Thursday, October 27, 2016

No More Vulgar

To leave the stones unthrown, to turn the other cheek.
To bear a load an extra mile, to listen more than speak.
Such are the marks of love, the testaments of grace.
The daily glimpses of the cross, Christ call us to embrace.

                          (from the November, 2016 Magnificat)

These words hit my heart this morning as I was flipping over the November issue of the Magnificat magazine. I don't have a subscription to it but a friend gave me a copy today and wow, I could not doubt that God was trying to teach me something in those words.  When we are upset at people whether it be people we know, politicians, strangers in cars it truly is trying to live as Christ when we refrain from getting upset, spouting angry words,  or even thinking ugly thoughts.  Help me Lord to remember these words when I really need to keep my thoughts on You.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Anti-Vulgarity Experiment

  How many times a day do you say it?
  It probably slips right out of your mouth without thinking.
  When I stop to think about it, I am embarrassed to admit how quickly it comes out of my mouth. other words, bad words, gutter language, cursing, cussing, whatever you call's not nice.  I need to stop it and you need to stop it.
     It's become so bad in our nation that even Catholic bloggers have been fired for writing vulgar words in their posts.   Yikes!  Yet, I know I an guilty of thinking bad words and unfortunately letting them spew from my mouth like so much...well, you get the picture.
 Even when we're not angry we spew vulgar words, you know the ones I mean I don't have to spell them out literally. 
    My, my, that is such a vulgar habit using expletives to describe something. We all do it whether we're mad, sad, happy or excited. Weird isn't it?  Even the word vulgar sounds, well, vulgar, it even looks like a nasty word.
   While I have learned more about becoming a civil person, somehow my speech and mouth are still working on the lesson. Even though I can think more charitably about the person in traffic behaving badly, my mouth is on another track and says what it may.  That is vulgar and that must stop.
   Welcome to a year of living without vulgarity...let's start with elections.  Well, I cannot control that but I can control my mouth better and set a better example in my own home.
    Let's clean up America!  Clean up our actions, words, speeches, blogs and heads. Let's not stoop to the vulgar way of things.
     Let there be anti-vulgarity and let it begin with me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Joy Costs Pain

"People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain."   Donald Miller

 I can't tell you how many times since I published my first book in 2001 that people told me, "Wow, that's great, I've always wanted to write a book!"  And then I answer them, "Well, why don't you?"
And they tell me straight on with a sober face, "I just don't have the time."
  I am so very tired of hearing people say that line. It's an excuse for not doing anything in your life, taking a vacation, learning to knit, learning to cook or bake, taking your kids on an adventure. YOU DON'T HAVE TIME.
  Just what the heck do you do with the time you DO have?  Surf the Internet, watch television, your phone, going shopping for more clothing then you'll ever wear in your lifetime.  Even if you say I'm at work all day, saying you work is another excuse.  You get breaks, coffee, smoke, food, and you tell me the entire rest of your day is totally absorbed in typing away or whatever?
  "I'm too tired when I get home." Yes, that one gets used so we don't have to cook, help the kids with their homework, walk the dog, clean the house or go on adventures with our kids.  Stop it!
  Stop right now making excuses in your life!  God gave you a life, and if you stop and think about that life, it's probably pretty have a roof over your head and food to eat.
 Get off your bum and do something with your life!  Write a journal, get into photography and PRINT the pictures or make a BOOK with them!  Play board games or outdoor games with your kids. PLAY THEM don't watch them!  Your kids need you to be there for you want them to only remember you were the "I'm too tired!" parent?  Congrats...
  Yesterday while picking up some groceries so I COULD MAKE SUPPER AND NOT GO OUT TO SUPPER... I heard a grandma...YES a GRANDMA scream at the two children in her cart that she had worked all day and was too tired to listen to them cry.
  I am still mad at myself for not stopping her and saying "Shame on you! Shame on you for making it your grandkids fault that they are tired, hungry and just want to be at home instead of being stuck with a grandma who cares more about herself and not them!"

 Get out and experience some pain in your life! You'll never know joy without it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Why Do We Resist Suffering?

Why do we resist suffering so much?

It’s really natural for us to do this, its part of our human nature.

But we think we’re supposed to be free from pain, we’re trained to be easily satisfied;  to not have pain.

Where evil is and sin is, then suffering will be a part of our lives.

What do we do in the midst of suffering?

We want to run or medicate, with alcohol, drugs,

But want to control the things in our lives so we choose things to stop the pain, we want answers so we ask ‘why’ so we can figure out the reason, or we blame others, or God because we don’t know what else to do.  We don’t know what to do in the suffering.

But if we can believe that God is with us in all things especially in our suffering, then we can let him in.

Suffering can elicit in our hearts the questions about life, the deeper things of our lives.

Our search for God can be intensified in the midst of our suffering and if we can go to God with those questions and that desire, we’ll find him there.

Sometimes people tell us to give that to God, give your suffering to God, but there is a trap in that because we want to get rid of the suffering and go back to being ‘normal’ again.

 But there is a difference between giving your suffering to God versus giving God permission to come into the suffering with us, to join with God and let him be with us in our suffering.

Redemptive suffering:  redeemed on the cross by Jesus, he redeemed the world and suffering.

When we allow our suffering to  be joined to his, we stay in communion with God, as our hearts stay with God in the midst of suffering, then we can join our suffering with his and be redeemed because he redeemed suffering on the cross. 

Let yourself be found.

There will be times in our lives when we feel lost, scared and we don’t know what to do, we need to remember that the most important thing for us to do during those times is to put ourselves in the position to be found. 
 God is pursuing us, calling us tirelessly no matter where we are, let God find you in the midst of your suffering.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Looking For Peace In An Unpeaceful Time

   Are you feeling like me lately, surrounded by the noise, the clamor of the world's cymbals, yelling and indecision?  It's not just the elections but the entire world's anger about many things and at times it's too much, too much noise.
  It's at times like that when I try to remember that I must find some quiet place to just listen; listen to the quiet, listen in the inner room that God is trying to call me to rest in.  It's a place I can just settle down, turn off the noise, turn off my worries, anxieties and listen with a different ear...just my heart. I don't need to engage my thoughts to working on the problems...I just need to listen to the One and only voice that will calm me down: God's.
  I try hard not to question Him at those times because I always want to know the whys. I have to work hard on just being quiet, just letting things be. I have to work on reminding myself I don't need answers at this point...just quiet, calm, peace.
  It's only then do we let God work in us. If we bring too many questions, too many hurts, we are still unable to feel the peace...we have to quiet ourselves.
  So maybe you need to bring something along with you to quiet of those coloring books, maybe some knitting or crochet or your rosary beads, anything that helps you let go of thoughts and just be, just be in God's presence, not asking questions or wondering...just being and let Him do the talking.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Your Speech, Our Faith

   In our speeches about our faith, we need to be careful how we say things. Accusations against evil is one thing, but when you may blanket statements about a group of people or an institution it can turn people away from the faith.   Not all people in one political party are bad, not all people in positions of leadership are bad. To lump a group of people into one category is wrong and will only serve to turn people away from what our Catholic faith teaches us about love.  You are missing the point Jesus made about welcoming people to follow Him.  He didn't hit people over the head or make accusations (except to the overly righteous ones!)  so let's not do that either.  Talk to people as a caring faithful person...not righteous zeal.