The Iwa 5-27-18

There’s a Hawaiian bird called the Iwa. (Pronounced “Eva”) This bird is a very meaningful bird in the Polynesian culture. The Iwa is at times referred to as the “Storm Bird”. The Iwa is 43 inches long. It soars and glides gracefully with a wing span of seven feet. They often travel great distances but rarely soar further than 50 miles from land. This bird has the resilience to withstand storms, even flying for hours and days in its search for food. They are able to travel great distances. They fly offshore even though their feathers are not waterproof. They swoop down in the ocean and snatch their prey using their hook like beaks.

Polynesian fisherman look to these birds while fishing. If the Iwa is flying above them, they know they are in a good fishing area. They also look for the Iwa to find their way back home when they are out at sea.

Often times, like the Iwa, we find ourselves soaring through our own storm. Some of us have the resilience to keep flying and never give up. Others simply throw in the towel and give up. I’m not one of those people. I never give up, even on the days I want to.

There’s a passage in Matthew 6-26. It says:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”

The Iwa doesn’t have waterproof feathers, yet they don’t worry. God always provides. They soar and will fly for days looking for food. If the Iwa doesn’t worry why should we? If God provides for the Iwa, he will certainly provide for you and me.

If you are facing any challenge today, remember the Iwa. Keep flying and never give up.

Today I will soar through all of my trials like the Iwa believing that no matter what, god will always provide.

Cups Of Water 5-21-18

Cups of water

We who live by compassion

are so small in this world.

It seems sometimes as if

we face a forest fire

of fear and violence

with little paper cups of love.

They appear like magic tricks

in trembling hands,

not much, just little cups,

but we offer them,

the great baptismal, birthing flow

in little cups, mere drops

of God

that flood the world,

that never run out.

SGH

The purpose of life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Only then have we become true human beings.— Albert Schweitzer

Imagination 5-15-18

The imagination retains a passion for freedom. There are no rules for the imagination. It never wants to stay trapped in the expected territories. The old maps never satisfy it. It wants to press ahead beyond the accepted frontiers and bring back reports of regions no mapmaker has yet visited. —John O’Donohue

All Powerful God 4-10-18

All-powerful God,

You are present in the whole Universe

and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love,

that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters,

harming no one. O God of the poor,

help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten

of this Earth, so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives,

that we may protect the world and not prey on it,

that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain

at the expense of the poor and the Earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,

to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognize that we are profoundly united with every

creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.

Encourage us, we pray,

in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

Pope Francis

Gremlins 4-10-18

The Daily Flame

Did you notice how The Gremlin of fear just attacked you? Yeah, me too. Whenever that happens, my flame initially dims and I have to draw my strength from deep within to make sure The Gremlin doesn’t extinguish me.

The Gremlin is vicious, sneaky, manipulative, and determined to make you feel small.

But never fear. That Gremlin ain’t got nothin’ on me. It ain’t got nothing on you.

Here’s the secret you can’t tell The Gremlin. Come in close, where you can hear. When The Gremlin shows up, whispering evil nothings in your ear, that’s a reminder to pour on the lighter fluid so we can blaze like the star we’re capable of being.

So don’t be afraid. The other side of fear is faith, and unless you have both, you’ll never notice how radiant You can be.

How Can I Get Out Of This Mess? 5-8-18

By Pastor Rick Warren

Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25 NLT).

Here is the testimony of a Chinese Christian: “I walked through the road of life and had fallen into a great ditch. The ditch was filled with depression, discouragement, and sin. As I lay in that ditch, Mohammed came along and said, ‘It’s your fault you’re in the ditch. You offended Allah, and this is your just punishment.’ Then Marx came by and said, ‘You’re in the ditch because of class warfare. You must revolt.’ But after the government changed, I was still in my ditch. Then Buddha came along and said, ‘You’re not really in that ditch. You just think you’re there. It’s all an illusion of the mind. Be at peace.’ Then Confucius came by and said, ‘Here are the 10 steps of self-attainment by which you can get out of your ditch. If you will struggle, you will climb out eventually.’ But as much as I struggled and strained, I couldn’t get out of the ditch, because it was too deep.

“Then one day, Jesus Christ came by and saw me in my ditch. Without a word, he took off his white robe and got down in the muddy ditch with me. Then he lifted me up with his strong arms and got me out of the ditch. Thank God that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself.”

Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself.

If you want healing in your life, you have to believe that Christ can change you. Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).

The answer to your problem is a person. Who’s going to be lord of your life? Who’s going to call the shots? You or Jesus Christ? When you’re mastered by him, you can master your problems.

God has the power you are lacking. He’ll help you out.

Mosaic of Life 5-7-18

A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself.

That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say: “I make God visible.” But others who see us together can say: “They make God visible.” Community is where humility and glory touch. – Nouwen

Good Friday 3-30-18

“They will look upon him whom they have pierced…”

To gaze upon the crucified Jesus, or the dead Jesus in the picture detail of the Pieta by Michelangelo, is to look upon him as if you were gazing in a mirror. Something is catalyzed out of that self-emptying which is pure divine substance mirrored in our own true face. — Bourgeault

Pray for Grace 3-27-18

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

St Patrick’s Day 3-17-18

Today is St Patrick’s Day. Most people celebrate by wearing green, going to parties, eating corn beef and cabbage while drinking green beer.

As a Catholic we believe in saints. In our belief saints are merely intercessors we pray to asking for them to pray for us during a specific challenge. One of those saints happens to be St Patrick.

Here is the story of St Patrick taken from the Franciscan Media.

Saint Patrick’s Story

Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of God’s instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ.

Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his father’s slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.

After six years Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the good news to the Irish.

In a dream vision it seemed “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs were stretching out their hands” to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north–where the faith had never been preached–obtained the protection of local kings, and made numerous converts.

Because of the island’s pagan background, Patrick was emphatic in encouraging widows to remain chaste and young women to consecrate their virginity to Christ. He ordained many priests, divided the country into dioceses, held Church councils, founded several monasteries and continually urged his people to greater holiness in Christ.

He suffered much opposition from pagan druids and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission. In a relatively short time, the island had experienced deeply the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.

Patrick was a man of action, with little inclination toward learning. He had a rock-like belief in his vocation, in the cause he had espoused. One of the few certainly authentic writings is his Confessio, above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.

There is hope rather than irony in the fact that his burial place is said to be in County Down in Northern Ireland, long the scene of strife and violence.

Reflection

What distinguishes Patrick is the durability of his efforts. When one considers the state of Ireland when he began his mission work, the vast extent of his labors, and how the seeds he planted continued to grow and flourish, one can only admire the kind of man Patrick must have been. The holiness of a person is known only by the fruits of his or her work.

St Patrick’s Day is a reminder to me to give thanks while saying the following prayer to St Patrick.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the trinity. Christ be w me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend or stranger. I arise. Amen