One of my fellow spiritual directors introduced me to the song, “Love is All Around.” Sometimes it is easy to believe that Love (God) is all around. Recently, while on vacation with my parents in Florida, I got to see a spectacular sunset over the Gulf. The beauty of nature easily opens the heart to a spirit of gratefulness and to knowing God is all around, like the air we breathe.
What about those other times? Like Job in the first reading today who said “life on earth is a drudgery… I have months of misery… the nights drag on and I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.” It was not quite as easy to find the wonders of God after getting sick on the plane and arriving back from the warmth of Florida to a car buried in seven inches of snow. What about all of the people around me who deal on a daily basis with pain, loss and difficult situations? When I am pulled in all directions, how do I find time to notice where God is? I so want God’s grace to flow through me and sometimes I have trouble believing grace is present at all! How is it possible to be aware at all times that Love is all around?
Maybe it is not possible to tune in 24 hours a day. I need to keep stepping back to pay attention. Then I can see with a new perspective that ordinary moments are filled with blessing. It is like pausing to notice my breath that I take for granted most of the time.
Spiritual direction gives me the space once a month to pay attention. I step back with my spiritual director and take notice of the signs of Love in my ordinary daily moments. My spiritual director constantly reminds me, “What if God loves you anyway?” Whatever is going on in my life, however imperfectly I seem to live this life, God loves me anyway.
What if God loves you anyway? Old St. Pat’s offers the opportunity for you to pause each month with a trusted companion in spiritual direction. Contact Tammy Roeder to find out more about meeting with one of Old St. Pat’s spiritual directors.
There are other opportunities through Old St. Pat’s to stop and pay attention to God’s Love all around. For more information or to register for any of the following, contact Tammy Roeder, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 312.798.2350.
- v There are still openings for the Beloved Retreat February 17-19.To dive into the heart of God’s grace today is to be gratefully aware of the abundant love that has fed me from the beginning and to hear the call to participate from the deepest part of who I am.
- Another “Gathered and Sent” mini-retreat (Retreat for really busy people or people who are not sure they like retreats) will be happening during Lent. Be on the lookout for more information about “Being Light in the Darkness.”Taking some time to reflect, contemplate, pause, breathe, weep and laugh… to retreat is very good for the soul.
- The third Ignatian Retreat in daily life will begin during Lent.St. Ignatius wants us to learn how to pay attention because God is always present in our experience. God is incarnate in each of our life stories. The Exercises of St. Ignatius help us to reflect on the experience of God in our story, so we can experience more of God in our story.
Give yourself a chance to step back and be more aware of God’s love all around you, like the air you breathe. Consider connecting with a spiritual companion, or participate in one of the above retreat options.
Laura Field is a Spiritual Director at Old St. Patrick’s Church.