By Paulo Coelho October 21, 2018
Many years ago lived a man who was able to love and forgive everyone he met.
Because of this, God sent an angel to talk to him.
“God asked me to come and visit you and to tell you that He wants to reward you for your goodness,” said the angel.
“Any favor that you desire will be granted. Would you like to have the gift of curing?”
“By no means,” answered the man. “I prefer that God Himself choose those to be cured.”
“I can’t go back to heaven without granting you a miracle. If you don’t pick one, you’ll be obliged to accept one.”
The man reflected a little before answering: “Then I want Good to be done through me, but without anyone noticing – not even myself, so that I don’t commit the sin of vanity.”
And the angel gave to that man’s shadow the power to cure, but only when the sun was shining on his face.
In that way, wherever he went, the sick were cured, the earth became fertile again, and sad people regained their joy.
The man traveled many years over the Earth without noticimg the miracles he worked, because when he was facing the sun, his shadow was always at his back.
In that way he could live and die without being aware of his own sanctity.
A dear friend read this devotional at a meeting tonight. I was so moved by it I asked for a copy to bring home and read everyday. I think we’ve all been guilty a time or two in thinking the grass was greener on the other side. We make hasty decisions based on a belief that somehow the grass will be greener on the other side. Sometimes we even leave a relationship to chase another “knight in shining armor” only to find that knight was nothing more than a toad. It’s then that we realize the grass We were on in the first place simply needed a little watering.
For me this is a great reminder to find the blessing in where I am today. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. I’m not where I want to be but thank god I’m not where I used to be. I’ll just keep watering my side of the grass until the winter I find myself in finally turns to spring.
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
It is said moonstones have been imbued with mystical properties that extend the fabled powers of the moon into daytime.
Moonstones, gems named for their resemblance to the familiar glowing orb in the night sky, offer us more than mere beauty. Their association with moon goddesses throughout the world may explain why moonstones’ qualities seem to reach out to assist all those who find themselves under the moon’s light, from travelers and those at sea to lovers and dreamers. Throughout the world, moonstones have been imbued with mystical properties that extend the fabled powers of the moon into daylight hours.
In India, they are thought to give sweet, beautiful dreams by night but have gained a reputation for enhancing intuitive sensitivity and spiritual vision of the “third eye” at any time of the day. This connection to the subconscious was also recognized in the Middle Ages in Europe, where it was believed that gazing into a moonstone would cause you to fall into a deep sleep that allowed you to see the future. This extends to the power of fertility, where in Arabia, women sew moonstones into their garments to enhance their fertility. This association with fertility even extends to the fertility of crops, which is why moonstone amulets have been seen hanging in fruit trees before harvest. To further enhance the power of your moonstone, try putting them outside in the light of the full moon.
Moonstones, sometimes likened to a raindrop or tear, have long reminded people in Asia that the moon cannot be seen during the rain, just as it is difficult to see through our tears. By bringing love and abundance into our lives today and helping us to see the future, moonstones allow us to bring the hope of all good things into our lives.
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus is amazed at a Roman centurion’s faith: “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” How often the Bible compels us to meditate on the meaning of faith! We might say that the Scriptures rest upon faith, remain inspired at every turn by the spirit of faith.
Faith is an attitude of trust in the presence of God. Faith is openness to what God will reveal, do, and invite. It should be obvious that, in dealing with the infinite, all-powerful person who is God, we are never in control.
One of the most fundamental statements of faith is this: your life is not about you. You’re not in control. This is not your project. Rather, you are part of God’s great design. To believe this in your bones and act accordingly is to have faith. When we operate out of this transformed vision, amazing things can happen, for we have surrendered to “a power already at work in us that can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Even a tiny bit of faith makes an extraordinary difference.
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Every day we can incorporate actions into our lives similar to that of the great yogis of Tibet.
The word “yogi” means “to realize the wisdom of pure awareness.” To do this, the yogis of Tibet practice Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques. They have gained a level of mastery that makes it possible for them to practice in isolation for periods of one to three years. During this time, they focus their complete attention on connecting with spirit and gain an extraordinary level of control over their minds and bodies. We may not want to focus on one activity for one to three years, but there are principles that the yogis of Tibet live by that we can apply to our lives.
Like all yogis, we can make it a priority to connect with spirit. A few moments spent focusing our attention inward can allow us to see life with fresh eyes. We can also expand our view of the world by educating ourselves like the yogis do before they attain yogic mastery. Yogis study not only spiritual disciplines, but they also study science, philosophy, the arts, and medicine. Another way to emulate the yogis of Tibet is to focus our minds on positive thoughts that affirm the well-being of the planet. Yogis chant prayers for the well-being of the world even while doing tasks that don’t require their full concentration. It is through chanting, positive thoughts, and meditation that we learn to have compassion, feel empathy, and look for the good in every situation. We also become aware of our ability to create change in the world with our thoughts, actions, and intentions.
The yogis of Tibet have been called “supreme artists of life” for their ability to treat every situation like a spiritual endeavor. As we aspire to express the same art of patience, compassion, and peace in our lives, we too can radiate the tranquility, warmth, and joy attributed to these spiritual masters.
Most of us aren’t likely to betray anyone to a death squad. But as we meditate on the events of the Passion, we might reﬂect on the times we’ve betrayed a trust, the times we’ve talked about someone behind their back, the times we’ve stayed silent when a friend has been ridiculed. Resolve to keep silent when tempted to gossip and to speak out when others are gossiping. That sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? It is. Pray for the grace to meet it.
—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
Dating God does not require a hermitage any more than taking a spouse on a date requires a special destination. Solitude comes when we create the space and set aside the time to enter more deeply into the mystery that is the very Love that gives us life and meaning. It can be found in the quiet of the morning before the busy day, in the ten minute walk at lunch, or in the restful moments before bed. Just as with creating time and space to be alone with another person, creating time and space for solitude is more about intentionality and the desire to be fully present in the moment than it is about being in this or that location. While solitude may appear scary at first, confronting that fear is perhaps the first step to deepening one’s relationship with God. Just as the prospect of learning more about another person or ourselves can be daunting, the reward comes in the connection that is formed when two know each other in the openness of an intimate friendship. Going into the created space and time set aside for solitude is going on a date with God.
—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis