Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beautifully and Wonderfully

Yesterday as I was walking into my office I noticed the brightest rosebush I think I’ve ever seen. The color of the flowers was so intense that my first reaction was to think that they must be the result some man-made genetic manipulation. (Well okay, my first reaction was really more like, Oh em gee! I want to take a picture of that!! …What do you want? I’m a lady with a camera…) But then immediately following that I felt horrible, recognizing how sad it was that my first reaction was suspicion in assuming this beautiful object of nature couldn’t really be natural. What a tragedy to underestimate the generosity of Our Lord – to think, even for a moment, that He wouldn’t have designed these roses with such breathtakingly brilliant color. 

I was reminded of a talk I heard just after Christmas last year, during a holy hour which was held as a response the USCCB’s Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty. One of the themes of this talk was the dignity of human life, and what stood out to me most was focus given to our being made in the image and likeness of God. And how absolutely and utterly amazing that is.

Our Lord must be, without a doubt, the most beautiful of all beings in existence. What a privilege it is, for each of us, to be able to look into a mirror and see the reflection of one created to reflect the beauty of the Creator! And similarly, to be able to look into the eyes of another and see a person placed in our path by God, for the purpose of shedding light on His infinite mercy and generosity in creating each of us so uniquely – yet with a likeness unto Himself that we will not fully understand until we stand before Him and behold the Glory of His image. What a joy it must be for the people whose lives are so enveloped by the Holy Spirit – that they are able to look into the eyes of another and recognize the presence of Our Lord on earth! I must admit that, as much as I desire God use me as His instrument in the salvation of souls, I often struggle to recognize His presence in the people that I meet.

Yet He is in everyone, and His beauty is made manifest through all created things. He has nestled Himself at the center of our souls, my friends. There He sits, and waits for us to discover and embrace his love and unfathomably merciful design for our lives! What a privilege – that God resides in the depths of our hearts.  If only we were able to see this clearly each time we encounter one of His children. To look at each person and see one made in His image before seeing anything else. Oh that my first reaction to each person I meet could become, “Wow… you are beautifully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God!...” How intense would that be? Dream big, my friends.

Through the delightful experience of passing this beautiful rose bush, I was reminded how willing the Lord is to present us with extraordinary beauty in the midst of what seem like so many ordinary days. I walked into my office this morning and there it was again, just as brilliant and breathtaking as it was yesterday. And I imagine it’ll be the same tomorrow… unless the incoming heat wave gets to it before I get to work. I am learning to appreciate that every moment of life and every situation I find myself in - is a gift. If the Lord is at the forefront of our minds then it will be much easier to see Him in everyone and everything. The question is, how do we get Him to the forefront of our minds?! Well I guess that’s where prayer comes in, as always and of course.

Today begins the second “leg” ofthis “99-Day Novena Relay” that is leading up to the Feast of St. Augustine, and my potential/tentative entrance date. I now begin to refer to this date as “potential” and/or “tentative,” as the countdown clock passes 90 days and a couple of my upcoming fundraising efforts are being put on hold or pushed back for various reasons. The reality that my entrance date may have to be pushed back begins to set in, and I am making preparations in my heart and mind to continue working and fundraising through the fall and probably longer. This too, contains much beauty and is a gift from the Lord, my friends! God willing I now have the opportunity to put even more trust in Him than I ever have, and to live every day in anticipation of the extraordinary plan he has for my life. I don't know what He has planned for me just yet... but I know its gonna be good :). 

So please, if you haven’t already, join me and my friends in praying through the intercession of Our Ladyof Fatima for all good things to happen, through St. Benedict for humility andin difficult times, through Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati to live the Beatitudes,and through Sts. Norbert & Evermode of the Order of Premontre. I am asking all these saints for their intercession in helping me see the beauty of God in every moment of my life, and for generosity in my own heart – that I may have the strength to pour out my entire being to do the will of the Lord… whatever that may be.

We pray for vocations and all our personal intentions through August 28th. I'm continuing to run and pray for all of your personal intentions 4 times a week. Discerning doing another marathon ::coughORhalfMARATHONcough:: in the fall if I'm still around. If you're new here and haven't read about my vocation and running effort yet, please visit God bless you and make you into saints! 

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