#Three Words

Always Be Prepared

I’ve never been a scout, but I do try to follow the code”always be prepared.” When I had babies, I carried a change of clothes for each “just in case.” I keep a “kit” of what I deem to be necessities in my suitcase, causing a friend I was traveling with who saw it to suggest that I could practically perform surgery with what was stuffed into it. On the faith front, Matthew’s gospel reminds us more than once to be ready:  “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” and again in the parable of the ten virgins and their oil lamps:  “…you will not know the hour or the day…” Today and hopefully going forward I will remember to live every as if it were my last, in service to God and to my brothers and sisters here on earth.

by JAM

Hold The Tension

Like so many others, I am surrounded every day by friends and family afflicted with suffering. They reach out for prayer and support, which I readily give, but somehow it never feels like enough. I want them to be healed, NOW, and yet the endless suffering goes on, beating up my soul like waves pounding on the shore. At times like these,  I return to three words I learned from Fr. Ron Rolheiser: “hold the tension.” Look at the cross, he says, and see what Jesus did in his darkest hours. He did not give back “in kind,” take revenge, spew anger or despair. Rather, he held the tension inside, and then, like a water purifier, poured out the transformed pain as healing love. This isn’t easy for us mortals, but in reality, all we can do when life’s challenges are uncontrollable. Knowing that Jesus holds the tension along with us creates a powerful well of strength beyond what any of us can do alone. Bound together by the grace of the cross, we find meaning in suffering, a healing gift beyond limits.

by DC

Live Your Love

This last week was my birthday. I celebrated with ten of my dearest girlfriends. I wrote each woman a ‘love letter’ telling each how they have enriched and blessed my life over all of the years we have journeyed together. Unbeknownst to me, one of my friends reached out to the others and asked them to come prepared with three words that described their experience of me and so they did. I handed out my letters and they went around the table and shared their words out loud that represented how they saw me. The experience was powerful and validating. We lived our love for each other. Jesus lived His love for each of us, sharing with us how important we are to God, and how deeply loved we are by Him. For today, live your love, share with those closest to you what they mean to you either by word, prayer, or deed. When we are intentional and unconditional about our love, we share our hearts, as well as, shine a piece of heaven into the mix.

by Gracie

Transform My Sighs

There are many times I think about just how amazing it is that God really understands our situations, our frustrations, our challenges, even my sighs. To sigh is to emit a long, deep audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness or a similar feeling. I sigh for a world in need of healing and love. Have sighs for the marginalized and sighs for those who don’t know God but have a seeking heart. This quote by Brother Roger of Taize speaks into my heart: “God understands all human languages. God understands our words. But he also understands our sighs and our silences. And silence is sometimes all there is to prayer.” I will remind myself that a sigh is sometimes all there is to prayer as well. Prayer practice: “Transform my sighs.”

by Cathy