Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holding Haiti In Prayer

We ourselves feel that what we are doing
is just a drop in the ocean.
But the ocean would be less because of
that missing drop.

~ Mother Teresa

The above picture is of a sunset looking out towards the ocean over the city of Port-Au-Prince, the capitol city of Haiti that has just been devastated by the 7.0 earthquake. I have been very distracted the past day by this horrible event and feel such great sorrow and concern for all the people there. Haiti holds a special place in my heart ... I have been there twice on "eye glass mission trips" with some of my Franciscan Sisters.
At times like this is when I really feel a "poverty of spirit" ~ seeing so much destruction and such pain and not really being able to do anything about it- physically! A multitude of prayers sigh from my heart during this time and I guess right now, that is my "drop in the ocean" ... that is what I can offer ...and to share briefly a glimpse of the country that I know.

The Haitian people are beautiful people! These pictures were taken on one of my trips, either in 1999 or 2000. The little boy above on the left is/was an orphan finding shelter at Lafanmi Selavi. He had nothing, but had made himself a little toy car out of a plastic bottle, sticks and cans. May the spirit of this boy give hope to all of those whose lives have been so disrupted and to a country that has so little to begin with! Please join me in prayer that our loving God is especially present to all those in Haiti right now and that the people find hope despite the adversity! W. Paul Jones once said: "Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna."

Monday, January 11, 2010

January of New Beginnings & Insights

Greetings for a Happy New Year ~ 2010! Let me begin with
"A Prayer for the New Year" ...

The old year is gone with its joys and its sorrows;
Before us are stretching the New Year's tomorrows.
Forgive what was thoughtless and wrong in the past,
And grant to our virtues t
he power to last;
That we may go forward with gladness, not fear,
To a joyful and worthy and blessed New Year.

Last week, as I was trying to be good at the beginning of the new year with a vigorous morning walk, I discovered I had locked myself out of my house! So, the dilemma - what do I do now?!? Thank goodness for community and a dry, somewhat warmer garage to go into! As I waited an hour and a half for one of the other Sisters to come home, I opened a box of "stuff" stored in the garage that I had been meaning to go through from my Mom's house. The above prayer was one thing I found in the box along with many old pictures of my growing up years, including baby pictures that had seemed lost.

...Oh happy fault to have the chance to find these "treasures" and to spend some nostalgic time reviewing my life. God does work in strange and mysterious ways sometimes! As I begin a new year, it was gift to be able look back over my life (I even found school papers from my grade school years), to affirm who I am, where I have come from and to ponder in a new way my hopes and dreams!

I'm not one for making big New Year's Resolutions, but there are a few things I need to work on. Yesterday, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, one of the readings from our evening prayer was from the writings of St. Bonaventure taken from "The Soul's Journey into God". His words are a good reminder to me as I strive to journey into this new year. I pass Bonaventure's words on to you ....
"We cannot rise above ourselves unless a higher power lift us up. No matter how much our interior progress is ordered, nothing will come of it unless accompanied by divine aid. Divine aid is available to those who seek it from their hearts, humbly and devoutly; and this means to sigh for it through fervent prayer ..."