Day 3: January 29, 2013: Knowing God Through Jesus

“On this day of Epiphany, let us thank God
for making himself known to us in such a marvelous way.” Anonymous

Can you think of some specific attributes of God’s character that you have come to know through Jesus? Let’s start a discussion.

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Comments (Again)

Apparently one must have to click on the Comments link below the post to see the comments.  The number of comments is shown.  Don’t miss this important part of the blog.  I’ll see what can be done to include all the comments on the page.  For now, off to the Dog Park to freeze for the benefit of Grace(ie). 

DAY 2: A Big God Wink

I want to share this story because it was a major epiphany in my life. One day I was at Christmas Eve Mass with my mother-in-law and husband when then priest talked about how much he loved Christmas. He described himself as being like a child at this time of year, like a little kid, excited about all the decorations and gifts and fun. He even giggled.

But then the priest went on to talk about how he was not just a child, but a child of God. I don’t recall exactly what he said, but it touched me deeply to think about the idea that I, too, was a child of God. To know that I had unconditional love. That I had a loving brother after all! That I could be loved for who I am, just as I am.

My dysfunctional family of origin is probably a typical dysfunctional family. They did their best. They meant well. But I never felt that I was loved for who I am. Again, probably like many people, I was longing to know what love meant.

My epiphany of faith happened in a flash! It wasn’t that I reflected deeply or spent hours coming to this conclusion. I knew — I just knew — that I was a child of God and what that meant for me. God became real to me that day. God became Love.

Thanks be to God. And thanks be that I have a family of choice that also loves me unconditionally.

DAY 2 — What is (An) Epiphany?

My friend Deb Milroy introduced me to the idea of “God winks” a couple of years ago after she read Squire D. Rushnell’s “When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence.” And I’ve been noticing God’s winks ever since! Several people who know me would describe me as a skeptic when it comes to “coincidences.” While I still hold a healthy amount of skepticism, I am much more open to the idea that God is active in my life even in small ways, and often to get my attention.

When I was going through the discernment process about whether or not to pursue the position of Minister of Spiritual Care at St. James, I got reassured time and again that working in this ministry was the right path for me on my journey. The Scripture passages I read in my daily meditations (when I did them!) often included passages about “not being afraid,” or sometimes pointed toward a new way or the importance of discipleship. I believe that God also reveals Godself through people. The love and reassurance I got from my family and friends during my discernment was God in action.

But God winks aren’t reserved for the deep stuff of our lives. God makes me laugh! It’s almost like a bonk on the head sometimes when God says–one way or the other–“Oh? You think THAT? You’re going to do WHAT? Take another look, darling.” I love God winks!

I’m going to post again about one special ephiphany I had because if it wasn’t a GIANT God wink, I don’t know what one is.

Enjoy your Retreat! Blessings, Julia

(See Resources tab above for more information about the book.)

Ease in to Your Retreat

Hello Everyone: By now you should have received a Welcome Letter and the Day 1 (January 27) Reflection. I see that a few of you “clicked” to this blog, so let me get us stated.

One of the people who signed up for the Epiphany At Home Retreat reminded me today of the struggle some of us face when trying to set aside time and place to do the daily reflections. Here are a couple of ideas that may help. Please add your own ideas in comments section below.

1. Ask you friends and family to give you the time and space — without interruptions — that you have decided you will spend each day.

2. You may want to prepare a particular place where you will read, reflect, and relax. Getting out of your “ordinary” setting can make the retreat seem more real.

3. I have a table in my bedroom that I made into a little altar. I have a candle (I chose white for the Christ Candle) that I light just before I begin my retreat time — even if it’s going to be for just 15 minutes. I have put a few precious things on the table, like a special stone that holds meaning; a pretty piece of pink fabric because I like the color; and a small cross that was a gift to me. As my husband Bob would say, “Don’t forget to blow out the candle!”

4. One of the problems I have is worrying about how long I have spent being quiet! Is it too much? To little? Perhaps a timer will help you. Try this online meditation timer: http://www.poodwaddle.com/meditation.htm. There are other apps for i-phones and other options that you could Google “mediatation timers.” Do you have a link to a nice timer?

5. Just be! Don’t make this exercise too cerebral. Have fun! Basking in God’s love for one minute or 10 minutes. Make this time yours!
Enjoy! Julia