“Happiness is the fruit that grows from contentment.
Happiness comes when we are content with what has been
given to us and with what we have achieved with
whatever gifts we have been given.”
Fr. Ed Hayes, “A Pilgrim’s Almanac”
It’s not really in style to be content. I mean, we
are told a thousand times a day that we need this or
that–that somehow we are lacking if we don’t have a
bigger home, a fancier car or boat. How can we
possibly be happy if our teeth aren’t white or our
hair isn’t shiny! If we believe the media, our lives
are in a sad state because we don’t have it all. But,
we, the enlightened children of God, know that isn’t
true. We may buy into it occasionally (I admit, I
tried Crest White Strips!) If we have had an
experience of Jesus in our lives, we realize that THAT
relationship is what really brings us contentment.
Experiencing Jesus ourselves and finding Jesus in
others is what contentment is all about. It certainly
isn’t about finding the next great wrinkle cream! The
first of May is a good time to look inside and see
what makes us happy or content. If it is what is in
our driveway, we may need to look a bit deeper. Love, heidi
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Acts 9:4
Can you even imagine what Saul felt as he was thrown to the ground and addressed by a dead man–a man whose followers he had been murdering? How do we feel when we act with conviction and then find out we’ve been totally wrong? Saul had made life and death decisions (mostly death) about people and their faith in Jesus and now his feet were put to the fire. He must have felt so vulnerable, so afraid. Luckily, for most of us, the conversion experience doesn’t have to be so dramatic! But we do seem to come to a point of feeling so alone, and vulnerable, and naked before God. Where else can we turn? To whom can we run? It’s like the apostles when Jesus asks if there are going to leave him as other followers, and Peter says, “Master, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68). Somewhere during our journey, we realize that faith may be all we really have; all we can count on. Everything and everyone else comes and goes, but our faith remains. Jesus may be all we really have. Our conversion happens when we
realize that Jesus is all we need. Love, heidi
On the walls of our Catholic churches we have fourteen stations. That is good process theology. It’s movement, stages and phases: First this has to happen, then you have to go through that; you have to remain on the path in all its stages and relationships. The path itself will be your teacher. Elizabeth Kubler Ross wasn’t the first to discover the stages of grief and dying. The way of the cross did, and it was inside of every Catholic church. The Francisians started it, in fact. We said, there is going to be an experience of condemnation in your life, an experience of judgment, an experience of betrayal. There’s going to be a time when you’ll
finally have to do His will, not your own. When you try to do it, you’re going to fall at least three times. Probably a lot more than that. But God is going to give you people like Simon of Cyrene, Veronica, Mary and the weeping daughters of Jerusalem. God is going to give you friends who will support you.” Fr. , “Radical Grace”
So were we. Thanks to all who very kindly alerted us to the absence of Job Bible Study discussion. We have no idea what happened to at least two posts – maybe they have ended up in Internet heaven?
Anyway, if you’d like to start reading the Book of Job, we have added a page to our main web site to get you started. Just click here. If you’d like to comment, please click on the word comment below and give it a try. Hopefully it will work for you better than it did for us!
“Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, there is your son.’ In turn he said to the disciple, ‘There is your mother.’” John 19:26
I pray a special part of my nightly rosary for mothers who have lost children. I personally know mothers who have suffered this tremendous loss and last week, I added thirty three more mothers to my prayers. Each month, over eighty mothers enter my prayers, losing
their children in . As I pray for my own kids each night, I ache at the thought of them not being either with me or a phone call away. Our Blessed Mother lost her son to senseless violence and I know she holds each grieving mother in her mantel of love. Let us today remember the mothers who have borne the most difficult of losses, the loss of a child. Lord
Jesus, we lift up all grieving mothers to your care. You know how their hearts grieve for the children taken from them through illness, violence, or war. Your own Mother suffered such a terrible loss, and you saw her pain with your own eyes at the foot of your cross. Please comfort those mothers among us who have lost a child. The mothers of . The
mothers of our fallen soldiers and those who work in war torn countries. The mothers whose sons and daughters are lost in the grips of addiction and gang violence. The mothers sitting helplessly at the bedsides of terminally ill children. As approaches, we lift them all up to You with assurance that only You can comfort them. Love, heidi
“For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39
Hooray! I was waiting for this reading…I knew it was coming and it excites me! Gamaliel was a Pharisee and he was speaking to the Sanhedrin about these pesky Apostles of Jesus who kept preaching in the temple. Gamaliel was wise and respected and he said something which sends chills up my spine whenever I read it. If what these followers of Jesus are doing is NOT of God, it will fizzle out. There had been others who preached and drew supporters, but when they died, their groups scattered. On the other hand, if these Apostles ARE doing God’s will and work, you won’t be able to stop them. God will sustain their movement long beyond the
death of their leader. In fact, you will be going against God and the Jewish people only had to look at their own history to know what it meant to go against God. In other words, leave them alone…if the movement is of God it will continue, despite your best efforts to stop it. If it isn’t of God, God will destroy it. Considering two thousand years of Christianity…I guess we have our answer. Something to celebrate this weekend! Love, heidi
“But Peter and the Apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Acts 5:29
Oh, can’t you just see the smoke coming from the high priests’ ears? They must have been furious! And indeed, it says later they wanted to put the Apostles to death. The high priests were not unfamiliar with obeying God. They followed all the rules and regs and thought of themselves as obeying God. So, when Peter and the others brought God into their defense it was hitting below the belt. Why would Peter’s God be so contrary to the God the high priests obeyed? Weren’t they all Jewish? But Peter was proclaiming something new and revolutionary in the temple. He was turning Judaism upside down. Think of our world today. How do God’s commandments stack up in our world? How do our efforts to be good people measure up to the way God wants us to live? Would we be able to stand up and say, “We must obey God rather than men.” Something to think about…love, heidi
The Supreme Court has ruled that the law banning partial-birth abortions, passed by Congress in 2003, does not violate the Constitution. You can get a .pdf copy of the Supreme Court’s slip opinion here.
Banning partial-birth abortions is a small step. (Don’t you hate hearing it called on the news “so-called “partial-birth abortions,”" with the sarcasm quotes? That is the term that the perpetrators of this particularly ugly form of infanticide used until people caught on to what they were doing. Now they want to act as if it’s a hate crime to call it that. I propose calling it what it is: murdering babies by crushing their skulls as they are born.)
So-called “pro-choicers” are, of course, livid that the Supreme Court has eroded women’s constitutional rights to murder babies by crushing their skulls as they are born. Barack Obama thinks we’re on a slippery slope. John Edwards could not disagree with the Supreme Court more strongly. Hillary Clinton is upset that the Supremes “blatantly defied” one of their own decisions. (Note to Mrs. Clinton: if you are going to hold yourself out as one of the greatest lawyers of all time, you should at least have your public statements ghost-written by someone who understands the law.)
Even Sen. Harry Reid, the nominally anti-abortion Democratic Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, seemed upset that the Supreme Court has imposed this law on the nation. “I would only say that this isn’t the only decision a lot of us wish that Alito weren’t there and O’Connor were there,” he said in an interview yesterday. Yes, how dare those nasty Catholics on the Court uphold a law Harry Reid voted for?
It’s worth remembering that Harry Reid and most others in Congress voted for this law because the vast majority of Americans recognize partial-birth abortion for the murderous procedure it is. We as a society have the right to outlaw practices that are this far beyond the pale. Thank God the Supreme Court for once recognized this.
“But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, ‘Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.’” Acts 5:19-20
I would say that few of us have been imprisoned like the Apostles were in this scripture. Not physically imprisoned. But all of us can be imprisoned by our attitudes, prejudices, and the baggage we lug around with us. Only you and God know what is in your suitcase full of garbage. Only you and God know what fears and prejudices taint your relationships with
people. These things are nothing more than shackles on your wrists and feet. The Good News is that God can break you out of this jail, just as His angel broke the Apostles out! Pray to be freed of the anxieties of your heart. Pray to be released of your fears…the fears that fuel your anger and judgments about others. Please continue to pray for those suffering at . Love, heidi