Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Till There Was This . . .

So, it is no secret that I am a huge fan of Ignatian Spirituality and especially the concept of "finding God in all things", which to me is simply an awareness that everything we are and have comes from God, so whatever we find in the world in some way can lead us back to God.

About a month ago I got a new CD from one of my favorite singing groups that has roots right here in my beloved Bloomington:  Straight No Chaser.  Among the songs on the CD is the most amazing arrangement of the song "Till There Was You" from the musical The Music Man.   If you aren't familiar with the story, this song is sung by Marian the Librarian when she realizes that she has fallen for Harold Hill.

Only when I heard this particular arrangement, sung by these ten amazing men it wasn't a love song between a woman and a man, but to me it was someone realizing that the entire world looks and sounds different when one becomes aware of God in his or her life.  Everything changes,  colors are brighter, music is sweeter, and somehow the whole world looks so amazing.  There is Love all around,  because God is Love, and those who live in Love live in God, and God in them.

Listen to the lyrics, and put yourself in the place of the singer.  How has your world changed because you are aware that God is a part of all that you do?


Monday, September 26, 2011

God is Completely Satisfied With You Just The Way You Are . . .

the problem is, you have no idea who you are.

That was one of the messages that I got from a retreat on Practical Christianity this weekend.  I spent the weekend listening to that still small voice from within.  It was telling me that as much as I want to love God, I need to also learn to love myself as God loves me.  God loves the authentic me, and in my ego-centeredness I may or may not be close at all to knowing who that person is.  

I know who I think I should be, but does that mean that my opinion of  who I am and where I am going is the same as God's?   Probably far from it.  It is only through lots of intentional prayer, and discernment that I will ever come to know who it is that God sees when God looks at me. 

Fr. Adrian, (our retreat master) said we should look at it as though we are athletes training for competition.  We can't become elite level Christians without intentionally setting aside time to make ourselves fit enough to be the person God sees us to be.  We have to work on our whole self;  mind, body and spirit.

I am good at working on the spirit and mind part of my elite level training program.  I love to learn new things, I am constantly reading spiritual books and the bible and spending time in prayer and meditation.  I spend time offering my services to others in volunteer activities and share my joy of salvation with others every chance I get.

Where I fall down is taking care of my body.  I need to get more exercise, and learn to eat better to control my blood pressure and blood sugar.   Exercise would help my arthritis.  Eating right coupled with the exercise would lead to weight loss which would in turn be good for my knees.

So,  I am going to try really hard to work on myself.  I am going to spend some time every day being intentional about taking care of my body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit; the place where God resides.  Because from now on it is not I but Christ who lives in and through me, and He shouldn't have to live in a place that looks like it ought to be condemned.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

My Swiss Cheese Memory Worked in Our Favor For Once

So, Saturday afternoon I was sitting with two of my daughters watching How to Train Your Dragon when mrangelmeg came into the room and asked if we wanted to go to Mass that night and sleep in on Sunday morning.  We all looked at each other and said, sure.  We stopped the tape and went got ready for Mass.  When we were ready to leave we realized that our amazing autistic daughter hadn't yet come out of her room.

When I asked if she was ready to leave she said no, she wasn't planning on coming to Mass with us.  So since we had to leave immediately to get there on time we left without her.  But this is where my Swiss Cheese memory comes in to play.  As soon as we sat down in Church my angelbaby looked over at me and said, "Mom, we are supposed to sing at ten o'clock Mass tomorrow."   I just chuckled and said, "Well I guess we get to go to Mass twice this weekend then."

Does everyone remember what the lesson of the readings was though?  It was about our responsibility in giving fraternal correction when needed.  And Fr. used as an example from his own life going to Mass as one of the times when it is our chance to help people who don't go to Mass to want to come to Mass.

So, when we got home, over dinner we told Molly that Fr. Tom had talked about her during his homily.  She asked what he had said about her but we told her that she would have to come to ten o'clock Mass when we went to sing in the choir to find out what he had said.  She was so intrigued, that she was up, dressed and waiting for us when we were ready to leave in the morning.

After Mass as we were driving home I asked her if she heard what Fr. had said about her.  She said, "Yes, he said, it is important to go to Mass."    It was a great lesson, thanks to my Swiss cheese memory and a great homily by our parish priest and a lazy daughter who will probably not miss another mass for a while.