Monday, May 28, 2012

Hope and Peace for the Heartbroken

Women of Faith:
Stan and I often feel the way our daughter, Sara Cross, did when she wrote a poem this week that expresses the heartbreak God feels when a marriage is broken. (And it is not about her own marriage).  I follow it with a prayer which will take away God’s and our heartbreak if we heed the prayer’s message.

Heartbroken by Sara Cross

“I only wish you could see the truth:
God is heartbroken watching you.

... The poking, the prodding,
The hurt, it aches.
To get out is human
Before any more breaks.

Have you forgotten
the Lord’s promise to you?
“It was not you who chose me,
but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name
he may give you.”
(John 15: 15-16)

What God has created,
Man cannot destroy.
Not by chance or by choosing,
“Coincidence” is a ploy.

God united your flesh,
A family begun,
Will always be connected,
Will always be one.

To quit this stare down,
And turn to the Lord together,
To ask Him to give you
Something better,
Is divine (do it with persistence as in Luke 11).

The past is behind,
Details don’t matter.
The pain that resonates,
God’s love can shatter.

Choose to hurt,
Harbor anger in a hardened heart,
Follow the way of our culture,
Which calls for divorce.

Or choose another way,
The more difficult route.
To trust patiently in the Lord
To work things out.

To forgive those who’ve hurt us
And let go of our pride
To admit we can’t do it
Without God on our side.
Marriage takes love that is truly divine.

For the Gospel of Matthew (22: 35-40) says:
“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments:
You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Bear the pain for a moment,
And remember the cross.
It is bigger than you
If this marriage is lost.

It’s the Lord versus Satan,
We’re pawns in the game.
Let the Savior lead you
To a victory in His name.

For if it is lost,
The only winner is Satan.
Everyone else is
Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.  Amen. Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

The road to Christ is not an easy road, but we must rejoice, "although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Don’t be heartbroken. Surrender to God. Give yourself to do what He asks for the praise, glory and honor of Jesus Christ.

And be blessed by peace in Christ,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Right Road--Giving God Priority

Women of Faith:

Life constantly throws us “curve balls” readjusting our schedules, sending us new duties, illness, or even hurts and sufferings so that we are given the chance to reaffirm our “road” and to be allowed to make our choice FOR God.
And this was one of those weeks where I was reminded over and over again that as long as I stay on the “right road” I can accomplish and achieve something much more worthy by following Him than I can by following a road I made for myself.

Because my ultimate goal is to work thru God, for God and in God, then the journey He sets for me is often different than the one I expected, tried to control or even envisioned in my well laid plans.
If we have truly been called by Christ and have chosen to follow Him, then our mission, our goals in life, and our road to that goal will have been given to us by Christ’s life here on earth, not by our will, but by His. “Thy will be done.”

I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all…..
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature to manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ. Eph 4:1-13

And as long as I know where I am going, what my priority is, what my goal is in life, than I will do whatever it takes to get there, I will constantly readjust the turns in my life to stay on the “right road.”
Jesus said to his disciples: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mk 16:15-20

I was told over the weekend, “you don’t have time for this, you have other things to do, you shouldn’t be here and you shouldn’t be taking the time to talk to me.” And my answer was, “no, this is where God wants me to be, this is my choice, I will be here now, where my friends NEED me to be.”
I hope you too were given an opportunity to be called by God: to be a witness to Him. And that you took that opportunity and answered God’s call, YES!!

I hope that God chose you to lift up your spouse, to love a friend thru their pain, to find joy with a young person as they walked across a high school or college graduation stage or to care for a loved one who was suffering illness: to offer peace, comfort, caring and kindness as St. Paul did for all he met on the different roads he traveled.
Heavenly Father, we give glory in your name. Help us take the opportunity to push away the devil and our own selfish desires; and to listen to and speak the words you have given us which encourage and offer peace, joy and comfort to others. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your servant and to build up Your Body of Christ. May we all become one in union with you, in one faith, in one baptism and in one Church. Amen.

Are you listening to God’s call? Are you willing to make Him your priority and to change your ways so that you will stay on the “right road, His road?” Are you making your spouse a priority even while patiently waiting for them to accept your love? Have you been available for a friend who needs your help or a stranger who needs a word of kindness or have you been “too busy” to see their needs?

