Uncategorized

Good morning  ~

I wanted to send you this prayer that someone had shared with me. I hope you find it to be a good start to your day today (or tomorrow, or the next day…)

Lord,

I give you all that I am this day.
Please brush away my weariness,
So that I may be inspired in my work.
Help me to discover new ways to reveal your love to all I meet.
Keep my mind clear and focused on all I need to achieve,
And give me the wisdom to overcome difficulties and find solutions.
I look to you and trust you are with me this day.

Amen.

Love & prayers,
+Megan

Read more

I don’t know if you ever have the same experience, but it seems over the last few months that I keep recognizing Catholic teaching everywhere – even in the most unexpected places and from people who aren’t even Catholic.

One of the biggest is the dignity of life. I was loosly watching Netflix’s documentary on Bill Gates while folding laundry and a phrase caught my ear that made me put down the towel I was folding and rewind it.

Bill Gates was discussing the massive projects that the Gates Foundation was tackling – namely eradicating Polio and stopping the hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths caused by diarrhea.

The billions of dollars they’ve spent on these projects? To that he says the outcomes totally worth it because there is nothing more precious than a human life. 

When I was digging around looking to educate myself on Catholic Social Teachings, in every document I found,  “Dignity of the Human Person” (or some iteration of that) was always first on the list.

If you’re curious about the list, here it is from the Minnesota Catholic Conference:

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s Creatures.

I’ve never claimed to be the best chatichised Catholic on the planet, and as of 24 hours ago I didn’t even know that there were 7 themes of Catholic social teaching.  But now my curiosity is piqued and and can’t wait to learn more, and hopefully challenge myself out of my comfort zone. 

I hope you’ll join me 🙂

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

The phrase “Lead me Lord” has been going through my head for days.

And not just the phrase, but the hymn as well:

Lead me Lord, Lead me Lord by the light of truth, to seek and to find the narrow way. Be my way, be my truth, be my light my Lord, and lead me Lord, today.

It seems I put my head down and get busy with the “doing” in life that I forget to look up and see where I’m going. 

And I guess that’s why Jesus is our Shepherd. The sheep are free to keep their heads down and graze while He watches out for our well-being. 

“But am I doing this right?” It’s the curse of the former teacher-pleasing A-student… I’m always looking to an authority figure for affirmation.

So my question is, when I ask the Lord to lead me, and I don’t understand or hear his answer, how do I know I’m headed in the right direction.

I have no answer here, except to say that I’ve been working really hard on listening. Or I should say LEARNING to listen. 

So now as I’m catching myself humming “Lead me Lord”, I’m switching to a prayer of “teach me to listen”. 

I hope I’m a quick study.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

In Luke 10:27 we are told “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

“Heart”, “being”, “strength” and “mind” cover a lot of bases. What is left to NOT love God with?

Nothing. We are to hold nothing back from Him. 

Even if we think we have nothing, we still have the breath coming out of our lungs. We are to use that breath to love God. 

And yet, this still does not hold a candle to the perfect love He has for us. 

You are loved. You are cherished. 

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

Yesterday while waiting in line at the bank, I overheard one woman ask another about her faith life, starting with “If you died today, do you know where you would go?”

That question made me uncomfortable for a few different reasons – and it wasn’t even directed at me.

But clearly this woman was much better at a few Spiritual Works of Mercy than I am. She started conversations with no less than 3 different people while I was waiting, and in each of them she was trying to bring the message of Christ our Savior to her listeners.

With that in mind, I went home and looked up the Spiritual Works of Mercy (because I certainly can’t name them all from memory). 

Being the introverted Midwesterner that I am, I can say with certainty that the first 3 give me anxiety because they involve putting myself in front of someone who may not want to hear what I have to say, and saying it anyway. 

The long and short of it is – take a look at the list below. What opportunities do you have in the next 72 hours to perform 4 of these 7?

To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To admonish the sinners.
To bear patiently those who wrong us.
To forgive offenses.
To comfort the afflicted.
To pray for the living and the dead.

The point of these Works is to alleviate others’ spiritual suffering, not to metion how they please God as you become a means of spreading grace.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

First of all, I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate that you take the time to read my posts. These Tuesday posts especially have a little part of my heart in each one.

And it’s often the Tuesday emails that I get a lot of responses from, mostly good feedback, but occasionally from someone who has a lot of hurt. 

I used to react very defensively (and sometimes I still do), but mostly I just pray for them because there seems to be an absence of grace or the presence of pain. For whatever reason – whether they read my email at a bad time, it brought up something the reader doesn’t want to acknowledge as a weakness in themself, or they somehow feel attacked – they hit the “reply” button and express their pain.

My heart goes out to these people. I pray they find the comfort they need.

These situations make me turn the mirror back on myself.

When do I act out with frustration instead of grace?

There are times when I’m itching for a fight, and it’s so easy to take someone’s words out of context and twist them into something I can be offended about. 

Then I can really let ’em have it! But that never helps. 

It’s like I’m expecting it to be a release valve to let some pressure off, but instead I just end up feeling worse – sorry that I hurt someone, mad at myself (but trying to justify it), angrier than I was before.

Thank goodness we have God. Thank God for the sacraments. Only He can perfect us. Only he can justify us. 

As humans we are imperfect. We can try to extend grace to one another, we will fail, but we should always try again.

Love to all,

+Megan

Read more

Why are you holding back?

Do you ever look around at the people in your parish and identify those who you think are REALLY holy… I mean like WAY holier than you think you are capable of?

Any maybe you watch them with a bit of admiration tinged with jealousy?

Why is it so easy for them to be so comfortable with God?

Well… who said it was easy?

And is that what’s holding you back?

