Yielding to the best yoke

What to do when you’re fed up with the world:

  1. Fast.  Does it seem like the world is a horrible place filled with selfishness, idiocy, cruelty, and all manner of evil?  Before you succumb to despair, pull back, retreat, disengage.  Forget Facebook, skip Skype, trash Twitter and Tumblr, pack away Pinterest, and set aside that smart phone.  You don’t have to let the world be so much in your face!  Take a siesta from social media.  It will be there when you choose to return!
  2. Take a nap.  But before you go to sleep, decide that when you wake you will do one specific thing to nurture your best self with the best of what you can give.  Do you need better nutrition?  Plan a simple but healthy and satisfying meal that you can enjoy upon waking.  Does your body need to move?  Or your lungs need fresh air?  Plan not only to take a walk, but visualize the actual path you will take; then, when you wake, put on your shoes and get going.  Do you need some inspiration?  Find a good book or better yet, The Good Book; pick an encouraging verse before you go to sleep, read it through at least once or twice before you dive into dream-land; when you wake, meditate on it further along with whatever you dreamt.
  3. Do whatever you planned to do after that nap!
  4. Write a letter to yourself:  remind yourself of times you came through the dark valley and rose again to new heights.  Describe at least 3 of such times.  Then gently encourage yourself to dream again.  What is one thing you can actually do today that would help you achieve one of your dreams while making the world a better place?
  5. Pray.  Thank God for all the blessings in your life and in this world.  Thank God for all the graces in the face of sins, your own and others’.  Thank God for all the evidences of redemption.  Thank God for His faithfulness.  Thank God for His Presence now.  Thank God for all the graces to come.
  6. Consider prayerfully: is there some way you can be used by God to grace someone else?  Is there someone you are ready to forgive?  Is there something you can redeem?  If not, ask the Lord for healing, for yourself, and for the whole world.  If the Lord shows you some good you can do in His Name, do it, and thank Him for that one thing.  No matter how small it might appear now, thank God for it.
  7. Practice trusting God.  You’re correct that the world is not always a safe place, and not everyone in it is trust-worthy.  In fact, no-one is always trust-worthy for everything.  But remember too, we are not responsible for everything. Be discerning with people, but trust God completely.  Trust God with your whole heart.  That’s where and how you’ll find rest from the wearisome world.  Let God fill your heart; let God make His Home in your heart, and then you’ll find your Home in God.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”  (~Jesus Christ, from Matthew 11: 28-30, New American Standard)

1,000 Thanks, 156-185

  1. (156) Bach
  2. (157) Scarlatti
  3. (158) Handel
  4. (159) Couperin
  5. (160) Haydn
  6. (161) Mozart
  7. (162) Beethoven
  8. (163) Schubert
  9. (164) Mendelssohn
  10. (165) Chopin
  11. (166) Schumann
  12. (167) Liszt
  13. (168) Brahms
  14. (169) Faure
  15. (170) Debussy
  16. (171) Ravel
  17. (172) Saint-Saens
  18. (173) Poulenc
  19. (174) Satie
  20. (175) Massiaen
  21. (176) Rachmaninoff
  22. (177) Dvorak
  23. (178) Scriabin
  24. (179) Bartok
  25. (180) Copland
  26. (181) Ives
  27. (182) Barber
  28. (183) Britten
  29. (184)  Puccini
  30. (185) Granados
Thank You, Lord, for composers, especially “classical” ones, most especially those who wrote so well for piano!  This is the canvas for the tapestry of my life!

Thank You God for Everything

paper-birds-musical-notes.jpg

Who, what, where, when, and why?

To whom am I grateful?

God (AbbaPapa-JesusChrist-HolySpirit), my parents, my spouse, my family, The Church, my friends, mentors, teachers, students, pro-life medical professionals, farmers, composers, artists, authors, all who pray for peace and try to live it.

For what am I grateful?