Take the time, follow Christ’s road this week, and use your God given gifts to make His tasks your priority,

Be blessed on your journey down the right road!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Every day is Mother's Day

Friends of Faith:

Every day should be lived like a Mothers’ day.
Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. Jn 15: 9-13
The joy of motherhood comes with the discipline of sacrifice. It comes because a mom is naturally given to care unconditionally. A mom has no expectation of getting something back for their love, yet they would give up everything they have to see their child rewarded by success, peace, comfort or joy. 

It is in giving that we receive because the greatest gift is the joy of seeing someone we have cared for and sacrificed for receive the blessing of an answer to a heartfelt prayer.
‘When the Holy Spirit asks us if we like the idea of love, we respond enthusiastically. But even though the Lord has actually commanded us to love, we balk and make all kinds of excuses and compromises…  A mother’s love is a sacrificing love, an unconditional love, a love that protects their children from danger and death, and that encourages them to grow and become all they can become. Mothers are the living examples of how much God loves us. May their presence in our world help all of us to love others more tenderly and more unselfishly.’ USCCB Meditation by Msgr. Paul Whitmore

Heavenly Father, You gave us Your Son and his mother, Mary, as human examples so that we would know what you meant by unconditional love. Help me to follow their example in my daily routine by living unselfishly, by honoring your commandments, by respecting the lives of the born and unborn, and by never comprising your truths. Thank you for the gifts of everyone who has acted like a mother, or who has ever been a part of my life by serving me in any way. Amen.
Will I find joy by loving unconditionally?

Mothers, Fathers, husbands, wives or children: will I follow the example and act in the Spirit of the greatest mother, Mary, by giving up my own happiness so that others may receive God’s blessings?

May your joy be completed by the sacrifices you make for all those you serve in love this week,



Monday, May 7, 2012


Friends in Faith:

As I sit here this morning and watch the sun come up, the birds tend the babies in their nest on my porch and the fields begin to turn green with new crops I realize just how much of God’s beauty I miss each day.

And how much God does without me, without my help, without my interference, without my conscious thought and that I only occasionally pray for or give thanks for.

Not only do I overlook the beauty in nature, but I also overlook the gifts that I already have. Gifts that I don’t fully appreciate or use in the ways God intended.

I think about the waste of excess food in our refrigerator or money spent on another t-shirt; the times I took someone for granted; criticized Stan for failing to put a dish in the dishwasher even though he was kind enough to prepare and serve me the food that I just ate; or disregarded a friends thanks.

God has gifted me with food on my table, the talent to be able to work through financial problems, and a loving faith community. Most importantly I am gifted with a spouse who leads me in a Christ centered marriage and extended family who place a high value on remaining connected through “thick or thin.”

In this negative world it is so easy to see the injustices, the immoral choices, the sins of self fulfillment and the lack of respect for family—both by individuals and our government.

Sometimes it seems that spending money is more important than working to help others survive; that fulfilling our own needs and getting our own desires is more important than helping others achieve; or that being fair and equal is more important than doing the charitable works as instructed to us by Jesus.

It seems as if the gifts I have are never quite enough. I seek “more” power, “more” stuff, “more” choices, “more” control and “more” glory.

Yet “I pray that I may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” And he instructed in just one short reading this weekend:

“Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” 1 Jn 3: 18

Do I act it or do I just speak it?

And the passage went on: “Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth…. for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us.” 1 Jn 3: 19-23

Am I keeping his commandments, doing what pleases Him, appreciating his gifts and as sister said, “feeding the right wolf within me?”

And the reading concluded: “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.” 1 Jn 3:24

Am I overlooking what God is doing for me and around me every day? Am I overlooking HIS truths in my life? Am I overlooking the true gift—His Spirit within me?

Am I so busy searching for more and doing more, that I am missing the opportunities to say thanks? Am I freely sharing His Spirit by serving without expectation of repayment and with the confidence of faith that He will provide for ALL of our earthly needs and the rewards of heaven?

Heavenly Father, my day is for Your glory. May I never overlook the beauty you have placed in this world. Help me to have confidence that the evil that surrounds us because we are being tested as Christians will be overcome by Your grace and through your love, by your will, not mine. Thank you for the health of my family, for granting us our physical needs and for the love which surrounds us through you. Amen

Christ doesn’t promise power, stuff, choice, control or glory—Christ promised and gave us Himself so that we might live in Him, for Him and with Him—for all of eternity.

Instead of overlooking God, learn to expect that God will provide for us when we trust in Him,

Blessings in faith,