The Cheerio and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Lonely Cheerio which should bug the devil out of me.

The Lonely Cheerio which should bug the devil out of me.

   I cleaned up the mess of a 15 month old boy’s self instruction in the art of eating, only to find an hour later I missed one more little crumb maker in a corner of the kitchen.  I used to get mad at messes like this, but over the last year I’ve chilled out a lot.  Somehow this cheerio made it into my rosary meditations last night.  Somehow this little cheerio, my reaction to it and the Sacred Heart of Jesus all came together.

    As I went through the Joyful Mysteries (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation and Discovery in the Temple) I thought of the incredible trust Joseph and Mary had in God.  First you have two people who have a plan…got job, get married and live a nice little life in Nazareth with a few kids along the way.  Then an angel appears to each of them and says…God has a different and much greater plan for you!  Both gracefully accept their commission, and they became the gateway for our Lord Jesus to enter the the world and save our souls.  

   After meditating on the first four mysteries I found myself thinking about how each our arrival in our family changed our worldly plans.  Gone were the new cars, fancy house, and two people generating good steady incomes.  I thought of how we prayed over the decision to homeschool our children, and the lifestyle changes it brought on us.  I thought of our acceptance of being open to life in our marriage with the blessings of five children and five miscarriages it brought.  This brought me back to the Cheerio on the floor while Jesus was in the temple as a young man.

    I related to the panic Joseph and Mary had when they could not find Jesus.  I could only imagine the things they wanted to say when they found Jesus calmly going about his father’s work in the temple.  In the moment of finding Jesus, Joseph and Mary each were able to view a mini-transfiguration.  Jesus foreshadowed to them his future mission, and how well he would perform it.  Joseph and Mary were able to put all their emotions and order, and enjoy a moment of clarity on what their entire lives were entirely ordered for.  Jesus’ parent saw a glimpse of Jesus Sacred Heart on display.

   That cheerio on the floor, one of hundreds I am sure, is one of the many of sins I’ve committed against God’s law in my lifetime.  Jesus may have used that cheerio  to have me peer into his Sacred Heart.  When I saw the cheerio, I quieted my mind and fury about why it was there.  I just accepted it was there.  

    Christ gives constant charity to me for my sins despite the wounds I place on his heart.  In turn I must continue mirroring his charity in my life despite all the changes and challenges the world and my choices put in the way.  This is what his parents did, and this is what I am called to do in living out the gospel through word and deed.

    Well time to go…little guy just finished his breakfast.   Low and behold!   There is a cheerio for me to pick up.



    At then end of a long day, when you just came inside from playing in the dirt with your brothers you just get SPUNKY!

    I love my kids….this is just all part of loving the moments on the high ground of life.


Sunrise with the Lord

First sunrise shot in about ten years!

First sunrise shot in about ten years!

    Back in June I was able to get up to the mountains of North Georgia.  It was hot, but a good time to explore a little of more of the state.  One opportunity I received was the gift of an early rising to meet the sun.  Watching the earth go from black through its purples, reds, orange and full daylight was a simple pleasure. What a gift from God!!



Points of Grace and Wisdom

    If we believe the Bible, God’s Grace and Wisdom abound on this earth.  We also know God pronounced humanity good at our creation.  So what keeps us from finding these two tools needed to help us navigate the world in harmony with the Father’s will if our nature is inherently good?  We all know it is the noise of the world preventing us from finding God in the silence of our own hearts and lives.

    Noise comes in many forms.  Lack of sleep, too much TV, too much Facebook, illness, threats to our livelihood and our families just to name a few.  The challenge to quiet the noise requires solutions unique to our individual identities.  For introverts prayer will come easy.  For sanguine temperaments simply standing still long enough for grace and wisdom settle in your life may be the challenge of a lifetime.  For melancholics not falling into despair when challenges smack your life may be the constantly renewed roadblock of a lifetime.    

   For each person there is a solution though.  It just takes the time and dedication to find it.  The examples of saintly and holy lives abound in history, and even in modern times.  We just have to look for them.  Then when found we have to take the next step and act to apply the lessons in our own lives.

   In the quiet of quite a few vacation timed desert morning walks, I was able to quiet my mind enough to get to church on a weekday for mass and confession.  It was wonderful.  The grace and wisdom revealed saved me once again from wrongheaded paths.  I know I will need to seek yet more grace and wisdom for many a coming storm, but it was reassuring as always a minor miracle appeared when needed.

   I hope you find your path to points of grace and wisdom today as well.