It was a very warm day today and we have been going a little stir crazy, so I suggested a drive. We ended up in our favorite park. The last time we went there, we found a small handicapped parking lot off the beaten path and decided to go there. When we arrived, there was only 1 other car in the area. That was a good sign, so we got out and walked around a bit. We did pass a few people in our wandering, but everyone was respectful of keeping their distance. My mom and dad enjoyed the new and different view of the scenery taking the new path. It gave us all a lift.
I Found God today in a change of scenery.
I was happy to be able to attend a webinar this morning focused on supporting caregivers. The speakers not only acknowledged the struggles of caregivers, especially during this pandemic, but offered tangible assistance. They presented different ways of making sure caregivers take care of themselves so they can take care of their loved ones. I had heard many of the suggestions before, but had forgotten. I was grateful to revisit those thoughts and hear new ones as well.
I Found God today being supported in care giving.
In 1989, my dad published the first edition of his text book, “Introduction to Space: The Science of Space Flight”. At that time he was teaching at the local college and was unable to find an adequate text book on the topic. So he wrote his own and taught the course. He updated the book often, completing the 4th and final edition in 2011. Needless to say, he was an expert on the subject. When we learned that Spacex and NASA were sending astronauts to the Space Station, we found the NASA channel on the big TV and got comfortable. When the rocket launched, my dad and mom remembered the time when they witnessed a space shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center. The event was still as exciting as before. Over the next 2 days, we watched the launch and the docking of the Dragon with International Space Station. Then, after discussing it with during the family ZOOM session, we watched more rocket launches by Spacex. We were in awe of the radical development of technology, particularly the ability of the launch rockets to come back and land to be reused. Over the past couple days, we have seen amazing technology at work, safety for astronauts, world wide wishes of good will, and overwhelming views of our planet Earth. We are small indeed in the scope of the infinite universe.
I Found God today in the talents of those who create ways to explore our universe and give us a different vision for our world.
My nephew and his girlfriend announced a while back that they were engaged to be married. They wanted to have the wedding this Spring and had been thinking about what that might look like. Due to the current circumstances, they decided to have the marriage ceremony in a park with only their parents in attendance. The wedding was this afternoon. I thought of them often during the day and chatted with my sister a little. She was of course a bundle of conflicting emotions as parent’s (especially mother’s) are at times like this. She shared a couple of pictures after the wedding. It was very low key, simple, and sweet. The love my nephew and his now wife have for each other was visible. In one photo, they are standing on a hill overlooking a beautiful scene. My dad remarked, “There they are looking into their future.” I am so happy for them as they begin a new life together and pray their love deepens over the years. They are planning on a big wedding next year for all their friends and family to celebrate together with them. We are all looking forward to that.
I Found God today as my nephew and his love got married.
Today was “mulch day” at the housing complex where we live. Large mounds of mulch were dropped off in the parking lots and residents were able to get what they needed to beautify their garden areas. However, there are many elderly and/or people who are unable to do that kind of work. So, several neighbors volunteered to help. Our “roofmate” who lives in the other half of the duplex put new mulch in his garden area. Then, he filled containers and brought it to our neighbor across the sidewalk. He then delivered piles of the mulch to our yard and spread much of it. And he plans to be back at it tomorrow, helping even more neighbors. He is just one example of neighborly care. We are truly blessed with the generous and thoughtful people who live in this complex.
I Found God today in generous and caring neighbors.
All this week I have been reading prayers and listening to meditations all geared toward preparing for Pentecost and becoming more aware of the availability of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Today I read,
“It can be so difficult to follow Jesus every single day in every little way. Keeping His commandments does not always come naturally for most of us. God calls us to be heroic in our virtue and selfless with others. This is not easy. In fact, it is impossible on our own! But, with God all things are possible!”
That was a very comforting reminder of the need to be faithful and God’s faithfulness to me.
I Found God today in a reminder of His faithfulness to me.
I met with my prayer group tonight via Zoom. We read the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday which is Pentecost. It included the famous words from Jesus, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained.” We had a lively and spirit led discussion about those words. First of all, Jesus gives the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit – His Spirit. They were filled with all they needed to accomplish the mission God had for them. Being Catholic, we had heard these words before as the institution of the Sacrament of Confession. But what about retaining sins? From the conversations we have had with different priests, we discussed that when the priest is listening to Confessions and acting in persona Christi – as the person of Jesus Christ – he would not be able to purposefully “retain” someone’s sins as in not forgive them. When a person came to Jesus asking for forgiveness, it was always granted to them. So it would be for a person in the Confessional. On another level, the priest does have the ability to “retain” the sins he has heard sharing the burden with the person. He may offer additional penance for that person. And then on a personal level, if someone has deeply hurt me, I need the help of the Holy Spirit to forgive them. But, if I “retain” those sins and not forgive, I am easily filled with anger, frustration, and perhaps even the desire for revenge. I am hurting myself more and not living in God’s will. So, perhaps Jesus’ words are a warning to us as well. It was an animated and enlightening discussion. Everyone walked away thinking about things just a little differently than before.
I Found God today discussing the deeper meaning of His words.