Archive for the ‘The Daily Post’ Category

via Daily Prompt: Mystical

God’s ways are mysterious to us because of our inability to see into the future. We do not have God’s perspective.

Written by Charles W. Sidoti, BCC, / Blog: https://sidoticharles.wordpress.com/

Like it or not our lives are unfolding mysteries. I say “like it or not” because sometimes it is very hard to let our lives be a mystery. Often, we would much rather know the outcome of things – now. The old Beatles song “Let It Be” has always held special meaning for me. The wisdom of the song’s message seems to apply especially well in regard to coming to terms with the realm of mystery in our lives. The question is, “Can you…let it be?”

When we talk about the realm of mystery in our lives we are talking about everything and everyone both in this particular moment and beyond. It includes what has already happened in our past and its relationship to what is yet to come. The realm of mystery in our lives is, in large part, about what the future holds for us and for those we love.

Many people, myself included, enjoy a good mystery. The elements of mystery, intrigue, and surprise make for good reading, storytelling, and movies. In fact, without them the stories, movies, and books we enjoy so much would be boring and bland. It is interesting to observe that the very thing we look for in movies and books to make them worthwhile, the element of mystery, is often perceived as threatening to us when it comes to our own life. Mystery, as it unfolds in the life of a character in a movie, we experience as pure joy and entertainment. This is because we have no real stake in the outcome of the story or the fate of the character. Not only do we enjoy the presence of mystery in the movies we watch and the books we read; we are actually healed by it. Perhaps what is so healing about a good mystery novel is that by reading it, by allowing ourselves to be absorbed in the story, we enter a state of being where we accept the element of mystery, or the unknown, in our minds and hearts. Again, because we have no real stake in the outcome of the story, we are not threatened by it, yet we still benefit emotionally from its healing effect.

And yet, so much of our actual lives are an unfolding mystery, in that the future is unknown to us. So the question becomes: How can we begin to transfer some of the acceptance we have for the element of mystery in books and movies into our own lives as we face the very real future?

The first step is to realize that the same “element of mystery” that adds spice to the things we find entertaining also adds spice to our real lives and makes living worthwhile. The more we allow this truth to be integrated into our life, the more we will be able to let life be a mystery. Learning to see the unknown element of your life (the future) no longer as a threat, but as simply the way life is, will allow you to relax. It will enable you to participate, and to respond more freely, to the unfolding mystery that is the story of your life.

Connecting Point: It has been said, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” It is absolutely true. God’s ways are mysterious to us because of our inability to see into the future. We do not have God’s perspective. Just for today, try to believe that God is doing God’s part in your life in ways that, at least for now, may be unknown to you. Believe that, eventually, God’s unseen work will be made known to you. Realize, however, that it may only be in hindsight that you are able to see it; and that is something to look forward to!

Prayer: Lord, it is hard to wait, especially when I feel alone and confused. Help me to respond with enough trust in you to allow some measure of mystery in my life. Help me to learn to live with the uncertainty that is a naturally occurring part of life, as unsettling as it is. In those times, help me to really believe that you are at work in my life in ways yet unknown to me, and to trust in your work on my behalf. Help me to be patient. Amen.

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God s time often differs from our time says the author, and in this compelling book (written with Rabbi Akiva Feinstein), he provides spiritual insights about how to cope with constant change and the worry about the future that comes with it.

God s time often differs from our time says the author, and in this compelling book (written with Rabbi Akiva Feinstein), he provides spiritual insights about how to cope with constant change and the worry about the future that comes with it.

This article is an excerpt from “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time.A Traditionally Published Book – Get it on Amazon $14.95: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Gods-Speed-Healing-Time/dp/158595831X

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A Prayer:  “With Open Hands” – Free me, Lord, from the inner bondage and endless cycle of what I think needs to happen before I can be happy. Free me, Lord, from my idea of the solution. Help me to wait with open ended, joyful expectation; and help me to experience your peace. Amen. (Charles W. Sidoti)

By Charles W. Sidoti, BCC

Ever wish you were more able to go with the flow? Have you ever wished you could go through the day without something upsetting your inner peace? It can be very helpful in this regard to think about how well you process the constant change that life provides. How well you process change has a direct relationship to the level of inner peace you experience.

If you’re like most people, you will discover that it is usually easier to talk or philosophize about change than it is to deal with it when it occurs, especially if the change is unwanted or unexpected. When the ground shifts, and life changes, our clear-sightedness and wisdom, so readily available when all is going well, evaporate, and an inner storm arises. For the moment, we may lose our footing, our sense of being in control.

I have begun to realize, however, that the inner storms we sometimes experience are usually naturally occurring events in the process of human growth. The transitional period of life commonly referred to as the midlife crisis is a classic example. Even the sense of losing control can be an important part of the growth process. This insight can be the beginning of a healing process, one that can help us to loosen our grip on the steering wheel of life. An ongoing personal transition can then begin to take place—a transition from fear to trust. If we can somehow manage to remain open, resisting the urge to panic, we will begin to realize that there really is a higher power that remains in control when the things we can do come to an end.

