Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spiritual "seasons"

Rather than thinking about what my "word for the year" is, for many years I have been aware of the specific seasons of grace that I move through. God generally guides me with repeated illustrations of the virtue or lesson that He wants me to learn - with scripture, with circumstances, with interior visions, etc. Right now I'm in a season of learning more deeply how (as numerous saints have reminded us) "ALL is grace". I have been led to pray every morning - before I even get out of bed - that I would be able to see more clearly all the gifts He has given - the ability to cook meals and to enjoy them; the ability to see things in color; the songs of the birds; the great service that buzzards and banana slugs and microbes do in getting rid of nature's trash; and on and on. ALL is grace.

The long canticle of praise from Daniel chapter 3 (sorry, protestant friends, it's not in your version of the Bible) is part of my reading every morning and recently I have had the revelation that all of creation is delightful to God (of course, the Bible tells us that, but now I see it). For instance, one of the lines from that canticle [BTW, a canticle is simply a psalm that is somewhere other than in the Book of Psalms] is "Bless the Lord, mountains and hills/sing praise to Him and highly exalt Him forever". Now of course it doesn't make sense that the mountains and hills need exhortation like that, as though they don't already praise Him and now should begin. No, what's really being communicated there is that the existence of the mountains and the hills blesses God. Their very existence is an act of praise to Him.

Twenty years ago or so God gave me a word and an accompanying picture. It was a call to walk out into the ocean of God's love, and keep going until I drowned. Drowning in His love - at that point there's nothing left of your ability to hold yourself up, to preserve your own sense of what's safe or right. There is nothing left for you to cling to. There is no thought of self-preservation. There is only trust in God's love.

How perfect it is that the current missal readings include the first letter of John, in which we are reminded over and over of how much God loves us. How perfect that Pope Francis is emphasizing God's love as the main theme of all creation. If you're having a hard time trusting God, develop a habit that will remind you of all the ways His great love is made manifest to you every day.

Here's one simple way of doing this: I just discovered that Jenny at Plain Grace has a Friday linkup named "Moments of Grace". It's a way of reflecting on and sharing the many graces that God has poured out on us in the past week, and it only takes a few minutes once a week. May you discover how rich is His love that surrounds you always.


  1. So profound, Anna! I'm just catching up on my woefully backed-up reading list. The notion that mere existence sings praise to God - wow. Just wow. That is absolutely something I needed to hear right now, when I don't feel like I am doing enough or anything right. Thank you, dear friend for being a vessel of the Holy Spirit. There's my grace for the week. :)

  2. Muchas bendiciones a ti, mi hermana! I'm so glad that I could brighten your day!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks, Buddy. I have also enjoyed your blog and will continue to check in to read your posts.


I'd love to know your thoughts!