Prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life,
you, who came down upon the Apostles
in a mighty wind and with fire,
who filled the house where they were and
gave them the gift of tongues
to proclaim the wonders of God, come down now upon me also.
Fill me with yourself;
and make of me a temple wherein you dwell.
Open my lips to proclaim your praise,
to ask your guidance,
and to declare your love.
Holy Light, divine Fire, eternal Might,
enlighten my mind to know you,
inflame my heart to love you,
strengthen my will to seek and find you.
Be for me
the living and life-giving Breath of God,
the very air I breathe,
and the only sky in which my spirit soars.

This prayer is from the Holy Spirit Prayer Book by Pauline Books and Media. I heartily recommend this treasury of daily prayers and novenas to the Holy Spirit if you desire to surrender your life to the Spirit.

Guest Post: Set out to find the fountain of eternal joy

In the beginning, the Spirit hovered over the waters waiting for the creative Word of God to vivify the earth. The same Spirit waited for Mary’s Fiat before covering her with the shadow of the Most High to bring to the world its Savior.

Today, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit dwells in us.

St. Paul’s words echo through the centuries: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16) The Spirit dwells in us, and it’s also in us that he awaits our openness to the will of God to come into our life and vivify us.

The Spirit generates in you new life

When we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit we open ourselves to a movement that generates life. It is like a soil prepared to be cultivated: in the movement of the land that has to be stirred, in the movement of planting the seed, and even in the movement of the very plant that grows. And it’s always the Spirit that initiates this movement in us as an invitation to let ourselves to be guided by him, to let ourselves to be guided to participate and to live in the love of the Trinity. But all invitations wait for a response.  The Spirit is powerful, but he cannot make us bear fruit if we don’t allow him to plant and work in us.

But when we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit, the life he vivifies in us bears the mark of the divine, because its fruits are divine. But they are also human. And it is in this balance—so difficult for us to understand and live—that the fruit can sometimes lose its flavor or even languish.

Scripture tells us that one of these fruits is joy: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5, 22-23).

In some moments of our life, for many different reasons for each one of us, the sources of joy dry up, and we’re faced with the fact that what makes us happy isn’t eternal. Then we cannot avoid feeling a void, one that ultimately makes us live in thirst.

How to find true joy

Being thirsty reminds me of Saint-Exupéry’s story The Little Prince, at the moment where the boy finds a seller of pills that he says will quench your thirst. This seller explains to the Little Prince that by taking just one of those pills a week, he would no longer need to drink water—thus saving a lot of time (to be more precise, fifty-three minutes) that could be spent doing whatever he wanted. But the Little Prince saw things in a different way: “If I had fifty-three minutes to spend, I would use it to go very quietly looking for a fountain…”

This story makes me wonder: how am I quenching my thirst? The Little Prince very wisely realized that his thirst would remain if he didn’t undertake a journey to find what could truly quench his thirst, rather than just postponing it. Do I want something that will stop my thirst, or will I start walking and look for a fountain?

Do I want something that temporarily takes away my thirst for joy, or do I set out to find the fountain of eternal joy?

In the Bible, the word joy is not a goal in itself; it’s a consequence of God’s presence among his people, a consequence of his fidelity to his promises, a consequence of his eternal love. And for us to feel this love, Jesus asks the Father to send us his Spirit to guide us in the truth and always be with us: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).  We can rejoice because even before our hearts feel abandoned, God is already there with us!

In the Bible, the word joy is not a goal in itself; it’s a consequence of God’s presence among his people, a consequence of his fidelity to his promises

Tomáš Halík, a priest from the Czech Republic, wrote a book whose title touches me deeply: My God is a Wounded God. In our fragilities and suffering, in our attempts to start living again, we have a God who can truly say: I understand. A God who, at those times when we want to rip our hearts out because suffering is so unbearable, can truly say to us: I understand, and I am here.

And it is in his word and in his presence that the source of life is contained which has the power to germinate in us the fruits of his Spirit—and thus also joy. And because the Spirit dwells in us, we should not let fear, doubts, limitation, fragilities, or suffering occupy the place in our hearts that belongs to God, the place that belongs to love. In his love we can rejoice always. 

