September 13, 2011

God speaks

School is back in session here on Long Island and as the first full week of classes begin so does the parish ministry year. Starting last Wednesday and up until this Thursday I count 8 meetings that I have attended or am supposed to attend here in the parish and on the diocesan level and there are more meetings coming up. Since I will be missing two weeks of work due to my surgery this coming Monday, there are so many things that have to be done before my last day of work on Sunday.  Not a good time of year for it to be necessary to take time off.  I wish this surgery could have been done in the summer, but things being the way they are it just didn't work out that way.  I guess there really is no good time for this kind of thing but hopefully all will go well and it will only be two weeks.  If not, then I am looking at a six week recovery.

As I have said in previous posts, I am  not that nervous about it and I think I am well prepared, but just to be sure I have Confession and Anointing of the Sick on my "to do" list for the weekend. Pre-op testing was this morning and all I need now is clearance from my primary physician. I find it amazing how God speaks the words I need to hear, just when I need to hear them. On Friday night I was at a meeting and someone asked if I would proclaim the first reading.  This was it:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with  you. (Philippians 4:6-9)

Sunset in Assisi by Jo-Ann Metzdorff
Some people call these things coincidence, but for those of us who believe we know that there are no coincidences. The key is to recognize the voice of the Lord when He speaks. We don't need a mountain top experience or the sky to open up to hear His voice...we only need to be open to listening.  What I am hearing from this reading is that when we make prayer a priority in their life, when we dedicate our day to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving, then God will give us the peace that we seek and free us from anxiety.

There is another quote that I found for when things get a bit stressful and anxiety rears its ugly head. It is written by St.Teresa of Avila and is called her "bookmark."  I think this is going to go up on my wall, or at least I'll make my own bookmark.

Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.

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