From the Author

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


There are many angels that we don't recognize as angels because they are sent to us to help us to grow spiritually.  Sometimes when we pray, God sends a human angel to answer our prayer. At some point, we have the opportunity to be someone else's angel. The key to recognizing this invitation is to keep our hearts and minds open to the needs of others 365 days if the year,  As we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holidays, we sometimes forget the meaning behind the celebrations. It is the little things that can make the difference in someone's life.  The phone calls to check to see how someone is, shoveling snow for elderly or disabled neighbors, active listening and observation to focus on stated and unstated needs, sending a get well, bereavement or thinking of you card, welcoming a lonely person to family gatherings, noticing if someone is not doing regular activities and finding out why,  donating food, clothing, toys to individuals you know or don't know, donating your time and talents to others, giving an encouraging smile and hug as needed or sharing your love.  There is often no money involved in these gifts but money given from the heart can bring hope to those struggling financially.

Sometimes angels come to us in "Sheep's clothing".  I asked God for patience and I became the caregiver for my mother.  I have learned never to be in a hurry, to walk slowly and to listen to repetitious stories.  It wasn't how I envisioned to learn patience but it has been effective to an extent.  I am still learning from my "angel".  Quote:  "Put up willingly with the faults of others if you want others to put up with yours".  --St. John Bosco     God has a wonderful sense of humor!

Gifts of the heart

I remember the Christmas when my 2 year old daughter gave me a present.  It was a white sheet of paper with four crayon lines  !! !! I couldn't imagine what it was so I had the presence of mind to ask her to "tell me about your present".  She was so excited when she told me it was a picture of me.  After I looked at it I realized what it was.  She was obviously short and from her vantage point, I was eye level for her at my legs.  She had drawn two legs!  I laughed and hugged her and thanked her for my portrait.  It was the best portrait I have ever had since it was drawn with love. It is fun to look at the world through the eyes of another.  Sometimes gifts of the heart are unusual or strange at first. If we take the time to look at the thought behind the gift, we can see the love there.  So much of life is not in the usual, orchestrated, planned, scripted occurrences, but instead in the spontaneous and unexpected gifts of the self.  Accepting the unusual gift may be a little difficult as it is unexpected, but if we can live in the moment and look into the eyes of the giver, we can see and feel the love which is the best gift of all.  I hope that you have many gifts of the heart this year.  They can't be bought, only felt!  

You can't pray and worry at the same time!

Quote from an NFL player.  "You can't pray and worry at the same time!".  So much of life's happiness hinges on "being present at the moment".  That may include listening with full attention to each other instead of trying to text and listen at the same time or catch up on facebook, twitter etc. as we are communicating with others.  We miss so much of what is happening now in our lives.  We miss the opportunity to grow intellectually, psychologically and spiritually because we are always afraid of what is in our future or struggling with the past.  Living in the moment allows us to appreciate our lives, our family, our friends, our job and our faith.  I saw the most beautiful sunset yesterday and I took time to explore its beauty and live in that moment of beauty and wonder.  My grandchildren were over to help trim my Christmas tree and they were creative, excited and willing to help.  I took the time to enjoy the moment as they are growing up and won't have the same type of joy they have for Christmas this year at any other time.  These moments are precious and fleeting.  We can spend so much time worrying about everything being perfect, finding the ideal presents, decorating beautifully, cooking deliciously, wrapping with creativity, etc. that we forget Christmas is about spending time with special people in our lives.  We never know if we or they will be present next year.  They are here with us now and we can celebrate unique and wondrous moments with family and friends. The other concerns will be forgotten but the interaction with our loved ones will be remembered and cherished.

Be present when you pray and your worries will become just fleeting memories.  Faith and trust will take over and fill your heart with peace and love.  What better way to spend the holidays!  Remember the lonely people who no longer have involved or existing family but will love to enjoy time with you!  Happy holidays to friends of all faiths!