Having finished with laundry Tuesday afternoon I came back here to work on the church website, but I couldn’t stop thinking about an article in the Word among us (October, 2009).
The ol’ pea brain processes information at warp speed and goes off on many tangents; but only meaningful connections, usually prompted by discomforting disequilibrium, impact real learning.
Out of the blue Sunday afternoon, I got a call from a saintly woman I met while teaching CCE at St. Paul’s.
Irene’s gone through a lot in life, especially these past two years. Her oldest child was killed in a car collision as he and his younger sister drove to their grandfather’s house in the valley. What an emotional roller coaster ride it’s been! Irene misses her son so much that, oftentimes, she’s inconsolable. Still, she accepts God’s will and continues to be proactively involved in prayer and at church.
Although we seldom communicate, other than through an occasional letter, Irene called because she’d just found my telephone number on the little piece of paper I’d given her two years ago! She wanted to hear my voice because I always make her feel better, she said; so we talked for almost an hour, crying, laughing, praising God. Then, at the end, she asked me to pray over her.
What a simple request! Irene’s a terroncito de azucar, a sweet innocent, despite her grandmotherliness. I’m so in awe of her faithfulness to God and her devotion to the Blessed Mother through the Franciscan Crown, that she truly is a hero in my eyes. I felt like the mouse that helped the lion in one of Aesop’s fables. We were both so quiet on the phone afterwards that we just hung up.
Then I got an email from my friend Rose. She missed seeing us at Mass, but her illness kept her home from church on Sunday. I’d told her in an ecard that she was ill because God wanted to slow her down so they could spend time together. Rose had then let me know she’d be on the lookout for God’s message.
I responded in part with this:
I was thinking that I’d told you God’s trying to tell you something when I opened the Word among us and was struck by the enormity of three— not one, not two, but three— messages. I wanted to email then and there, but I had to start dinner before Steven got home from work.
So, messages? We get them all the time from God, who responds to our faith and trust. “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
“The heart of an Intercessor” suggests that we engage in heartfelt prayer by focusing, first, on quality versus quantity; second, on clear-mindedness; and, third, on praying in secret. “It’s in these situations that we may be more likely to sense God’s presence in our hearts and to receive his comfort or his guidance” (the Word among us, October 2009, p. 14). In other words, persistence works, but “do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7).
When we feel overwhelmed we can reach out to others who’ll pray with and for us, but spending alone time with God means sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings unconditionally.
As Rose and Irene well know, God also avails himself through others. So imagine my delight at finding the link to Johnny the bagger in my Yahoo inbox. Talk about a heartwarming message about messages.
Feel better, Rose! Be happy, Irene! God’s right there with you!
Complete trust in God
Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will in his love enable you to profit by them. He has guided you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering, or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads, and all anxious imaginations (St. Francis de Sales).
February 5, 2017
Just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands, and leave it with him. Then you will be able to rest in him— really rest (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).
Links of interest… Aleteia: religion / saints / spirituality… Faith prayers… God only knows (song)… How to pray for physical healing… I can only imagine (song)… Johnny the bagger (video)… Listening is pastoral care, and even you can do it… Perseverance in prayer: How & why… Powerful prayers (free booklets)… Pray with all your heart… Relationship of faith to prayer… Sainthood isn’t for the strong… Simple truths: inspirational videos… What is the prayer of faith… the Word among us…