Week 6: Joyful Hope- Finding meaning to your experiences.
To find peace in transforming your thorns into helping others
who experience your pain.
Goal of the Week: Discover God’s Promise: I will give meaning to your life
Our Response: Invite God to work through you to help others
Quote:"It is not for His gifts that I continue in prayer but because He is the true life. It is not so much by hope but by bonds of love that I am drawn. It is not for gifts, but for the Giver that I ever yearn. It is not glory I aspire to, but it is the Glorified one I wish to embrace. It is not by the desire for life, but by the remembrance of Him who gives life that I am ever consumed. It is not for joyous passions that I yearn, but it is because of a desire for Him who is preparing them that my heart bursts out in tears. It is not rest that I seek but it is the face of Him who offers rest that I seek in prayers." St. Gregory of Nyssa
Response: The greatest service we can render our neighbor is to sanctify ourselves! In doing so we become a powerhouse for the distribution of graces to others. This Tremendous Lover
Quote:"Our words ABOUT God are not healing. You must bring him to others as a result of your loving Him. Then your words and your presence will be useful. We must first suffer the coming of Christ ourselves in order to minister to others. Then you will be a type of Christian who will be able to endure the wounds and the suffering and the darkness of others and bring light to those people." Deacon Keating
Response: We forget that love is not about what I can get but about what I can give. To truly love is to give without a sense of being deprived. A sheer gift of self, does not leave one in distress, but rather in a state of joy.
Quote: "Great and holy ideas and deep convictions often influence others only through the attractiveness of those who embody them. A truly holy person, by divine grace, without even speaking, exudes the delicate perfume of the flowers of graciousness, equanimity, joy, simplicity, and serenity. Such a person attracts others by her gentle influence and prepares them for God's approach, which she eventually obtains for them through her prayers." Elizabeth Leseur
Response: Have peace that God can draw good even from our faults. So great is the mercy of the Lord that He uses our faults to our advantage! This also becomes a source of tenderness and mercy toward others. I, who fall so easily, how can I permit myself to judge my brother or sister? How can I not be merciful toward him, as the Lord has been toward me? - Fr. Jacques Philippe
Quote:"You are a vessel of honor. I know your desire is to be shaped by me, to be used by me. That is what I created you for, to be a vessel of honor. I want to fill you up with my love, my hope, my blessing, and pour your out to quench a thirsty world. Even on those days when you feel broken and empty, I can still use you, as long as you are firmly held in my grasp. I chose you because you have seen your own brokenness and have given every shattered piece to me. No one can become a vessel of honor without emptying herself, let me hold you, let me fill you." His Princess.
Response: "If I am still not able to remain at peace when faced with difficult situation, then it is better that I should begin to strive to keep this peace in the easier situations of everyday life: to quietly and without irritability do my daily chores, to commit myself to doing each thing well in the present moment without preoccupying myself with what follows, to speak peacefully and with gentleness to those around me, to avoid excessive hurry in my gestures. The first steps on the ladder of sanctity could very well be those of my own home." Fr. Jacques Philippe
Quote:"We can 'work for Him' that is, we can choose what we want to give Him, what we want Him to like, what we think He needs and desires from us. Or we "do His work", meaning, we can ask Him what He would like and do what He desires. 'Do His work', no matter how repugnant it may be to us." Fr. Thomas Green - Darkness in the Marketplace.
Response: What are the ways I "work for God"? Am I giving Him what He really wants and desires? "I learned long ago that God's purpose in redeeming us is not to primarily make our lives happy, healthy, or free from trouble. God's purpose in redeeming us is to make us more like Jesus." Joni Eareckson Tada
Quote: "Love of God lived in its fullest sense leads to a most selfless dedication to the neighbor." Henri Nouwen - Genesee Diary "When we reach out to help others who struggle, our suffering comes full circle. Our thorns have anointed us with purpose." Mary Ann Froehlich
Response: "'Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing' 1 Thess 5:11 We surely know that we can be huge gifts to each other, and that we can also be the source of great happiness. Lord, help me to be an encouraging person, one who gives life rather than diminishes it. Please bless those who have been full of encouragement for me, and help me notice all the small and large ways that I can be encouraging and supportive to others. What wonderful opportunities I will have, not only to bring a blessing to others, but also to receive blessings" Joan Guntzelman
Quote: "Each of us is the one who must live in such a way as to make it evident that she knows she is loved. A woman who knows she is loved can do anything. This is a woman's strength. If a woman feels unloved, she is weak. She still can do, but not in the way that she can if she knows she is loved. Nothing is too hard to a woman who knows she is loved. Well...we are! We are loved deeply by God. We must deepen our knowledge of that." Mother Mary Francis - Come Lord Jesus
Response: Does your Sabbath recharge your batteries - or drain them? Try this experiment. Plan a Sabbath (rest day) experience that meets the following biblical criteria: *You will truly rest *You will focus on God without distraction *You will leave your burdens behind and certainly not add to them *You will remember how God has cared for you in the past *You will not work in any way and enjoy complete rest. *You may even pamper yourself but make sure other are being pampered too *Include experiences of solitude and silence Mary Ann Froehlich