Discussion and sharing can begin by clicking the Reply or Quotes.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Phil,
Moved Reply: Hi Phil, and Hello to all those that I don't yet know.
I'm not sure that I am in the right place for this: yesterday was about existing. I can accept that I exsist because God wanted it so and I that I exsist to Him but does anyone else have a problem with the feeling that they don't exsist to some people. Does anyone else feel that they are not heard or understood and that it seems to make them feel that they don't exsist? Is this just a silly thing to say or bother about? Sue
Sue- First this doesn't seem a silly thing at all and I'm guessing but I think what you are describing is all too common. I sometimes wonder what dramatic changes would be brought to this world if we would just cultivate this simple art of listening... listening to each other, listening to creation, listening to God. Could be that that's why prayer is so intimate... God listens and maybe we listen right back. Our existence is affirmed because God listens... really listens.
Question: I'm new to this forum stuff... is there a spell-checker on this thing?
Hi Danny, it's nice to meet you,
Thank you for your comments. I hear what you are saying and agree. Not only do some not hear but last night at the Imposition of the Ashes, a lady put her hand out to share the peace and promptly looked over my shoulder and it was yet another way, to me, of not existing (if that makes sence) and it also makes the hand giving a waste of time.
P.S. what I do is sometimes is write what I want to say in another programme that does have a checker (e-mail p.ex) and cut and paste. Maybe, if we are several who can't spell, we should just not worry about it. I write British English so there's already a lot that we won't agree on!
Hope I'm doing this right...
If so, Hello to Phil (and than you for the daily 'seeds' which I've rec'd for several years) and to others here.
the very first topic of existing fit so well with another Lenten study I'm soing. I look forward to more!
Blessings to all and hope for 'a good Lent'..
The miracle of just being -- Wow! Jody
So true, Sue. It goes right along with "stopping and smelling the roses." I get this picture of each of us also being a rose...and so many go by us not even noticing! And why is that? We sleep walk through the day, pondering our plans and things that happened to us, and who we need to speak to...and on and on. And in the meantime, the beauty of what is before us just passes by.
My digital camera was my teacher for a while, training my eye to watch. Oh! There is so much beauty and poetry around us! In the people that come before us, and in the surprise moments of nature that is everywhere we look.
And all those things we think about are forgotten so quickly...yet those poetic moments like a worm crossing the sidewalk, or a smile from an elderly man, a squirrel jumping out in front of you for something to eat.. stays with us forever, nurturing something within that responds with joy and gratitude. They bless us.
And the "roses" that we all are also brings a blessing to the world, and to any who are present to receive it. imho
"Sense the deeper power at work in the universe by looking beyond the surface of things to the deeper forces at work among them. Can you feel this within yourself?"
Phil, when I read this what came to mind was the acorn, and how it knew to grow into a tree. And all the things that know what to do in their existence. So what happened to humanity? lol!
I find that when I am quiet, and flowing in my day, its always clear what to do in the next moment. Its like something flowing through me...the Intention for my life. There is no struggle, just a quiet peace and trust that everything will unfold as it should. Is this the kind of thing you are referring to?
Dhyana, it certainly sounds like you're in touch with the deeper movements of life -- like you're "in the flow," as it were. That goes along well with some of what the first few sessions are about. Eventually, we'll bring in a faith perspective.
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Sue, I think you name very well a common way we feel our existence diminished. So much of our inattentiveness is inadvertent and without intent of hurting others. Truth be told, we all do the same through our own inner preoccupations as well.
If we can remember that God is always attending to us, it can help. That's where the affirmation of the goodness of our own being comes from much moreso than other people. How marvelous if we can reflect that affirmation to one another?
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Good to see some exchanges going on here.
Has anyone read "The Tale of Desperaux" by Kate DiCamillo? It's an award-winning children's novel about a mouse, a rat and a girl named Miggery Sow, all of whom had simple, impossible wishes. The all-important-question, posed near the end of the book is...."What is it that you want?" The princess asks this question of the girl and the fact that no one had EVER asked the girl this question changes the fate of all other characters in the story."
I've also recently read, "Eat Pray Love," which is a spiritual memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert was on Oprah sometime before the holidays, so this is a very popular book right now. It was ranked by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat as one of the top 50 spiritual books in 2006. Early on in the book Liz asks herself a radical new question, "What is it that you want?"
The fact that this question...What is it that you want?...was such an important one in both stories has me thinking about that question. About eight years ago I became friendly with a woman who was very involved in new-age stuff. I remember her asking me what was that I wanted. Since we were instant-messaging, I immediately typed back, inner peace. Wow, at the time I had no idea how wise I was!
