Love: Waiting – Holy Saturday

With the highlights of Good Friday and the light of Easter Sunday, Holy Saturday, or Black Saturday, can sometimes get lost in the Easter season. Holy Saturday signifies the day “Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb.” Like this dark time, we may also find our own lives going through periods feeling lost, hopeless and filled with darkness.

In this short but powerful video, Alain Emerson poignantly poses a challenging question about our relationship with God during the midst of pain, abandonment or anguish. He asks, “When was the last time you were truly honest with God?”

Sometimes when we pray about certain situations, it seems to get worse and waiting for answers only finds silence. This makes everything about praying seem hopeless. However, Alain’s honesty with God helped him find victory during a difficult time in his life.

This is a life-changing message I wish to share with you on this Easter season.

God bless you with abundant peace.

 

 

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“Why Can’t I Just Be Your Little Suburban Housewife?”

Jean Donovan

Jean Donovan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it was as you said, Jean, your God called you away from an ordinary suburban life to something bigger than life.

However, you left a broken-hearted fiancé, standing frozen with only a devastated heart longing only to drop the groceries we just bought and stop you from going to El Salvador.

Your God called. I could only watch you walk away.

All the goodness that was in you still lives bright in my memory, Jean, from your volunteer work with the Cleveland Diocese Poor Youth Ministry to the Diocesan Mission Project in El Salvador.

So dedicated were you to help those in need, you completed the lay-missionary course at Maryknoll in New York State and was quite anxious to help the refugees of the Salvadoran Civil War, providing shelter, food, and medical care.

However, you also wanted a family as you wrote:

“…I sit there and talk to God and say, ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t I just be your little suburban housewife?’

In all honesty, my selfishness wanted your goodness to stay here with me.

You tried to follow your desires saying, “several times I have decided to leave–I almost could except for the children…Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine.”

On December 2, 1980, five brutal Salvadoran soldiers decided the light of goodness over El Salvador was not welcomed, and in “a relatively isolated area,” they beat, raped and murdered you, and three nun companions.

Your God called you home, Jean Donovan. Twenty-seven is too young to have your goodness extinguished.

As Martyrs of El Salvador, blessed are we the living for their self less life in helping those suffering, especially the children, from the devastating effects of civil war.

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This post is part fiction and part true to life. The bold italic print is my imagination as seen from Jean Donovan’s young physician fiancé viewpoint.

Jean was not only to be married but, also, gave up a management consultant career with a nationwide accounting firm before deciding that El Salvador was where God wanted her to be.

Can you imagine giving up a relatively safe life for dangerous missionary work? If this is the stuff we have to give up, you know, sacrifice, to become living saints, I can see why there are so few on the road.

Do you think this was an easy choice for Jean Donovan to make…wanting so badly to be married and be offered a great career position as well? 

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation

In this week’s Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Stylish Imitation, I literally freaked and thought, no way, this is too difficult a challenge. The first question asked that you tell about a writer whose style most influenced your writing voice.

This question left me afraid because I do not know my writing voice! I am so embarrassed to admit this! This is shameful on my part but thankfully, I do know what I am not, that is, I cannot write in the epic styles found in writers like Leo Tolstoy or James A. Michener. I am so in awe with anyone that can write a book like, War and Peace or Michener’s, Texas.

Cover of "From the Angel's Blackboard: Th...

Photo Credit: Amazon

As the challenge probed me to think deeper into what my writing voice actually sounds like, I discovered the one author whom, from the time I read, From the Angel’s Blackboard–The Best of Fulton J. Sheen, I knew, profound writing, in a simple, straightforward fashion, was possible.

For example, Fulton Sheen wrote, “I feel it is time that I pay tribute to my four writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

Just like that, no fancy words or hard to understand churchy words, just, “…it is time that I pay tribute…four writers…

So, as I continue to search out my writing voice, let me pay tribute, in my amateurish and shallow in comparison way, to the four five writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Fulton, by briefly writing out some of my feelings about the tragic day, September 11.

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Brothers and sisters: How can one begin to understand, on this day, September 11, these words found in Sacred Scriptures:

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who hurt you…Love your enemies! Do good to them.” (Luke 6: 27-28 and 35)

As I read these words, and thought about the tragedy of 9-11, I admit, I found these words very difficult to ponder upon much less think to put into practice.

I am shouting:  HOW DOES ONE LEARN TO FORGIVE?!?

God, they took down so many lives, left so many hurting, and you ask that I bless, love, do good and forgive them?”

The first certified victim, labeled 0001, was Father Mychal Judge. Oh, right, he was an imperfect person, with personal struggles all his own, but, he bravely went in as the chaplain for the firefighters and became the first, out of hundreds who lost their lives that fall morning.

WHY this nightmare?? God, please, I need your light to understand where to go from here. A poetic writer, Caddo Veil, poignantly wrote, “God, be present and redeem…”

Finally, while struggling with my lack of forgiveness, I did find rays of hope shining through, first from John 16:33, Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Second, in Fulton Sheen’s simple, yet profound words, “To believe in God is to throw ourselves in God’s arms; to hope in God is to rest in His heart in patience amid trials and tribulations, to love God is to be with God through a participation of His divine nature through grace.”

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God, help me to believe and forgive through all circumstances.

In honor of those who lost their lives on September 11 and to all who are left to carry on in their memory…
I pray.

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Remembering an Amazing Mother…

mother teresa, unloved, unwanted, poverty,homeless

The amazing heart of Mother Teresa:
“The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for…
Forgotten by everybody, I think that is much greater hunger,
A much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
~Mother Teresa

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa simply described herself as, “By blood, I am Albanian, by citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun.”

