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First things First. Jim came back to Church, wearing a bright yellow shirt. My little bit of sunshine. He definitely isn’t feeling well and missed Mass again this Monday, but he is alright. I talked with Matt about Jim, and he rightfully reminded me that i have nothing to worry about. Jim has been planning his whole life to go to heaven, and when he does there will be a great celebration. Matt’s right. I worried for myself. Jim is one more person, another moment of grace, that brought me closer to God. And I don’t want to lose him just yet.

Now, to the topic at hand. Confidence, Joy and Love.

I have been absolutely fascinated with Father Barkett’s talk with me about how when you love God with all your heart you can do anything! He asked me to think about God’s love the same way I love my kids. “You love your kids. You always have their best interests in mind. Sometimes you are angry with them (however God’s not ever angry with you). But you don’t stop loving them. And because you love them so perfectly, you can do absolutely anything with them and it’s fine, because you’ll never try to hurt them. You are always aligned with their best interests. It’s the same with God. Once you align your heart, your mind, your will to God, you can do anything.”

. . . with God, anything is possible.” Matthew `19:26

Then he told me that true humility is believing in the truth, and therefore knowing that you can do anything. That just rocks my world. “Think about Mary: The whole world will call me Blessed.God made you who you are. He gave you your strengths and weakness. He loves you as you are, regardless of what you do. And he brought you here in this time and place because you were most likely to answer his call. To love God means to love all of His creatures. Be confident in what he has made.

Damn.

Of course, as seems to be the pattern with how the Holy Spirit wants me to learn, I saw this everywhere last week. Confidence in God’s Love. It’s all over Father Larry Richard’s book, Surrender, which happens to be a new personal favorite for me. It is embodied in my potential new boss. It’s in this weeks readings: Creation. It’s in the stunning perfection of a snowflake. And, most surprising of all, it’s now resting in my heart.

I was talking with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and we talked about being Catholic. I talked with my sister, who outwardly dislikes organized religion, about God. I talked with a friend who is letting her worries eat away at her joy — a joy, my dear, that you bring so easily to so many others, and I heard myself saying and thinking about how sure I am, how absolutely, positively sure I am that God is the Truth. God is the Truth. God is the way, the truth and the life. And I believe that no one will truly be happy until they look to God.

Suddenly, surrender became any but. . . I felt (and feel) a bit more like someone who has just fallen in love. A bit tentative, yes, but I have a sense of abandon that is utterly remarkable. For however brief this moment may be, I think God has taken me one more step in my journey. A small moment of grace. I have a peace formed solely by a trust and love of God.

We were made to love. Yes, sometimes its hard. And yes, sometime we don’t. But we are loved. God has a plan for us, far better than any we could imagine. It will include worry. It will include pain. But it will be glorious. We are loved. And we were made to give away that love to anyone and everyone. To will the good of the another.

As I was writing this a friend of mine posted something on Facebook. One more moment of grace. It was a link to a blog entry about the passing of a 7-year old girl and friend, Bella, to a long-term illness. Read it here. Bella is derived from the Latin: Beautiful. Her story, or perhaps more accurately, Love, rips your heart to shreds when you read it. It is love and love alone that fills you with loss and pain. But it is also love that picks up the pieces and lets you rejoice in her beauty and light, smile at the pictures and stories, and pray for all those that Bella left behind.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10.

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