Tomorrow we get back into Ordinary Time (vs. Advent, Christmas & Epiphany…) but before so doing, let’s backtrack a bit to the Wise Men following a Star. At church last week Msgr. Mike challenged us about the kind(s) of stars we follow – popularity, power, partners (of the romantic sort) vs. the Star of faith that leads us to Jesus Christ.
Something to contemplate (!) What stars lead us (or mislead us as the case may be?)
To be honest, i try to follow stars of the Faith sort (studying Scriptures, doing the church thing, PRAYING etc.) but I get sidetracked by glittering stars that are sometimes more tinsel than substance (Getting Ahead, Getting accepted in Tinsel Town, Getting to be a Glittering Fashionista, Getting ‘the latest’ Gadget – ok, ok, some of the gadgets are Really Helpful Tools, but the pursuit of an Overabundance of such things can sometimes Be Distracting…)
…& sometimes even in the realm of Faith we get caught up following Personalities vs. the Person of Jesus Christ. ‘Tis not that Pastor Smith or Sister Sarah or Father Ryan are not Good People of Faith, or that Faith-based organization we’re working for, or ministry, or projects we’re doing to Help Others are not Good Things – but we must always make SURE that the Light guiding us is 100% Sonshine through the powering unction of the Holy Spirit. This is becoming a Sermon (oops!)
I really wanted to share something I’ve been munching on all week. A favorite New Year’s Day activity is selecting the pile of Daily Devotional Readers for the year (i am such a Geek! : ) As my stash continues to grow (‘tis always joyful to find a collection of daily readings from a favorite spiritual writer), each year the selection becomes More Difficult.
One of my favorites (there are many – especially Henri Nouwen’s “Bread for the Journey click here to read about it) is my tattered copy of Catherine Doherty’s, “Grace in Every Season,” that has been like a friend these past 20 years (highlighted, re-highlighted & newly highlighted this very day!)
A woman of incredible faith, Catherine de Hueck Doherty was born into the aristocracy of czarist Russia. Commended for her heroic service as a nurse on the front lines during World War I, she later escaped Bolshevik Russia & landed penniless as a refugee in Canada with her ill husband & small son. Working her way up from a maid to eventually an executive to provide for her family, she regained her lost wealth – only to give it all to the poor as she went to live & work in the slums of Toronto & later Harlem.
Outspoken as an activist for Civil Rights (& Human Rights for ALL!), Catherine was often spit on & threatened, but her faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ shone brightly for all to see, along with His Love that touched all – the Big & Small.
Here’s a reflective quote from Catherine about how the Magi following the star relates to us: (In Russia at Christmas they made huge ornamental stars to hang over their homes representing the star that led the Magi…)
“The star is always before us. We only have to open our eyes to see the star…Are we going to follow it or are we going to waste a lifetime catching stars that are not there?
If we really go & follow that star, that one & only star, we will become a star & others will follow us, to that immense star, Christ. And then, we will become a flame, for the star is fire and flame and beauty and love, faith and hope. And at that moment…we are enveloped by the Spirit and we, ourselves, have become a prayer. Then you will walk, and I will walk, in the revelation of His infinite love that surrounds us and reveals itself wherever we go.” Catherine de Hueck Doherty (Grace in Every Season)
grace, peace & Flames (of Faith)