The poison of the soul

Somewhere along the line, I read that “resentment is the poison of the soul.”  How true that is!

Several days ago, I attended a conference.  After the major presentation, participants were invited to share their views.  Because of the large number in attendance, we were restricted to three minutes per person.  A signal would be given when our time was up.  I raised my hand and shared going over the three minutes allowed.  At the end of the session, as I was preparing to leave, a man came up to me and in a “disciplinary” tone of voice reminded me that I had gone over three minutes by some thirty seconds. His displeasure was evident.  He was not the presenter or one of the conference officials.  I was taken aback and simply said, “thank you” and moved on.  Within minutes, I felt a creeping resentment taking hold of me.  “Who was he to speak to me in such a disciplinary tone of voice” … and the resentment went wild. I took the resentment to bed with me.  Not a good thing to do.  Sanity grabbed my attention the following morning, and I called a good friend and surrendered my resentment to him.  I also brought my resentment and that man to prayer.  I prayed for the man.

I know from my own experience that “resentment is the poison of the soul.”  The longer I entertain it; the more damage it does to me and that damage overflows and affects my relationship with others. Resentment needs to be acknowledged immediately and surrendered to God and to another human being before it gets entrenched in one’s soul.

Posted in Addictive behavior, Christian Faith, General Interests, Spirituality, stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Little signs from God

Little signs of God’s presence come to us each day if we but keep the eyes and ears of our hearts open.

I had a good but demanding weekend working with sixty men on a retreat program.  When I woke up this morning, I felt physically and psychologically depleted.  I looked out my window onto a cluster of barren trees.  It’s February, and it’s cold and dreary in Pittsburgh as it is in so many places at this time of year.  I was curious.  I spotted what seemed to be a red colored ball nestled among some branches.  What was a red ball doing in these branches? It wasn’ there yesterday. Suddenly the “ball” moved.  Wings began to move and a small head turned in my direction.  A bird!  A beautiful red bird with a touch of yellow and black on the tip of its wings. In the midst of depletion and February dreariness, I was gifted with the presence of this beautiful little bird.  I have never seen such a bird before.  What was it doing all alone in cold, dreary Pittsburgh in the middle of February?  I stood at my window admiring it – a sign of God’s presence.  A few minutes more, and it flew away.  Thank you, God, for this gift.  Thank you for this sign of Your Presence in my life this morning.

Posted in Christian Faith, General Interests, Prayer, stories, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Jesus’ condemnation of anger

My eye focused in on one of Jesus’ many condemnations in today’s Gospel, Matthew 5:17-37.  “… whoever is angry with his brother (or sister) will be liable to judgment…”. What is Jesus talking about?

Anger is a natural, normal human reaction that we have when someone (or something) offends us or hurts us or is somehow taken in a negative way by us.  We all get angry.  Sometimes we deny or repress our anger; at other times, we express it in active or passive aggressive ways.  Anger is a highly volatile emotion.  It is a feeling that can momentarily consume us and then dissipate or it can imprison us.  Anger can end up controlling us and coloring our daily living. We can get locked into our anger becoming its prisoners.

I believe that Jesus is referring to destructive anger, anger that imprisons us and drives us to retaliate in active or passive aggressive ways against others.  How do we deal with our anger? How do we avoid becoming prisoners of our anger?

  • We begin by acknowledging that we are angry;
  • We own our anger;
  • We choose to express our anger in appropriate ways;
  • We surrender our anger to God in prayer, praying for ourselves and for the well-being of those with whom we are angry;
  • We choose to go beyond our anger and focus on the positive.
Posted in Addictive behavior, Christian Faith, General Interests, Jesus, Spirituality, Today's Scripture Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the Word of God feeds us

Crowds followed Jesus into the desert to be fed by His words.  They were starving for Truth and Authenticity.  They were an oppressed people with little or no hope for a better future.  Jesus spoke with deep faith and conviction.  He offered them purpose and meaning in life.  He taught them a new value system that would validate their lives. He fed the hungry crowds with good bread but more importantly, He fed them with the Word of God. Matthew 4:4b – today’s Gospel acclamation – tells us: ”One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This soul bread – this word that comes from the mouth of God is available to us each day. Blessed are we who believe and are fed by this Word.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christian Faith, General Interests, Jesus, Spirituality, Today's Scripture Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day remembrances

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day – a day to remember special women in our lives.

This morning, I spent some time in prayer remembering the special women in my life:

  • my loving mother, Anna, now with God these past twenty years …
  • my sister, Laurette…
  • my three nieces: Michele, Lorraine & Diane…
  • my five grand nieces:  Brittany, Courtny, Anna, Karissa & Justine …
  • my great grand niece:  Holly…
  • my nephew Bob’s long time companion: Deb…
  • my good friend of over forty-five years:  Joanne…
  • special friends like Pat & Susan…
  • my god daughters: Linda, Bernadette & Amy…
  • friends who are now with God such as Anne & Eleanor…
  • and there are so many other women who at various times of my life have touched my life and enriched it by their love … my grandmothers, numerous aunts, cousins, teachers, and so many women I have met on my life’s journey …

Thank you, all of you, for being in my life.  I remember precious moments with all of you… (perhaps you might want to do a similar list)…

 

Posted in Christian Faith, General Interests, Spirituality, stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment