Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finding God's Valentine in the Ordinary

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
*Pedro Arrupe, SJ

This month of February is just zipping by! Since Valentine's Day was just Monday, I decided I could still start this entry with Fr. Arrupe's beautiful words above. I have visited several high schools in the past couple of weeks with other vocation directors and this quote is part of a power point we have used, so it is fresh on my mind. A good one especially for this time of the year!
... and the picture ...Well, I took that several summers ago when I was on my annual retreat. As I was hiking around Kairos House of Prayer just outside Spokane, WA which is run by one of my Franciscan Sisters, I happened upon this rock! It became a a great meditation for me and a big part of my retreat. The ways God shows love and sends little signs/symbols into my life never cease to amaze me!

Yesterday I had a chance to catch up on the
blog site, "Mascara and Prayer"
in which Sara - a friend and Candidate in my Congregation - writes about her candidacy year. I have so enjoyed her sharing and insights. Anyway, in the February 11th entry Sara quoted and reflected on the words of one of our elderly Sisters in a presentation for the Community year-end Retreat. This morning it dawned on me that they were the same words that caught my attention when I "retreated" in December with my local community. The words ... "Change is inevitable, growth is a choice!" resonated with me for a number of reasons. They are true, but it is a challenge sometimes to not let changes ruffle the feathers, to resist change and block growth that can come.
After more pondering on all of this - Sara's reflection on that quote, my own thoughts, and thinking of the "heart" rock picture above - I conclude .... There will always be change in things whether I like it or not, sometimes for better and sometimes not, but I must always allow, must choose growth to happen with the change! ... and that also means, allowing myself to rest in God's loving embrace (as the little tree growing in the picture) and align myself with the heart and mind of Jesus - each day! That way, change doesn't have to be fearful or an obstacle to growth ....