2/21/19

Explanation and Update!


On Wednesday evening I had abdominal pain severe enough that I went to Emergency Department of Emerson Hospital in Concord.  There I was diagnosed with a bowel obstruction and transferred to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston where I spent16 hours in their E.D., waiting for a bed upstairs. I'm scheduled for surgery at high noon tomorrow (Friday). I'm not worried - I'm confident!  And as I often write in my prayer posts, quoting Juliana of Norwich: All shall be well! All shall be well! And all manner of things shall be well!  

I'm not in pain - although it was a different story last night!  I'm exhausted from the past 24 hours and looking forward to this laparascopic procedure - and to going home! Your prayers will be much appreciated!

I won't be posting my usual fare over the weekend - I will give you an update on the post-op side of this experience.

Once again, this whole venture reminds me to be grateful for the access to great health care that's mine.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow! (And pray that more and more people around the world have greater and greater access to such care!)

 

   
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2/19/19

Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 2/20



Who in your life is waiting
for your help?
your encouragement?
your compassion?

Who in your life is waiting
to see you?
to hear your voice?
to lean on you?

Who in your life is waiting
for God's blessing to come
through your touch,
your words,
your care?

Who in your life is waiting for you
to do that little job
God's been wanting you to do?
waiting for you to do?

Think for a minute...

See!  You do know who it is!

Now, what are you waiting for?


Texting with God
 

     
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Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 2/19


Every day, Lord, on FaceBook,
a friend of mine posts "three gratitudes."
three simple things for which she's grateful...

I've come to look forward, every day,
to see what she'll post and in fact,
I've come to be grateful for Marilyn's gratitudes!

Her daily post never fails to nudge me
to ponder what I'm grateful for
- and I'm grateful for that little push...

So here are my three gratitudes for today, Lord:
- a friend growing in her self-confidence
- snow showering from tree branches in Lunenburg
- some unexpected time to settle down and settle in...

Three things among so many others, Lord -
thank you!

Amen.

Feel free to post your three gratitudes in response!




     
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2/18/19

Homily for February 17



Homily for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scriptures for today's Mass




Curses and blessings - blessings and woes!
And as soon as we hear these words
many of us will think of and turn to circumstances in our lives
which we have experienced and named as a blessing or curse.

And the temptation is to think that somehow
it's God who has chosen to bless or curse us:
to imagine that God looks down upon us all
with a bag of blessings in one hand
and a bag of woes in the other
showering them upon us, letting them fall where they might.

Or the temptation to think, worse yet,
that with divine accuracy,
God aims blessings at some and curses at others,
as he chooses,
never failing to hit his intended target - for good or for ill!

But who would want to believe in such a God?
Who would want to follow such a God?
Not Jeremiah.  Not Jesus.  Not me and, I presume - not you.

Jeremiah writes of curses and blessings, making it clear
that those who seek blessings
need to plant themselves, their lives and their choices -
near the waters of the Lord and his Word.

And he makes equally clear that those who put their trust
in human invention and in their own strength,
may well find themselves parched and withered
for having settled and rooted themselves
apart from the cool streams of the Lord’s peace.

The blessings and curses here are not prizes and punishments
sent from God to reward or chastise us.

Jeremiah’s noonday desert sun beats down on all of us.

This is not about being spared
the mid-day heat of problems and difficulties,
of burdens and grief,
but rather it’s about where, how and from whom
we seek survival
from our woes and the gift of God’s choicest blessings.

Certainly, after this past week,
the whole Catholic Church might ask
 “Has our history, with all its successes and failures,
has our history shown us to be rooted in God and God’s ways
or has the Church in serious ways sold itself out
for the wrong reasons, at the expense of the innocent.

What matters here is:
where we choose to be planted,
what waters we choose to drink,
and in whose truth we choose to put down our roots.

So it is, that those who appear to be "cursed"
by the woes of sickness, poverty, oppression, need and hurt
might, in their heart of hearts experience refreshment
from drinking deeply of the water of the faith in God.

And so it is, then, that those who appear to be “blessed”
by health, wealth, privilege, success and fame
might, in their heart of hearts, face a barren emptiness,
and a thirst for blessings
that wealth and success can never bring.

We’re often told to “grow where we’re planted”
which is good advice if we’re careful about
where we plant ourselves,
what waters we drink
and in whose wisdom  we sink our roots.

