“The world’s thy ship and not thy home.” This quote from St. Therese de Lisieux is one that I often print next to prayers offering my condolence in sympathy cards. It is also the quote I concentrate on as I question the whole life and death process here on earth. To me it means planet earth is not our real destination; our real destination is to come; life on earth is just the means to get there.
Any good sailor will have numerous tales of the sea to describe many outrageous storms to the most beautiful sunsets. All of us humans can attest to the same as we travel through life. Life happens; things occur out of our control; we can’t stop or start over on our life journey; it is a continuous trip and many times the storms come at us full force. We can’t get off the ship for awhile till the storm dies down. Life does not work that way with stops and detours and short cuts. We must learn to bear the storms we are faced with; grow from them; become stronger; better; more adapt to life and the lessons each and every day brings. Hopefully during the stormy seasons in our lives the seas don’t twist us around too much or if they do somehow we can make our way back on the right course.
Usually after a violent storm the weather turns to that of stillness. Nature changes from one extreme to another. Peace and calmness fill the air. Sometimes after we suffer through a personal storm of sorts we follow suit and are filled with soothing; serene; tranquil thoughts. Accept this time to make preparations for whatever life has in store for us; good and bad. The Gospels are filled with testimonials such as be on guard; keep awake; you do not know when the time will come. This is the time to map out our destination; not just drift along. Keep a steady pace; get out our compass and head towards north.
“The world’s thy ship and not thy home.” This spiritually encouraging quote from St. Therese reminds us to be sure “home” is where we are sailing.
The seas of life are quite a voyage; but nothing compared to the destination promised!
Not this; not that. The dos and do nots of life can be so confusing. Following the letter of the law but not the intent seems to be such a common occurrence in our life. If you read any newspapers or listen to any newscast our world seems to be filled with this philosophy. Is the pot calling the kettle black justified? How did we get so far from the truth?
How ironic that something like praying for world peace that is supposed to bring us together often brings us further apart. If we search deep within and stop and listen to our Lord maybe we would get back to the basic truth a little more. Just possibly a little peace and harmony would enter into our world.
The whole intent on prayer is to have an open mind and listen to God and His plan. Spilling out some truth in our everyday lives can go a long ways. If our intent is good following the letter of the law to the tenth degree isn’t always necessary. I believe in exceptions to the rules. God excuses us; why can’t man excuse man? I won’t do something deep inside that feels wrong just because it was done that way in the past and the rule can’t be broken. Sometimes in life I’m pulled and pushed by so much I can’t tell up from down. It takes time spent in prayer for me to know which way to make my decision. This time in prayer is where God’s word guides me on which way to go. I never have to question my judgment for God does not mislead me with inconsistent answers.
Life got you all tied up in knots? Unsure which way to go? The answer is just a simple prayer away. Don’t lose your intent; take a stand for what is right and true.
The moon watches us. I have been observing this for quite some time. We have a family dog who we should have called Digger for if he gets any chance whatsoever he starts digging a hole to China. Cute as that may sound he cannot be just let out when Mother Nature calls. He requires us humans to grab his leash and walk him till that miraculous moment of getting his business done is over. He is a family dog but I do my fair share of this chore. For the record yes and quite often I may add I do complain about the job as I am frozen solid or sopping wet from a downpour and it gets even better when the little mosquitoes come out and bite me all over. Fun; fun and more fun!
In the mist of all this fun stuff is where once in a blue moon a magical moment occurs as I travel up and down the sidewalk with leash and dog at my side. My gaze turns upwards and I become totally moon struck! I’m not just talking an ordinary full moon. Gift from God to mankind moon; can’t keep from staring at it moon; bigger than life moon. Low in the sky; balancing ever so delicately between earth and heaven there it hangs beckoning to me. I think of the child storybook where the mom has to leave home for a few days and tells her child to look at the moon at night and she will do the same and they will somehow be connected. I look at the moon; it looks back and I wonder who else is gazing at the moon; I’m moved by the notion that all of life looks at the same moon no matter where we happen to be living; that includes heaven and earth.
The beautiful moon connects me to God; connects me to those I miss who no longer reside here on earth; and connects me to the abundance of life all around me. As the old Moon Song nursery rhyme…
“I see the Moon and the Moon sees me,
And the Moon sees the one that I can’t see.
God Bless the Moon and God Bless me,
And God Bless the one that I can’t see.”
