Daily

Reflections

Finding God in our lives
is quite simple.
We just have to take
the time to look.

Fruits of the Spirit: Kindness

Our world needs kindness now more than ever. I could fill this page with examples of words, actions, movies, blog posts, and emails that are not only unkind, they are filled with hate. They are filled with a disdain for the value of anyone who looks, acts, or believes differently than the author does. While it is easy to point the finger to these heinous examples, it is just as easy to gloss over our own. We may not be as bad as "them," but we all have our moments, don't we? You'd be a saint if you never reacted poorly to a situation or conversation. We all know that we are called to something different. We are called to life filled with grace and love, but we also know that is much easier s

Fruits of the Spirit: Patience

Don't you hate waiting? If that website isn't up in under five seconds, we're checking our connection. Starbucks takes forever to get our coffee ready - a whole four to eight minutes. The job promotion is taking forever. The injury just won't heal fast enough. Patience is hard for almost everyone, especially in today’s world. We can get instant responses to our texts, same day delivery for our purchases, and home delivery for our groceries. But there are times when we just have to wait. Babies take nine months to grow. Morning won't come until the sun rises. Children are two years old all the way until they are three. It doesn’t matter if we wait well or poorly, the waiting must be done. We

Fruits of the Spirit: Peace

News was coming from all sides, and none of it was good. My mother - breast cancer. Father-in-law - inoperable intestinal cancer. Daughter's boyfriend - cancer. Leukemia finally took my cousin much too early. Yet in the midst of the storm, peace. I don't always have this peace, but when I do, I know the source. This fruit of the Holy Spirit is a peace that surpasses all understanding. Standing in the midst of chaos, knowing deeply that God is present and working in it. Looking at a difficult situation, feeling in your heart that God is calling you to go through it. And when all those things come in one right after the other, this peace allows us to look for God's work within it. This is the

Fruits of the Spirit: Joy

This past weekend, our church had over 130 teens receive their Confirmation. I was amazed to see the atmosphere as we prepared to enter the church. It was like Christmas. Everyone was excited, congratulating and hugging each other, admiring beautiful dresses and smart-looking suits, and eagerly anticipating what was coming. I'm sure there were a few who were there because they had to be, but the joy from where I was standing was incredible. Today, we look at joy. This fruit of the Spirit is not just happiness. It goes so much deeper. It is a happiness that comes from knowing that God is in all things. ALL things. God is in the beautiful sunset that we see. He is in the song that makes our he

Charity

We start today with the Fruit of the Spirit that anchors all the others. When we live with charity, or complete life-giving love, we live with God's love spilling from our hearts. It is beyond physical attraction or love based on what we receive from another. It is not a love because it makes us feel good, but a love that may even challenge us at times. It is a love that allows us to feel deeply and a love that allows us to be hurt. If we are living a life filled with the Holy Spirit, this love allows us to see everyone around us with the eyes of their Creator. We see each one as precious. We see each one as valuable enough to die for as Christ did. This can be a challenge. Some people are r

By their fruits they will be known

Of all the aspects of God, I think the Holy Spirit is one of the hardest to get our minds around. Think about it, God the Father and God the Son have skin on. We can picture a parental figure, we can envision a child, we can identify with a person who has walked the earth, dealt with enemies, and lived within community. But the Holy Spirit is more like gravity. It's there, but we're not totally sure how it actually works. We may give the Holy Spirit credit or ask for our hearts to be filled with the Spirit, but how do we really see it? In Scripture, the Holy Spirit is likened to the wind. We can feel it, we know when it is there, but we can't see it, we don't know where it comes from, and we

Joy in my Heart

What brings you joy? Truly brings you joy? Have you thought about that lately? I was thinking about that the other day. I have lots of things that bring me joy - laughing with my children, hiking outside on a beautiful, crisp fall day, sitting in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace on my porch, reading a good book, enjoying the company of friends. As I was listing them all, I realized that none of them compared to the joy I feel when I am really connected with God. Those times when the Holy Spirit is filling my spirit without restriction are incredible, although they aren't as often as I would like. I turn my attention in other directions, or something knocks me off-center and I come do

Understanding

I have a family member who is not a big fan of religion or even God for that matter. Discussions about faith are always treacherous and any reasonable facts or concepts are not going to get through. Needless to say, we don't talk about it much. Instead, I try to live my faith as openly as I can, talk about people who are living their faith, and share a couple grace-filled moments whenever I can. Surprisingly we had a very open, calm, and rational talk the other day, and it all started with an agreement. I've found that most of the time, people who are angry or rejecting God have very reasonable problems. Whether it's the way some Christians treat others, injustice in the world, suffering, or

Study Time

I'm am really looking forward to starting up a new Bible study for the fall. It's such a great way to get into the word of God and build community. I can read on my own, and I can study on my own, but when I am part of a study, I not only get my own insight, but I get the benefit of everyone else's perspectives. It's incredible how often I hear something that I would never have found on my own. We are built for community, and I love to hear from people who are just starting to dive in and from those who have been in deep for years. I'm doing The Bible Timeline with Jeff Cavins. What studies are you doing this year? If you haven't decided yet, my study Be Not Afraid is available. It's a great

Going Incognito?

I was in the airport last week, and in the course of my travels, I saw two priests, fully dressed in their clerics, and two nuns in full-length brown habits. There was no missing them, and I have to say I was a bit surprised. That was a pretty brave move there, don't you think? I can imagine they got plenty of looks, and maybe even a few comments, and hopefully a couple conversations. I hope they were ready. I think it's something to consider. I am so sad for my Church. I am heartsick for the people affected by the abuse that was so rampant and implicitly approved. Yet, as I wear my faith on my sleeve or around my neck with the cross I wear, I give people an opportunity to express their ange

What armor are you using?

A couple years ago, I did a study by Priscilla Shirer called The Armor of God. It was a great study, but something about it just rubbed me completely wrong. I would listen to the video and everything about me just hated it. I felt like she was yelling at me. The armor she was talking about seemed so defensive and aggressive and really didn't sit well with me. Of course, when I'm reacting that strongly to something that everyone else is enjoying immensely, I know that God's got something in there for me. So I asked. Why is this so wrong? What do you want me to see? As I prayed, I was reminded of the story of David.His brothers were at war with the Philistines and he was too young to go. The t

Should I stay or should I go?

It's Labor Day and summer is over. I'll be moving back into my regular schedule of posts, and putting away the Music Mondays and Fun Fridays. Unfortunately, I think that it is none to soon. I think this sex abuse scandal is going to be front and center for a little while. As I said earlier, this isn't a bad thing. But it sure is a difficult thing. It sure is an emotional thing. And for that reason, I'll be addressing it for the next few days. First, I want to be clear that I have never and will not start to believe that the evil actions of any person or persons says anything about the existence of God or the love of Jesus Christ. It's a challenge sometimes to find where God is in those momen

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas