Tag Archives: Catholic

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

The work of today

The Birth of St. John the Baptist
Spain, ca.1525
Gilded wood
Art Institute of Chicago

My daily work is to show up for life, treat all people with compassion, generosity, and respect, take care of today’s responsibilities, and help manifest God’s vision of peace, unity, and love in our fragile world.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. Isaiah 49:4

Tiny seeds

Mustard Seeds in a Plate at Reganigudem, Visakhapatnam district
By Adityamadhav83 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A friend who has cancer maintains a positive, hopeful outlook in the midst of receiving chemo treatments for her bone marrow.

“You always inspire me,” I told her recently as I coped with the anxiety of a job search.

“You just made my day,” she said. Her gracious reply energized me to banish the idol of worry and put my attention on the things of God.

Tiny seeds of appreciation, respect, encouragement, love, and compassion do grow and spread and bear great fruit.

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” Mark 4:26-27

Family

Let us be the family of the Lord. Let us love one another. Let us pray for our enemies. Let us help the poor and the homeless, the refugees and immigrants. Let us comfort the lonely and grief-stricken. Let us welcome the rejected and abandoned. Let us show compassion to the suffering. Let us forgive those who have hurt us.

[… Jesus said,] “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:34b-35

Nourished by Love

JESUS MAFA. Detail of Jesus from the Lord’s Supper, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 3, 2018]. Original source: Librairie de l’Emmanuel

Jesus offers us a new covenant, one that nourishes our minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits with the very essence of the Lord: Love.

Each of us needs the food and drink of love to be fully alive and human. God’s love empowers us to stand tall, rejoice with the knowledge of our unique place in God’s heart, and be aware of God’s blessings and grace even when life circumstances trouble us.

May I remember to offer God’s love to all those I encounter today.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. Mark 14:22-23