Our Spiritual Implant

A guest post from Sandra Ralph…

Recently while watching the local evening news I saw a remarkable story. A baby (I think nine months old) born deaf had received a cochlear implant and was hearing the sounds of her mother’s voice for the first time while sitting on her lap. The wonder and sweet smile that kept appearing on her little face was precious, and the mother was overcome with emotion.

Earlier that day I was reading from a Sonja Corbitt book–Unleashed: How to Receive Everything the Holy Spirit Wants to Give You–and she was relating the importance of learning to “hear” our heavenly parent’s voice and the blessings that flow from that. Surely that is God’s intention, but due to our broken world (and often broken bodies) we, too, need help in becoming able to hear clearly. But when we can–and do–the joy our Heavenly Father desires for us is made manifest. Praise be to God!

Lord of all creation…help me to hear your voice. Heighten my sense of your presence in times of gladness and times of sorrow or suffering. Implant your spirit deep within and be the instrument that enables me to hear you clearly.

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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

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.”  

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.”

Take One Day

“I just take one day. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today to love Jesus.”

St. Teresa of Calcutta

This dovetails nicely with today’s message from Dynamic Catholic’s “Best Lent Ever”–a fabulous free online resource–which stresses the importance of living each day in the present moment. You can watch the complete short video or read the transcript here:

https://dynamiccatholic.com/bestlentever/lent-reflections-2018/a-chance-to-turn-it-all-around

Each day we have is a gift. During Lent we intentionally focus on deepening our relationship with Christ so that we can celebrate Easter all the more fully when it comes. If you have difficulty–as I often do–with living one day at a time, one moment at a time, you can change. You can, as Matthew Kelly says, embrace the truth that, “God is constantly calling us…and saying, ‘Focus on the moment. Focus on the moment. Be completely present in the moment.’ ”

It’s never too late to “turn it all around.” This Lent, may you go deeper in your relationship with God the Father and His son Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Have a holy Lent!

 

 

 

Lent is Here!

Technically it’s been here since Ash Wednesday, but, in typical procrastinating fashion, I’m just now taking the time to share something that my readers who observe Lent might find helpful. It’s the best one-stop shopping (so to speak) for all things Lent, from the wonderful Karen Edmisten. Grab your favorite beverage, settle into a comfy chair, and prepare to be informed, encouraged, and generally motivated to embrace this season in all its unique splendor. Yes, splendor! Lent is my favorite liturgical season, although I’ll admit that last year I sucked at it due to a protracted bout with depression that left me just limping along with the basic observances but without my usual enthusiasm for them. Anyway, I pray you and yours have, as Karen’s youngest daughter once said, “a meaningful Lent.” Blessings to you!

http://karenedmisten.blogspot.com/2018/02/its-back-meaningful-lent.html

 

Advent is Here!

If you observe the liturgical year, then let me wish you a Happy New Year as you celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. If you use an advent wreath or candles and already have them out, good for you! Here are a couple of resources you might not know about to enrich your Advent experience as you prepare your heart to celebrate the nativity of the King of Kings.

Flock Notes’ Carpe Verbum text messages for Scripture reading, prayer, and thoughtful action

You can read the blog but it’s more convenient for many of us to get their daily text for reading, praying, and listening to God as preparation for how you will live out the day. There’s even a nifty image and capsulized message that can be saved and used for your lock and/or home screen. The content was written with teens in mind but I haven’t found this to be limiting. In fact, some of the features designed for the younger mindset come in handy for the over 50 crowd as well–both my mom and I are using the daily screenshot reminder of that day’s key point, along with an Advent candle graphic, to keep our Advent focus going in a festive yet practical way.

http://www.carpeverbum.org/

Young Oceans’ Advent album for a soundtrack

Good contemporary music for Advent is hard to find. So imagine my surprise when I went searching this morning on Amazon Music Unlimited this morning and found this gem! I am mesmerized by its perfectly pleasing mellow harmonies and lovely musical textures, not to mention the solid Advent lyrics. Plus, the multiple instrumental pieces are both soothing and uplifting with an anticipatory feel to them. I’m a musical fussbudget but this is something reminiscent of both Taizé and Jars of Clay but altogether its own sound. If you’re looking for something new for Advent, I highly recommend sampling this.

https://smile.amazon.com/Advent-Deluxe-Young-Oceans/dp/B00BKBJUYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512318686&sr=8-1&keywords=young+oceans+advent#customerReviews

What are some of your favorite Advent resources? Please feel free to share. Have a blessed season of preparation to celebrate Christ’s birth!

 

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