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Blessed with Adoration

Since coming home, I have been making sure that I don’t sleep in too much and rather go to mass in morning.  Usually at the parish, they have adoration on the first Thursday of the month.  I was kind of sad and disappointed when after mass, it did not go into adoration.  In having talked to a friend of mine online, she had mentioned that I should find somewhere to go to adoration more often while at home.  It was said in light of my needing to sort out some things going on currently.  It made sense to me, so I figured I would stay after mass yesterday for adoration.  I had to leave believing there must be a reason and I had to trust. 

Today I got a pleasant surprise.  Being the first Friday, they had decided to do adoration today.  It was such a relief to me to be able to be in the presence of Jesus in this form.  While I did not stay overly long, the little bit there was good.  There was also another priest at mass today.  I love when there is more than one priest celebrating the mass together.  I am not sure what it is, but it is good.

We started adoration with the Litany to the Sacred Heart.  Three lines stood out to me the most. This is the order that they come in when reading the litany, but I found them sticking out to me in reverse order.  Why they stick out to me, I am still thinking about that. 

Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.

Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful.

Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation.

When we finished the litany, I prayed the morning prayer as we do with the Sisters in community.  I must say though, it is weird to being praying it on my own.  As I was doing that though, I reminded myself that in the heart of Jesus, I am with the others praying it as well. 

As I sat in adoration, I started writing down my thoughts I was sharing with Jesus.  I told Him my struggles and the questions in my heart and mind that I am trying to figure out.  I thanked Him and let Him know where I am at in my life.  Jesus responded in my heart.  I heard Him call me His little sister and tell me that He can not give all the end answers.  He said he would walk with me and guide me along the little steps that bring me to the bigger answers.  I am supposed to be patient and trust in Him, to be at peace and not give up. 

Of course I wanted to respond.  I told Jesus that it is not as easily done and said.  For me, being home provides an inner challenge to the heart.  I did not tell Jesus this next part in my writing but I am sure He knows, when you are living in the faith community things are much easier.  I asked Jesus if I was missing something.  Again He replied, calling me His little sister.  I was told in my heart to be patient.  It came up that I am a person of great awareness and that I will see what I need.  He wanted us to then just pray together.  Jesus told me that He loves me.  I told Him that I love Him too. 

Many people may be not sure of what to say about this type of conversation.  I write what I feel in my heart.  To me, it was reassuring and good.  For the rest of the time that I stayed, I just gazed at Jesus looking for peace and wisdom.  I prayed for healing for me and for others I am close to.  It was good to be there, with Jesus, knowing I have the best support in life. 

With that, I again thank my friends and Salesian community for everything they have done for me.  You were put in my heart today during adoration for whatever reason God intended, so I am grateful. 

Take time to be at peace today.  Jesus knows your heart.

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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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From Fantasy to Fulfillment.

*Note: This reflection is based of Ronald Rolheiser’s book, “Forgotten Among the Lilies: Learning to Love Beyond our Fears.” I reflect on chapter five, the subsection it titled as my blog post is.*

How many of you daydream?  I bet not a single person said no.  Why?  In our dream we can be whoever we want to be, do whatever we want to do; everything we could possibly wish for is true in our dreams.  Why?  We are able to escape the life here that has tears, limits, and failures.

In fantasy we achieve salvation, consummation and vindication.

Many people don’t even admit that they escape to daydreams anymore.  The thing is, a certain amount of daydreaming is actually healthy and natural.  It is a way of relaxing.  For me, I like to imagine all the possibilities for me life, and all the good they have for me.

There is little difference between a tired person inserting a musical cassette tape into a stereo and sitting back to forget life’s problems and another tired soul inserting her favorite daydream into her imagination and sitting back to relax.

Interesting, huh?  Listening to music or getting lost in a daydream, either of them as good as the other in order to relax.  Both of them provide an escape from the intensity of life.