Life, love, home, belonging, safety, joy, truth, The Eucharist, peace, justice, mercy, beauty, music, art, books, coffee, cats, good food, trees, flowers, birds, the ocean, the whole earth, the universe!, seasons, last night’s moon, blue skies, breathable air, drinkable water, hot water for showers, all the ways we can make music and share music, all the ways we can communicate, friendship, laughter, silence, quiet, tranquility, prayer, education, travel, freedom, permanence and change, passages, time and eternity, space and transcendence, being and doing, compatibility, male and female, adult and child, dancing, bees, sweet things, savory things, all flavors, plants especially quirky ones life succulents, roses, iris, lilies, respect, wisdom, self-control, help especially when needed, courage, pets, wildlife especially hawks whales dolphins, ability to choose a good attitude, health, healing, a good immune system, my bed, The Bible, light, warmth, Mass, the capacity to worship my Creator and to adore my Savior-Lord, fellowship with Catholics and other Christian believers, the gift of faith, the conviction of the sanctity of life, empathy, forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, strength, perseverance, patience, gratitude!, all that is Good, God’s amazing Grace and ability to turn all things for Good, rain and rainbows, storms, hope, far-seeing, details and small things, grandeur, paradox and interesting juxtapositions, pain and suffering that can be redeemed into intimacy with Christ, Christ’s resurrection and ours to come, beginnings, endings, sweetly resolvable dissonance, resolutions, II7 chords, smiles, tears, skin, babies, lovers, fertility, barren-ness that can yet be hospitable to The Spirit, deserts, mountain-tops and valleys and pastures and meadows, gardens of all kinds and sizes, quilts, laptops, notebooks, pens, paper, texture, smells, color, color upon color, seemingly infinite gradations of hue, transparency and opaqueness, goldfinches, purple thistle, candles, incense, fire, purpose, spontaneity, ritual, good habits, memory, a stretchable heart.

Where am I grateful?

Here!

When am I grateful?

Now!

Why am I grateful?

Oh Lord, because You are Good and all You have made is Good, and all that is can be used for Good for those who love You.  Blessed be Your Holy Name, forever and ever.  Amen!

PS– The last prayer I heard my mother pray was “Thank You, God, for everything.”  She prayed this while in the throes of painful cancer and constant nausea.  Lord, thank You for her example.  Please help me to embrace her attitude.  While I am grateful for much, I know that You could yet convert my heart to be totally grateful, to truly receive everything truly having faith in Your Goodness.  Oh Papa, take my heart and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.  Amen.

Light shines.

This is a short but important list of three blessings in the midst of grief, gifts amidst chaos, my certainties amidst everything.

Maris Lacrima

“The bad things that come into our lives would not nullify all the good.” ~ from Shattered by Rita A. Schulte (page 87)

Bad does not nullify good.  That is such grace!  I want to take a moment to think about good things in my life that have persisted despite contemporaneous bad.

I always know my Heavenly Father is with me, holding me up, within me through the Holy Spirit, sustaining me in His Life, comforting, companioning, guiding, guarding, forming me in and through Christ.  That right there is such a gift.  The faith I have in God is all grace.  God proves Himself over and over, but the fact that faith is seated securely within me is pure grace.  It is completely His Gift, and I praise Him.  Lord God, Heavenly King, Almighty God, and Father, I worship You!  Thanks be to Thee, forever and ever!

Knowing that my…

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I am grateful for blessings large and small

Thank You, God, for

Faith

My parents

Inspiring teachers and mentors with integrity

Fresh air

Drinkable water

The ability to enjoy simple pleasures, like the company of my cats

The ability to have hope in God, even in the face of hopeless circumstances

The simple and nourishing conviction that it’s still worthwhile to make a good difference where I can, even though I can’t make a difference everywhere

A very good start in life

Trees

Sunshine

And rain

I am grateful for so much, but tonight I just wanted to celebrate a few gifts for which I am profoundly grateful; I am most especially grateful for the gifts of faith and hope, and I credit my parents for cultivating fertile ground in me for the Spirit to plant these precious seeds.

Lauds

Today I am grateful for

Dad

Mom

Family

Spouse

Friends

Teachers

Students

Pastors

Mentors

Home

Safety

Food

Plumbing

Hot water

Color

Music

Faith

Air

Blue sky

Good bed

Books

Pens and paper

Health

Time

Space

Trees

Birds

Wildlife

Quiet

Solitude

Thanks be to Abba

Praise be Jesus

Bless You, Holy Spirit

Amen.