I had the title and was comtemplating the content when I left for Mass. Wouldn't you know it? The first reading was from the book of Hosea and it was about God calling His people to repentance.

Why do we flee from God? What makes us afraid to repent?

There is so much noise all around us. It's as if we are trying very hard not to have any quiet that may allow us to think about uncomfortable things. Perhaps we are really afraid to hear the voice of our conscience or the Holy Spirit calling us to a deeper relationship with God.

The first step in the journey is to listen. What is God saying to our hearts? His call to repentance is gentle but constant. Humility is so necessary for our turning back. We have to realize what our sin is and what is causing it. We have to be willing to let go of the sin and turn to God for all of our needs.

Confession is a humbling act. To voice our sins outloud, even if they are not grave, (but especially if they are) takes courage, humility, and a lot of trust. We have to understand that the graces we receive, as well as the forgiveness, will far outweigh the fear we feel before our confession. As the next line of the song says: "Don't let fear keep us apart." Turn back to God. Receive His forgiveness and start a new life in Christ.