“Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.”

Last week I mentioned that the only legacy you can leave that will last forever is how many souls you help get to heaven.

This was by no means a call to perfection. Instead, ask yourself “What is one thing I can do differently today (or this week) that will allow God’s love to shine through me?”

or

“What knowledge can I seek that will bring me closer to God?” Because if you are closer to Him, your growing love and grace will naturally shine through for others to see.

You don’t have to be out on the street corner preaching the gospel. It’s about using the unique gifts God gave you to reach those who need to hear/see/witness the power of His love.

No grand gestures necessary, just a little bit here and there is fine. 

What matters is that you decide to make a change, and then do it. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe it’s flashing a friendly smile at your barista at the coffee shop when you usually just grab your cup and go.

Maybe it’s thanking your spouse for something they do all the time to keep your household running.

What is that one tiny shift you can make today that expresses His love?

And then tomorrow you add just a little bit more. Then the next day and the next….

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

The only legacy you can leave that will last forever is how many souls you helped get to heaven.

Buildings –  even those that have stood the test of time and are iconic to our faith – are temporary.

Intellectual contributions won’t be enough to keep your name on everyone’s lips for eternity. Not even if you’re Plato.

Material riches are as good as dust. Businesses and charities will eventually close.  Bank accounts and treasuries will empty or become worthless.

The only thing you can do to make a permanent difference is help souls get to heaven. That’s it. 

That’s all that matters.

You have 2 jobs: 1) Get to heaven, and 2) get as many souls there as you can.

Love to all,
+Megan

PS – Update on Notre Dame  in Paris:

1- The roof is gone, but the stone arch under the roof is still there.

2- 2 of the 3 rose windows are still in place

3- The main structure is still standing. Notre Dame did not burn down.

4- The relics and sacred objects are safe.

Read more

Thank God you were called in the first place.

Today I want you to simply think back across the last week to a time where you were answering God’s call. Maybe you didn’t even know you were doing it at the time. 

Here’s a few hints as to when that occurred:

1. You choose grace over anger – You know those times where it would be really easy to get upset, (like when they mess up your order at a restaurant, or your child spills their milk across the dinner table) and instead you smiled and extended grace. That feeling of peace and joy? That’s the result of you saying “yes” to God’s call to grace.

That inner experience of peace, joy and energy is Hint #1.

2. You received a sacrament  – Perhaps last week was a rough one and all you were able to eek out was Sunday Mass. That’s a great place to start. You were in the physical Presence of Jesus Christ – Body, Blood Soul and Divinity!  How awesome is that?!

3. You were an example – It’s starting to warm up here, and preparing my garden for plants (which won’t be ready to go in the ground for another 6 weeks) is a large, looming task. This weekend I did a lot of hard work without complaint because I want my daughters to see the joy gardening can bring. No amount of talking or handing over a book to read can replace the examples I set for them.

What examples have you laid out for those around you (including strangers) that “show off” the beauty of your faith? Even something as small as  picking up a piece of litter in the parking lot counts.

****

Sometimes we hear God’s call and don’t respond, sometimes we act on His call without even knowing we’ve been spoken to.  Take just a minute to recognize where you have answered His call this last week, and offer a prayer of gratitude for being called in the first place.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

Do you need a little spiritual nudge? Has there been something on your mind that you haven’t had a nice long conversation with God about?

It’s none of my business, I don’t want to know your answer, but I felt compelled to ask.

This week, when the Spirit moves you, stretch your spiritual muscles a bit. 

I have a little booklet you might find some guidance or comfort in. It’s meant to help you  “tune one’s inner attention to the presence of the Lord.” You can find it here.

Love and prayers,
+Megan

Read more

Where’s the FIRE!?

Maybe it’s because we’re setting record low temperatures this week, maybe it’s because our water heater died last night, but I am compelled to talk about lukewarm faith today.

Because then I get to talk about fire (and I’m really cold right now).

