The following reflection comes from “Set Your Heart Free” by Francis de Sales.
My Day Begins
Do not let anxiety sabotage your search for God.
You know well that when you search for something too anxiously you can come upon it a hundred times without ever seeing it.
Anxiety masquerades as true spiritual energy,
even as it wearies our mind, drains our enthusiasm, and deadens our soul.
It pretends to stir up our soul, but all it does is dampen our spirit. it pushes us until we stumble over our own feet.
We need to be on the watch for this impostor
that would have us believing that our spiritual life
depends completely on our efforts, so that the more panicked we are, the more anxiously we search, the more likely we are to find God. Let God do his part. Be patient.
Not even our best efforts can earn the blessings of God.
Our role is to be ready, to receive God’s gifts
with an open heart – carefully, humbly, and serenely
God love you,
National Prayer Campaign The Catholic Bishops of Australia have announced a National Prayer Campaign for Drought to take place during November. People across the country are encouraged to pray for the gift of rain, for people affected by the drought and to provide practical support, where possible. The Bishops note that large parts of the country are directly affected by the drought, but the impact is national – and so should the response be national. Access resources and find out more here.
This week we hear from the Lord that He is a God of the living and that includes all our loved ones who have gone before us....”for to him all are alive.”
Our faith is centred on life and all that encourages us to live. A few years ago | heard from a lady who suffered cancer. Upon hearing her diagnosis, she began to review her life. Prayer became very important to her, her practice of the faith, her family. She took retirement from her employment and, something that struck a chord in me, was taking from her life anyone or anything that was negative. She made a conscious decision not to allow negative people in her life. All this created a very positive effect in her life. In fact, by doing this she chose life.
| have come that you may have life and life abundantly are the very words of Jesus. | believe the Lord is challenging me and all of us to be people who generate life. To bring well-being to our community. There are many obstacles to well-being. One of these as described last week in the Gospel are found in the words...” they all complained.” We have to be vigilant to avoid colluding with people who are negative. As the Lord would say: “Show them the door....” In other words; do not allow their negativity to poison your well-being and thereby that of our community. The scriptures are full of strong examples against the negative critic. It is like a disturbing wind that creates waves which can cause harm and even destruction.
St James tells us in his letter, that it is very easy to deceive yourself by just listening to God’s word instead of putting it into practice. “Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak, and slow to become angry... .....Does anyone think he is religious? If he does not control his tongue, his faith is worthless and he deceives himself” “Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! And the tongue is like a fire.” James 1:19, 3:6-7.
The true reality of a Church giving life is when in our heart we desire unity above everything. All that we say and do is for mutual uplifting. This is the thirst Jesus has for our peace and justice.
God love you
November is the month for Holy Souls. We remember each day during November our loved ones who have died and we offer Mass for the salvation of their souls.
We encounter at every Mass, the death and resurrection of Jesus. “Do this in memory of me.” So too as Christians we remember our parishioners who have died this year and those members of our family and friends.
Our sense of loss and grief is sacred to God and each other. Remembering with gratitude our loved ones who have died is essential for our own well being. Life is changed, not ended with death. “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” In every Mass this November, we live the intimate union we share with our loved ones. Our home is eternal life. All those who have died enter this realm where we encounter them in the sacred mysteries of the Mass.
Our communion with Jesus in the Eucharist leads us to holy communion with the holy souls of those who now live in heaven. Heaven and earth are united and we are caught up in the Kingdom of God.
Life with God means coming home. It means that when our strength is weakened He provides the courage. In our sadness at death Jesus comes to us and tells us not to be afraid. All is not lost. Our loved ones are still at home in us, their love for us remains and the sorrow we feel becomes holy and links us to our loved ones.
The truth is that in Jesus we are all one. In Jesus we find our home, our dwelling place secure. In Jesus we find our loved ones who hold us in true communion at every Mass. Dying you destroyed our Death. Rising you restored our Life. Come Lord Jesus.
May Christ’s peace be with all who grieve.
God love you,