For the days and times when we so experience our woundedness and faults and wonder how God can still love us:
God likes me covered with my creaturehood
and with my limits spread across His face.
He likes to see me lifting to His eyes
even the wretchedness that dropped His grace.
~Jessica Powers (from “Creature of God”)
“People have said, ‘Don’t cry’ to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, ‘I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.’ I’d rather have them say, ‘Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.'” (Mister Rogers)
“It doesn’t matter really how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord–then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.” (Hudson Taylor)
I keep a number of encouraging and important personal papers in the zipper pouch of my bible cover. They are easily accessible for me to pull out and look at whenever I wish. But here’s a great idea, too.
“I find that joy can be overwhelmed. Just as a migraine can ruin a picnic, painful happenings can eclipse joy. In a hard time recently, I remembered a friend’s grandmother showing me her ‘joy safe,’ a wooden box in which she kept things that connected her with joy and reminded her of God’s presence. I started my own box last week with two things: a button from the uniform my father wore when he came safely home from war and a note from a grandchild who had been kept back in third grade: ‘Grandma! I got all A’s. I’m gonna make it.'” (Patricia Livingston)
What would you put in your joy safe to help you remember God’s presence in your life?
One of the things I love about the week after Easter is that the Church relates to each day of the octave as though it is Easter Day. In the Preface of Easter I, the priest is directed to pray during the octave: “We praise you with greater joy than ever on this Easter day when Christ became our paschal sacrifice.” (Unfortunately most of the priests where I attend daily Mass pray “in this Easter season.”) In the Liturgy of the Hours, we pray Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer of Easter Day all week. To me this is a foretaste of heaven when each day will be as the first. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!”
I always find this kind of reflection on the Easter appearances full of great hope for folks like me: “Jesus moves among men and women–even if it means passing through doors locked from within” (Jn 20.19-23). (Fr. William M. Joensen) Many of us frequently–or continually–bolt the doors of our hearts from within, yet we long for Christ to come to us. We can have great hope . . . for He is the One who can enter “through doors locked from within.”