Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Advent 2012: What about You?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 10: What about you?

Rise early. Hurry up. Juggle.  Add one, two, three more things to your list. Retire late.

Repeat tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

Still two weeks away from Christmas, and you might already be feeling as if you cannot wait until this season is over. But, wait you must.

How are you going to make it through, especially if you have health challenges that are also stirred up by all the extra activity, festivity, and, yes, stress these days?

For all the things we wish to do for others these days before Christmas, we are only, wonderfully, human. And, far from inviting us to pack each moment with frantic errands and outreach, this Advent time asks us to slow down, take time to think, pray, rest in God’s presence.

Today and going forward, include the question, “What about me?” on your to-do list. Remind yourself to take a few precious moments to pause and reflect in quiet. Breathe deeply in the season, and ask God to abide with you and deepen your faith and peace.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advent 2012: Are You in a Drought?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 9: Are you in a drought?

The readings for today’s mass in the Roman Catholic liturgy begin with a wonderful, action-packed reading from Isaiah, Isaiah 35:1-10. It says, in part:

The desert and the parched land will exult;

the steppe will rejoice and bloom….

Streams will burst forth in the desert,

and rivers in the steppe.

The burning sands will become pools,

 and the thirsty ground, springs of water;

For those who might feel as  if they are living in a drought – a dry, parched, withered period in life when the spirit feels cracked and brittle - this reading  brings much hope. For, even if now is a difficult period, there will be a flood of goodness and life as God’s promise to all is fulfilled.

Waiting can be tiresome, even oppressive. But if we remain firm in prayer and faith, we can be sure that whatever drought we are experiencing will be swept away by a tide of God’s love. And, oh, how we will rejoice and bloom anew!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advent 2012: What Is Your Light?

posted by mpratt

Inage courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 8: What is your light?

What a beautiful time of year this is! Decorations in bright reds and greens, silver and gold adorn homes and shops and schools and streets. And, the lights! Those beautiful lights!

For Advent, starting today, we light two candles on the Advent wreath. The Jewish people celebrating Hannukah will begin lighting candles on their menorahs. And of course, there are lights on trees, bushes – everywhere! Even within ourselves.

Of course, I’m not speaking about a flammable kind of light. No open flamed candle or blazing bonfire. But, just as there are different kinds of lights during this holiday season, each of us has a different way of bringing God’s love and brightness to the world. Yes, even those of us who live with ongoing pain and serious illness. We have light, too, to hold, to give and to share.

A smile that helps others find God’s care expressed. A kind word to a complete stranger. A gift of time, attention, or graciousness – these and other things are our lights to shine in our world.

What is your light? And, how does it shine?

Blessings for the day,
Maureen

Advent 2012: Are You Afraid to Say “Yes”?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of lamnee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 7: Are you afraid to say “Yes”?

Receiving a diagnosis of an illness is never easy. In fact, it might be nearly impossible to understand. Each of us has our own way of dealing with it. For some, the news of putting a name to symptoms is a relief. For others, it is a thing of terror. Still others cannot face such news and do everything they can to avoid or deny it.

Today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are reminded of one woman who said, “Yes” when asked by God to do something completely outside her realm of understanding.  Not “I’ll think about it.” Not, “Can I get back to you?” Not, “Oh, I could never!”

When the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary and told her that she would conceive and bear a son, Mary asked a very good question, “How can this be..?” And, when the angel answered her question, she immediately and completely agreed. And then, she was able to walk along the path God willed for her.

For us to walk our path this Advent season and beyond, we, too, need to strive for “Yes,” even with and in spite of illness and pain. Yes, these are not easy burdens. But if we deny them, we would be denying part of what makes us us.

Fear is a natural reaction to anything startling or unwelcome. Mary was afraid when Gabriel first appeared. But her fear quickly turned to acceptance, signaling that trust in God can overcome fear.

Acceptance does not mean our lives will get worse or better. But it does mean that we stand ready to do God’s work, as Mary did, no matter what we are called upon to do.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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