Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.'

For example, today, July 1:



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One of my adult children is in a helping profession. She began, as nearly all of us do, with high ideals but realistic expectations as well. And she's had some satisfying moments but also some surprises. Surprises in the form of those with whom she is working to help rejecting her advice and even turning on her in rage. Not to the point of danger, but nonetheless, in startling and disappointing ways. I admire her for not becoming negative, for staying committed to doing the best for her clients, for continuing to seek the good.


 April 27:

My wallet was old and bulkier than I needed. It was also patterned in a hideous pinkish paisley. But it had been a gift from my son, who, as he proudly told me on that Christmas morning years ago, had picked it out all by himself.


So, not wanting to hurt his feelings, I kept it. I recently mentioned the situation in passing and that same son said, "Well, why don't you just get a new one?" 


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April 3:


I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
- Psalm 18:2-3

My youngest son and I recently headed to the Badlands of South Dakota. I had seen photographs of the layered, varicolored, almost lunar landscape, but the reality of what I encountered surprised me. I had assumed the formations we'd be walking among were solid rock--but they're not! They're sediment. Essentially huge piles of crumbly, dried mud. No wonder I'd not been able to find any rock-climbing activities for my son. You'd tumble right down if you tried. And no wonder this park, unlike any other national park, permits open, off-trail hiking. It's all going to erode anyway, and fairly soon in geological time.


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 March 12 - 

Last year, we spent a couple of weeks in Seville, Spain. Around the corner from our apartment was a church with a forecourt. In the rear of this courtyard stood a statue of St. Jude Thaddeus. Any time I walked past, day or evening, I saw the same sight: a steady stream of people coming in from the street--passing by on the sidewalk bearing briefcases, shopping bags and backpacks, young and old--stopping in to light a candle, offer flowers (there was always a bank of bouquets in front of the statue) and stand for a moment and pray.



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For example, today - February 9.

We live, it seems, in a time in which political talk never, ever ends. And about this time in the four-year election cycle in the U.S., it's reaching a peak. Sometimes the intense emotions and judgments that characterize these conversations lead me to wonder if people are looking for a competent government leader or something more profound in a spiritually barren time.


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 January 31:

Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.

- 2 Samuel 11:15

What a terrible, wretched incident this is: David, the Lord's anointed and King of Israel, has an innocent man killed so he can have his wife to himself.

And how striking it is that God's people didn't hide this horrifying sin. In reading the Hebrew Scriptures, I can't help but be struck by their honesty and, indeed, rawness at times.



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 January 13:

In the midst of one of these situations, of course I was moved to pray. First, for a resolution to the situation that involved no loss, either of material goods or my pride. "Please fix it," I asked God. "Thanks." But then a different prayer came to me, a simpler one: "Help me bring good out of this."

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January 7:

I would have just driven on by. But my son, always alert to the mysteries that nature holds, had been paying attention, so he was able to see. And so Magi, wise and observant of God's ways in the world, were led by the light to his son.

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December 26

 December 19:

During Advent, in these days leading to Christmas, my days and evenings are marked by familiar rituals of all kinds.

I pray at Mass, of course. And in the Scriptures, prayers and music, I am eased into the journey of waiting and hope. Candles glimmer from my mother's Advent wreath. We hang the wooden "O Antiphon" crafts my sons made years ago. The lights, the recipes, the scents of these days create a place that I know.




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November 17

Last Thanksgiving, a local restaurant offered a free meal. If you could pay, fine, and any money would go to a shelter. If you were unable to pay, that didn't matter. The doors were open, the table was set, and you were welcome to the feast.

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 November 5:

I am surrounded by people just trying to do the right thing. Sometimes we make the right decisions, sometimes the wrong ones. We correct our mistakes, try to do better and bear it all patiently, never forgetting our own limitations and our own missed calls.


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October 4:

He was called Il Poverello--the little poor one--and we very strongly and rightly associate St. Francis of Assisi with poverty. We love him because in him we see that it is, indeed, possible to live the call of Jesus, to follow in a radical way, with nowhere to rest our head, trusting in God alone on the journey.


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