June 1, 2013
This post is linked to Sunday Snippets.
Welcome to Colleen’s meme, Sabbath Moments. Please join us and share a few of your own.
No blogging this week
Was I lazy? No, just wiped out. If I could turn back the clock to my 30s without giving up all my painfully acquired insights into life, I’d do it in a second. Everything functioned a lot better then. Except my spiritual life.
The weather was good early in the week so I spent Monday taking down curtains, washing them, cleaning up the house, and doing minor yard stuff. The carpet cleaner came, too.
Tuesday was spent washing all the windows in the house with the help of hubby and a friend and lots of yard work with the help of one of my Latin students. Wednesday I planted the asparagus beans germinated from last year’s seeds and tended a large flower bed with another Latin student. Thursday I couldn’t move. Total wipe out. High pain levels. Couldn’t think well enough to write.
Springtime is the most demanding in the house and garden and the most physically challenging for me. Each day this week ended after about five to six hours with me somewhat bent over and burning a lot. The thought of putting together even a simple post was too much. But the Sabbath Moments for me were the ongoing thoughts of doing this for God, keeping flower beds cleaned up to offer their beauty to Our Lady, the joy of working with my students, and soaking up a lot of sun. Plus, we can now see out of the windows! God gave me a special gift of being able to do more hours of physical labor than I’ve been able to do in years, a miracle, I think.
Last evening we were glued to the television for an hour or so, praying for those in Oklahoma and Missouri who were in the path of the tornados. As I watched the storm live from Oklahoma City I just kept praying, “Lord have mercy on those people.” Never have I seen such a storm configuration.
The bad weather was due here after midnight, and sure enough it came, but I slept through it. Hubby and the dog didn’t. After asking God to protect us and keep us safe, I went to bed and left all in His hands. No tornados came near us even though we were in the storm cell path. In all, I think something like 15 tornados hit Oklahoma and Missouri last evening.
My husband said we had constant lightening and thunder that shook the house and along with intense rain it lasted at least 20 minutes. Then after a short pause it happened again. This went on for quite awhile. So glad I slept through it.
“Long faces cannot proclaim Jesus” – Pope Francis
Sabbath Moments means, for me, getting a daily Francis Fix. If we think about it, we should fall to our knees and bow our heads to the ground in thanksgiving. Never before in the history of the Church have Catholics the world over been able to have daily instruction from the Pope. The restoration of true Jesuit evangelization is upon us with the help of modern technology. I feel as if St. Ignatius himself is right there beside the Pope cheering him on.
Friday’s homily as reported by Vatican Radio dealt with the very theme of this blog, suffering with joy. Here are excerpts of the summary and quotes:
The Holy Spirit is the “author” of Christian joy and to proclaim the Gospel we need to have joy in our hearts gifted us by the Spirit of God. There is a certain understanding of Christian life that is marked by sadness, but long faces cannot proclaim Jesus. Joy alone and praise of God are the only way to advance the Gospel.
Pope Francis began by commenting on the daily readings. The first reading, from the prophet Zephaniah, contains the exclamation “Rejoice! Cries of joy, the Lord is in your midst.” The second, from the Gospel, tells the story of Elizabeth and her son that “rejoices” in the womb on hearing the words of Mary. The Pope noted, “it all speaks of joy, the joy that is celebration.” Yet, he continues, “we Christians are not so accustomed to speak of joy, of happiness”, “I think often we prefer to complain”. Instead, it is “the Holy Spirit that gives us joy…”
“It’s the Spirit that guides us: He is the author of joy, the Creator of joy. And this joy in the Holy Spirit gives us true Christian freedom. Without joy, we Christians cannot become free, we become slaves to our sorrows. The great Paul VI said that you cannot advance the Gospel with sad, hopeless, discouraged Christians. You cannot. A certain mournful behavior, no? Often Christians behave as if they were going to a funeral procession rather than to praise God, no? [The Pope is referring to coming to Mass.] And this joy comes from praise, Mary’s praise, this praise that Zephaniah speaks of, Simeon and Anna’s praise: this praise of God! “
And how do we praise God? We praise Him by coming out of ourselves, we praise Him “freely, like the grace that He gives us is free,” said Pope Francis. This pushes us to an examination of conscience on how to pray to God, said Pope Francis, who then turned to those present with a question:
“You here at Mass, do you give praise to God or do you only petition God and thank God? Do you praise God? This is something new, new in our new spiritual life. Giving praise to God, coming out of ourselves to give praise; spending a little bit of time giving praise.”
This homily helped me realize that my particular charism in prayer is praise. It’s why I end my posts the way I do. It’s why when I suffer the most I pray from 1 Tim. 1:17, “To the King of ages, who is immortal, invisible, the one only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” And from Rom. 11:36, “For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen.”
Pope Francis is right. We can’t proclaim Jesus with long faces no matter how difficult this world is to live in. We must let the Holy Spirit loose inside us and show ourselves praising God with joy. That is what draws others who want what we have. It answers those who say, “I can’t explain what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
Want to subscribe to posts by email? Visit the third box in the sidebar.
R. Now and forever!
(Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)
9 Comments to Sabbath Moments
Email notification of posts
I am grateful for even small donations to help keep this site going. All donors will be kept in my prayers.