Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rest for the Weary by Mary Bielski

Rest for the Weary

2013-04_LT-RestWeary
I have a hard time taking care of myself. It isn’t that I don’t want to care for myself. I just always think there are more important things to do. When did life get so busy?
Running into spiritual direction, the truth smacked me in the face like a 2 by 4. After 45 minutes of sharing my busy and over committed schedule, my director said: “Mary, we are mind, body and soul. You are exhausted! If you don’t learn to care for yourself first, or you will never be spiritually healthy.”
Wait, doesn’t God ask us to put others before us? (Matthew 20:16)
Deny yourself? (Luke 9:23-24)
Isn’t putting ourselves first selfish?

A BALANCED LOOK

Jesus said that the second most important commandment in the Old Testament was to “love your neighbors as yourself” (Mark 12:31) That means loving and caring for yourself has to come first. Loving yourself is not selfishness – at least not the bad kind. It is an act of stewardship. It’s caring for the most important resource God gave you – YOU.
Taking care of your body, your health, and your emotions is important. Because your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are composite of body and soul and how we care for our bodies matters. By respecting our bodies, we not only honor God, but it also bears life for others.
We are called to love. And we can’t do that if we’re runned down Catholic zombies – tired, sick, and emotionally exhausted. We can only give to others what we have. Learning to care for ourselves, body and soul, allows us the freedom to love others more abundantly.
When we’re not balanced and caring for our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, it has a ripple effect on everything else.

No Time for You

I spoke to a friend recently who laughed at me as I told her I was working on balance. “Good luck!” she said. “I gave up on that a long time ago.”
Has life gotten so busy that peace and balance aren’t even possible?
So many of us are overdosing on Starbucks and energy drinks and racing through our days. We’re trying to balance schedules, sports, school, work, family, friends . . . We can’t sleep. We can’t pray. We have more technology to do things faster and easier, but we’re busier than ever.
But it comes at a cost – YOU.
Just last week I saw this in action. Marian, our most active teen leader in youth group was just about at her breaking point. Her life was like a house of cards crashing down one by one — finals, leadership activities, college applications. She hadn’t slept well in weeks. Her prayer life was horrible. Her anxiety was starting to show in physical symptoms.
Her body and soul were screaming out – take care of me.
That’s not what Christ wants for Marian’s life . . . or for your life! He came so that we would have life and live in abundance (John 10:10).

REST FOR THE WEARY

Even Jesus took time to restore his body and soul. He removed himself from the crowds to be silent, rest, and pray (Luke 5:16).
If the Savior of the world needed to rest, then so do we.
Just don’t forget where the #1 source of your nourishment and renewal should come from – God.
Christ says all who come to him will never hunger (John 6:35). He will satisfy our souls. Our greatest need is our need for Christ.
So spend some time pouring out your heart to Him in prayer as you relax on the couch or worshipping Him as you take a long walk. Connect with some close friends. Go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Take your Bible and go to your favorite coffee shop – feed your soul. Care for your body. It will bring life to more than just you.
He tells us “come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest.”

Calling out. For what?

Jesus asked the blind man in today's Gospel, what do you want from me? 
Out of the darkness the Blind man answered,"I want to see." 

I sit here trying to get to my desk work for today and I cannot help but attempt to reach out to more women. I have a heavy heart today. From government fiascoes, to Catholic education, and personal limitations, blindness seems to be a common denominator of it all.  What is odd is I am not sure if it is a chosen blindness, or an ignorant one? I am not sure which is worse. But I beg God to help me and you to see and humbly follow His Will.

Christ asked the blind man yesteryear and all of us today, "what do we want me to do for you?" Here we have the Creator of All Things asking what He can do for us! We could ask for anything really. But if you had one chance to ask Him, what would you say?And how far will you go to seek His gift? Like the blind man, will you ignore the onlookers comments and seek out Christ?

If I am willing to challenge you, I need to be willing to challenge myself:

Me? I want to Live Christ. But am I willing to sacrifice myself to do so? Lord, Help me and show me how.

St. Therese,
Pray that we and our children desire to humbly follow Christ, no matter what obstacles try to hold us back. 
Amen.






Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Are you Free?

