Longing for God
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I know nothing about the art of shipbuilding, yet the vision offered by French aviator and award-winning author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, suggests a depth of insight beyond mere construction techniques. To me, he speaks eloquently not only of the mystery of the sea, but to that of contemplation!
While volumes have been written about the contemplative encounter, this Divine gift for which we can only prepare springs from our longing for the endless immensity of God. Desire for love opens the door to our relationship with God; one that forms all others, those with self, neighbor and all creation.
Yes, we do pray, we do serve, we do face challenges, but “these tasks” are themselves transformed in and with my Lover, or rather ours, the Lover of us all.
During these wintery days fraught with wind chills and frozen waters, perhaps we are being invited once again to long for the immensity of God. Don’t miss the ship, it sails daily!
I Arise Today
I arise today with winter in my being:
This is my inheritance in this vibrant new season.
I arise today in the heart of winter.
WINTER, HUMBLE SERVANT OF CREATION, with brisk determination you encompass our land. You clothe us into warm wraps, sending us out into the weather to gather the lessons you scatter. You call us to sit by the fireplace and feed each other stories. You invite us to listen to that which is invisible. You are the contemplative season. In unseen and unknown places you faithfully do your work. In the winter storms of our lives, teach us patience. May we learn to trust the goodness of what we cannot see. As the ground becomes frozen may we have the courage to visit the frozen ground of our own lives, believing in the life that is hidden. You clear the air. You protect the seed. You embrace reality. You, O Winter, hold our fears until they can be transformed into trust. You are the beautiful season that we sometimes overlook. Share with us your virtues of solitude, contemplation, and faith. Surround us with your fresh, crisp breath and protect the seed that is sleeping in the depths of our being.
This reflection is taken from The Circle of Life
c 2005 by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.
Used by permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine
Owned and Operated by
The Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity
21281 Chardon Rd.
Euclid, OH 44117
Convent: 216-481-8232 Gift Shop: 216-481-0900
Mary’s advice to us in the last letter was that we should have faith and live with faith. We see the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt to save Jesus the fate of the first martyrs. Those baby boys two years and younger were murdered because Herod feared this “new born king.” What did the Holy Family do in the mean time? Scripture tells us, that as prescribed by Jewish law, the child had to be circumcised and named and so Jesus was. When it was time, as was required by the Law of Moses for purification, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. From what scripture tells us this family lived a life faithful to the Law of Moses.
We are not given details as to what an ordinary day would have been like for this Jewish family, but likely this family lived a life of faith. Imagine Joseph working as a carpenter. Imagine Mary cooking and cleaning as any other mother would. Imagine Jesus learning a trade from his father, playing, being bathed and dressed by his mother. Imagine the family worshiping in the Temple. Does any of this sound like what you may have done or are doing? So, Mary’s advice to us is: “Do what you are supposed to do.” If you are a mom or dad, then be that, the best parent that you can be. Keep your child safe and close to you. Teach that child the ways of God. Keep God in the center of your family. Don’t look for some extraordinary task to perform. God calls all of us to do the ordinary well. Do what your station in life requires of you. God will do the rest.
Come and join us for the Lourdes Novena, February 3 thru 11. The rosary will be at 7:00 PM followed by Mass. In addition, on February 3rd, the feast of St. Blaise, there will be blessing of the throats. Confessions will be heard February 5th, 6th,8thand 10th, from 6:30 PM until 7:00 PM. Bring in your petitions or mail them in. We will place them at the feet of Our Lady of Lourdes. Please note in your calendar that the French Toast Breakfast will be Sunday, February 3rd and March 3rd.
Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my request. I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen.
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Stand up tall and do something meaningful with the opportunity of this day. Shake off the hesitation, the excuses, the distractions, and get yourself going.
Wasting today is not a good option. This day is here now, and only now, and its unique value is available to you only if you make use of it.
A world full of factors you can’t even imagine have combined to provide you with the chance to live this day. It’s up to you, it is in fact your obligation, to make the most of every moment.
