Sunday, January 29, 2012

Anxiety

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."  Charles Spurgeon

Dear friends,

Let us remember that we can be protected from anxiety and receive God's peace, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Rm 12: 2

We can not entertain thoughts that make us anxious, but rather we need to resist them. We must, instead, think on these things... "whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy..." Phil 4: 8.

And we need to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Ps 100: 4

With a renewed mind, a heart of thanksgiving, and a mouth filled with praise we will be protected from anxiety and live each day in His peace.

Anxiety is a subtle, or not so subtle, tactic of the enemy. It leads us into sorrow, and we know better-- it's the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. Neh 8: 10

Grace & peace be with you,

Sheila

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pope Benedict's January Missionary Intention

That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grace is Enough

In today's reading from 1 Samuel 16 1: 13 we hear the story about David being chosen from all of Jesse's sons and anointed as king. It was not Jesse's firstborn son as some might have expected; it was his youngest, David, so it took many by surprise since he was simply "tending the sheep."

How consoling to understand through this story that God's order of grace transcends all political, social and financial orders of society. God will choose whomever He wants "for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart."

His grace is enough. 2 Cor 12: 9

May the Spirit of the Lord come mightily upon you as "upon David from that day forward."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bamboozled

As I awoke one morning I had a vivid image of bamboo.
You might say I was bamboozled in the sense of being mystified, 
and I wondered what the Spirit of the Lord
might be saying...
my image looked something like this--five short pieces of bamboo;
five in scripture refers to God's grace 
so I googled the question: What does bamboo mean?
I clicked on this link on wiki.answers.com: 
"What does bamboo symbolize in Japanese culture?"

                 The answer: Strength of character

I cut bamboo at my parent's house that day and made a floral arrangement 

Wiki explanation:
     "Whenever there is a storm,
     trees are broken, destroyed,
     no matter how big they are,
     they cannot resist the force of the wind.
     Even the strongest trees are like a toy for strong winds.
     The bamboo isn't. Bamboo bends,
     it flexes, nearly touches the floor, but never breaks.
     It resists the storms, the strongest winds.    
  Yet, it keeps its delicate structure.  
 Like the bamboo is a good man's character.
A man can undergo hard, difficult, tough times,
for which he must adapt, but must never break,
never lose his sense of self.
A man must keep his essence
now matter how bad the world is treating him."
  
That's how a woman of peace needs to be--
bending, flexing, resisting, never breaking,
yet keeping her delicate and true femininity.

Grace & peace be with you,

Sheila



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Confidence

The Prayer of Abandonment
of Blessed Charles of Jesus
has helped souls the world over
to walk in the path of confidence
and spiritual childhood:

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures -
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

For more on abandonment go to this link: http://www.becomingwomenofpeace.com/2011/07/holy-abandonment.html

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ordinary Time

Today, according to the liturgical calendar, was the first day back to Ordinary Time. The extraordinary season of Christmas just passed.

The priest at Mass this morning reminded us that "in the ordinary of today, it is right and proper that we recall the extraordinary that we just celebrated: God with us, Immanuel. Can we recognize God with us? Can we see how He is calling us to minister to the broken-hearted, to speak with authority, or perhaps to drop something that currently absorbs us to more freely follow Him?" he challenged.

A prayer he thought would be right and proper for today is Psalm 116: 12: How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?

"Offer everything," he wisely advised, "and expect the extraordinary!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Epiphany Inscription

On the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, my husband wrote with blessed chalk 20 + C + M + B + 12 above our front door. These are the initials of the Three Magi: Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. CMB is also an abbreviation for Christus mansionem benedicat, "May Christ bless the house."

According to the explanation given to us by the Benedictine monks at Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., "the letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing. The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ."

Further, "the inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God's blessing...The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit."

As instructed, we read the Prologue of Saint John's Gospel (1: 1-14), followed by the Our Father, and the following prayer:
   
  OGod, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only begotten Son to the Gentiles: mercifully grant that we who know thee now by faith may be admitted to the vision of thy majesty. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In 2012..I Will Delve

In 2012, "Into the heart of the home I will delve." My hubby and I love having yearly themes. We've done that just about every year since we've been married. Well, that's been thirty-two years now. Last year was "On earth as it is in heaven in 2011" and one of the most memorable "Trust and believe in the Lord as never before in '84."

What led us to this new theme was an inspirational quote by St. Therese of Lisieux. She said something to the effect, "I'll be love in the world."

Love, after all, is the only thing that works. And love is in the present; it is in the moment. It is now!

If we love in the present, the end will take care of itself. What end you might ask. It's the dreams, visions and desires each one of us has for the future. They're as different as people are different. What's important to remember is when we have the end in view, it causes not loving in the present. If we just reverse it and focus on love, the rest will unfold.

So when there are interruptions at home, I will drop everything and focus on and be present to another. Will I succeed? That's up to God and the grace He bestows on me. I know the flesh and the enemy will rebel. (It just did a few moments ago). Satan will be subtle; otherwise, I'll recognize him easily.

If I fail, my response to circumstances will show me where I'm really at. As long as I need patience, I'm not loving. So I'll be mindful, ever mindful, and strive to become who I am. I am love in the heart of the home.

Happy New Year!