Famous American Catholic writer Thomas Merton, describes the need to feel that you are in control as “a need to see the future before it happens.” This is something many of us try to do even though we know that it is impossible. As we gradually learn to trust, our “need to see” starts to become less powerful in our lives. Merton goes on to say,

 Realizing that you don’t need to see—is seeing, and it can be a very clear form of sight (Thomas Merton – The Mystic Life).

This “realizing” can be a very slow process, but just knowing that an inner transformation is taking place is, in itself, healing. It is true to say that the healing each of us desires is being born out of the various struggles of our individual lives, out of the very ground upon which we stand. The more we are able to be attentive to what is happening in our lives in this present moment, the more we will be open and available to receive the gift of inner healing that God desires to bestow upon us.

Becoming a person who is better able to go with the flow is proportional to our level of trust. Trust that the changes that occur in our lives are not just random, chaotic events, as they sometimes seem to be. Trust that there’s more to life than meets the eye.

Connecting Point: Believing there is more to life than meets the eye opens the door to the personal realization that life is a sacred journey. It enables you to see beyond the outward appearance of things and to trust in what is yet to come. Trusting that there is more to life than meets the eye is a prerequisite to living a life of hope, making it possible to go with the flow.

Prayer: Lord, it is obvious that there is much more going on in life than what I am aware of. Help me to believe that “more” is you. Enable me to trust in your work in my life enough to not need to see today that which you are preparing for my tomorrow. Amen.

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This article is an excerpt from ,”Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time.” By Charles W. Sidoti with Rabbi Akiva Feinstein.

Read the Introduction, Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter on the Twenty-Third Publications website: http://store.pastoralplanning.com/liatgospiing.html

Get it on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Gods-Speed-Healing-Time/dp/158595831X

A Great Gift Idea!

By Charles W. Sidoti, BCC

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”  (Matthew 6:21).  Of all the sayings of Jesus in the New Testament, I think this is one of the most clear and direct.  The words of Catholic author Robert J. Wicks echo the same message when he says, “Tell me what you think about most of the time and I’ll tell you who your God is.”

In pondering where my own treasure lies, I found myself thinking about my personal prayer time.  I asked myself, “Is my personal prayer time the place where my heart’s treasure is supposed to be?”  If it is, then there is a problem. While I definitely find consolation in prayer and consider it a most essential part of my life, I often find it difficult.  It is hard to make time for prayer.  Perhaps you can relate to this.  As soon as I decide that I am going to pray, something else comes to my mind that I just have to do immediately.  Some days my time for personal prayer never happens because I do the activity that came to my mind instead.  At other times prayer can seem dry and barren, not filled with consolation at all.

I sometimes think, “Is prayer supposed to be like this? Why does it often feel like such a chore?”  But I have come to see this struggle in a different way.  If our relationship is to be with the “Living God” and not some distant, imagined (pie-in-the-sky) god then it truly must be this way.  Think about it: If sitting alone in prayer were always easy, if it were always filled with peace and consolation, it probably would be all we would want to do.  Our participation in life and our involvement with other people would decrease dramatically, and we would not seek God there. The difficulty I find in personal prayer, I have come to see as God’s way of directing me back into the activity of daily life.  God is present there as well as in my personal prayer time.

Don’t misunderstand. Our personal prayer time is critically important, and you and I need to persevere in it.  We will receive enough consolation from it to keep us coming back.  But we also need to realize that the dryness and emptiness we at times experience in our prayer time is normal.  It is in reality the best spiritual direction we will ever receive, provided that we interpret it correctly and don’t become too discouraged.  remember that God chooses to come to us not only in our personal prayer time, but also in the midst of your daily activity, especially in the relationships we have with other people.

The realization that the dryness I experience in prayer is God’s way of directing me to pay attention to what’s happening in my daily life has completely changed the way I see my day.  The lesson here is to know that is to know that whether you are engaged in your personal time for prayer, or in the midst of your daily activities, God is present in that place.  As you gradually learn to seek God in daily life as well as during your specifically dedicated “prayer time,” you will realize that it is possible to fulfill the scriptural directive to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) because your “life” will have become a prayer.

Connecting Point:  What is the desire of your heart? Ponder the statement:
“Tell me what you think about most of the time and I’ll tell you who your God is.”

PrayerLord, open my mind that I may live in such a way that knowing and loving you may truly become the the desire of my heart.  Thank you for the desire that you have given me to pray to you in moments of solitude.  May I also realize that you reveal your presence to me in the activities of my daily life. Open my heart to your presence in my daily activities so that my everyday life may become a prayer.  Amen.

This article is from my book “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time” 

Read the Introduction, Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter on Twenty Third Publications website:  http://store.pastoralplanning.com/liatgospiing.html

Buy it on Amazon $13.46:  http://www.amazon.com/Living-Gods-Speed-Healing-Time/dp/158595831X