Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Listen


 
 
Sit down and relax.  Listen.  Listen to God trying to speak to you in this busy world of yours.  Smile. He is reaching out to you, gently calling your name so you just listen to Him.

I’ve been trying to spend five minutes each morning just sitting, listening to Him.  I always have my petitions, my wants, my worries in front of me, rushing to tell the Lord all of them, asking for help with them…but sometimes, He just wants us to listen.

There is a lot of silence in listening. It’s easy to get distracted or think you are making up a conversation in your head, but just listen.  As I practice just listening, just ‘being’, if I stop thinking, stop remembering the next thing I need to ‘remind’ God about in my life, I can hear a soft whisper in my head.  I hear consoling words urging me to be calm, be at peace, to rest in the knowledge that God has me in His hand right this very moment.

Lent is only a few weeks away and as we finish up the Christmas season, begin listening to the silence more.  As the days are cold and you bundle up against the cold wind, listen for God in that wind. Listen with your ears and listen with your heart.  God wants to speak to your heart but we have to silence ourselves to hear Him.

Take a deep breath, watch the birds fly across the sky and listen.  Hear God stirring in your heart, a little voice urging you towards peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Nuns Speak Out Against Those Who Use Women

There is an order of nuns in Italy who are fighting back against sex trafficking and prostitution, not just by helping the women who are being victimized but by pointing out the perpetrators of these crimes:
 "We are especially looking at the problem of clients. It’s a topic no one talks about. Everyone talks about victims, victims, victims. It’s true, women become victims – of the passion of men,” Sr. Monica Chikwe told journalists last month

She pointed to how in the bible, there was a woman who had been caught in adultery and brought to Jesus, but “if in the act of adultery, I ask ‘where is the man?’ No one speaks about the man.”

“It’s the same thing today. Many speak about the victims, but who is using these victims? Who is the client?” Sister Monica asked, explaining that the clients aren’t homeless living on the street or men with some sort of mental disability. Instead, they are “good men, office men, fathers of families, men who put on a tie and go out on the street as if it weren’t a bad thing.”

Sr. Monica, a member of the RENATE network against human trafficking, spoke to journalists at a press briefing about their Nov. 6-12 conference in Rome, titled “The End of Trafficking Begins with Us.”
RENATE is a European network of religious who are committed to work together in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation. Members consist of women religious, priests and laypersons who all have professional training in fields such as psychology, counseling, law and law enforcement.
Taking place at the Roman hotel Tra Noi, the conference focused on the mission that they are “Called to give voice to the voiceless.”

Read more at:
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/in-the-fight-against-prostitution-whos-talking-about-the-clients-77513/

To Forgive Is Not A Sentimental Proposition

  A small boy witnessed the assassination attempt on Pope St. John Paul II.  Now an adult, David DePerro talks what forgiveness means...it's not an easy thing to do...


"While the Pope’s forgiveness is beautiful, it’s also a challenge, DePerro continued. “I have been the victim of violence myself. It was really hard to forgive that person. It was really hard to feel safe again in my own neighborhood, where I was attacked.” However, the example and experience of John Paul II was a call to not be afraid or hardened. “I call John Paul II someone we can turn to in our prayers for ourselves but also for the other person.”
Because of the difficulty of forgiveness, St. John Paul II’s actions after the assassination attempt should not be seen as merely tenderhearted or kind, but a duty and a part of healing, DePerro counseled. “To forgive is not a sentimental proposition,” he said.  “It is a demand that our Lord places upon us but it’s a demand for our benefit.
 

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Little Way

  I go back time and again to reading St. Therese of the Child Jesus "Little Way" of living her life.  I struggle frequently with getting through my days without aggravations, stress and letting things annoy me. So by reading about St. Therese and how she just did 'little things' as acts of love for Jesus, it helps me to also just "offer up" some injury or sadness I am experiencing today.
  "Her life was routine and ordinary but steeped in a loving commitment that knew no breakdown."
  St. Therese knew the difference love makes by allowing love to be the statement she made each day of her life.  To many even in the convent, Therese was an average ordinary person. Her greatness showed in the constancy of her love for others in the most simple ways.
  She did not like long prayers, she fell asleep during community prayer and could only pray from her heart as a child does to a parent. She saw herself as a child of God and liked to keep things simple and focused as a child does. Trust, specially trust in God, is a childlike virtue.  It's that childlike trust that we should have at all times, but especially when things hurt us in our lives. When it seems "God lets things happen to us." that we  need to trust.  Because God gave all humans free will, some will choose evil and that evil may hurt us. But God is always there and though He doesn't will something bad to happen, it happens because people choose evil, God is there to help you when you get hurt.
  God always loves you, especially when you are sorrowing, sad and despairing. Reach out to Him and ask for His help.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

  Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas who was in essence the Santa Claus that popular society has adopted.  St. Nick was really Bishop Nicholas of Myra who gave money to help three young women who were being taken advantage of.  He was also a defender of the faith at the Council of Nicea and was quite ardent about it!
See more about St.Nicholas at the following links:

 http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=371

  http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/fatherchristmas.shtml


Friday, November 11, 2016

Today I Shall Be Content

Today I shall be content
content as I ought to be
for being content  is not settling for less
or letting the world bother me.

Today I shall be content
and happily wear a smile.
I love my life, with its joys and its pain,
and it's alright to rest for awhile

Today I shall be content
for it doesn't mean I have less.
It means I am happy with what I do have
and not making my life a big mess.

Today I shall be content
while sharing  my joys with you.
For I care for my family, my friends and co-workers
and hate to see anyone blue.

Today YOU should be content
and realize the blessings you're given
make your life a big smile and rest for a while
God loves you, your sins are forgiven.