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Praying through the storms of the heart

Thursday, August 25th 2016 10:16 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA



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The weather has been saturated with dark skies, torrential rain and in many places, flooding. Traffic bogs down and short tempers flare. Under bright sun or dark clouds, honking horns and disgruntled drivers slowly creep at a snail’s pace down roadways as they make the daily work-to-home dash. Irritability follows us inside to days packed with ringing phones and endless meetings. Out in the elements again we are further exacerbated by fueling stops and dry cleaning pick up, all while mentally wondering what to cook for dinner.

Some days, just getting into a hot, steamy car can feel as if nothing is going the way we plan. But, although we can’t control the weather, we can choose the climate in our hearts. Driving through big puddles should be an invitation to slow down; can be a reminder to look again at what we let ourselves pass by in the now normal speed of life.

Rain, in moderation, has the ability to refresh the air, the earth. Perhaps we too can find revitalization if we look up from a different perspective; see through the drops for the gifts it may hold.

Becoming aware of how we let external sources determine our interior dispositions is a great lesson for our spiritual journeys.  

How do the elements—both nurturing and damaging—reflect upon your discernment?

Threshold moments

Thursday, May 12th 2016 9:49 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

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This week I had the honor of attending a college graduation. With joy-filled hearts that could not be diminished by darkening clouds, wind, and the threat of lighting, we all proudly claimed our section of the outdoor stadium bleachers. The moment the band started playing the familiar graduation tune we all stood up and started cheering so loud it became difficult to hear the music. The roar of the crowd increased each time a family recognized their soon-to-be graduate in the sea of processing black gowns.

Reading the sky, the university’s president went up to the microphone and changed the course of the ceremony by skipping all customary formalities and proceeding to the heart of our attendance—the conferring of degrees. As he invited the first row to rise he reassessed the increasing rain, wind and lightening, asked the 1,100 graduates to stand en masse, quickly conferred all degrees and urged everyone to run.

Although the process was less than ideal, all 1,100 students did officially graduate. After the storm passed, families found their way back to the field to take pictures with their graduates. Laughter and congratulations and pride filled the air--the storm did not dampen the spirit of the day. With soaking wet clothes, gowns, and hair, smiles could not have been brighter in each photo. Together graduates, families and friends discovered humor, resilience, a good story to tell and the freedom of a few extra hours to spend together. And graduates left the stadium field with one more life lesson: sometimes the signs we read around us will lead us to change plans.

Discernment requires flexibility and an openness to read the signs along the way. Midcourse adjustments may even lead to new discoveries.

How are you dealing with the storms of life that can be part of discernment?

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