Power of Prayer

I was sharing about prayer yesterday, and yes, it helps me greatly to pray for Ocean-Foam-1024x768others. It helps to pray for myself too of course! And any prayer that I may grow in virtue will most definitely be answered. If I pray for patience, I will get it. If I pray to love, it will happen.

My brother told me about this. When we pray for others yes, it makes a huge difference. But they have the right of refusal for the prayer. They can refuse the Grace, and so we don’t know that it will work, though still we try to bless them in this way.  When we pray for ourselves, for something that makes us better people, we are not refusing the Grace. It may be necessary to persevere in prayer. God isn’t like a magic trick. But it will most assuredly happen.  If I demand patience right now, that seems a bit ironic yes? Asking, sure. But we persevere.

I have also been thinking about how there seem to be bad things in the world, and a lot of people who pray are being distracted by electronics. Yes, there is extra grace released on the world when we pray. And the world needs it so much. God made humans as a family and wants us to look out for each other this way, and so it works. I have seen miracles happen before my eyes.  Let’s never let go of this devotion. Let us continue always to pray for the world more and more and set aside more distractions. Now is a good time to amp it up. We can make a difference right where we are.

May your day be blessed and beautiful.

 

Note: Look up the world mission rosary if you pray the rosary or are interested. It’s designed as a way to pray the rosary for the world.

Outward Healing

I saw a TV show recently in which a character had a new, powerful gift that he had just discovered. When he stopped for a moment to connect with it, the power raised up from inside him and saved all those around him from death. He didn’t know he had it in him. He was just an ordinary boy. But when he connected with what was in him, it helped those around him, and it helped him to know who he was.

Sometimes, I get into moods. I could be down in some way or just blah. Tonight I felt blah, and felt caught up in a selfishness as well. Then I remembered that I hadn’t offered my day up as a prayer for others, so I did that. Then I started praying for others, and I connected with God’s strength to reach out to them in prayer.  I felt different. The “blah” was gone.  My insecurity was gone, and I felt joyful and confident as I prayed for the world out of love for them and faith in God. And most of all, I felt like me again.

Sometimes I have a mood I just can’t shake. But almost every time praying for others fixes it. I don’t know how or why.  I don’t do it in an obsessive compulsive way, that doesn’t help; I just do it. And somehow it works. Over and over, when nothing else would work, this would get me out of that funk I was in. sunset-585334_640

I share this with you because I would hope that it would also work for some of you. If things aren’t going so well, try praying for others. Somehow, getting out of oneself like this and connecting with God really does help.  And even it it doesn’t, you are still doing good work. We need to pray for others no matter how it feels, and that is enough. But it just may help you too.

May God be with you today.

Surrendered

I have a friend who, from pretty much the first time I met her, has seemed to me to be “surrendered.”  That phrase would pop into my mind when I would talk to her. She recently told me that there was a situation in her life that was very difficult, but she finally realized there was nothing she could do about it.  And then there was peace. And that is exactly what I mean by surrendered: to have let go, to have surrendered the outcome or situation up to God. There is a very well known prayer. It goes like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

So often we get so upset by things that we can’t change. And it takes so much energy; it messes with our peace.  We may gripe and grumble and curse and cuss but it doesn’t do anything. It just makes us miserable.

I recently gave a presentation that I wasn’t proud of. I knew it would have been much better if I had taken more time to simplify it and hadn’t tried to live up to what I thought were the expectations of another — if I had just gone with what I felt God was calling me to do.  I was talking with a friend about it and I think I said three times,  “I am really not proud of how that went.”  But I IMG_20130807_140857realized: it is done. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  I can make adjustments next time; I can e-mail the group with notes; but other than that, there was nothing I can do.  I had to let it go. Fretting doesn’t do anyone any good.  And believe me, giving up fretting isn’t easy!

Sometimes when these things happen too, I pray. I say, “God, even though I didn’t do what I thought I should, please let something amazing come from it.” Let people’s hearts be touched anyway. Romans 8:28 says “All things work for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose,” so I put it in the hands of God. Who knows? Perhaps someone LOVED the fact that there was so much information, and benefited from the notes. I may never know.  Letting go and trusting God  is hard . . . but necessary. I am thankful I have people I can call to help me through the process.

May God bless your day.

