Friday, July 31, 2020

"Glorious Ones, You Are With Me" by Regina Madonna Oliver, from A Promise of Presence by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver

Unsplash: Andrew Bui

By the might of God's glory you'll be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast and endure joyfully what­ ever may happen. Thanks be to God that you share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light!
Colossians 1:11-12 

My friend, Ken, tells of an incident thirty years ago that reminds him, even today, that his life is totally in God's hands. It happened after a grueling all-night job followed by a six­ hour day shift. By early afternoon, Ken was totally exhausted. He took out a cigarette, lit it, and stretched out on his bed to relax. Within minutes, Ken began to feel drowsy; he could tell he was falling asleep. Just before dropping off, he reached over to the bedside table and placed the cigarette in an ash tray.

"In my unconscious state," Ken recalls, "I clearly heard my mother's voice say: 'Kenneth!' She always called me Kenneth. Then I heard it again, more insistent and louder: 'Kenneth!' I was slightly
roused but still drugged with sleep. Finally, a third time, loud and more adamant, she called me: 'Kenneth!' This time I was jolted completely awake and shot up from the bed. The curtain was blowing in the breeze and had dislodged the cigarette from the edge of the ash tray; it was on the sheet next to my pillow. In a few more moments there would have been a serious fire. The thing is, my mother had been dead for seventeen years. But I know I heard her voice; I believe she was watching over me and that God used her to awaken me because he had more for me to do on this earth."

Ken stands amazed at the mystery of God's plan for his life. Through the years, he has suffered a number of life-threatening illnesses. Yet he is still very much alive and doing good in his community- at well past seventy. He looks and acts about fifty, and one would never guess by outward appearance how often he has been at death's door. Had his life been taken, Ken would not have been there to offer his kindness to others when they needed it.

Ken is hard-pressed to state exactly what God's plan is for him or why he has so often been brought back to health. He simply acknowledges the hand of God in his life, believing that God has a plan for him. He is content in his daily faith, living out God's plan day by day.

That is really the most any of us can do: marvel at the myste­rious way our life seems to criss-cross the lives of others, believe there is a plan for us, and continue in the daily walk of faith to live loving and caring lives. Centered in God and assisted by those glorious ones who are always with us, we reach out to others moment by moment. Then one day, when God does call us home, we will be able to see the total panorama of life. We will understand how our life contributed to the total beauty of God's universal plan.


Think about the dear ones in your life who have died and are with God, saints in glory. How close do they seem to you? Do you sense that they still have concern for you, that they continue to pray for and with you? Put a picture of one of these special people in a place of honor today. You might choose to light a vigil candle to remind you of your closeness and love for that person. In your prayer, include the presence of this loved one, who joins you in prayer and who intercedes for you.


Make this your prayer today:
Saints of God and all God's angels- glorious ones! You are with me and pray with me here, during my quiet time with God.


Be aware of  God's presence and consider the word "saint" and how
it applies to you. Recall that those commonly referred to as "saints" led real lives, with their ups and downs, just as you do. They struggled to make their faith-walk a lived walk, just as you do. Thank God for gazing on you as one of the "saints" in this world.


Read Ephesians 2:19-22. Read it a second time to absorb the majesty to which it says you are called. Savor the phrase that strikes you with its poignancy as you sit in peace  aware of the Holy One dwelling within you.


Read Philippians 4:4-7. Feel the power of this Scripture enabling you to live confidently in God. Feel  peace embrace you. Hold on to the one sentence that especially nourishes you. Pray this sen­tence over and over in rhythm with your breath as you rest in God's presence.


Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23-25. Think about how this Scripture is active in the present moment; Paul intercedes for you, too. Claim God's promises as your own today. Be aware that "the One who calls is trustworthy" is within you and that you are a holy person growing more deeply in divine compassion and love 


Savor the word "holy" throughout the day. Know that God calls you to holiness. Pray the word "holy" in harmony with your breathing. Think about how that one word totally describes God, who is all in all. Think about how it describes people you know in this world or in the next who reflect God's goodness for you. Think about how it describes you. Continue to use the word "holy" as your mantra for as long as you are able to rest in God's love.


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