Don’t Get Too Busy.

Our Pastor recently gave a great homily about being too busy for prayer or to nourish our souls.   The gospel that day was  Luke 10:38-42  where Jesus talks to Martha.

“Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things and yet few are needed, indeed only one.  It is Mary who has chosen the better part, it is not to be taken from her.”

Jesus was so right!!  If we keep our selves so busy that we don’t take time to be in his presence  or to give him our presence.

Father said in his homily, “We are so busy making money that we don’t have time to enjoy the houses we are so busy working to pay for.  We are so busy making money that we don’t spend much time at home with our children.  We are so busy that life is slipping by at a very fast rate and we need to slow it down.  Where are we all going to end up at the end of life and what is the purpose of life?  Life is about getting to know God, loving God and serving God.”  Well said Father – well said!

This reminds me of our Baltimore catechism.  Where did God create us?  To know, love and serve him.  Are we living up to our purpose?  We should each take a moment – soon – and look at all of our activities and discern if they are leading us toward God or away from Him.  Do our activities and our motivations align with God’s plan for our lives?

Does your “Martha-activities” balance with your “Mary-spirit”?

 

 

 

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Press Release

MAY 3, 2016, Tate Publishing announces the release of 
The Innkeeper’s Wife,
by Louisiana author, Joan T. Broussard

ABOUT THE BOOK:  When King Herod orders a census, Bethlehem FRONT COVER2.jpgbursts with activity and people. Gertrude, the wife of an innkeeper, is kept busy as the inn fills with guests. Between her many tasks, however, she prays to God to send her a friend. Then late one night, after the last room had been filled, a young couple knocks at the door. Gertrude is furious when her husband sends them out to the manger when the woman is clearly pregnant. But Gertrude doesn’t realize that her whole world is about to change when the young woman gives birth to a baby boy.

We all know the story about the birth of Jesus Christ but follow Gertrude as she journeys to understanding and trusting in the power of God. This is the story of an unlikely friendship that leads to conversion, love, and ultimate sacrifice.

ADVANCE PRAISE:  Vinita Hampton, Wright, Editor, Loyola Press                                    “You’ve woven a lovely tale, and I’m so happy that you added a woman to Jesus’ story. Too often, women get left out. And yet, women were around him throughout his ministry.  I always think it’s helpful to create characters who can observe the main characters in this story. Gertrude provided a way for readers to watch the story unfold from a different perspective. And it was nice to imagine Jesus as a young boy with his “aunt” Gee—I’m sure there was someone like her around.  I hope your story can reach many people who think they know the story already. May it open their eyes and hearts a little more!

AVAILABILITY:  “The Innkeeper’s Wife” can purchased at Crossroads Bookstore in Lafayette.  It will be available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon after May 3, 2016.        You can also order from me directly.  Book Cost: $14.99Pic_Pink

AUDIO BOOK is being produced – should be available this summer.

BOOK GROUP:  There are questions for group discussion in the book. Great for book groups!!  I’m happy to attend your gathering and sign books.  Call me with dates.

 

 

Help for the Long Haul

I recently read a great article by Father Ronald Rolheiser, titled “Guidelines for the Long Haul”.  Terrific advice for  all of us wanting to stay on course and stand faithful.  It inspires me to pray big and indeed STAND FAITHFUL.

I offer you a few of the guidelines he encourages us to follow,paraphrased in my own words.

1.  BE GRATEFUL.   When someone gives you a gift, we typically will say Thank You.  Do you remember to tell God Thank You everyday for the gifts he gives you – like your every breath, your spouse, your children and grandchildren, sunshine, food, shelter, work, friends and yes, even these – traffic, rain, headaches and stumbles.  Father Ron says “The highest compliment you can give a gift-giver is to thoroughly enjoy the gift.”

2.  DON’T BE NAIVE ABOUT GOD.  Staying on course and standing faithful is not easy.  Some people may think all they have to do is pray and wait for God to meet their needs and solve their problems.   This is being naive about God.  We are to cooperate with God’s grace. This is no small matter.

3.  WALK FORWARD – OR AT LEAST TRY TO GET ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.  Life is tough sometimes, we all know that.  But keep walking, even when it feels like you take one step forward and two steps backward.  Be content with the ordinary – it can be peaceful – and may not last long.   We are called to Stand Faithful and keep moving toward God, not matter how laborious it may feel.  Be spiritually stubborn, don’t compromise and settle for less than God’s gift for you.

4.  PRAY BIG.  I always pray that God will keep his  hand on me every day and not lose his hold on my soul.  Prayer is a place where real people share their real lives with a real God who will never let them go.  Trust that he is interested in your prayer, no matter the style, length or content.

