July 23, 2017

The spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for when we do not know how to pray as we ought but the spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.”
 Roman 8:26-27

Something Is Missing

Matthew Kelly
Resisting Happiness
2016

Do you ever have the sense that something is missing in your life? We all do from time to time. Most people push it aside fairly quickly, because we are afraid of where it might lead.  But we really should pay a little more attention to our dissatisfaction.
Push it aside, ignore it, pretend it isn’t there, but it won’t go away. And the more you ignore it the more restless you will become.  We have all watched a friend who needs to make a decision but refuses to confront the situation.  He pretends that all is well, but everyone around him can see he is becoming more and more restless.
Perhaps a student has an important exam coming up, but he doesn’t take the time to study.  As the exam gets closer his anxiety increases because he knows he isn’t prepared, yet at the same time, he refuses to study. Resistance has a firm grip on him.  All the energy he should be using to study is being used on anxiety.  Until he decides to sit down and study, the anxiety will continue to grow.
It’s okay to be dissatisfied.  Being dissatisfied and pretending that we are not is the kind of lie that leads to spiritual and physical illness.  Our dissatisfaction is trying to lead us to something better, or something different altogether.
It is time to start listening to what God is saying to us through our dissatisfaction.  I want to encourage you to pay a little more attention to that sense that something is missing in your life.  This quiet discontent is creating restlessness in you for a reason.
Restlessness if something I am very familiar with.  Most days I experience it in some form or another. It drives my creativity and gives birth to ideas.  But each day the restlessness needs to be tamed so that I can actually do something.  Otherwise I would just sit around coming up with ideas all the time.  Nothing would get done, and I certainly wouldn’t ever finish anything.
But beyond these daily experiences with restlessness, there have been a handful of extraordinary encounters with it that have left their mark on my life.  When I was fifteen years old I had a growing sense that something was missing.  I was doing well in school, I excelled at sports, I had a wonderful girlfriend, and I had started a couple of businesses, I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. Sitting at the dinner table each night was basically like attending classes for an MBA. So by the time I was a sophomore in high school I was making more money that my teachers, and I remember thinking “There must be more to life than getting good grades, having a job, and making money.” My heart was restless. I knew something was missing, but didn’t know what to do about it. I had this nagging sense that there simply must be more to life, but I didn’t know what it was or where to find it. So I did what most of us do. I tried to ignore the feelings, but the nagging restlessness persisted.
If you sense that something is missing in your life, stop ignoring it.  Start paying attention to it. God is trying to tell you something.

KEY POINT

It’s time to start listening to what God is saying to us through our dissatisfaction.

ACTION STEP

Don’t pretend to be happy and satisfied when you are not.
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Nature Friendly Garden

“Praise to you, my Lord for the…
Beauty of our Mother Earth”
St. Francis of Assisi

Our Holy Father Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si, quotes the beautiful canticle written by St. Francis about our common home, the Earth, with whom we share our life. The canticle likens our planet to a mother who opens her arms and embraces us.
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”
Our Holy Father, echoing church teaching through the ages, urges all of humanity to care for our earth, environment, and all of God’s creatures with great care as responsible stewards of God’s creation.  He notes the mistreatment of our environment and the seemingly limitless quest for over-development.
A few weeks ago, work began to clear a wooded area across from the Church on Valley Road. With a steward’s care, our response as a parish is to make the positive, environment friendly, decision to dedicate a 35 x 16 foot portion of our lawn to a “Nature Friendly Garden”.
After study with our landscaper designer, Pennella, a botanist and an apiarist (beekeeper), we have built a haven for pollination which encourages bees, butterflies, birds and other creatures in their right to life and a flourishing environment. This area dedicated to our care of God’s creatures has a circulating water cascade and features Black-eyed Susan, Coral Bells, Crepe Myrtle, Abella, Buddleia, Monarda, Ajuga, Purple Coneflower, Fox Glove, Lavender, Catmint and Liatris among other plants.
An added benefit to this improvement to our grounds is the education opportunity it provides for our school children.
If you wish to learn more about how you may participate in the good stewardship of our earth and her creatures, google Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, read the Letter and accompanying articles.
Reflecting on the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” is a prayerful way to grow in our appreciation for God’s gifts through nature. As fellow creatures, we give God thanks and praise in word and deed.
For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies: Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r, Sun and moon, and stars of light:
Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of ear and eye, For the heart and mind’s delight, For the mystic harmony Linking sense to sound and sight: Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human love,  Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth and friends above;
For all gentle thoughts and mild: Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the Church, who ever more Lifts her holy hands above, Off’ring up on ev’ry shore Her pure sacrifice of love:
Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
For each perfect gift divine To our world so freely giv’n, Joys bestowed by love’s design, Flow’rs of earth and fruits of heav’n:
Lord of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.

Reflection Question

What one practical action can I take to promote the good stewardship of our earth in God’s creatures?

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Bereavement Support & Ministry
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”

  • The Monday Night Widow/Widowers Group:

A social group for widows and widowers. Next meeting: August 14th in Cerullo Hallat 6:30 PM.

  • Spouse Bereavement Group:

A support group for people grieving the death of their spouse. Next meetings: TUESDAY, JULY 27th, August 8th and 22nd at 7:00 PM in the RUSSO ROOM. For information contact Dr. Rachel Rengifo at 201-500-2068.

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