Author Archives: Mary Ann

Bread of Compassion

Man Holding Bread
By Kate Remmer studioktr (unsplash.com) [CC0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Today I will be mindful of serving the little bit of love and compassion I have to others.

One person’s offering can go a long way—for it is the Lord who multiplies it.

All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:31-32

Real work

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)
People Gather Manna
via Wikimedia Commons

A job may earn me money, but my real work is learning to love—at home, in the workplace, in the community, those I know, those I have never met.

Today my work is to practice compassion, patience, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, nonviolence, and reverence for all of God’s creation. My never-failing mentor is the Lord.

[Jesus said,] “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” ” John 6:27

Peace in unity

Loaves and Fishes Mosaic
Church of the Multiplication, Tabgha

Today I choose to avoid divisiveness. I will use my energy to practice patience, treat all people with gentleness, and become more humble by refusing to compare myself with others.

…live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace… Ephesians 4:1b-3

Sheep of faith

Shepherd and sheep in Saudi Arabia
haitham alfalah, 28 September 2012

The Shepherd who calls me has removed the wall that prevents people from experiencing love, peace, and wholeness. Am I willing to follow the Shepherd of Compassion wherever he leads me?

In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity. Ephesians 2:13-14ab

Together

By Phillip Medhurst [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), from Wikimedia Commons

Let us walk together in our quest for unity, peace, and love.

Let us remember God’s power gives us the authority to eliminate divisiveness, war, and fear.

Let us live in humble awareness of God’s will that we love one another as God loves each of us.

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Mark 6:7

Graced

Orant statuette
alabaster, 3300 BC
Uruk Period
Louvre Museum [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, CC BY-SA 3.0 fr or CeCILL], from Wikimedia Commons


Three times I begged the Lord about this [thorn in the flesh], that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

In those moments when I am nagged by sadness or pain or fear, when I feel I cannot live one more second in this affliction, grace nudges me to call on the Lord, whose faithful compassion blesses me with a moment of rest from the “angel of Satan.” God’s power carries me because I cannot carry myself.

Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy. Psalm 123:2cd

Afflicted

James Tissot (1836-1902)
L’hémoroïsse
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, dyslexia, migraine, alcoholism, glaucoma, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness: affliction is a part of the human condition.

Through no fault of our own, our genes and bodies and minds have been wired for our particular afflictions. And while we may seek mainstream medical solutions and traditional therapies to help us cope, some afflictions don’t go away.

Afflictions do not make us unworthy of God’s love, or “less than” as human persons. We are made in the image of God’s love and goodness—and nothing can change that.

Our most important work is not to figure out why we are afflicted, but to reach out in humility to touch the Lord and ask for compassion and healing in whatever form they may manifest: mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Mark 5:25-29