Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Gospel of St. John 11: Now A man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” ~ When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days…

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When Martha acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world… she would pay the price and no longer be welcome in the synagogue, but she would no longer be frozen in the fear of death.

Last week we heard that the Jews had already agreed that if anyone recognized Jesus as the Christ, they would be expelled from the synagogue. The man who regained his sight was thrown out when he acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, but his parents chose to remain in their fear rather than rejoice with their son. In many ways they were dead.

The religious leaders were corrupt and didn’t want to be exposed. They were divided about how to actually love God, neighbor and their way of life. They were poisoned by greed and power. They were divided about who was in the synagogue legally and who should be deported. Jesus was their enemy. They concluded that, “It is better for one man to die rather than a nation to perish.” They weren’t bad people, just afraid, lost and blind. Jesus says of them from the cross, “Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Martha and Mary were healed of their fear of death by the love of Jesus and their love for Jesus. They knew that Jesus could heal people, but they didn’t realize yet that he could bring their brother back from death. He could also help them to understand that if they live and believe in Jesus they will never die.

The religious leaders recognized that fear of death was big business and made gross amounts of profits. Having wealth and security is not a problem, unless we neglect the poor, the orphans, those fleeing war, the hungry and the oppressed. The United States is well-known as the world’s biggest spender on arms and weapons systems. Catholic bishops have regularly denounced as moral scandal a defense budget measured each year in the hundreds of billions. (America Magazine Jesuits, April 3, 2017)

Less noticed is the nation’s status as the world’s top merchant of arms and the government’s role as facilitator in that market.

In a historic address in Washington on Sept. 24, 2015, Pope Francis told congress:

Being at the service of dialogue and peace… means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world… Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and stop the arms trade. 

Congress applauded Pope Francis, but they spent more on exported weapons. We are divided in politics, but mostly in defense of our profiting from war.

The devil doesn’t want us to believe that he exists. The biggest fear of the Beast (the Devil) is that we believe in the Jesus who says, “I am the resurrection and life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

When we don’t fear death, when we don’t care if we are even rejected by our parents, we truly live in the freedom of God’s Kingdom today. Jesus is looking for followers who are brave enough to see him crucified without giving into despair. Jesus is counting on each of us to answer the question he asked Martha. Then, and only then, will we truly be free and be instruments of God’s peace and love. Do you believe this? If you do, you are Good News!

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5th Sunday in Lent

April 1, 2017 ~ Queen of Peace Catholic Community

Ezekiel 37:12-14 ~ O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them

Psalm 130 ~ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

 

I was blind, but now I see!

We are all blind from birth. Jesus spits on the ground and makes clay with the saliva, anoints our eyes with the clay and sends us to wash in the waters of Baptism. The Spirit of the Lord rushes upon us like it did for David.

Whenever we are confirmed in the Spirit (Baptized in water and the fire of the Holy Spirit), the same oil of David is used. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” How can a man born blind teach us anything?

            The man who was truly joyful for being able to see for the first time was quite innocent in his approach. He thought that everyone would want to rejoice with his miraculous healing of sight. He thought they would want to find and follow this man called Jesus. But they could not seek Jesus because they were blind. The religious leaders ridiculed him for his fast growing faith in Jesus. Then he made the works of God visible.           

The religious leaders could not see the person before their eyes. They could not see his love and courage. They clung to their traditions and old wineskins. Their own authority blinded them. Then they threw him out.

All of us are desperate for community, and sometimes we go against our values just to be part of the gang, the synagogue, the team, or to be famous. We avoid being “thrown out”. This man born blind, who from no fault of his own, was miraculously healed. He wasn’t prepared for his parents wanting to be part of the religious community more than the joy of being with their son who could now see. This is not that far fetched from our reality today. I have seen people healed of their drug addiction or alcoholism, go home only to discover that their spouse and children and parents preferred to deal with them as addicts because they were used to the insanity. They become blind to their own resistance for healing.

Jesus came specifically to heal our blindness.

But the really good news is that when Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, Jesus found him. Jesus is looking for each of us.

Jesus finds us and knows that we feel persecuted, lonely, insulted or thrown out, “Do you believe in the Son of Man, the Light of the World, the God of mercy, love and sight?” We might be looking right at Jesus and not recognize him. “Who is he, sir, that we may believe in him?” Jesus answers our prayer; “You have seen him in the poor, the orphaned, the oppressed and the blind. The one speaking with you is he.”

“We do believe.”

And miraculously we no longer feel thrown out, but part of the team of Jesus that launches a most joyous buzzer beater..

We have advanced to the Elite Eight…Let us worship and rejoice!

