(Untitled)

“There is nothing like a plate or a bowl of hot soup, it’s wisp of aromatic steam making the nostrils quiver with anticipation, to dispel the depressing effects of a grueling day at the office or the shop, rain or snow in the streets, or bad news in the papers.”

– Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

(Untitled)

Into the daily cycle of our lives
When all seems well
With us and with the world
When our yoke is easy
And the burden light
You break in
And scatter our complacency

Into the daily cycle of our lives
When we are comfortable
And at our ease
When the fire is lit
But eyes are closed
You break in
And challenge our dependency

You break into
Our daily prayers
Humble hearts
Lay souls bare
You break in
You break in

You break in
When defences are down
With an Angel’s shout
Or the quietest sound
You break in
You break in

And we change
And all things change
When you break in

– Faith and Worship

(Untitled)

“The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.”

– Coretta Scott King

(Untitled)

God’s love is a gift that can make you forget yourself at times. The Scottish writer George MacDonald said, “It is the heart that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh in his presence.” God loves us as we are right now! That’s one of the things I’m most grateful for. I love the freedom to be myself in God. I pray that a year from now, five years from now, I will be a godlier woman, but I know God won’t love me any more than he does right this minute.

– Sheila Walsh

(Untitled)

Wholeheartedness

I am exhausted but sleep won’t cure me.
Every hour,
simply biding time.

I feel as if I have given too much
and am now empty,
a shell worn thin
by the sands of of the sea.

What happens to the giver
when there is nothing left to give?

As the gods would have it,
these moments, hours and days of emptiness
are simply a human’s way of
shedding the old ways of being.
Underneath the layers
of empty chatter
and the struggle for
meaningless success,
appears a skin so smooth,
so vibrant,
so radiant.

While we weren’t looking,
while we were distracted,
our true selves were busy
preparing their entry.

Sometimes it takes the words
of a poet to remind us to let it all go,
that the depths of the soul
are meant to be stirred from time to time.

– posted by Corey at An American Between Worlds

(Untitled)

Loaves and Fishes

This is not the age of information.
This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

–David Whyte

(Untitled)

God does not lose hope. He is not uncertain of his plan working out in the world, or wondering if he can conquer the next obstacle. He is not worried that we might not do our part, and the whole thing will come crashing down.

He is not tired. He is not anxious. He is not overwhelmed.

He is not indifferent to our troubles, our insecurities, our worries.
But he is secure enough in who he is to swallow all of our problems without them bringing him down.

It is in the moment that we see Jesus on the cross that we realize God’s commitment to humanity. In becoming like us, he makes a new way for us to be victorious in the midst of pain, despair, and death.
Because ultimately, he cannot be conquered. And since his Spirit lives in us, and his promise is to work all things together for good for his followers, we can believe that his plans for us will come to fruition.

Some of our wounds, some our questions, will never find answers this side of heaven. But his challenge to us is to see the unfolding history that we are participating in through eyes of faith. To approach others in love. To hope.

We all borrow hope from one another from time to time. I think one of my favorite things about being a part of the community of followers of Jesus is that when I run out of hope, energy, or motivation, others gather around me to lift me up with encouragement, love, and prayer.

But ultimately, that hope can’t be rooted in the Body, no matter how amazing our communion is. Jesus, the Messiah, is the head of the Body. His death and resurrection are what give us hope. His presence
is what keeps us going. Because he lives, we believe that redemption is possible – that there is no situation so horrible, no sin so ugly, no life so full of despair that he can’t turn it around.

As I look around at the situations of people – oppression,
prejudice, and misunderstandings from without, competition, entitlement, and ethnic pride from within – it can be easy to get lost in the layered impossibilities of their circumstances. How can I believe in a God who is at work redeeming the world when I see so much
pain, violence, and evil going unchecked directly in front of me? It is too much of a burden for me to carry; in fact it was a burden that was never meant to be mine.

And yet, God has not lost hope for people.. He is not surprised by what he sees, and he is determined to bring his reality into their broken world.

I’ve been slowly realizing, as I’ve come to him with my exhaustion and brokenness, that I can’t rely only on my own vision, my own strength.
I need to borrow hope from him; to take a few
minutes to regroup and look at people from his perspective.

And so when Jesus calls us to come to him with our burdens and rest, I can believe that this is exactly what I need. Even though the work isn’t finished, even though there is still sin and suffering, even though the Kingdom has not yet come on earth… God is handling it.

– a missionary serving God in Asia

(Untitled)

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn’t know Him.

But later on
when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable . . .
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains,
and through rocky places
at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, “Pedal!”

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
“Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I’d say, “I’m scared,”
He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
acceptance
and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord’s and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, “Give the gifts away;
they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He’d wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I’m beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore,
He just smiles and says . . . “Pedal.”

— author unknown

(Untitled)

Epiphany

The wizard kings observed celestial signs

a moving eastern star especially bright

cast shadows in the pitchest dark of night

a hint enough to agitate their minds

And, journeying through a sleeping world, they found

a manger pin-pricked by a point of heaven

a tiny entry vivifies – like leaven;

a break in lifeless patterns – round and round;

a growing beam of light revealing all.

We thought we knew until we saw it clear

the manger glowed with knowledge God was near.

Who’d ever seen their Maker in a stall?

Light shines unbidden shows the way. We see

new truth, new light, new life – Epiphany

– Fr. Harold Macdonald

.

(Untitled)

Spirituality: Resolutions for a New Year

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did last year.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for at least 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11. Refrain from comparing your life to others. You have no idea what goes on in their journey.
12. Refrain from holding negative thoughts about matters you cannot control. Instead invest your energy positively in the present moment.
13. Be reasonable. Do only what you can. Know your limits.
14. Laugh at yourself. Be open. Take yourself lightly.
15. Avoid precious energy on gossip or speculations.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. Settle for what you already have.
18. Remember the past gratefully. Encourage your partner to make better choices.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Find something good to say about that person.
20. Make peace with your past. We only really have the present to enjoy.
21. You make choices that lead to your happiness. Feel the power in choosing what you want.
22. “The style is the man.” How we do something is more important than what is done.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. Decide what is important to you. Allow yourself to be wrong sometimes.

Society:
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day say something nice to others.
27. Learn that forgiveness is a process. Allow yourself to be angry and use that anger in a constructive way to resolve tensions.
28. Spend time with people. Solidarity is a tremendous gift.
29. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Form good relationships.

Life:
30. Know the difference between the good and the right. Do the right thing!
31. Use appropriately what is not useful, beautiful or joyful.
32. God heals everything. You are not God.
33. In the end, all will be well. If it is not well now, it is not the end.
34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
35. Know your emotions. They are signals of God at work within you.
36. Understand that suffering and love are part of life.
37. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God. – posted by John Predmore, S.J. at Set the World Ablaze