Grace like a game of hearts

In cards,

when you find yourself losing a game of hearts,

you can secretly decide to accept it-

it’s called shooting the moon.

If you manage to lose completely,

you actually win-

it’s a path to victory.

In faith,

when you find your heart aching from the trials of life,

you can secretly decide to accept it –

it’s called surrender.

If you manage to fully let go,

you can embrace God’s plan-

and stand with Him in victory.

Lord, thank You for calling us ever deeper into Your mystery. Please give us the grace to let go of our attachment to the physical to more fully embrace Your spiritual presence in our lives.  

Related Scripture

Luke 17:33 Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Peace in troubled times

Fiery chaos surrounds me,

but You are the still waters in my soul.

Through prayer,

I retreat-

into the silence of Your presence,

and I am not burned.

Thank You for the promise of Your perfect peace, and

Thank You for sustaining us through it all.

 

Related Scripture

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

 

 

Miracles and Mysteries

When my infant son Dylan was miraculously healed of kidney disease after being prayed over by a healing priest, I was on fire with the Holy Spirit. My prayers had been answered in a profound way, and my world had been rocked.

Where before I had believed in God and prayed for healing miracles, now I had witnessed one first hand and had had an undeniable mystical experience, which profoundly increased my faith in God’s presence with us on earth. My life was changed forever.

I wanted to shout it from the rooftops: “God heals! Miracles happen!” When I did start telling people what happened, I quickly realized that sharing faith is about more than just miracle stories.

People have very real, very deep emotions and even anger at God, due to the unanswered prayers of their own lives. Many people doubt that God heals today like He did when He walked the earth. Instead of being the inspiration I hoped for, I learned that sharing miracle stories can trigger pain, anger, doubt, grief and other primal unprocessed emotions in many people, which need to be worked through.

I think this is understandable. Though I have been blessed with the gift of faith through trials, I have certainly gone through the gamut of emotions about seemingly unanswered prayers over the years.  Grief isn’t an easy process, and many people get stuck in it and lose their faith along the way.

I’ve realized that sharing faith with others is about more than sharing the spiritual highs and miracles we are blessed with. Though miracles can increase hope, truly sharing faith requires us to walk with people through pain, connecting to them on an emotional level through the trials of life and supporting their efforts to seek God through it all.

This is ultimately what Jesus did on the cross. In taking on the fullness of human suffering and even injustice, He emotionally and mystically connected with every human experience in order to redeem our relationship with God.

God has always tried to draw people to Him by connecting with us, wherever we are emotionally. For example in the Psalms, we are blessed with the full expresssion of every human emotion in right relationship to God. They help us realize that nothing we go through is new or unique – suffering is just a normal part of the spiritual journey, as are glorious unfathomable miracles.

As Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”

Through my writing over time, I hope to share the fullness of the trials and joys of what it really means to walk in a life of faith. Hopefully I’ll connect with some aching hearts along the way and help them open up to the infinite miraculous possibilities, which are born of faith.

What experiences have you had with miracles and unanswered prayers? Comment below, and I’ll lift you in prayer, wherever you’re at on your faith journey. God bless you to live a life rich with faith and miracles, even through hard times. 

Growing in spiritual maturity

When I first sensed the marvel of Your presence in my heart,

I was drawn like a child to a carnival ride.

I perceived Your power and imagined

You’d take me further and faster –

exactly where I wanted to go,

I said yes.

Years of wholehearted yeses later,

I’ve learned that the richness of Your Spirit is the

journey, goal and destination –

in and of Itself.

You haven’t taken me any further,

only deeper-

into love.

I haven’t gained anything,

only lost –

my illusions.

Yet You continue to enchant me and

somehow draw me in, voluntarily –

through the pain of letting go,

into the richness of prayerful silence

and contemplation of Your unfathomable treasure trove

of mysteries.

Unanswered prayers

While my head was bowed in despair from grief,

under the cover of darkness-

God lifted me into the journey of a lifetime.

Across a vast, deep canyon,

through still waters

He carried me

into greater beauty-

wisdom and

authenticity.

I was blind,

but now safely on the other side,

I see.

I wanted life to be easier –

now I’m grateful for unanswered prayers

and a God, who works in the pitch black night of the soul

to deliver us

into His greater glory.

 

Purification prayer

Jesus, You are perfect love.

I want you to know I am willing

to walk

through the fire for You.

Refine me.

Melt away every darkness

that stops me

from allowing You to work freely in my life-

Purify my will,

desires,

intellect,

imagination and

memories …

meld me to Your designs.

I invite the fire of Your Spirit into all of who I am and

can be –

I want to be sanctified –

a gemstone of light,

burning from within,

radiating pure Divinity –

I entrust myself to You completely.

Guidance prayer

Sometimes, life is complicated.

I can’t see far enough ahead to know-

I’m not sure, where this path leads-

or that one-

When I don’t know,

I remember: Faith is simple. 

I know who I want to follow.

I know how to call on Him with a prayer,

and I know how to listen

for His gentle whispers

in the quiet

of my soul.

Lord, guide feet as they fall to the ground.

Light paths,

open eyes …

Take hands, and

gently lead us

along the narrow pathway,

beyond our limits-

into the Light of Your Love.