Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Every Time You Smile!

  Every time you smile at someone it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. - Mother Teresa
This new year's resolution: Smile!  The civility thing rubbed off on me a little, I think I got better. So this year I'm going a step further and SMILING!! Yup, not just looking away when I feel anger and indignation coming on, actually smiling at whatever, whomever.  Besides smile wrinkles are better than frown wrinkles!!   Smile!  :0

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wait for the Wings!

  I loved this today...taken from "Day Five" Let Nothing Disturb You"  Teresa of Avila

"More courage is required of those who set out on the road to perfection than of those who suddenly become a martyr, for perfection is not attained overnight. 

You have yet to conquer your passions. Yet by the very fact that you seek to love God, you expect to be extremely brave, as brave as a great saint. You find yourself praising the Lord, but at the same time knowing deep sadness of soul. Many turn back at this point because they have no idea how to help themselves.

Many souls desire to fly before God gives them wings. They begin with good desires, with great fervor and determination to advance in virtue.

Some actually give up all things for the sake of God. They see in others who are further along the way great virtues to which they can only aspired. They lose heart.

Do not be troubled, but hope in the Lord. For if you desire to do the will of the Lord, if you pray and hope and do what you can for yourself, God will bring about in your soul all that you desire.

If I do my best, I will be victorious, I will fly, but not before you give me wings. Grant me patience. Let me not turn back now.  For if I have you, God, I will want for nothing."

"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing make you afraid. All things are passing. God alone never changes. Patience gains all things. If you have God you will want for nothing. God alone suffices."

St. Teresa of Avila was a contemplative nun, religious reformer and gifted writer who founded the Discalced Carmelites and became the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Blessed Christmas!

  I hope and pray you are having a blessed and peaceful Christmas. The world does not make it easy to remember the joy and excitement we should be anticipating as we await Jesus birth. Too much news, too many illnesses can fog our 'Jesus meter' and make it hard to grasp the true meaning of what Jesus did for us over 2,000 years ago.
  Yet we must remember, that despite everything surrounding us, the good, bad, and ugly, we need to see the beauty in this time. We need to feel God's warmth and love in our hearts. Sometimes it has to be a very concentrated effort. It may not come easy, but we truly must stop and remember.
  Maybe it's because I'm older now and know much more about the world, see more of its ugliness more often, yet I have to remind myself, this is NOT the end...this is only part of the journey that will lead me to God's love.  And I must be open to it and help others see and feel it too.
  So, my wish for you this Christmas is for you to feel God's love and warmth in your soul. Please stop and take the time, look at a favorite ornament, smell the balsam of the tree, see the Christ Child in the manger, the wonder on a child's face and remember that God loves you so very much!  Nothing in this life on earth can take that away from you. 
  Merry, joyful, and a very blessed Christmas to you!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Civility, Because Life Is Short

  Why choose civility, when everyone else around you is not?
  I recently began a self study of the writings of St. Teresa of Avila. Mostly because I love the way she has conversations with God. She tells Him what is on her mind.
  I feel like I do that, and up to now have always felt guilty for thinking I could be so free and easy with the Lord our God.  And while I still feel I need to be more servant like with our Heavenly Father, reading Teresa's words makes me feel that it's okay sometimes to offer my questions to Jesus.
  Why did this happen? Why can't I be more peaceful? Why don't you protect those who love you?
   Yeah, I know, I still have a lot to learn but I'm working on it.
  Back to civility. I read this quote today and it struck me that being a civil person demands you think this way: "A whole lifetime is short. I cannot depend on anything that passes away."
  At first you might think, ouch, she is saying she can't trust anyone in her life?  But that's not what this quote means. It means letting go, letting go of my controlling nature, letting go of my constant worry and anxiety and trusting in the ONLY thing that is everlasting...God. Because I can't do anything to change God or the world around me. I can only change how I approach God and the world. So if I use civility in everything I do, I can be a better person to this world around me and while that may not mean I don't get hurt, or yelled at or worse, it does mean I feel more at peace.
  So while my whole lifetime may be short (or long or whatever length God desires) what matters is who, what and where I put my faith in, something or someone who won't die or pass away or in God who is always going to be there before, during and after I pass from this life and with whom I wish to live in eternity with.
  Live civil.