I can think of several negative people I know. I think if we asked that question of them, they would be caught off guard and would not know how to respond. I don't think they know WHAT they want. If they did, perhaps they would go after it, or at least mourn the impossiblity of it, so they could move on.
In answer to Phil's question: How do you keep yourself numbed? I think that many of us use complaining as a way to numb ourselves from knowing what it is we truly want. And how can we get what we want if we don't know what that is, if we're afraid to know, or if we're afraid to hope for it?
AnneThis message has been edited. Last edited by: AnneK,
It's amazing how God puts topics that you are struggling w/ right in your face, that's what He has always done w/me. Right now I'm Struggling w/ having to let go of more of my indedpendence. I've suffered from 3 strokes and seversl heart problems that have left some residual damage. Now I'm again losing furhter use of my leg and rt side and it is overwhelming me. It' seems to have taken the winds out of my sails for some reason. I've bounced back 3 times from my strokes w/ total paralyzsis and fought to get the sides working now it is just saying I'm too tired to go on. I don't want to lose hope but realize the truth as well and it is the reality that sometimes is a tough pill to swallow.I know I have done all that is expected of me and w/ God's help have functioned fairly well but been homebound most of the time these past 6 yrs. Now it seems I'm more reliant on people and it does get frightening and humbling to have to let go. I think I'm struggling w/ discernment at this juncture and trying to see what God wants of me and how I need to deal w/ all this graciously w/ His help. That's one Big step ....
I'm in a similar position although not as severe with physical disability. I can maintain hope that my body will start functioning again "normally" but that isn't realistic. Hope for me has to be grounded in true possibility. So I like you, hope for clarity and insight. I hope that I can have the wisdom to hear what God wants from me, how God is calling me during this change in my life. I often doubt whether it is the voice of God I hear or some personal need of my own. My hope is to know God when I hear him.
We can always hope for that no matter how lousy we can walk.
I'm curious about how Phil's words "Thus it is that we speak of hope as a vitue; we do not possess it so much as it possesses us." register with Cathy and Renee. I can somewhat understand our desire to hang on to hope, especially when we feel it slipping away. But what does it mean for us "to be possessed by hope" when we deeply wish our circumstances in life would change for the better? Even just a little improvement... If you both would be willing I think I could benefit from hearing your responses to the notion of being possessed by hope given the tough situations you face. Thanks for your willing hearts...
"The mysterious Power at work in the heart of creation is not an impersonal force, but "Abba," a caring Parent, whose hopes and dreams for you brought you into existence in the first place."
I just wanted to say, Phil, that 7 is utterly beautiful...poetry to me. Thank you.
I remember a time in my life where everything meaningful was stripped from me, and the "worst thing imaginable" to me happened. It was a very dark hole. The only thing that saved me from suicide was the connection I had with my Abba. And what sustained me were two verses of Scripture that I hung onto like a lifeline:
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."
"I will never leave you, nor forsake you."
I chose to believe God, and hope possessed me. It was a long period of time, and I never let go of the Lifeline.
I would wake up in the morning and cry because I had to live another day, and would beg many times for God to let me die. But He kept me here and I surrendered to His Hand. I didn't understand anything that had happened, or why. It was all out of my control. I could only live through it.
Hope was the grace that kept me moving forward one moment at a time. At a time when I wasn't able to say "yes" to God, hope said it for me. It was a living force within me when my heart just didn't want to go on. It told me that I would pass through this, that it was not the end. And that was truth. And I am here today in gratitude to the Love that led me and helped me, and would not let me go.
That's a wonderful testimony to the power of hope, dhyana. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I think Danny asked a good question. Let's hear how others of you respond to it.
Hey thanks Dhyana. I'm so glad you survived it... by God's grace, no doubt. Any other thoughts or reflections on the reality of being possessed by hope?
Some of my own thoughts about hope......
I remember reading this quote....I think it was after Hurricane Katrina. It went like this:
"Hope is not a plan."
One of my non-believing friends used to make fun of people who prayed. She was critical of prayer because it wasn't "proactive." I don't think she would have thought "hope" to be very proactive either.
When my son started college I remember reading that "Hope was as good a predictor as any of a first year college student's success." I DO think that it was my hope and support for my son that got him through. I never gave up on him, even though there were times I was tempted to. He will finish his degree in May.
