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We Find That for Which We Look

Tuesday, March 17, 2020









I've been moving through this past week doing what I can to balance and rise with the uncertain and challenging ripples around us.

Today, in the midst of wide-spread challenge and uncertainty I feel compelled to acknowledge that God is in the details, and to revel (as the Irish seem to do so easily and naturally in the course of living each day) in miracles and joy and faith. Today is a day to celebrate and resonate and vibrate with LIFE, and newness in the gift of life. Green is the colour of all of these and, interestingly enough, green has become my favourite colour over the last twenty years.

From the time I first became aware of the possible existence of ‘four-leaf’ clover, I wanted to find just one leaf. Every chance I had, I searched. …Not because I believed the finding of one would bring me luck, but because the looking reminded me that treasures honour those who journey in faith.

I’d been looking, and doing my best to honour this particular part of my faith journey, for more than thirty years. In all that time, I’d never even seen the suggestion of one such leaf. Nineteen years ago, at Candle Lake (I don’t believe the illumination was a coincidence), in the space of five minutes, I found six! I’m sure there were more, but I didn’t want to be greedy, LOL!

I picked them (I needed proof that they could be found) and I pressed them (I needed to honour their existence) and made them into bookmarks (I needed to remember the moment of discovery and what it meant to me)… to mark other important discoveries born of faith and promise… I have the one I kept for myself in my Bible.

Now, I often ponder the finding, and why God may have chosen that specific moment to inspire me (the first summer I was married... maybe it was because I was walking in the woods for the last time with my dearest Irish friend), to reassure me of His attention to my smallest desires, and to challenge me to journey ever more vigilantly – because, to tell the truth, while I’ve always looked, I've not always trusted that I’d find…
...what I needed,
…what I longed for,
…the truth,
…the way,
…or the life I am called to.

I have pondered those precious leaves many times since:
…when I got pregnant against all reason and possibility
…when that baby was taken away from me before I could even hold it
…when my arms ached with emptiness and longing
…when a new baby found her way into that emptiness against all reason and possibility
…when illness and death and struggle have surrounded me on every side
…when it feels as though Spring can never be again
…when my daemons howl and rail in the stillness of the night
…when momentum is kicked out from under me, like a three-legged stool on an uneven floor, by boots with no care for civility or dignity or good manners
…when I am lost, or weary, or simply indifferent
...now, as the world faces an immediate future fraught with challenges and uncertainty

…And my faith is refreshed, renewed, and invigorated. I cease to see the forest debris, and see again the shining green of hope, and promise and possibility.

This day (and every day), in the symbol of the Shamrock, I acknowledge the faithfulness of my God in all the details of my life.

I bind myself
to the strong virtue of Love,
and the obedience of angels,
and the service of archangels,
and the prayers of patriarchs,
and the prediction of prophets,
and the preaching of the apostles,
and the faith of confessors,
and the innocence of holy virgins,
and the deeds of righteous men.

GOD'S STRENGTH will pilot me
GOD’S WISDOM will guide me,
GOD’S MIGHT will uphold me,
GOD’S POWER will teach me,
GOD’S EYE will watch over me,
GOD’S EAR will hear me,
GOD’S WORD will give me speech,
GOD'S HAND will guard me,
GOD'S WAY lies before me,
GOD'S SHIELD will protect me,
GOD'S HOST will save me.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind myself, today, to the strong virtue of Christ.
Amen.

(Adapted from the prayer known as "Faeth Fiada", or the "Lorica (Breast-Plate) of St. Patrick")





Said of St. Patrick:

"He was a terror to any snake that came in his path, whether it was the cold, slimy reptile sliding along the ground or the more dangerous snake that oppresses men through false teachings. And he drove the snakes out of the minds of men, snakes of superstition and brutality and cruelty." ARTHUR BRISBANE



“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
EPHESIANS 6:10–17







I've been moving through this past week doing what I can to balance and rise with the uncertain and challenging ripples around us... and I happened across something (below) which I found to be incredibly encouraging, and to which I will continue to return should I find myself feeling overwhelmed by any number of things over which I have no control... because perspective and character are everything!

The past few days as I scroll through my news feed, judging from the initial impulses of way too many, character has seemingly gone out of fashion and that too many have collectively forgotten that our world has faced many greater challenges than those currently before us, with fewer and less effective resources than those available to us in our present day and age.

In prayer, I bind YOU, too! I pray that going forward, our example will encourage everyone to rise together and care for each other with character so undeniably obvious such that future generations will be inspired and comforted by certain knowledge that our humanity, mercy and grace will always be greater than the sum of our challenges. May you all be protected from those who would do otherwise.

I pray the best for us all, but most especially for all of you my dear SPARKling friends, and those you love!

May we, each and every one of us, continue to look for PEACE, JOY and LOVE no matter what!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}
Ramona







C.S. Lewis & the Coronavirus
www.christianpost
.com/voices/cs-lewis-and-t
he-coronavirus.html


How C.S. Lewis Would Tell Us to Handle Coronavirus
www.intellectualt
akeout.org/article/how-cs-
lewis-would-tell-us-handle
-coronavirus/



(Substitute Coronavirus for 'atomic bomb')

"In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. 'How are we to live in an atomic age?' I am tempted to reply: 'Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents. In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors — anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances... and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies but they need not dominate our minds.'"


C.S. Lewis
— "On Living in an Atomic Age" (1948) —





Coronavirus is a test for the government. But it’s a test for us, too.
forward.com/opini
on/441490/coronavirus-is-a
-test-for-the-government-b
ut-its-a-test-for-us-too/






...and for those of you who share a belief in the power of prayer, please join us!
www.praymorenoven
as.com/pandemic-novena






P.S. Have a most blessed and JOYOUS day despite the challenges!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ISNESS
    Thank you - you are inspiring, everything will be good! Also thank you for the advice of ignoring the scale a bit. I‘m just waiting that something happens, my insomnia might be a reason why I don‘t lose weight.. I dislike measurements I think..
    46 days ago
  • LOSEDAPOUNDS
    "May we, each and every one of us, continue to look for PEACE, JOY and LOVE no matter what!" I am so with you. Amen to that!
    98 days ago
  • WARRIORSUE518

    Love EVERY BIT of this, thank you.
    106 days ago
  • JITZUROE
    Beautiful....
    Bren
    107 days ago
  • BERRY4
    emoticon emoticon
    I have to say that I was "slammed" for sharing the CS Lewis quote... emoticon
    I was said to be out-of-touch & uncaring to put out such a challenge. I was "hit back" w/ a quote from Martin Luther (apparently during the time of a plague?). I was told to not compare "apples w/ oranges" & share such poor advice.
    emoticon
    So, thank you for the reminder to value the life we have & the One who grants it to us! ...Looking upward & onward.
    emoticon
    109 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    What a powerful blog . . . so much wisdom born of so much faith. Your message is uplifting and timely.
    109 days ago
  • JEANKNEE
    emoticon emoticon to you and yours.

    We are among the millions of Californians in a mandated shelter-in-place.

    I am fine, regardless, I know in whom I rest.

    And, I share your prayer:

    In prayer, I bind YOU, too! I pray that going forward, our example will encourage everyone to rise together and care for each other with character so undeniably obvious such that future generations will be inspired and comforted by certain knowledge that our humanity, mercy and grace will always be greater than the sum of our challenges. May you all be protected from those who would do otherwise.

    I pray the best for us all, but most especially for all of you my dear SPARKling friends, and those you love!

    May we, each and every one of us, continue to look for PEACE, JOY and LOVE no matter what!

    ...

    Again, emoticon dear Ramona. emoticon emoticon
    110 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    emoticon emoticon
    110 days ago
  • NEW-CAZ
    emoticon emoticon
    110 days ago
  • GARDENCHRIS
    thank you for those powerful reminders
    110 days ago
  • MILPAM3
    Nice to think that with a four-leaved clover *you* are included with the Trinity. Fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
    110 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    OH my. OH MY! What an insightful, hopeful, instructional beautiful blog. FAITH in Him, as HE is in control always. FAITH in ourselves, to do the right things for ourselves and others.

    Sending many prayers and hugs (virtual, of course!) your way.
    110 days ago
  • DEBVNE
    Oh chica, your blog...your journey, your wisdom, your faith. Thank you for sharing all 3 with us. A treasure trove of the very best life has to offer amongst stuff that would cripple many spiritually and emotionally. Love, prayers, and germ free virtual squeezes for you...
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    110 days ago
  • MOLLIEMAC
    emoticon
    110 days ago
  • NELLJONES
    At my old church, our choir would sing the Breastplate in a way that would bring tears to my eyes.
    110 days ago
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