Just Ask…

“For the one who asks, receives. The one who seeks, finds.
The one who knocks, enters.”

Matthew 7:8

The other day, after a productive morning of writing, I ran out of steam. When this occurs, I usually take a break outdoors or turn to a favorite book. If the weather isn’t cooperating or that book doesn’t help, I look back to my own writing for a bit of help. That day, though my own inspiration had run out, something -or someone- inspired that walk back through my own words. This is what I found…

I’ve been working hard not to do so. Still, I admit to giving in to a bit of discouragement… Many people with greater concerns suffer far more than I. Still, I cannot seem to shake the feeling that I’m getting nowhere fast and that no one seems to care one way or the other. When this occurs, I look beyond my circle of family and friends for support.

Since the Source of my hope resides above, I look upward for encouragement. When I do this, I discover that my discouragement has come from within… It occurs to me that my family and friends do not often hear me say a thing about my heartfelt concerns. For the most part, they are unaware of the things which trouble me most. If this is the case, how can I expect them to respond with the encouragement I long for? It seems to me that I must not only listen well. I must also learn to speak up as needed.

I couldn’t believe what I read! Those of you who read these posts regularly are likely aware that I recently muddled through some tough times. It occurred to me that if I’d followed my own advice and shared more freely with those who love me, I would have emerged far more quickly from my misery.

Loving God, help us all to speak from our hearts to those who love us.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Find The Courage

But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Luke 23:28

The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets The Women of Jerusalem

Once again, it was the women who approached Jesus. In spite of the soldiers’ threat, they stepped up to offer their tears on Jesus’ behalf. Jesus responded by consoling them. Jesus had embraced the road which lay before him. So it was that he encouraged the women to do the same. Jesus made no empty promises regarding the difficulties of life on this earth. What Jesus did offer was his example of persistence and his certainty in the things to come.

It isn’t easy for any of us to live as Jesus did. Though we may not be called to carry a wooden cross beam that is twice our size, we’re often called to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Sometimes, our choices seem small in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes, our choices have far-reaching consequences. Always, what we choose to do makes a world of difference to us and to those we have been given to love both nearby and far away.

Today, I find courage in those brave women who approached Jesus. Today, I’ll respond as they did to everyone I meet along the way.

Loving God, you are with me in everything I do. Help me to be brave enough to behave accordingly.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

A Matter of Time

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long
a time and you still do not know me, Philip?”

From John 14:9

I shouldn’t have taken the comment to heart, but I did. My friend, who was under some serious duress himself, noted that others in our company joined him in questioning the amount of time I spend on “church stuff”. Because he was going through his own tough times, I should have let it go. Still, after we parted, I gave a good deal of thought to what I do and how it affects those around me.

The truth is that I’d already curtailed the time spent on my parish activities. I had said “no” in response to many requests in order to accommodate my own family, my extended family and my friends. I have held onto only those things which only I can do. I do what I do to keep others from experiencing some of the same suffering that this friend and those whom I love have endured.

In the end, I realized that my friend didn’t mean to hurt me, just as I don’t mean to hurt my loved ones by giving time to the things I consider to be important. Perhaps if I share the reasons I do what I do, all concerned will understand.

Gracious God, fill my friend with the energy he needs to face the strife in his life. Gift me with the wisdom to spend my time where it is needed most.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Have Courage

But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Luke 23:28

The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets The Women of Jerusalem… Once again, it is the women who approach Jesus. In spite of the soldiers’ threat, they step up to offer their tears on Jesus’ behalf. Jesus responds by consoling them. Jesus has embraced the road that lay before him. Now, he encourages the women to do the same. Jesus makes no empty promises regarding the difficulties of life on this earth. What Jesus does offer is his example of persistence and certainty in the things to come.

It isn’t easy for any of us to live as Jesus did. Though we may not be called to carry a wooden cross that is twice our size, we are often called to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Sometimes, our choices seem small in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes, our choices have far-reaching consequences. Always, what we choose to do makes a world of difference to us and to those we have been given to love both nearby and far away.

Loving God, help me to find the courage to do the right thing in matters great and small. When it doubt, remind me that I can always turn to you for counsel.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved