God hears the whisper of your heart

God as potter is deeply invested in what he creates. The image of potter is often portrayed as an image of power: God chooses how to shape the clay. For me the image of potter is intimately one with the image of God pouring himself into his creation. It is an image of love. I can hear God listening closely to everything we say as he shapes our lives. The shaping of the vessel is part of an ongoing conversation of love between potter and clay. On a particularly busy day, I (the clay) may tell God (the potter) that I am tired. I need help. It is characteristic of God to bend over the little vessel he is loving into being and care for me. Listen closely, God, to the whisper of my heart. Bend over your creature, here, and let me know your ever tender love.

From the book Cherished by the Lord

 

Cherished by the Lord

May my life be a work of art

There are so many good things we could do; how do we know which specific deeds God desires most of us? This passage from the Letter to the Ephesians is full of clues. Words such as “rich in faithful love,” “through the great love with which he loved us,” and “it is through grace that you have been saved” tip us off. God has planned a tremendous work of art for humanity and civilization. This artistic creation is a direct reflection of God’s love and life. It is that simple. The Father, from all eternity, loved the Son. The Son turned around and, instead of holding on to this love which he had received, gave it away. He emptied himself, became a man, walked among us, lived our life, and died our death, so that, as the Father had done, he could pour himself out in love for us who needed salvation. It is by grace that we are saved. The deeds God desires of us are self-emptying acts of service of others, love to the point of giving our lives for one another.

Jesus, make my life a work of art. May I love others with a faithful love that seeks their good before my own.

From the book Cherished by the Lord

God trusts us

Jesus appointed twelve uneducated, unprepared, and unlikely men to help him in the very delicate work of saving the human race. They themselves were part of the humanity that needed salvation. If Jesus wanted the job done right, why didn’t he choose angels he could trust? What mystery that he entrusted himself instead to family, friends, disciples, and women “who provided for” him (Lk 8:3). Today he entrusts himself to you and me.

Never, Lord, will I complain about others in the Church now that I see how you have trusted us from the beginning to carry out your Father’s plan for salvation. Nothing we can do can destroy the power of that plan. Thy Kingdom come!

From the book Cherished by the Lord

Jesus is God in the world

We believe that God meets us in Jesus. Jesus is God in the world as the One who bestows Life and reveals the Father. The Church is the mystery of the Body of Jesus. It stands wide open to us, but, unlike other sociological institutions, the Church’s depths defy our sounding. This is the revelation God has made to us. We do not need to rely on lucky guesses or profound insights. We only need to answer, to respond with belief. Belief finds its own equilibrium through ways that are often unseen. Incredibly, it is only in believing that we know who we truly are. We can stand taller than labels, peel away criticisms, and go beyond curiosity to adoration.

From the book Making Peace with Yourself 

Autumn Gifts

How rich is God in his blessings to all!
 
Today as I reflected over the past month and noticed what God has been doing, I noticed a few of my autumn gifts. These gentle lessons from my Father help me to prepare for the extra-special intensity of Advent and I thought to pass them on to you.
 
1) There is something so refreshingly beautiful about tasting goodness: the goodness of life, of others, of nature, of food, even of difficulties. There is goodness because God is good and He gives Himself entirely to us in all of creation, in others whom I live with or meet, in the Eucharist. Lesson: Commentary, whether kept to myself or externalized through judgments and criticism, mars the goodness of the gift. Live, see, speak, think, judge “with soft eyelashes.”
 
2) Unwinding, resting, leisure is a spiritual need. Lesson: Gentle self-care is important: intentionally blessing the gift of food, honoring the sacredness of cleanliness, getting adequate sleep, moments of rest in nature, which I often call “God’s Cathedral.”
 
3) The gorgeous changing of the colors of the leaves here in New England is magnificent. I have been astounded particularly by the beauty of the leaves just before the sunrise. They are translucent, almost transported into some divine manifestation of God’s own beauty! St. Silouan gently called a monk to task when he broke off a flower as they walked. For the saint, every particle of creation deserves the respect and attention of being precious and a living testimony of divine love. Lesson: Take the time to notice every created thing: leaves, people, the homeless, drivers on the road, Christmas wreaths, cards I receive, bird song, clouds and sunsets, everything. Treat each living thing with gentle respect.
 
As we approach Thanksgiving, what have been your autumn gifts? How has your Father been manifesting his goodness to you, opening your eyes, and ears, and heart….to see, hear, and feel in new ways, the powerful presence of God all around you.
 
Thank you for joining me on the journey,
Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP

Jesus will show you the way

The suffering in your life can yield great treasures. It is possible to find gifts in the ashes, treasures in the flames. But don’t worry about that now. Jesus himself will show you where the gold lies. You only need to hold on to him, to lean in your weakness on his power, to trust in your poverty on his bountiful love. Lay your head down on his heart and rest as a little child sleeps in his or her parent’s arms.

From the book Making Peace with Yourself 

A blessing when one trusts

Unbeknownst to him, the Lord was not asking Abraham for his son’s life. It was Abraham’s life that the Lord still wanted, Abraham’s trust that he still had not received. Abraham, the Lord was asking, can you let me take your life into my hands? Will you entrust your entire life and future unconditionally to me, now when it seems everything has ended? “I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore” (Gen 22:17).

From the book Making Peace with Yourself

God asks us to trust

Unbeknownst to him, the Lord was not asking Abraham for his son’s life. It was Abraham’s life that the Lord still wanted, Abraham’s trust that he still had not received. Abraham, the Lord was asking, can you let me take your life into my hands? Will you entrust your entire life and future unconditionally to me, now when it seems everything has ended? “I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore” (Gen 22:17).

From the book Making Peace with Yourself

God’s plan for you

Abraham was available to God’s voice when it came. When God asked him to get up and move, he did so. He didn’t project his fears into the plan based on his experiences of the past. He simply moved where he was called, trusting that the God who was with him in the present, would be with him in each present moment of the future. You are important enough for God to speak with also. God is speaking with you. Being present to each moment and to your inner truth in each moment is the first step in hearing God’s voice. God’s plan for you will always be a blessing, both on you and on others.

From the book Surviving Depression

Called to be a blessing

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing (Gen 12:1–2).  The Lord is always calling us forth from where we have become settled, complacent or resigned. He promises to bless us and to make of us a blessing for others.

From the book Surviving Depression