My husband has Multiple Sclerosis. So...what does one hope for when living with a person with this illness? Well....I hope that he doesn't end up in a wheelchair. I hope that he will be able to sell his business soon, since owning the business is so stressful and stress aggravates MS. I hope that he will be able to find ways to manage the pain. I hope that I will be able to find the right words to say when he is discouraged. I hope that he can remain sexually active. I hope that he will be able to drive for a long time. I hope that God will send little blessings to him to keep him going. I hope that he will be able to maintain his usually upbeat attitude. I hope that I can be there for him, yet not allow the negative energy of this illness to weigh me down. I hope that he can accept the illness, but keep on fighting..........
Even though there is no cure for MS, you can see that there is still much to hope for.
P.S. We have perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in our parish. Parishoners commit to one hour a week, staying with the Blessed Sacrament. My hour is from 12:00 to 1:00 on Sunday afternoons. My husband used to tease me about this. He is not a religious person.
He owns two small-market radio stations, one AM and one FM. After several attempts, he was able to become an affiliate of St. Louis Cardinal baseball. This means that he was granted the rights to carry all of the Cardinal baseball games on his station--a major coo for any station, large or small. The first year he carried the games on the station was the year the Cardinals won the World Series!
One Sunday when he was teasing me about "going to pray" for him, I was ready. I came back with, "Hey, for all you know, God sent you Cardinal baseball in answer to MY prayers!"
He hasn't teased me since.This message has been edited. Last edited by: AnneK,
I think hope is the Hand of God that I hold onto when I'm frightened and overwhelmed and feeling like I can't go on any furhter or take any more pain or lack of independence. But then i have to remember all the times I was blessed to care for the sick my self and touch the face of God in the Poor and found my work as a Rn Case manager a ministry. I was blessed. I was blessed being a wife and mother and grandmother who has shared her life w/ her spouse for 45 yrs and even though we were ready to give each other away many times we stuck through all the tough times and asked God for help and graces to do it. It was the Hope and the belief that He would. I'm not saying in my typical Irish fashion I don't take it back or give the Lord my my what for for my plan rather than His. Letting go I've decided is an eternal process just like my body is starting to give out on me.BUt It's all good in the end if we Hope and Trust that's the the Biggy...
"Faith, hope, and love abide these three..."
It almost sounds like these three could stand apart from each other and live on their own. But as I read your reflections on hope above, the synergy between these three is so interlocked and tied to the others that I can't really sort them one from the other. The wonderful words and thoughts you both have about hope are shot through with love and compassion and faith beyond what you see in front of you. Amazing what God can do!! Just amazing.
This really spoke to me, thank you Danny.
When I posted about the experience I had I kept asking myself, 'am I describing faith? How is hope different from faith...love? Which is it?' You cleared it up for me! They make a trinity o oneness don't they.
Beautiful. Thank you again.
I didn't answer because I couldn't really figure it out.The notion of being posessed by hope reminds me of the notion of grace. It is just something that happens born out of God's unconditional love. However,, even though there may be grace when we hear God's call there is still the free will we have to respond or not. My thoughts about hope is that hope is a choice, a choice to believe in the message of the resurrection.
Therefore, when it comes to a degenerative type of illness with chronic pain I tend not to hope too much for healing. I choose to hope for things that I believe are rationally possible. I'm not saying I don't believe in miracles, I do but my focus, my choice to hope is to hope for a deaper relationship with Christ during this time of suffering. I hope to someday understand the meaning of "redemptive suffering" I hope to be as loving and as kind as I can to those around me but mostly I just hope to know God better. I hope that during this time I can still do God's work in some way even if it is only prayer for others.
I have gotten stuck in contemplation about grace and free will. Usually I end up just giving up and figuring its just semantics. I try not to think so much and just start praying again.Sorry for the lousy spelling.
I appreciate your honesty Renee. Seems very reasonable to place hope where hope already resides and certainly hope resides deeply in the prospect of knowing God better. And I'm learning (slowly) that the human heart has a much greater capacity for knowing God than all the gray matter I could pack into my thick head anyway! Sounds to me like the mystery behind God's grace has taken over and through your heartfelt prayers the possiblilites for hope in you could be great! Sounds to me like your suffering is already pretty redemptive. Once again... amazing how God works through even our brokenness! Didn't mean to pry but thanks for sharing it Renee.
Sometimes I find that hope and surrender are intimately related.
Surrender can be "an opening of all possibilities", embracing faith in endlessly faceted life itself.
I experience a paradox here -- because hope/surrender is also about my letting go of preconceptions and my own (limited) projections into the present and future.
To be truly alive is to be receptive, listening.
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