Yesterday was our last day of Ordinary Time. Today, the first Sunday of Advent, brings the start of a new season and another year in the life of the Church. At this transition in the liturgical year, I am really thankful for the ordinary days. I am always ready for the penitential seasons (Advent & Lent) and celebratory seasons (Christmas & Easter); they refresh and restore us. They set us back on course when we have lost our way. But it is often in the Ordinary Time that we cultivate and reap the fruit of the seeds planted during those other seasons. In fact, it is the ordinary times of life that reveal the state of our faith.
The rhythms of our day-to-day are the practice fields for us would-be saints. If we are going to be saints, then we are going to be saints in our every day. There are many days that I don’t like what I see in myself. I catch myself in a rush, too busy for charity and lacking in patience. Sometimes I make poor use of my ordinary days. What does our use of our ordinary time reveal about who we are? Continue reading “Thankful…for Ordinary Time”
Yesterday was one of those days. I was struggling with parenting bad behaving toddlers, dealing with some stressful and emotionally challenging issues, and then to top it all off, my 16-month-old pulls a hot cup of tea off the counter and onto his chest. I raced to pull his clothes off, soak his burned skin in cold water, and call the pediatrician. Continue reading “Thankful…for Hope”
Perhaps it is the time of year, but I keep bumping into the realization that gratitude is a powerful avenue for grace and goodness in our lives. Which means that I have also become acutely aware of my heart’s lack of it. I have come to see that my perspective on most things is directly correlated to my gratitude in that area. For example, when my thoughts regarding someone I love seem to be overly critical, I realize that it is tied to a disproportionate focus on the qualities this person lacks or mistakes he or she has made. Once I start to consider the many wonderful qualities of that person or ways that person blesses me, my critique softens and my perspective widens.
Living without enough gratitude essentially means that we are constantly focused on what we, or others, lack. It breeds discontentment and sets us up for strive. As with the formation of all spiritual disciplines, I need to make deeper gratitude a habit in order to become a more thankful person. I have heard of people keeping gratitude journals, and I thought I would try it. It’s nothing elaborate, but I simply daily write a couple of lines about someone or something I am thankful to God (the source of all good) for in my life. In keeping with this mindset, I thought I would spend the month of November blogging about some big things we have to be thankful for in our lives.
Continue reading “Thankful…For Confession”