 "Nor can we fail, in the name of the respect due to the human person, to condemn the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality and corrupts even very young girls into letting their bodies be used for profit." (Paragraph 5, Letter to Women)

As I begin to read  Letter to Women By Pope John Paul II, I stop before paragraph 6 and marvel at the sexual dangers of women's lives around the world.  I wonder, do we really have it good in America? I mean compared to women in other parts of the world, we do have a lot more freedoms like voting and job success, education opportunities and the like. But as far as American women are concerned, with all that we have been given, are we still slaves?

Prior generations of women have worked really hard for us to have what we do. We need to be thankful to their sacrifices. Yet I ask: are American women happy? Are we happy as a result of all these freedoms? Are we living our dignity? Are we more loving? Are we living true womanhood? Or are we slaves to societies expectations of women? More specifically, are we slaves to consumerism and exploitation? The exploitation Pope John Paul II seems to be referring to is the actual physical exploiting of the female for sale and profit. But isn't that the same thing that our capitalistic society is doing to all women? 

The exploitation of females sexuality can begin or end in the home. What we literally "buy into" will direct our selves and our homes. The clothing we wear, the TV shows we watch, the jokes we laugh at, and the way we communicate with ourselves and others, especially our children has the effect of leading females either into increasing sensuality or rightful dignity.

I have personally encountered every single one of the examples in my own life. From immodest behavior and dressing, to speaking ill to myself, to telling my daughter she "cannot," and watching movies that reek with impurity!  It has all been part of my life. As I began to seek God more however, the realization of what I have been doing became clearer and clearer. I had to change if I desired God to lead my life and give my children an upbringing in true dignity. To begin this it meant modesty of body, eyes, ears, and mouth. It meant a fashion change. It meant a mind change. It meant learning what makes a women truly beautiful and changing my life to better model true beauty and dignity. I invite you to delve ever more deeper into this discovery and recovery of modesty and freedom from consumerism.

I will end with a true story I was told by a kind shop owner. We were talking about husbands and
wives and got on the topic of what is beauty. She said that one day a man came into her shop looking
for his wife. He wanted to buy her something and she was going to meet him there so she could show him what she liked. The shop owner asked what his wife looked like. The man proceeded to tell her about the bright eyes, and beautiful smile, how she walked so gracefully, and her hair and cheeks. The shop owner was amazed because this man's wife sounded gorgeous. She told him she had not seen anyone with that description in her store that day, but she will keep her eye out. He thanked her and said he would come back later.  As the day went on, the shop owner looked for this beautifully described woman. But to no avail. Instead, she saw a very simple, plain woman come in and look around for a bit. The woman came over to the shop owner and asked if her husband had been there looking for her. The shop owner realized with heartfelt emotions that the husband had been describing the woman's real beauty that came from within and was shown to him in her devotion and dedication to their family, hard work, and kindness. (Here it is good to read Proverbs 31)

Are you free to be a true woman? You and I will be free when our beauty shines from within and not
be described according to society.










Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blinded with Hope



 "Every mother is like Moses... she prepares a world she will not see."  (Pope Paul VI)

Someone has to say yes first!

I can imagine the generations of Isralites and the unknown people's all around the world struggling with plight leading up to the time when Mary and Joseph wer to be wed. All the deep yearning from somewhere within humanity to a God they did not know. At the pivital point of time, all of humanity must have been aching with desire to be free....when the angel Gabriel was sent to Mary that day in Nazareth. And all of angels paused a moment....

The Woman said, "I am the handmaid of The Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word."
And the Word became Flesh. Salvation had been accepted on behalf of humanity by a woman.
A lowly, silent woman.

This moment is a sign of the importance for women to say "yes" to God. Not only is it humanly important, but it it is spiritually significant.

If mothers do not accept God into the home....who will? The power of grace that is ushered into our homes when we submit to God's will is indescribable! And when we join ourselves to the Blessed Mother, we join in the same moment when she said yes to God. So our yes becomes salvific.

Look at our world! What is wrong? We are blind if we think it is not influencing our children and families. Lies, deceit, cheating, impurity...and worse thing is, no one is calling wrong wrong! We are the hope of our children. We must teach them right first by saying yes to God ourselves. Just like when Gabriel came to Mary to bear the Son of God, all of heaven asks us mothers what do we say? 

Blessed are you women, for from you God creates souls for eternity. 
Blessed are you women for you have the hands and heart of God for nurturing his children.
Blessed are you women for you have power in your very Yes to God's will. 
Blessed are you women for you can give humanity what it needs to be healed! 

