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On Divine Providence

*For class, we had to reflect on three bible passages and what is being taught about Divine Providence.  Here is the reflection paper that I wrote.*

Luke 9:10-17; Luke 9:1-6; Matthew 6:25-34 – Divine Providence

How often do we hear of stories like that of where Jesus takes five loaves of bread and two fish to feed over five thousand people?  At first glance of our memories, we would be inclined to say that these types of things never happen in our life.  Maybe if we were in that situation we would be inclined, as the Apostles were, to send the people away to find food.  Otherwise, we might find ourselves giving each person the smallest of crumb each, perhaps even auctioning it off to the highest bidder.  Most people today may not even bother to think that God could provide for them, if only they would trust and pray.  A thought like that, of trusting it to God, is scary and daunting; it is simply against what many would do.  Worrying about what we would do with only so many fish and so much bread is our natural reaction, which makes us not so different from the Apostles who lived with Jesus. 

So what is it then, that Jesus was asking them to do?  He wanted them to trust in Divine Providence, to believe that what was provided for them would be enough.  The part that I find important in my understanding of this story is actually not found in the Gospel of Luke, but rather in another gospel’s telling.  Bread and fish was provided for by a lone boy who was with the crowds listening to what Jesus was telling them.  God knew the people would be hungry, so He instilled in this young boy the kindness and courage to come to one of the Apostles to share with them the little that He had.  Yet even at the generosity shown, the Apostles could still not yet believe that all the people would be fed with enough food to sustain them.  In the end, I can only imagine how surprised the Apostles may have been at seeing the people all well-fed and with leftovers when they were done eating.  All the same, I could also imagine how they may have realized the similar teaching Jesus has done about Divine Providence before then.  Of course, that phrase was not being used at that time.

Going backwards in the time line, we see Him speaking again of trusting that Divine Providence will take care of them (the Apostles).  They were being sent out with nothing to their name to proclaim God’s Kingdom and to drive out the demons, healing the sick.  Again, when today do we see people sent out purposely leaving every behind the clothes on their back at that first glance?  The Apostles were to go out with nothing hoping to be welcomed into people’s homes.  They had to trust they would find those who would accept them in Jesus’ name, which in itself made the journey more difficult.  At the same time, going out in the name of Jesus allowed Divine Providence to work in them.

At another point in time, we hear Jesus more straightforward speaking of that which we are calling Divine Providence.  How often do you find yourselves worrying about this or that thing?  Quite often we can find that the worry overcomes us so much that we do not trust and hold back from something because of that worry that infects us.  Jesus must have seen the worry in the people whom he was preaching to; otherwise He would not have thought it needed to be spoken about.  He teaches the people that if God takes care of clothing the field with grass, He too will take care of all our needs.  “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). 

So now many think, how is any of this really relatable to me who lives in today’s society where everything is much different?  I tend to disagree with how different today may be.  While the specifics may be much different, the basic things still go on and the basic teaching Jesus did still applies to us today.  Let us first go back to the feeding of the five thousand.  Many people go on very little food to survive.  Not only that, but many times each of us has found ourselves in a moment where we feel that we are lacking a specific means to be healthy or even to do something important to our life.  For me, I have never been without food enough but other things to keep my life moving forward have been in shorter supply.  All that is to be done is to trust.  Where should that trust be place?  In Divine Providence we should place that trust. 

Now what about the relation to that of the Apostles going out to mission work with nothing but the clothes on their backs?  When people go out here to proclaim and teach, they are loaded with all they can carry that they may need wherever they go.  How many do you see with the bare minimum?  The thing is, we only ever think of missionaries who come from places where they can be provided for going into a poorer place.  Many people go with very little, including lack of support spiritually and such, into their own communities talking of the faith they love.  Each day I guarantee you pass someone who appears to have all but really has nothing but the little candle in their heart to keep them going and teaching the message they are called to share.

Finally, we all know we worry about everything.  We are a people who worry about the past, present and future all together.  Jesus wants us to forget the worries of what was or what is to come and live in the now.  We must trust that Divine Providence will take us to where we need to be.  In the first two stories, we see what the third story tells us not to do.  The apostles worry about where to get enough food to feed the people.  The apostles, though not explicitly written in the bible, must have worried about taking nothing with if Jesus was telling them to go as they are with only what they were wearing.  When there is worry, whether it is like that from Jesus’ time or the worry of today’s age, there is a lack of trust in Divine Providence. 

From these stories, I hear Jesus telling me to stop worrying.  In ceasing to worry I will be able to trust more fully in Divine Providence.  It is not that I am not able to trust with the worry, but freeing myself from the worries little by little, I can allow Divine Providence to take over in my life.  It is then that I can let where I feel called to be and what I feel called to do really show through for me to see more clearly and for others to understand where God wants me in this life.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Guide Me Home

*While sitting in the corner chair by the window, a young person in discernment stares out the window.  In her heart there are many things.  Among those things is the darkness that tries to take her away from what God wills of her.  Here is the story of her heart in that moment on the chair, guitar in lap, creativity flowing.*

 

I walk through the valley

And darkness follows me through

I know not how to travel

With a burden so heavy

 

And I call out to you

Come and save me

I can’t do this alone

Guide me home

Guide me home

 

The darkness is so heavy

My heart seems to crumble

I yearn for the light

So that I may find peace

 

And I call out to you

Come and save me

I can’t do this alone

Guide me home

Guide me home

Guide me home

 

*There are chords and a melody to these lyrics.  At some point when I am confident enough to record, I will do so and post.  Thank you to all those who follow my blog and keep up with my writings.*

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Creative Corner, Inner Reflection

 

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He Will Get You Home

Hello world!  So I know that in many posts I talk about the frustrations of life and forget to share with you the joys and little surprises God places about.  In this post there may be much of the same with some talk of frustrations, but it ends with a surprise that occurred in the last moments of my waking hour.  Let me bring you back to this past Friday, yesterday if you read this on the current day of Saturday.

This week had surely brought me many trials.  Personalities run wild and all over the board.  Learning to know each other and how they work is something to take time doing.  I find that much of the things that happen that are not of a joyful nature strike at my core being, seeing as I am a very deep feeler.  Things of the past as well as things of the present are being used against me.  Others, as well as me, attribute this to Satan trying to pull me away from what God wants of me at this moment in time.  It was said of a friend from TEC that the closer we are to what God wants of us, the harder Satan pulls to get us.  Satan will take every means he can to get to us, using past bad experiences or those things/people around you to get you down. 

Basically, I have need to have a meltdown, just to stop worrying about it all so I may pick myself back up again.  Thank goodness for the friends I have back home as well as the friends I am starting to make here. 

It the morning during prayer, there were two things that popped up in the prayer time that stuck out to me.  The first was some lyrics to a song we sang.

For to live with the Lord, we must die with the Lord.

We must die with the Lord.  What a powerful thing that we forget all the time.  There are going to be hardships in life.  I personally just need to figure out how to deal with them appropriately.  The second quote came from a psalm that we read in the psalter of the office.

Rescue me, O God.

That is my prayer, for God to rescue me from all those things in my life that hold me back from what God truly wants.  With this all day, I was left to figure out how to live these things in my life and overcome what I need to get over.  Of course, the struggles piled up as I have not found a way to solve them.

So the end of the day comes and I am all a mess.  I stop by another aspirant’s room because her light was on and door open.  While talking with her, I noticed that there was a book on her desk.  It is a compilation of things that have been written by Max Lucado into a book called “Everyday Blessings.”  It gives a thought for each day.  Here is what I read when I when back to my room on September the 24th.

Satan falls in the presence of Christ….  Satan is powerless against the protection of Christ.  When Jesus says he will keep you safe, he means it.  Hell will have to get through him to get to you.  Jesus is able to protect you.  When he says he will get you home, he will get you home.

Oh my holy buckets of humor that God must have.  The way things happen like this, how else can one explain it but God?  I still do not get it, but it is what I needed to hear and still need to hear.  Just a little reminder that Jesus will bring us through.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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My Wish: Following Your Dreams

This song is something I want to be posted in honor of my two closest friends and all those I have met going into formation or thinking about going into formation with the Salesian Sisters.  There are not many words to describe how much I give this song to these people.  I hope whomever listens to this song, that you will keep your heart and soul open to what comes to mind.  There is just something about it that I love.  Here it is.

I feel like in some aspects, in my life, that this song has been God’s wish for me.  My worries are numerous and my dreams huge.  Now that I have been working on lessening the worries, I am able to let my dreams really reach out.  This song reminds me of the dreams I should be reaching for, the ones that cannot fall to the side.  We make mistakes in life but we can not let those things get to us.  We get hurt and that cannot stop us.  God’s grace is in each thing.  He takes what we have and feeds us grace in the lessons, opening our hearts and souls to so much more.

