Thursday December 13, 2018 Racked

Posted December 13, 2018 by bgovanus
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Have mercy on me, Lord, I have no strength; Lord, heal me, my body is racked;  my soul is racked with pain.  Psalm 6: 2

Today’s Psalm, David cries out to God and I can identify.  It is never easy to be hurting so when David gave voice to his suffering, I was relieved to read and admit that I too ask God to relieve my pain.  Today is the feast day of St Lucy who died as a martyr in the year 303.  She is one of the 15 martyrs who are remembered at the Consecration at Mass.  She chose blindness rather than betray the Lord.  When I am in pain, it is hard to imagine that someone would choose to suffer.  Truly they are an inspiration to me.

As difficult as it is to be racked with pain, God is steadfast.  He is solace for us who deal with chronic pain.  Relief does not seem to be coming but I know that His love is enough to keep me moving through my day.  Albeit slower than I would like… I am doing most of what I need to do.  That is a blessing.  For I know the plans He has for me… blessings not cursing fill my soul.

As the nights offer no relief and sleep eludes me, I lie in bed and pray.  I am sure this is what I need to be doing.  As I move from my own pain to prayer for my spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings and friends; I recognize that each is a blessing and a distraction from the hurt.  So God is present in and through them even in my darkest hours.

Lord, Today I am filled with hope that my body will cooperate with my desire to serve.  I will do all I can to keep moving toward You and find relief in Your grace.  Thank You for loving me.  Help me to understand and accept the limitations that my body is placing on my life and lean on You for wisdom.      


Monday December 10, 2018 Incredible

Posted December 10, 2018 by bgovanus
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Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”  Luke 5:26

December is FULL of incredible things and at first reading you might think this verse is from the nativity story…  describing the shepherds, the wise men or even the followers of John the Baptist after Jesus rose from the water… but no.  This was from the story of the paralytic who was forgiven his sins.  After the pharisees called Jesus a blasphemer, Jesus then cured the man and told him to pick up his pallet and go home.  Miracles are all around us.  It could be a scrooge who softens and donates to orphans.  The Christmas wish of a homeless child fulfilled with help from St Vincent DePaul counselor to have an apartment where a tiny tree fills a corner.  A long-separated son returns home for the holidays, clean of drugs and ready to begin a new life.

Incredible things are still happening through the power of grace and Advent is the time to be glorifying God and recognizing that He is the savior and king. We are the blessed children of God and our ole in spreading the Good News is never easier than it is right NOW.  Our celebrations and generosity can change lives!  Inviting a shut in to have Christmas Tea is carrying the good news out into the world.  Lives are changed when we change our attitude to one of gratitude and believe that we have bounty enough to share.  Incredible things can happen when we say YES to God’s call.

I am humbled when I think that God could use me to touch another.  He is the divine healer and will give me what I need if I only give myself over to His will.  I open myself and then my life is changed, and so might another be.  Look at the disciples who were fishermen, tax collectors, and uneducated men… God used them as the foundation for His church.  What could He accomplish through YOU or me?

Lord, help me be open to the incredible things You are working in this world.  Help me release my own preconceived notions to be less like the pharisees and more like the disciples who opened their lives to service in faith. 


Thursday December 6, 2018 Peace

Posted December 6, 2018 by bgovanus
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 Jesus said “I gave 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.”  John 16:33

Happy St Nicholas Day!

Growing up German Catholic, we were blessed with traditions like leaving our shoes out to be filled by St Nick.  After my dad died at 33 leaving mom with 5 children under the age of 10, this tradition fell by the wayside since mom was doing good to keep on top of everything else.  Christmas was always a BIG deal.  She baked and decorated so I who was the oldest was probably the only one who even remembered St Nick’s visits.  Trouble was very real for a single mom in the sixties.

Our lives are full of turmoil and seeking to find peace is a real need to keep body and soul together.  Saying no to some things that are no longer meaningful is a wise choice.  Trusting in God because He has and will continue to overcome the world is necessary!  My own peace comes in noisy gatherings surrounded by family and friends.  Serving food and laughing about some silly thing allows me to smile inside.  Gary finds his peace alone with me in a quiet house with the dog sitting on his recliner.  It is important to know what brings your heart peace.

When trouble strikes, we like the disciples often run, hide, despair… Jesus explained in this verse to us and to them that He CAN take care of it.  He overcomes the world!  He is still with us providing peace and joy if we can stop and recognize it for what it is.  Maybe you are like me, need a crowd, create one or go to where they are.  If you need silence for peace, find a spot and relish in it… even if you must escape to the library or the bathroom.  😊  Jesus disciples knew what was coming and still they panicked and fled.  They eventually found the peace He promised and became strong enough to deal with persecution and death.  We can have PEACE!

Lord thank You for overcoming the world.  Thank You for warning me so that I can prepare myself for frustration and joy and still have peace! 

Tuesday December 4, 2018 WHO

Posted December 4, 2018 by bgovanus
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“But what about you?”  Jesus asked.  “Who do you say I am?”  Matthew 16:15

It is crucial to our growth and survival that we spend our whole life asking questions.  Why is the favorite question of the two-year-old!  When is the question of the teenager!  How is the question of the young adult!  And in the relationship market WHO is the one most asked.  Who indeed is going to make our lives complete?  Who will be a partner for life that we can trust and count on during both the good and bad times?

