Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘change’

New Life is Possible

Out of the rubble of death and devastation new things erupt.

Recently as I entered into our newly enlarged and renovated worship space I could not help but think about what is now new in my own life.

The death of my friend certainly left devastation within my heart,

but new life is breaking through.

As I sat in our new church I found myself reflecting on the timing; so fitting. I can enter into this space with a new sight, new light, and freshness of spirit. The months of the dark journey of her illness seem to be lighter in this new space. I can carry her in with joy in my heart…Joy and the peace in knowing that she is now also new in the Lord. She is clothed in his brilliant love.

 This new space is bright, clean, simple, inviting and welcoming to all. She would have felt peace and joy here too. When you lose a loved one it is good to create new memories…not to replace the old memories, but to keep your heart and soul in a state of growth. I read somewhere that one cannot remain stagnant; we are either moving forward or moving backward.

There were many days during her illness that I knew without a doubt, I was moving backward. I think grief has a way of making you feel as if you are literally falling backwards. As you are falling backwards time seems to move in slow motion or even at times remain as a ‘freeze frame’. It is not good to stay in this state for long.

Shortly after a forest fire there can be seen tiny sprouts of green popping up amid the charred parched land. Amazing! These new seedlings now have less competition for sunlight and rain water which enable them to mature faster.

Tiny little signs of hope;

all is not lost.

Tiny little signs that even here

new life is possible.

Tiny little signs of a powerful

unseen force.

Signs that remind us that we

are loved by a life-giving God.

Signs that we live in an environment

 filled with our Creator’s energy.

Today, as I write, marks the end of this Liturgical year. It is the end of the previous Mass translation we have used for many years. We are also on the threshold of Advent…a time of new beginnings.

We are a people called to choose life…for living consistently embraces the new.

So while I will miss some of the familiar prayers of the Mass. I am committed to moving forward integrating the new into all that has made me the person I am today.

Integrating the loss of my dear friend into the person God wants me to become; is still a difficult work in progress, but it must continue. “…you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God.” (Jonah 2:7)

There is no going backwards or standing still.

There is only moving forward

however long it may take.

Soul Stirrings:Empty Bucket

The Samaritan Woman carried her  empty bucket to the well.

We all know the ‘well’ story.

 

 

 

May I offer you a slightly different view…the Samaritan woman did carry her bucket that indeed was empty, but embedded into the clay of the bucket were the burdens of her life. I am amazed at how God is continuing to speak to me through this familiar story.

 

She carried with her to the well all of her burdens; things she could not go back and change…things that had become a way of life for her…things she could not see…things strangling her very soul.



Jesus offered her so much more than her bucket could hold, but more importantly after their encounter she did not return to her village with the bucket. She left without her bucket. She did not forget her bucket. She left it behind. She was a changed woman. She was not only able to leave the bucket, but all that it represented in her life.

This is what the sacrament of Reconciliation can be for each of us. We too come with our heavy laden, empty bucket and leave filled with the love, mercy, and forgiveness of our Lord.

Carry your bucket to the foot of the cross… leaves it there…return home with a changed heart…filled with God’s mercy and love.

You alone, Lord, know what burdens are embedded into the clay of my bucket.

I give them all to you…I surrender my bucket to you.

Let my life be a living testimony to the power of the ‘empty’ bucket.

 



Soul Stirrings: Quenched Thirst

The Samaritan woman ultimately allowed others to see and hear what God had been up to in her life. She was thirsty for knowledge of her own purpose in her community. She had been out cast and felt displaced and unworthy to come with the other women to the well. She chose to protect her fragile identity by coming alone to the well in the heat of the day assuring that she would be there alone…and therefore not to be judged and ridiculed. She came to know her true worth as a beloved daughter of God through her unexpected encounter with Jesus at the well. The well where she had to go in order to survive since it was the only source of water. Her intention was to quickly fill her bucket and make the journey back to the village without being noticed. At the well she was confronted by the goodness and acceptance of the presence of Jesus. He confronts us with his goodness and acceptance too. He meets where we must go. It did not matter to Jesus what the woman’s past had been he wanted to quench her thirst for being a whole person. We all thirst to be known for the person we aspire to be. We all want to be something better than our past story tells. Jesus wanted her to move forward with her life and LIVE her life to the fullest. She was forever changed by her conversation with Jesus that day. She was moved by how without her knowledge she was totally transparent before him. He was able to see into the depths of her soul. He was able to see all that she was trying to hide from others. He was able to see past everything she thought as negative. He was able to give her the opportunity to move from the shadow and into the light of his love for her. He satisfied the thirst within her for so much more than the cool water from Jacob’s well could satisfy.

“So I came out to meet you, to look for you, and I have found you!” Prov. 7:15

 

Please join me in lifting up those in our lives who need to encounter Jesus at the well of their life. Carry them to the well in your prayers and thoughts. May they meet the Lord where they must go to survive. Dear Lord, through your gentle accepting presence draw my loved ones to your heart where they can safely remain.

Only you, Lord, can Quench our Thirst!

 

 

 

Soul Stirrings: Joy within Sorrow

 

Nestled within our penitential season of Lent is the wonderful solemnity of the Annunciation. As I was trying to absorb the depth of Mary’s ‘yes’ I was struck by the church’s timing. Here we are well into Lent, a time of renewal… A time of repentance for our inability to love as we should… A time for true change. And what does the church give us, but the joyful Annunciation. What an example of renewal, love, and change. The Annunciation during lent to me represents joy within trials and sorrow. When the angel revealed to Mary, a young girl, that God had chosen her to be the mother of the messiah, she had to renew her commitment; willing to do the will of God. She was blessed with abundant grace and the capacity to love beyond measure. Little did she know then how much this love she felt in her soul would be pierced with immense sorrow. That blessed day Mary’s life changed forever and her body truly became the temple of the living God, Jesus.

My mind is flooded with images of the Passion. My heart is saddened by Mary’s sorrow as she must stand by and witness unspeakable assaults on her precious son. I see the exquisite image of the Pieta…Mary tenderly holding the lifeless body of her beloved Son. Mary’s joy at the angel’s announcement is somehow entombed within this season of lent. But yet we often hear of the many joys that can be found within pain and sorrow. Some even consider these gifts.

Reflecting on the Annunciation during Lent is a reminder to always be mindful of the joys in our life.

Celebrating the Annunciation during Lent is a reminder that even when we are struggling with life and draped in purple cloth joy can still be found.

 

Every year during Lent; we have the opportunity to renew our commitment, love more, and change our heart. Mary had one moment in time when she embraced the ultimate commitment to love more and she was forever changed for us.

Where have you missed the joy in your life?

Has sorrow instead overshadowed the joy in your life?

 

Soul Stirrings: Transfigured

Recently while browsing on another blog I was fascinated by the tag cloud. As you rolled the cursor over the list of tag words each one seemed to pop up from the screen and enlarge. Well today that is how I felt as I attentively listened to the proclamation of the Transfiguration. Here are the words that popped out to me: 

 I was filled with how these words created for me a thread of meaning.

Here is my personal message summary.

 

High upon a mountain appeared

a bright white light

covered by a cloud

casting a shadow

imbued with the name

“Beloved”

from the one who was pleased

 The others falling prostrate

afraid  touched

by the vision of Jesus.

My dear, Lord, transfigure me to become brilliant with your holiness.

Change my heart to be filled with the light of your unconditional love.