Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bubbling Joy

                “Lord, today I feel great joy bubbling up inside me. It’s that joy a child feels when waiting in great anticipation for something great to happen: like the day before leaving for Disneyland, climbing in bed on Christmas Eve, the last day of school. It is that bubbling happiness that fills your inner self and bursts out in exuberant squeals of joy. I sense You are joyfully coming for all of us, I sense You are near.
                “This bubbling joy comes from You, my life spring. Through the Holy Spirit, You dwell deep in my soul like a fresh water spring under a small lake or pond. You have to go deep down inside the water to feel the cool source bubbling up. Oh beloved Holy Spirit, keep the spring flowing freely throughout my soul, purifying every inch of me and effervescing out through my heart in great bubbles of love and joy. May the smile that creeps across my face be the top of the fountain, overflowing with this bubbling water of love and joy.
                “Lord, may the smile I give to others be a source of Your love to share with all Your people. May that smile be like a light that shines right into the hearts of others, illuminating Your great love for them. May that love then bubble up through their souls, filling them with Your purifying water, resulting in a fountain of joy and love that causes them to smile as well, and then to share that joy with those around them.
                “Oh dear Lord, thank You for giving us such a beautiful intense gift that we can’t really define, we can only experience and share with others. I smile now enveloped in bubbling joy.”

I Offer You These Tiny Hands

                “My Lord, my God, I offer You these tiny hands of mine. In these tiny hands rests the many blessings You have given me. My hands hold the hands of others in a gesture of love, a conduit to pour the great love You give me to others around me. My hands hold this pen as a conduit between us to express my love for You and for You to teach me how You express Your love for me and for all Your beloved creations. You have blessed my hands with the ability to produce art, a mere representation of the beauty of Your creations. My hands hold Your sensitivity for the animals You created to be with us. Though the animals may not understand my speech, they understand my hands and sense Your love and kindness through them. My hands long to express the great love in my heart for You through all these means. My little hands also long to touch the hem of Your robe to be a conduit for Your love, mercy, power and healing touch. My little hands long to gently touch Your arm and send You all the love in my heart through that one touch. My little hands long to touch Your cheek, the way a child lovingly and simply touches his/her parents’ face, in a simple and pure gesture of love.
                “I think of Your beautiful hands, so cruelly pierced for us, yet so willingly done so for the love and obedience You showed to Your Father. My little tiny hands seem so insignificant and pale in comparison to Yours. I see my hands gently held in Yours, an angelic enveloping shrouded in grace. I see my hands melting into Yours. I see my heart and soul melting into You in that loving holy embrace. I offer You my tiny little hands, I offer You my mortal body You created, I offer You my mind that focuses all thought on adoring and contemplating You, I offer You my loving heart that You have awakened and poured in Your love,  I offer You my very soul that You created and infused with Your love and Your presence through the Holy Spirit. My Lord, My God, I offer You all of my tiny little self.”

Free Will

                 “Lord, sometimes I hate free will. Why can’t we just be good and loyal servants to You from beginning to end? I know You created us to have free will but so many times, our free will becomes an obstacle to reaching You. It is so hard to watch my own children make a poor choice. I see where they are headed by making that choice and I want to scream, ‘NO!’ but they do it anyway. I realize that You don’t want us to be robots, preprogramed to do Your will; that is a dead empty way to live. So I get it, when we choose one way or another, the choice gains life and meaning, either good or bad. I think of the times my children randomly made a good choice completely on their own and how happy it made me, whether it was cleaning their rooms, helping me with chores or reaching out to someone in need. When it comes from their own hearts, it somehow means more. It reveals an act of love which becomes a thing of beauty.

                “I can see now how free will is so important to You for us. So how do I match my free will to You? By loving You completely? If my heart and soul belong to You, then my mind and body belong to You as well. When our hearts are joined in true love, then my will is completely focused on pleasing You. My free will turns to You like a great ship turning to its destination. The stronger my will is, the bigger the boat and the harder to steer but when the compass points to You, the sails are let out, the engines are put at full steam ahead and the ship sails straight to Your heart. If I am the captain of my ship, I command all of it to head to You, my Lord, my king, and that command is my choice freely given, a choice made out of pure love for You.

                “Okay, I guess I love free will after all.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cultivating Your Garden Within Me

                “Dear Lord, as I sit here surrounded by the constant hustle of people in Your church cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, praying, singing, moving kneelers, I can sense Your peace and joy deep in the hearts of all those working for You. It may seem like chaos and distraction at first, but it is all united by love to You. Is that how You view this world, all connected by love? There is so much chaos, mixed emotions, people in so many different states of mind yet You love them all, whether they recognize it or not; whether they return that love or not. Your unfailing deep love for all of us becomes the anchoring center of the movement, the chaos, the emotions, the actions.
                “Help me Lord to recognize You as my anchor. May Your love be the root of all I do and how I perceive this world. May this root of love go deep to nourish me, to help me grow, to sustain me in times of drought and famine, and to anchor me through times of storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and devastating disasters – not just outward physical occurrences, but also the powerful onslaughts to my heart and soul. Help me learn to cultivate my soil, the garden of my soul, so Your roots can grow deep and strong. Encourage me to remove the weeds that choke Your roots, and not just the tops of the weeds, but help me remove the very roots of those weeds so they don’t grow back.  Help me fertilize this garden with prayer, spiritual growth, acts of mercy, knowledge of our great Church and our awesome faith. Help me water this garden with penance, reconciliation and forgiveness. Help me fortify the edges of this garden with humility, compassion, charity, piety, fear of the Lord, wisdom and fortitude. May the fruits of this garden be a pure, sincere love for You that mirrors Your love for me and may there be great peace emanating far and wide from this garden like the fragrance of many flowers.
                “Thank You dear Lord for sending Your roots of love deep into the soil of my heart and soul. Please continue to grant me the means to cultivate this holy garden.”

Thank You for Silence

                “Dear Lord, thank You for showing me how to love silence. I am a social person. I love to talk, to tell stories, to laugh and joke. But there is something awesome about silence that I have more recently learned to appreciate. It is in the silence that You speak to us, touch us, move our very inner being, our souls. Silence is the language of the Holy Spirit and it is a language I am eager to learn.
                “When I am constantly talking, even in my head with my lips closed, my continual blah blah blocks Your words from reaching my heart. When I am talking, asking, telling – it is all about me and my needs, my desires, my questions. When I stop sending information out, then I can receive all that You with to send. Sometimes, I can’t even perceive what You have sent but I know that while in silence and in a contemplative state, I have been exactly where You wanted me and You sent me exactly what I needed.
                “I always want to understand what is happening but You have shown me that I don’t need to understand, I just need to be willing. Needing to understand stems from my need to be in control which stems from pride, the root of all human failure. The desire to talk also touches on being in control. I decide what I want to say, to share, to ask, etc. Instead, let me be silent to receive all that You send. Help me be open to whatever You send my way because I know and trust that You have sent it with great love. You know precisely what I need and when I need it so let me be silent, humble and grateful to receive it. Help me let go of my desire to be in control and let me float without oars in Your river of mercy.
                “Thank You for teaching me the beauty of silence. May I continue to learn the language of silence so I can truly appreciate all the Holy Spirit is doing in me to ultimately join us in holy spiritual union.”