May this Pentecost be our time to begin a journey guided by the Spirit toward the fountain of Eternal Life!

The first step is to find the joy that comes from the presence of the Lord with us in every step of the way. We don’t need to run, we can go quietly like the Little Prince, we can go at the pace our heart can manage in this moment, at this time.

God understands.

God walks with us, and when we arrive, he will be there waiting for us. 

by Sr Marta Gaspar

Photo by Gabriel Peter from Pexels

Out of My Journal

My life history is a salvation story from beginning to end. There is nothing that is not salvific.

Everything belongs to the story God is writing in my life, the deed of salvation
God and God alone is bringing about.

Even though “I was once dead in my sins,” the fullness of God, who in his power raised Jesus from the dead, now fills me:

He united me into the very life of Christ.
Saved me by his wonderful grace.
Raised me up with Christ.
With Christ, as one with him, I am now co-seated in the glorious perfection of the heavenly Kingdom.

With such great love does my God love me.
(Ephesians 2:1-6)

Guest Post: The Holy Spirit is a very polite guest

About ten years ago I was going through a rough time, the kind of struggle when you’re not sure what to do, who to ask for advice, if the problems will ever end, if you have the strength or virtue or courage to take that next best step. I remember the day I sat in chapel thinking, “You know what I need? What I REALLY need? Wisdom. I need some good counsel and the knowledge of what is right. And I need courage in spades right now.”

Midway through my rather impassioned prayer for these extraordinary graces, I stopped. I suddenly realized I was asking for what I already had. I was asking for gifts that had been given to me years ago: the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I felt a bit foolish, but it was also for me one of those life-changing Aha! moments. God wants me to have these gifts and he made sure they were already there for me. So why did I think they weren’t there? Why did I believe I was missing these vital gifts that would help me through life’s rough times?

Well, to put it simply, it is because the Holy Spirit is a very polite Guest and I hadn’t been a very good hostess. I had quite ignored the Spirit to my own detriment. I had spent years working hard and trying my best. Yet I always, always felt disappointingly inadequate. I wasn’t the strong woman I had set out to be or the apostle on fire I had dreamt of becoming. And now, in a moment of crisis, I found my hands empty.

If I felt like I had missed the fire of Pentecost and those lavish gifts of the Holy Spirit, it was my own fault because I had been given all of the gifts I was praying for. I received all seven when I received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Right? That’s what we learned in catechism class. So what happened?

What if you are given seeds of rare and beautiful flowers, but then don’t bother to water them? If you are given the crown jewels but then don’t bother to wear them? If you are given the most exquisite bridal gown, but then insist on wearing your work clothes to the wedding? The seeds will dry up, someone else will inherit the jewels, and well…you won’t be the bride, will you?

So I decided to start by being the persistent widow in the Gospel and find a way to ask for an increase in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. True, it was more out of desperation, but it counts! I made myself a chaplet to pray for each of the gifts three times. And I prayed it over and over again. It was like tilling the soil of my own heart, but it worked. Or rather, I should say the Holy Spirit worked!

Now I know that what I need, even in the most desperate moments, will always be there. I don’t wait for the Novena of Pentecost to pray to the Holy Spirit. I bother him all day long. I am absolutely certain that the Holy Spirit doesn’t mind. He knows I need these gifts to strengthen me for the long haul. It just took that really hard time in my life that couldn’t be avoided to finally open my eyes to the Helper, the Consoler, the Counselor who actually lived right in the Temple of my own Heart. The Sweet Guest who was just waiting to be asked.

I added a Marian flavor to the chaplet by ending it with the Angelus. A reminder of Our Lady’s open and willing heart, and a call for me, by every choice I make, to be like her, right here, right now: pure capacity for God, absolute YES to the direction of his Holy Spirit.

Sr Julia Mary Darrenkamp, FSP

Guest Post: The Entire World at my Door – A Pentecost Meditation

I can’t help but reflect on Pentecost this year in relation to the historical moment we are living as we slowly begin to emerge from a pandemic we’ve been experiencing for over a year.

