Saturday, January 28, 2012

Do You Love Me More?

My dear one got to work early, as usual, to do his daily morning prayers. Well, one day this week it snowed and so he had to salt the parking lot before going into the office (small company). He had not yet started to pray when another employee showed up and started talking.

All through the day, he kept thinking about getting to his prayers and kept letting other things get in the way. Suddenly, he "heard", "do you love Me more?"

UHH! That "voice" that cuts us to the quick. What should we be doing that we are putting off because we're busy with something else? It doesn't always have to be prayer when we hear that voice. It could just be that He is reminding us that somethings are more important right this minute, and that if we love Him we should be doing His will now, instead of our own.

God our Father longs for our happiness. He also knows that if we do what He wants, we'll find the happiness He wants for us and the happiness we crave. It will come to each of us in different ways but we have to be open to give up some of what we want, to be open to what He wants for us. Show God that you love Him more. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be, also." Matt 6:21

What Is Holding You Back?

Is there something in your life that you need to do now?

Visit a sick friend? Admonish a sinner? Speak up for something you believe in?

What is holding you back?

Is it fear? Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, I am with you." (among many similar promises)

Don't know what to say? Luke 12:12 "The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said." Sometimes, though, we say the wrong thing with the right intentions. Don't beat yourself up. They will understand because they've probably done it, too. They'll get the message and appreciate your effort.

Is it going to make you sad? Rev 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes."

Immerse yourself in scripture (google the verses if you have to!). God will direct your thoughts, words and deeds and "your reward will be great in heaven." Luke 6:23.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Peaceful Fortitude

Every morning, before he leaves for work, my dear one blesses me by asking, “what can I pray for today?” For a long time my answer was “peace.” I needed to be peaceful in my home so that our children would be peaceful. I learned that peace is a gift and you have to open it to receive it.

One morning “peaceful fortitude” came out of my mouth. My dear one chuckled a bit and went off to work and to pray for me. I asked him later why he chuckled and he said he was having a hard time putting peaceful and fortitude together because he pictured fortitude as a concerted effort to get something done.

That’s exactly what I envisioned, too.

My days are busy with all the normal things that come with running a home, schooling three children, and being available for all ten people who count on me everyday. I need to be peaceful while I listen, instead of being antsy to get back to an undone job. I need to be peaceful when I’m teaching, what I feel is a fairly easy concept, and the child really doesn’t get it. I need to be peaceful when little or big things disrupt my “to do” list. (See, Speak, Lord, Your Servant is Listening.)

I also need fortitude to keep going through it all when I want to go hide in my room and read a book, (or write a blog).

And, so, because he prays for peaceful fortitude, I accomplish what God calls me to do that day and I do it as peacefully as I am able.

How Do I Love Thee?

What do you do when you find yourself unable to love someone as you ought? We hear all the time of difficult and troubled relationships. Some give up, and the relationship ends on a bad note. Others put up with a person they find difficult. How terrible to be “put up with”. And there are those who find the courage to LOVE.

God’s love is the only way to love another. Just as He loves us, we are to love each other. That is a lofty goal.

I was listening to Al Kresta today, and Fr. Larry Richards was his guest. Father recommended a prayer that I found so beautiful. This is the gist of what he said:

“Lord, I cannot love this person the way I should, but You can and You do. I give You permission to love them through me.”


This must be the prayer St. Francis of Assisi prayed before he hugged the leper that he had once avoided.

This must be the prayer of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her nuns as they took the sick and dying from the gutters and ministered to them.

This can be our prayer as well. If you have the courage, pray:

Dear Lord, I give you permission to love through me. Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Gift of Prayer

Ever wonder what to get the person who has everything? Or what to get the person who doesn't have everything when you don't have extra cash?

How about the gift of prayer? Make a spiritual bouquet. A spiritual bouquet is a collection of prayers that you offer on the recipient's behalf. It can be a novena (nine days of prayer), or a Rosary, Masses, or any amount of time that you wish to spend in prayer talking to God about that person.

If you have a blank notecard, why not write a note telling the person the prayers you have said for them, or are going to say? Email is great, but a handwritten note is so rare these days, and so appreciated.

Not one person that you know does not need prayers. Let them know you are praying for them, especially if you are praying for something specific for which they have requested your prayers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Every Knee Shall Bend

Do you kneel when you pray? I always do during the Mass. I didn't often at other times. I'm a lazy prayer. I know God hears me no matter what position I am in and lots of times that is lying in my bed, curled up under the covers and, admittedly, half asleep.

Did I get a nudge to get up (at least sit up!) and perhaps kneel beside the bed? Yep! It took me a while to listen. Kneeling changes things.

It makes you keenly aware of what is under your knees, for one. Thankfully, there is carpet in my bedroom. (I'm a wimp.) Kneeling makes you have to pay attention to your posture: back straight, shoulders down, hands folded.

A big plus is that you aren't likely to fall asleep while you pray!

Once I've got all of the above taken care of, I can focus on the prayers. I tend to pray a little longer and I find myself praying out loud.

Another plus is that it fits in with my silent witnessing, for while we are told to go to our rooms and pray to our Father in private, my bedroom is akin to Grand Central Station. The kids and my dear one see me on my knees. Definitely not folding clothes or washing dishes while kneeling beside the bed.

I suggested to our youngest that she kneel with me tonight to do her bedtime prayers. She actually said all of the prayers with me and added a couple of her own. She changed the way she prayed because she was on her knees.

Need a boost to your prayer life? Give kneeling a try and see if God does not reward your efforts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Speak, Lord, Your Servant is Listening.

This past Sunday at Mass, the first reading was about young Samuel learning to hear the voice of God. Eli gives him these words to say in response to God's call, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Guess what? These words are not for Samuel alone.

During the homily, Father told us to reread the scriptures of the day and pick one sentence to contemplate for the week. I knew this would be my line.

Try making them your words for a week and see what happens. When you wake up, after thanking God for His gift of another day, say these words to Him. Then watch throughout the day and see if you can discern His voice. I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with the number of things on my to-do list. When I get that overwhelmed feeling I tell the Lord, "You tell me what on this list (or not on this list) that You want done today."

God will show you exactly what you should be accomplishing. Maybe at the end of the day not one thing on your list is crossed off, but you've accomplished something much more important and the overwhelmed feeling is gone. Sure the list will be there the next day but somehow it's not so daunting anymore.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, God knows what we need. Don't be afraid to be a servant who listens.