Monday, July 17, 2017

Hidden Treasure



    "Mom!  Come here!  Look what I just found," said five year old Heidi.
    Andrea saw her daughter squatting down next to one of the larger trees in the park.  "What are you looking at Heidi?"
  "Look, Mom, do you see it?  It's a purple ladybug!  It's so cute!"
  Andrea bent down and peered into the bottom trunk of the tree and saw a rock painted like a ladybug.  "Oh, that is cute," said Andrea.  "I wonder who put it here."
  "Can I pick it up and see if there is a name on the back?" Heidi asked.
  "Sure, why not."
  Heidi reached into the tree, pulled out the rock, and tried to read the back.  It said, "I hope I made you smile.  Love, God."  Heidi's eyes grew as big as her smile.  "Mom, God put this ladybug here to make me smile.  I didn't even know He was thinking about me!" exclaimed Heidi.
  Andrea smiled too and said, "Well this must be our lucky day!  We have found a hidden treasure!"
  "You think this ladybug is a treasure?"
  "Not the ladybug, but the message on the back. God found a way to say 'I love you' to us today.  I'd say we struck it rich today!"
  Heidi smiled again hoping God would notice how happy He made her.  "Hey, Mom, can I take the ladybug home with us?"
  "No, we better leave it here.  God may need to give that message to someone else, too."
  "Ok.  Can we go home and tell Dad we found a treasure?"
  "That sounds like a great idea.  Let's go!" agreed Andrea.  Andrea and Heidi walked hand and hand out of the park towards home.  As they walked they never even noticed thirteen year old Autumn sitting on a park bench pretending to read a book.
  Autumn made the sign of the cross and began to pray.  "Hey God, did you see that?  Your idea totally worked!  I used the talent you gave me to spread your message!  Did you see how happy it made that little girl and her mom?  And I feel great inside, I made a difference!  Thank you for letting me a part of Your Plan!"
  Autumn closed her eyes and heard God whispered, "Thank you for listening to My Plan.  I need to get this message out to a lot of people.  This is only the beginning...."


-Susan

Friday, July 14, 2017

Less is More



  Funny how the world is always telling us we need more.  Jesus tells us we need less.  We need to empty ourselves of the foolishness of this world, so that He may fill our hearts completely.  This weekend spend some quality time preparing for the Eucharist in prayer.  Try to mentally imagine all that your heart holds dear.  One by one remove each thought.  Do not be afraid.  The Lord will refill and magnify your heart with all that is pleasing to Him, and then fill you with whatever you were lacking.  We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Only a God who loves with no bounds could be this generous!

-Susan

Monday, July 10, 2017

Working On Being Great


  How many of us dream of coming into some unexpected money allowing us to quit our jobs and stay at home.  I have had that passing thought more times than I like to admit, usually just before another work week.  But a "Lazy Susan" only turns in circles over and over and over.  I don't think God wants me spinning in circles, I believe He has a much different path for me.  Sure I have stumbled many times trying to follow this path and I sometimes have no idea what direction I should be headed, but I trust that God has a definite purpose in mind for me.  
  God has a definite plan for each of us.  He wants us to become saints-- how great is that?! And although the idea sounds fantastic, it's not easy.  It requires work and sacrifice.  We must follow Jesus' example of serving in order to become great in the Kingdom.  Jesus never said. "Kick off your shoes and relax in your Lazy Boy." He said, "Pick up your cross and follow Me." 
  I would like to suggest a compromise.  How about we all grab a comfortable pair of shoes and then follow our Master to Eternity.  We might have to work for a living, but we can be happy knowing that this is exactly the work God needs us to perform.

-Susan

Friday, July 7, 2017

Anything But Boring



  God is anything but boring.  Christianity is anything but boring.  Christianity started with a small group of people on fire with the joy of the Holy Spirit.  These men and woman were passionate, courageous, and willing to risk their lives for Jesus. Whenever I read about the lives of the saints, I am completely amazed how active and full their lives were.  Based on your own experiences, I would like to ask you, "Do you think God is exciting?"
  I guess your answer might depend on how active God is in your life.  Do you invite God into your life while you are praying or at church?  Do you invite God to come along when you are having fun with family and friends?  How about when your bike riding, jogging, singing in the car, swimming, etc.?  If you only experience God in church, you are really missing out on half the adventure.  The saints had such amazing lives because they never left God in church, they shared all of life's experience with Him.  Their prayers never ended, they flowed from one experience to the next.  They saw God in everything they did!
   Life is an adventure and it can be completely amazing if we invite God to be a part of our experiences.  I have been white water rafting, parasailing, zip lining, mountain climbing, and snorkeling all with God by my side.  My experiences are heightened by His Presence!  And to tell you the truth, I have had some very intense prayer moments on a rollercoaster car as it climbed to the very top of a step hill and plunged into the unknown with my heart racing and my voice screaming with fear.  Life is meant to be lived with joy and excitement.  I hope you experience some of your own fantastic moments with God this summer.

-Susan

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Go ahead and Lead the Way



  During the Offertory at my church, the youth are invited to bring  food for the poor and place it in front of the alter.  This past week I noticed something that made me smile.  A  three year old boy began following his older sister (who was probably five) down the main aisle towards the alter with his food.  He began looking around at all the people.  His steps slowed down a little bit and he began to veer a little to the left.  His sister must have sensed he wasn't directly behind her any more, and turned around.  In an instant she grabbed the back of his shirt collar and began leading him again.  The boy smiled and was perfectly happy to have been pointed and pulled in the right direction again.
  This got me thinking..... I wonder if this is how our guardian angels help us everyday when we are distracted? How often do they have to turn around and gently pull us in the right direction again? Do we happily follow their lead without even realizing the dangers we have been fortunate to avoid? Are their arms around us while we pray?  Does it hurt them when we forget they're beside us?
  Let's spend some quality time thanking our guardian angels for everything they have done for us during our lifetime.  See yourself walking hand in hand with your angel, and allow them to lead you on the path to heaven.


-Susan

Saturday, July 1, 2017

6th Grade Modern Day Prophets



  Theresa and I have spent this past week on a summer intensive religious education program for our upcoming Confirmation class and our 6th & 7th grade Hebrew Scriptures program.. It was an amazing week!  We thought we would share the end of the week project.  The 6th graders were asked what message does the world need to hear today and how would you go about spreading it as a modern day prophet.  This is what they came up with "we will spread this message  by making an evangelization video featuring our singing, dancing, and other talents to convey our message. We will then post it on social media and go viral. Hopefully from it's popularity we will be asked to go on a TV talk show."
  Theresa and I are hoping you can help these modern day prophets with their mission.  Please share this video with everyone.

Thank you!

-Susan & Theresa

Friday, June 23, 2017

Truth


  Truth.  Some people try to cover it up.  Some people run from it.  Some people are scared to death of it.  How important is truth to you?
  As I was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy this week, I found myself stuck in the conversation between Pilate and Jesus just before Pilate had Jesus scourged. 

  (John 18:37-38) So Pilate said to him, "Then your are a king?"  Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.  for this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

  To Pilate, truth was arbitrary.  Jesus, however, states the reason He was born was for others to hear the truth.  What puzzles me is that Pilate really didn't care.  I kept thinking about this.  Would Pilate have cared about the truth if it was his life that was on the line?  And then I wondered, if at the moment of Pilate's death,  did the Truth became crystal clear to him?  
  Truth is not arbitrary, it is essential. Truth is the key to unlocking the door to eternity.  My mom gave me some very good advice when I was younger.  She told me to always carry my house key with me, because you never know when you might need it.

-Susan