The pandemic has left its marks, to a greater or lesser degree, on all of us. Like it or not, this year has changed us as people. Despite all the advice on how to live this extraordinarily difficult time in the best way, we realize now as we start to open the doors and emerge from our places of isolation that we have been affected physically, psychologically, and spiritually. And not only we ourselves, but our world and our churches.

The question arises: how are we called to respond to this situation?

In a similar way, after Jesus ascended into heaven, we could say the apostles were huddled all together behind closed doors. Under one roof were the memories of three years of intense discipleship in the company of Jesus, tainted by the memory of betrayal. Sadness and mourning illuminated by a resurrection they have not yet fully understood. The fear of what they might find on the other side of the door that for a while protected them from the outside undermined the hope of the promise of the Spirit’s coming.

But heaven never forgets its promises. On that first Pentecost, the Spirit came and filled the whole house where the apostles were and rested on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit manifested itself publicly in the ability to speak different languages, and the apostles opened the door and emerged from where they had been hiding.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?”

In fact, Scripture does not mention that the apostles opened the door and went out into the street; the Word just tells us the people of Jerusalem could hear them speaking in their own language. But as extraordinary as the gift of tongues may be, perhaps opening the door and leaving was the first act of courage, the first of many, on the part of the apostles. This is important because the gift always comes from God, but the gift becomes sterile if we don’t open something in ourselves so it can come out.

The bestowing of the gift of the Spirit could have happened in a remote place, in a small town, but it happened in Jerusalem, which at that time was full of Jews “from every nation under heaven.” Unbeknownst to the apostles, the whole world was at their doors. The crowds guided by the same Spirit were concentrated beside them and when the apostles emerged from behind closed doors and went outside, every nation under the heaven was able to hear the wonders of God in its own language! Why is this important? Because the purpose of all the gifts we receive is to make the wonders of God known to the world.

Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

 I ask myself if I live with this awareness, knowing that I too have the entire world at my door. I wonder if my heart can open this wide, wide enough to embrace the world. Because this is the measure of the heart of God, the entire world! But can the entire world fit in our hearts?

Something very beautiful about living in community is the opportunity to know the heart of God through my sisters. Letting my sisters enlarge my heart. It is on their faces that I see mirrored so many realities that I do not know, that I have never experienced, that are unknown to me. The Lord touches each of our hearts in a unique way, empowering us to speak a specific language for the benefit of someone, whether in the family, in the community, or in the world. That person is always there on the other side of the door of our heart.

The apostles were also empowered by the Spirit to speak in different languages, to go to different peoples. God wants to reach everyone, and he speaks each person’s language. What a difference it makes when someone speaks our language! I understand this better now that I am in the United States. Even though I have no problems understanding and speaking English, when I really want to say something important, I feel an urgency to speak my native language, Portuguese. Whenever a particular chaplain celebrates Mass in our chapel, at the moment of the distribution of Communion, he says to me in Portuguese: “O corpo de Cristo. The Body of Christ.” This always moves me. Certainly I would understand if he spoke in English, but at that moment it is not the Portuguese that I hear but God saying that he loves me.

Let us not doubt that our openness to the Spirit makes things happen in our lives and—through us—in the life of the world.

It isn’t so much about hearing our own language the Scripture passage describing that first Pentecost is speaking about. It is above all to let every gift we receive become this language of Love. It is to discover that the other, who is different from me, speaks the same “language,” and that I am called to share with that person something about God himself.

Let us not doubt that our openness to the Spirit makes things happen in our lives and—through us—in the life of the world, even things that seem impossible. It doesn’t matter if these things are big or small, what matters is that they contain eternity. Every gift we receive and have the courage to share resounds for eternity.

Today, whether we are aware of it or not, the world is also at our door. It is in our neighbor, in our co-worker, in the stranger we come across in the streets of our city, it is on the screen of our phone or it pops up on our social networks. How many of these people speak the same “language” as us?

