Monday, March 17, 2014

Lent Day 13 - Seeing With His Eyes

Here we are at Day 13 of our Lenten journey. What changes have occurred in your heart so far? For me, I am discovering patience is easy when you trust Him and His perfect timing . . . the problem is sometimes He takes a little longer than I desire! Which, in turn, challenges me in achieving my goal for Lent . . . patience. Ah! Such a vicious cycle at times! Jay and I have started reading Anne's book Lessons in Love this week. This morning, this statement by Anne really hit me, "We are, each of us, an ongoing heavenly project after all and we are, each of us, called to cooperate with heaven on the projects that are the people around us." To me, the message was to stop focusing on my wants/needs, using His heavenly gaze to help those around me . . . to bring Him to every person I encounter. In His mercy, He will make sure I have what I need. He always has. So, the question is, how can I help another today? By seeing with His Eyes, not my own.

Todays Gospel (Luke 6:36-38) is key to live our lives as Christians:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she gives us the profile of a lay apostle and how to see ourselves and others with His Eyes:

"How do we separate ourselves from those who are destructive? We all have similar temptations, if the truth be told. We may crave attention, want to be admired and have rebellious thoughts against authority. So it is good to see that often our claim of holiness is not one we can back up in every moment. But here is the difference between your average struggling apostle and the one who is a fake. The average struggling apostle (most of us fall into this category) knows he is no saint. He has a realistic attitude about his gaps in holiness and he is striving to do better. He understands that to protect God’s interests, he has to exert himself and even then God’s interests are at risk from his humanity. The average struggling apostle will have the ability to laugh at himself when he is ridiculous and he will have a good working knowledge of his weaknesses and temptations. These others are not in touch with either their capacity for good or their instinct for destruction. They destruct at will. Wherever they go there is tearing down, drama, condemnation of others and judgment. Superiority comes out in regular waves like the rings emitted from a tracking device. They move, the superiority shifts to others but it keeps coming off them. Regardless of how much praising of God they do with their lips, eventually anger shows up because there is not enough attention in the world for them. Perhaps those reading this will wonder if in writing about this I am passing judgment. Be assured, I am convinced there are mitigating circumstances which will result in merciful treatment of those who behave this way. My goal in illuminating these things is to warn apostles to be alert to false representatives of holiness. They are a danger to our peace and to God’s work. They infiltrate our organizations and groups and create all manner of upheaval. How often we witness a holy apostle being compassionate and accepting ill-treatment in these situations, consistently returning love for hostility and overlooking attacks. It is good to try to achieve a good outcome and give others every possible benefit of the doubt but, at some point, one must tell a holy apostle, “This person holds ill will for you. You cannot fix this person.” There are times when we have to move decisively to protect ourselves or our work from such impostors." 

Lay apostles, today, look at others/situations with His Eyes instead of your own. See as Jesus sees . . . with love, kindness, and patience. Practice what He tells us in the Gospel today. Live as Anne describes above. But be alert . . . I have had to disconnect from toxic people in order to keep focused on Him. I know what you're thinking . . . if I'm a Christian, shouldn't I keep trying with toxic people? Think about the life of Christ. Did He stick around waiting for people to believe? If you listen, He will direct you. 

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to develop more patience this Lent. In my heart, I know Your timing is perfect. Can you please relay that message to my brain? 

God bless,


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