Why Are You Worrying? Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?

We often think that worry and anxiety just happen to us. But the fact is that they result from our thoughts. Thoughts are the source of our worry. If we tend to think negatively, or to catastrophize or to focus on negative things we will grow anxious and sometimes angry. But the Bible says we ought to “dedicate ourselves to thankfulness.” (Colossians 3:21). In other words count your blessings and have an attitude of gratitude. We ought to discipline our minds every day and spend some time thanking God for what went right. As Phillipians 4:8 puts it: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

What you feed grows. Focus on negative things and sure enough anxiety and anger increase and our sense of the negative grows. Focus on positive things and blessings and guess what, we are less anxious overall and our sense of well being grows.

Try it out for 30 Days. Let me know how it goes. The video below features a classic Spiritual: Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?  It list the many people God saved of old and then asks, “And why not every man?”  That’s right even you and me. It will be alright.  God may not come when you want him but He’s always right on time.

Being in the Moment

marthandmary

Today, we celebrate St. Martha, one of the figures in Scripture with whom many of us can easily identify. Martha and her sister Mary invited Jesus to dinner and in a scene we can easily imagine—because we’ve been there—Martha points out to Jesus that while she is running around doing all of the work, Mary is just sitting around chatting. Who hasn’t had this experience? A sibling who chats with Aunt Mary, while you clear the table, a co-worker who seems always to disappear when its time for heavy lifting, a spouse who goes for a run, two hours before guests are to arrive. Surprisingly, Jesus who is all about serving, seems to reprimand Martha, saying “ Martha, Martha, you are busy about many things, and only one is necessary, Mary has chosen the better part.” http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/luke/luke10.htm  At first glance, it appears that Jesus is suggesting that the contemplative life is “better” than the active life.  Saint Augustine raises this very question. In Sermon 104 he says if this is what Jesus meant than we ought to stop feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and sit down and take up our prayer books. That however is not the way of the Christian. Augustine points out that Martha’s fault is not her hospitality for that is at the heart of the Christian life, but that she is so distracted by her tasks that she fails to recognize her Lord whom she loves, is here in her midst and she ought not to miss the importance of the moment. Martha is being given a taste of heaven and she’s about to miss it.

 

To Be or to Do

 

Augustine points out that heaven is sitting at the feet of the Lord, that all our work in done and our reward is to sit with the Lord and be filled with the grace of his presence. In heaven there will be no more to do, we will just be…. For many of us, this is a scary thought, we who are far more comfortable doing than being. When we try to be still, to pray contemplatively, we get so easily distracted, or we find ourselves saying, I am too busy to pray, I wish I had more time, but…. Jesus gently reminds Martha and us, that it is not good to be so distracted we fail to recognize him in the moment. It’s those moments at Mass, when we realize we are making the grocery list rather than listening to the Gospel, when we intend to leave work a little earlier so that we can get to Adoration or to Confession, but we start one more thing, when we check our blackberry first thing in the morning rather than praying.

 

Our service will only be as good as our prayer.  It’s not that the contemplative life is better is better than the active life, or that some of us are Martha’s and some are Mary’s but rather we are both. We are active contemplatives who are quick to recognize Jesus in the moment.

 

Take a moment to be contemplative in front of the screen and look at www.sacredspace.ie.


Bringing healing after the Metro crash

The Metro crash was really tough on people in DC this week. Archbishop Wuerl led two prayer services – one for employees outside of their headquarters on Tuesday and an interfaith service today at St. Mary, Mother of God church.

News 8 and NBC 4 ran moving stories about today’s interfaith service — attended by about 100 “first responders” from the Metro accident (and the Fire Department Emerald Society bagpipers, who played “Amazing Grace”). It’s a good reminder of how important prayer is for healing – and that we should always keep in our prayers the “first responders” and rescue workers whenever we hear of an accident, fire or tragedy.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

Rosaries on the Roadway

For the past three years, I’ve been blessed in that my daily commute has not involved driving on I-495, I-395, I-95, I-270 or I-66. However, last night I experienced the pleasure of having an hour commute from University Boulevard on I-495 to Falls Road on I-270 for Catecoffeeism. (The young adult communities of St. Raphael and St. Martin of Tours host this weekly book club which began with a reading and discussion of the United States Catechism for Adults, accompanied by a cup of café. The are now exploring Mere Christianity

While driving 10 miles per hour, I was able to observe the behaviors of the different drivers (a field day for my inner psychologist): Who was listening to the radio and who was talking on the phone? Who had their windows rolled down and who had their AC on? Who seemed grumpy and who seemed content? Who let me into their lane and who didn’t? Who gave me the Thank You Wave and who waved back when I gave them the wave? Who used their blinkers and who just cut in?

But one thing really caught my eye. I was surprised by how many rosaries were hanging from rear view mirrors! Washington is not particularly known for personal displays of religiosity. On the contrary, this is a town where separation of church and state often means that we feel the need to conceal our faith. Seeing these rosaries gave me hope and pride and made me feel part of something larger: our universal Church.

When I owned my last car, I too had a cross hanging from my rear view mirror…and I think I might put it back! “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 8:16)

Do you pray the rosary? ?Resas el rosario?