At this Pentecost, let us ask the Lord to help us recognize the gift that has been given to us by his Spirit, the language that has been entrusted to us. Every time we have the courage to open the door of our heart and go outside, we will find the entire world waiting for us, a world waiting to hear the wonders of God in its own “language.”

Sr Marta Gaspar

Photo Credit: Mateo Cerezo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Examen on Understanding

Place yourself in the presence of the Lord and pray for enlightenment. Relax. Breathe deeply. Run quickly over the past few hours or days, allowing your real feelings to surface about the events that have been part of your life, the feelings you’ve buried so that you could make it through the day.

Pay attention to the way in which the Lord has been present to you. Where have you felt drawn to the Lord or moved to understanding? Where have you met the Lord when you felt afraid … misunderstood … tempted … relieved … happy? Turn to the Lord with gratitude.

Choose one incident or reaction that stands out particularly for you at this time and which is still not settled for you. Recall to mind the details of the incident and its context, the people involved, and how you feel about it.

Read in the Bible James and John (Mark 10:35-45)

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ (Mark 10:35-45)

There are three different groups in this Gospel passage:

  1. James and John, who recognize Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and voice their desire to be next to him in heaven.
  2. The other ten apostles, who get frustrated with James and John because they think that the two brothers are being selfish by trying to claim the spots at Jesus’ side for themselves.
  3. Jesus, who understands his followers’ desire to be close to him and also wants to enable them to live out God’s plans for their lives.

Jesus understands those he loves. Notice that he does not chastise James and John for striving to have the highest place in heaven, nor does he chastise the other apostles when they become jealous of the two brothers. Instead, Jesus understands that James and John desire to be close to him in heaven which is a beautiful desire. Jesus also knows that they do not have enough information to know what their desire entails. Likewise, he understands that the other apostles are hurt at the possibility that they might not be closest to Jesus.

As you reflect again upon the incident or reaction you have chosen for your examen, pay attention to how Jesus encounters others with a loving understanding. The Lord sees the situation that you have chosen for your examen, and he understands it. He looks at you with love and invites you to grow closer to him. What is it that you want the Lord to understand in your life?

God sees the heart of each person and he loves them. God made all people good, but sometimes their goodness can be difficult to see without seeking to understand. How would approaching others with increased understanding strengthen your relationships?

God’s great love for you is made manifest in the experiences of your life. As you make this examen, the Lord is right now moving your heart toward understanding.

Spend some time talking over with the Lord what you are learning and experiencing. With simplicity express your sorrow for any lack of understanding in your life and your gratitude for any movements you sense toward greater understanding through God’s grace.

Identify one step toward becoming a more understanding person that you want to take going forward, a step that is actually possible for you. Pray for the grace to be a more understanding person.

Take a few moments to bring your thoughts or insights from this reflection to prayer.
Ask God for the grace to live what you have reflected on. Close your prayer time with the prayer below.
You may wish to carry this prayer through your day.

Image by marthaartess from Cathopic

The stillness of humility

Be still. Comforting words that we find in Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.” 

For me, these words conjure up quiet moments in a sacred space or beautiful place in nature. To do “be still” I could imagine calming myself down and enjoying a heart at peace, a world at peace, relationships at peace… 

Which they are not. 

Our world is anything but in peace. Being a fallen human being not every one of my relationships is at peace. And when I try to be quiet my heart struggles to find inner rest, and my mind takes off like wild stallions. 


At this point this article could take the expected turn toward mindful or contemplative practice or forgiveness or anger management, but today I want to turn down another path that was recently introduced to me… the humility of God. 

In his paper “Self-Love to Self-Emptying Love,” Francis George Pudhicherry, S.J. states that humility is what we learn from the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, from the way God takes the risk of limitation and rejection by the creatures God has created, saved, and continues at every moment to love and renew toward the ever-greater flourishing of holiness and abundant life.  

