Minute Meditations

It's Hard to Ask for Help

Most of us have balked at doing things in a way that felt demeaning or just contrary to our will. Wanting our way over someone else’s way (even if that someone else is God) can mean arrogantly thinking our way is best. Most of us have also felt uncomfortable asking for help. It stings our pride. It often feels easier to be the giver. When we receive without reciprocating, it’s uncomfortable. We feel beholden. Most of us don’t find it easy to depend on others, unless forced to do so by dire straits. But we are all indebted to God for every breath we take. What do any of us have that is not a gift from God? Being reminded of this keeps us humble in a healthy way. Our spiritual journey is an ongoing process. Whether or not our faith experience is marked by dramatic turning points, there is always room for growth. Like Naaman, we can go forward in peace. God gives us all we need to continue growing in faith as we do our imperfect best to act on what we have already been given.  

—from the book Fools, Liars, Cheats, and Other Bible Heroes  by Barbara Hosbach

Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes

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What Grief Can Teach Us

The “small piece”—the blow and suffering of unwanted loss and change—was a darkness to which I brought many emotional habits and patterns: anger, a feeling of being jinxed or doomed, and a longing to escape this path on which I found myself. I know today that grief did not create these patterns; it only illuminated them. They were already there. Still, it felt as if grief were the only cause of my confusion and unhappiness. It was difficult to accept that if the soul is to mature, it must go through the darkness and beyond it. But it must. The “large picture” is only revealed by the dark’s hidden and sustaining light. Recognizing which habits and patterns kept me lost in a loop of reactivity was crucial. The old patterns were lifeless and offered only suffering. But the darkness was alive, and offered a reappraisal of everything I had formerly concluded about life and its meaning.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds As Light by Paula D'Arcy

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The Radical Gospel Journey

A masculine spirituality would be one that encourages men to take the radical gospel journey from their own unique beginning point, in their own unique style, with their own unique goals— which is what we end up doing anyway, but now with no doubt or apology or need to imitate our sisters or even our fathers, for that matter. That takes immense courage and self-possession. Such a man has life for others and knows it. He does not need to push, intimidate or play the power games common to other men because he possesses his power with surety and calm self-confidence. He is not opinionated or arrogant, but he knows.  He is not needy of status symbols because he draws his identity from God and from within. He does not need monogrammed briefcases and underwear; his identity is settled and secure. He possesses his soul and does not give it lightly to corporations, armies, nation-states or the acceptable collective thinking. 

—from the book From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr, OFM

 From Wild Man to Wise Man

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A Saint Is Invincible

Male saints are, quite simply, people who are whole. They trust their masculine soul because they have met the good masculine side of God, whom we have called “The Father.” The Father taught them about anger, passion, power and clarity. He told them to go all the way through and pay the price for it. He shared with them his own creative seed, his own decisive word, his own illuminating Spirit. They are comfortable knowing, and they are comfortable not knowing. They can care and not care—without guilt or shame. They can act without success because they have named their fear of failure. They do not need to affirm or deny, judge or ignore. But they are free to do all of them with impunity. A saint is invincible.

—from the book From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr, OFM

 From Wild Man to Wise Man

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Sharing in the Trinity

Although the hidden life of God remains a mystery inaccessible by reason alone, professing God as Trinity is not meant to distance us from him. Through the Son’s incarnation and the sending of the Holy Spirit, not only are we capable of understanding the eternal relationship of intimate loving communion that is the Holy Trinity, we are able to share in it. This is why we were created, why every human heart cries out to be loved. This is why people discover themselves in the words of Jesus and leave everything to follow him. The revelation of God as a relationship explains what it means to be human.

—from the book Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Gary Caster

Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit

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When Have You Met the Dark?

The dark meets each person in unique ways, and our individual thresholds assume varying forms. Each one is significant. When a life experience calls into question the things you’ve formerly known and believed, the moment can be decisive. From my own journey, I vividly remember times of sheer confusion when I didn’t know if I was being overcome by the dark, or by a great love. Then the wondering, too deep for words, if they were in fact the same.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds As Light by Paula D'Arcy

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Saint Anthony, Pray for Us

Anthony traveled tirelessly in both northern Italy and southern France—perhaps four hundred trips—choosing to enter the cities where the heretics were strongest. Yet the sermons he has left behind rarely show him taking direct issue with the heretics. Anthony preferred to present the grandeur of Christianity in positive ways. It was no good to prove people wrong. Anthony wanted to win them to the right, the healthiness of real sorrow and conversion, the wonder of reconciliation with a loving Father. The word fire recurs in descriptions of him. And though he was called the “Hammer of Heretics,” the word warmth describes him more fully.

from the book Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions edited by Jack Wintz, OFM

Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions

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