Monday, April 25, 2016

Feast of Divine Mercy--What Is God's Will For Your Life? Pray to Find Out.

Blessed Mother Teresa found her calling, the call within the call as she described it. Her calling was to the poorest of the poor and she had to change direction in her life, from being a teaching nun to going out onto the streets of Calcutta.  Many of the saints have said that the most important thing in life is uniting your will to the will of God. Sometimes we might be doing great things for the Lord, but it might not be what God's will is for your life. It's tricky finding out the will of God and then acting on it. Mother Teresa was successful, her beautiful and noble work for the poor continues after her death. What a great tribute to sanctity and fulfilling the will of God that her work continues in so many places in the world.

On Divine Mercy Sunday, I spent the day in prayer and sharing knowledge.  I spent part of the day in prayer during Eucharistic Adoration, in reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and I gave a talk on St. Faustina and divine mercy. I led participants in prayer and others did as well. I knew it would be a powerful day because it was the Feast day of Divine Mercy in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. I mentioned that in my talk that it was a special day which wouldn't happen again in our lifetimes, the Feast Day landing in the Year of Mercy.  The 3:00 PM hour was especially grace-filled.  It took me some time to realize the affect it had on me, but what I think happened that day, for me, in my own spiritual journey is that God made it clear to me that something I've been working on has to be completed. That's God will. I feel it strongly. I procrastinate, sometimes, which of course is not good. I wonder if anyone will read the book I have to finish but that's not important ...what's important is that I get it done.

So that was the "fruit" of Divine Mercy Sunday, the grace of the day for me. I wonder what the others were given because I'm sure graces were given freely and abundantly that day. I was given direction. Now I have to act.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Poverty and the Zika Virus and Pope Francis' Call To Help the Poor

As Pope Francis so often reminds us, we can't forget about our poor and marginalized brothers and sisters in the world. Those who are trapped in poverty cannot overcome their situation without help. We can all do more.
I sponsor a little girl from a third world country and through my monthly giving, I help her to have basic necessities that her family could not otherwise afford. I give to other charities as well.
But we can all do more.
I recently read an article in the New York Times written by a medical doctor,  Dr. Peter Hotez, who is warning that the Zika virus spread by a certain type of mosquito and which is believed to be responsible for babies being born with a devastating brain birth defect (microcephaly), will soon spread in areas of poverty in the southern United States.  As he wrote in the article ("Zika is Coming"), "In crowded places, mosquitoes have lots of access to lots of people. Poor people often live in proximity to garbage, including old tires, plastic containers and drainage ditches filled with stagnant water, where this species of mosquito lives and breeds. And they often have homes with torn screens on their windows. The combination creates ideal conditions for the Zika virus to spread."
He also wrote that "the extremely poor cities of Brazil's northeastern states make up the epicenter of the epidemic."
I've seen pictures of Brazilian mothers holding and comforting their babies who have been born with small heads and brain damage. It is heartbreaking to see these poor mothers who have so few resources to begin with, now having to care for these babies. They need help from charitable organizations and from government agencies.
So Pope Francis' message of compassion for the poor and more equality and better paying jobs and opportunities for the poor, wherever they exist in the world, is needed now more than ever.  When will we listen and act upon his wisdom?