I was recently going through a marketing exercise, and asked what the villain is that our company fights against. Obviously Satan is the easy answer. 

But when I dug down to it, what really gets me fired up, is fighting against Spiritual Apathy, aka Lukewarm Faith.

I remember when I first found the term “Lukewarm Faith” when I was praying my first Divine Mercy novena. There’s an entire day dedicated to praying for those suffering from lukewarm faith.

(…and I say “suffering”, but many people don’t know that they are suffering when they’re lukewarm. It’s a paradox.)

It struck me so much because that was me. That IS me. I battle lukewarmness cyclically. 

I am drawn to Catherine of Siena’s famous quote “Be who God Meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Every time I find myself circling the drain of inspiration (Inspire = “In Spirit”) , I start looking around at how I’m using the gifts God gave me, and it becomes pretty obvious that I’m not using my  God-given talents, and instead trying to be/get/accomplish something that is outside what God has planned for me.

I have a few different remedies I turn to:

1) Brute Force – This is where I set aside a half hour in my day, bust out my rosary, and follow that with a conversation with God. Ending with 5-8 minutes of just listening. 

2) Seek Knowledge – The wealth of tradition and history of the Church ensures there are always books I haven’t read, whether about a saint I can relate with.

3) Confession – I’ll be hounding you about this all Lent 😉

4) Lectio Divina – Digesting a specific passage of the bible prayerfully.

What do you do when you find yourself getting spiritually lazy?

Love to all,
+Megan

Maybe it’s because we’re setting record low temperatures this week, maybe it’s because our water heater died last night, but I am compelled to talk about lukewarm faith today.

Because then I get to talk about fire (and I’m really cold right now).

I was recently going through a marketing exercise, and asked what the villain is that our company fights against. Obviously Satan is the easy answer. 

But when I dug down to it, what really gets me fired up, is fighting against Spiritual Apathy, aka Lukewarm Faith.

I remember when I first found the term “Lukewarm Faith” when I was praying my first Divine Mercy novena. There’s an entire day dedicated to praying for those suffering from lukewarm faith.

(…and I say “suffering”, but many people don’t know that they are suffering when they’re lukewarm. It’s a paradox.)

It struck me so much because that was me. That IS me. I battle lukewarmness cyclically. 

I am drawn to Catherine of Siena’s famous quote “Be who God Meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Every time I find myself circling the drain of inspiration (Inspire = “In Spirit”) , I start looking around at how I’m using the gifts God gave me, and it becomes pretty obvious that I’m not using my  God-given talents, and instead trying to be/get/accomplish something that is outside what God has planned for me.

I have a few different remedies I turn to:

1) Brute Force – This is where I set aside a half hour in my day, bust out my rosary, and follow that with a conversation with God. Ending with 5-8 minutes of just listening. 

2) Seek Knowledge – The wealth of tradition and history of the Church ensures there are always books I haven’t read, whether about a saint I can relate with.

3) Confession – I’ll be hounding you about this all Lent 😉

4) Lectio Divina – Digesting a specific passage of the bible prayerfully.

What do you do when you find yourself getting spiritually lazy?

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

Good morning  –

First of all — let’s just agree to NOT mention all the typos in Friday’s email. Not my best work.

I’m going to plow ahead and talk about a practice that a dear friend turned me on to. 

We were at a Catholic Women’s group and she began our group prayer with “Come Holy Spirit.”

She let the words rest, and she repeated the words: “Come Holy Spirit.”

Once again she left just a bit of silence settle and prayed one more time “Come Holy Spirit”.

From there she continued with leading our prayer. 

This opening took no longer than ten seconds (I don’t think – I wasn’t timing it), but the effect was enormous. In nine words the mood of the room shifted as we remembered our purpose for gathering and centered ourselves around the presence of God. 

I’ve started using this in my little prayer pockets during the day. I’d like to hear the effect this has on your prayer life once you try it out.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

A New Perspective on the Weather.

As a South Dakotan, we probably get 3 perfect days a year… 72 – 76 degrees, sunny, no wind, no bugs. 

