Posts

Showing posts with the label God's grace

God is Not Fair - Insights and A-ha's (Book Review Reflection)

Image
"WOW" Moments  The Month of May has been trying but also one of the most spiritually fruitful of my life.  After putting off a routine mammogram for nearly 5 years, I finally went.  The test revealed an enlarged lymph node - I am happy to report it was finally determined to be due to inflammation [You can listen to the MIRACULOUS story evolving that on this special episode of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras - it is NOT everyday one receives a favor from a Almost-Saint]. As the Lord, slowly walked me through this valley, Fr. Horan's words were equal parts comforting and inspiring. This was a time of acute awareness to pray always with urgency but without anxiety.  Here are some other "WOW" moments gleamed during that time from the pages of God is Not Fair:
We are not better than anyone else.  Regardless of what blessings God has allowed in your life, what talents you posses, or how you use them.  Additionally, those gifts that God bestows only bless you to …

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

Image
Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

3 Unexpected Uses for the Rosary

Image
Have you been praying for the Rosary for years or maybe like me you avoided it because the very idea just screamed tedium. Thanks to some major Holy Spirit moments - I've been able to add this powerful prayer to my spiritual repertoire. 
Spiritual Abacus My mind likes to wander, keeping my thoughts on a subject for longer than 15 seconds can sometimes be a challenge. My short attention span wreaked havoc on my ability to complete a Rosary until the Holy Spirit inspired a perfect plan for my brain. The beads on one of my favorite rosaries just happen to slide. As I was fingered my way through the prayers, I thought how it sort of resembled a Chinese Abacus. Suddenly, I thought, “What if I use each bead to as a counter – creating a ‘spiritual abacus’?” Now as I pray my Hail Mary's, I recall a particular person or intention as I moved from bead to bead.

BUT wait there is more....

All rights reserved, Allison Gingas 2017

Meat in the Gravy; A Tasty Correlation to Life (Recipe Included)

Image
I have this recipe that I like to make at this time of year. We call it Meat in the Gravy.  It is a recipe that my husband got from a friend’s father back in the 1970’s and it’s been a favorite of our family for decades! As I contemplated making it recently, I drew a correlation of Meat in the Gravy to that of life.

Those meaty chunks represent those big moments in our lives: the births, graduations, weddings, etc. The seasonings and spices represent the flavor of the stew, but are also those occasions that added spice to our lives: that special kiss, the memorable family vacation, the romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant. And then there is the gravy; that soupy mess that... Read more...

Works of Mercy - Way Beyond Our Comfort Zone

Image
When introducing the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, in her book Blessed Are You, Melanie Rigney writes “both types can come free and easy, … or hard and challenging”. Sort of like the healthy benefits of exercise – I can stroll around the park with the kids or I can strap on the boxing gloves and go a round with the punching bag.

As I read about Blessed Mother Teresa, St Maria Karlowska, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and others, in this chapter about mercy, it brought one important question to mind. How do I approach that responsibility in my own life to show mercy to others – and not just the “even though you hurt me (again) and this is all your fault, and you are being a toad -- I will still forgive you” kind. The words into action kind of mercy.  The works of mercy encourages us beyond ourselves, like Blessed Mother Teresa beyond ourselves. Though we may not all be called to the streets of India, we are responsible to care for the poorest of the poor – spiritually and physicall…

Blessings to Give

Image
In the Compass Catholic small group bible study:

Navigating Your Finances God's Ways -- week 5 examines the 4 elements of giving:
attitudesadvantagesamountapproach Attitudes
My discovery here was simple and was eluded to in the last week's post.  I have no trouble giving money. I think it is a wonderful gift to be able to share with others.  I do need to be weary of my motives - the whole don't let your left hand see what your right hand is doing.  My trouble honestly is not in my generosity with treasure but with time and talent.  Although, I have also learned that my monetary generosity needs to be budgeted and that 'giving from your poverty' does not mean going into credit card debt.  My attitude needs some tweaking as I consider how I will share my time. I am very stingy with my time.  Perhaps this is best explained by sharing that I am an extrovert with introverted tendencies; meaning I love being with people and I especially love sharing the Good News but I equ…

Ideas for Refilling Our Grace Well

Image
The most effective way to refill the ‘grace well’ at the heart of how we may more easily choose the things of God over that of the world is by participating, in what I affectionately refer to as, the “Grace Trifecta”. The secret is simple – immerse yourself in God’s abundant grace through the frequent, it not daily, practice of prayer, sacrament and scripture.

For specific ideas on how to embrace the grace God has abundantly available for us through prayer, sacrament and scripture - read more ...

Announcing my first book to be published this Fall! River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times

Image
I am pleased to announce that my very first book, River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times will be released this Fall, published by Ave Maria Press!
A memoir with life applicationRiver of Grace is part spiritual memoir and part life application, offering true and hopeful stories of growth and transformation after hard losses.

Father Robert Reed, president of CatholicTV and author of Renewed writes of the book:
"If you, like me, have experienced failure or loss and can't quite find your way out of the darkness, Susan Bailey offers gentle reflections with graceful tools that bring light, creative renewal and a fuller Christian life."Continue reading...