Trust

About a week or two after we received the letter and money, my husband was offered some contractual work, but it was in Baltimore. He said no first because he didn’t want to spend 6 weeks away from us. However they really wanted him and offered to fly him up to Baltimore on Monday mornings and return on Friday evenings to Raleigh, so he would be home on the weekends. The pay was great, so he accepted. While he was there, he was offered a job in Colorado Springs. He called and said, you don’t want to live in Colorado, do you? I said, why not? After a few months of negotiations, we moved. 

Our families thought we were crazy. Only a few of our siblings had lived anywhere but the East Coast. But it all seemed to work out. It required major trust. We moved with a contract on our house in NC that fell apart during our road trip to CO. I was 7.5 months pregnant at the time, so we found a doctor first and then a place to live. God provided as usual, a great doctor, a great parish, homeschooling group and a nice house to rent while we figured out where we wanted to buy. The house sold in a couple weeks with a cleaner, better contract. 

As I have told you before, discernment is not our strong suit, but we are learning to trust. We feel like we have been to the edge and know our Lord won’t let us fall. We may come down differently than we planned, but His plan is always better.

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You have been obedient and you will be blessed

While we were in NC, my husband shut down his fundraising company because of a philosophical dispute with his supplier. He was working part time-ish at a couple things, but this was not enough to support the family.  We were discussing what we were going to do on a Saturday evening and decided we would look for a smaller house in a less expensive area and in the meantime see if we could get a line of credit on our house. Chris had some ideas for start up businesses, but they require capital, which we thought we could get from our house once in sold.

The next morning, Chris went out to water the grass (it was July) and found an envelope on the porch. Inside the envelope was $4000 cash and a letter. The letter said, (I am paraphrasing), “I understand you are having some difficult financial times.  We love seeing your family at Church and what a beautiful job you are doing raising them in the faith. Please take this money to meet your needs. Do not try and figure out who it is from, it is from the Lord.” 

WOW!! We were grateful, humbled and awed. Oh, and did I mentioned that that was the exact amount of our monthly budget? We didn’t deserve this I thought, and then I remembered a friend of mine had told me she felt the same way when she bought the house that fit her family, plus room to grow, where she wanted, and someone had pointed out to her that she had been obedient and now she was reaping the blessings.

Clearly, we are often obedient and don’t receive worldly blessings. Rather, we will receive the final reward. But it is sure nice to have these blessings and comforts along the way!

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Are you working in the vineyard?

The other week, I was watching a show on TV where the  person was talking about surrendering all to God, and “writing the blank check.” He meant, giving it all up to God and do what God called, without hesitation and without talking ourselves out of it, which I think many are prone to do. Then that following Sunday, the homily was about the same thing. Jesus was calling people to be His disciples, but they all had reasons why the couldn’t right then. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to, you see, but just couldn’t at that moment. Aren’t we fortunate that Jesus doesn’t respond to us in such a laissez faire way? Yet this is how many respond to him.

I think really living up to your faith and the promises and commitments you have made within the faith compels you to respond with the openness and trust He requires. You often have to do things that are uncomfortable, unpopular and downright tough, but you will be blessed for your discipleship.

One time at a bible study, we were talking about the parable where a master is gathering workers. Some work all day, some part day and some come just for  few hours. All receive the same pay, because that is what was offered and agreed to.  The ladies in my bible study noted it was great that the Father (the master) was so loving that He let all the workers receive the same pay (their eternal reward), even though some didn’t work as hard or as much. They were looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who had been a laborer for Christ all along. I was struck with sadness, however, knowing that I could have been working in His vineyard for many years before, but I chose not to. I felt like I had let Him down, and disappointed Him. It made me want to work harder and do His will more willingly.  But, luckily, the Master is happy that I made it to the vineyard, even though I went the long way.

So, rejoice if you are in the vineyard and have been and if you are not, know you will be welcomed and receive the same pay.

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Living your faith

It never occurs to me how some of the things I do or my family does are little moments of inspiration and witness to others. Some of these things are repetitive actions my husband and I grew up with, and perhaps did not understand their importance or significance until we learned more about our faith as adults. Some of them we purposely do to remind ourselves and our children about God’s presence in the world around us.

For instance, when we drive by a Catholic Church, we make the sign of the cross, acknowledging Jesus’ presence in the tabernacle. When we see an accident or pass an ambulance, we say a quick prayer for the people involved. Something like, “Dear Lord, please watch over those in the accident.” We say grace before meals, even when out at a restaurant. It is important to always thank God for His bounty and equally important for our children to learn to be comfortable praying in public. We try to have family prayer time, usually a rosary or evening prayer, a nice way to end the day and remember who we have to thank for that day. When the kids get hurt we patch them up and ask Jesus to help them feel better or take away their pain.

Many of these we do without thinking, they have become habit. So it is always surprising when we hear a comment like, “that was really sweet,” or “you inspired me to do this with our family.” What a special gift to be the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit is working on people. Don’t be shy about your faith, you don’t have to be preaching from the street corners, the little things you probably already do may be planting seeds and inspiring people.

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Jesus is here

I believe I have mentioned before the wonderful gifts I have experienced while at Adoration. But more than those special happenings, I know Jesus is present in front of me at Adoration. I know it not only because my Faith teaches me, but because my heart tells me. We know that Jesus is always present in the tabernacle, but He is “Behind closed doors,” so to speak. When exposed in the Monstrance, He is there is a different way, giving us a glimpse of His majesty.

This past Sunday was the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrating the Body and Blood of Christ. Celebrating that He gave His body and blood for our salvation, that He joins us at the Eucharist at every Mass as the priest changes the bread and wine into His body and blood and that we have access to Him through His presence in the tabernacle and when He is exposed during Adoration.

Thomas Aquinas wrote “Tantum Ergo” which describes beautifully the feeling and the reverence experienced by many at Adoration. The English and Latin words are below:

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Lo! oe’r ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high
With the Holy Spirit proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
Amen.

 

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
Amen.

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Blessings

Often I forget to simply thank God for my blessings. I get caught up in the day to day things and let the little stuff bother me. What really are small issues see great without perspective. There’s a song with the line “in the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I’m blessed.” Keeping that attitude at the forefront will help me to focus on the wonderful gifts God has given me.

A couple of years ago, I participated in a book club and we read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It was a lovely, moving book that followed this woman’s faith journey and how she decided to look for the gifts in the everyday and journal those gifts. What a stark reminder to adjust my thinking and look at things for the good, not something new about which to complain. Even more challenging is writing them down, as it makes you stop and really articulate the gift.

 

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Consistency

I realize I have been not as consistent as I intended when I began this blog. The original idea was to share my faith on a DAILY basis with others and the medium of a blog seemed to reach the most people. Of course, “the best laid plans of mice and men do often go awry. . .” (Robert Burns) And here I am , barely sharing once a week. I could blame it on the kids sports, end of school year, graduations, but really, everyone has all that going on right? It is a question commitment and consistency. We are inconsistent by nature, but God is consistent by nature. “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who
love Him and keep His commandments” (Deut. 7:9)

Did you get that last part? I think we need to be consistent as well, at least where loving God and keeping His commandments are concerned.

In the mundane daily operations, we can’t always be consistent. Some situations do not require consistency. If you are a parent, your children will let you know when you are not consistent. But if our benchmark is always loving God and keeping His commandments, there will be a sort of transcendent consistency. This is what we can work towards.

Thanks be to God that we can try to “be perfect, like our heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

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