DISTRACTIONS

Smart phones; television; social media; over-activity; food; alcohol; drugs – anything and everything to distract ourselves from looking within to examine our motives and behaviors.  We judge others, pick out the “log” in our brother ‘s and sister’s eyes, and condemn rather than searching our souls for fear we may discover that we’ve fallen short of our idealized self.  We justify our hate-filled remarks as “righteous” as though we were appointed by God Himself to be his judge on Earth.  How arrogant, misguided, and prideful- how deadly are our sins.  No one knows the mind of God; no one knows the heart and soul of another; no one knows the trials and challenges of another; no one has the right to judge another and to proclaim who God himself will choose to save.  So let us examine our own self-serving motives, our own fears, our own prejudices, our own pride, and stop trying to elevate ourselves to the divine position of God the creator, savior, redeemer, healer, and judge. HE ALONE has the power to save and/or condemn.   Let go of fear and embrace the peace and love of God.  Peace, joy and love to all.

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HATE IS A CANCER

Keeping in touch with old friends and colleagues via Facebook used to be fun.  After catching up I would also read articles, opinions, and, on occasion, politically-related issue pieces.  Lately, I’ve literally felt ill after reading some of the most hateful, cruel comments that are being made – often unrelated to the original topic.  It is as though FB has become a network for angry, destructive, and thoughtless people with nothing better to do than to spew hatred and incite violence.  It has become a platform for a disgusting display of ignorance being perpetuated, and the truth being stomped on as trivial.  It is so sad that we can’t seem to disagree with each other without being vicious. As this hate speech increases, so does the incidence of violence against others.  Fear is insidious, and it seems to be spreading like a cancer.  It is infecting all areas of our lives.  I believe it is up to the majority of us that are not yet caught up in this to respond to the hate with love, to the cruelty with kindness, to the violence with peace.  Fear begets more fear…hate begets more hate…violence incites more violence.  Lets put a stop to these horrible, contagious “diseases” of the heart and soul.

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HAPPY “LOVE” DAY

A wish for happiness and meaningfulness on this day we celebrate LOVE and the many ways we express it.  How about, in addition to chocolates, flowers, special dinners, and cards, we commit ourselves to expressing real love this year…caring for ourselves and others; forgiving; saying kind and supportive things; having mercy on others because we are all flawed and struggling; being generous with our time, talents and treasures, being accepting of ourselves and others because we are not perfect, just striving; respecting the human dignity of others even if we disagree; lifting up and helping all in need; making our corner of the Earth a safe, welcoming, and peaceful place to live, work and play; recognizing and celebrating the beauty in the diversity of life; loving one another as we want to be loved; praying for each other in this precious, difficult thing called LIFE.  Can’t we all use a little peace, serenity and love in our lives?

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2015

It is truly a day to be thankful…to think on those gifts, blessings, and graces that we have been given… LIFE, CREATION, LAUGHTER, INTERPERSONAL CONNECTIONS, THINGS AND PEOPLE THAT NURTURE OUR SOULS AND BODIES, CREATIVITY, FREEDOM OF WORSHIP, FREEDOM TO LOVE, FREEDOM TO THINK, FREEDOM TO FEEL, THE ABILIY TO MAKE CHOICES TO FORGIVE, TO BE COURAGEOUS AND TO FEAR NOT, FREEDOM FROM SOUL-KILLING GREED AND GNAWING WANT, AND FREEDOM TO BE OUR AUTHENTIC SELVES.  May God bless each of you this day and always.  Peace, Joy and Love.  Doctoraquarius

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THOUGHTS ABOUT FORGIVENESS

I’ve been away and working on my novel and books, however, a reflection I read the other day during my morning prayers struck me with it’s profound message and I wanted to share.  It was written by Elizabeth Duffy and published in Living Faith, August 12, 2015.  The gist of it is this:

When someone hurts us, we often react with indignation, and our pride is wounded.  We want to assert our human dignity and may carry anger and resentment as badges of honor.  But this baggage hurts us so we must forgive.

Making peace is not retaliating in kind.  It is not shaming, not trying to mold the other person to our own image, not demanding perfect contrition.  It is rather an opportunity for reconciliation and mercy, gentleness and peace.  As we have been forgiven by a merciful God in spite of our own unworthiness, we too must forgive without strings attached.  We are all imperfect.  We all hurt and sin.  We all need forgiveness and reconciliation.

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THINK AND BE

Over the years I have read the same saying from various religious faiths,  cultural beliefs, and philosophies, namely, that “we become that which we think”.  In other words, the beliefs and accompanying feelings that we hold true and “feed”, tend to grow and spread.  If we are full of hate, anger, jealousy, pride, judgment, and disgust we will continue to “find” things, people or events to grow and prove these feelings.  When we focus on negative and/or destructive things, they gain strength and will eventually crowd out other beliefs and feelings that are more positive, empowering, and nourishing.   Slowly but surely we get sucked into the same behaviors that we originally were opposing.  We are appalled at the destructiveness of a terrorist and then we find ourselves responding with hate and violence too.  We must respond to evil with good, to hate with love, to violence with kindness, to intolerance with tolerance, and so on.  This is not to say that evil doesn’t exist or that we turn a blind eye to it.  But it does mean that we do not become a part of it and do not feed it.

Changing our thinking and behaving isn’t easy, but it is possible.  We can begin to accept the humanness of people and to try and find the good in them.  We can reach out into the world with love and compassion and we will find the same.  It takes a commitment to an attitude adjustment and then to a behavior change.  Good branches bear good fruit.  It sounds trite, but it isn’t.  Feed that which you want to get in return.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  All spiritual thinkers and writers have known this for thousands of years.

Consider the Prayer of St. Francis and make a decision to be a force for good and healing  in the world :

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury, pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love;for it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.  Amen

So it is in dying to self-serving interests, judgment, violence, hate, anger, greed, pride and all other destructive thoughts and behaviors that we are truly born again into Life, a life of peace, purpose, healing, love, compassion, service, and happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I pray for the  healing of all divisions that threaten to tear our families, communities and beloved country apart.  Lets all be a part of the healing not part of the destructiveness.  Each one of us can make a difference.  I pray that you will be blessed with love and peace this holiday season and all through the year.

 

 

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ODE TO MY IPHONE: random thoughts about our seeming obsession with our phones.

You remind me of a needy child, always following me around, attached to my hip, and begging for attention with your swooshes, beeps and bells.

I lay you down and try to leave you alone so I can let my ears and senses rest, but soon the pull on my heart and mind draw me back for more.  What’s happened while I was away?  Did you call out to me?

So I come back, all ready for more.  Maybe I’m the one who is needy – for the affirmation that there is someone out there who wants me to play, talk, and to connect.

**A happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.  Let’s unplug and connect in the good old fashioned way this year.  Blessings to all.  NDR

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