Prospero Aῆo Nuevo (Happy New Year)

When we entered the church on Christmas Eve, I wasn’t too surprised to hear our Hispanics singing the Jose Feliciano song entitled Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas). You may have heard it before: It starts off: Feliz Navidad (3 times), prospero aῆo y felicidad (happiness). Then it goes into English for a bit: I want to wish you a Merry Christmas (2 times), I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart. The song sounded so joyful, so full of celebration. It may seem irreverent to sing this in church, but to wish another well ‘from the bottom of my heart’ is a kind and generous gesture worth celebrating.

My wish for you in 2016 is not only a prosperous new year, but one filled with love, joy, peace, faith, trust and hope. May you be led safely through any ‘storms’ that come your way. May you continue to discern God’s purpose and calling in your life. May your friends and family support you when you need it most. God bless!

Copyright © 2016 by Theresa M. Williams

All I Can Do is Pray?

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the expression “All I can do is pray.” This makes prayer sound like a last resort and an ineffective tool, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Praying for others is a sacred privilege we should take seriously. Our prayers are part of the support system that people need in their times of struggle. Looking back at my own prayer life, the fruit of those prayers, in some cases, has been nothing short of miraculous. At times, God made me wait for His answer, and sometimes my request wasn’t granted. When that happened, it took faith and trust in God’s wisdom to accept His response to my prayer. Prayer doesn’t always give us what we want, but we have to trust that God will always give us what we need. When I find it difficult to trust, I make it a point to remember what God has already done in my life and how faithful He has been in my darkest hours. Then, I have the courage to ask in prayer and trust the wisdom of His answer. I have learned that God’s answers to my prayers can be very surprising. Also, I need to be careful what I pray for because He may give me something I didn’t bargain for! When we pray, the results can be quite dramatic, and it has the power to change lives.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

 

Give us this day our daily bread (OF6)

This phrase is about trusting God to provide for our needs, ALL our needs, including our daily bread. There have been times in my own life where I’ve had to trust God to provide money to pay bills, help the car start, get me safely to my destination, and yes, even provide for our meals. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. God never tells us our lives are going to be easy, but we can ask Him for what we need with no ‘busy signals,’ no long-distance charges, no phone menu hell or being placed on hold. He’s available 24/7, and we get ‘unlimited minutes.’ He loves to hear from us. He asks us to trust in His timing and listen for His response.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Thy will be done (OF4)

Are we really serious about doing God’s will? Or do we perceive something as God’s will, start acting on it, and hope God blesses it? Is it ‘thy will be done’ or ‘my will be done?’ God is not a genie in a lamp or a fairy godmother, granting our wishes on a whim. He is a loving father who knows what’s best for us. He sees the entire picture, that which we cannot see. He is interested in our salvation, and sometimes what we want is not good for us at this time or maybe ever. God knows our hearts and what will draw us to Him. He knows what is needed for our salvation. He knows our weaknesses and our temptations. It could be that maybe the thing(s) we seek will push us farther away from Him or lead to self-sufficiency, relying on ourselves instead of God. What this phrase of the Our Father is really all about is trusting God in everything. The opposite of trust is worry or suspicion. Do we trust that God will get our lives ‘right?’ Are we willing to do what God asks of us? If something has happened to you that you do not understand, talk to Jesus as you would a friend. Tell him your troubles, and He will listen. If you listen back, you may hear His whisperings in your heart. Be still and know that He is God.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Unemployment Entombment Resource

A friend of mine gave me a copy of a pamphlet from Our Sunday Visitor called Employment Rosary. Please click to view. https://www.osvparish.com/Shop/PDFs%5CP1144_web.pdf.The first two paragraphs is how the pamphlet begins. Below that and the ‘closing prayer,’ there is a brief description of the mystery, then a prayer followed by a meditation. To find this helpful, you don’t have to know how to pray the rosary or be Catholic. I encourage you to check it out!

“Prayer has power. Whether we pray for ourselves or intercede on behalf of another, prayer helps hold together what seems in danger of breaking down in our society, our families, our spirits, and ourselves.

These are frightening times; any one of us can suddenly find ourselves out of work, or unable to meet bills and obligations because a family member’s paycheck has vanished. When we are overwhelmed by loss, displacement, anxiety, and very real fear, prayer brings us back in balance.

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord Jesus, help us to remember that a thousand ages in your sight are as an evening past – no more than a “watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). Days begin and days end, and no situation goes on forever. Help us to endure hardships in the trust that these difficult days, too, will pass. In you we find infinite understanding, infinite consolation, infinite hope. Your angels say, “Be not afraid.” Help us to remember that your time of trial ended with the tearing of the Temple veil and the rolling back of the stone; our time of trial, too, will end in hope.

Through you, with you, in you, there is nothing to be afraid of. Amen.”

Excerpt(s) from Employment Rosary © Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. 1-800-348-2440. http://www.osv.com. Used by permission. No other use of this material is authorized. To order, please contact Our Sunday Visitor.

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Blog copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Worry vs. Belief

“Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.” (Tim Keller).

When I saw this quote, it made so much sense. What a great definition! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it difficult to trust God 100% of the time. In the process of writing my first book From Agnostic to Deacon, A Story of Hope and Conversion, I had the opportunity to look back over our life together as husband and wife and marvel at God’s (perfect) timing. In spite of this, however, I am human and therefore have that imperfect trust and anxiety, which will probably be there until I die. I have to remind myself again and again that God sees the entire picture, and because of His love He wants only what is best for me. In my limited view, I do not see things in their entirety. Something I want or think I need may turn out to be bad for me.

I find the following scripture very comforting when I am anxious. I hope you do as well:

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13 (NRSV)

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Just Trust

I wish I had a dollar bill for every time I’ve heard someone say “Just trust God.” It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But, exercising that trust can be a challenge. I dare say it takes courage to trust in a God we cannot see, hear or touch. If you find it difficult to trust people you can see, how do you learn to trust a God you can’t see? Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed, the Bible says. Trusting is believing, and believing is trusting. But, why is trusting so hard? I’m afraid I don’t have an answer except to say that I think it has to do with our past experiences. Maybe someone has betrayed our trust. We are afraid it will happen again, and so we protect ourselves emotionally lest we get hurt again. I think this is only part of our human nature. You might even say it’s an emotional survival tactic. When I feel betrayed I find I pray more, and then I take baby steps towards trust again, whether it’s with other human beings or developing a deeper trust in God. God knows our needs, our fears, our weaknesses, and the good news is He loves us anyway!

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams