Monday, July 23, 2018

A "Touching" Story . . .

A little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.

Finally, she spoke up, “Grandpa, did God make you?”  “Yes, sweetheart,” he answered, “God made me a long time ago.”

“Oh,” she paused, “Grandpa, did God make me too?”  “Yes, indeed honey,” he said, “God made you just a little while ago.”

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed,
“Ya know Grandpa, I think God is getting better at it.”

(Author Unknown)

A Tree of Worries . . .

The Worry Tree! 

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
"Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is", he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Author unknown

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

God of the WWW (of Life) and Beyond!

"I will hold you in the palm of my hand"
(Isaiah 49:16)
God, source of the World Wide Web of Life . . .
• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are Hand ~ Held.  As Isaiah proclaims, we are held in the hands of God as is all of life. 
+We give you thanks and praise,  O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we have built in Memory.  We have the capacity to remember and to reflect so that we can integrate our learnings and transform them into Wisdoms.
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are Pre-loaded with gifts, talents and skills. We also come pre-loaded with an innate desire for you, God of Divine Energy!                                                          
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!
• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are able to install games.  Yes, we have the capacity to play games in life – such as denial, manipulation, resentment, fight or flight.   We know, God, that you do not keep score.  But you are always teaching us, prompting us to trust, to risk and to believe that you desire us all to be winners! 
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are Touch Sensitive.  We are sensitive to the Holy ~ we are able to sense the loving touch of God when we allow ourselves to hold still in our busy-ness and to remember that we are loved as we are!
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we have the ability for Storage.  Yes, we have the capacity to store memories, experiences, events, movements, feelings or to clutter our memories with items that interfere with our own growth and freedom. We come to you, O God,  to help us quarantine and delete any viruses that interfere with our love for you. 
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are able to Search.  We are always searching for identity:  Who am I?  Where do I belong?  Am I loved and have I loved?  How do I know what to be in life?
+ We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we have Navigation capability.  We have the capacity to travel our journey of life with many road side markers and mentors along the way.  We often need to have your GPS to guide us.
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are
Re-chargeable.  Sometimes our culture tells us that we don’t have enough, we are not enough, or we are not good enough.  We need to claim what is life giving for us and make a choice everyday.  Then we will be renewed, re-invigorated, recharged!
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we are Compatible.  Self knowledge is foundational to all we are and do.  We have to find what is compatible for us so that we live out our purpose and passion in life.
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

• We come today to reflect and to recall that we have a Life Drive Smart file.  Self awareness and our search for the Holy is never finished or achieved in this life time; it truly is a life drive in which we gain Wisdom.  For then, eventually, in time, we stop searching for purpose - We become it!
+We give you thanks and praise, O God!

Let us pray:
• God, source of the wide world web of life, you are always aware of our efforts, struggles and limitations that we experience in this human domain. 

• We come today with the busyness of our lives in which we hope to network with all of your creation.  You have pre-loaded in us the desire to seek you.

• We ask now to grant us the gifts to be attentive to your presence in our lives and in those with whom we journey through the broad band pathways of this universe.

• Always keep us on-line with you and activate your Divine GPS so that we are never out of your sight as we navigate our way through life. 

• We express our gratitude at the many ways you affirm us as your “favorites” and as we carry out your mission mentoring seekers in the mystery of CALL.

• Give us insight and wisdom whenever we need to discern, scan, click and drag our way through new challenges that call us to transformation. 

• We now log off at this time but never shut down. 
Amen. Amen.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What Goes Around ~ Comes Around!

Story: The Rolling Coin A wise old man once owned a precious golden coin. One day, as he sat gazing at this precious coin and rejoicing in its beauty, a thought occurred to him: ‘It isn't right that I should be the only person to have the pleasure of possessing this golden coin. What use is it if no one shares it?’ And he went out and gave the coin to a passing child.

The child couldn't believe her luck. She couldn't take her eyes off this shining coin. Then she had a sudden idea: ‘I’ll give this coin to Mum. She needs so many things. This coin will make her very happy.’ Of course, the child’s mother was delighted with the coin—such an unexpected solution to so many of her problems. She pondered in her mind as to how to spend it and what to buy first. As she was thinking about this there was a knock at the door, and there stood a street beggar. ‘Poor soul’ she thought. ‘He has nothing, and we are just about getting by.’ And she gave the gold coin to the beggar.

The beggar was speechless. This coin could be turned into food for a month. He made his way back to the subway where he slept, and there he noticed a new resident, just arrived. The poor guy was blind and disabled. No chance of getting anywhere near to the folks who might have spared him a coin or two. ‘I guess he needs it more than I do,’ he thought to himself. And he pressed the gold coin into the blind man’s thin, cold fingers.

That evening, a wise old man walked through the dark subway. He noticed the blind, disabled beggar and stopped to speak to him. The beggar couldn't remember the last time anyone had bothered to speak to him. After a while, the wise old man put his arm around the beggar’s shoulder. ‘I've nothing left to give you, except my friendship,’ he murmured.

A tear rolled across the cheek of the blind beggar. How could he ever repay this gift of human kindness that had changed a dark night into a new dawn? With his shaking, aching hands, he reached into his pocket, brought out the golden coin and gave it to his new found friend. ‘Thank you for loving me,’ he said. (Source Unknown)
previously posted

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Prayer for the Journey . . .

God of My Life
I give You thanks and praise
that I have life, and trust that my life is filled with touches of Your love.
You have given me a heart that wants to be happy,
and You have placed in me a desire to make a difference.
Quiet the fears and distractions of my heart long enough for me to listen to the movement of Your Spirit, to hear Your gentle invitation.

