Tag Archives: Listening

Rejoice! Gaudete Sunday


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EDIT TO ADD:

I find myself adding a few more rejoices in my post after Vespers tonight. I found myself being full of joy for many more things here that have taken place. Especially after praying:

Father, precious in your sight is the death of the saints, but precious above all is the love with which Christ suffered to redeem us. In this life we will fill up in our own flesh what it is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ; accept this as our sacrifice of praise, and we shall even now taste the joy of the new Jerusalem.

As I ponder this day more, I need only to add one REJOICE, for the simple fact that it is our Lord’s grace that I am still here to have any day, good or bad. (END EDIT TO ADD)

Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent

A reflection on the rejoicing that has come about from a bad day…. No time for pride when humility is in order.

Yesterday morning, about three minutes before my children left for school, my daughter informed me she needed black shoes for her hand bell concert later that afternoon. The night before, I had taken her shopping for a shirt and we could have addressed it then. BUT she had not informed me of what she needed. I was not exactly joyful at the news she had withheld from me until that moment. She had found one shoe but was unable to find the other. With my health issues, it is next to impossible for me to go digging through a teenagers room, which looks as if a category 5 hurricane hit. Having not been able to get in both of the children’s rooms since May, we are talking complete disaster. I had been trying to teach my children the importance of “order”. If you take it, put it back.  No one had the time to listen to that.

So, I gave her my shoes to which she complained; “They were to big!” which I new was not exactly truthful as she is almost the same size as I am. Last year, I had bought her a pair of boots only 2 sizes smaller than my size. She just didn’t like the shoes I had. “I’m a size 6!” she yelled at me, which was completely incorrect. Grudgingly she took them, with much hesitation and complaining. I was then advised she was going to be performing off school grounds for a Christmas show, which she never mentioned, nor my husband tell me about.  She was getting a ride from school, but needed to be picked up at 5:45. I had planned on attending Holy Mass at 5:30 PM, for the feast of St. John of the Cross. Disappointment began to set in.

On our way to school, I was informed that one child did not have a lunch. After dropping of the children at school, I returned home, waited a while, and went back with a lunch. Returning back home, I had to get ready for a concert at the school directly after lunch. As I began to get ready, with only fifteen minutes to get back, I received a call from my daughter telling me to look for her black shoe. As I began to speak the phone when dead.  I called the school back and the receptionist began to tell me that my daughter MUST have the black shoes. I had advised the receptionist that I was in no condition to go looking at this point, and I had given her my shoes to wear. She began to tell me that my daughter said they did not fit. I informed the receptionist that those were the only shoes we have at this time and my daughter would just have to make due with what she had, and the conversation ended there. I got up, went to both bedrooms and began to look for the shoe without success.

Again, back in the truck to return to the school for the concert after 10 minutes to get ready now. The street department decided that 1 PM was a perfect time to shut down traffic to re-stripe the street. I sat and the stress built within.

I arrived at the school, and as I entered Church and sat down, the children were almost ready to begin. As they did, I observed my daughter walking up without the shoes I had given to her, and wearing her white gym shoes. They began to play and the principal of the school came to me to tell me, my daughter was not going to be able to participate in the concert directly after this one, without proper black shoes. The tone she used was not in tune. Keep in mind, if you are in a hand bell concert, and you miss, or are not there to perform, the ENTIRE concert is thrown off without you. They would be leaving at 2:45. It was now 1:10 I looked up at our Lord on the cross, bit my tongue, and said okay. I will do something. She walked away, I got up from my seat, and walked out. Unable to watch my daughters performance, I jumped in my truck, fuming at the way this played out. Knowing without a doubt that none of this needed to happen. But it did. I looked down, realized I was almost out of gas, stopped at a station, fueled up and began to head to ANY store with black shoes.

As I got to the store, parking was miserable. I found a spot (REJOICE!) a little walking distance and took it. I walked into the store and headed to the shoe section. I found a few black shoes with many sizes. (REJOICE!) Okay…. What size? She was dishonest about the size this morning, so do I buy one in every size and then hope one of them fit her? I bought two different sizes. Went to check out, stood in line, got ready to pay and realized my debit card was missing. I looked at the cashier, and told him I needed to run out to my truck. Ran back out, got to my truck and realized my keys were missing. I tried my door and it opened (REJOICE!). I had left not only my debit card, but my keys right in view for anyone to take. They were both still there with my truck. (REJOICE!) By this time, my entire body began to ache. I walked back to the store, waited in line again, the cashier still had the bag of shoes (REJOICE!) and I paid for the them, drove back to the school, walked into the concert, sat down and immediately felt the pain in my back radiating into both of my legs.  I could not sit there. I got up, walked to the office and dropped them off, with a message for my daughter to call me.