Three glorious days where no one is complaining about the weather.

Today as I look out my office window and remember I have no reason to be outside in the 13 sparse degrees allotted to us, I get to enjoy the sun.

It’s gloriously bright outside. A fresh layer of white snow is causing me to squint against the abundant light streaming in from outside. The indoor lights are useless today.

Thank you God for this sunny day! I haven’t thanked you for the weather lately. The sun today is heavenly, and for that I am grateful! 

I hope you can always find something to be grateful for.  On the dark rainy days we get to put off mowing one more day. On bitterly cold snowy days we can curl up with a family member and a book. 

It’s the stark contrast of the bad days that make the good ones so much sweeter.

And on those rare, perfect days we can just be in awe.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

I know the depth and breadth of our Catholic faith can get overwhelming.  There is always something more to learn or uncover.

Prayer, history, Saints, Catechism, traditions… when I stop and think about the mountain of information that faces those coming to our church via RCIA, I have to admire them. Even if these wonderful souls are intimidated by all of that, they press on because of the Eucharist.

The other day I was feeling sorry for myself because I had taken on too much. I was falling behind on serving my customers well and being a great mom to my children because I was being stretched in other directions. 

In the midst of all of this I found myself in Mass on Sunday morning feeling completely disconnected. Noting that I was relying on a feeling (which we’ve talked about here before), I prayed.

I didn’t even know how to start… Should I ask for something? Be grateful? I ended up just having a flow of consciousness prayer – laying it all out there. What was frustrating me, how I was disappointing myself, expectations that were left unmet.

I found comfort in knowing that God just wanted my presence at that moment. I didn’t have to go find another saint to be inspired by, I didn’t have to decipher the meaning of a paragraph in the Catechism or read the writings of St. Benedict.

I just had to be present at Mass.Thank God for the sacraments. Thank God for the grace we receive in Confession and in the Eucharist. 

He’s not adding to my burdens. Our relationship is not meant to be a mental exercise. 

We are welcome at His feast, we can lay our burdens down and find rest in Him.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

I like getting a good chuckle at Mass.

This Sunday we had a special Mass for our Confirmation candidates, and Father referred to confirmation as one of the “pickle sacraments.” Once you’ve received it, it can’t be undone.

So I ask you this… Have I been living under a rock? I thought that was hysterical! I’ve never heard that phrase before.

I’ve done a Google search, and nothing came up. I don’t think Google has failed me since 2004. 

Back to the topic at hand… Once you are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be undone. The pickle cannot go back to being a cucumber.

God will not leave you. He is Love.

Remember, you wear the His seal.  And thank God for that!

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more

When is the last time you changed your mind because of a sermon?

Does this sound familiar?

I have a bad habit of sitting in Mass, listening to the sermon, and thinking “I’m glad Father is bringing this up, because there are a lot of people in here who need their minds changed about this issue.”

And other times, “Man is he off about that! How dare Father make veiled declarations about politics?”

It begs the question: How open are we to have our minds and hearts changed?

Whether it’s something political, tithing, or simply the importance of saying the rosary every day, sometimes it’s too painful to hear how I’m falling short. So instead I turn the homily outward and look for ways that it’s OK to stay how I am because someone else is “doing it worse”.

It begs the question: When is the last time I opened my heart and mind to change? 

What opportunities do you have to reconcile your ideas to the teachings of the Catholic Church?

I struggle with some church teachings. I’ll be the first to admit that. So my challenge is finding out :

1. What is the Church really saying on this issue? (get clear)

2. Why do I think so strongly otherwise? Why am I resistant to change my mind on this? (what’s driving my resistance?)

3. What little nugget of truth can I grasp that will allow me to put a tiny crack in my current beliefs? (change my perspective)

The next time you find yourself thinking “This doesn’t apply to me”, challenge that voice and search that resistance for opportunities to grow your faith.

Love to all,
+Megan

Read more