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4th Sunday in Lent

March 26, 2017 ~ Queen of Peace Catholic Community

1 Samuel: 16:1-13 ~ Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.

Psalm 23 ~ You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Ephesians 5:8-14 ~“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light!”

Gospel of St. John 9: “Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, an smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” –which means sent–. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.”

Don’t Worry and Sister Death

26 February 2017 ~ 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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1st Reading: Isaiah ~ Even if your mother should forget you, I will never forget you.

Psalm 62 ~ Only in God is my soul at rest; from God comes my salvation.

2nd Reading: St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians 4:1-5 ~ Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34 ~ “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Jesus

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A child does not worry all day long whether his house will be there when he gets home from school or whether her parents will have a meal for her that evening. Children do not worry about such things, because they trust their parents. In the same way, we as Christians should trust our heavenly Father to supply what is best for us. *

And although our country says, “In God we Trust”, many children are now worried about whether their parents will be there when they return home. All of us have ancestors who were undocumented at one time. This is against our Gospel principles and love itself. Solutions need to be thought out and prayed about.

Death was walking toward a city, and a man stopped Death and asked, “What are you going to do?” Death said, “I’m going to kill ten thousand people.” The man said, “That’s horrible!” Death said, “That’s the way it is; that’s what I do.”

As the day passed, the man warned everyone he could of Death’s plan. At the end of the day he again met Death. He said, “You said you were going to kill ten thousand people, and yet seventy thousand died.” Death explained, “I killed only ten thousand. Worry, anxiety and fear killed the others.” *

Left to our own, our anxieties can cause wars in our own family and beyond. Let us trust in Jesus when he tells us, “Do not worry about your life. Your heavenly Father knows your needs. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”*

* Taken from Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, edited by Michael P. Green, 1989, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Epiphany Prayer

Isaiah 60:1-6 ~ Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.

Paul to Ephesians ~ Brothers and Sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.

Gospel according to St. Matthew: After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

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How often has the most profound prayer

come amidst upheaval or crushing poverty or oppression?

I have been quite blessed;

I never worry about my food

better shelter than my Lord, Jesus

The poor struggle, but still fast and sacrifice better than I

In Iraq, in Africa, in Korea, in Okinawa, in Cuba, in death of loved ones,

All places of my upheaval,

and yet I had prayer and pondering most exquisite

like a great wine,

still savored.

Praying in chaos…

“Walking beneath the moon and utter hatred in Fallujah

You, o Beloved, grasped my hand if not my heart and soul,

and saved me from despair.

You nurtured my burnt ashes and You fixed my broken compass.

Changed direction, or at least calmed my temper tantrum.

Discovered resources on my ship that I failed to recognize

Fished for desperate food

and then fished for sport and amazement

Jesus, you are wonderful to travel with.

When I was overjoyed at seeing your star…

basically only the light of your reality and truth,

I thought I saw the best of You.

But then when I saw you, like the wise ones,

for the first time all over again,

Baby in the manger with Mary, your mother…

I went prostrate and did you homage

and then opened the treasury of my heart and soul…

that inmost treasure you gave me out of love,

And offered it to You, my Beloved.

Your hand firmly placed on my shoulder

“Do not be afraid!”

And we walked down the mountain together as brothers and lovers

We returned to our home another Way

YaWehTheWaY

O my!”

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Wisdom is the refulgence of eternal light,

the spotless mirror of the power of God,

the image of his goodness,

And she, who is one, can do all things,

and renews everything while herself perduring;

And passing into holy souls from age to age,

she produces friends of God and prophets.

                                                            Wisdom 7:26-27

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Looking for Christ in Christmas

Gospel St. Matthew 11:2-11 ~ When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.

What are you looking for this Christmas?

Where are you looking?

Have you ever considered looking Christmas in Easter?

In both celebrations we are looking for something special below a tree, one an evergreen and one a cross. Below both trees the mother holds her child. Below both trees… the light shines out through the darkness.

John the Baptist was looking for the Messiah all his life. John and his disciples were looking for God in all the right places, but did not find him. It reminds me of the movie, “Finding Nemo”. The little fish was attempting to find the ocean when he was swimming in it.

Jesus began his ministry as an adult. He entered the synagogue that he grew up in. He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah that he had practically memorized. The people looked for the Messiah but did not see him before their very eyes. Jesus told us his mission statement:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me                                                                                                                   because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.

God sent me to proclaim liberty to captives,                                                                                             recovery of sight to the blind,                                                                                                                                    to let the oppressed go free                                                                                                                                     and to proclaim a year acceptable to God.”