A healthy fantasy life can positively help spawn creativity because our daydreams put us in touch with the goodness and potential that is inside us.

Daydreams are good things.  In them we are never small people, but those who do great things.  We become special people who really live in God’s presence and live up to our life’s potential.  Even with all that, daydreams can also be bad.

If we daydream too much we become unhealthily self-preoccupied. 

Too much fantasy dulls full attentiveness to the present, to others, to prayer and to God.  Too much daydreaming leaves us distracted and dissipated with too much of our perception and thought centered upon our own agendas and our own obsessions.

We can become so preoccupied by what is around us if we stay too much in our daydreams.  I know I have been caught so many times in doing that.  It has become at times, something that has distracted me from God and His will for me.  There needs to be a balance.

To the extent that our daydreams our healthy , we may enjoy them.  However, more and more, as we mature in life and prayer, we must actively work at turning away from fantasy towards prayer.

Towards prayer.  While prayer has always been in my life in some way or another, this is something that really has been in my heart these past two years out of school.  I would always dream of what was to come for my life, but now I am in that future.  Prayer is so vital, asking God what He wants of me and listening to His response.  Here is a little about prayer and contemplation.

Prayer is more than just saying prayers.  Radical prayer is contemplation, and contemplation itself should not be understood simply as good feelings we have when we gaze at something which moves us.

We contemplate every time we see something as it really is, nakedly, face to face.

When we genuinely perceive, when we see, hear, smell, touch or taste anything that is other than ourselves and do no manipulate it, we are contemplating, we are praying.  (This of course does not preclude other methods of praying.)

Contemplation is awareness without manipulation.  Such awareness, as great spiritual writers have always assured us, is prayer.

Amazing, isn’t it?  I wanted to leave you with just this last chunk, but I felt the pre-stuff was important to backing it up.  A lot of people in the world know praying as the saying the rope prayers that are commonly said.  Really, prayer is so much more than that, as we have just read. 

Are you aware of how many times you manipulate the senses and what is around you?  I find that people like to deny that they do anything of that, but most of the time people are not even aware that they are doing it. 

Do we take the time to see (or any other sense/feeling for that matter) something as it really is?  The challenge I am presenting myself with once again is living in that simplicity of seeing things so that it becomes prayer. 

There are many things that my heart contemplates with this section of the book I am reading, but I am unable to express it all to you.  Take to heart especially that last part quoted on prayer and contemplation.  See what is means for you in your life.  With that, I leave you with one more line on your way out.

It is enjoyable to daydream but it is ultimately more enriching to pray.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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A Plugged In Society: Awareness of Surroundings

We are just that, a “plugged in” society.  Not even that, it is a cordless world where take our plugged in mentality wherever we roam.  As I watch the kids get off the bus and wander into school, you see a common thing.  Aside from the skirts hiked up and the lack of interest you are standing there greeting them, there are numerous students listening to there Ipods and mp3s, or talking on the phone. 

Now I do understand, in the morning, if you just don’t want to have that conversation with your parents on the way to school, but one could at least wait to step out of the car to plug in.  Move to lunch time.  You are at school with your friends and so our your other friends at other schools.  The phone has become such an attachment that one comes up with what is thought to be creative ways to hide the phone being snuck out of the locker.  This leads me to wonder if one day all communication with lack face to face time and the use of our voices.

On another note of similar yet different topic, the awareness that people today hold is starting to dwindle a bit from what it was.  We have become very good at pointing out that which is not good about a situation and each person and such like things.  Looking at the whole picture and what is the best is something I tend to find rare.  People have their thoughts and opinions and great ideas.  As a whole, many groups struggle to communicate and look at what is really going on around them in others.  Seeing things simply is something we all need to work on.  Listening fully to what people say without a quick fire response is also a lesson to be learned, one that can save much trouble.

So, these are just some thoughts of the morning that I have had.  Thanks for reading, as always!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Random Things

 

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