Saturday, July 17, 2010

comfort zones

I'm wiping out the original entry and starting over....trying to see if I can get the formatting right. 

Yesterday, I was sitting in the chapel during Evening Prayer.  It was the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.  Maybe that plays a role in the story, maybe not.  As I was sitting there, I was profoundly aware that Jesus had given me a gift during the retreat I went on a month ago, and that the gift was His Mother.  I don't know why it took me so long to figure that out.  Maybe it was obvious to everyone but me, but Jesus gave me His Mom.  I know that He gave her to all of us as His last act before He drew His final breath, but I haven't been willing/able to open myself to that gift.  I didn't think I needed it.  An awesome gift, isn't it?

I saw this on Immaculee's Facebook page a week or so ago.  (Yeah, this is gonna be one of those ADD posts that goes everywhere - or nowhere. 

I realize that God never shows us something we aren't ready to understand.  He lets us see what we need to see, when we need to see it.  He'll wait until our eyes and hearts are open to Him, and then when we're ready, He will plant our feet on the path that's best for us....but it's up to us to do the walking.

Right now I can sense that I am in a pretty good spot.  I know I'm on the path and the walking is pretty easy.  It's nice to have times like this, because sometimes the path seems to be all uphill in the snow.  Barefoot.

I didn't make it to the chapel much today.  Morning Prayer, Mass, and Evening Prayer.  It seems hottest for Mass at 7:15.  I visited a good bit with my friend, and we talked about (among many other things) how God continually calls us out of our comfort zone and invites us - key word - INVITES - to draw closer to Him.

For me, the most obvious example of being drawn out of my comfort zone has been my experience with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  At some point, I had to admit that once every ten years wasn't cutting it.   God was inviting me to Him more often, and I finally accepted.  So it became once every year or two during the Advent Penance service.  Safety in numbers there, you know.  Lent would come along a few months later, but I had *just* been, so we'd skip that one. 

Then one of my offspring asked why we only went once a year.  God was inviting us to come to Him more often with our faults and failures and struggles.  So we began to visit him every three months or so during that Saturday afternoon confession time.  That was a big stretch out of my comfort zone!  I didn't know how the lights on the confessional worked (did you know that one red light means GO?  and two red lights mean STOP?) and I just KNEW everyone was looking at us.  The Sinner Family. 

Then He invited me to stop in more often - without the kids sometimes.  He told me that I could come before morning Mass at 6:15 a.m.  Another little step out of the familiar.  How can anyone confess at that hour??  But I did , and it has been a grace.

Once again, I am being drawn out of my comfort zone by an invitation of Jesus - down another path. 

But I digress.  This afternoon, I felt God inviting me to take a nap, and that was right in my comfort zone, and so I did!

Yesterday, I mentioned about words jumping out at me.  Today it happened almost literally.

I was sitting in the recliner to pray the Rosary.  I am still pretty new to the whole Rosary thing.  I said it as a kid with the lady across the street, but that was a lot of years ago (and mostly so we could get the cookies and kool-aid that we got when we were finished).  I had a Rosary booklet that I had brought with me, but after looking everywhere I could not find it.  So I settled down with a different book that had scriptural references for the mysteries.  Looking for anything to help with the meditative part of the rosary, I pulled a Bible off the shelf to look up the scriptural references.

The Bible fell open to a card with Bible verses written in my handwriting!  Still there from my visit over a year ago.  This is what "jumped" out at me today:

I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.  ~Jer 31:33-34

I was working on homework for a Bible Study class last time I was here, and I found (and still find) ...I will be their God, and they shall be my people.... such a comforting image and promise.  He is our God.  Are we His people?  Are we willing to follow Him on the path that He places us on?  Even when it leads out of our comfort zone?

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