Jesus asked His disciples WHO they thought He was.  They had been with Jesus for three years and still they were confused.  Jesus was very pleased that Simon Peter articulated who Jesus was because up to that point Jesus had not said so.  Jesus once He identified Himself then began to explain what would happen next.  That His life would end at the hands of the Jewish leaders…

During Advent, it is good to examine this verse and really embrace WHO Jesus is for each of us.  Is He the baby, the preacher and teacher, the Savior and as Peter says, the Son of the living God?  If we really believe as Peter did, has our life changed as a result?  Peter died for his belief.  Could we be found guilty of being a believer?  Is there evidence enough to convict us of being a Christian?  A good question to ask this holiday season!

Who is Jesus for YOU?  We welcome the baby and marvel at the events surrounding His birth… but ask yourself did this nativity change your life or was it just a heartwarming story of angels, shepherds and a star leading three kings to a barn?

Lord I am eager to answer that I indeed believe that You are the SON of the LIVING God.  Help me to live my life asking the questions that will help me find You amidst all the confusion and distractions of this world and live in eternity with You in the next. 

Monday December 3, 2018 Endures

Posted December 3, 2018 by bgovanus
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For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:5

When I think of enduring something it not anything pleasant… sitting in the dentist chair for hours is an endurance test for me.  When I thin of this verse it makes me realize that for God loving us has been a trial because we are so fickle, dishonest and hurtful.  He stands ever ready to welcome you and I into His arms and we run hither and yon so busy with our preoccupations with the mundane.  Posting to FB, watching TV, shopping, cooking, cleaning working at our jobs all take precedent.  Yet He endures, always available to listen and to love.  His faithfulness has been forever… thousands of years!

It is hard for any of to conceive of this kind of staying power.  Truly God’s endurance is amazing for us who’s lives I like to call “the short attention span theater”.  Like squirrels we turn from one diversion to the next.  How difficult it must be for God to stand by waiting for us to call His name in prayer much less fall on our knees to give Him homage.

During advent, we are called to stand still before our God and bask in His love for us.  To open our hearts and allow Him to come as a helpless baby who depends on His mother just as we did.  This infant will eventually die for us in a horrible way to settle our debt and free us from our sins.  That endurance and acceptance cannot even be fathomed.

Lord open my heart to receive Your love.  Help me to empathize about all You have endured because of my selfishness.  Help me to be alert to opportunities to be with You. 

Sunday December 2, 2018 Anxieties

Posted December 2, 2018 by bgovanus
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“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.”  Luke 21:34

I have had so many people say that they hate the pressures of the holidays… so much to do, worry over getting the “right” gift, wearing the “right” dress to this party or that event, and bemoaning the work involved in cleaning and decorating.  I smile and nod.  I want for all my gifts to be received with wonder and joy, I too want everything to be perfect, but I realize that I cannot read people’s minds so that all I can do is gift them with generosity and love.  None of us can ever create perfection here.  God wants to give us joy and a place to thrive.  He hates it when I lose sight of Him because I am so focused on the anxieties of daily life that I forget the reason for the season.

If the bow is not perfect, the cookies are store bought, the dress you wear is from last year… if your friends care, they are NOT the people you want in your life.  Focus your energy on the blessings of the season.  Let the beauty of twinkling lights remind you of the wonder of the star over Bethlehem.  Let the carols playing everywhere open your mind and heart to the angel chorus who sang on that holy night.  Don’t SHOULD on yourself this holiday.  Do what you can and invite others to help you.  Ask someone else to bring the dessert, let go of the need for the presents to all have coordinated bows.  Release and embrace the gift God has for you this holiday.  His joy will blossom in your heart when you know you are loved.

Avoid the trap… HE has NO expectations except that You love God and your neighbor.  Sharing that love is as simple as sharing a cup of tea because the time shared is the gift… Let go and let God help you this holiday to bless those you love.  Pray for help discerning what will bring the biggest smiles and create the lasting memories.  God is just waiting to be asked into your life this Advent…  You will be alive and excited instead of drowsy and depressed with His wisdom.

Lord, I place my Advent and all the Holiday preparations into Your hands.  Guide me to make good choices that spread YOUR love like a blanket of new snow over the hearts of all I love this holiday. 

Saturday December 1, 2018 Pearls

Posted December 1, 2018 by bgovanus
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The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls.  Matthew 13:45

There are many passages in the bible that describe heaven.  This one touches me because I really think that the “moments” of life, the pearls that we treasure are truly gifts from God that are His signposts and pointers to remind us that heaven will be all this and more.  Lots of my “pearls” are moments of intense love, the moment I held each of my daughters for the first time, marrying Gary, the Mother’s Day when my sister graduated from college, walking my daughter down the aisle. Thanksgivings where forty of us came together to celebrate family, life and the blessings of being together.  There are many more that I treasure and keep close to my heart when life gets very hard… praying the rosary at my mom’s bedside when she was in a coma.  The last time I saw my dad in the hospital when I was just ten years old.

What pearls do you cherish?  How do these memories encourage and strengthen you?  What does heaven look like because of these abiding gifts from God?  Life on earth is challenging.  We need these pearls to keep us focused and on the right track.  My life here is a work in progress, I know that until heaven, I have a long way to go to be all that God has created me to be, His finished product.  I will keep adding pearls to my strand of life.

Lord You are gracious and generous.  Thank You for the gifts of time and moments of intense love that have lifted me up and brought be closer to you.  I am looking forward to wearing my pearls in heaven… when I will see You face to face.