I believe in…children

thumb_IMG_5591_1024

I began this new “I believe in…” project with renewed energy and plans to post several times a week. Can you hear the sighing in the back-ground? That’s me laying another guilt trip on myself.

Can you also hear the laughter, giggles, cries and sweet new words? They’re the reason that I’m not posting regularly.

Hubby and I retired just in time to delve into Grammy and Papa duty in a big way. We had our own five children within eight years. We now have six grand-children under the age of six. With summer here, we’re spending more time than usual with our grand-kiddies – helping out parents with summer child care as well as family visits here at the lake. And, we’re loving it.

Parenting is an often messy mix of joys and struggles, successes and challenges. As grand-parents, memories of raising babies and children flood back and are re-lived. Holding a wee one as they drift to sleep. Pudgy arms wrapped around your neck. The look of recognition in a babe’s eyes when you enter the room. The first words of a toddler. The first time they call YOU by name! The wonder of a pre-schooler’s thirst for knowledge.

Having children in your life is one sacramental moment after another – a feeling of deep love that hints at the divine love of our creator.

Bringing that first babe home is also the biggest culture shock of your life as you face the reality of 24-7 care. Personal plans change. Social lives transform from wild fun times with friends, to juggling wild children while squeezing in fun with friends. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep becomes life’s biggest goal. Heck, I used to pray for four!

Our hearts are filled with empathy for the daily challenges faced by the young parents in our lives. We understand. We were there.

When they are faced with more serious challenges, our hearts break with them. We feel their worries and fears. We share the sleepless nights. We offer support and help however we can. We pray always.

Our retirement was not planned, but it was timely. We are able to give our children and grand-children the gift of our love and our presence. We are blessed in return. Abundantly! We are honoured to have these wonderful young souls and their parents in our lives.

So, I will write when I can…and feel no guilt if I don’t. If I’m not blogging, I’m probably busy playing. Not a bad gig, if you can get it! 🙂

toys

 

I believe in… Jesus

thumb_IMG_2542_1024

I am a Christian. It’s logical, therefore, that I believe in Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate intimacy of God in human form. God became one of us! The Incarnation. Taking on flesh. OUR human flesh. How awesome is that?

Incarnational spirituality, focusing on the mystery of the Incarnation, has always resonated with me. It calls us to “incarnate” our beliefs into our daily life. Put “flesh” on our words.

God became one of us to show us how to live. We, in turn, are called to become like God to others. We become God’s head, heart, hands and feet here on earth. We bring the love of God to others by how we live.

How are we called to live? Jesus shows us how, and the Gospels hold the key. The Gospel Jesus;

• Loves his enemies
• Hangs out and parties with the riffraff of society
• Feeds the hungry
• Heals the sick
• Forgives sinners
• Has no time for judgmental, self-righteous types
• Prays
• Prays some more
• Gives his life for others

Theology (Christology to be more precise) can often complicate this basic belief. In the early centuries of the church, much energy and reams of parchment were used up to clarify and codify each minute detail on the doctrine of the humanity and divinity of Jesus. The mental gymnastics continue today as doctrinal offices continue to correct us, and guide us in right and proper belief.

And yet, theological treatises seldom move hearts. Faith must be of the heart and not just the mind. At the heart of Christian faith is a person. The person of Jesus. Want to find out more about who Jesus is and what makes him tick? Want to love God and love neighbour as Jesus did?

Read the gospels.

Pray and ponder the gospels.

Live the gospels.

This is what I believe. What do you believe?

I believe in… God

IMG_2570

The existence and presence of God is the foundation of my belief and my spiritual life.

I believe God is the creator and sustainer of all that is.

I believe God is Love.

I believe the greatest commandment is to love God, and love each other.

I could stop right here. No need to struggle with head-scratching theology. No need to argue over how best to show our love for God. No need to fight over the logistics of loving each other.

Belief in a divine power unites humanity across the miles and across time.

I NEED to believe in a higher power. A LOVING power that brings order to the universe.

I cannot believe in a judgmental God, vengeful, ready to flood the earth because we’ve pissed God off.

Belief in God should unite us. Yes, we all come from diverse backgrounds. Diverse cultures. Our image of God may differ, but God is big enough to accommodate all.

BELIEF IN GOD SHOULD UNITE, NOT DIVIDE US

I believe that I can sit side by side with other God believers and raise prayers together and our prayers will be heard. I was inspired when Pope John Paul II did this for the first time in Assisi. It didn’t surprise me that traditionalists opposed this, thinking it somehow fouled the purity of the one and only Catholic church.

My belief has been formed within the Catholic faith, but I believe that no one has a monopoly on God.

This is my bare-bones belief. The starting point. The foundational stone. It requires much more exploration and pondering than a few words typed into a blog post. It’s but a start….