Category Archives: Humility

Tonight as He bleeds…

On this night our Lord will pray in the garden of Gethsemane, suffering in agony as He prays to the point of sweating blood.

What was flashing through His mind in those moments?  What caused Him such great emotional pain  that He physically sweat blood?

Maybe as He knelt there praying, life flashed before His eyes, but instead of seeing His own life, He saw all of our lives flash before His eyes. Our lives became His as He lived each of our lives in His mind, in those moments.  He saw every sin each of us has ever committed as His own sin.

He watched Himself committing these grievous, selfish, terrible and sinful acts. God, His Father, watched Him committing these grievous, selfish, terrible, and sinful acts.

He literally, physically, emotionally, and mentally bore our sins, and yes, I believe watching Himself commit our sins made Him sweat blood.

He Himself bore our sins… – Peter 2:24

Oh my Jesus…  please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, thank You, thank You…

Teach me

  • Teach me Lord to praise You as the trees do, with their arms stretched wide day and night in praise of You.
  • Teach me Lord to be as flexible and changeable as the clouds as they move and change day and night guided by Your will.
  • Teach me Lord to be as humble as a grain of sand that knows without it’s presence the dessert or the beach is not greatly changed, but is wise enough to know that it’s presence is required for the dessert or the beach to be complete in Your plan.
  • Teach me Lord to be as reflective as all the waters of the earth so that I might reflect Your majesty back to You.

Thank You Lord for all of the ways you teach us!

Her story…

I told you a few weeks ago about my newly found love for Mary.  I have been thinking about her a lot and wanting to know her more and know her story.

Tonight as I was conquering the mountain of laundry that has piled up since school let out for summer, I decided to watch the first part of a movie that has been sitting in my queue for a while, Mary of Nazareth.

First of all, let me tell you that I love it and I will be watching the second part very soon.

While watching it I realized that maybe we can know more of her story through His stories, by looking deeper into the parables of The Gospel, and then imagining how these parables might translate into her life, her childhood, her memories and her thoughts that she shared with her sweet and blessed son, Jesus.

Imagine for a moment Mary’s wedding celebration.  I had never done this before, but it was vividly depicted in this movie.  Her parents prepared a feast to celebrate their daughter’s wedding, but no guests came.  Their neighbors looked on with disgusted judgement refusing to attend while Mary, Joseph and her parents sat alone.

Now imagine what might have happened next.

What if Mary stood up, reached for Joseph’s hand and together they walked through the village inviting everyone they found to join them in celebration?

Does this sound familiar?  Check out Matthew 22 and Luke 14:15-24.

Maybe some of her story is buried deep His parables.  Maybe we just have to read The Gospels again from yet another perspective to find her story.

I think it is time to start digging deep again my friends!

He makes all things new!

Since I first thought, prayed and wrote about Our Best Life, I have changed, I am different… I think I am becoming new.  I have told friends that I don’t know why this change has come about, but I am starting to realize that I  do know why… it is because of Him, and only Him.

When I first starting praying for Our Best Life, someone very close to me was going through two very difficult and life changing events.  Her suffering and pain finally opened my eyes to my own selfishness and allowed me to step outside of myself for a moment and begin thinking of and praying for others by praying for Our Best Life.

This changed my direction, but He in His infinite humility still didn’t step in until I invited Him in through a prayer to be the seed that has been sown on good soil.

He heard my prayer and came running to help me.  Regardless of how much work there is to do in me, He pushed up His sleeves and began working to make me new!  Anything kind, loving, patient, thoughtful, considerate, generous that I do is because of Him… it is NOT me!  There is still so much to be done, but He is here and my thoughts run to Him as I talk with my husband and my children, work on homework and play with my children, read, listen to music, wash dishes, fold and iron clothes, clean our home, make our dinner and even while kneeling on the floor a few weeks ago to clean up my daughters throw-up.

Thank You My Love for being here with me… I do not just need You, I desire You from the depths of my heart.

Please hide my love from me…

When I do something kind or loving for someone else, I love to remember it.  Remembering it makes me smile and feel so wonderful inside for the kindness I have shown to someone else or the love that I have spread.

On the other hand when I do something selfish, unkind or out of anger to another, I hate to remember it.  The memory brings me sorrow, guilt and most of all pain.

I just finished reading The Book of my Life by Saint Teresa of Avila translated by Mirabai Starr. At one point in this book, St Teresa describes God as an unimaginably clear, fully transparent, beautiful, multifaceted diamond.  After this description, St. Teresa talks about the pain and sorrow we will feel someday as we stand before this diamond and see our true self clearly witnessing not only our good actions, but also seeing our own selfishness, greed, anger, hatred, and envy reflected back and clouding the clarity, smudging the beauty of this diamond.

I love St. Teresa’s description and I can’t help but think of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Jesus please silence the trumpet that I sound within my heart when I spread love or perform a small act of kindness.  Instead please hide my love from me and help me to clearly remember the painful moments of my unkindness, selfishness, and greed.

Then maybe someday if I ever do kneel before Your unimaginably beautiful diamond, I will not be shocked to painfully witness again my moments of failure, but instead might be joyfully surprised to see that I did spread a little love and perform a few small acts of kindness in Your Name, My Sweet Love.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done

Do you ever buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot has become extremely large?

I do, and then for the next 24 hours until the drawing I start fantasizing about what I would do if I won.  I start divvying up the money in my mind, deciding how much I would keep, how much I would give to family, estimating how much would be lost due to taxes, estimating how much I would have to pay advisors and then, finally, the last category tagged on as an after thought is how much I might give to those in need.

