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When I became a spiritual director I was surprised by how many people had no idea what it was...
The Beatitudes: The Be Attitudes
If you look closely at the Beatitudes they are active. They are Be-Attitudes.
They all call us to be active in our faith to take on stances related to Christ.
Let’s look at each of there more closely:
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Does that mean blessed be the poor? Or blessed are they that are open and accepting of others as they are. The poor here are humble, unassuming, and down-to-earth. Like Christ they deal with everyone they met as a Child of God.
Blessed are those who mourn. Are these persons in sorrow over a death, or is it deeper?
These persons work to improve themselves seeing areas in their lives that need changing and work toward creating that change. They mourn over the negative of this life. They work toward bringing the Kingdom of God onto the Earth by seeing the good in everyone.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. What does this mean? These are persons who conserve, recycle, reuse. They see themselves as stewards of the earth. They work to improve the quality of life for others: improve the air, water and soil. They farm organically. They take their children out to help clean up a riverbank or stretch of shoreline.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. These poor persons who see injustice and work to right it; they do not want to see others in pain and need and they work toward helping to change the world they live in. Maybe these persons work in soup kitchens, on political issues that touch their hearts, or they are parents raising respectful honest children, or workers who strive to be ethical.
Blessed are merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. These mercy know that what they their actions and reactions to others create actions and reactions toward them. They are constantly striving toward the positive, knowing the negative is sinful. They live honestly and openly.
Blessed are the pure of spirit for they will see God. These persons have their eyes always toward Jesus. They live in faith, knowing that God will bless them. They trust that God always has their best interest at heart. They understand that illness; harm that may have come their way, is not a test of God. God is standing with them support them, working His great Glory in their life.
Blessed are those who the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God. We have seen the truth of this in the persons of President Carter and Blessed Mother Theresa.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness. We all know that when we stand up for our basic Christian convictions we will be made to feel out of step, old fashion; but if we hold strong we life lives that are far more rich and satisfying.
This last Beatitude tells us just that: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Think about this: if we stand strong, if we hold onto the vision, if we are positive not negative, and if we work toward those things that bring goodness to all. We will be rewarded.
What a wonderful day! Now after explaining my day you are going to think: "Is she nuts!" No truly it has been a wonderful day....bear with me...you will think it was wonderful as well.
I have four children: two boys, twin girls. Our eldest is in, was in college up until two days ago..I'll get to that...Our eldest was always our advant garde child, always marching to his own drumming. In school he was always defending the bullied, standing up to unjustice, being a little heckon of his own. He pushed envelops. He wanted to explore the workld on his own terms. Sometimes it got him trouble, sometimes it would just throw a monkey wretch into his situation. Well, when he was in senior year of high school he was filling out applications for college and then suddendly stopped, saying: "I have no idea what I want to do, why am I doing this?" So, my hubby and I watched as he enrolled himself into community college...until this semester..his last...see a pattern here...he quit...saying: "I don't know what I am doing, I need time to learn who I am."
Anyother parent would have flipped and I wasn't pleased mark you, but thank God he was doing this here and not in Boston or Atlanta. We still had some control of the situation. We could still help him consider what his options where, where he was going...I didn't want him living with us until he was thrity! I told him it wasn't great but it was a blessing. Truly God was calling him to take a GOOD look at his life and see where he was going and what he wanted to do. I am not jumping through hoops and dancing a jig, but I am trusting God that He will be and is being done with my eldest and the situation will turn out better than anything we could have planned!
That was child number one...on to child number two.
Our second is in his last year of middle school and having a hard time of it. It seems, though tonight was the first I heard of it, that he has been the subject of teasing, very little at first but now growing stronger. You have to know that our second son has a tendency to over react and put people on too high a scale so that it is almost impossible for them to meet his expectations. This has gotten him into trouble many times: misperception is a horrible thing. All of that hides a little boy who has become fearful...the fears that lies about who he is and how he is to be. These lies have made him timid. It was time for some motherly spiriual life coaching!
We are going to be looking at those lies and replacing them with the truth of who he is and who he is to become. He is also going to be putting on the armour of God. How is he dressing: sloppy, well, like the person he is to become? How is he thinking about himself: are his thoughts positive, are his reaction to people over reactions, is he sending out messages with his body language that is not positive, is he being strong, standing proud? How are his words he is using about himself and others are they positive? Is he looking at always improving, and not just hiding away hoping the problem will go away? Like his brother before him our second and I will walking this road together, working together to help him learn more about himself, and how to become who he is.
The day wasn't over! The twins turn at bat. It seems that dance class can be quite a challenge for you when your a fourth grader, and my fourth graders have differing reactions to being scolded by their dance teacher. My youngest twin will pour out all her frustration on all of us by pouting and arguing, and generally being in an ill temper: time for an intervention! We talked about emotions and how they tools we use but if we are not careful they come tools that use us! We came up with a contract between God, she and I. We are going to work on controling our emotions and keep in mind that we are to be respectful to everyone, treat everyone as we wish to be treated, to remember that each person we meet is a living reflection of God.
If I am going to be doing the asking I had to do the doing as well.
Today is the first day I am going to go on what I am calling a Spiritual Make-Over.
This will require a great deal of discipline/self discipline; something I have fallen off doing. As a mom you would think it would be quite easy to be self disciplined. After all its by the example that children learn as well as the guidance. But I have gotten off from self care, which is what this Spiritual Make-Over has as one of its aspects.
It asks you to call back to that time when you felt the "most" you. In my case it will be asking me to go back to treating myself as a woman and not as a "mom"; that semi-neutered being that just exists but does not think of "its" self as worthy enough to engage in self care.
Its been far too long since I have spent quality time in prayer, giving some thought to how I looked, not just if I was wearing clean clothes and I myself was clean. No this invites us to look at the idea of our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit. Well, frankly my temple has become a dump!
God made us in His image and likeness: male and female. So, if this is true than there must be "some" good in being a woman, a mom, a wife, lover and friend. For so long I had become involved with the children, ( we have four from college to fourth grade), and that involved being centre to all the "drama, trauma." When I was deeply engaged in all that I felt as if I had to become the guardian of the house...So...There I went down the dumps...frumpy-ville. A decade plus of feeling as if I had to be on top of things to the decline of myself. Did it do any good all of that?
Not really. The drama, trauma was best met when my Hubby and I worked on solutions together; when I "allowed" him to have a share in the parenting and solution making.
Today we are reaping the good harvest of being there as solid united parents, but I am reaping a harvest of control issues, body issues, weight issues, spiritual issues, God/Goddess issues.
Its time to take stock and do the good work.
It seems like many years ago, but in reality only several months, since I was once Director of Project Rachel and as such began my blogging experience there, as limited as it was.
Then, as now, I hoped that the blog be where I could speak to issues, offer insights and just give what little wisdom I have to these who came to Project Rachel. Here I hope this blog will give more than what I could give at Project Rachel. there the blog had a very limited use as a communication tool. When I was director there I hoped to be reaching a world wide, computerly literate, young/young at heart, "hipper" set. I always knew that I would not be blogging "full time" and had to reserve those blogs to only the times when inspiration hit...and they were properly few. But the nature of the job and my focus went were into creating programs and working with women and men who were suffering from an abortion experience.
Here in connections with Miracles Happen it will have a natural place, an adjunct to the newsletters and other material I will be writing. this blog can become my virtual dream/prayer log, demystifying the process and giving encouragemtn to others that "I am not the only one who feels this way!"
Spiritual Direction is an ancient practice of the Catholic Church, but so few know of it, use it or have heard of it that I thought it was time to bring it out into the open. Give it the exposure it deserves, open it up to everyone!