Tag Archives: God

Marching with Hope in January

march-2017

Yesterday was the March for Life in Washington, DC. I had the privilege to be able to go and take my favorite little partner in crime. We Metro’d in and join the masses of happy-faced people going to make their voices (gently) heard (again).  You know it’s a small world when you run into someone you know on the train (getting on at another stop), too.

The crowd was amazingly youthful and there were folks who had traveled all night by bus from Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Folks from Hartford, CT and North Dakota (two different groups) were represented. We saw signs and banners from Oregon, Canada and Maryland. I’m sure there were more, but the sheer numbers may prevent an accurate guess.

Suffice it to say, every single individual we encountered was thoughtful, caring and friendly. There were strollers and crutches.  The police were cheerful and helpful.The folks selling t-shirts, buttons and pretzels were friendly.  There were so many priests beaming at the passing crowds.

One such priest had just mouthed, “Wow.” I told him, “You said it, Father.” He told me that the March hadn’t even started yet, the speakers were still speaking (we actually didn’t hear #BenjaminWatson speak because we were trying to figure out the lay of the land (it being our first March and all) and so got a head start on the proceedings), but that he estimated 500,000 had already walked past him!

And the media was there. ABC News (WJLA) was there.  A news helicopter (I think, although we didn’t see any station call letters) hovered for a while overhead seemingly surveying the crowd or getting shots or both.  And so was CNN. In fact, a CNN reporter even stopped us in the street to interview us. You’ll have to take my word for it though as they didn’t give the March much coverage. This in spite of the fact that VP Mike Pence spoke (thanks to the NY Times for reporting on it).

She asked me if this President represented my views.  I said, yes, on this topic, absolutely.

She asked why we were here. I told her to represent for those who can’t speak for themselves and to make our voices heard.

It’s nice to actually have someone in the White House who cares what the average person thinks.  Prayers for our new administration as they begin to lead us into the future.  May all in DC be guided by God to make the best decisions for all of us (including those who have yet to set foot on terra firma).

Going to the March left me filled with HOPE for our entire country and for this next generation.

Did you go? Watch? What was your experience?

Purposeful living

st-therese-2

While listening to one of my favorite podcasts, the thought occurred to me that most people who seem to know their purpose, at least those in a crisis situation do so because as Fr. Mike Schmitz says, they aren’t living “on accident, but on purpose.”

Think about it, “Unbroken” the story of Louis Zamperini’s unlikely survival during World War II, is all about survival and beating the odds and doing whatever it takes with whatever is available to be able to “win”.

Another story about winning is the movie Life is Beautiful with Roberto Benigni (who also directed) in which he concocts a whole elaborate game for his son to play so that the boy doesn’t realize the horrors of the concentration camp in which they live. It’s such an exquisite act of love and sacrifice and that’s all I’ll say so I don’t spoil it for you.

Back to Fr. Mike for a second.  In his podcast, “Within Reach” dated 1/22/17, he talks about living God’s purpose and how sometimes we feel that God sets out little breadcrumbs of clues for us to figure out his will for us and that if we are skilled enough to deduce it we will solve the puzzle.  But, we complicate it and tie ourselves up in knots when we already HAVE the answer.  God has given us the Commandments to live by and if we hold those up to our daily decisions it simplifies everything.

Really? That’s it?!

I guess I’m not alone in thinking I’d get some clap of thunder, a billboard or at least some flashing sign telling me what my grand (or perhaps not so) purpose here is.

That’s when I remember St. Therese embraced the simple everyday things.  And she made it to sainthood. So maybe there’s hope for me after all.

 

Thanks to Word On Fire for the image.

Relativity

soda - morguefile

Yesterday was the Super Bowl (or as the priest put it the fourth Sunday in Ordinary time). And, I have to say there wasn’t much super about it. I mean the food and company were terrific, but couldn’t really care much about the teams and my knitting was just more interesting. Just sayin’.

On the other hand, I went to our parish’s “Jesus, Mary and a Cup o’ Joe” book/bible study where we are working with Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” book. It is always an interesting discussion as some are very well read and knowledgeable and could even be called Biblical Scholars. Some are just plain opinionated and some just like to talk. So, it’s always an opportunity for me to practice patience and humility and mind my own business. Ahem, but I digress.

It was fascinating to me to think as we looked at Exodus 3 and then compared Old Testament God with New Testament God as well as Jesus being the new Moses (that part was gleaned from the homily – nice product tie-in, God). I had this vision of Old Testament God being the Bad Cop and New Testament God (in the human form of Jesus) being the Good Cop. OT God is the one standing menacingly you’re your shoulder slamming his fist on the table of the interrogation room as he tries to get you to “spill it”. Jesus is the NT God who offers you a soda and a smile.

