Is Everything the Will of God? -part 2 (a slight pause for humility)

Serendipitously, yesterday morning, I was able to go to Mass.  Since I had begun writing about the various challenges to the concept of accepting everything as coming from the Will of God, it was on my mind.  My buoyant spirit upon embarking this endeavor was slightly checked by a memory of the end of the book of Job when he actually encounters God.  Job puts his hand over his mouth and basically says, “You are God and I am not.  You do whatever you want to do.  I’m just going to be quiet now.”  Well, guess where the first reading was from today?  Yup.  The book of Job.  It is in the middle, before the aforementioned hand-over-his-mouth.  Although some pretty rough things are happening in Job’s life, he says of God, Continue reading “Is Everything the Will of God? -part 2 (a slight pause for humility)”

Is Everything God’s Will? (part 1)

I think often about the “problem of evil.”  Probably everyone does.  Usually my thoughts are not very clear and I always give up, holding out hope for some future in-depth conversation with a wise friend about it all.  In my fantasy, we’ll have the Bible in one hand and the Summa Theologicae in the other, then after tears and sweat and hours of cross referencing, prayer, fasting, arguing and synthesizing, we’ve got it!  Doesn’t work that way?  Are you sure?  But wouldn’t it be worth it to have that conversation?  Well, maybe, since I’m feeling less inhibited than usual, with your permission, we can engage in a tiny bit of that life long debate here. Continue reading “Is Everything God’s Will? (part 1)”

Deliver to Heaven

While trying to explain the “thees”, “thous” and “arts” of the Our Father, my daughter murmured something about a mailbox.

“What did you say, Sweetie?”

“Does God put us in an envelop and send us away from evil?”

“Oh, right.  The Lord said, ‘deliver us from evil.'”

“Yes, deliver us.   The address should say, ‘heaven’.”

Oh, kids!  You’ve got to love their perspective.  But as cute as that is, it is hard for my adult mistrusting brain to really take in the message of God’s loving deliverance from evil.  Continue reading “Deliver to Heaven”

Give from God’s Strength

I’ve found myself feeling pulled in a million directions and failing people at every turn.  People who have a legitimate right to my love and attention- friends, parents, children, spouse, neighbors, school administrators… are often cut short and do not get what they deserve from me.  This is true also of the orphan, the widow, the poor, the sick, the friendless – people who I read about, who I pass on the street, who I know are out there.  Like everyone else in this world, I need to learn that I am limited.  Yet, my own smallness enables me to humbly tap into God’s eternal love. Continue reading “Give from God’s Strength”

Pray as you go

Super relaxing.  Gentle encouragement.  Christ focused.  I’ve been enjoying this app called “Pray As You Go” as I commute to work or on a quick jaunt to the grocery store.  Its a 15 minute meditation on some bible readings.  The readers (British Jesuits) usually have cool accents and they feature music from all over the map.  What is your favorite “car meditation” app?  Let’s not get too comfy now, right?!

High Five the Runner

This morning on the last block of my run, I saw an old Japanese man shuffling toward me on his own exercise endeavor. Ask just about anyone in this neighborhood and they will know who I’m talking about since he evokes quite a bit of admiration and perhaps even worry.  This beautiful man has unmistakably hobbled through these streets for years.  I’ve never seen him anywhere else- only pounding the pavement- one noisy foot in front of the other.  His body is inclined in a mix between an Olympian track star who is using gravity to propel him faster and an arthritic patient who has just gotten up from a soft chair. Mouth gaping open, the gnats flee from his presence as he laboriously sucks in gallons of air.  I wish he were my grandpa.  Continue reading “High Five the Runner”

We Are Lifeguards

About three years ago, my little kids are with a babysitter and I fidget, half naked on the bleachers, waiting for this life guarding course to begin.  The blue bathing suit just purchased on Amazon feels a little tight around my 40-year-old flab.   Quickly looking around, it is obvious that no one else here has nursed four babies.  Goosebumps already forming, I’m afraid of being cold from nine-five for a week straight.  And I’m really worried I can’t hold my breath long enough at the bottom of the diving well. Continue reading “We Are Lifeguards”

Sunday Scripture for Kids

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – cycle B

Happy Sunday!  Here is a quick thing you can do to help your family internalize the Word of God this week:

Before Mass (perhaps in the car on the way to church):

This week’s readings are like a big loud announcement to anyone who is poor or tired or feeling bad.  Listen for this verse at Mass: Continue reading “Sunday Scripture for Kids”

You Are Not Strong Enough

“You who so praiseworthily wish to lead an apostolic life, each according to her individual situation, know well enough the world of today to realize that in your battle against unbelief and immorality, natural resources and all purely human means are radically insufficient. What you absolutely need is an intimate union with Christ, and that intimate union absolutely presupposes prayer and sacrifice.”

Papal Directives For The Woman Of Today, Pope Pius XII – 1947

In this quote I stumbled upon, I realize the enormity of the endeavor that we are taking on when we try to witness to Christ (whether it be by raising good children, teaching high school, keeping peace among relatives, stay ethical).  I am not enough.  What this pope, speaking right after WWII, says is the answer is actually what we all probably long for the most…

The Nudge of God – do I listen?

Let’s presume that, my husband and I are in a “conversation” trying to figure out the softball, soccer, dance drop off, pick up, carpool schedule when I hear a little voice in my head saying, “smile at him.”  I really don’t feel like it so I cock my head to the side and raise my eyebrow up a little further.  Or imagine that my kids are fighting downstairs and something urges me to go sit with them and figure it out but I’m busy with an e-mail so I ignore it.  I have not cracked open the bible yet today and my heart pounds a bit when I see my book next to an empty chair but I eat a handful of chocolate covered almonds and scribble out my grocery list while doing 5 other things at the same time.  How long will I continue to hear that voice and ignore it? Continue reading “The Nudge of God – do I listen?”