Usually by the end of the 24 hours, the amount I “need” to keep has gone up and the amount I would give away has gone down.  It is pretty disgusting how quickly I get sucked into thinking/imagining/dreaming that I “need” $XXX,XXX,XXX.

Can you imagine my kingdom coming to be?  Every time I hear the song Demons by Imagine Dragons I am reminded of my inner demon and I shudder at the thought of my kingdom coming to be.

My Heavenly Father, my Lord, my Love, my sweet Jesus… all I can say is thank You, thank You, thank You, for sparing me from ever winning the lottery, and instead using each ticket purchase to open my eyes to my own demon buried deep within.

I pray to always remember and I pray to always pray…

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done.

Our Best Life might not be comfortable…

When I originally started this blog, I did not understand very much.  I still don’t understand a lot, but I think I am learning more about myself.

At the beginning there were times when I confused “comfortable life” with “best life”.  As I have continued on my journey this mistake is now so painfully clear that I am actually quite embarrassed to be typing this even though I wish instead of embarrassment I felt thankful for finally realizing this and humbled as I see how blessed I have been to be surrounded by so many comforts.

At the beginning of my search I kept asking questions about my cousin’s premature death…

  1. Why didn’t she get to graduate from college?
  2. Why didn’t she have a chance to fall in love?
  3. Why were we at her funeral instead of her wedding?
  4. Why did she miss out on the joy of motherhood?
  5. How could this have been her best life or part of our best life?

Then a few months ago I pondered the question of whether my cousin’s death was a gift of grace in disguise for our grandfather?

Maybe her life was a gift for our grandfather to finally find what he had been searching for his whole life?  Maybe her life was a gift for me to finally have my eyes opened, if even just a little, to see my own greed and selfishness?

I don’t know the answer to this, but if her death was our gift, then maybe she did live Our Best Life… His will!

What better life could one live than to follow so closely in the footsteps of our sweet Jesus, Who was sacrificed for all of us?

Turned around and upside down!

Whoever needs less should thank God and not be distressed, but whoever needs more should feel humble because of his weakness, not self important because of the kindness shown to him.

– The Rule of Saint Benedict

Our society builds up those with more making it difficult for those with more to truly feel humble.  This then leads many with less to not thank God, but instead covet more.

I think we need to keep Saint Benedict’s perspective in mind and always in sight, despite being constantly bombarded with the opposite belief by the cultural norms of our society.

Jesus please help us to keep looking at things upside down and turned around so that we won’t be swept away by the world.

Thank You

Almost every time I pray I ask for my family and friends to be blessed and kept safe, but what does keeping them safe really entail?  What does blessing them really entail?

Do I mean for them to be healthy and kept out of accidents?
Do I mean for them to be comfortable and happy?

Will keeping them safe and blessing them bring them closer to God?  I don’t know.

In Jeremiah 14:11-12
The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.  Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.

Was the Lord asking Jeremiah to refrain from praying for the welfare of these people because He knew that safety, comfort and blessings are not what would bring these people closer to Him?  Is He saying that that they will only cry out to Him, present offerings from their hearts, and truly come closer to Him in times of war, famine and pestilence?

I am not sure, but reading this made me take a step back and wonder.

1.  How often do I cry out to God in true joy and thanksgiving when I am safe, comfortable and blessed?  Do these blessings help bring me closer to Him?

2.  How often do I cry out to God in times of sorrow or conflict?  Do these difficulties and challenges bring me closer to Him?

God wants us to cry out to Him regardless of whether it is in joy or misery.   He wants to be there for us, He wants to be close to us and maybe sometimes we won’t let Him in until the difficult times arise.

God please help us to pray with humility knowing that we don’t know what is best, and help us to have faith that You do know what is best for all of us and will do everything in Your power to help us cry out to You.

Maybe my new prayer should be, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

The first shall be last…

I have been thinking a lot about the following passage from the bible.

Mark 12:1-12
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

The first time I read this parable I didn’t get it, I skimmed over it and read on, but I just reread it yesterday and I finally understood it.

As many others have written and as I finally understood, in this parable Jesus is referencing God as the landowner, the Jewish leaders as the tenants, the prophets as the servants and then Himself, Jesus, as the landowners only son.

As I was thinking more about this today, I thought about all of the other spiritual beliefs and religions spread throughout the world.  I thought about how the core teaching of all of the major religions is the same as Jesus’ core teaching, The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Then I began to think about all of the other religions whose leaders could have also been considered tenants.  I thought about how these other religions have also had prophets come to share this message, The Golden Rule, and I started wondering what was the difference.

Did the leaders of these other religions, the tenants, actually listen to their prophets, the servants of the landowner, thus not requiring the landowner to send his only son?

If this is the case, then we have been quite lost for some time.  If this is the case, then we, the Christian children of our Jewish ancestors, appear to be among the last to follow God’s law and the one’s who required and took the most from God in order to listen and believe.  We wouldn’t take the word of His prophets/His servants, but required Him to sacrifice His only Son for us to finally listen and believe.

Thank you God for sacrificing Your only Son, Jesus, in order to bring us, Your chosen people, home.  Please help us to understand that You chose us not as a preference over our brothers and sisters throughout the world, but because You love us and refuse to abandon Your lost sheep even if it means sacrificing Your only Son.

Please help us to open our eyes and see that we may have been the lost sheep all along.

Please help us to open our eyes as we look on our brothers and sisters throughout this world and help us to see that there are so many who knew Your Son before you sent Him and so many who have loved You, lived by Your words, and attributed any goodness found within them back to You longer than we have.

Please help us to see that we might be among the last.