Silence

Today I realized that I haven’t written in quite a while and need to get back to posting. I have been thinking about this quote.

Pause
To know the guidance of God’s Spirit, you need to be still and silent. In the cadence of your day, create some enclosures of silence where you pause and breathe and are really present to God’s presence.

-Br. Curtis Almquist
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

It is important to take that time to rest in silence with God. Don’t expect for something to always come to you. It doesn’t matter. Just sitting silent and turning toward God is enough. Some people like to use the name “Jesus” over and over to focus their thoughts. Sometimes music helps. The music from the Taize community is particularly helpful. Here is one that could be used. Watch the beautiful scenes or close your eyes and just move into the song.

God wants us to understand

I have heard that some evangelists are using this crisis to say that it is God’s wrath coming down on us for our evil ways. Well, there is one thing for sure. There are plenty of evil ways out there and have been since the beginning. Unfortunately mankind has not changed much over the centuries. There are still people who believe in doing good and people who don’t.  In reality I believe that most people fall between the two. Some more on the good side and some on the bad.

The Bible tells us that we should strive always for the good. It also tells us that God is loving…he loves each and every one of us. He wants the best for us. He told us clearly in this passage from John

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Our God is a loving God. He did not send a pandemic but I’m sure he hopes we will learn from it. I reminded me of this song from my era. God asks”When will they ever learn?”

Seek Christ

Life Together

Life together is the best … except when it’s not. Life together will reveal our “control issues,” and expose us at our best and at our worst, and a lot of mediocre in between. Struggles are signs of invitation as we live out our lifelong conversion to Christ. Look on the people to whom you belong and remind yourself: “I need you.” And that will make all the difference.

– Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

The Times In Our Lives When We All Need Jesus - Heather Gerwing

This was written back in January. It seems as if it was written for us right now. We are certainly finding out about ourselves in a way we never imagined. We see clearly those we need and even more clearly the Christ that is there for us. This is a time to draw nearer, seek him more often and listen for his voice. It will be there.

Nothing can trouble

Last night before going to sleep I listened to this music which is also a prayer…for ourselves to find peace. It strengthens me when I am anxious and remind me that I don’t have to rely on my own strength. I hope that this hymn can give you hope.

I am posting a video with words and then my favorite which is in Spanish.

 

Do we know God?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NRSV

Image result for how we think of God

How often we create God to be what we want. Each of us has an image of God and I wouldn’t be surprised it they were all different. If we were raised as Christians our earliest images were probably Jesus with the children or some other pleasant and kind fatherly image. As we grow that image can change along with us. The more we learn the more we alter that image. We have to be careful to read the Bible and pay attention to the words of Jesus. His statements about and the parables give us an image to think about.

Parables of the Kingdom of God

Jesus is God translated to us as we would translate a book. He makes God visible. His many examples of God’s kingdom teach us the way. The parables so clearly show the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught so that we would understand. There are many references to Jesus’ teachings on this. Here are just a few.

Image result for the kingdom of god

The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
The Parable of the Growing Seed ] He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it?
The Parable of the Yeast ] And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God?
[ Some Women Accompany Jesus ] Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news ofthekingdomofGodThe twelve were with him,
When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.

A word from the monastery

Vocation

Vocation is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received. Every life experience becomes a vehicle for God’s call to be realized in vocation. In learning our limits and embracing failures, we can begin to recognize God’s particular gifts for us, which infuse our very being and form in us our unique vocation.

– Br. Jonathan Maury, SSJE

Nothing can trouble

Matthew 6:34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I don’t know how many times my grandmother quoted this verse to me. Of course it was the King James version but the meaning is the same. I don’t know why it is in my nature to worry but I know that I am not alone. This is one of the things I am trying to change in myself. When I fall into a worried state I sing or listen to the Taize hymn. Here are the words. I have posted the Spanish sung version because it is so beautiful. Listen and sing along using the English words. (unless of course you speak Spanish)

Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.

 

God waits

Always waiting
Copy-of-God-waits-pin-2

God
I say that I seek you
But is that true?

I look for you
In the noise
Of mindless music

The television’s endless voice
Drowns out
Your voice

I hunt for you
By being in charge
By filling each moment
By running away

When things are good
I don’t remember you
Or call for you

When I am lonely
Or sad
Or afraid
I cry to you

Knowing that
No matter how
I ignore you

You will listen
And answer
My cry