Her charitable legacy is known world-wide as her insightful thoughts…here are just a few of her heart thoughts…

“Lead me from death to life,
From falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
From fear to truth.
Lead me from hate to love,
From war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts,
Our world our universe
Peace peace peace.

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“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough.
Each moment is all we need, not more.
Be happy now and if you show through your actions that you love others, including those who are poorer than you are, you will give them happiness, too.
It does not take much–it can be just giving a smile.
The world would be a much better place if everyone smiled more
So smile, be cheerful, and be joyous that God loves you.”

In honor of the amazing Mother Teresa, also known as the Saint-of-the-Gutters, may she rest in peace.

Mother-Teresa-collage

–Photo credit: Peta-de-Aztlan/ Flickr

August 27, 1910–September 5, 1997

I hope you enjoyed the few words from this amazing mother and I wish you abundant happiness and peace today.

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Do you have a favorite memory about Mother Teresa?

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Life is Sweet…Life is Short…

sweet life, book, losel, postaday

Life is sweet when you go into a bookstore and come out with two plastic bags filled with books you always wanted to read or reread and the cost for these treasures–mere pennies!

Well, the pennies really amounted to around 70 US dollars, but who will argue that books, especially if the collection includes several classic novels and a book written by award-winning writer, Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg, are one of life’s sweetest joys and a very worthy investment!

Not only are books entertaining, but a fantastic way to increase your knowledge about words. Anu Garg’s book, “Another Word a Day,” will have you, as the author writes “…romp(ing) through some of the most unusual and intriguing words in English.”

Cover of "Another Word A Day: An All-New ...

photo source: Cover via Amazon

For example, we often spend our days allowing others to influence our thoughts, thus, our attitudes reflect the energy we receive from them, and, unfortunately, some people, if encouraged, are good at making us feel like a ragged losel.

*Losel: (noun) a worthless person, good-for-nothing, despicable person

By the way, book collecting also means taking the time to read the books we stack onto our shelves. I know an avid book collector who spends far more money than me putting books upon books onto her (many) library shelves, but spends very little time reading them. Strange, I know, but I keep my mouth sealed. She means well.

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Life is short. If we describe ourselves as a sad losel, then, we must make our way back to a source of wisdom, the Sacred Scriptures and reflect for a moment on Genesis 1:27:

…God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

We reflect God’s image and there is no room for being a losel!

If you afflicted with the losel image, go over to a mirror and simply smile… at His image! Oh, beautiful One!

Finally, remember, we are worth more than any precious artwork…“For we are God’s masterpiece.” —Ephesians 2:10

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What is ‘sweet’ in your life?

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Weekly Image Of Life: A Lifetime Of Memories–On God

“Nothing else is required than to act toward God, in the midst of your occupations, as you do, even when busy, toward those who love you and whom you love.”  ~St. Alphonsus Liguori

How does a person “act toward God,” and how does a person simply remember their faith journey?  I have no recollection of my baptism and today, my religious memories are just snippets of faith teachings here and there. But what if God was sitting next to me as I write this, or should I say, how would I act in front of him? Would my actions change because I know God is sitting right next to me? What memories do I want to remember about my God? What faith memories do I have??

Nothing comes to mind about my baptism, I do remember nuns, so I did get baptized early and I did go to Catholic schools, but not consistently. Since my family had very weak ties to the church, I took it upon myself to follow-up after high school to get confirmed with the Catholic Church. Confirmation is just a teen Catholic thing, in my opinion, and really, my memory of the whole thing is simply, a big blur.

As you can tell, my sparse Catholic upbringing without a strong family support did nothing to build a lifetime of faith building memories. I could say, I am a product of my upbringing. Thankfully, I can go on a, do-it-yourself, mini spiritual exercise,called, What If…, to overcome my lack of lifetime faith memories that lives dormant within me.

What if God paid me a visit, now…

God,memories,weekly image of life,faith,Christianity,life,

I actually would pull up a chair and politely ask God, ” Please, have a seat.”

Now, I look over at him and think, hmm, this is the great Divine, the One most revered and He is sitting next to me!! What should I say or do??

Nervously, I shamefully say, “Would you like a beer? I have an extra can, not chilled, but you can have it over ice. Maybe, coffee or tea, perhaps?”

I fidget in my chair and frantically think, girl, say something…but what? What can I say to God who is sitting next to me that He does not know already?

Randomly I blurt out, “Uh, you know Roxy, my hen, passed on yesterday. Of course, you knew all about that but still, just in case you had other things going on, and uh, what is up with the thermostat turned way up to 115 degrees?? Just wondering…”

(He wants to know what I am up to.)

“Oh, this, uh, it is blogging. A bunch of us bloggers share what we know or have talent for on a page called a post and then we publish it over the blogosphere. I am just a rookie, still learning all the ins and outs and making mistakes left and right.”

He nods approvingly, I hope.

“Papa, (I call Him that) we have a lifetime of memories, right? Maybe one day you will tell me the story of how you created me and the story of all your hopes and dreams you anticipated I would carry out for you? I need to hear these stories…please?”

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Crazy, I know, but, What If...is a mini exercise that helps put God back into perspective because:

I sometimes forget what is important in life.

I forget that a lifetime of memories comes not only with special celebrations, cherished moments with loved ones, with every pain and heartache endured up to this point, but also through the imagination.

I forget that nothing else is required from me, that my life can go on as ordinary or extraordinary, and the only thing required is simply to point all my actions towards God.

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“Papa, I love you. Thank you for every life memory, happy, sad, tough and good times,  imprinted on my heart. I may have forgotten many of the spiritual ones, but the ones I do remember, I want to hold on to them tightly because I do not ever want to forget…You.”

If you would like inspiration every week, please hop on over to Island Traveler’s, Weekly Image Of Life: A Lifetime Of Memories.

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Now, it’s your turn: What if God paid you a visit, now…