Showing posts with label surrender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surrender. Show all posts

16 Jun 2017

Patron Saint of Missing Socks, Pray For Us


As a mother of a large family, struggling to wash, dry, and fold three or four loads of laundry every day, I secretly wondered if there was an obscure saint, with little to do, who could fill in as my patron saint of missing socks. Little did I know, God was using the dilemma of unpaired socks to purify me because I was trying too hard to be the perfect mother and housekeeper. This earnest striving was a weakness, not a virtue because my diligence was rooted in insecurity, unbelief but most of all in pride. Again and again, as I read spiritual material, God tried to teach me that true Christianity is not focused on personal perfection but founded on the power of the Cross and Resurrection to set us free.
"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father's love for us." -St. Pope John Paul II
"The crucifix does not signify defeat or failure. It reveals to us the Love that overcomes evil and sin." - Pope Francis
"Don't worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth."- Dorothy Da
 continue reading

30 Apr 2017

Unpaired Socks and Teachable Moments


Surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit within our spirits can seem like a rather esoteric activity, something to talk about, write about, and perhaps pray about but not part of our daily lives but our inner and outer lives are intricately entwined. This means when I learnt how to let go of control in my inner life, it affected how I dealt with daily life.
Example: how to deal with mismatched socks.

14 May 2016

You Can’t Make a Silk Purse Out Of A Sow’s Ear

Attendance at Mass, regular confession, spiritual exercises, fasting, and prayer are wonderful vehicles of grace but if we think pious activities will sanctify us, we will only appear to be holy on the outside like the Pharisees:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. (Matthew 23:27)
Now, the Pharisees were not evil men; they were earnestly striving to be good, to follow the Law but they thought they could perfect themselves through religious practices. However, man cannot transform himself into a holy being. As my Irish grandmother would say, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” In other words, only Christ can transform us into His image and draw us into the heart of His Father.

20 Oct 2014

The “Yes” God wants from us by Nancy HC Ward


What God wants is for us to say “yes” to him and “no” to everything else. Of the millions of good things available to us, he wants us to have the best. That’s because he loves us so much. He loved us, even while we were yet sinners.

Every one of us doubts that we are loved. After all, each one of us knows who “we” are. It surprises us when someone loves us completely and thoroughly. But the Lord is after us to believe it. He wants us to know that he loves us inside and out.

We can begin by saying “yes” to believing that we are worthy of God’s love. We can say “yes” to believing deep within our being, that God, our Creator and Savior, loves us. We belong to him. He loves and cherishes us. He wants to protect us with his gift of faith and trust in him. Before we can serve him and love him fully we must first say “yes”’ to letting him love us. 

How does he convince us that he loves us? That’s up to us. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince us, but not against our free will. When we can believe it, then we can try it on. Act like he loves us by loving others the same way he love us. By sharing his love we prove to ourselves and to them how much he loves us.


27 Sep 2014

Let God


Let go and let God is a simple, catchy phrase but utterly profound, deep and true.


It has taken decades to relax my grasp on control, to let go, but as I do, the joy I experience is a delightful surprise.

The stumbling block to surrender was not as much pride for me as fear. 

continue reading>

29 Jul 2014

Get Out of the Way

What Jesus did for me, , Yongsung Kim.


When we give up striving and trying to save ourselves with our own efforts,
when we finally  get out of His way,
God has a chance to save us from ourselves.
.
Sometimes God waits till we are almost drowning,
exhausted by our own efforts to save ourselves 
because He knows that this is the only time
we will accept salvation on HIS terms.

read more>

12 May 2014

This week's word is...SURRENDER

The last two weekly words have been Faith & Trust. As I prayed about what comes next, it occurred to me that Faith, Trust, and Surrender make a perfect trilogy; three essentials for true peace-of-mind and peace-of-heart. I see them as being cyclical, a reinforcing and continual process to living our God-designed life.
Trilogy Cycle
Faith and trust sound nice, don’t they? Very reassuring and positive. Surrender, on the other hand…that can be a tough one for many of us! When I looked up the definition of surrender, I found: to give in, give up, concede defeat, cave in, and (from Merriam-Webster) “agree to stop fighting because you know that you will not win or succeed.” Yikes, no wonder I’m not usually in a big hurry to surrender!
The truth is, surrendering my will in favor of God’s will, has NEVER left me feeling defeated or unsuccessful.
Read More...

3 Mar 2014

Acceptance

I recently read an article about a young couple whose  young son had been diagnosed with a life threatening, degenerative disease.  As his parents prayed for his healing, a priest advised them not to pray for healing.  He suggested that they pray for acceptance first.  He counseled the young couple that if healing was God’s Will for their son, then the healing would happen.  However, by praying for acceptance, they would find peace.

Read more at:  His Unending Love.
See you there!

23 Jan 2014

Surrendering Control To God


The  pivotal point in my personal and spiritual growth was realizing that, in fear, I  clung to control. I have let go of this control at least a thousand times already. A thousand times of choosing to surrender fear and lies and trusting. Each time I peel back a layer, another deeper level of fear pops up.
Surrender is not a popular word in our modern culture. In fact surrendering my outer life seems like such a big deal that I resist. I cling to control almost like an idiot who thinks that she is clinging to a cliff with her finger nails, afraid to let go lest she fall to her death.