I have been on over 12 missions to poor places like Haiti, Honduras and Africa. I was looking for Jesus in the poorest of the poor. I don’t speak the language of the peoples, but I can hear and see what Jesus is doing through wonderful and dedicated people. A Frisbee or soccer ball brings about unimaginable healing in the people I come to serve and especially in myself. The blind see the poor as equal to us. Queen of Peace missions have literally done what Jesus begs us to do. They have helped people walk again, waters to be cleansed, surgeries to give new life, devastations to restore, an attitude of gratitude, and the materially poor and spiritually poor have the good news proclaimed to them. So much more to do.dscf9317

Christmas is about receiving gifts from God, nurturing them responsibly, sharing them lovingly in justice with others. This is the gift we return with increase to God. We receive the baby at Christmas, but we return the Body of Christ in our bodies at the foot of the genuine Christmas tree. We offer our tears and our brokenness. We also return our fruit from the gifts God planted in our souls. The more we share the Gift of the Holy Spirit and our fire with others in justice; the more fruit God channels through us; fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, self-control and faithfulness. This is the best Christmas gift we could ever imagine giving to God. We give the gift every Christ Mass wrapped in our Mission Statement.

As Christians we receive God’s gifts gratefully,

cultivate them responsibly,

share them lovingly in justice with others,

and return them with increase to the Lord.

Jesus could say to them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see in my followers:

They were blind but now they see, they were paralyzed in fear but now they walk in truth, they were impure with sin, but now forgiven, love has broken through their deafness, and they now breath in… hungering and thirsting for more.”

 

My gift to Jesus this year is an instrument… an instrument of peace.

What is your Good News? What is your Gift? You still have time.

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Awareness & Intimacy

Morning grogginess and resistance to get out of bed

this time of year… sun doesn’t come up until 7:12 am

my soul really, really wants to be taken to the beach

thirsting for God or love or higher power or something…

O so tired… possessive of my sleep time, food for my brain

rationalizing the sacred wrestling with the sacred.

 

Reluctantly rising… at least my soul,

start the obnoxious grinding of my coffee maker… excited

pushing and pulled by my body to take care of duty

then no excuses… bike pushed out of garage

silence getting louder

body catching up to the desires of the soul

 

coffee in hand, seated on bike…

first surprise

waning moon just two hours from setting

peddling in the cool but warm shadows of morning

intoxicated by the moment before sunrise

my soul like a dog distracted by the smells or squirrel

letting go of seeing the sunrise

appreciating the moon… the feel of the bike beneath me

 

So much, no video, no photo, no story could understand

my ride to the beach was like eternity

gifted to me…

contemplating

filling up with intimacy and flowers bursting from the sand

 

little pricks to my senses like

fire in the distance

bug crawling along my ear and hat line

clouds blocking the sunrise… but a blessing

I was late and would have felt cheated

reluctantly left my bike on the path to the beach

 

breathing deeper

no longer fighting the tiny ants on my path

noticing the sound of the waves crashing louder with every step

silhouetting clouds

disjointed waves

delicious humans and dogs enjoying the same by different perspectives

feet finally in the water, soul thanking my body

sandpipers and dolphins skirting and frolicking

aware, alive, alone and one

 

o so much more,

but not the energy to express

ya’ll need to experience your own morning

even if ya don’t get out of bed…

how beautiful the yawn and stretch

the smells and creaky bones

encounter of your beloved, if only in your memory

 

borrowed a few shells from the shoreline

to share with my friends at Wekiva

beautiful friends

healing and stabilizing

as the mind, body and soul wake up to

awareness and intimacy

 

let us pray

let us hope

let us be aware and intimate

with our day, body and soul

 

breathe in…

breathe out…

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We Are A Banquet of Love 22nd Sunday ~ St. Augustine

Then Jesus said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14: 7-14

Erica and Robert "True Joy"

Touched by Jesus

Upon my return from the war raging in Iraq in 2005, Jesus invited me to join him for a banquet that he was invited to in Haiti. Father Jeff was also going to bless the Home for the Elderly named Queen of Peace after this community. Queen of Peace is constantly inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind to this table through their stewardship of the first 10% of your collection. Just like the Gospel passage we heard, none of the people we help could repay us back. Just by being a member of Queen of Peace Parish Community could be the first step to a really nice seat at the Table in Heaven and Earth.

After the blessing of this home, the small group of us Queen of Peace Missionaries and Jesus were invited to celebrate. Then Jesus invited Father Jeff and I to a home for the malnourished children in a town called Aquin. This was the most amazing place I have ever seen. Parents or family must stay with the very malnourished child and learn skills to keep their children healthy and avoid having to come back. Many times the mothers sit at the perimeter. On this occasion, Jesus had a little girl about 3 or 4 years old on his lap. She was licking a lollipop. Before I could save Jesus from what was unfolding, the little girl gleefully took the lollipop out of her mouth and forcefully thrust the lollipop into Jesus’ mouth. Jesus seemed to delight in the generosity of the little girl. I on the other hand was aghast.

