Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There's something about Mary

Today is a great feast day of an amazing saint. Her name was Mary Magdalene and there is a little confusion about who she was, but what it really comes down to is that she was a woman of whom much was forgiven and therefore she love much! When we talk about Mary Magdalene we take a look at the gospels because she is in there quite a bit. In the gospel of Mark, he talks about Mary Magdalene, out of whom he [Jesus] had driven seven demons. She was healed by Jesus. The one thing we can see from the gospels is that that Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' best friends. She was with Him until the end, at the foot of the cross and after. She was the first person the risen Jesus appeared to, and she was the woman who believed and ran back to tell the others what she had seen and heard. What an amazing witness! We are called to be a witness in that way. We are called to not shy away from the cross because it is scary or difficult to see. We are called to believe the words of Jesus and go out and share those words with others.
I love St Mary Magdalene because she is called the saint of whom much was forgiven. I like this reference because it leads me to look deeper into my own life and the many things that have been forgiven. The other part of that title is that she loved much. I hope that I love much because much has been forgiven. The Mass readings talked a lot about love today because Mary loved her Lord so much. The first reading was from the Song of Songs, which most people relate to a love of a man and a woman. But here I think that this was about the love of man towards God and visa versa...one line says "I sought him who my heart loves, I sought him but did not find him." Just like today's gospel, Mary goes to look for the Lord at the tomb and she doesn't find Him. She looks for Him and finally He appears to her. In the Song of Songs it ends with: "I found Him who my heart loves." It makes me think about that deep love that our souls are created with, a love so deep that we can't even comprehend it without God's help! Our souls CRY OUT for that love...we seek that love all the time. Sometimes we look in the wrong places but God won't stop until He has all of us! Just like Mary Magdalene we seek God, and He's there. Sometimes, like in today's gospel, we don't recognize Him at first but when we do we rejoice, just like Mary did.
Today, let's work on that idea of forgiving because we have been forgiven, and loving because we are loved! St. Mary Magdalene, Pray for us!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Miss Independence


Just this past weekend we celebrated the anniversary of our nation's independence. What a blessing it is that we live in a land where we are free to do so many things. Free to worship without fear, free to come and go wherever we please. This gift of freedom was fought for by our forefathers and it is maintained by many people today...people we might even know and love.

I was thinking about this over the weekend while I was working a fund-raiser at my parish. So many people were coming in from out of town to see the fireworks and I will be the first to admit that fireworks are my favorite, but I couldn't help but wonder if we view this freedom the way we view fireworks. I LOVE fireworks (love, love, love) but I love them from afar...I never want to get too close because it's dangerous. But is this the way we view freedom? We love our freedom, but do we fight for it, or do we love it from afar? No, no I am not talking about strapping on some gear and going off to war...but I am talking about fighting for things we know to be right. There are many things that we tend to look in the other direction when they happen...what do we do in the here and now? In our hometowns? Do we value the freedom that was so violently fought for with the importance it deserves? It makes me think a lot about the statement from (don't judge) Spiderman, "with great power, comes great responsibility." We have a great nation, a powerful nation. We have the responsibility to uphold the rights of all people!

So, back to my title...Miss Independence. This month I kinda feel like that...since I've moved from Colorado I have felt a lot of independence...sometimes it is scary, sometimes it is fun. But I am overwhelmed sometimes at the responsibility of being independent (My parents are on my speed dial for a reason :)). So as I sat watching the fireworks with friends I reflected on that independence that was believed in to the point of death...I thought about the people who are fighting for that freedom now, and the ones who have died fighting for it, and I felt an amazing feeling of gratitude to people I might never meet, but who have changed the world I live in! My prayer is that I fight for the freedom and dignity of every human person in this great and powerful nation that was founded on defending values!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A New Chapter


I think maybe my life is on chapter 8 right now...like I just started chapter 8. Chapter 1 I was born, chapter 2 I was playing with dolls, chapter 3 I was saved from awkward middle school years because I was homeschooled, chapter 4 I was a mean high schooler, chapter 5 I went to college (I was hopefully no longer mean), chapter 6 I started my job at St Mary's, chapter 7 I was started my job at STM, and hence chapter 8...now! Wow, that sums up my whole life. I like it!

Yesterday, was the first day of work, I picked out some cool new office furniture and am waiting for it to come to me! But backing up about a week and a half, I started driving across country...I made it, don't worry. But I made it about a block from my parents house before I started crying, not because I was scared but because it is sad when things come to a close in your life. I was sad that God had called me away from some really amazing people, especially my parents, but I also had a sense of excitement for what God has planned next.

I had to write a letter introducing myself to my new parish and in it I was reflecting on the saying: the only constant thing in life is change. It is a very true statement but one that people hate accepting. Oh, I know, I know, I heard it a lot during the elections...change, change, change. But when it really comes down to it, people have a really hard time watching things change in life. The loss of a loved one, the moving on of a friend. There are many things that we don't like when it comes to change; sometimes I don't like having to change my coffee brand because I have to get used to something different. But change will happen and the only thing we can control is how we react to it.

That is an important thing to reflect on...how we REACT to something that happens to us, or around us. There are many times I have left God out of that reaction and it is in those times that I see where I failed most. When I don't pray about the situation and what God is calling me to do in that situation I tend to do very prideful things. Things that aren't the best because I am simply reacting in a purely human way. Which makes sense in this world because I am human, but because we live in a secular world this is the only logical thing to do...make the best decision based on MY knowledge. But I KNOW that God has already seen the end result...so why not ask for HIS guidance?

Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of St Thomas the Apostle. We all know that we refer to Thomas as "Doubting" Thomas, because he doubted that Jesus had actually risen from the dead. How did Thomas react to this change? Well, he didn't react well, but isn't this the way most of us would react? Isn't this how we react to most things in life? He lost his faith because something didn't go the way he thought it should. That's life, that's change. St Thomas, who, when he saw his Lord, fell to his knees and exclaimed: My Lord and my God!" knew how wrong he had been and he repented to the Lord. Let us follow the example of St Thomas and say "my Lord and my God, may Your will be done in my life today and forever!"

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