Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Interior Peace

john 14:27; mundelein seminary; searching for and maintaining peace; jacques philippe

Interior peace - something I take for granted so often. The amazing thing is that I've always had it. God has gifted me with a solid foundation of faith - one that has never (and I dare to say, will never) fail. I've been blessed with stability in so many aspects of life - from a loving family environment growing up to financial stability and friends who will help in times of need today. These gifts are so great - some of the best that I've ever received, and yet it's hard to appreciate them. When you rely on something every day, it's hard to imagine not having it.

The intensity of my faith may change over time, but it's always there. This internal calm is also always there, even when I throw so many things on top of it that my head or body can't keep up. If I stop for a second, I still have peace.

There's also a motivation constantly present - to improve, to endure, to look toward the future. I don't give up. There's no way that attitude would be sustainable if it weren't give to me by God. How
wonderful is He!

My whole life and the backbone of my support structure is based in His gift and His presence. I may not have always followed His rules, but even when I was miserable because of my choices, I still threw myself at His feet, knowing His love, comfort, and forgiveness. In times of tears, I've run to the tabernacle and literally threw myself at His feet - that's where I found unconditional love and a presence that does not waver.

God, increase my faith and my awareness of my dependence on You.
Help me to be grateful for the many gifts you bestow on me each day, especially those that I don't even recognize as gifts.
Your ways, oh Lord, are wonderful.
Keep me in Your care, and guide me to make Your will my own.

(Taken from prayer journal, written 9/15/16 during Adoration)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

All Glory is Yours

Jesus, Holy Trinity Catholic Church Dallas TexasJesus, my God, how glorious are You!
You alone stand firm when the rest of us fall.
You look on us with love, even as we ignore You and instead follow the ways of the world.
Forgive us.

Guide us, help us, walk with us, for only through You can
we gain life and the perfect love that awaits.
We can't begin to imagine this future life, though we can get glimpses of it here.
Make our desire for You grow stronger with each day and with each small glimpse into Your glory.

Open our hearts to fall in love with You.
Open our minds to the wonderful mysteries that we'll never fully understand.
Open our hands to serve, to give ourselves as You gave Yourself completely to us.

Only then will we become one with You and show Your glory to the world.

Jesus, my Lord and my God!

(Written 7/21/16 during Adoration)

Monday, March 20, 2017

To Love Another

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

What does love really mean? We throw it around casually, saying "love ya!" in a quick text or the end of a phone call; we talk about falling in love and about loving our pets. But what is love at its core?

Jesus says that love is the most important thing we can do. The greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love neighbor. What it means is that this should be our most important priority. But really, do we do that day-to-day? How do we go about it?

A friend summarized the importance of other people like this: if you're sitting in front of me but there's a million dollars right next to you, you are infinitely more valuable and worthy of my attention than the money. He made a good point, and it's a thought I come back to as I'm working to prioritize love in my life. Our lives should be devoted to each other, not to possessions or thrills or passions. We were made for relationship, and we need to care enough for each other that nothing pulls our focus away.

Time spent for another is never time wasted.

How many times do you run late and a friend stops you to say hi? How do you respond? If you're like me, it's usually a quick "hey" and you keep walking fast, or maybe even, "I'm running late and can't talk." Really, that's not much better. Isn't a friend more important than walking into a meeting 20 seconds earlier? Even if it's not a friend, loving the person who is reaching out to have an encounter with you means slowing down, looking them in the eye, and giving them the attention they deserve.

What did Mother Teresa tell us?

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. 

mother teresa, st. bernard's madison
Love does not live on words.
Love is proven in deeds.

Another way we can think about loving others is to follow the words of Luke 6:30:
Give to everyone who asks of you.
I was struck when I read this recently. There are no conditions placed on that statement, and the word "everyone" makes it pretty clear that our neighbor includes every person we encounter. Yet it seems so overwhelming to give that much. It's a verse worth pondering. We can give our time and attention, our prayers, our material possessions, and even our lives for someone else. Jesus gave a great example, it's up to us to follow.

Medjugorje, No one has greater love than this, John 15:13

The next time you're distracted during a conversation or running late to a meeting, take a second to notice the person in front of you, and show them even a tiny amount of love. It could brighten their day...and yours!