“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” – John O’Donohue
Today is the first day of spring, also known as the spring equinox. The signs of spring are everywhere here in Marriottsville – from the green shoots reaching for the sun to the pair of geese that come back each year to start a new family. The winter is over; the rains have stopped: in the countryside the flowers are in bloom. This is the time for singing; the song of doves is heard in the fields. Song of Solomon 2:11-12
The power of prayer is the confidence that we are being guided and cared for, even when that guidance and care are not immediately apparent. It is what allows someone to live in detachment from all of the ups and downs of life. In the language of Ignatius: “Lord, I don’t care whether I have a long life or a short life, whether I am rich or poor, whether I am healthy or sick.”
Someone that lives in that kind of detachment is free, and because they are free, they are powerful. They are beyond the threats that arise in the context of this world. This is the source ofdynamis, real power. This is the power that Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and John Paul II wielded: world-changing power.
Reflect: Can you honestly say with St. Ignatius: “Lord, I don’t care whether I have a long life or a short life, whether I am rich or poor, whether I am healthy or sick”? Why or why not?
Reflection on today’s Gospel, Mark 7-7:12 from Bishop Robert Barron
A message from Pope Francis today:
Let’s take a little time every day to examine our conscience, to convert to the Lord. Five minutes at the end of each day will help us think about a change of heart and conversion to the Lord, without procrastination.
The story goes that Pope St. John XXIII at the end of the day would go to his private chapel in the papal rooms. He would genuflect at the door and say to the LORD, “I am going to bed now. The Church is yours.”
Lovely story about doing our daily task as best we can and closing our eyes and giving it back to our God.
Lord, help me to live my waking and my sleeping as one presence in your abundant life and love.
Each day, Bon Secours employees receive a “Daily Reflection” email, often submitted by a colleague. Today’s reflection was submitted by Alex Garvey and reminds us to think of how God speaks to us during those imperfect situations we all face.
“Isn’t it amazing how we always seem to surround ourselves with people who look like, or sound like, or even, think like we do! We form circles of like-minded friends gathering together to share common interest. This could be natural, I suppose, or often unconscious paring. But did you ever wonder about the other people God puts in our path? You know, the loud person in the work place, or that guy who always seems to get the better parking spot, or the bigger office, or the one that “people love.” You know the person you would have a hard time acknowledging in the grocery store. Did you ever wonder why God has “Blessed” you with the gift of their presence?
I don’t know about you but you but as I reflect on my life I have rarely “grown” or “developed” in times of comfort. It is safe to say the opposite is true! Perhaps difficult people and awkward situations are God’s way of reminding us that God is not finished molding our lives yet and that we still have room to grow. Perhaps, we are the “rub” in their lives! Who knows, maybe if we intentionally show kindness to this person the love of God might be all we need. Always remember, it was never between you and them… it is always between you and God.”
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tu
Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
– Mother Teresa
Lord, help us to remain true to our core Christian values, no matter what the price. When it comes to those we love, please help us hold them lightly in our hands, always preserving their freedom, rather than grasping or clinging. Finally, may we always be ready to help those who truly need help. Amen.