Then the little girl who had invited Jesus to her own little banquet showered Jesus with another unexpected and humbling gift. When the good sister lifted the child off of his lap, the little girl had baptized Jesus with a generous portion of piddle. When I looked into the eyes of Jesus with my own horror, he simply smiled and had this look of radiance, acceptance, humility, love and great gratitude for this little girl’s gifts.

Beloved, all of us can invite people to a banquet or luncheon. We have been invited to this great banquet where Mary, the Queen of Peace is the hostess. We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus. We become what we eat. We have everything we could ever possibly desire. Do you remember when Peter and John were going into the temple and came upon a crippled man? They said to him, “We do not have anything of value to give you, but what we do have you can have. In the name of Jesus, rise and be healed!” He sprang up. Peter and John invited the crippled man to the Banquet.

Let me tell you a secret. This is a true story, but it was Father Jeff who was really sitting with the little girl with the lollipop. It was Fr. Jeff who received gifts. Jeff was invited to Haiti as a guest of the poor and sat at the lowest place. He was humbled by the generosity of the little girl. He was the one whom I tried to save, but the little girl beat me too it. And she did it with a splash.

Let’s keep doing it. Let’s keep inviting the poor in body & spirit, the crippled by grief, and those blind to God’s infinite love. Let’s continue to invite them to the Table of Plenty where saint and sinners are friends. Let us become what we eat and invite people to this Eucharistic Banquet. Let us give from our want, not from our surplus. We need to love those we share our gifts with.

We are one with God. We inherit God’s love. What could we fear?

Tithing isn’t about repaying God, but rather it is an opportunity to invite others to share in our abundance of love with a splash and joy.

Do Not Be Afraid ~ 19th Sunday

Jesus said to his disciples: Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.                          St. Luke 12:32-40

IMG_1736Jesus says it over and over, “Do not be afraid.”

Let us ask the question: “What am I afraid of?”

Jesus shares with us that if we open the door immediately when the Master knocks, he will have us recline at table and then wash our feet, and then proceed to wait on us. What could we possibly be afraid of?

God was knocking on Penny’s door. She volunteered to go to Kalighat, a home for the dying run by Mother Teresa’s sisters, for the first time. I suppose she was intrigued by the love of the Missionaries of Charity. It was terribly traumatic for Penny—being a beauty therapist, she was used to everything being all nice and spick-and-span, smelling nice, so it was quite a shock. I am sure many of you can relate to this when you volunteered for mission work in a place like Haiti or Catholic Heart work camp. Or maybe the first time your first child had diarrhea. When I began volunteering as a retreat director for Ministries of Disabilities, the drooling, physical suffering, and people who violated my boundaries raised my anxieties. I had whopping headaches and emotional paralysis.

When one of the sisters asked Penny to wash this woman she just thought, ‘There’s no way. I just couldn’t.’ So the sister said, ‘All right, come with me,’ and she picked up this little bundle of bones, because that’s what this lady was, and took her into the bathroom. Even now it makes her cry—there wasn’t a lot of light in the room and she was absolutely catatonic. Then all of a sudden the whole room just lit up! One minute she was saying ‘I just can’t’ and the next she realized, ‘Of course, I could.’IMG_2740

Throughout our lives, especially those here at Queen of Peace, we have worked among the poorest of poor, people with severe mental and physical disabilities, social injustice, Marines, sailors, soldiers and families torn apart by IED’s and shrapnel to the soul. Whenever we tell God there is something we just can’t do, like shave a man who does not have use of his arms, comfort the grieving, embrace a person with AIDS, tell a person we love them just before they will die, or work with schizophrenics or drug addicts… God seems to knock on the door of our terrified hearts. Then all of a sudden, light floods our darkness. We no longer label people as a diagnosis; we see the whole person light up. One minute we are saying, “I just can’t” and the next we realize, “Of course, we can!”

God doesn’t ask us to do things he isn’t already doing.

God is hoping that we do small things with great love.

God is hoping to find us ready when he knocks.

And then Our Father will welcome us home, wash our feet and invite us to dine with him and Our Family.

When God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and we do it,

we are always better for the experience.

Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

Now that is Good News we can treasure.