Your children need you to live a holy life and teach them about God's love and life. They need you to pray. They need you to speak about God to them and read and pray with them. To put aside all your activities and distractions and listen to them and tenderly love them. They need you to say, "Yes"

The world needs us to say Yes to God.
And live more fully
Motherhood.

Mary, pray for us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Gladdens her heart"

"To the childless wife he gives a home
And gladdens her heart with children."
-Psalm 113

God is truly amazing! This verse above is found in the evening Divine Office for Pentecost. The Psalm praises God and tells of the one who will raise the lowly and lift the poor, and gladdens the heart of the childless with children. 

I know there are many women who do not have their own children, but pray they did. It is a suffering I have heard lingers for a lifetime. I pray this is not the case, but in my experience with a different suffering, when I truly believed it was permanent, healing was difficult, but not impossible. But when we pray for healing, what are we really asking for? With God all things are possible, but maybe not the way we want it. Always when we submit to God's will we are filled with greater gifts than we had first asked for.

For the ones who are not physical mothers, but also those who are but feel "unfulfilled, " I offer to ask yourselves what is so great about womanhood...through the eyes of God, that is.

See, we shortchange ourselves if we only think of motherhood as relating only to fleshly motherhood. The soul of a woman if uniquely graced though particular gifts to equip her with spiritual motherhood. The Church teaches us that not only is our mind and body feminine,  but so is our soul. (Catchism of the Catholic Church #2332 says "Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the 

unity of his body and soul.") So know that when God created you, he purposely made you woman, full and entire. And if you are feeling unfulfilled as a mother or depressed that you cannot be a physical mother, use it as an opportunity to go deeper into the mystery of being woman. 

Look at Mary:  Then (the Apostles, etc.) returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.  When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.  All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." Acts 1:12-14 Like Mary and the other women, they sought to provide for the disciples and recognized what they needed, in necessities and in prayer.
In so recognizing, they attended to the support of their needs. They are models for what it truly means

to be "mother." In our vocations, whether that is the married state, the single, or religious, whether that means raising children or not, we are all called to be "bearers of love" by attending to needs of those in our care through prayer and humble service to our first duties and vocation.

In addition, the Church tells women that they are greatly needed to pray for the sanctification of priests. The link, in the previous sentence, has a great document with examples of what the prayers of women have done. The connection between the souls of women and the priesthood is pivital for priests. We are bearers. Bearers of God's children. In fulfilling our souls need by being bearers through prayer, we become mothers of Many....and are gladdened with Mary with many children. For in the plight of suffering, Mary lost her Son, but gained John as her son, you and me too! And at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fulfilled her motherly role by "gladdening her heart with children." 

In prayer we bring them all, family and priests, before God in the cradle of our arms and hearts. Please women, please pray much more. 






Sunday, May 19, 2013

How to encourage and not point blame

R
R
R

By a man I think called Wilson?

I had a unique encounter with some very kind and active leaders in our community. I learned something very important in that meeting that I took and have begun to implement in practicing charity when giving my opinion. Being mothers of deep conviction, I know we can all use this formula when approaching teachers, or priests, or other people we want to share our opinion with. I hope this helps, it is very simple.

I am sorry I do not remember the man's name that dubbed the Three R's formula for evaluating, but I will call him Mr. Wilson. Okay, Mr. Wilson says when we go to evaluate someone and we have thought it through....we must first state to them what they are doing RIGHT. Next we may RECOMMEND what you see or wish for. And lastly, you state to them what you will REMEMBER about what they have done. How has it positively influenced you, or what you will take way from it for use in your life.

These simple reminders can go a long way in contributing charitably in our home and communities. Moms have got to be some of the most opinionated groups of people, this can be good or not so good, but with Three Rs maybe we can better positively influence others.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prayer

This is a post from the Catholic Spirituality blog I just started to follow. I have reported it here because it is worth your time.

Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network



Posted: 13 May 2013 05:00 AM PDT
by Connie Rossini

File:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Prayer (1865) (cropped).jpg
The Prayer by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).


A few years ago at Mass in another diocese, the priest began a homily on the importance of daily prayer. I was elated. We hear this far too seldom from the pulpit. My elation soon turned to disappointment, however. He talked about being aware of the world around you, and your own thoughts and feelings. Shockingly, he didn’t mention God at all! I realized the priest (apparently without knowing it) was not really advocating prayer, but a Buddhist-inspired form of meditation.