5.  LOVE.  Make place for love in your life. Cultivate it.  Father Ron says “nothing can be loved too much”.  One of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn’t say “I love you” to someone.  I try to always let people know how I feel about them.  After their death, my opportunity has passed.  I agree with Father Ron, you can’t love too much.

6.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE SOFT.   I remember clearly when God spoke to me of my hard heart.  I didn’t know how to cry and felt cold inside.  I asked him to chisel it all away and help me find my tears.  He did.  My tears have helped to soften my heart and heal my wounds.  They are now my healing tears.  But this “being soft” doesn’t mean you have to be cry all the time.  It simply means we are sensitive to others and not indifferent.  As Father  Ron puts it, “if you will not have a softening of the heart, you will eventually have a softening of the brain.  Sensitivity defines the soul.  Tenderness defines love.  Tears are salt water – the water of our origins.”

STAND FAITHFUL, PRAY BIG AND STAY THE COURSE!!

“An Ounce of Mother is Worth a Pound of Clergy.”

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy,”  According to “A Pilgrims
Almanac”, by Edward Hays, this bit of folk wisdom reminds us of what we easily
forget – that our parents, and especially our mothers, are the arch-teachers of
our religious values.  They are the first examples we observe of how to live out
our faith.  The daily living of our religious values is not complicated and does
not require a degree in theology.  Teaching these faith-based values requires
only great love and self-discipline.  Parents, if they are willing to live out
their faith, can be the most inspiring teachers their children will ever have.
An old adage points the way, “Good students study their text.  Truly good
students study their teacher.”  Each of us is a teacher, and we teach our best
lessons when we are not talking or attempting to teach; when we are unaware that
anyone is studying us.  Abraham Lincoln said, “There is just one way to bring up
a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel that way yourself.”

I recall clearly the moment when I realized I had grown up cultivating
the faith of my mother.  She was the one who made sure we were ready for Sunday
services and met all of our obligations set by our faith tradition  As I grew
up, I adopted many of her prayer practices; the rosary, novenas and a similar
basket filled with favorite prayer booklets and holy cards.  As a spiritual
adult I am blessed to now have ownership of my faith.  It is no longer the faith
handed down to me by my parents, especially my mother.  It’s my own faith.  I
share it with my family and teach it mostly by example.  My prayer is that my
children will one day say, the faith of their mother is now their own.

What is the source of your faith?  Ponder its origins.

What are my gifts?

Pray about this and journal…….What spiritual gifts do I have?

This past Sunday, Father talked about the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We each have our own unique gifts that come from the same source, the Holy Spirit of God.  He reminded us of them, asked us to remember our own gifts and asked us if we are using them wisely in service to God and his church.  These gifts are:  Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Understanding, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

Pray and Journal:   Which ones are you able to receive and claim as your own? How are you using these gifts in your own life?  Would others recognize your use of these gifts, or do you keep them hidden and unused?

Am I worthy? Part 2

Pray about this…..and journal.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  This is a great subject to bring for discussion with your Spiritual Director. 

Are we worthy?   We should remember that we will always fall short of being worthy because of our sinful human nature.  We believe that God’s love and mercy are his gift to us in spite of our unworthiness.  This will keep us humble and always grateful for what he blesses us with, like his graces.

So, you might be wondering….doesn’t living in a way that is acceptable to God make me worthy?   Scripture says “works without faith is dead”.  Jesus said we need to believe that he is God’s son and that he came to save us, pay the price for our sin and pave the way to heaven for us.  That is how we are redeemed, or “made worthy”.  All the good works don’t save us, it is our faith.  And, if we have faith Jesus speaks of, we would naturally want to do all the good/acceptable things.

So here is the question to reflect/pray about and journal: 

When you are watching the Priest consecrate the host; as he raises up the body and blood of  Christ….what are your thoughts?  As you are walking up to receive Him in the Eucharist….what are you thinking, praying?

My response:  As I gaze on the consecrated Eucharist, I acknowledge Jesus’ body and blood, I ask God to receive me in union with Him.  I am in awe of His love for me.  As I am walking up to receive Him, I go presenting myself as being unworthy of his love, unworthy of Jesus’ sacrifice and of all the gifts He gives me.  Some say that we are worthy or else God would not have created us, much less sacrificed his Son for us and have loved us the way he does.   This causes me to reflect:  “So am I worthy after all?”  If I am, then I am truly loved?  Can I believe this?”  I believe this is the real connection between knowing something in my head to finally having this belief in my heart/soul/spirit.  This is a big truth and big joy comes into my soul.  This is why I am always so happy after attending mass.  Jesus’ union with me in the Eucharist enlightens my soul with His love for me.  I am redeemed!!

 

Am I worthy? Part 1

Pray about this and journal……I would love to hear your response

At mass we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul would be healed.”  What is the “word” the Lord would have to say in order to heal my soul and make me worthy?

What do you think the word is?

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