Monday, December 14, 2015

M.O.M. App

Last night while discussing the trip our family took over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was complaining a little about my lack of paper maps for our route.  In the past, I have always made sure I had a map of every state we were traveling through.  Now, in the day of Google, Apple Maps, Garmin and more, who needs paper maps? I do!
  It was extremely frustrating to not be able to look ahead on my phone map and see what was coming up next as far as towns, etc. Google and Apple Maps only took me so far.  I am one of those people who like to plan ahead.
  During this discussion, I also mentioned how it would be helpful to have a smart phone app that told you things like 'Fasten Your Seat belt!' 'Turn here', or 'watch out for upcoming rain storms' and more.
My husband dubbed it the M.O.M. app,  Multiple Operational Messaging App. It would work like your mother was with you wherever you go, whether it was away at college, in your new job, apartment, home...
  It would remind you of several things and you could even have it wake you up in the mornings!  Our daughter was listening to this conversation and reminded me that aren't parents supposed to be raising their kids to be able to do all that stuff by themselves?  Why would they need an app for that?
  I did have to agree, but there are still lots of times you wished your mother would have told you things like, "Those two colors do NOT go together, go back to your closet and begin again."  or, "No way are you getting a tattoo young lady!" or "Yes, it is perfectly normal to be crying one minute and laughing the next right after having a baby."
  See there are lots of situations you could use your mom telling you things without having to call her.  One of my daughters hates calling to complain about things in her life. She tries to just ride it out.  I tell her I can't always be telepathic so she needs to call me. So an app that let you send out an alert to your mom without really calling her would be ideal!  The app would alert the mom to a possible upcoming crisis and suggest now would be a good time to call the daughter, you know,  just to 'check in' and say 'hi!"
  I told my son in law, who writes computer programs about this, but I think I need to explain it a little more. He was very good natured and thought it sounded great. But secretly I suspect he was thinking what is the use of something like that?  I need to explain it would work just as well for sons as well as daughters. You could even have it alert your dad when you want to ask for help, but don't really want to CALL for help, like how to change a tire, is that knocking sound your car is making a bad sign, and more.  Once he's convinced I think he'll be on board.
  Until then, we do have a M.O.M. app for many of our spiritual crisis, it's called the Rosary and it makes a bee-line straight to the Blessed Mother. If you haven't tried it, give a turn.  It grows on you. Like my paper maps of old, you should never leave home without a good sturdy rosary in your pocket or purse. You never know when you might need to call on mom!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Save Me From Drowning!

  Save me from drowning, Lord!
   Do you feel like yelling that a lot during your day?  Are the winds and waves in your life threatening to overwhelm you?  When we find ourselves like St. Peter, walking on the water and suddenly realize the wind has picked up, the waves have begun swamping our feet, when those anxieties, when those sins, when those difficulties beg us to look down at the water rushing over our legs, then we need to be like St. Peter and call out to Jesus, "Save me, Lord, I'm going to drown!"
  It's then we need to look at what is holding us back. What are the troubles in our life? What are my sins, my worries, my anger that threatens to take my gaze off Jesus on threaten to sink me into the deep?
 Saint Mother Teresa had a beautiful saying:  The finger of Christ appears in two areas of our life. First He is looking at us, beckoning us closer, the other he is behind us tapping us on the back saying, "Turn around and come back to Me!"
  In other words we should always be looking toward Christ, not the disturbing waters of our sorrow, sin, the world, but the light of Christ that beckons us towards Him.  He is the only one with the answers, the medicine for our souls, the water for our thirst.
  Keep moving toward Christ through the tempest, through the storms of your life. Look toward Jesus to get you safely home.