Reveal to me the choices that will make me happy. 
Help me to discover my identity.  Let me understand how best to use the gifts
You have so lovingly lavished upon me in preparation for our journey together.
And give me the courage to choose You as You have chosen me. 
God of my life; God of the journey, let me know myself and let me know You. 
In this is my happiness.  Amen.
(Paraphrased from the Augustinians of the
Province of St. Thomas of Villanova ~ Author Unknown)

A Humble Prayer . . .

“O God,
I ain’t what I want to be;
I ain’t what I ought to be;
I ain’t what I’m gonna be,
 but, thank God,
I ain’t what I used to be.”

A Slave's Prayer
Author Unknown

A Serenity Prayer ~

O Divine One,                              
to You I raise my whole being, ~
a vessel emptied of self. 
Accept O gracious God, this my emptiness,
and so fill me with Yourself  
~Your light,   
Your love,        
Your life ~      

that these Your  
precious gifts may radiate through
me and overflow the chalice of my    
heart into the hearts of all those 
with whom I come in contact  
this day ~ revealing unto  
them the beauty of Your joy
and wholeness and the serenity
of Your peace, which nothing can destroy.   

Ancient Sufi Prayer

Photo by Doris Klein, CSA

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Knot in Your Life . . .

"Knot in your life"!
The Knots Prayer
O God,
please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart, and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots,
may nots, might nots
that find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots,
would nots, and should nots
that obstruct my life.
And most of all, God,
I ask that you remove from my mind
my heart and my life all of the ‘am nots'
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough. Amen.
Author Unknown . . .

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 4th ~ Interdependence Day!


 “On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: ‘Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.’”   

However, I’d like to also declare an Interdependence Day.  Even though we celebrate our separation from the Crown of England, we must come to the awareness that we really do not live as “separate peoples” of this planet. It is to be shared by all – for we are interdependent with all of life on this earth and beyond!

I recently returned from directing a retreat and I often would walk the grounds of the center and quietly observe the trees reflected in the surrounding lake, watch the Sandhill Cranes fly over the near-by pier, and study the puffy, luminous clouds that looked as if they fell into the lake as they were reflected there along with the trees. I will post pictures to give a visual of what I experienced.

As I pondered my surroundings, I was amazed how this environment truly was an ecosystem happening right in front of me: fish, plants, trees, flowers, bees, birds, raccoons, deer, turtles, and more all in the dance of the ecosystem waltz! Everything working, living, sharing, moving, breathing together in one movement of life in this small circle of the earth. Nothing separated – nothing independent – everything interdependent.

I thought, too, of my life as a woman religious in my community. Some would consider me pretty independent – guess I learned that as I was growing up – and yet as a committed member, I am interdependent with all those in my community. We pray with and for one another; we minister with and for one another, we celebrate with and for one another, - however, we share who we are and what we have with all in our ministries and way of life.  As a wise old mentor once told me, “As celibate women, we belong to everyone and no-one.” 

So on this weekend of Independence Day and the celebration of separation, I pray for all who walk this earth as we are interdependent in our way of life on this planet and that we grow in our actions, attitudes, and way of being that we acknowledge we are here as a people sharing the gift of life in the beauty of God’s creation on this small planet in the universe.  Let us dance together the interdependent waltz!
(Previously Posted July, 2017)

For pondering:

The late Albert Einstein, during his declining years, granted a press conference to a number of newspaper reporters. After they had plied him with questions on many subjects, one reporter asked: ‘Mr. Einstein, would you care to make a prediction as to the kind of weapons that will be used in the third world war?’ Modestly he shook his head and said: ‘No, I would not venture a prediction.’ After the briefest hesitation he added, ‘But I’ll tell you what will be the chief weapon in the fourth world war.’ The reporters were all ears and every pencil was poised in anticipation of the old man’s prediction. What would be the chief weapon in the fourth world war?

With an air of finality, the old man gave a one-word reply – 'Clubs!' It took a moment or two for the aged scientist’s reply to register, but as it did, a grim silence settled over the assembled group. (Anonymous)


Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Prayer as we share this planet . . .

God Be With Us

May God be with us in strength, holding us in strong-fingered hands; and may we be the sacrament of God’s strength to those whose hands we hold.

May God be with us in gentleness, touching us with sunlight and rain and wind.

May God’s tenderness shine through us to warm all who are hurt and lonely.

May God be with us in wonder, delighting us with thunder and song, sunrise and daisy; enchanting our senses, filling our hearts, giving us wide-open eyes for seeing and splendor in the humble and majestic. And may we open the eyes and hearts of the blind and the insensitive.

May God be with us in love and friendship, listening to us, speaking to us, drawing us close as we tremble at the edge of self-gift. 

May God’s love in us light fires of faith and hope, glow in our eyes and meet God’s love glowing in the eyes of our friends.

May God be with us in compassion, holding us close when we are weary and hurt and alone – when there is rain in our heart. And may we be the warm hands and the warm eyes of compassion for our friends when they reach out to us in need.

May God be with us in joy, thrilling us with nearness, filling our heart to fullness and filling our throat to ringing, singing exultation.

May God be with us in peace, stilling the heart that hammers with fear and doubt and confusion, and may our peace, the warm mantle of your peace, cover those who are troubled or anxious.

May God be with us in simplicity, opening us to a clearer vision of what is real and true, leading us deeply into the mystery of life and may our dealings with others be marked by honesty.

May God be with us today and every day. May God hold each of us, empowering us with understanding, love, and respect.

May God’s forgiveness touch our hearts, enabling us to forgive ourselves and each other.

And finally, may we experience God’s peace and the joy that results from unity and prayer, shared values, and common vision
Author Unknown