Retro Blog. From September 26th, 2009

Inspiring Quotes

I encountered a struggle recently which left me a bit mad.  I shared what I was really trying to say, and communication happened. This was good. But I did it all in an angrier way than I wanted to. And while it’s OK to be angry, when it comes to communication, I think it is far better, kinder, and much more effective to patiently explain what it is one really meant, no matter what the attitude of the other is. One shows another respect this way and gives another the benefit of the doubt. It also save credibility if one wants one’s points heard.

The situation has me needing many things, such as help for waiting to speak until anger has calmed down, more time spent pondering life and less in intellectual banter, more calm prayer time, less FB.  Here are some quotes that speak to those things. May you find one that touches you as well.

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Ideas create idols; only wonder leads to knowing.  St. Gregory of Nyssa

Our life is frittered away by detail, Simplify, Simplify.  Henry David

I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. Anne Frank

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

The greatest grace God can give someone is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers — and then sustain him with his grace so he may endure to the end and be saved.  St. Justin Martyr

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leperdid him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean. He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Matthew 8:1-3

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy
Guide me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen

Retro: Healing Defensiveness 1

Here is a blog from March 31st, 2012

A couple weeks ago I was watching an old series from the 90′s: “My So Called Life.”   During one episode, the mother wants her teenage daughter to enter a mother/daughter fashion show for charity. This is something that they’d been doing for years, but this year, the daughter expresses that she doesn’t want to do it.  The mother is frustrated and angry that her daughter is pulling away,  and expresses this to her daughter.  She says something akin to: “I don’t understand why we can’t do this one thing together… what will it look like when my own daughter won’t join me in the fashion show…”  etc.  She uses every manipulative tactic that she can think of.  The reason for this behavior is that she is hurt. She feels like her daughter doesn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore.

The daughter on the other hand suddenly expresses frustration that her mother wants her to parade her ugliness for everyone to see. She says to her mother “I am not beautiful like you, and that’s OK with me.  What I don’t understand is why you want me to be.”  From the daughter’s  perspective, the argument is about the daughter’s failure to not live up to her mother’s expectations of her.

So, basically, both sides act defensively because they think that the other person has a problem with them.  Mother: My daughter doesn’t love me anymore.  Daughter: I’m not good enough for my mother. When the TRUTH comes out, so does peace.

This same thing happens all through the show.. and this particular mother is a little neurotic; she takes what most people do personally and is frustrated.  But when you look at real life… isn’t this something that most people do? When there is a struggle between two people, how often are both parties thinking the same thing:  ”you don’t accept me for who I am?’  How often are neither thinking of the other: “you aren’t good enough?”

No… when you dig down… I personally believe that most struggles are about  our own attempts to feel loved and valuable.  When we think “this person thinks this of me” most likely they are just worried about what you, and others, think of them.

Just something to think about. May God bless your day.

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Emotions are OK: Anger

I do the Sacred Space meditations from the Irish Jesuits and the weekly reflection is on anger; namely, that it is OK to be angry.  It is a natural response to having an injustice performed against you or someone else. Now, this doesn’t mean act on this anger in bad ways, but it really is OK to be angry. It’s a normal, understandable, human emotion that most everyone has.

I remember how I felt when I realized why my anger seemed to be too much for others. I know that some people can’t handle other people’s emotions; it wasn’t that. It was that I was angry at myself for being angry.  The self condemnation I was experiencing over having emotions created something much darker. But my regular anger is not too much for the people who love me and are balanced. Not at all. It is just a feeling, and that feeling usually has a really good reason to be there, and sometimes I am angry about something because I truly need to be.

Even if you don’t know why you are angry about a certain situation, it often has a good reason. Someone betrayed you when you were a child, and you never processed it, or didn’t finish processing it. . .there are many possibilities. If you experience something that reminds you of that situation, you may feel anger and not know why. That anger makes sense, even if you don’t know that it does.

I know it is tempting not to feel anger, and not to feel a thing. Dwelling on things that make us angry may not be helpful, but being honest with the emotions we honestly have is really important. Anger denied is still there, it just turns inward and becomes depression. You are angry at yourself. Some people have clinical depression and can’t help it, but if you can help it, it is better to process emotions than hate yourself. I had anger at my anger, and it was hard on those around me. Some people are so angry at themselves that they can’t let anyone love them, which is hard on people who are trying to love. Once we realize our emotions really are OK, it helps us through these things. We accept ourselves, we process the anger, we find peace, we heal.

