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Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Soldier, Forgive Me

Dear Soldiers,

Yesterday I heard myself utter the words, please pray for our troops who are unable to be with family this Holiday season.  Those words no sooner crossed my lips when I realized how much I take for granted.  I was sitting in a heated sanctuary and didn’t have to give one thought to a battle raging outside the walls of our building.  As I was driving home to my husband I became increasingly aware of just how important that prayer really is.  So today I want to ask your forgiveness.

Forgive me for only praying for you on Sunday…
…your battle never ends.

Forgive me for not saying thanks when I sit at the table with my husband…
…you would give anything to be with your family.

Forgive me for complaining about too few breaks at work…
…do you even remember what a break is?

Forgive me for complaining about the noisy child in the grocery store…
…I bet even the sound of a crying child would be a blessing to you.

Forgive me for taking this free life in the United States of America for granted…
…when you are working so hard to keep it this way.

Soldier, I will never know what it is really like to walk in your boots, but I want to at least acknowledge that you are heroes and deserve what I can give; recognition and prayers for you and your families.  And when I think about how much I enjoy being with my husband, family and friends I will give thanks for you and ask that you be kept safe until you can enjoy the warmth of family and friends once again.



Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Way

I've been reflecting lately on the origin of my faith in God and it seems that unlike some, I'm unable to really pinpoint a day or time when I had that "aha" moment.  All I know is that at a very young age I would listen to the voices of the meadowlark and the red-winged blackbird; curious to know what made them sing.  I believe that God's voice in the wind called me away from the angry voices of people to come out and  dance with the little stream on the edge of town. It was God who called me to safety then and it is He who calls me to a deeper place today.  It was God and it is God.

I went away to a monastery recently to reflect on this faith and some things occurred to me.  For many years I worshiped in an evangelical setting.  I don't know how many times a congregation would rejoice when they learned that someone had come out of "Catholicism" to the true Christian experience.  So many times I would hear pastors refer to the "other" denominations in a negative light; as if to say that "our way" was the only way.  It bothered me then and it bothers me today.  While I was in prayer with the nuns at the monastery I was in awe of the reverence while we were singing the Holy scriptures.  It was a solemn time; a sacred time.  It was a blessed form of worship.  God is alive in the Catholic church just as He is in other paths of faith.  I say paths because in my observation of faith settings over the years, we are really all on a significant journey to seek the ultimate experience or path to find meaning for our lives as it relates to God.  Why are we here?  How can my life bring meaning to another?  Who is this "One" who made us all in His image and yet so very different are we from one another? We all are in pursuit of the perfect way to worship this God, yet not one of us can claim the identity of another seeker when we attempt to identify our individual relationship with God.  Why?  I believe it's simply not possible.  Our walk with the living Christ is as unique as the finger prints on our hands and as unique as the very DNA of our souls.  We are uniquely and individually designed.  That is something to  celebrate.

So what makes us think that there is but one approach to the blessed presence of God and the worship we bring?  I hope I never know the answer to that question, because once that happens I fear I too will stop seeking the special place that I long for.  A place I began seeking as a little girl; a place in my soul that makes me know the unending presence of the living Christ, Emmanuel, God with us!

Blessings to you, my unique and wonderful friends.


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