These scriptures invite us
(the whole Church, our parish and ourselves as individuals)
- to see if our choices lead us to blessings or woes;
- to test the soil in which we’ve planted our hopes and dreams;
- to seek the flowing stream that truly quenches
our hearts’ deepest thirsts;
- and to put our trust and hope not in ourselves  
- but in faith in God.

On the Cross, not even Jesus was shielded
from the heat, the pain, the thirst of the noon-day sun -
but he trusted in God.
And he trusted in God
even when there seemed to be absolutely no reason left
- to trust in God...

From his side, from his trust, from his love
there flowed the blessing of the saving waters
that promise to nourish and refresh us.

In the gift of the Eucharist at this altar,
the sacrifice of the Cross is made our supper
and in the food of this table
is the healing of all our woes
and the greatest blessing that can be ours.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose hope is in the Lord, their God.



 

     
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MONDAY MORNING OFFERING: 2/18


Image: George Mendoza


Good morning, good God!

I know so many folks, Lord, 
who are trying:  

- people trying to stay on the right path,
trying to take a step in a new direction…

- people trying to begin, 
or begin again, 
trying to do things that seem so simple
but are so very hard to do…

- people trying to make the right decision,
trying to make the wise choice,
trying to do the right thing…

- people trying to believe, to trust:
in themselves,
in others,
in you…

- people trying again and again
when they’ve tried so many times before
(and perhaps are tired now of trying)
and yet - are trying to try again…

So many folks who are trying, Lord...

So, I offer you this morning
the efforts of all of us who try:
who try to know, to love and to serve you
in all we do;
who try to be and become the persons
you created us to be;
who try to find the truth
and to live by it...

I offer you our good intentions, Lord,
as we try and try again:
forgive our false starts,
give us fresh starts
and the hope and courage we need 
to try again…

I offer you our earnest desires
and ask that you keep us honest:
show us how easily we con ourselves,
thinking that we're trying
when, in truth, we're not trying at all...

Keep us honest with you,
honest with others
and honest with ourselves...

I offer you all our redoubled efforts, Lord,
and pray you redouble 
the strength that's yours to give,
the help we so much need,
the grace I know is ours for the asking…

I offer you our desire, Lord,
to choose what's true, good, healthy and pure
- and when we settle for less,
give us the desire to desire more,
more of what's good 
for our relationship with you
and with our neighbors...

I offer you our need, Lord,
for you to deepen our trust,
refresh our hope,
renew our strength
and give us the will
to try, one day at a time
and to live, one day at a time…

Be patient with us, Lord,
and give us patience with each other
as each of us tries
and tries again

to live according to your Word and will
this morning
and every day and night this week...

Amen.



 

     
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2/16/19

Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 2/17

Image source

Get in my face today, Lord:
   walk right up to me, look me in the eye
      - and don't let me look the other way!

Be obvious - not subtle.
Speak up - don't whisper.
Block my path - don't let me run away.
 
Grab my shoulder, twist my arm, turn me around
   and point me where you know I need to go.

If I need to get moving,
   give me a push.

If I need to slow down,
   help me hit the brakes.

Make a difference in my day, Lord,
   and help me make a difference
      in the lives of those around me...

Get in my face today, Lord:
   walk right up to me, look me in the eye
      -and don't let me look the other way!

Amen.




   
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Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 2/16

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown! 
I thank you, Lord, for Georgetown, Colorado!

A gem of a small town, nestled in the mountains,
near the upper end of the Clear Creek valley,
in the front range of the Rockies, 
west of Denver...

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
All you mountains and all you hills,
give glory and praise to the Lord!

About 10 million years ago, Lord,
you saw these mountains rise up
out of a geological history stretching back
a billion years:
and even before that, you were there, Lord,
as surely as you were there with me
this past week...

You were with me in the mountains, Lord,
you were with me in the snow,
you were with me in the sunshine
and in the winter's wind and chill...

You were with me
in Clear Creek's rushing waters
and in this mountain-shadowed valley,
in the blue skies and the gray skies
and the starlit skies at night...

You were with me in my family:
in my sister and my brother-in-law,
in my nephew and his wife and kids;
and in the Georgetown folks I've come to know 
in just these last few years...