The humility of the Father consists in the risk God took in creating the human person free and vulnerable to the possibility of sin. The Father created us to be in relationship, a relationship that his creatures were free to turn away from when they decide to live in a manner which negates the Father or relegates God to the margin of their existence. When we abuse creation, when we abuse each other, we humiliate the Father. When we accuse God as if he were responsible for the problems we create for each other on this earth, we humiliate the Father. 

God’s respect for us in not controlling us is “a sign of humble love.”

That’s a big concept to wrap your heads and hearts around. This afternoon I watched one of those five-minute videos that show up on your Facebook feeds. The video was about bullying, but it was the relationship between the daughter and the father that caught my attention. The father had moved with his daughter to a small town in order to get her into a high school that would position her for college. Unable to pay for her tuition, he took a job as the janitor and her tuition was waived. Early in the video it is clear that his presence as a janitor becomes a source of humiliation for the girl as her two new friends make fun of her father as a failure for having such a lowly job, and begin to bully her online. The young girls who are her “friends,” knock over the bucket her father is using, spilling water all over the floor and calling him insulting names. In order to keep her friends, the daughter begins to hate her father who is causing her such embarrassment, as her “friends” harass her for having such a lowlife father. She even tells him to his face to go away and that she hates him. She contributes to the harassment of another girl just to keep her new-found friendship. 

A big breath here…. 

The father is heartbroken for what his daughter is suffering, tries to understand what is going on for her, and eventually decides he could try to find another job or two to pay for her tuition, to make things easier for his daughter in the new school. The last scene of the short video shows the daughter standing up to her friends for her father. That evening, after an embrace which manifests a love for his daughter that has never wavered, he explains why he took the job…for her. There was no angry outburst demanding that she at least be grateful for all that he had sacrificed for her. No, he only thought of loving her, waited patiently for her to grow through this experience of her life, and hopefully return to him. 

I understood the humiliation of this father. He ran up against limitations, the decisions of the two “friends” of his daughter who laughed at and insulted him, turning over his bucket, and humiliating his daughter. No matter how much he loved his daughter, or was willing to serve the school as janitor, the actions of others were out of his control. Yet he continued to be a loving person, respectful of his daughter’s freedom, patiently understanding her.  

God does that with every one of us. He didn’t create a bunch of robots that would go about keeping out of trouble, running the computer program “perfect” so God’s world would be just the way he wanted it to be. We are free. We are messy, we create messes, and often relegate God to the edges of our lives or blame him entirely for what we are going through. And yet he loves and loves and loves us even more. 

The Father then sent his Son in the fullness of time because he so loved the world, giving everything for our sake without asking any guarantee that we would reciprocate that love. He knew there was a genuine possibility that at least some of us would reject the gift he offered us in Christ, through his life, death, and resurrection, yet it is unconditionally offered. As we look at Christ on the cross, we can see the humiliation of the Father at having his own beloved Son, his most precious gift, unwanted and put to death.  

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and “the expression that divine love is inexhaustible and eternally new, that God’s capacity as absolute lover is ever greater, ever newer, and ever more fruitful.” The Holy Spirit is active in the world in history, silently sowing the seeds of holiness in God’s creatures, but again, we have the choice to take another path—as individuals, as members of the ecclesial community, in politics and government. The Spirit is this non-intrusive presence of God which honors the freedom he gave each of us. The Spirit’s ecstatic life-giving activity, we could say, “bumps up against” the limitations we put on the Spirit’s activity in our individual choices as well as through the unjust structures in society and in the weeds that are evident in the ecclesial community. 

5 things to help you be still

Be still. God is still. God accepts the limitations we put on his activity by our autonomous decisions and free actions, and the processes and movements of history. As the father in the video, but infinitely more so, God continues to unconditionally deal lovingly with us.  

Be still. Today at prayer I felt this intense desire to love God in return, like the daughter in the video who finally understood all that her father had sacrificed for her regardless of how she would—or would not—receive his love. 

Be still. I finally realized that whoever “puts limitations” on my plans, in their freedom, makes me one with the humiliation of God. In that space it is easier to forgive and harder to be angry. 

