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Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

In today’s Gospel, we hear the apostles voice a sentiment that should be our daily prayer:  “Increase our faith!”  They recognized, as we often do, that our faith is not always what it should be.  Even though we have hopefully tried to deepen our faith, especially in this Year of Faith, we may find ourselves overcome by the inevitable challenges of life—the illness of a loved one, the headlines in the newspaper, the constant barrage of “bad news” on the radio, TV and computer…our personal sense of loss, fear or doubt.  Our faith is tested! No doubt about it!

Jesus doesn’t ask us to have boundless faith, but “just a little,” that of the size of a mustard seed—which in Jesus’ time and in his locale, was the smallest seed.  As with so many of Jesus’ parables, he focuses our attention on the ordinary things around him…our faith, even though small, has great potential.  God delights in using what many might deem insignificant to prove a point. We hear Jesus talk about the child, the widow’s mite, the single lost coin and single sheep.  We know Jesus used only five loaves and two fish to feed 5000 people (not counting women and children).  And in this parable, we hear of the tiny seed which grows into a very large bush and is expansive enough to “house” innumerable birds of the air of various kinds.

We see the movement from a tiny faith to an abundant evangelization!  Our tiny seed of faith can draw others to Jesus if only we hold out our arms and embrace all those who come into our lives.  As faith-filled people, we can be the means by which others come to know and love and serve our God who loves all of us so much.  Like Pope Francis, with his gentle smile and welcoming touch, we can be instruments of God’s peace in our words and actions.  With arms outstretched, we welcome all people—not just those we know, but ALL people.  We aim to BE Jesus to them, caring for their needs, and not limiting ourselves in generosity.  So many of us are impressed by the simplicity, the life choices, the kindness and compassion of Pope Francis. What are we doing to challenge ourselves to follow his example, his spirit of discipleship?  We can all do our part!  We have many opportunities to do this…calling a lonely person, visiting the sick, showing patience toward a restless child, praying for the troubled parts of our world, contributing to Together in Mission, supporting a homeless shelter…and on and on. In the words of the foundress of my community, Sister Maria Aloysia, “You are not asked to do all the good in the world, but just the bit that lies within your power!”

-Sister Marie Paul Grech, SND

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Written by Sister Regina Robbins, SND

A cat putters on a bench

Give yourself permission to putter

In response to: “So what did you do today?” I have often heard folks say reluctantly and with an air of guilt: “Well, nothing really! I just puttered.” It makes me stop and ask if I even know when I am puttering! And I realize that when I come home from a trip or just finish a demanding project, I seem to “waste” the next day and sometimes, not always, feel guilty about it. I just do a little of this and a little of that and may not even unpack my suitcase! As I get older, I seem to flit from thing to thing, forgetting what I started or why I even put the kettle on in the first place.

One morning while I was “puttering” I decided to reflect on what was actually going on inside of me. I concluded that I need and actually like “puttering time.” I am released from demanding, scheduled tasks and I am allowing a leisurely creativity to come forth. For me it may be looking through a box of stuff, cleaning out a desk drawer, rearranging and repotting plants, looking through old scrapbooks or surfing the net. Thumbing through magazines that I have saved before tossing seems useless but also relaxing.

I looked up puttering in the dictionary and it was quite helpful: “to move about aimlessly, to busy oneself in a leisurely and ineffective way.” But as I attended to what was going on inside me, it was good: restful, peaceful, like taking a sun tan, just experiencing a kind of “for once just do what you want to do” feeling.

Periodically I like to just putter and I no longer apologize for it, because my mind at rest produces some good insights and I am in touch with me when I just BE. So for those of you who sometimes feel guilty when you just putter, remember, to give yourself permission and know “Puttering is Good.”

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