The Amazing Power of Appreciation

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I recently had the opportunity to take a cruise with my family. I was very careful in my planning. I checked the airline, bus transfers and cruise accommodations to be sure that my electric wheelchair would not create a problem. Well, my planning was not adequate. The bus could not take me. (We ended up in a taxi separated from the rest of the family). When we got on board we found out that the docking station for my wheelchair had been moved 4 decks and a half a ship apart from my cabin. I was starting to get upset. Despite all my planning things were not going well.
I knew that if I wanted to enjoy this wonderful vacation I had better see things from a different perspective. Through my years of Catholic education I was always taught to look for Christ in others. With that in mind, I began to see how much everyone I came in contact with was working so hard to accommodate me. The waiters would arrange a clear path to my table. The bus drivers made an extra effort to make sure I was comfortable. On one shore excursion I even had my own tour guide that made sure my experience was a good as everyone else’s. Christ was everywhere!! And he was taking care of ME.
From the moment I left on this vacation Christ was with me. All I had to do was look for Him. And appreciate all that He was doing for me. Needless to say, I had a wonderful vacation. The power of appreciation was astonishing. It took me from being a grouchy old lady who was feeling sorry for herself to a thankful person trying to be Christ for others. Do you remember to look for Christ? It’s easy to forget, but taking the time to appreciate the goodness in your life will change everything. It did for me.
Stephanie McMorrow
Hermits of St. Giles

Making Our World A Better Place

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I think a lot since I’ve been laid up recouperating  from an illness. I’m sure everybody finds themselves thinking a lot when laid up. Stupid things come into my head. Things like, that show “Bait Car” is total entrapment. I can’t believe it’s legal. Or on a serious note, why would a country use chemical weapons on their own people? If that’s not the lowest thing anyone can ever do. And what’s the answer. I hem and ha when people complain about intervening and actually wanting to help them. We may think there is nothing we can do about the troubles in our world since we’re laid up, but there actually is something we can do. We can pray for them. It may sound silly but it’s really not. There have been people who were laid up in bed for most of their lives that were canonized Saints. It’s easy to focus on ourself when we’re sick or recouping from surgery. This isn’t a bad thing, but when we come out of ourselves and think of others we often learn that our struggles and the struggles of others need the help from the Holy Spirit. God works through us by way of the Holy Spirit. We often wish God would just come in and rescue all of us. It doesn’t seem to always work this way. I think it’s because God wants to teach us that He wants us to also be involved with making His world a better place. We often think it’s to overwhelming. Where do we begin? When I look at those who were bedridden and have become Saints, I know that I can do something too, even  if it is just saying a prayer. God can take the smallest prayer and turn it into something great and He often does. When we see the world and the state it’s in, we often call God to jump in and change things, so let’s remember instead that He really does want us to participate and be His partners, even if all we can do is offer Him a small prayer. He wants from us a heart that cares, a heart that loves.
Even though I lay here and complain about silly shows on TV, I know I can do better. I know I can take a part of my day to pray for others and also pray for myself be a better person. What I do with my time truly does matter in the great scheme of life. My time can be used to make the world a better place.
Pax et Bonum
Bro. Mark
Hermits of St. Giles