Who you are and how you feel is alright. May your day be blessed. image

 

Motivation

Motivation For the Day! Grab a quote, and think about:

  1. What is it saying?
  2. What is it saying to my life?
  3. What’s my plan to use it just for today?

Ask for help, and give it a go. It’s a Monday. That’s a Day of Opportunity. We’ve got this.

The beginning is the most important part of the work. Plato

Like I always tell my clients – begin each day as if it were on purpose. Hitch

The Most Wasted of all Days is one without Laughter.  e.e. cummings

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. Ivan Turgenev

Do not waste your life, because life is there – all you have to do is reach out and embrace it. Anything is possible. Whatever your dream is, make it happen. Have courage. Start today. You will be amazed what life will give you in return for a little bit of courage. Matthew Kelly from Life Requires Courage

I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free, and yet I can’t let it show. Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us? (December 24, 1943) Anne Frank

It’s not all said and done, who wrote that anyway. Come on get up and run. You’ll be alive today. It’s not all said and done. Margaret Becker from Air

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is jt, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil 4:8

May your day be blessed in abundance. Godspeed!

A Method for Forgiveness

I was talking to a friend recently. She was having trouble forgiving her ex. She knew that she needed to forgive him to set her own heart free, but she didn’t know how.

The program she was doing has a Step 8.  As part of the Step 8, one prays for those they have resentments against. It isn’t asked that one simply forgives them, it is asked that one prays for them. Yet even that is hard.  It seems that one is praying for one who has caused so much pain to have blessings, and for that person to have everything one wants for 182oneself.  Why should someone be rewarded for doing something abusive?

I think what someone is asking for in praying for someone can vary from person to person and program to program.  I do know one thing, however, there is a method that has worked for me in praying for those who have hurt me, and beginning to forgive those who have caused me a lot of pain, and I’d like to share it with you at the request of a friend.

I realized a while ago, that those people who I don’t like seem to have two people to them.  One is their real self, and one is their persona.  The real self is who they were as a child, and who they are created to be.  The persona is their ways of dealing with fear and anger in their lives.  I can love a person’s heart and strongly dislike their persona.  Once I realized this, it set me free.  Those people that I felt so bad for not loving? It wasn’t their real selves I didn’t love. It was the dark garbage that had been added, hiding the beauty.

I prayed with my friend for the little boy that her ex once was. That he be restored and the abusive part of him be disintegrated. And somehow, that seemed to help.

I carried grudges for years. I have also done quite a few things to hurt others in the past, and I would hope that people forgive me, for some of it was controlling.  I know that for me, it was anger, self hatred, and fear that fueled those things.  I feel that I’ve been being restored to the real Jessie lately, and I feel that when I pray for others to be restored to who they were meant to be, that I can pray for them. I can keep from hating them. And it seems to work.

The point? Maybe praying for restoration more than blessing will make it a little easier, and also remembering that so many people are not walking around acting like who they were created to be.

May God bless your day.

After Thoughts:

To pray for someone you have resentments against for a while, and to not worry about whether or not you are able to forgive them and just pray, really did work wonders when I did it.

Another friend was just telling me that she feels sorry for the person. No one is really happy when they are that awful.

Another friend was just saying “how much more suffering do we need?” When we have resentment, it doesn’t hurt them. It hurts us.

Other ideas welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hold Us Together

At the Matt Maher concert yesterday, this one line from a song stuck out to me: “And I’ll be my brother’s keeper that the whole world will know that we’re not alone.”

I invite you to reflect and listen. What line sticks out to you? What might it be saying?  For me, I was reflecting on the joy of having the chance to walk with someone.

Things to ponder for a beautiful day.  The lyrics are written out following the video.

Hold Us Together

It don’t have a job, don’t pay your bills
Won’t buy you a home in Beverly Hills
Won’t fix your life in five easy steps
Ain’t the law of the land or the government
But it’s all you need

And love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world would know that we’re not alone

It’s waiting for you knocking at your door
In the moment of truth when your heart hits the floor
And you’re on your knees

And love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world would know that we’re not alone

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
‘Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
‘Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright

Love will hold us together
Make us a shelter to weather the storm
And I’ll be my brother’s keeper
So the whole world would know that we’re not alone