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  

Our truest certainty

If we have faith, if we keep loving and hoping through the tears, the joy of the resurrection, the glory of the God who is with us, will transform our sorrow into a calm and radiant certainty of God’s love. Though now we cannot see the ultimate victory—on this earth we still live in a vale of tears, and unhappiness is a part of our human reality—sadness will not remain the last word because we are with someone who has already conquered death and pain. All pain Jesus has transformed into victory. This is our faith. This is our truest certainty.

From the book Surviving Depression

Inhabited by God

Each day our Baptism brings us again to a radiant newness. Sin and evil can no longer dominate us, because within us is the One who conquers evil; the One who took all sin, all tears, all sickness, all evil upon himself. Baptism transforms the entire being of the person. You become nothing less than the home of the Holy Trinity, the temple of the Holy Trinity, inhabited by the Most High God. All of heaven is within you!

From the book Surviving Depression     

Mary understands your burdens

Have you had to be strong, even as you bore great sorrow in your heart or suffered with depression? Have you watched new dreams and relationships and futures come to birth in the ashes of something you have lost? Gather, as the others beneath the cross, around Mary. Watch and listen. Share with her the burdens you carry. What does she say to you?

From the book Prayers for Surviving Depression