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.
Food is a symbol of our gratitude to God and our mutual appreciation for one another. It is a commodity to share as well as an expression of how much we care. Feeding the hungry is a virtue that must never be forgotten, dining with friends a value we cherish all the more. It is good to celebrate those moments—rare as they may be—where companionship around the table becomes a form of communion, where fantastic food seals friendships, where our vitality and our spirituality truly “wine and dine” together.
—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit
As a Catholic, we believe the rose is very significant. The rose represents unconditional love from our blessed mother. It is also a sign our prayers have been heard and are being answered. If you have been praying for something and the rose appears in your life, (it could be on a stamp, a photo, a vase)….however it comes in to your life recognize it as a sign that your prayers have been heard and are being answered. Interestingly enough, the rose has appeared several times in my life this morning. When I saw this post I realized that maybe it was a sign that God has heard me and my prayers are being answered. Now all I need to do is sit back, trust and believe god is in control. He’s working behind the scenes and everything is falling into place. Everything is going to be ok. 🌹
The reign of God is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;yet when it is sown it grows up
and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade. —Mark 4.30-32
You are a tiny speck of God’s infinite love.
When you let yourself be sown into this world,
given to low places,
what seems tiny unfolds,
because it is God,
and becomes great,
a cedar of Lebanon, a mighty oak of love,
a safe refuge for the weary,
a source of life and comfort for the meek,
a welcome home for God’s little ones.
We only see the seed,
but the unfolding awaits.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Friends, today’s Gospel gives Jesus’ teaching about non-resistance to evil people. We are continually wanting God to behave as we would, that is to say, withdrawing his love from those who don’t deserve it and giving his love to those who do deserve it. But this is just not the way God operates.
Why should you pray for someone who is persecuting you? Why shouldn’t you be allowed at least to answer him in kind—an eye for an eye? Because God doesn’t operate that way, and you are being drawn into the divine life. Why should you turn the other cheek to someone who has struck you? Because it’s practical? No, because that’s the way God operates, and you’re being called into the divine life. Why should you go beyond simply loving those who love you? Because that’s the way God operates: he loves the saints and he loves the worst of sinners.
Is any of this easy to do? Of course not. Are we able to get to this state through willing it, through earnest practice? Of course not! That’s why love is referred to as a theological virtue. It is the sheerest participation in the divine life, and it can only come from God. – Daily Gospel Reflection by Bishop Barron
We must learn to walk the path of surrender, and seek ways to keep us inspired. Once we embrace surrender as a way to be in our lives–open, receptive, trusting, and grateful, then we can seek inspiration.
Here are five simple ways to stay inspired to continue living into surrendering:
1 Find prayers, poems, or books to encourage you.
2 Be in nature—look at the sky, breath in the fresh air, notice a flower or a tree.
3 Share your soul with a trusted friend or companion.
4 Throughout the day, pause, take a few deeper breaths, and become more conscious of the presence and power of love within and around you
5 Remember what St. Benedict writes in his Rule: Always we begin again.
(Let us keep the Summit with North Korea in our prayer)
We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ…
It is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars,
so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power
belongs to God and does not come from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed….
—2 Corinthians 4.5-8
Here is the secret to happiness:
you are not the jar.
You are the light.
The jar cracks and breaks.
The light spills out.
Nothing can hurt the light.
Breath prayer: Godly ∙ ray