Soon, and for a long time after, you’ll look back on this day. Now, and only now, you can ensure you’ll look back not with shame or regret, but with gratitude and satisfaction.
Living this day well is difficult, demanding work that’s likely to be frustrating, inconvenient, even exhausting. And yet when it’s done, as taxing as it may be, you’ll know for certain it was your very best choice.
Get yourself going, now, and make yourself more useful and productive today than you’ve ever been. Rise to the challenge of your greatest opportunity, which is now.
— Ralph Marston
Read more at http://greatday.com/#
January 7, 2019
Happy New Year! The “Christmas Season” as the world looks at it is over so on to the next thing. But what happened to that Holy Family after Christmas? Everyone had gone home. The Magi offered their gifts to the true King. What now? Did those folks have all these magnificent things happen to them and now it’s over? Let’s go back to our lives like nothing happened. Was their any significance to the birth of that child in a manger?
Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Joseph, the protector of his family, had a dream. His is told to take the Holy Family to Egypt. The child is in danger. Joseph obeys, and they flee by night. Imagine how disruptive this was to a family with a new born child. We don’t know what the dialogue was between Mary and Joseph. What did Mary do? She followed Joseph. She believed, had faith that Joseph had been given this revelation by God through an angel. Mary’s example to us: “Act in faith.”
Can you, in your heart hear her saying to Joseph and to us, “Have faith?” Those words have meaning for us too. Look around. All the presents have lost their attraction, the food is now leftovers and the guests have all gone. We are left with the greatest gift of all, Faith. If we don’t look carefully, we will miss it. It is not very big. Maybe it is even smaller than that child whose birth we just finished celebrating. Imagine Mary’s advice to us to have Faith. How will we echo her example? We can always do what she did. When God asked her to do something that was impossible, she did it. In the year ahead will we listen to God if he asks us to do the impossible? You see that is what it means to walk by faith. Be open to God’s voice in your life. Listen. How does one listen? Listening to God is prayer.
Bible Vs.: Matt.: 2:13-15
Now, when they (the Magi) had departed, behold, and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said. “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt.
Prayer: Lord, help us to listen to your directions for us. Deepen our prayer relationship so that we can hear you better. Give us the faith to follow your call and to share your Word with others.
Your memory of what happened is not what happened. Your memory is your impression, your interpretation of what happened, and what it means to you.
Each memory can and does change, each time you remember it. It never was fully objective to begin with, and becomes less so as time goes on.
Your memory is not an unalterable police car dash cam recording. It is a dynamic tool with which your past guides your future.
You cannot change the objective reality of what happened to you, or by you, or around you. Yet you can choose precisely how you remember it, what it now means, what you learn from it, what you do with it.
The story of your life is yours to write, now, to make sense of, to pull together into an inspiring, empowering narrative. Whatever your past has been, you can project it through the lens of now into a positive, fulfilling future.
Today is the turning point in the story of your life. Today, let everything you remember push you toward the brightest, most meaningful life you can imagine.
— Ralph Marston
Read more at http://greatday.com/#
Are you stuck, unable to make any progress? Perhaps your desire to move forward is too narrowly focused.
Widen your field of vision until you can see more workable possibilities. Let go of some of the particulars of your goal while holding firm to its essence.
Yes, certainly, focus on achieving what you desire. But don’t become so narrowly and exclusively focused on your desire that you render yourself incapable of working toward it.
For example, a larger home might make a major positive difference in your family’s quality of life. But it doesn’t have to be on a specific street or even in one particular neighborhood.
If you’re stuck, your best possibilities are likely to be found among the ones you’ve never considered. But you’ve locked those possibilities out of your mind because of certain details about your goal that don’t even matter that much.
Put your persistence to work, rather than allowing stubbornness to hold you back. Widen your goal enough to open a clear and achievable path to it that you can begin to travel right now.
— Ralph Marston
Read more at http://greatday.com/#