Thursday, December 30, 2010
“. . .Forgiveness, too, is the hallmark of a family. Forgiveness always involves giving way to another, giving up some point of pride or opinion. That’s why our Catholic practice of self-denial, on a Friday for example, is such a good thing. It helps us to appreciate that forgiveness involves self-sacrifice.
All of these small daily actions: listening, prayer, practical respect, offering help and forgiveness make up the love which holds a family together. The presents you have given to each other this Christmas represent that love. I hope they have been gift-wrapped
~ Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
Friday, December 24, 2010
Today I was feeling stressed out and impatient, trying to get everything ready for Christmas. I needed a shot of peace. So I headed off to Adoration.
The Perpetual Adoration Chapel was packed, but I was able to find a seat in the front. After getting to my seat, I knelt and prayed. After awhile, I felt compelled to just be silent and listen.
You can't imagine how the act of being still and listening helped me! Just as it says in Sacred Scripture, "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him," I felt His Presence, His Love and His Peace. How foolish of me to wait until Christmas Eve to include Christ in my Christmas preparations. I was spending more time on the party than on the Honored Guest -- Jesus.
God is so good. He allows us to exhaust our own resources and gladly helps us when we finally ask.
God is always faithful to restore us to a place of wellbeing and renewal.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sometimes I don't have the things I need because I forget to pray.
Recently, my writing had been in kind of a slump. So I looked up the Patron Saint of writers, St. Frances de Sales, and asked him to pray for me. Shortly thereafter, I received acceptances from two publishers. And then one of my pieces was picked to be in an anthology on celebrations (coming out on Amazon soon). I received two more acceptances, and then a few days ago, one of my articles was accepted by a literary magazine. Wow! None of this was an accident.
In the book of James, it tells us that we have not, because we ask not. Oh, how that Bible verse speaks to me!
Even though, of course, we can pray directly to God (and I always do that first), we, Catholics, have also been given the privilege of praying to the "communion of saints." Who better to pray for me than a saint who can personally relate to my specific need? We ask friends and family to pray for us. We ask our priest to pray for us. Why not ask a saint to pray for us? In doing so, we are including our fellow Christians in Heaven.
God has given us unlimited resources in the Church. Lord, help me remember to use them. A-men.