Both Christians and Buddhists use the term “meditation,” so it’s no wonder sincere people confuse the practices of the separate religions. But they are quite different.

Christian meditation centers on Christ

 

In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II noted that Buddhists seek to free themselves from the world, while Christians seek freedom from sin, through God’s grace, in order to be united with Him. Eastern meditation might relieve stress, but it cannot save souls.
Doctor of Prayer St. Teresa of Avila gives us further insight, when she writes in the 1st chapter of Interior Castle :

“If a person neither considers to Whom he is addressing himself, what he asks, nor what he is who ventures to speak to God, although his lips may utter many words, I do not call it prayer.”

In other words, true prayer recognizes how small and sinful we are and how great God is, and addresses itself towards Him. Eastern forms of meditation are not addressed to anyone.  The question of God’s existence and character doesn’t come into play.

Prayer’s purpose is union with God

 

Front Cover

Christian prayer is communication with God. The conversation we have in prayer goes both ways. In fact, God’s action during prayer is more important than our words, thoughts, or feelings.  Prayer is a search for God, who promises, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:13-14). As the Song of Songs envisions it, prayer is the Beloved seeking the One who loves her. This seeking (and finding!) is the purpose of our lives. You and I were made for intimate union with God. God is love, and He invites us to share in the very love that unites the Holy Trinity. The means to this union is prayer.

Union with God unfolds in stages. When we first start praying, we have to work hard to focus on God, to meditate on (that is, ponder) His goodness, and to worship Him. Faithfulness to prayer and to God’s will opens the door to the gift of contemplation, when God secretly transforms us and draws us closer to Himself. The early stages of prayer are concerned with seeking, the later stages with finding.

Non-Christian meditation aims too low. It cannot fulfill our longing for eternal love. Do not be afraid to lift your sights higher. Do not be afraid to seek the face of God in prayer!


Share with us: How have you or others around you misunderstood the purpose of Christian prayer? What insights from your own growth in prayer can you share?

This was originally posted at Contemplative Homeschool.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To the sheperdess' of the little flocks;



In the May 12, 2013 issue of the Sunday Visitor,  I came to the article, "Following Mary's Steps in Hope, Faith and Love" by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, I immediately saw a quote by John Paul II. I feel bad, but it all I was able to read! This quote has encouraged me so much, and I believe it will encourage you.  Pope John Paul II spoke the following in his homily at the beatification of St. Gianna Beretta Molla in 1994:

We would like to pay homage to all the brave mothers who dedicate themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves... How hard they have to fight against difficulties and dangers! How frequently they are called to face genuine 'wolves' determined to snatch and scatter the flock! And these heroic mothers do not always find support in their surroundings. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity, the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, in which a host of Christian wives and mothers have distinguished and continue to distinguish themselves, are presented as obsolete. As a result, a woman who is determined to be consistent with her principles often feels deeply alone, alone in her love which she cannot betray, and to which she must remain faithful.







Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mom or father?

 Let us repeat the last line of John Paul II quote from the Message to women:

By the same token society needs to call husbands and fathers to their family responsibilities, and ought to strive for a situation in which they will not be forced by economic circumstances to move away from the home in search of work. (Paragraph 3)


So, here John Paul II is telling society and us that we need to do what we can in our positions to call fathers to their family duties.  American men are down too.  Did you notice? I may be wrong, but I have seen the increase of the feminist movement as a pounding down of the father and men in general. As we become more aware of our true feminine dignity, we should too become aware of the masculine dignity and respond to the man with our new found understanding with humility and charity.

I see two actions we have to take.

It is important that we do not try to do the father's job and we gain control of our tongues.

Too many times women, with their great stamina, determination and willingness to serve, take too much control. And let's face it ladies, the way men see it, if a women is willing to do it, they will let us. But this is dangerous. Why? Because once a woman begins to do "his work" he ceases to do it.  So, we need to use our ingenious sense and leave undone those things that are needed to be done by him. (I do not mean leading the children in prayer though. Dad's should lead family prayer, but this is not something possible to wait around for, but tack is needed to not exclude and encourage them...)

back to the topic....We must especially let him know we like his work and appreciate the time he puts into it. In addition, men have this tack...as some recently joked with me about...to turn off the ears after a woman has ranted and complained after a few seconds. Now, I am not saying this is good or do I think it is respectful. But it may be part of a consequence of how some of us have behaved.  We need to ask ourselves if we complain and boss men around? Do we tell them they cannot do anything right? Do we take a "mightier than you" approach and lecture them? They are not our children, we need to remember that and respect them as partners in mission and as dignified equals.

