Inspiration

Are You Living Dead or Alive?

Recently I have noticed being stuck in a rut.  As much as I love the comfort of a routine, I am realizing that this can create a deadness in me. So, I have decided to switch it up.  When I say my daily rosary, rather than praying with community, I walk in silence observing nature.  I am throwing some Pilates in with my yoga practice.  I am re-committed to tracking what I eat.  And I am actively calling the Holy Spirit to be with me throughout my day.  These small, intentional changes help me live more fully alive, feeling inspired rather than in the deadness of a rut.  Next step will be to add some creative spice.  My needlepoint is calling me again.  It is a two-fer – I can enjoy nightly Netflix with my husband, and I can keep my fingers busy and the snacking at bay!

We are all spiritual beings whether we acknowledge it or not.  Do you notice how dead or alive you are feeling right now?  We all go through spiritually dead times as this is our human nature but there are practices we can use to help revive us.  We all need periodic personal revivals.  This past year has been that for me as I have been living in the yuck of not knowing what is next.  With the current death of my career, what will fill that void for the long haul?  I am learning the difference between career = security versus security = God.  This dead time has been a revival in trusting God which is life-giving. This is where He meets me, in the yuck, the mess, the suffering.  As I pray more, sit in silence, and notice, I see the glitter of present-day miracles that surround me.  And glitter makes me happy. It keeps me from wandering into the what-ifs’ of the future which is living dead. 

All of us have parts in us that need to be pruned and reawakened – that is the human experience.  I love how this Abiding Together podcast framed it as a personal revival.  This really resonated with me as I want to live consciously and actively seek the dead parts of me that need to be revived.

Former atheist, now nun and founder of the Memento Mori project, invites us to remember our death. In my twitter feed this morning, she underscored “You are going to die – live for heaven now.”  This is an interesting perspective that I have noticed many shy away from, at least in our culture which seems to live in the Superman complex thinking that “I am indestructible, and I will live forever.” 

My own encounter with God happened when I applied Step Two of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Keep the End in Mind.  How did I want to be remembered when I am gone?  This question shifted me to live my values and gave me an eternal perspective.  This gift of eternal perspective that God gave me was a lifeline in this past year of suffering.  It is a year I learned to really trust God.  God is good, and he is always with me. St. Paul in Ephesians talks about the sword of truth in scripture.  This weapon of truth helps to counter the lies we tell ourselves that break down our trust in God’s goodness.  Truth provides the glitter to sustain my hope and joy.

As believers, we are given a super-power within us, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  But just like any superhero, we need to know the power and how to best use it.  Spending time in centering prayer and letting the Spirit fill me has been a game changer.  This practice invites the Spirit to grow in me as He wishes without having to deal with my agenda.  It helps me live alive, inspiring my words and my actions and provides daily personal revival. As I settle into my centering prayer with Psalm 25, I love the action words “make me, teach me.”  I need that heavy handedness sometimes in my spiritual relationship.

Lord, make me know your ways.  Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me: for you are God my savior. 

Focus on His truth, Psalm 25

Every Christian is unique because the Holy Spirit inspires something new and original in each of us, creating a glitter filled field of holiness.  It is sad to see so many people lost and without hope today.  Hope is a person.  If we do not accept the gift of the Holy Spirit in us, we cannot have a relationship with God or Christ.  Living connected to Christ allows us to live out our uniqueness.  The Spirit opens us up to God’s presence and draws us into the vortex of love which is God’s heart.  We have peace in our hearts and become a reflection of love.

Do you make it a daily practice to call upon the Holy Spirit, so Christ is present in your life?  Maybe it has been a while since you prayed, or you have lost the desire to pray or are not praying from the heart.  As Pope Francis said in a recent audience, this is the time to say:

“Come. Come, Holy Spirit and warm my heart. Come teach me to pray, teach me to look to the Father, the Son, teach me the way the path of faith goes, teach me to love, and above all, teach me to have an attitude of hope.” 

Amen

We would be lost and untethered in the world if Christ were far away.  But the Spirit, the breath of life, is our connection and anchors us to Christ.  Endless encounter is available to us at the tip of our tongue if we have the humility, courage, and desire to ask.

This weekend, the Church celebrates Pentecost, one of the most important feast days of the year that concludes the Easter season and celebrates the beginning of the Church.   Pentecost is the celebration of the person of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Jesus, who were gathered together in the Upper Room. The Holy Spirit also gave the apostles the other gifts and fruits necessary to fulfill the great commission – to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations. It fulfills the New Testament promise from Christ (Luke 24:46-49) that the Apostles would be “clothed with power” before they would be sent out to spread the Gospel.

Smitten With Goodness is curious about and will be exploring the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit over the next few months.  The more we know about our superpowers, we can use them for goodness and to live alive.  I will leave you with the wise life giving words from mystic St. Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Praying you are Smitten with God’s Goodness,

Cynthia

2 thoughts on “Are You Living Dead or Alive?”

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