Our Most Powerful Tool

Recently one family member shared some encouraging words to another one, who then passed them along to me. Here is what touched me deeply.

“Know that your dilemma is out of your control and that the only power you have over it is our most powerful tool…prayer…practice trust in Jesus and patience while He resolves the issue.”

I have felt out of control lately and I don’t like that feeling. Circumstances aren’t pleasant and I can only do so much–which, other than prayer, is really very little–to address the situation. It is one that time and the providence of God will resolve one way or another. Jesus will resolve the issue. It’s not up to me, although I have to practice trust and patience and, as Elisabeth Elliot would say, keep on “doing the next thing” that needs to be done…which includes a great deal of praying! I must cooperate with grace, exercising humility and swallowing my pride when things need to be done that I’m not keen on.

In the long run, as Julian of Norwich has said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”  

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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.”

First Friday in Advent: A Prayer for this Season

Prepare a way for you, Lord?
I’ve got lots of work to do!

Help me prepare a way for you into my home, Lord:
help me find a place, a room, a corner, a chair
where you and I can meet each day to pray.
Perhaps I’ll put a candle there, with a Bible;
maybe a statue or a picture; a rosary or a prayer card:
something to mark the spot as the place I keep
to go each day to sit and rest, to take a deep breath,
to remember your presence and open my heart in prayer.

Help me prepare a way for you on my calendar,
an “appointment” each day;
even just ten minutes for you and me to get together,
to talk about the day, its ups and downs,
and get to know each other just a little better than yesterday.

Help me prepare a way for you to enter my thoughts, Lord.
When I’m trying to figure things out, nudge me
to ask for your guidance and counsel,
your Spirit and your wisdom,
when I’m making decisions and choices.
Help me prepare a way for you, Lord,
in my family and among my friends, at work and at school,
in my parish and in my neighborhood.
Help me prepare a way for you to come into the hearts
of those around me who are alone.

Help me prepare a way for you, Lord,
in the crazy rush of Christmas all around me.
Help me remember it’s your birthday
and that you should get some presents—from me.
Help me remember the poverty of your nativity:
make your way into my wallet and spend generously
on those whose needs are so much greater than my own.
Help me remember that of all the gifts I might receive,
none is greater than the love you have for me.

Help me prepare a way for you
to enter my life decisively, Lord.
In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
help me clear the path you walk into my life, into my soul.

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord,
help me see you as you make your way towards me,
and show me that no matter the roadblocks I put up,
you’ll find a way to come, to enter,
and to fill me with your presence. Amen.

From Good Morning, Good God! by Fr. Austin Fleming, The Word Among Us Press, 2015, via

https://wau.org/resources/article/a_prayer_for_advent/

 

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.”

The Weaver

 

My life is but a weaving, between my God and me,

I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily,

Oftentimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,

Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly,

Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver’s hand,

As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

B.M. Franklin (1882-1965)

Found in Corrie ten Boom’s Tramp for the Lord.

Thoughtful Thursday: I’m Not God

Today’s post is from a friend who has nailed it. For anyone dealing with the “stuff” of life that can clog up your heart or mind, this essay–along with good counseling/therapy and ideally a support group like Celebrate Recovery–can help you begin to clear out the muck and remember (or perhaps see for the first time) some timely truths.

http://beckismswithasideofbacon.blogspot.com/2016/06/im-not-god.html

 

 

Getting Things Done with Chronic Illness: Lupus edition

Today’s reblogged post is written by someone who knows the ropes when it comes to managing her lupus. Thanks to Sara Gorman’s innovative, comprehensive approach–detailed in her outstanding book, Despite Lupus: How to Live Well with a Chronic Illness (my all-time favorite book on living with chronic illness)–she has been able, over the years of learning to live with lupus, to write a book, blog (Despite Lupus), have two children, and start a home-based business related to her lifestyle (Sara Gorman’s Pillbags). Despite what you might think, she’s no superwoman but rather an extremely realistic person who has accepted her limits and learned how to manage her health so that it supports her life’s priorities, all one step at a time. I thought this post might appeal to my readers who are chronically ill and/or are writers who are chronically struggling with finding time to write.

http://despitelupus.blogspot.com/2016/04/finding-time-to-manage-lupus-just-put.html

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