…rattles off in my head I take one last glance back at that beautiful ball lighting up the night sky and smile at our little digger. Once in a blue moon a four legged creature with the promise of mosquito bites and oh so much more reveals to me an extraordinary gift on an ordinary night.
God Bless You.
Nice play on words. Not so nice is that at different times in my life I have been guilty of this as all get out. There were times where weeks have gone by when all was well inside my little bubble here on earth. When I thought I had no real reason for prayer and out of neglect and or lack of profession of my faith I left God and all that entails sitting nicely on a back shelf; ready if needed; but out of the way. Looking back the weeks were uneventful to say the least; even the ups were empty; I had nothing to strive for; it was all about me; and after sometime it got stale. I found out I needed something. It is God that I need. God’s direction helps me restore order in my daily life; to know right from wrong; to have peace and compassion. All this helps me to work on striving for heavenly treasures and not so much on things of this earthly life that will perish.
To fully live we need to pray daily and day by day make it a whole week of prayer. We will become strong in prayer. Prayer changes things. One amazing thing I have found in prayer is that while I pray for someone not only am I helping them but I gain too. Prayer helps the one being prayed for just as much as the one praying. Prayer supplies us with a special union and as we practice prayer we develop a sense of well being; our spiritually then connects us to God and life.
Other benefits of prayer include but are not limited to: stress reduction; powerful sleep aid; effective formula for relaxing one’s mind and body; overall restored energy levels; impressive way to fight off physical addictions; pain management reducer; potent style of breathing exercises; also one can gain a lasting positive outlook on life. All this makes us understand God better and God in His part becomes actively involved in our lives. Who wouldn’t want this plus so much more?
Feel stressed out; maybe a little weak? Take a week and make yourself strong. PRAY.
I do not have any of that strong Irish blood running through my veins, but as luck would have it I have the next best thing; I’m married to a beautiful Irish soul.
Marrying into an Irish family certain things are taken for granted. Green shirts come out of the closet every March 17th. A corn beef sandwich is to be cherished just as much as one would cherish eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day. St. Patrick Day parades are important for the world to broaden their horizons. A green beer or two is good for your soul. Ireland soil is considered Holy ground as people from all over the world travel to Ireland to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. Who among us can listen to the bagpipes being played without shedding a tear or two?
Everyone knows the Irish have a bunch of funny sayings and traditions. As for me I now recognize that the four leaf clover and the shamrock are two totally different plants. I buy Irish Spring soap to get that fresh and clean as a whistle Irish feeling. I appreciate firsthand that their eyes really do smile, but nothing has touched my heart more than their beautiful, sacred Irish prayers; especially this one.
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Wishing Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all those of the Irish decent and also to the rest of us “Irish for the day” folks. May the road rise to meet you; and may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Love makes the world go around. No matter what type of music one chooses to pipe into love songs play nonstop on the radio. Love is in the air. Love drives us crazy and the things we do for love is sometimes out of this world.
We cry at weddings because love is so beautiful. We laugh at funerals remembering our loved ones in good times. We read about love; we go to movies starring love; we have kids so we can love them; we make lifelong friends to love; we try to buy things that we can love. What is it that makes us crave love to the ninth degree? To begin to even try to understand the meaning of love I need my Bible for guidance.
Nestled in there I find this famous writing regarding love by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 13:4-7. “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” I have heard that to really understand this verse one should put their name in place of the word love and then to read the verse out loud. The couple times I tried doing this I’ve about doubled over with laughter. Patient; kind; not jealous; not conceited; what work I have to do!
My laughter stops when I recall the few people I’ve come across whose names I can say that fit the verse. These people reflect God. I’m not surprised at this declaration. For God is Love. These people are just regular people making a go at it. Striving to live and love. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say my name even past the first few words in verse four, but I’m so glad to be loved by good souls that reflect the true meaning of love. What good role models I have to follow in the writings of St. Paul and also the lives of the dear living saints around me.
Looking for Love? Link yourself in with an open Bible where one can discover all about a great God who is all about great Love. For it is Love that makes the world go around.
Love Is All You Need.
Makes me happy………..a little overdone humor? Maybe but spring is in the air. It is time for happy thoughts; thankful thoughts; grateful thoughts; thoughts to lift your spirit and make you smile. It has been a mild winter but still winter so I can declare it is time to open up the house and let the fresh air in.
As I air out my home I plan to air out my soul too. To do this I will imagine another “sun” coming into my “home” and warming my heart. I’m happy to be alive no matter what is going on in this world. I’m thankful for what I have and what I have not. I’m so very grateful God hears my prayers and answers them according to His will not mine.
