Mercies new every morning

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Ink; based on ‘The Chautauqua Prayer’

I recently stumbled upon this beautiful morning prayer, and have since shared it with a few close friends. It’s a simple but powerful way of asking God to fill every fracture and crevice with His grace, and to orient ourselves toward Him at the start of each new day. May it be a blessing to you as well. ūüôā

 

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“Faith and love are like a blind man’s guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to a place where God is hidden.” –St. John of the Cross

Counting on it… Walking by faith and not by sight is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when your sight tells you there is no path. If you’re in a similar place, hang in there. We’re in this together and God is waiting for us.

I briefly emerge from my indefinite hiatus to share these two drawings.IMG_2039

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My friend and I were talking about how different the effect of these drawings would be had I drawn adults instead of children. ¬†It’s almost impossible to walk away from a suffering child; our instinctual response to their pain tends to be unbridled.¬†Perhaps that’s what it means that God sees us as his little children.

An unrepeatable miracle 

This is quite a departure from my usual “doodles”. I drew this today as my heart ached from the latest news about the desecration of the purest, most innocent of all human life. It is but the icing on top of many other abominable practices to which our culture has become desensitized. I’ve said much about this on other channels, and I don’t intend to elaborate in this space.

For now let’s pause to simply behold¬†the miracle, the self-evident beauty that is every human being.

The human being is single, unique, and unrepeatable, someone thought of and chosen from eternity, someone called and identified by name.

–Pope John Paul II

Treasure hidden in weakness and suffering

The phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” never sat right with me. I was never sure why, until recently.

It brings to mind a kind strength that is¬†callous toward pain and indifferent to weakness. Or a cold strength of ambition that propels you forward, faster, higher, while¬†paying no heed to what you leave¬†behind. Maybe I’m reading too much into a quip, or maybe I’ve come to desire a radically different kind of strength.

The strength I desire could be mistaken for weakness. You could say that what hasn’t killed me has made me weaker. Weaker in that I feel pain more acutely, mine as well as others’. Weaker in that I am aware of my own shortcomings, and those more forgiving of others’. And weaker in that I relinquish all desire to live life in pursuit of self-glory, instead accepting whatever God places before me, determined to find the graces God has prepared in any given time and place. In accepting weakness we become spiritually stronger.

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I love the above quote by St. Vincent de Paul — it is an invitation to learn the art of suffering well. It’s easy to recognize the value of suffering in hindsight, but let’s¬†aspire to lovingly receive and carry our crosses.

Again and again I discover why the saints insist that suffering is medicine for the soul. Suffering teaches me the most important lessons, purges the most stubborn of bad habits, inspires my highest aspirations, and turns my eyes toward eternity.

Related post: When you know your “good days” are numbered

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