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Mission Statement of Queen of Peace

As Christians we receive God’s gifts gratefully,

cultivate them responsibly,

share them lovingly in justice with others,

and return them with increase to the Lord.DSCF0893

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Soulful Prayer ~ 17th Sunday

IMG_5708Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

                        Father, hallowed be your name,

                           your kingdom come.

                        Give us each day our daily bread

                        and forgive us our sins

                        for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,

                       and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

Jesus went on, “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?              

                                                                                                            St. Luke 11:1-13

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Jesus was praying. He doesn’t ask us to do things he wouldn’t do himself.

Jesus teaches us how to pray if we ask; real and sustaining prayer; prayer like food.

Jesus also informs us that as sons and daughters of the Father, we have an abundance of bread and gifts that the world is in desperate need of.

Prayers to God and Jesus are always answered. Prayers are not always answered the way we expect or desire, but they are always the absolute best answer. Why? Because God loves us as only a mother and father could. If we ask for a snake to eat, God most likely will give us a fish.

When we ask for something in prayer, do we always consider how our prayer will impact others? I am sometimes baffled how God could answer my trivial prayer to get over a cold before migrants and refugees who ask only to be treated with a drop of respect and drink of water. I shutter to think how our country cries over our health care details when our life expectancy is greater than most other countries that have none. Being rich is not a blessing as much as it is a responsibility. When much has been given, much is expected.

IMG_6174Our daily bread is a recognition and Eucharistic gratitude that we have the Creator of the world within our bodies and hearts. Therefore our prayer needs to be for wisdom (the first gift of the Holy Spirit), humility, joy and gratitude.

The serenity prayer says much about a true prayer. People who have hit rock bottom and are crying for mercy desperately pray it. “Lord, grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the acceptance of the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I accept that I can’t change how we human beings prophet from violence and from divisions like divorce and politics. What I can change is being more responsible for myself; becoming less reactive and more peaceful.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, self-control and faithfulness. All human beings can improve on this fruit. I’m praying for a bumper crop of love, joy and peace… in me!!! I am reassured that in tragedies like Orlando and Dallas and Baton Rouge, people still come together like they never knew they could.IMG_5785

God is more interested in our return to prayer than we are. It isn’t about the sins of others, but about my sins and my need for mercy. We simply need to listen and spend time with Jesus and continue to ask him to teach us how to pray better than we did yesterday. It all begins and ends with love. But our prayer will be uncomfortable.

I often take long walks on the beach and I pray. Often this song wells up from my soul:

There is a longing in our hearts, O Love, for you to reveal yourself to us.

There is a longing in our hearts for love, we only find in you o God.

 

For justice, for mercy, for freedom hear our prayer.

In sorrow, in grief, be near hear our prayer o God.

 

For wisdom, for courage, for comfort… hear our prayer.

In weakness, in fear, be near hear our prayer o God.

 

For healing, for wholeness, for new life… hear our prayer.

In sickness, in death, be near hear our prayer O God.

 

Lord save us, take pity. Light in our darkness.

We call you. We wait. Be near, hear our prayer O God.

                                    Song by Anne Quigley  1992

If you pray like this, I am confident that God, the Father, will not only hear your prayer, but answer it.

As a country, many knock at our door. Many are praying that we open our doors and see. Once I saw the poorest of poor in Haiti, Jamaica, the special needs and Honduras… I realized that I needed to bang on the doors of my friends for some bread (food and money). When confronted with over 1500 casualties and 81 deaths in Fallujah Iraq, I realized the 10,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines were pounding on the door of my heart for spiritual bread to make sense of the senseless. I was depleted and bankrupt of mercy. As long as we profit from wars, we will never be able to listen to the prophets. Although Jesus has given me an abundance of Bread and Blood, there came a time when I was the one pounding on the doors of my friends late at night for my friends and their families in need. I am still pounding!DSCF0372

In other words, my prayer is that I have the courage to open the locked door of my heart tonight and see the plight of the poor and hungry. Sometimes I have to be the beggar for the hungry, refugee, oppressed and poor like the friends who come to me in the middle of the night. God will provide.

Ah the dangers of praying as Jesus teaches us…

Do you think God might answer this prayer?

O my! & wow!DSCF2170

 

 

 

 

Reflecting & Reflected

Beauty all around me

Even sickness can be beautiful

Not me this time… my friend

morning stillness

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yet still wrestling

still restless

I am very at peace and yes, happy.

Completed my license requirements

Patiently waiting for the green light and rising question

“Now what?”

Gorgeous morning

Light in the trees

Coolness of house

Attempting to meditate beyond distractions

unawakened

awakened

purgative

illuminative

dark night of the soul

union… hoping

my soul feels at home

within soulitude

and Beloved God.

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