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August 2016

I’ve had a dream recently in which I’m to take a written test of several pages.  In waking life, I’ve struggled with taking tests though I’ve always passed.

In the dream I’m having a couple problems.  The directions are in very fine print so small I can barely read them.  The other problem is that some of the questions are about events I’ve not been interested in so haven’t paid attention.  One event in the dream was of an award in 1992.

As I prayed with this dream I wondered how my vision of God’s working in my life is too small.  How can I see more clearly and see the bigger picture of life?

What situations am I ignoring that would deepen my relationship with God?

I thought back to 1992.  What would be beneficial for me to remember?  Two significant events came to mind.  In early 1992 I took a written four day exam.  Though it was difficult, I passed.  The second event was that I was ordained a transitional deacon.  Both were life-changing as I made final preparations for priesthood ordination.  I reflected on the many ways I was aware how God was with me, especially at that time.  There were times that seemed like God had forgotten about me.  Looking back, I now can see how God was directing me though I wasn’t aware at the time.

I wonder what long test am I about to take?  Will it be long in duration?  Will it be of short duration but feel like a long time?  How will my life be changed?

I need to be mindful of God with me in whatever comes.  These reflections helped put in perspective many current situations that seem like tests.  God is always with us, even in the midst of struggles.  Remembering God’s presence will help to have a broader vision knowing that God is in control.

Hidden God,

Thank you for night dreams that help us reflect on your goodness.  As we encounter situations that seem like tests that come in our lives, remind us of your presence and guidance.  Give us a broader vision and greater understanding of your love and guidance.  Amen.

August 21, 2016 0 comment
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I’ve seen some doves flying in the trees near my apartment recently but I’ve not seen them close up.  During a recent  spiritual direction  phone call, a dove landed on my balcony railing.  This was significant to me for our conversation was about spiritual communication.

In Christianity, a dove is often a symbol of the Holy Spirit.  So my first thought on seeing the dove was that God was reminding me that the Holy Spirit is present in my session.

A couple moments later, the single dove was joined by two more doves.  In Christianity, three is a symbol of the Trinity.  The second  dove came right up to the window on the floor of the balcony.  The third one almost flew into the window but turned before it hit the window.

As I reflected on the three doves, I wondered, “Was God saying, “Let me in?  I’m here but you aren’t paying attention?”

My prayer was, “God, I want to pay attention.  I know you are present.   I need your help to open the door of my heart to be more aware of your love. Amen.

August 15, 2016 0 comment
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Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you.  Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.  Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is fitting and my burden light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

The past few months have felt intense.  From all appearances, it seems the intensity will continue.  I have felt weary.  At times I’ve felt life burdensome.  I need to be refreshed.

In the midst of busyness and needed activities it’s necessary to take time to remember what is really important.  I believe it’s important to take time to reflect on one’s spiritual calling, to reflect on how God is present in all of life. Some may do this near lakes or oceans.  Others get refreshed by camping in the woods or mountains.   I do it by taking specific retreat days to be quiet, reflect, pray and enjoy nature.  God leads each person differently.

I need the quiet, silent, alone time with my comforting cat to examine how God has been giving me life and sustaining me.  I become aware of times when I forgot God was in control.

During these quiet days, there may be challenges as I focus on whatever yoke God is offering.  I may feel peaceful.   Other times I may feel like I am in a dry desert.  Am I willing to stay with the feeling?  Am I willing to listen to what’s in my heart?  What I may hear is to be aware how my daily calling is really fitting with God’s help.

So I pray:

Compassionate and Merciful God,

Thank you for these quiet days.  Keep reminding me that where I am is where You’ve called me to be.  You are present in the midst of busyness even though it may feel like You are absent.  As You refresh and renew me during these reflective days, help me deepen my awareness of Your constant help and presence.  Then, guide me to share Your compassion with others who are weary and burdened.  Amen.

 

August 5, 2016 0 comment
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While quietly sitting with my calico cat curled up on my lap, I reflected on the peaceful scene outside my window.   My reflection led me to write this prayer psalm.

Bless the Creator, O my soul!

O Holy One, you give us beauty in colorful nature.

I praise you for the hungry goldfinches eating thistle seed,

their gold and black feathers highlighted in the sun.

I praise you for the energetic humming bird

flying among the purple and pink petunias and deep red geraniums.

It’s rapidly moving wings keeping it steady

as it drinks the flower nectar.

I praise you for the silver leafed maple tree,

the solid oak tree and the multi-branched elm tree.

Each provides a different emerald background for my brilliant balcony flowers.

I praise you for the luminous sunlight

around the white fluffy clouds

below the light blue sky.

O God, how wonderful is all your creation.

May we always respect, value and appreciate all you have made.  Amen.

August 1, 2016 0 comment
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