Of course this is an irrational fear, rooted in my subconscious. Actually there is no cliff with a rock bottom. When I finally let go, it is a short drop into the loving arms of God. My fear of letting go is especially ridiculous in the light of God’s unconditional love, mercy and patience which He has proved to me many times, thousands of times.


Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me".
Luke 1:38  "And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her."
James 4:7  "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

9 Jan 2014

The Mustard Seed of Prayer

‘Whoever
flees from prayer
flees all
that is good.’
St. John of the Cross
Prayer. We often think of prayer as something difficult, especially contemplative prayer. If we read the classics, written by the saints, it seems to take years of arduous training to pass through gradually ascending levels to reach the pinnacle of prayer, complete union with Christ where we can say with St. Paul,“No longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me.”
Yet after living with children for 34 years, I have good news, tidings of great joy for you. If I allow myself to relax and surrender control,  like a child trusting in her heavenly Daddy, I discover that it is God who heals, purifies and transforms me into His presence on earth. This process is all about Him, NOT me. My efforts, discipline, asceticism will not earn me union with God. This is not a competitive race to see who will succeed. This is a difficult concept to grasp for the modern Western mindset.
I experienced  an eureka moment this week. After an acquaintance discussed how difficult it was to climb the holy mountain, reaching the pinnacle only with hard work and determination, I suddenly realized that there is no mountain except in our puny minds.continue reading>

17 Dec 2013

Stealing Christ's Job

An article I wrote for Catholic Lane
The fundamental difference between self-centered piety and true, vibrant life in Christ is when we give up trying to save ourselves and surrender to Jesus.


Every society, every culture has a tradition of a scapegoat, someone to blame and punish for the sin of that particular society. It follows then that in the beginning of the spiritual life we are when confronted with our own sinfulness and those around us, we are conditioned to act like the scapegoat.
 When I take on the identity of a scapegoat, even if I  live a devout, disciplined, ascetic lifestyle with a daily round of mass, rosaries, Eucharistic Adoration and frequent confession, I still fall into a trap. It is a trap that all of us fall into as we try to become devoted disciples of Jesus. It is a piety that in the end focuses on ourselves, our actions, our devotions and effort. I am at the front and centre, not God.


To make a shift from an egocentric lifestyle to a God  centered lifestyle is tricky business. Thank heavens the Catholic Church has always understood the need for spiritual directors but the fundamental difference between  self-centered piety and true, vibrant life in Christ is when we give up trying to save ourselves and surrender to Jesus. When we consciously choose Christ, the switch is immediate from misery to joy, even if we seem to suffer just as much in our external lives.
PART OF THE MASS
A: We proclaim your death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection until you come again. B: When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,we proclaim your death, O Lord,
until you come again.
C: Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.
- See more at: http://catholiclane.com/stealing-christs-job/#sthash.ttvlYj73.dpuf

31 Oct 2013

An Arrow of Light Pierced Through the Lie

An image which described my struggle to surrender control to God, was a wagon wheel suspended over a deep chasm.
My large family of 10 stood on the rim of a wagon wheel,while I crouched on the hub,frantically turning this way and that,grabbing all the broken spokes,desperate to hold the crumbling structured together.
I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility and control but I was afraid to stop,afraid that one moment of inattention would cause my entire family to tumble down into the abyss.
I was trapped. Yet, I realized that my tension prevented natural, organic growth and healing.My control acted like a wall, shutting out all divine intervention and grace.My sincere concern and earnest self-sacrifice actually magnified everyone’s brokenness by freezing everyone and everything.
Suddenly an arrow of light pierced through my confusion.It was as if a sharp pin burst a huge, black balloon of deception.Suddenly the image was gone,like a mountain done in by a muster seed.
I had been wrestling with an illusion,a phantom mountain.There was no dilemma.I laughed at myself.
With joy,I finally surrendered control.The broken spokes were instantly repaired.The kids and my husband started smiling. I was free. We were free.

1 Jun 2013

Thoughts on Grace. Do You Act Like a Holy Vacuum Cleaner?

Awareness of God

Awareness of God
Welcome to Colleen’s Saturday meme. How about joining us at Thoughts on Grace?
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Ah mothers.
Aren’t we great?
Always running around serving,
Acting like a combination of Martha and Mary.
A+ Mums, right?
Think again.
When we refuse to give up control, we shut out the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact we end up acting just like vacuum cleaners when it is God’s job to purify our family in His power, mercy and grace. He needs us to simply be conduits of his Love. It is by Christ’s suffering that mothers and their families are healed, not by the mother acting like the sacrificial lamb or the scapegoat of the Old Testament.
As a mother, I am wired to work emotionally just like a vacuum cleaner,sucking up all my children’s pain. Likewise, my children are compassionate vacuum cleaners as well, who attract other people’s negative emotions. They are all aware that they learned this dysfunctional behaviour not only from observing Michael and me in action but also because they have inherited this trait from both of us.
This problem, The Vacuum Cleaner Syndrome, is a difficult disease to cure. As my daughter and fellow vacuum cleaner, Katie, asked during a family discussion,

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. A...