Struggles

We all have struggles of some sort in our daily lives. Maybe if we accepted the fact that struggles are part of life instead of thinking “if only ┬ámy child listened to me or my coworkers treated me better then of course my life would be perfect.” Yes, things would be better but we seem to be looking for perfection and it doesn’t exist. There is nothing that is perfect but God. Accepting the struggles, embracing the challenges and loving the people who drive us the craziest are all ways to make it through another day and mature from the experience.

Today, try to embrace your struggles, accept where you are right now and learn from the experience to make you a better person.

Cougars for Christ

As a teacher I constantly challenge my students to be creative in their way of thinking, the way they create a skit and especially in their prayers. Creativity brings us out of our comfort zone and gives us the opportunity to see life from a new perspective.

The most important way to be creative is with prayer in my classroom. Not because I want a flashy gimmick to entertain the students. Not because it is more fun. The reason creativity and engaging the class in different prayers is for one reason alone to encounter God. I am a theology teacher not because I am all about the content of the Catholic Church but because I want my students to encounter God.

In our culture it is a rarity to concentrate on God for more than a moment. In my classroom I want to fully concentrate on God. I can teach them documents until I am blue in the face but if they do not experience an encounter with God through prayer then all is lost.

God created the heavens, the earth, mankind and love. I ask that my students use the creative talents God placed within them to connect with God on a daily basis. Creativity can bring us closer to God. I am willing to go the extra mile to bring my students as close to God as I possibly can. My purpose in life is to bring others closer to God and that’s what I do in my writing, my family and in my classroom.

“Oh, that today, you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts”

- Psalm 95:7-8

Daily we hear the voice of God but we do not recognize it in our lives. We feel for those who are in pain, we want to comfort others, we desire to love those who surround us; these reactions are sometimes initial reactions to others. However, in our culture we have been conditioned to mind our own business, to not talk to strangers and to keep to ourselves. God speaks to our hearts and pushes us beyond our comfort zone. Yet, we push back by suppressing those initial feelings and we just walk on ignoring the suffering of others for the sake of our own self-preservation.

In the homily I heard this Sunday the priest posed the question, “Why was Jesus without sin?” The obvious answer is that He was the Son of God. The not so obvious answer was that of the priest, “Sin is of self. Jesus never put himself first.” In our culture we look out for number one. We rarely put others before our own wants and needs. The voice of God is calling us to put others first and we are ignoring it; hardening our hearts against God. Of course it will not be comfortable to put others first because who will take care of us, right? Let me tell you who will take care of you if you are busy taking care of others. GOD will take care of you. Trust that fact. Listen for the voice of God today and open your heart to his will.

“So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” – Luke 7:47-48

Jesus Christ forgave everyone who asked for forgiveness with a sincere heart. God will forgive your sins if you ask with a sincere heart. We all have parts of our lives that are sinful. Some of us just continue to sin without any recourse. If you are ready to have a change of heart and become closer to God and all that is good then sincerely ask for God’s forgiveness and change your life. It is never to late to be forgiven.

It has been said when one looks into the eyes of a saint all they can see is God because that person is so aligned with God in their innermost being. My daughter and I often pray that when people look into our eyes they see Jesus Christ looking back at them. I have to pray for this so that Jesus will take my life and live in me, and I in him.

Who do you want people to see when they look into your eyes?