Shine Bright

It’s certainly has been a while since I blogged. But here I am again, trying to lean in and trust in God’s plan for this little blog. I wrote the following for a CRHP fellowship meeting, and I wanted to share it here as well.

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Light, we take it for granted. We can flip a switch and a dark room is illuminated. Yet, in our lives, the light that only comes from God gets so easily dimmed by this world. We are bombarded with images, social media, advertising, tv shows and movies that show a world that looks glamorous but leaves us with a God-shaped hole. These are the same influences that play that negative soundtrack in our minds, you know the one, “I not worthy, I am not loved, I’m not pretty enough, that we simply aren’t enough.” But that’s not the life that God wants for us. He loves us with such an intensity that our human brains will never be able to understand. The same God who allowed His Son to die for our sins also gives us the Sacraments that give us ammunition to fight back against the darkness. We can sit in front of the true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and feel his peace. We can participate in the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that gives us a glimpse of Heaven and allows us to be one with our Lord. And he gives us forgiveness over and over again in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He truly overwhelms the darkness when we allow him into our lives and surrender to his everlasting love.

In my own life God shined a light on my heart to allow me to heal brokenness I didn’t truly realize I had. Three years ago I left teaching. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I left after much prayer and consideration and I was happy, and I still am. What I didn’t realize is that leaving teaching left me with a loss of my sense of identity. When asked what I do for a living a can no longer say that I am a teacher. In our culture, we’re asked from a very young age, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Not having an answer to this question, had allowed a darkness to live inside my heart and has kept me from growing as a daughter of Christ. God has been teaching me is that my identity is not rooted in anything the world can provide me or any title I can be given. I am worthy and loved by my Heavenly Father. I am the daughter of the one true King. That He is my light, my hope and my salvation and nothing can separate me from his love.

The challenge is to learn how to continue to put oil in our lamps so that we can burn brightly. In our day to day life, we can remember to do small things with great love, as St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa did. Everything we do from driving to dishes, to laundry, to putting the kids to bed are all ways we can glorify God in every moment and live in the light of Christ.

Secondly, we need to remember that we are not alone.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.”

The Saints can be a source of encouragement and intercede for us to God (such as when we ask family and friends to pray for us) and through the Saints, we learn that God uses every vessel to build his kingdom

St. Ignatius was a womanizer, St. Therese of Lisieux fell asleep while praying the Rosary, and “St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions”, before he gave his life to God.

Just as we can ask for the intercession of Saints, we are blessed with the people around us to aid us in our journey.  Within our communities, God provides us with here on Earth and the Saints in Heaven, we are never without someone we can share our struggles with. In turn, we are provided with encouragement and prayer.

Let us wait upon the Lord in the day to day struggles of laundry, dishes, crazy kids, and traffic. Let us see His glory and love in everyone. May these moments be used to renew our faith and allow us to see Christ in every person and in every situation. Let us turn to God when we have moments of darkness because his light will conquer the darkness in our own hearts and minds and all of the darkness in the world.

“It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness. He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the mask of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving your selves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” Saint Pope John Paul II.

Beloved – Jordan Feliz

 

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