No Greater Love

I was hiking in the desert a few weeks ago and came across this heart shaped cactus. I am particularly drawn to seeing hearts in nature, on sidewalks; imprinted in the most unusual places and I take photos of them. They remind me that love is where I find it and to search for it. It’s as if God is sending those hearts as reminders that I am loved and cared for by the One who is Love. This cactus though reminded me that the love shared on the cross, came with pain, thorns and great sacrifice. There will never be any greater love. This Lent and everyday give a portion of your inherited love to others. “Whatever happens, those who have learned to love one another have made their way to the lasting world and will not leave, whatever happens. Amen.” Wendell Berry

by Cathy

Soul Spirit Love

If we did not have a human body and a human mind and all the egocentric psychological mind games we play out from living in this world, we would simply just have our true God-given soul spirit of love.  I have a vision of each of our spirits swirling around each other lifting, loving, playing, supporting, inviting, singing and being in harmony with one another.  A life full of contentment, love, and fulfillment.  Heaven! Sometimes the limitations of our humanness does not let us be free to let our true inner soul spirit love come out when genuinely inspired.  To break out in dance when you hear music, to sing at the top of your lungs when hearing a song that moves you, to run around in joy because you feel good at that moment, is the true God- given soul spirit love wanting to come out. How would your true soul spirit love come out in you?

by Liz

Baby Steps

There are times in life, especially during Lent, when we feel unworthy. We struggle with sacrifices we’re asked to make, to give more of ourselves, to love without care of consequence.  God’s Lenten question asks us if we could give more than we feel capable of giving. But the gifts of hospitality, mercy and service often elude us. We lack the courage to change our lives. If only the Good Samaritan’s act of generosity could change our heart; to help us feel a new spirituality. Sometimes it takes baby steps to change a life. We read a passage in the bible, bake some bread, reach out to a neighbor or let down our defenses. We call a friend and ask for forgiveness. We listen to God’s gentile prodding, to love more deeply, to give generously and to live gratefully. If it’s a baby step today then let’s take it. Who knows? Tomorrow it could become a giant leap. We can face our unworthiness one step at a time and try to answer God’s Lenten question.

by Diego

 

Loving Life

Yesterday I took my dog Koa, a gregarious golden retriever, on a hike in the local foothills above San Juan Capistrano.  As I was parking the truck, Koa cried with joy and anticipation at the sight of one of his favorite forays. The hillside was tucked in by a cool blanket of fog with the grasses and wildflowers heavy with dew.  Once off leash, he sprang like a racer up the rutted road with a joy that can only be named pure and true.  In that instant, as he romped in the wet grass, nipping at lupine and sweet peas, I saw a creature of God, loving the thing for which he was made!  Alive and free, Koa ran and leaped and sniffed and filled all his senses, fully experiencing the joy of being.  Like him I was given a life with gifts and desires.  When am I most loving my life, this great gift that Love has given?

by Andrew

Enduring Love

My parents would have been married seventy-four years this year. My Dad always said that he fell in love with my Mom the moment he saw her. He was with her all day, every day, holding her hand when she was in Hospice.  When Mom was awake they would say “I love you” hundreds of times. I can never remember them having an argument or a cross word between them and things weren’t always easy. When people would ask my Mom the secret to such a long marriage she would point to her ears and say “Whatever he said I didn’t like went in one ear and out the other.”  They were a perfect example of pure, unconditional love and they lived their lives spreading that love to others, especially those in need. I pray that I can follow their example and be loving the way they were and the way Jesus was and wants us to be.

by JAM

Big Love, Little Love

Today my heart is full of love and grief for a friend who has loved my family her whole life. Our old Rhodesian Ridge Hound mutt will soon be gone. Lucy helped us raise our kids, who are now grown and out of the nest. She protected them from dangers real and imagined with her warm body and her fierce bark. For thirteen years she has been madly in love with my wife. She even loves me though I snarl at her for licking herself while I’m trying to sleep.Her buddy Egon, a fat yappy “Chug,”,will be bereft. He thinks she is his mom. Every day we walk them through our neighborhood. Down hill. Up hill. Past the church. She still likes to go for her walks. She cannot eat. She is down to skin and bones. Everybody says “Don’t wait too long to let her go”. I walk to church and light a candle for my old dog who has no more new tricks.

by George

Soul Openings

In Luke 10:38-42, Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, while Martha labors in food preparation. Martha, overworked, comes to Jesus requesting He allow Mary to help her prepare the meal. Jesus said, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” I am more of a Martha than a Mary. During Lent I have asked myself, “Where are the sanctuary places in my life?” I discerned that I have two really consistent experiences where my soul opens and receives God’s grace, refreshment, and rejuvenation. They are when I sing for the Lord through Christ Cathedral Parish Choirs, and with the women I have prayed with for ten years, every Thursday morning. The sacred music changes with each mass, ordination or concert. The women also differ from week to week in my prayer group and certainly the prayers change each time. Inside, though, I am blessed with living water. Where in your life are you open to God’s refurbishment?

by Gracie

 

 

 

RCIA Session: Prayer – March 7, 2017

We spent the entire evening talking about prayer, something that all people claim to do, even those who are not religious. We immersed ourselves in the definitions, purposes, and many ways to pray, considering the overall definition that “Prayer is a cry of the heart.”  Cathy facilitated a great discussion about how the Lord’s Prayer is especially important in the development of a personal relationship with Jesus who prayed to his Father.  The evening concluded with a beautiful prayer service and the ritual of presenting the Elect and Candidates a  framable copy of the Our Father. What a great experience!

Podcast: http://tuesday-nights-at-rcia.madewithopinion.com/

Donna’s Power Point: Prayer