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Category: Grace

Rise!

Rise!

I don’t know what it is, but there is something so powerful about hearing the prayers of the women who are currently incarcerated at the local correctional facility. Their faith strengthens mine, and their reflections enlighten me.

Today we shared our thoughts about Lazarus.

Today’s Gospel read:

“Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” – John 11: 25-27

The faith sharing ended up going in the direction of talking about the times in our lives when we recognized that God said, “Rise!” to us.  And we talked about what it was like to hear that voice and now looking back, seeing what God’s intentions were for us. All for good and all for life.

Today was indeed a grace. These women blessed my life today!

As I walked out of the facility, I saw one of the inmates breastfeed her baby while her other visitor waited outside in the visitors area. I paused and lifted that moment in prayer.

Made in the Image of God

Made in the Image of God

Today, I was invited to present a talk on Morality at a Confirmation Retreat for a local parish. Though the students were still trying to *grasp* the idea of Confirmation (those were the days!), I think one of the biggest gifts came for me personally, where I got to prepare my talk. Through my preparation, I reflected greatly on what morality means to me and what morality calls us to.

I asked one of my mentors how I should even begin preparing, and he said, “just talk about your beautiful life!” And so, that’s what I chose to do.

It’s amazing to me how when I sold coupons back in the day, I had to prepare my “sales pitch” word for word, line by line, so as not to forget any of the oh so important details and key phrases that will get the sale. Nowadays, when I share about faith or justice, it seems the opposite happens. I can’t seem to shut up and will go on and on, wherever the voice from my heart takes me! And for that, I am grateful.

I saw God today in the youth who were preparing for Confirmation. There are lots of questions, some uncertainty, and yet at least some teensy bit of openness. As long as there is faith the size of a mustard seed, I trust that God will take care of the rest!

Please say a prepare for the youth preparing for Confirmation this year. Holy Spirit, Come!

Flexibility

Flexibility

You know those times when you feel like you can’t do something because you’re sick or you feel like you’re not up to it, or you just really don’t have energy for something, even though you really push yourself to do it?

And you wish someone was there to take it for you, or you wish someone would offer to help you in that moment?

Today that happened to one of my students. She had to do something, she was feeling sick, and yet we knew where we could find a last-minute (literally) replacement for her. Her friend gladly agreed and accepted the challenge, knowing that her friend was too sick to lead a prayer of the PA.

Being available, and being open to what interruptions may come our way is a great quality. I’m grateful when my students show me what it means to be flexible and reflect openness with joy to God’s little surprises along the way! …even if it is something nerve-wracking like leading prayer over the PA for all the school! It’s the little moments that are not so little.

RCIA…on her way!

RCIA…on her way!

Today I saw God in my hangout time with one of my friends. We talked about the usual stuff – family, friends, work…and then she shared with me that she decided she was going to go through the RCIA program in the next year.

As soon as she shared that with me, my eyes watered up and I really should have thrown myself at her and given her a huge hug, and instead, I hugged myself, out of pure joy at what she had just shared with me. There was a also a large table between us, so that was kind of difficult to maneuver.

We eventually talked more about faith and what led her to the decision of wanting to become a Catholic, and it was such a wonderful afternoon! Friends of mine who have gone through RCIA have shared with me what that experience was like for them, and most was positive, other than some meetings being boring, etc. But I am so happy for my friend and I promised her that I would start praying for her starting yesterday. 🙂 Please pray for her too!

This will be a long journey, but I know it will be worth it. I’m so glad God placed people in my life where I am able to talk freely about faith and justice. That in itself is a gift!

 

As We Go About our Priestly Work…

As We Go About our Priestly Work…

Let us lead our lives filled with love everyday, the best that we can. Something beautiful to keep in mind, as we go about our days doing our “priestly work.” And so we pray…

How beautiful will be the day
when all the baptized understand
that their work, their job,
is a priestly work,
that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar,
so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench,
and each metalworker,
each professional,
each doctor with the scalpel,
the market woman at her stand,
is performing a priestly office!
How may cabdrivers, I know, listen to this message
there in their cabs;
you are a priest at the wheel, my friend,
if you work with honesty,
consecrating that taxi of yours to God,
bearing a message of peace and love
to the passengers who ride in your cab.

—Archbishop Oscar Romero, November 20, 1977
The Violence of Love, translated by James R. Brockman, SJ