Category Archives: Faith

A Totsie Pop Heart

Courtesy of fineartamerica

When our hearts are broken, when they are irreparably shattered into smithereens, what remains in tact is our soft and tender core – the very heart of God.

Stay soft hearted.  There are treasures to be found.  God is always near, and nearer still when we suffer.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26

Finding the Rainbow

Courtesy examiner.com

Lately, Micah has been helping me water the lawn. It is a contemplative practice of sorts, quiet and serene.  A patient time to do little more than direct the nozzle so that the water can replenish the earth.

But with Micah as my helper, the chore takes on a whole new dimension.  He loves to run through the water; to help hoist, hold, and recoil the hose.  I marvel at his sheer delight in such a simple task.

What a joy to have his company in the garden!  Perhaps this is what God intended when He created Eden.  That is what I think of again and again as an arc of rainbow appears.  Micah is my living hope.

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.  (Psalm 100:5 NAS)

That The Spirit May Be Alive

Courtesy s3.hubimg.com

Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I will know my people’s plight. Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person. Help me take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last. Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life. Give me honesty and patience, so that the Spirit will be alive among us. Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle. Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life. Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world. Amen.

– A prayer by Cesar Chavez

Washing Our Hearts

Courtesy studio3music.com

Anger is like germs on our hands. Every individual has a responsibility to contain it, to wash it away rather than let it spread through violent deeds or angry words. We wash our hands with water. We wash our hearts with breath.

At school, my three year old grandson, Micah is learning to use his words when he is angry instead of hitting. But, Micah wants to be a super hero. So, I am teaching him the super power of loving kindness. And, he is learning.

Today, a playmate grabbed a toy out of his hands while we were at the park. Micah visibly held back from hitting her, grabbing the toy while saying sternly, “I was playing with that toy. Give it back to me!” The girl dug deeper into her anger, crossed her arms, stomped her foot, and said to Micah, “I am taller than you are and I don’t have to listen to you!” Micah turned his back to her and played with the toy, guarding it jealously.

I waited a bit to let things cool off, then called Micah over and told him I was glad he chose to use his words instead of hitting. “Do you want to use your secret super power?” I asked. He nodded his head yes, so together we took some deep breaths, washing away the anger; a baptism not of water, but of spirit. Then, as we often do, we recited together our firm resolve: To be kind, to be kind, and to be kind.

What happened next was simply an act of grace. Micah told his playmate, “It’s OK; we can be friends again.” This spontaneous forgiveness gave her the emotional support she needed. She said, “I’m sorry,” and so did Micah. They held hands, and ran away together laughing.

Loving kindness is the very heart of God. God is mindful when the sparrow falls, and when we fall too. Breathing allows us to become mindful of the loving heart of God. No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14 NIV) Super heroes with super powers.

What Discernment Means

Courtesy berniesiegelmd.com

“Sometimes genuine discernment is wrongly seen as a mental decision about what is good followed by an act of will to carry out that good. I would say, rather, that discernment is the awareness of centered or not-centered energy in the organism…This awareness comes from an accumulated awareness of who we fully and genuinely are. It is knowing where our center – and hence our life – resides, as well as where it does not…As life builds up more and more sense of our total selves, more and more inclusion of body, mind, and emotion in our self-experience, it becomes less and less possible for us to choose against ourselves,….Discernment well made – that is, experience well known – makes choice natural, even easy. Choice is that decision either to retain boundaries of judgment manifested by blocked body energies or to risk letting in everything we are…In doing so we abandon predictions of how life will turn out, judgments of what is good or bad, assessments of what does or doesn’t fit. We simply live from our center.”

Suzanne Zuercher
Benedictine Sister

He will do the rest

Courtesy of gatesfoundation.org

What we do is very little. But it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did he fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seeds fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest.

-Dorothy Day

Waving at God

Courtesy techsetu.com

Yesterday, I was at an amusement park with my three year old grandson.  As he went around and around on the swings, he looked for me and waved.  At one point, the ride was going so fast that he became disoriented – looking backwards instead of directly towards me.

This reminded me of our lives.  Sometimes we look all around, but not directly at God.  When our eyes meet, we smile with delight.  Imagine how joyful that moment of connection is for God !