At that moment, I almost broke into tears. It was going to be a very ugly cry. The physical pain and the emotional were both adding up. I regained my composure, contemplating on our Lord and biting my tongue. (REJOICE!) I left, and went back home, with only a half an hour to head back to school and pick up my other daughter.

When I arrived home, the call came from my daughter. One of the pair of shoes I dropped off, fit perfectly. (REJOICE!)

After picking up my other daughter, my husband informed me that he was leaving early from work and would be picking up my daughter from the concert she was performing at the time she needed to be picked up. (REJOICE!). As they both arrived home, we ALL had an extensive conversation about the serious need for communication, personal responsibility,  listening and following orders. (REJOICE.)  The other pair of shoes I had bought, ended up fitting my youngest daughter. (REJOICE!). 

Today, the pain in my back and legs is not as bad, and both of my daughters are taking this day to clean up their rooms completely. (REJOICE!)

REPENT! PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE! Yesterday is gone. We only have now. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Do not put off what is needed now, so you can Rejoice!

Gospel LK 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That Moment


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How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?

That moment you realize your really listening to the Good Shepherd….

As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God

While on retreat this past weekend, I was pondering that voice I had been listening to. It was a chilly and very windy day Saturday and in the midst of silence, I found myself walking around taking in the beauty of the nature I was placed in. I came to a water feature and bent down, finding myself asking our Lord, “Is it you Lord? Is this voice I have been listening to You? In an instant, I heard a slight giggle in my heart. I began to look myself over and I was dressed in all in white. The pants I unknowingly put on that morning were white along with my shirt were white and I was wearing my comfy snugly white coat that is fluffy like a lamb. I looked up at the statue atop the water feature and a smile came over my face. In that moment, I knew for a fact.

Yes. The lost sheep indeed was finally home, healed, and at peace. It was no doubt the Good Shepherd who retrieved me. The Good Shepherd Who healed me. The Good Shepherd who I love. It also just happened to be “Good Shepherd” weekend. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Can You Hear Me?


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One thing I have been doing since my conversion is listening. Listening and paying attention to not only what is going on around me, but hanging on every word of our Lord, so I could listen to the souls around me and become part of their solution, on the journey home for all of us, rather then add to the confusion. The problem I tend to see is that when I am in pain, there is isolation. I have not found the heart besides our Lords that is willing to listen to me. Willing to hear and feel the excruciating pain that I have in this “place”. A good Facebook Priest friend had posted this today and it echo’s exactly what we need, I need, from our Spiritual Directors and all our Priests, religious and Laity. Not to mention in our own homes and family’s. To often we become distracted by our own idea of what someone is trying to say, we fail to listen to what they are actually saying and rather then hear them, we place our own words in their mouths thinking we got it right, when the reality is, its totally wrong.

So many times I have tried to explain to my Pastor things that have been happening, be it in the Parish Community or in my personal life that need serious attention and more often then not, I get the same response, “I don’t have time right now, go tell ____________________ (fill in the blank). Leaving the Ministry’s placed in my hands, falling into a state of serious needs. And of course the next response when something goes wrong is, Why didn’t you tell me……

I often wonder, how many souls are in hell today because someone didn’t have time to listen to them….

“A pervasive societal narcissism threatens to seep down into the minds of us all…The antidote to narcissism and the perennial core of ministry begins very simply: listen. But listen not as a reference to ourselves…We listen by moving out of ourselves trying to connect, to really understand, to live with the other…When you really listen to someone, just for a moment, you sense a deeper connection, heart to heart. The other person senses the deep connection as well. They no longer feel alone. And this connection, this burst of grace, stays with you; it stays with them…True listening requires from us a willingness to open ourselves to the other, heart to heart. When we feel their pain; we feel echoes of our own pain. When we are vulnerable, we open ourselves to being hurt. We are exposed and this can be frightening. I think that this is one reason why we do not listen. We do not want to get involved, to risk our hearts. But this is the price to get the ‘smell of the sheep’ on us. Benedict XVI spoke to us of loneliness. He said that real total loneliness, ‘which is not penetrated and transformed by another,’ is ‘what theology calls hell.’ Hell is isolation. Ministry breaks through this isolation. It form a human bond. This bond between us human beings is the building block of unity and community. It is thus the building block of heaven. If hell is isolation, heaven is communion.”
-Msgr Stephen Rossetti, at the Commencement Address at St Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, MD

The simplest form of mercy, is to listen to another soul. Another form of mercy is to embrace them with the words our Lord gives to us.

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