Follow the dreams you have mingled with God’s call for you.  God gives us dreams to follow and opens the path for us.  It may not be so obvious, it could be be wavy and narrow, but no matter what it leads us to Him who gave it to us.  Right now I am in the midst of what God is starting for me for the rest of my life.  I have dreamed of traveling, volunteering, reaching out, always have worked with kids and so much more.  Here in my chance to be in formation, I can discover where I believe God is taking me to achieve all the dreams that have been put in me.

Let us wish for each other and we will be amazed at the wishes God has for us and what we will discover in our lives.  Peace!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Inspirational Music

 

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Satan Dulls Our Hearts

“By the anxieties and worries of this life Satan tries to dull man’s heart and make a dwelling for himself there.” – St. Francis of Assisi

This quote goes right back to two posts ago when I talked about how Satan and God are fighting in the battlefield of our hearts.  Here we see the plan Satan has in the fight for our hearts.  He tries to weasel his way in by amplifying all of our anxieties, worries, frustrations, and anything else of the sort.  Think about it.  What is it that we hear about most often on the news?  The bad things.  What do we always think about when people ask how we are?  The bad things.  We so often lose track of what is good in our lives and the amazing things God has planned for us.

In my life I have found that Satan’s plan for the battle have succeeded more times that I wish it would have.  For those who follow, this is repetitive a bit but maybe approached in a different way.  My senior in college was perhaps the hardest year of my life.  Classes were becoming more intense.  Schoolwork more difficult and time-consuming.  Keeping involved with all the campus ministry activities harder to keep up with.  Time with friends just not happening as it was.

All this and more were weighing down on me.  The worries and frustrations that I had just took up my whole life.  With all that, my health was all over the place.  Professors wanted me to be a student first but without taking care of myself, how could I do that?  I went to one of the school counselors to see what they could tell me.  I had friends helping me through my classes.  I spent countless times crying out the frustrations on the shoulders of friends.  My heart was dulling and I was becoming very discouraged.  I could not see it during those moments, but now looking back I can see that something not good was settling into my heart.  Things just became a chore and I could tell I was losing heart.  Talk about driving oneself crazy, I was skimping by on being able to graduate.  The anxieties set in like crazy as I fought to bring my grades back up.  In the end of it I was able to bring things together enough to graduate!

Throughout all that there were bits of light from my friends and my faith, even when I seemed distant from my friends and my faith was wavering.  Some may not see it this way but I see it as this is part of what was going on.  Satan took a hold of me in those dark difficult times.  My heart dulled and things seemed everything having to do with hopeless.  It is amazing how all the different things in life bog us down.  Now I see what was going on in me a bit better and can more fully understand what to do when all the pressures push down.  I don’t have the added stress of school but instead a job to worry about.  I am not involved in extra clubs and things (boring…yes).  My friends are hundreds of miles away from me.  No matter where I will be in life, there are going to be anxieties, worries and such things that Satan could feed on to settle in my heart.  I can not allow that to consume me and bring me to places I have been.  When my heart is dulling I must remember to turn to God and those I trust in order to renew myself again.

Satan is everywhere in the world but God is as well.  Don’t be overcome with everything in life.  Sure, all those things that will trouble you and drive you crazy will be there but it is how you handle it that makes the hugest difference in life.  I let it all get a hold of me instead of giving it back to God and turning to my friends at first sign of losing sight of the good.  Hold onto God and keep Him the only one that is dwelling in your heart.  It will be hard, but it can be done.  Currently, as I await to know what I could be doing next in life, I keep praying that God stays in my heart and I hear is call each and every day.  Will you keep God in your heart and not be overcome with Satan?

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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Worn Out And Exhausted

This is what I feel like today

A tired fills my entire body

Worn out and exhausted

Busy work wears me down

Doing nothing tires me out

Thinking about the future

Puts me in a disarray

Peace I do hold somewhere

So laying down spread out

The place I wish to be

So that the tired is awake

The lazy is full of energy

The disarray turns into peace

Complete peace full of smiles

Exhausted I am at the time

I wish to do just at this

What I did in that photo

I cannot even start to tell you the many things can contribute to the exhausted feeling that I have in me.  The crappy weather today, the boredom, the busy work, the focus on many thoughts about religious life, worry of my family coming to visit, and much more in me waiting to burst.  Basically, if I could do what I was doing there, I totally would.  Relax, calm down, let the mind settle, and soak up the sun so that I may be refreshed and do what need to be done in a smiling, peaceful, clear minded way.  Pray, pray fully involved in the prayer.  That would be great to achieve that, I cannot wait.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Creative Corner, Inner Reflection, Photos

 

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