Fear. 

Fear is not of God. 

We are told “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.”

Our faith is a gift. We have been entrusted with it.

This is my thought pattern: Ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to know how short I’m falling of true communion with God. Because if I had that deep knowledge, He would ask something of me that would be very hard. The more of His gifts I accept, the more responsibility I will have, and it might be really hard.

Sheer terror. 

What I need to keep reminding myself over and over (and over), is this: Sure, from the perspective of where I’m at now, that might seem scary. But how God will strengthen me and prepare me for what He’s going to ask of me will make me capable.

Think of it this way: As a little kid – like 6 or 7 years old, I’d watch the varsity basketball team play – heck even a middle school team play – and watch with awe at how well they could dribble and shoot.  But by the time I got to middle school, dribbling and shooting wasn’t that hard.

What I’m saying is that no one should hold back from diving in head first into their faith and activly seeking a greater bond with God. 

Don’t let fear hold you back. Embrace the coming challenge knowing that you have the Power of Heaven at your side.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

What is your vision? (read to the end to find out what angle to use)

I want to light hearts and souls on fire.

And I don’t know if I can.

Certainly not without the help of the Holy Spirit. And, as it turns out, not without outreach.

***

As a small business owner, I’m constantly looking for ways to get better at all-things-sales.

One of the questions that comes up in one of my business-owners groups is “What is your vision?” And most people’s answer deals with monetary goals.

I find myself in this akward place of 1) reflecting on what really matters in my life, and 2) the need to make a profit to make any of it a reality. 

I tell you this because I want to give you an example of where it can be really hard to get wrapped up in the problems in this world that won’t matter in the next.

And money is one of those things that has zero value in the next.

But there is this dichotomy of being able to realize my vision of being one of God’s tools to light souls on fire, and the need to be able to sustain ourselves in order to do it.

So while in prayer the phrase “in and not of” is repeating in my mind over and over. I think God is communicating with me and I’m missing the message.

I have a vision of success, and when I dig into it there is an element of personal glory. That’s where I’m getting caught up. I can’t claim to know God’s plan for me. I might simply be a stepping stone for someone else’s glory.

But that’s not the narrative that modern society teaches us to have. Instead we are filling with phrases like “follow your bliss” and encouraged to seek our “Personal Legend”. We are told (and it’s easy to believe) that finding noteriety is how we can impact the world.

Pause….

I want to tell you about a woman who from the perspective of an outside observer might appear to have been a “nobody”. She was small in stature, born and raised, lived and died in and around a town of about 200 people and poor as a church mouse. Her name is unknown to most, but she was a shining example of the Love of God and love FOR God.

She and her husband shared a love for each other that was eclipsed only by their love for God. Together they raised 9 children. Money was never abundant, but she showered her loved ones with food, time, and prayers. The family had what they needed, but never much more than that.

This woman was my grandma, and I pray every day to become just a fraction of the saint that she was. 

There was no fairy-tale ending of “it all worked out in the end” other than when she died she was surrounded by the love of her family, and I doubt more than a few pennies to her name. 

***

To have a Vision insinuates to have an end in mind. When you are contemplating the grand Vision for your life, what are you looking at?

Are you looking at retirement? Are you looking at the rung of the ladder you want to get to?

What about the invisible impact that you will never know about? What about your final thoughts as you draw your last breath? Forget the security of a well funded 401(k) for a minute and think about the near end when money has zero value to you.

What is your vision for that moment in your life?

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

Make love an action.

In the Douay-Rheims Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 reads:

4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 

We are much more familiar with these bible verses with the word “Love” instead of “Charity”. 

When I first saw this about a decade ago, I had an instant shift in perspective of what Love is. In my mind it shifted from a feeling waiting to blossom, to a choice.

We are called to love one another. We are not called to LIKE each other (thank goodness… that could be infinitely many times harder). But when we are called to love one another, we are not being told to have feelings of affection.

Instead we are told to take action, to be patient with one another and not to try to one-up each other. 

Every one of us has dignity, regardless of political affiliation, race, beliefs or sins on our souls. 

As I think back to a time when I was dating my future husband, I remember asking myself “Do I LOVE love him? How do I know?” That was the wrong question to ask. Love is more than a feeling. Love is an action. It’s actions you take even when it’s hard. It’s action that supports the dignity of those around you. 

Imagine how terrible life would be if love was just a feeling. It would come and go with the whims of the wind, like feeling tired or mirthful. It’d be a smiple adjective. 

Love is so much more powerful as a verb.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

After Mass is a great time to dawdle.

Our church offers “Last Chance Mass” on Sunday nights in the summer time, and I’m finding that I love it. 

I love ending my weekend in the slightly chilly church, surrounded by my fellow parishoners who have just returned from a weekend away. The entire congregation is comfortably intent on hearing the message Father has for us. 

The tone seems a different from Sunday morning… more relaxed and open maybe? As if we accomplished something in the last two days and are seeking renewing grace to enter the new week with vigor.

Perhaps it’s the oppressive heat outside, or maybe the thirst of the particular group of people, but it seems as if this group wouldn’t mind if Father took an extra 20 minutes in his homily. No one is rushed to move on with their day. No one is restlessly checking their watch. 

To have absolutely nothing to do, and nowhere to be after Mass is a blessing. Instead of “getting what we came for” and moving on with our grocery shopping, brunch, lawn care, etc.

**************

There is something special about that quiet time after Father recesses out of the sactuary.  I think the Sunday night Masses’ is just more noticeable because it’s more languid and drawn out.

But that same moment exists in the “reglar” Sunday morning Masses, too. I encourage you to take a beat after the final hymn this weekend and experience it for yourself.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more