June 22, 2016

FREEDOM TO GIVE

“Brother and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm …
For you were called for freedom …
serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
– Galatians 5:13-18

Scripture
Too many of us consent, or are forced, to spend time doing things for which we have no heartfelt reason. If we were asked, “Why are you doing this?” we would not know how to answer.
– Parker Palmer

When Joseph Campbell described the journey of transformation, he wrote of coming through the dark cave into a new springtime of life. The important dimension he included is that when people come out of pain into newness of life, they always bring an “elixir” or a gift with them. This gift is meant not just for themselves, but for the transformation of the world. So, too, with us. God is always extending compassion toward us, loving us through the many ups and downs of our journey. We, in turn, are meant to offer this compassion to others. Life is a constant cycle of giving and receiving. The divine gift of love that we receive is meant to be shared.

I have come to see how my motivations for compassion are very significant. The more I am aware of my motivations, the more I can give the gift of compassion with true freedom of heart, without any strings attached. The freer I grow, the more genuine my generosity becomes. Like the lines of the old song, “Freely, freely, I have received, freely, freely, I give,” so I can offer compassion with a selfless approach when I am more conscious of my reasons for giving.

If my motivations come out of “have to,” guilt, self-affirmation, codependency, a “fix-it” or problem-solving intention, or a “redeemer mentality,” my compassion has too much of me in it and not nearly enough focus on loving the one who hurts. The more I get to know my emotions, attitudes, compulsions, and desires, the more transparent and truly compassionate I will be. The healthier I am psychologically and spiritually, the freer I will be in offering my gifts to others.

I have also discovered how essential it is to be compassionate toward myself. The better I love myself, the better I can love others. Caregivers are often great at extending the gift of compassion toward others, but do very poorly when it comes to extending that same compassion to themselves.

Gifts are meant to be received. Gifts, true gifts, are offered freely. The question today is: how and why do I offer the gift of compassion?

reflection
I usually extend compassion because …
When I reflect on gifts being given, I …
Thank you, God, for …

prayer
God of compassion, take me to the ones who hurt.
May I see you in every face.
May I hear you in every voice.
May I welcome you in each relationship.
May I give freely with true generosity.

today
I will choose an aspect of compassion that I need and give it to myself as well as to others.
– Joyce Rup

Your neighbor love as yourself

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Widow/Widowers

  • The Monday Night Group: June 27th, July 11th & 25th at 6:30
  • The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, July 13th and 27th at 7:00 PM.

Columbiette Blanket Ministry
Thanks to all of you who have made blankets or donated materials over this past year. You have made a difference in the lives of many. We are taking a rest for the summer but we will be back to work in September. If you have any questions about our ministry or would like to donate yarn or fabric, please call Cathie Murtha. (973-471-1265)

St. Philip’s Players
Come join us offstage. We welcome and will train parishioners for ALL technical positions, stage managers, and scenic designers. Call us at 973-607-1924 or stphilipsplayers@aol.com.

Nunsense! Coming in September

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

REGISTRATION FOR 2016-2017 IS NOW OPEN

This year there are several ways to register your child for Religious Education (Grades 1-10).

  1. You can complete the form and pay here.
  2. You can register in person, by appointment only, at 973-779-1439 and pay with cash or check.
  3. You can call the office and request the packet be mailed to you and return with payment.

The Religious Education Department hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

To read complete bulletin click here