I have faith, hope, and love in my life. I have a spring in my step and God at my side. How can I not feel the sunshine within?
Spring forward; look for the positive side; everything has two sides which will you concentrate on? Take time to enjoy the beauty of the change in seasons. Watch as Mother Nature blooms with birth and splendor.
Step outside and let the sunshine fall on your shoulders. It might just make you happy!
Ever go looking for something and have it be right in front of you but can’t see it? Have you ever watched someone look frantically for their eye glasses when all along there they sat resting on top of their head? Ha. Then we cannot forget all those times when we went to do something and simply forgot why we got up in the first place or what it was we were going to do. Sometimes life sends us reminders as we literally bump into things. Sort of like finding grace.
Grace can be found in the least likely events and places. When we witness life’s worse moments grace will show up with a pile of kindness. Just when we think we won’t be able to get through the situation grace steps in and takes control. Dropped from the sky is ease and poise. It happens to show up where we don’t expect it or would never dream of it appearing. Our saving grace comes calling out of the blue getting us out of trouble in the nick of time. Grace keeps me going; helps me do things I never imagined I could try to tackle. I can’t live my life without it. It is beautiful beyond words or actions.
It is given to us without requiring something in return. Grace is not for sale. No one can go hog wild and buy up all the grace in the world. It’s not just for the rich and famous. You can’t fake grace. I love watching a graceful person in action because it is something from within that transpires out. Sometimes the blessings of grace are obvious; at other times they are extremely hard to comprehend (in fact it takes grace to understand). It is grace that grants pardon and comes to us daily hand and hand with mercy.
Still trying to find that missing something? Maybe it is right in front of you. Allow some grace into your life; you’ll be amazed.
Happiness and resurrection are only attainable through suffering and death.
I wish I wrote that sentence, but I didn’t and I must give credit where credit is due. This is a summary of my son’s English paper on the above book title. (Wow! Did I not read that same book long ago?)
This brings to mind another thing I wish I wrote (but didn’t). It describes life to a tee.
“I am strong because I know weakness. I am compassionate because I have experienced suffering. I am alive because I am a fighter. I am wise because I have been foolish. I can laugh because I have known sadness. I can love because I have known loss.
All this makes me think that life’s story in all its glory has two sides a front and a back and we must experience both sides. If I laughed all the time would I not get bored with the constant laughter? I can walk around as a fool and not think twice about any consequences but would I not learn any wisdom from my mistakes? How I feel the moving power of love only because I have been hurt and had my heart pulled out and torn to shreds; and then to have had the loving arms of my soul mate enchant me and protect me. Often I’m only able to help others in their time of need because I’ve been in that same old boat tossing around holding on for dear life.
The pluses and minuses; the majors and minors; all the ups and downs are necessary life experiences. Life isn’t easy; in fact we are told at times we will be called to carry a cross. We will have pain and suffering in our life; but what we can’t do is let that get in the way of making it to the finish line. Because in the end, we will find as one wise person once wrote “Happiness and resurrection are only attainable through suffering and death”.
A Tale of Two Cites may be a work of fiction but what truth it foretells.
I need God and I need His help. Most of my prayers begin with this enlightened favor “So Help Me God”.
I’m weak; I’m ye of little faith; I’m tempted to take the easy way out. So help me God to be strong; honest; trustworthy; sincere; courageous, fair; to choose right over wrong; to remain steadfast and sure; to be all that I was called to be.
So help me God to look at the cross of Christ and know what it entailed. To realize it was a gruesome death which He endured. The burdens imposed upon Him; what He accomplished showed unconditional love for mankind. His cross stands as a permanent, abiding, continuous vow of love.
So help me God to pick up my cross and carry forward. Try as I may to put my cross aside I only prolong my doubts and fears. To gradually and steadily follow in our Lord’s footsteps; keeping pace towards Him is the only way to reach Him. Furthermore help me to aid and assist mankind when I can. Not to hinder or afflict trouble upon another as we walk side by side upward and onward toward heaven.
Yeah I’m weak and at the main crossroads in life I may only have a little faith but that is all I need. A little faith will take me far on my journey. I’ll grow in fortitude with each twist and turn; the truth will guide me; I’ll become someone that can be counted on. With just that little bit of faith I’ll pick the right path and remain with my Lord as His cross strengthens mine. God helps; God heals; God saves.
Oh ye of little faith pray “So Help Me God” and watch your heart prepare your eyes to see our Lord Jesus Christ in all things.