Has anyone tried or see what happens when you let him know you need his help? Or what happens if we are considerate and raise issues at a time when they are not still overwhelmed with the days job? Or what about a big sincere thank you, which food for them seems to speak well! Ha! Joking aside, we need to ask ourselves if we are truly respectful and treat him as we wish to be treated?

Our husbands and men in our lives, including sons, do not need us complaining all the time. That does not imply we do not share our views, it implies we do it wisely, humbly, and to remember charity above all else.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Mother Julian" sonnet

Saint Julian of Norwich's feast is today. We read a little about her last night in prayers. She was a British mystic.  From an early age she suffered much. Here is a sonnet asking her for guidance in wisdom and in love. If you read it as if your children are asking you to teach them, it puts on a brand new perspective for us each to meditate on what our role as mothers in teaching our children the love of God. Revelations of Divine Love  is a writing of hers. Here is an explanation of the book, I have never read it, but it sounds very enlightening.
"Considered one of the first books ever written by a woman in the English language, Revelations of Divine Love, by British mystic JULIAN OF NORWICH (1342-1416), continues to be an inspiration to spiritual seekers everywhere. During a period of illness, Julian witnessed sixteen visions of Christ that changed her life. She recorded these visions and spent many years working out their theological implications. Among her revelations were the comprehension of the Trinity, the conquering of the Fiend by the Passion, and the painless glory of Heaven. She believed in universal salvation and is often remembered for being an optimist during a time when many believed that God was punishing mankind. Julian is essential reading for anyone seeking to renew or spark their Christian faith."

Now here is the sonnet to her:

Mother Julian

Show me O anchoress, your anchor-hold
Deep in the love of God, and hold me fast.
Show me again in whose hands we are held,
Speak to me from your window in the past,
Tell me again the tale of Love’s compassion
For all of us who fall onto the mire,
How he is wounded with us, how his passion
Quickens the love that haunted our desire.
Show me again the wonder of at-one-ment
Of Christ-in-us distinct and yet the same,
Who makes, and loves, and keeps us in each moment,
And looks on us with pity not with blame.
Keep telling me, for all my faith may waver,
Love is his meaning, only love, forever.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stand Tall, You are Mom!

At the same time we must not forget that at the personal level one’s dignity is experienced not as a result of the affirmation of rights on the juridical and international planes, but as the natural consequence of the concrete material, emotional and spiritual care received in the heart of one’s family. No response to women’s issues can ignore women’s role in the family or take lightly the fact that every new life is totally entrusted to the protection and care of the woman carrying it in her womb (Cf. John Paul II Evangelium Vitae, 58). In order to respect this natural order of things, it is necessary to counter the misconception that the role of motherhood is oppressive to women, and that a commitment to her family, particularly to her children, prevents a woman from reaching personal fulfilment, and women as a whole from having an influence in society. It is a disservice not only to children, but also to women and society itself, when a woman is made to feel guilty for wanting to remain in the home and nurture and care for her children. A mother’s presence in the family, so critical to the stability and growth of that basic unity of society, should instead be recognized, applauded and supported in every possible way. By the same token society needs to call husbands and fathers to their family responsibilities, and ought to strive for a situation in which they will not be forced by economic circumstances to move away from the home in search of work.

Read and study that again! Wow!

Continuing with the written message of Blessed John Paul II he wrote the above. The mothers role in the heart of the family is pivotal. Do you too struggle with societies definition of woman and mother? I have and cannot totally get rid of it. Too often I feel pressure to "be" and "do" many things. But
after prayer and reflection and seeking advice, the answer always come back with the certainty that focusing on the family and doing my duty within it is my greatest work and first call. A priest I highly respect recently told me that "I think that unfortunately girls are raised with a mindset that being a mother is 'something on the side.' I think that is so damaging to a women's dignity."

Isn't this true! Yes! We were always asked from childhood, what do you want to be? And now our generation of christian mothers struggle with what our hearts say, for those who have children at home still, and what has been drilled into our minds, that we are not fully woman unless we have a career. Let's read gain what Pope John Paul II wrote:

 "A mother’s presence in the family, so critical to the stability and growth of that basic unity of society, should instead be recognized, applauded and supported in every possible way."

