As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, there may be times we feel a bit on the sluggish side. On the other hand, there may be times when we are feeling on top of the world--or at least on a sugar high. I have been feeling that little extra bounce in my step this week because of the life of the Church. Despite the challenges we face, and the failures of leadership on so many levels, "these three remain--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." The Bride of Christ (the Church) may take some hits, but the gates of hell shall not prevail.
On Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching at the 9:00 A.M. Mass at St. Francis by the Sea. That is a tremendous responsibility that I never take for granted. Hours of prayer and preparation go into the Sunday homily, and God is always faithful in touching the hearts of His people. I am greatly amazed and humbled each time my words impact the lives of others. That is the power of the Holy Spirit, and certainly not my own doing.
After Mass I went directly to religious education classes for our kindergarten and first grade students. I visited each class and taught them a little bit about St. Blaise. I then blessed their throats. This was the first time some of the children had ever had their throats blessed. I had to assure them that it would not hurt.
On Monday, I visited the "Flames" bible study group. These ladies have been meeting for about 19 years. What a blessing to have small faith communities such as this! They recently decided to read my book, Articulating Hope, and have a discussion based upon the book. They invited me to join them on Monday. It is fascinating to be the author of a book and see how others perceive the message. In gatherings such as these, I have been reminded to be very clear and succinct in my writing. The interpretations of what was said, or not said, in the book is very interesting. We each bring our own story with us when we read something. This, in turn, impacts the way we receive the writer's message. It is not necessarily right or wrong; it is just wise to be aware of the influences of past experiences.
Are you excited about life? Is God moving powerfully in your midst? Are you spending a sufficient amount of time in fervent prayer? Enjoy a piece of your favorite candy (or other treat), and then visit with the Lord to give thanks for the many blessings in life. After giving thanks, sit quietly and let the Lord speak to you. Remember, you are loved immensely. As the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, we too, are special in his sight. "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I dedicated you."