Be still. In eternity one day probably not too distant, I will gaze upon the Father and the Son totally united, bound together in an embrace of self-giving out-pouring ecstasy of love and complete total gratitude and obedience. I will never even vaguely comprehend the majesty of their giving themselves to each other, but I want to have lived my life at least a little from the shores of this limitless ocean of self-giving empathy and service of others in complete surrender and gratitude to God. Jesus came on earth to show me how this is done.  

Be still. Our hearts are rocked at times with reactive emotions and deep storms of fear and resentment. Our minds filled with useless, cynical, and angry thoughts that like gnats destroy our peace. I can hold my Father’s hand and bow to what I cannot change, determined nonetheless to care compassionately and see others with God’s eyes, confident that I need not prove, finish, or amount to anything to be his beloved daughter. 

Guest Post: Ice-cream with Chocolate Sprinkles: A Mother’s Day Reflection

Mother’s day is a special time of year that we can be grateful for our mothers living and deceased. We can thank God for both those who have naturally given us life as well as those who have nurtured us to being the people we are today.

I remember one phrase from my mom that pretty much has become a “philosophy of life” that I try to live by each day. “Let’s have ice-cream…with chocolate sprinkles when we can!” This is very much a reality for me as I live a missionary life. Basically, life is short and we only have a certain span of time to be with the ones we love and all those people who make up the tapestry of our lives. Don’t get lost in the trivialities. Keep the important things important.

I grew up in Kenya with a part-farm and part-city experience. Mom loves farming and along with that, she loves dogs, cats, chicken, cows, orchards, and gardens…and so we were blessed to have them growing up. Something about her love for nature and the care of God’s creatures and creation would, in time, grow on me. Everything is gift. We are stewards. The chores around the home would become my life lessons on responsibility (even if I didn’t like some of them). Even more precious were the lessons I learned about how to handle people over the handling of things. It was crystal clear that each person, no matter how they may be, needs to be loved and cared for, to be treated with respect, and to be given another chance. I learned from her to meet each person and accept them right where they are. I guess that’s why mom knows so many people!

A touch of the city life would bring with it an expansion of my childhood horizon of dreams. It was from mom that I would come to appreciate the love for life, dance, and good humor. She enjoys all kinds of music anywhere from vibrant tunes that we danced to with our jammies on Christmas morning as kids to an oldie goldie by the Bee Gees. Not to say that life was all rosy and smooth going. We have lived some hard times as a family and yet, even so, mom has challenged us to see beyond. In some of these dark times, it was the tender way in which she drew me out to pursue things that I would never have imagined. Perhaps a fine characteristic of the way that God works with each one of us is that he knows and sees our potential and constantly draws us out of ourselves so that we can be the best of who he created us to be.

I hope this Mother’s Day will be an opportunity to give thanks for the moments of joy or sorrow that we have encountered with the mothers in our lives. For all the lessons learned and experiences lived – blissful or challenging – may they remind us in a tangible way, that God works so tenderly for our good in our lives through theirs. So, don’t let the day pass by so quickly this year. Be sure to “enjoy some ice-cream…and some chocolate sprinkles if you can!” Be sure to say thank you mom and of course, thank you Lord. Everything is gift.

Sr. Jacqueline Jean-Marie Gitonga, FSP

Image by Ирина Александрова from Pixabay

How the stillness of God can help us be still….

The stillness of humility

Be still. Comforting words that we find in Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God.” 

For me, these words conjure up quiet moments in a sacred space or beautiful place in nature. To do “be still” I could imagine calming myself down and enjoying a heart at peace, a world at peace, relationships at peace… 

Which they are not. 

Our world is anything but in peace. Being a fallen human being not every one of my relationships is at peace. And when I try to be quiet my heart struggles to find inner rest, and my mind takes off like wild stallions. 

Be still. Our hearts are rocked at times with reactive emotions and deep storms of fear and resentment. Our minds filled with useless, cynical, and angry thoughts that like gnats destroy our peace. I can hold my Father’s hand and bow to what I cannot change, determined nonetheless to care compassionately and see others with God’s eyes, confident that I need not prove, finish, or amount to anything to be his beloved daughter.