Another point that was brought up in the discussion was how Moses was an “outsider” who wasn’t even part of the catechized when OT God (in the form of a burning bush – what a party trick, boy!) tells him that he is part of the tribe of his ancestors, David and Jacob, etc.   Moses is thinking, “but I’m growing up in an Egyptian household where we have the god of Fire, the god of Water, the god of whatchamacallit”, you get the idea. And yet, OT God chooses him to be the one to lead his chosen people out of Egypt…an outsider. So cool!

Flash forward to Jesus’ time (NT God, remember) and he, too, is an outsider who comes along after relative obscurity and bursts onto the scene and proclaims himself to be the Messiah (whom his father, God, has chosen to lead the rest of us to salvation). He could have chosen some more prominent figures to do this job, but no, this guy was special and therefore stood apart from the beginning.

I mean even Bono of U2 fame states that if all of these people from all of these centuries and countries believe Jesus to be the one true Savior either he is positively maniacally crazy or the rest of us are OR it’s true.

This whole connectedness fascinates me. What are your thoughts?

Image courtesy of Morguefile – http://mrg.bz/9IRV4L

The Simple Things

Butternut squash roasting

Maybe it’s an innocent question like the one my 7-year-old asked this morning.

“What was your first word, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, Sweetie.”

And, I probably never will.  When you have a parent with dementia that’s how you roll.  Now, in fairness, she didn’t always remember those little details when she was still herself, so if I start to have too big a pity party nudge me, will ya?!

These little moments are reminders from God to enjoy these times and appreciate the simple things.  Try to get this information while you can and tuck it away.  Appreciate that you’ve had your mother in your life into her 80s and know that there are families out there right now reeling from the loss of a parent or facing some difficult times where they are praying and enjoying their time now.  These people are working to be “present”.

I was standing outside church yesterday talking with another woman and remarked at how busy this month of October is getting.  It seems I’m always focused on the future because each weekend seems packed with activities.  I even heard myself say, “It’s so easy not to be present in the now when always anticipating the next appointment or engagement.”

Wow, thanks for that nudge, Big Guy.

So today, I am working hard at enjoying the now and celebrating the victories of the ones around me (both physically and in my heart).  And I plan to toast them later with a cup of Butternut Squash soup!  Cheers!

Numbers…arbitrary?

Sitting in church this morning with our two-year-old, I was looking around at several families with new babies (and/or some on the way).  It appears that many are growing by leaps and bounds.  On any given week, I can name at least 1 and a half hands full of families with in excess of 4 children. Some may say it has to do with being (fill in the blank) religion. It doesn’t matter which one, from my observation, as it seems that many with a close, traditional relationship with God and regular attendance at some form of service choose to have (or allow) many children into their lives.

It struck me as puzzling that God chooses to give the family near the front row eight, that’s right people, eight children when there are other families that are complete with just two adults.  Granted some of those two people families are such by choice, but others aren’t.  I just don’t always get the grand plan, but I guess I’m not on a need-to-know basis with God re: that subject. 

It feels as though I (can’t speak for my other half) am just about content with God’s plan for us, but every once in a while there’s a twinge.  The other day, for example, I was walking through the hospital when the announcement chime went off on the overhead and was then followed by that sweet little lullabye they play when a new baby is born.  I teared up.  Not sure why. Perhaps mourning those who never made it or maybe it was gratitude over the one who did.

Inspirational

Just spotted this on a site I frequent.  It’s applicable to so many topics.  Just wanted to share.

When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence….. ‘The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.’

What is God trying to tell us???

Today… Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000

Yesterday…More deadly tornadoes hit (47 over the weekend) in what is being called the deadliest season in 10 years. 

May 3rd…Myanmar Cyclone “Nargis” hits (death toll as of 5/12/08 is 31,938 with many more in danger with disease at their door). 

Last time it was God in the Bible (as recounted in the book of Exodus, chapters 7 – 12), in order to convince Pharaoh[1] to let the Israelite slaves go.

What now??  Are we slaves to http://www.usmagazine.com/ or http://www.jimmychoo.com/pws/Home.ice or perhaps http://www.federalreserve.gov/otherfrb.htm?  Is it the fact that we’re being ecologically irresponsible?  Have we lost our way and our souls along that way? 

Any thoughts…???