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I am beginning to be comfortable with myself. Thanks be to God and to all who pray for those of us now taking the journey. Such wonderful things I did not see and here on the first pass through my life are relived in the moments of today's walk. God is so loving and incredibly wonderful. I am seeing that love in a much different light. Thanks to all who have contributed to this marvelous trek to my real self. God bless.
Oh blessed memories. God has opened the door to His real love. Such a word as the world kicks it around and dirties its face. God has wrapped His loving arms around me and whispers encouragement for me to accept myself. For the first time in my life I accept me, imperfect, mediocre, average, not anything outstanding except unique to Him alone. God has made me in His image. I am able to begin to grasp that wonderful concept of His unmerited love and mercy. God bless to all. -Steve
I find the imagining of being invited by a loved one to join with them to be needed and be more in love in service a powerful way to imagine my call.
It is soo wonderful to hear God's call again. I have lived a pretty average "middle class" life. Always trying to give of myself to others (family, friends, my patients), but somehow I felt I always fell short of the mark. Now, in my retirement, here is God's call to serve.
Week 10: Today I was particularly touched by the prayer to stay with this week with patience. This week holds out the promise of so much more to come, that there is a temptation to rush on to the next thing. But when reading that I feel comfortable resting in the love of Jess letting him show me the way. I shall spend the next three days growing ever closer to him, thank you.
Week 10: I started the week with a great deal of restlessness. I find the instructions for listening to God's invite appealing but I am distracted by concerns about finding a permanent place to live and other issues on our recent relocation.
I also have a little resistance: "Didn't I get here because of Your call, Lord?" But I eventually settle in to just sitting and being present to the invitation. I find Cardinal Newman's prayer, "Lead thou me on" useful. I recall the times I have pursued the "garish way" and I remember that the invite to respond is out of thankfulness at the depth of God's forgiveness for me and His immense love for His whole world. Am I really living out of immense gratitude? I revisited making this prayer and listening at the foot of the cross. That is one place I can displace my self absorption.The Sunday Gospel reading is about the separating of the sheep and the goats. I am pulled back to considering where in my life I am being invited to reach out to those in need. Our homilist warns that the works of corporeal mercy are not a checklist. I wonder about that. His point was that Jesus is inviting us to suffuse our whole attitude so that we can be ready and present in any situation of need. I accept this but I know I also feel a real tug as I consider each work and whether I have been present and giving enough. "Lead thou me on".
As I was cleaning up the Fall debris from my Mom’s property, I was approached by two gentlemen with Bibles in hand. They asked, “Do you believe that there is a Satan?”
I replied in the affirmative, whereupon one of the gentlemen showed the verses in the Bible where God cast down satan and his followers to Earth; and, where satan and his followers were allotted a Limited duration on Earth. Emphasis was placed on ‘Limited’ which gives us HOPE that Earth shall be freed from the pain and the suffering that is suffocating our planet. Did I pick up what they laid down?
Yes, HOPE is a gift from God who is Love. God is almighty in all that exists. With God all is possible. BUT, we have a responsibility - to live lovingly the gift of the Will of God. You are a gift to this world. I thank you and your Creator for whom you are.
The last weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me. At 75, I can not remember the last time someone I love has returned that love. Yet here is God, knowing me soo well, forgiving me,,giving me His love, forgiveness and mercy. What a mind blower! Absorbing His love will take time! I am anxious to see what next week brings.
Week 8: Lord, I bring to you in thanks the images that I return to in the parable of the prodigal son. I try to feel your warm embrace but I also come back to a realization that has been growing over the last few weeks that I am sometimes more like the older brother. Not that I am resentful of your love. But I am guilty of not seeing that your love extends deeply throughout the world. You are not my private God but a God who wants to deeply embrace the world. At the heart of my sin is failing to realize this.I also think of the times I have just not been there for your embrace; when it was easier just to shrug off failings and cover them over; to just pretend everything was ok. But somehow, often through people you have encouraged to be present in my life, you prompt me back.Then there are other times when I hide from your embrace. These are the times I see myself as some kind of star player in some great game of life. You are the coach I need to please and when I do not perform at my best I just want to hide. But it is my performance spiritual and secular which is uppermost in my mind; yes many times performing to please you but nevertheless performing for my pleasure and my gain. Worst, I do not see that you are not there on the sidelines shouting directions. No you want to be with me, even in my failings. You want to prompt me towards your work and in your loving embrace I know that what You value is deeply inside me and what I can contribute from there and not my performance.
So I do come to rest with you. To feel your embrace. I am coming to terms with the depth of this love. Thank you, Lord.
Week 9: There was a lot going on at my work this week which made working with this week's theme quite challenging. I had moments of inspiration when I let myself be free ... Healed ... Renewed completely by our Lord. Then there were moments of confusion when I was irritated that everything was not going my way. Why confusion? Because my self absorption imagines a world free of trouble. It takes praying at the foot of the cross to realize that this is a dangerous mirage.
I had a meeting this week with a lawyer who had spent much of his career prosecuting white collar crime and particularly insider trading. He remarked that it never ceased to amaze him that humans have such a capacity to partition their world. He told me that in his experience not many people he had prosecuted actually started out deciding to be dishonest. Rather they found it easy and carefully partitioned their life to accommodate that. While I am certainly not engaged in dishonest activity I could see how easy it is for me to also partition my life. I want so much to believe that Jesus is constantly with me. But conveniently I do not let Him into some parts of my life.
It is on this realization I asked for healing. I find it comforting to believe that Jesus indeed wants to heal me and that this is a healing journey I am on.
Also this weekend is the 25th anniversary of the Jesuit fathers and their companions murdered in El Salvador. Our homilist today asked us to imagine them living there and what they desired and he answered that they would see the inevitability of these actions because they were driven by their love for Jesus which in turn drove them to their strong solidarity with the poor. As I look through the partitions in my life I ask for that same depth of love and wonder where He will lead me in solidarity, comforted knowing this is a journey of healing.
Week 1: The image of God’s love and forgiveness as a Mother watches her toddler learn to walk and fall often was a powerful image. Being a great grandmother I have watched how often parents find disappointment in their children’s choices but are there for them when they are hurt and in need of love and acceptance. To see God loving me in that way is powerful. It gives great peace and comfort to know that He is there always.
Week 9: Spent last night mostly either awake or in a semi dream state: really stressed about a new business that I opened through having no other choice as I didn't have work. No glory, no great ambition fulfilled, lots of "What am I doing, have I lost the plot, why can't I be a normal person and just teach, get a wage, go home?"