My family . . . the blessings of my life!

My family . . . the blessings of my life!
Sean, Mackenzie, Pat (hubby), me, Jeneah

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Minute Meditations - Pride

Pride

Why do you always think that everything they say has a hidden meaning?

By being so touchy you are limiting the action of grace all the time.

And do not doubt that grace comes to you
by means of those who fight to match their deeds to Christ's ideal.

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #711

One Minute Meditation - PEACE (HILARIOUS timing Lord)

Peace
Everything may collapse and fail. Events may turn out contrary to what was expected and great adversity may come. But nothing is to be gained by being perturbed. Furthermore, remember the confident prayer of the prophet: "The Lord is our judge, the Lord gives us our laws, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us."

Say it devoutly every day, so that your behaviour may agree with the designs of Providence, which governs us for our own good.
- St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #855

He Learned Early the Habit of Being True

1 Tim 3:14-16/Lk 7:31-35

There's an old saying, "No sense, no feeling." Of course, the corollary is true as well: If you're awake and alert, you'll gather a lot of pain. That's a part of Jesus' life experience that he's describing for us in today's gospel, a sad awareness of the fickleness and superficiality of the basically good folks he was trying to touch. He wanted what was best for them, and he knew that far richer inner lives were within their reach, but there was so much resistance in them, and no matter what he did, so many of them found an excuse to ridicule or reject him. Yet, he stayed the course, all the way to the end, all the way to the cross.

In that, he is our model.

Steadfast and constant, despite what folks' reaction might be at the moment,
he carried on,
true to his vocation,
true to his Father,
and true to himself.

It's a stunning example of truthfulness in action and not just in words.

And it's a challenge to every one of us,
who face our own share of ridicule, criticism, and even hateful opposition:
Be true, be true! In the short term it's very hard; in the long term it's the only way.

(emphasis added)
Original article link HERE

Liz's two cents (probably more like $1 today):

What an inspiration this article was to me this morning!

This past week I found myself on my knees, begging to lay down my cross of pain from being unable and tired of criticism and even hateful opposition...the accumulation of the past, what, year or two, finally knocked me to my knees. It was not originally in *surrender* on my knees, but in pure disgust, if I am perfectly honest, PURE HURT & DISGUST!!! I was just sick and tired of being blasted, judged, and gossiped about. FED UP. At the end of my rope...and definitely when I find myself at the end of my rope, I WILL LASH OUT RIGHT BACK AT THE PERSON. I am an imperfect sinful Christian - this I know. I couldn't shake this though, tears kept coming, and on my knees I remained.

But my new focus since our summer family pilgrimage is FOCUSING ON MY FAMILY IS WHERE I CAN GRAB THE MOST GRACE THAT THE LORD HAS FOR ME. So instead of lashing out, I cleaned house!!! Tears continued to flow as I vacuumed, washed dishes, etc., maybe not remaining physically on my knees, but my heart was still on the ground.

"Why am I here NOW, though Lord? This has been going on for SO LONG - it's just part of my life now, isn't it? Isn't this just LIFE in the DARKNESS...in the night of sense? Aren't you just purifying my senses? Haven't I surrendered this over and over again? WHY NOW? I have prayed and prayed for your guidance...and I do believe I heard you loud and clear 'Focus on YOUR VOCATION...PERIOD!' The change has brought me much peace, Lord, and I am thankful. I enjoy the gift of my vocation of wife and mother more than ever, you know that. So why is the pain, anger, and disgust here with me now that I have moved away? I thought I surrendered THIS to you already -- so why am I knocked lower than when I gave this to you earlier? WHY?? I am doing my best to follow your Will. I am trying to be patient. I have refocused. SO WHY NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME???"

That was my cry to the Lord earlier in the week. I just wanted to know "why now & what are you doing?" -- strange how God works in my life. I was not enjoying the pain, anger, and disgust (duh). But somehow THIS time was different. I did believe I had already surrendered this to HIM. And I had definitely received much grace & mercy. So why did one or two LITTLE things knock me to my knees?

Maybe because this time there was possibly even a TEENY TINY LITTLE SMIDGEN LESS OF ME and He was filling it? On my knees in a fit of tears I cried out to HIM.

Somehow later that day, I found myself hearing the words of a wise servant, "Sometimes the Lord does not intend to lighten the load, but rather you are asked to continue to carry the heavier cross."

Sounds simple. BUT IT HIT ME RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES.

I had surrendered.

I will continue to surrender.

And it is by me focusing on my vocation first and foremost that teeny tiny little smidgens will open for him to pour his grace and mercy into my very imperfect self.

Sometimes the grace and mercy come with such pleasant consolations -- and as humans, WE LOVE THOSE!

But oh my, when the grace and mercy come through FIRE in our soul, we want to wiggle out of it.

Maybe I was trying to wiggle out of this one because I thought I was 'done' with this one. Hmmm. Maybe this one will come over and over again? Maybe it will come sometimes through various people & situations? Maybe I will fall to my knees over and over again crying out in pain? I don't know for sure.

What I do know for sure, is that when I surrendered last time, I heard loud and clear:
"UNTIL THE LOG IS *COMPLETELY* OUT OF YOUR EYE,
DON'T EVEN THINK OF LOOKING OUTSIDE.

LOOK AT YOUR IMPERFECT SELF.

LOOK AT YOUR VOCATION & SERVE **ME** BY SERVING THEM (YOUR HUSBAND AND CHILDREN)

KEEP YOUR EYES FOCUSED ON JESUS.

CARRY YOUR CROSS.

GO AHEAD AND FALL TO YOUR KNEES AND CRY -- GRACE AND MERCY ABOUND IN THE DARKNESS.

I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. *OTHERS* WILL. I WON'T.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS."

I will try my best to keep my eyes on you, Jesus.

I will fight hard to remain true, knowing that in the short-term it will be hard, but in the long-term, IT IS THE ONLY WAY.

One of my most favorite songs right now is,
"WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING"
and as I poured out my heart in this blog post after reading such an appropriate article,
I realize, the lyrics fit where I am.

WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING (Sanctus Real)
It's time for a healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way back to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

(Chorus)
Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything, I surrender...
To...

(Chorus) Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

LISTEN TO IT HERE

...and keep your eyes on Jesus!

One Minute Meditation - Victory

Victory
Jesus says: "He who hears you hears me."

Do you still think it is your words that convince people? Don't forget either that the Holy Spirit can carry out his plans with the most useless instrument.

-St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, #671

Dedication to Jesus
Lord Jesus Christ, take away my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.
St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

St. Teresa of Avila
“For mental prayer…is nothing more than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much…Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”

St. Thérèse of Lisieux
"...So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: 'Whosoever is a little one, come to me.' It is your arms, Jesus, that are the lift to carry me to heaven. And so there is no need for me to grow up; I must stay little and become less and less."

Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.