And you were with me in my prayer, Lord,
in my thoughts and in my heart
and, one night, I remember,
you were with me in my dreams...

You were here, Lord, 
as surely as you were billions of years ago
and you will be here in each and every age, 
forever more, you'll be with us all 
in all your power, strength and grace...

Georgetown! 
I thank you, Lord, for Georgetown, Colorado!

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
All you mountains and all you hills,
give glory and praise to the Lord! 

Amen!

- What's the beauty you find where you live?
     How is your country, God's country?

- How is the Lord with you in the place where you live? 
      How is the Lord with you in nature?
         How is the Lord with you in the people around you?

- Take some time today to praise God
      for the place where you live
         for the people around you
           and for the Lord's presence in your life...
 




 

   
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2/15/19

Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 2/15

Image source

Yesterday's roses have begun to droop
and a few petals have lost their hold
on blooms of promised love:
soon enough, too soon,
this arrangement's joy will fade and pass away...

What was treasured will be trashed,
save, perhaps, a single blossom,
pressed between the pages of a book,
now a memory of a moment
gone too soon...


Lord,
I long for love and signs of love
stronger, enduring longer,
than a valentine's fading roses...

I wait for love, a word of love,
not printed on a lacy card
but etched upon my heart...

I pray for love, a taste of love,
sweeter and more nourishing
than a heart-shaped box of chocolates...

I long for your deep love, O Lord,
I pray for your enduring love,
I wait to hear your word of love,
a love that will not fade or pass away...

Amen.


 

   
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2/14/19

Pause for Prayer on Valentines Day



Pause for prayer and read these ten Valentines from God
sent to all of us, intended for each of us... 

God's Valentines for You 

  No one has loved you longer than I have:
        I loved you before you were born, before you were conceived,
           before all time began... 

  No one holds you closer than I do:
         I'm right by your side 24/7/365,
            I'm truly your BFF...

  No one loves you more faithfully than I do:
         my love for you is unfailing,
            I love you with no strings attached...

  No one loves you more wisely than I do:
        I guide you through all of your troubles -
           my wisdom and counsel are my gifts to you...

  No one loves you more mercifully than I do:
        I freely forgive you, again and again,
           I'll always give you a new beginning ...

  No one loves you more deeply than I do:
        I dwell in your heart of hearts,
           I make my home in the depths of your soul...

  No one loves you more joyfully than I do,
        I delight in the person I made you to be,
           I love you more than you know or imagine...

  No one loves you more passionately than I do,
          I gave my Beloved out of love for you:
            now I call you my chosen, my child, my own...

  No one loves you more graciously than I do:
           I love you more than anyone else
              ever has, ever can, ever could, ever will...
         
No one loves you more fully than I do
         for indeed, I Am Love: I abide in you
           and you in me, for ever and ever.  Amen.  


Perhaps you'll forward or share this post with others 
who might be grateful for reminders of how loved they are... 

You might want to ask yourself,

"Which of these ten Valentines from God
   did I most need to receive?"

"Which of these Valentines is most difficult for me to believe?"

"Which of these Valentines brings me the most joy?"

"For which of these Valentines am I most grateful?" 


 

   
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Love is simple - not easy, mind you - but simple...

Image source

That's true, Lord:
love can be a very complicated affair!

But it seems to me that true love,
real love, selfless love, genuine love
ought to be, on the whole,
not very complicated at all
but rather simple,
not easy, but simple...

True love seeks naught for itself
but simply looks to the other first,
to tend the other's needs...

Real love is as simple as
giving away one's heart to another
without fear of losing anything
and with hope of finding everything...

Selfless love is as simple as
letting go my heart
into another's heart
- with no strings attached...

Genuine love is as simple as
your love for me, Lord:
giving for the sake of giving,
caring for the sake of caring,
forgiving for the sake of mercy,
loving for the sake of love...

It's true, Lord:
love can be a very complicated affair
but it seems to me that true love,
real love, selfless love, genuine love
ought to be, on the whole,
not very complicated at all
but rather simple,
not easy, but simple...

Disentangle my heart
and its relationships, Lord,
that I might love as simply
as I am loved by you...

Give me a simple heart
and a simple love, O Lord,
and let that be enough indeed,
let that be more than enough,
I pray...

Amen.



 

     
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