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Showing posts from September, 2010

Thanks Be to God

My daily time in prayer has a structure to it, a structure that’s recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The first step in prayer, Ignatius says, is to remind yourself that you are in the presence of God. No matter where you are – in your bedroom, walking alongside a river, in traffic – you recall that “you are a creature in the midst of creation,” and that God is with you.

The second step is to go back over the past day and give thanks to God for favors received.

It’s that step I want to talk about today. This step – of looking back and giving thanks – is so important, especially for those of us who have perfectionist tendencies or who are future-oriented. That’s because taking time out of each day to look back over the past day and give thanks to God for the good things that happened focuses our attention on the good things that DID happen that would otherwise (because of our perfectionist tendencies or future-orientation) be overlooked.

There will be other times to focus our at…

Being the Church

Okay, I have a confession to make.

This Sunday – our Annual Ministry Fair Sunday – is my favorite Sunday of the year.

I find myself looking forward to this Sunday more than any other in the year. I sense God’s power and presence moving among us more on this Sunday than any other of the year.

“Even more than on major feast days?” you might wonder. Am I really saying I look forward to, and feel God more powerfully present on Ministry Fair Sunday than I do on even Easter and Christmas?

Well, the answer is, yes.

Part of me that thinks something is wrong with that picture: that I’m not supposed to feel that way…that Easter and Christmas, or baptism Sundays, or All Saints Day or St. James’ Day or Confirmation Sunday is “supposed” to be my favorite day in the church year. Maybe that’s why I said this feels like a confession, the lifting of some secret weight I’m carrying. But I’ll say it again: I find myself looking forward to, and I sense God’s power and presence more, on this Sunday than on any…

Labor Day and Routines

I have a love-hate relationship with Labor Day weekend.

I love the fact that it’s back-to-school time. Because it also means back-to-routines.

And I love routines: getting up earlier than in the summer for coffee and quiet time, then seeing Mary and the kids off to school, then realizing I still have the bulk of the morning ahead of me to get a morning run and a little bit of writing done before heading over to the office for more regular office hours and the excitement and energy of the program year.

But I also hate the fact that it’s back-to-school time. Because it also means back-to-routines.

And I hate routines: being forced awake by the alarm, needing three cups of coffee just to be alert enough to not fall asleep during what little quiet time there is before seeing Mary and the kids all go off in their own directions, having to squeeze in a run (and writing time? — fuggedaboutit) before heading over to the office for more regular office hours and the busy-ness and demands of the pro…