When I think too much of myself, Turn my thoughts toward someone else. Anonymous, twentieth century Japan
I have been using prayers from the book Woman Prayers by Mary Ford-Grabowsky. There are some wonderful prayers in this book. This one jumped out at me today. I have so often been concentrated on myself and my problems and not thought enough about others. It is an easy trap to fall into.
Turning our thoughts to others will add perspective to our own life. Look around you at those whose needs are great. See those whose pain may be hidden. See those who are afraid to ask for help.
See others and take the focus from yourself.
I give you a new commandment, that you loveoneanother. Just as I have loved you, you also should loveoneanother. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for oneanother.”
It’s my experience that we’re much more afraid that there might be a God than we are that there might not be. from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Are we willing to believe that God loves us and is present in our world? Many times things happen that we slough off to coincidence when it could be a miracle. Do you have your eyes open to see the works of God? Pay attention. Miracles happen every day.
17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
A sign! I just want a sign! Come down God and do something! Write on the wall, perform a miracle. Show those people who don’t believe in you what you can do. Show me too so that I don’t have to depend on faith to get through.
How much we want this to happen. We want something we can see….something we can touch. But really…the important things are not tangible. Love cannot be touched. We can’t hold it in our hands. We can’t prove it yet we know it is there.
God is not visible but his acts are. His presence can be felt if not touched. Let go of wanting things we can’t have. Open our eyes….God is with us. His love surrounds us and his miracles are there if we just look.
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.
Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—-more frequently than not—-struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God. Martin Luther
It is so easy to believe in things that can be proved. Grass is green….the sky is blue. We can see those things for ourselves. Faith in God is a leap into the unknown. A step into something that is not physical and according to reason cannot be proved. What we don’t realize is there a many things that we can’t prove. Can I prove that I love someone? Only by actions and words. There is no science that can test it.
When science want to mock belief in God because God cannot be proved remember there are other things we have faith in that have no scientific proof.
(Julian of Norwich)She says that Christ is the one who connects us to the “great root” of our being. . . .  “God is our mother as truly as God is our father,” she says.  We come from the Womb of the Eternal. We are not simply made by God; we are made “of God.”  So we encounter the energy of God in our true depths. And we will know the One from whom we have come only to the extent that we know ourselves. God is the “ground” of life.  So it is to the very essence of our being that we look for God. . . . (from Richard Rohr )
I had to read this several times to see it’s power. Being “of God” is a revelation. We are born out of God and so contain God within us as much as we contain the parts of our human parents. We have to search our deepest depths and find the roots of God in us. Not an easy task. It requires deep reflection in silence.
Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.Democritus
The Bible talks about making idols. Do we realize what those are? They are not statues made of gold but the things we love more than God. Idols can be money, possessions, power….anything that gets in the way of putting God first. Our happiness comes from loving God and knowing that we are loved.
Since this is Advent what are we looking forward to….the birth of a baby….not just an ordinary baby but the most amazing gift from God…Himself. He was willing to come to earth and live among us. For me this is amazing. Who would give up heaven? This is as incredible as the resurrection. Some theologians are Resurrection Theologians. They feel that the resurrection is the most important part of Christ’s coming. Some are Incarnational Theologians. They see God coming to earth as the most important. I see it as a whole thing. His coming to earth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection are a whole. In my mind you can’t separate it out. It is indivisible.
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
We can see God. We see him in the faces of friends and family. We see him in the little happenings of each day. We see him in the world around us. We can even see him in suffering and pain. If we pay attention we can see him. Open you eyes to see!