For a stay-at-home (mostly) month, it has been a very busy week. Doah's special education teacher from his Ohio days is visiting, along with her son. Doah came over and has stayed with us during the past week also, returning to his group home last night. Mostly we have toured and exhibited San Francisco and, of course, our own little San Ignatio, where the weather has been fully cooperative: balmy and sunny. Yesterday culminated the purpose of the trip here: Doah's confirmation, beautifully done by our priest.
This week, as in the last couple of weeks, I finally made it past Matthew 7 to Matthew 8, where a number of miracles of Jesus are recited. While all of the verses merit attention, the one that grabbed my attention the most is a well known one that Jesus spoke before he calmed a storm that had frightened the disciples: "Oh, you of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
Reading: Matthew 8:26
Meditation: So, how does one develop the level of faith that one is not afraid when threatening events enter one's life? I remember asking that of a priest during confession when I was afraid of a task facing me when I was going to be going to a war zone for a short stint, and he gave me some good direction to simply pray the simple prayer over and over, "Jesus, I trust in you." (Ironically, when I arrived at Camp Julien, I felt no fear at all.) Other times, I have taken a problem that truly frightened me on a professional (not physical) level and then worried about, only to be told "let Me have it," which could be interpreted as "Oh, Beth, of little faith, why are you so afraid?" I am getting better at this, learning these lessons one after another, but there is still that little fear gremlin that occasionally jumps out at me at high-stress teams.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise Jesus for these parables that teach us so much. I will ask God to help me grow my faith to where no fear gremlin can draw my attention even for a second, and I will repent for each time I have given that gremlin any attention at all. As always, I will thank God for never giving up on me even when my faith has not been top notch.
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.