Monthly Archives: September 2013

Follow Me

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“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9

Just like that. Got up and followed him. Left everything and followed Jesus. Wow. Today is the Feast Day of St Matthew. When I think about the apostles and how they just up and left everything, their jobs, their livelihood and their families, I always wonder, what did they see exactly? To just go off and follow someone like that. What did they see in Jesus to react in such a way? I think it would have been amazing to have been there, to have heard Him, to have seen the miracles, to have lived with Him for three years. But what amazes me the most is their initial reaction… how they just saw Him, left everything and followed him. That just blows my mind.

 

This makes me think of my own conversion. How I started to follow Jesus back in 2004 ‘just like that.’ Sure, there were things that were catalysts to my conversion (the movie The Passion of the Christ for one) but I am still amazed that I am even on this journey. I am baffled that I am a follower of Christ. I was so far from God back then… a big time sinner, indifferent to Christianity, an obnoxious, selfish foul-mouthed party girl …. but by His grace I was set on fire with a desire to know him. A total Holy Spirit doing. I became a follower… just like that.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus was eating with tax collectors and sinners and the Pharisees asked why he eats with such people. Jesus’ response, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matt 9:13). I was (am) a sinner and Jesus called me (and continues to call) … and I responded. I am still blown away that I responded. That I am here. That I am on fire … and desire to know Him better. It’s crazy. It’s bizarre. It’s so out of character for (the old) me. And yet…. It’s wonderful. Praise be to God.

On this Feast day of St Matthew let us thank God for his grace and mercy. If he can call St Matthew, a man who all despised to be one of Christ’s followers, we know that we too can be called to follow Him. I am just grateful and thankful that somehow I heard (deep down inside my heart) and I followed.

Christ calls everyone. Are you listening? Will you follow?

Maybe it was easier that they saw Him … but “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

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Still Small Voice

 

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Recently I had two epiphanies… (LIGHTBULB!) which means I was listening and open to hearing what  God wanted me to know  (miracle! Ha!)… Lord knows if he had been trying to convey these things to me for days, months… years… and only now I “get it”… but within the past week I “heard” them and that little light (BING!) went on in my head.

Several years ago I had, yet again, changed the title to my collection of pro life short stories … it started off as “For Such a Time as This” and then “Pretend I’m a Tree and Save Me” and then “Fertilized Egg” and then for a split second it was “Dehumanizing Inconvenient People.” … then it finally became “Still Small Voice” … which is from 1 Kings 19: 11-12. It has been that title now for awhile. I liked that one… but I just wasn’t sure why I liked it. So years later it came to me (last week) on September 6, 2013.

The book of Kings tells us that we cannot hear God in the big huge loudness of life… but in the quietness…  in the wind… in a still small voice. So we need to be quiet and listen. Make time to be quiet and be alone with God …and listen.

Six or seven years ago the youngest of my three sons, who was little at the time, would always say to me, “I love you mommy,” many times a day … and I mean MANY.  It was wonderful hearing this throughout the day … I loved it. What mother wouldn’t? One day after he said it to me I hear God say to my heart, “I am speaking to you through your son.” … WOW.  God loves me. Wow.

God speaks to us through our children… in their small voices. He is the love in our family.

Then it dawned on me. There are over fifty million voices silenced from abortion.  Voices that never got to say “I love you,” to anyone. Those small voices of the children were stifled, snuffed out, cut off…. The voice of God, through children, God’s children, never had a chance to be a loving messenger for Him.  Their still small voices…. never heard. God’s love never proclaimed from their mouths.

Family… abortion is destroying the family. And recently I am really realizing how important family is.

This past Sunday I was on retreat at my church for Life Teen. The Core Team, which I am a member, was having their yearly retreat to get ready for the year ahead with the youth. We went upstairs to the church to pray the Litany of Humility (you know how much I LOVE (UGH) praying it… and I make myself pray it every day…) well, while contemplating on it afterward it came to me (epiphany) … God had slowed me down this summer…twice… with two injuries… to get this bonehead’s attention. “Slow down. Be still. Be with your family. Stop doing so much.” So I got the hint and backed off from several ministries I was active in at my parish….  so that I could spend more time with my family at home.

Well Sunday it came to me that not only does He want me to be with my family more BUT he wants me to grow in faith with them. You see… for nine years I have been all gung-ho in my faith, learning, reading, devouring my faith… but I have not really gone out of my way to include my family in this…. It’s not that I exclude my family from my Catholic life… but I had been doing a lot of my learning on my own… and keeping it to myself. Hm.

Sure  I pray with them and at times discuss the faith with them … but here God was pointing out, “You are not doing enough. You want to go to heaven…. You need to bring your family with you… you need to BE a Catholic family together. Learning and growing in faith together.” All this time as I absorbed the Word I thought I was being holy… but nope. I was being selfish.

When I got home that night, before bed, I asked my boys to pray a decade of the rosary with me … and they did. Hey, it’s a start.

So this coming school year that is my goal… to stop and listen to God’s voice and to share His love and Word with my family.

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Can I get an Amen?

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