I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Unexpected Graces

I had my plan made up in my head - I would go for a run, shower, go to daily Mass, head to the coffee shop to finish my book, and then come home. And all went according to plan...until the end of Mass. A friend from Bible study started talking to me and invited me to join the weekly prayer group that meets to talk about the upcoming Sunday's Readings. She had asked me once before, and I had said no, but I had no real excuse today so I figured, why not?

And I am so glad I went. First of all, I met some lovely older parishioners whom I had seen around the church before but whose names I didn't know. Second of all, a few people in the group were women with whom I visited the Holy Land three years ago. They are such wonderful people, so it is always a pleasure to spend extra time with them. 😀 To top it off, at the end of our time together, we celebrated one woman's 83rd birthday with cake, song, and conversation. Such joy!

Our discussion centered around the nature of hospitality and also Jesus' oft-considered harsh command that if we love our mother, father, sister, or brother more than Him that we are not worthy to follow Him. I shared a brief overview of the homily I had recently heard from Fr. Mike's podcast, where he said we need to ask ourselves two questions each day, one at the beginning when we first wake up and one at the end as we prepare to go to sleep: 1) Who do I want to live for today? & 2) Who did I live for today? Inevitably, we start our day with our eyes set on Christ, but decisions and actions (no matter how seemingly small or insignificant) lead us away from that goal. But we should keep striving each day to live for Christ. (I recommend you listen to his full homily here: 6/25/17.) I definitely need to put up post-its to remind myself about asking those questions (until it becomes a habit).

I like to make plans and to follow them. But I also like the flexibility to adjust my own schedule when opportunities arise. By saying yes, I felt that, in a small way, I was aligning myself more to God's will for my day by spending time in fellowship and Scripture reflection. Yes, I left church about 2 hours after I originally intended, but God is so good like that. And I still had plenty of time for a last-minute Target stop as well as time to finish my (for fun!) book. (I did regrettably discover that the book is part of a 4-part series, so the rest of the books have to wait till after grad school; though, I am eager to know what happens!)

Please keep me and my classmates in your prayers these upcoming weeks as we take our grad school classes. Happy summer!

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