Do not think I do not struggle with this. I do! So, we need to know that there ar mothers it there that need to hear again and again that focusing on family is a Holy call that is worthy of being confident in following. Pray for me, I pray for you.




Sunday, May 5, 2013

Equal is not sameness


Pope John Paul II writes:

3. As most women themselves point out, equality of dignity does not mean "sameness with men". This would only impoverish women and all of society, by deforming or losing the unique richness and the inherent value of femininity. In the Church’s outlook, women and men have been called by the Creator to live in profound communion with one another, with reciprocal knowledge and giving of self, acting together for the common good with the complementary characteristics of that which is feminine and masculine.

The above quote is taken from the written message he referred to in the first paragraph of the Letter to all women.  I wondered what this written message was, so I followed the link. This paragraph made me ask myself, "what do I do to show my daughters the dignity they have and not compare them to boys?" Do I convey in my home the equality of dignity? Or do I compare them to what boys can do? How do I encourage them in dress? In what activities they do? Do I tell them they can do anything boys can? Or do I say they can do what they put t heir minds to with God's help?

I recall growing up in the 80s and dressing like boys. It was a fade. I loved shopping at the Gap...all styles created nearly equal. Then I think of some current issues where girls want to be on the guys wrestling or football teams. If equality was sameness it would be okay, but equality is not sameness. My husband told me when he was in high school, a girl wrestled on another school's team. He said he was relieved that he did not have to wrestle her and that the guys that did were uncomfortable. In my opinion this is the fight for equality gone way too far. For in this situation it sets the boy up to go against his interior instincts. Boys are given a natural instinct to be gentle with a girl. In this case it causes them to go against that. You may laugh and say that guys do not have that, but I beg to differ. If they do not, it has been either trained out of them or never fostered. But getting back to my point:

The question is though, how do I support the dignity and uniqueness of my daughters and son? Or don't I? In what ways to I give into society and treat them less than dignified?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Running? Or at rest?



 Don't be like wild horses who were left go and are always running. Instead be like a tamed one who finds peace in the hands of its gentle owner and freely follows his commands by choice.

Life is a series of running from and choosing to go toward. Simultaneously we run from our fears and we each are being taught to go toward peace and love. Now whether or not we allow ourselves to learn to make these choices is another matter. But we are each called to seek the peace that gives life and purpose. And the sole dispenser of this peace and real love is God. He entices us in a multiple of ways. But the One and true way He has made visible for us to be more comfortable in coming to Him is by giving us His Son. Not only that, but He had His Son make up for the causes that keep us from seeing and following His ways! So not only did he give us the essence of the peace, but he routed the way so we could go to Him!

So why do so many people keep not finding Him and the peace he gives? First off, it is not a one time catch. It takes a life time, which is a gift to us as well. But so many people have not found him for reasons I do not know, but I think it has to do with three main ones: they do not choose to look His way; they are stuck in their fears and are so preoccupied with those fears that they are blind to Him; and they do not know where to look because they lack True guidance, instead they get advised by others who are blind, therefore they go in circles. I think these last have heard and possibly seen the True direction, but have disregarded it as absurd and have humanly reasoned it away as impossible and ridiculous.

Now God can pull us in from anywhere, but he wants us to choose to come toward him. So He will do what he does, which is always perfectly wise, for our best interest in hopes to get out attention so we each turn to him and gaze on him for the strength we need; to become fully what we are made to be...children of God. In this we find purpose and peace and love and the way to follow.

The direction? Mapquest cannot give it to you, but I am writing what 2000+ years of people's lives witness. The direction is through the Catholic Church. It is the Church where you will only find God, living and breathing and beckoning you to come to Him. The answer is Jesus Christ, who is found Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. That means God himself.

So, if you have not found this to be true yet, you will think I am being limiting, ridiculous, brainwashed, or perhaps just one of those "holy rollers." I forgive you. See, I was there once too. And I was on the run and blind, then came to a halt in my life and saw clearly that this God has given us the answer to all our anxieties and fears and confusions...and there can only be one answer because there is only one God...the answer is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament upon the altars of all the Catholic Churches throughout the world. Even if you are in this Church, have you found Him?