Don’t Hide Your Gifts!

Are the gifts that God has given you meant to be kept for yourself (i.e., hidden)? The lamp in Gospel reading (Mark 4:21-25) is the light of Christ within you. Every good gift that you’ve received — your talents, your hard-earned money, your wisdom, your home, etc. — is a beam of the light of Christ trying to shine outward from you.

Why do we sometimes hide our gifts? It’s because we think they’re not enough — not good enough, not ready enough, or not humble enough to show them to others and let them shine.

We are treasure chests full of gifts! To share these treasures requires exposing ourselves, opening up the lid and letting others look inside to pick up and use the gifts that could benefit them. Does the thought of that make you feel too vulnerable?

We cannot do much for the kingdom of God without exposing what we naturally want to protect. Jesus exposed his back to the scourging whips, his head to thorns, and his body to the pain of the cross, because he loves you! Are you willing to expose his presence within you by sharing your gifts so that others may discover that Jesus loves them, too? Read more…

Saint Colette de Corbie

colettedecorbieSaint Colette (13 January 1381 – 6 March 1447), born Nicole Boellet, was born in Corbie in the Picardy region of France, in January 1381, to Robert Boellet, a poor carpenter at the noted Benedictine Abbey of Corbie, and to his wife, Marguerite Moyon. Her contemporary biographers say that her parents had grown old without having children, before praying to Saint Nicholas for help in having a child. Their prayers were answered when, at the age of 60, Marguerite gave birth to a daughter. Out of gratitude, they named the baby after the saint to whom they credited the miracle of her birth.

The little girl took great pleasure in prayer, in compassion for the poor, and in rigorous mortification, making of her soul and of her tender body a sacrifice to God. On the other hand, St Colette de Corbie asked God to deprive her of the rare beauty she possessed, which she believed might be the occasion of danger to herself and others; that request, too, was granted, and Colette developed features of a severe cast which inspired great respect.

When both her parents had died, St Colette de Corbie, at the age of 22, obtained the permission of the Church authorities to shut herself up in a small abode directly adjoining the church; from a small window in it she could see the Blessed Sacrament. There she expected to spend the remainder of her life as an anchoress.

Almighty God had destined St Colette for something extraordinary. In a series of visions Colette saw, as it were, the whole corrupt social fabric of her age, collapsing into destruction like leaves swept into a furnace. There was nothing exaggerated in her visions. She could almost have seen the reality by looking out of the window. Then she saw St Francis come before the Lord, and kneeling down, he begged, “Lord, give me this woman for the reform of my Order.” Read more…

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.”

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.” ~ Erma Bombeck

#MoralStory: Robby and His Piano Lessons

This is a true story from a a former elementary school music teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, named Mildred Honor.

During those years I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the pleasure of having a prodigy, I have taught some very talented students. However, I have also had my share of what I call ‘musically challenged’ pupils – one such pupil being Robby.

Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his mother’s dream to hear him play the piano, so I took him as a student.

Well, Robby began his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary piano pieces that I require all my students to learn. Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him.

At the end of each weekly lesson he would always say ‘My mom’s going to hear me play someday’. But to me, it seemed hopeless, he just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled, but never dropped in.

Then one day Robby stopped coming for his lessons. I thought about calling him, but assumed that because of his lack of ability he had decided to pursue something else. I was also glad that he had stopped coming – he was a bad advertisement for my teaching! Read more…

Steady My Heart

*

Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy?
Why is pain a part of us?
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You’re here
You’re real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart

I’m not gonna worry
I know that You’ve got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What’s good and what gets broken
Happens just the way You plan

You are here
You’re real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady…

* Read more…

#ShortNews: Pope to G20: give priority to the poor

In a message to world leaders participating in the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Pope Francis urged them to “give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, those suffering, the displaced, those excluded, without national, racial, religious or cultural distinction.”

To provide for sustainable and equitable growth, the Pontiff said, world leaders must agree to “resolve economic differences peacefully and to agree on common financial and trade rules to allow integral development of all.” He also insisted that achieving worldwide development “will not be possible unless all parties commit themselves to substantially reducing levels of conflict, halting the present arms race, and renouncing direct or indirect involvement in conflicts.”

Pope Francis made a special plea for help from the world’s wealth nations to those who are living now in acute need “in South Sudan, the Lake Chad basin, the Horn of Africa, and Yemen.” He reported that 30 million people in those regions are facing an imminent danger of starvation.”

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/07/07/pope_francis_message_to_g20/1323678

#ShortNews: 20 million at high risk of famine

The head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, said at a conference in Rome that 20 million people are “severely affected” by a high risk of famine in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.

In addition, 19 nations are in a “protracted crisis situation,” typically because of war, droughts, and floods.

In a message of support to the conference, delivered by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pope Francis called for international recognition of a right to food.

www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/902489/icode/