What do you want?

Hey there!  How are all y’all doing?  Things are going pretty well here.  It’s been cloudy all weekend, but not much rain.  That’s actually okay here.  I was able to take a beautiful drive through an impossible detour to meet with my spiritual director this afternoon.  We sat at a small table at the edge of a little pond, surrounded on the far side by trees and teeming with fish and dragonflies.  It was such a beautiful and peaceful setting. It was a bit warm, but cloudy, with a cool breeze rippling the surface of the water, so it was quite pleasant.  Grab a glass of sweet tea or something and find a relaxing spot!  Continue reading

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Permission

Hey there, how are all y’all!  Hope everyone is doing well.  College is interesting on a LOT of levels, lol.  This old dog is going to learn quite a few new tricks, I think.  The weather here has been all over the place this week.  It was raining awhile ago (10 pm) and I think it was turning to snow.  Getting the car to class may be a challenge in the morning.  So for now, grab a cuppa something and find a comfy spot, and I’ll expand on the title.  Continue reading

Respect to Love

Hello out there!  How’s everybody been?  It’s still raining here, but that’s okay.  We desperately needed the moisture.  It’s supposed to rain all week as I write this.  That’s actually good news.  So, grab a cuppa whatever suits the moment, and find a comfy place to curl up and relax.  I read something in a devotional today that really rang true, about love.

This quote is from the Regnum Christi daily devotionals, with the day’s reflection written by Fr. John Doyle, LC.  I love these short, challenging devotionals that meditate on the day’s Gospel readings.  They open with prayer, make three points about the reading, close with prayer and a challenge for the day.  I’ve grown a lot through these writings.

For a long time, I’ve prayed  that I would learn to see Jesus in every person I meet, like Mother Teresa did.  I never feel like I make it to that place.  I need something of an ‘intro to love’ to help me go from something I could do, and journey to where I want to be.  This quote helped me so much, I wanted to share it:

If Jesus loves my brother or sister so much that he gave his life for him or her, can there be any excuse for me not to show respect and deference on their behalf? Charity is the badge of every true Christian.”

In the movie, “The Wedding Planner”, Mary’s father tells her the story of his arranged marriage to her mother.  One of his lines has stuck with me since I heard it. “Respect grew to like.  Then like grew to love.”

Our pastor mentioned seeing Jesus in everyone we meet in a homily last week, as well.  It’s come up several times and several places.  With these thoughts about the relationship between respect and love, I think I have a way to grow.  I can begin to truly respect my fellow human beings, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.  I can begin to empathize with them out of that respect.  At that point, I can begin to like them, and from there grow to love them.

Just like anything else, this takes practice and conscious effort. Just like anything else, once it becomes a solid practice, it can become a habit, and once it’s a habit the entire process can take seconds rather than days.  Oddly enough, whenever I thought about seeing and loving Jesus in every person, I had some sort of mental image of someone living under a bridge, dirty and ragged, missing teeth and maybe even a little scary.  I always longed to be able to look past the physical surface and see the heart on the inside.  To be able to love without thinking about it, to serve in whatever way would help.  But I never volunteered for the ministry opportunities that would do that.  I always chose the ‘behind the scenes’ ministry – write a letter, send an e-mail, pray for the outreach.

Actually, the bigger challenge was mostly unseen.  What about the people I actually encountered every day?  Was I loving them and the “Jesus in them”?  How often did I screen my calls so I didn’t have to listen to that friend, or give money to that family member?  How often did I make an excuse so I didn’t have to be someplace to support someone with my time and transportation?  How often did I let fear interfere with genuine love?

Fear?  Yep, fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the imaginary scenarios planted by bad media.  Fear of true and deep simplicity.  Fear of my own inadequacy to meet the needs of those to whom I might minister.

This coming week, I will make a conscious decision to respect every person I come into contact with.  I will attempt to answer every phone call, no matter who calls.  I will let respect grow into affection, and affection to true love.  What about you?  How are you doing in the ‘love every human’ department?  Are you stuck?  Need some help?  Find a pastor or priest.  They can help.  Then, write me a comment.  Let me know how it’s going.  Let me know what works, what doesn’t.  Let’s do this together!

Stalk Your Dreams

Hey there!   How’s everybody?  Got your beverage of the day?  Great!   Lets find a comfy place and take a load off.  I’m still trying to recover from the holidays – and live the adventure!  I think a lot of folks were a little surprised at the direction my adventure took over the past six weeks or so.  I guess I had some secrets that folks didn’t know about.  Continue reading

Nets

Greetings!   Hope y’all are doing well at the beginning of this new year.   Lots of adventure ahead!  It’s probably cold, so grab a cup of something warm and find a cozy spot.  Now, what do you think of when you think of the word ‘nets’?   There could be lots of things – Brooklyn Nets basketball, fishing nets, financial net gains, a trap laid to snare you, a safety net, or any number of things.  I’ve been thinking about Continue reading