Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Spiritual Life is Natural

Conscious Contact!  Coming into what is clearly a spiritual program, we may have been fearful that our own unworthiness would hold us back.  We may have believed that a spiritual life and a “conscious contact” with God are reserved for a few people with saintly qualities.

What we must know is that the spiritual life is every person's right.  It includes the human qualities that have brought our greatest progress.  “The spirit of the thing” is an ordinary phrase, but it expresses the presence of a Higher Power in our lives.

What's most useful to know is that we can contact our Higher Power at any time, in any place.  This can be extremely important when we are in very bad situations.  We always have a Higher Power to pull us through and to set things right in our lives.  That's our birthright as human beings.

I'll turn to my Higher Power frequently throughout the day, if only for a few moments each time.  This will keep me on the right path.

~ From “Walk in Dry Places” by Mel B


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Love Between Imperfect People


Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it.  Hate needs no instruction, but only waits to be provoked.  ~ Katherine Anne Porter

We often enter into our relationships believing there is one perfect way to act, and if we can only find that way, we'll be successful, accepted.  But there is no such thing as one best way to be with another person.  The wonder of any relationship is that it involves two imperfect people.

Believing that perfection will ensure love is addictive thinking.  Love is a gift that must be given freely, there is nothing we can do to control someone else's choice to love us or not love us.  All we can do is our part by learning each day to love as best we can.  It may be difficult to find within ourselves such qualities as emotional maturity, separateness, honesty, forgiveness, patience, and self-respect.  But those are the very qualities we must cultivate to love someone else.

It can be frightening to trust another person enough to take risks and let go of the outcome.  But love is a risk that's worth it.

I am learning that I don't need to be perfect to be accepted and loved by others.  I'm also learning that I don't need to expect perfection from others to love and accept them.

~ From  “Answers in the Heart” by Anonymous

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Love

Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth—and those of the angels, too—but do not have love, I am just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophesy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, and it is not snobbish; it is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries. Love doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never ends.

~ I Corinthians 13:1-8

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Everybody

This is a story about four people named: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.

Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it!

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  This feast is the third in a series of divine manifestations of Jesus that we commemorate during the Christmas season.  The first is the nativity of Jesus on Christmas day, the birth of Emmanuel, God with us.  The second is the Epiphany when God revealed his plan for salvation to all the nations as represented by the Magi.  And today we see Jesus revealed as God the Father's “beloved son” in whom God is “well pleased.”

We heard the first part of today's gospel, Luke 3:15-16, four weeks ago during Advent when we focused our attention on expectation and preparation.  The people of Judea sought the messiah and they thought John the Baptist "might be the Christ."  In the text we hear today, St. Luke makes clear to us that the Christ has arrived.  And it is not John the Baptist.  The Christ is Jesus, God's son, filled with the Holy Spirit and anointed to “bring glad tidings to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).  The time of expectation and preparation is finished.  Advent and Christmas are over.  Now the real work of Jesus Christ begins; Jesus is launched into his mission. 

With baptism, we become beloved daughters and sons of the Father.  When we receive baptism, we are launched into the mission of Christ.  At our baptism, God the Father grasps us "by the hand," and makes each of us "a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness" (Isaiah 42:6-7).  Our baptism is a lifelong commitment to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ continuing the good work he began until he comes again in glory. 

God our Father,
with your whole people reborn in baptism
we give you thanks.
In Jesus, each of us has become
your beloved son or daughter.
Fill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit
who guided Jesus in life and death.
Let this Spirit set us free
to serve you and one another
with unselfish, grateful love.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
Amen

Friday, January 11, 2019

I Didn't Have Time

I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day!
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me
And heavier came the task.
“Why doesn’t God help me? I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty.
But the day toiled on, gray and bleak,
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day,
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray