“Great opportunities to please God are infrequent,”
But turning little actions into great acts can happen all the time...
“I’m bored with my life,” uttered 18 year old Tina to her friends. “Nothing exciting ever happens to me.” Her friends responded, “How can you feel this way when the earth right this moment is showing us its most...
Have you ever wondered what exactly is the peace the Lord Jesus wants to give when he says “My peace I give you.” Well, we can be certain it is not the peace that frees us from anxiety or worries. Jesus’ peace is deeper and more profound. It...
In Matthew 17:13 Jesus says: Enter through the narrow gate: for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few...
“I’m bored with my life,” uttered 18 year old Tina to her friends. “Nothing exciting ever happens to me.”
Her friends responded, “How can you feel this way when the earth right this moment is showing us its most colorful flowers?” Another offered, “And what about the fabulous sunset we saw last night? It never looked so beautiful.”
Next, her sister chimed in with the following, “Tina, this summer our family is planning a great vacation to Canada! Remember, the one you always wanted.”
Then Tina’s sister added, “Think about it, how can anyone be bored with all these happenings going on?” Yet, Tina yawned, closed her eyes and soon was fast asleep.
Poor Tina! With all these limitless and exciting gifts from God right before her eyes, Tina still seemed bored. And truly, boredom can be tedious, tiresome and worst of all toxic.
Boredom is the demon with the fathomless appetite for our joy. It swallows whatever excitement life suggests; and, does it quickly and thoroughly making us feel as if nothing is worth getting excited about. Even when we want to enjoy life, boredom drains us and leaves us listless.
Still, Jesus left his disciples and us too, a great conqueror for boredom. It’s the Holy Spirit. Jesus returned to heaven and sent this “eternal energizer.” It is the breath of God which easily ignites our hearts, quickly refreshes our existence and totally restarts our desire to live each day well. In fact, the Holy Spirit is fondly nicknamed “the breath mint of the Church!”
Why? Because this Holy Spirit has power to fill our lives with an abundance of bright colors and lasting fragrances of flowers, stunning sunsets and even the most unforgettable vacations ever. Yes, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as His great gift to keep us joy-filled until He meets us again on our last day.
St. Francis de Sales says it this way:
“Jesus prepared for you everything necessary for your happiness. And He did this individually too, just as the sun shines brightly on each of us as if we existed alone on this earth.”
Jesus’ words are quite clear too:
“…the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you.” And Jesus meant everything–even joy! (Jn14:26).Read More
Have you ever wondered what exactly is the peace the Lord Jesus wants to give when he says “My peace I give you.” Well, we can be certain it is not the peace that frees us from anxiety or worries. Jesus’ peace is deeper and more profound. It flows from knowing that we are doing the right thing in any given place or moment and persevering until the crisis passes.
In life we often find ourselves facing tough decisions and challenges we would rather avoid. We want no part of trouble and prefer instead to sit in the shade sipping a cool glass of lemonade. That’s the peace the world urges us to choose and it is as far away from unwanted troubles as we can possibly get.
While the peace that Jesus holds out to us comes when trouble arrives. Even though our life seems turned upside down at the time of trouble, we stay put because loved ones are involved or may even be in danger. It’s then that we ask for the Lord’s help, dig in and do what we can to resolve the emergency. Indeed, when we choose the right thing to do for the love of another, peace flows into our lives, and Jesus gives it in abundance.
As a young girl, my mother left the familiar setting of her Italian hometown to come to America, and as an immigrant, she faced a life without her familiar surroundings. She left her cousins, her companions, and especially her best friend, whom she did not see again until forty-nine years later.
It most likely was tempting for her to hide out in her memories, where she felt safe and comfortable, but she didn’t. Instead she faced her new future, its challenges, her losses and her longings for the sake of her famly. My mother chose what one author called “the road of the kingdom” rather than the temporary road of personal pleasure and gratification. She never regretted her choice. It was the right thing to do, and she embraced it.
Everyday we face these same choices. We can choose a worldly peace which arises from fleeting pleasure and makes us feel good, or we can select the uphill path. While this path is more difficult, we believe that it leads us to the kingdom. In my mother’s case, it was her new life in America. When it is the right thing to do, God “pours out” the grace, which makes it work.
Just ask anyone who has trod this kingdom road of tough choices–Jesus, Mary, Joseph, my mother, perhaps your relatives. For in the end we did the right thing, made the right choice, and Jesus whispered along our way “My peace I gave you! and together we made it, didn’t we?”Read More
Shopping recently at a local department store, I encountered a toddler loudly crying, “Mommy! Mommy! I want my Mommy!” Yet all around this teary eyed frightened crying child were mothers trying to console him.
However, no matter how soothing their words or consoling their pleas not one stopped his crying or his tears. We just kept hearing “Mommy, I want my Mommy.” When suddenly we heard “Peter, Peter–Mommy’s over here.”
At the sound of his name he suddenly stopped his cries and ran to where the voice came. He jumped into his Mother’s arms and they both hugged. She was definitely the one person whom he needed to see and hear. They belonged to each other. They were safe together and they were home, even in that store!
As I watched little Peter snuggle in his Mother’s arms, I gained an insight into how Jesus wants His voice to touch our everyday lives. Jesus wants it to be the power that stabilizes us in perilous times, encourages us on cloudy days and provides joy and delight in moments of happiness.
No other voice, but His alone can do all these things with such vigor, kindness, or compassion. Why?–Simply because His soothing words are sustained by His great act of dying, rising and reconciling us with His Father. After doing all these things for us why wouldn’t His love show in every word He utters? His love is always in His heart simply anticipating the moments He can speak to those He loves.
This is why He whispers our name no matter the frequency, or the reason–and why we should run to that lovingly familiar Voice as little Peter did–to his Mother’s–with excitement and a big hug. When we do, Jesus may utter “You’re home. You’re with me.” And like Peter we will feel just as safe!Read More