Archive for October, 2018

Need to Re-Shape the Pie???

Posted: October 5, 2018 in World On The Edge

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My mother was not a pie-maker in the physical sense. But in the sense that she could usually find a way to get through any crisis, she was a top-notch re-shaper of pies.

Most of us have our unique ways of ‘getting through’ undesirable times in our lives when sadness seems overwhelming. We cannot change a sad situation, but we can try to motivate ourselves out of it. We have the ability to decide to climb out of the dark hole we find ourselves in. Some of us look back and choose to appreciate the people and things we still have, and that brings solace. Others look ahead and choose to begin again, to dream and plan for better events to come. Getting through a bad situation begins with a vision of improvement. Because, without a vision, we remain static.

But for those who do nothing except bathe in their misery, better times will come more slowly, if at all.

In reality, many of us make a decision to give-up and remain the victim of circumstances. Maybe these are circumstances that we have brought on ourselves through our own pride, greed, envy, lust, vengeance, laziness, or anger. We let one or more of these vices control us, forgetting the God-given gifts we have to overcome them.

Or maybe an awful life event happened that was not caused by us at all, yet we must deal with it. Well, we cannot give-up. We are not made to give-up.

No, it is not easy to move ahead. Yes, it may take time. But we are children of God with His gift of imagination, His gift of an ability to think and plan, love and forgive–even to forgive ourselves.

We are wonderfully created human beings who can re-shape ourselves, just as a pie-maker reshapes a pile of sticky dough, and makes it into something desirable, something we can smile about and, again, be proud of.

grotto1When we consider the rottenness in both our government and our church, or when we feel at a loss in our personal lives, or when others have betrayed or hurt us, or we are worried about our families, our jobs, our health, it is important to remember to put our Trust in God, and allow Him to lead us.

Some years back, when I taught Religion to Catholic teenagers, I was responsible for a group trip to Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama. Known throughout the world as “Jerusalem in Miniature,” the Grotto is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world.

The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Begun as a hobby, with various materials he could find, and infinite patience and a remarkable sense of symmetry and proportion, Brother Joseph re-created some of the greatest edifices of all time.

Before the teens and I visited the Grotto, we took a trip about TRUST through the nearby woods. The idea from the trip into the woods came from a prayer–one of my favorite prayers–by Thomas Merton, an American Catholic writer, mystic, and Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky.

On that trip the teenagers, another teacher and myself, divided into pairs. One person in each pair took a turn wearing a blindfold while the other person led him or her through the trees, over stones, across a stream. The one in blindfold had to trust completely in the other to give him verbal instructions to keep from bumping into a tree, tripping on a stone, or falling into the winding stream. Then the partners changed places, with the other putting on the blindfold. I will never forget the trust I had to put into the other teacher–because I’m a control freak and to be walking blind was something I don’t like to do.

But this is what we have to do–especially today.  God IS in charge.