Help for Troubled Times

I’ve shared this prayer before but it seems good to share it once again…

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton

Advertisements

Rest in God: Easter Edition

Right now I have multiple friends and family–mine included–who are going through challenging circumstances, so I’m sharing this profound quote on this blessed Easter Sunday as part of my Easter prayers and wishes for you. True rest is sometimes elusive for me, even on days of rest–and celebration!–such as Easter Sunday. In that vein, I find comforting the following words from St. Edith Stein. I’m embracing her sentiments in hope that today and throughout the following ones I will be experiencing this Easter week as “a new life.” Maybe you will want to do the same…

“God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with him. Then you will be able to rest in him–really rest–and start the next day as a new life.”

Faithful Friendship

Good friends; good times. Do we take them for granted or do we recognize the precious gift from God that they are? Yesterday I spent time with dear friends our family has known for almost 25 years and was immeasurably blessed! We currently live an hour apart and between our families’ schedules, health, and life in general I had not been able to be with them in their home for two years. They had moved last year and it was a treat to see their new home and how perfect it is for them! As usual, I was bathed in their solicitude for my well-being while there for their 21 year old son’s birthday party and was awed, as always, at their incredible gift for hospitality. I felt just at home in their new digs as I always have in their previous homes and the only good thing about having to leave was looking forward to our next time together! If you have received the gift of awesomely good friends please don’t take them for granted. I hope I don’t. Time goes by more quickly now that we’re middle-aged and yet some of our memories of good times together seem like just yesterday. I pray there will be many more memories to be made together, precious and sweet as all the others. They truly exemplify that “a friend loves at all times” (Prov 17:17). May I strive to be a better friend to them and with all the other dear friends I’ve been given.

New Every Morning

Yesterday was a stinker. Pain wracked my body and kept me from being able to enjoy the day, much less be very productive. Last night wasn’t much better and I found myself getting up in the night to take my strongest pain pill to help me try and get some sleep since the pain was doing such a great job at creating insomnia. I don’t like writing about the times when things aren’t going well because I don’t know how it could possibly be encouraging–not to mention I don’t have the mental energy for blogging when I’m in a lot of pain.

Still, I got up at my regular time this morning and ended up poking my head out the front door to see if the FedEx delivery I was expecting yesterday had arrived last night and the guys just missed it during the football game. Instead of a dreary cold morning I was met with a glorious blaze of colors and crispness in the air that boosted my spirits enormously. My day may have not started off the greatest but here was a very clear and present reminder that God was in it and His mercies are new every morning. So this morning I’m grateful not only for my new, more powerful medication to help me cope with the pain but also for the simple reminders that each day is unique, and God’s grace is uniquely suited to each day’s needs. I may not feel great and have low expectations of what can be accomplished today but as my friend James says, “God is always good, and we are in His hands”–and for right now that is enough.  As Elisabeth Elliot would instruct me, I’ll just work on “doing the next thing” and do my best to observe “the sacrament of the present moment” (Jean-Pierre de Caussade) that gives meaning to all I do–or don’t do–today.

I hope your day is not stinky and that you are having a wonderful first day of December! But if you’re not, remember, you’re not alone. Many of us are suffering in one way or another and we will get through this day, one thing at a time, and ultimately “all shall be well” (St. Julian of Norwich).

Thoughtful Thursday: Rest in God

This is a rerun and perhaps as I still haven’t learned how to do this routinely yet there is someone reading this that will also benefit from the repeated message…

I don’t know about you but true rest is sometimes elusive for me, even on days of rest such as Sundays. In that vein, I’m sharing words I found comforting from St. Edith Stein (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). I plan to put her counsel into effect today in hopes that tomorrow I will be experiencing Sunday as “a new life.” Maybe you will want to do the same…

“God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with him. Then you will be able to rest in him–really rest–and start the next day as a new life.”

Too Much Tuesday: Simplicity in Spirituality

While rereading Dom Hubert Van Zeller’s outstanding Holiness for Housewives (and other working women), my primary Advent spiritual reading this year, I ran across the following words of wisdom I thought worth sharing. So often we make growing in our faith a complicated matter and are discouraged when we don’t seem to make much progress. Or, alternatively, we can become complacent and coast along in our spiritual practices and not really bear much fruit along the way.

I believe this holy Benedictine priest nailed it when he wrote this book as his way to holiness is, in Benedictine tradition, one of stability, obedience, and ongoing conversion–all the while balanced by moderation. I hope his words–summed up in his phrase “religion is yielding to Christ” are helpful to you as well during this time of waiting and preparing for our Lord and Savior’s birth.

“Training in spiritual things…can be done only by the combined activity of God and yourself. Concentrate on the service of the will…Obedience to God’s will is…is all that religion amounts to. Religion is God. Religion is recognizing God in His own setting. The setting is provided by Him, not by us…Religion is yielding to Christ.

The only thing that really matters in life is doing the will of God. Once you really appreciate this truth, and act accordingly to its implications, you save yourself a lot of unnecessary heart-searching [overthinking] and resentment.”

Rest in God

I don’t know about you but true rest is sometimes elusive for me, even on days of rest such as Sundays. In that vein, I’m sharing words I found comforting from St. Edith Stein (Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). I plan to put her counsel into effect today in hopes that tomorrow I will be experiencing Sunday as “a new life.” Maybe you will want to do the same…

“God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with him. Then you will be able to rest in him–really rest–and start the next day as a new life.”

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: