Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Are We Really Being Honest About our Hunger?

This is an excellent post by Lilla Marie Lottinger, submitted here with her permission from

Lilla Marie Lottinger is a lay missionary living in the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese. She works for the non-profit organization: Missionaries of Our Mother of the Eucharist. Her mission in the Church is to help foster a personal relationship with Jesus, our Eucharistic Bridegroom through Mary, the Spotless Bride.She is a columnist for the St. Charles Herald Guide. She can be contacted through her website:

What is your hunger? What is it for which you thirst? Let us be honest, be real with ourselves even if we feel ashamed, as though it is a disorder…

We must bring it to Jesus! Present it to Jesus in full light and truth. Share openly and vulnerably with Him. He longs for this.

And we will see that layers of our superficial and disordered longings begin to peel away, till we find at the core our true self, our deepest and truest longing which is for love — to be deeply known and loved by another to the core of who we are.

For this, my dear friends, is the deepest hunger and thirst that we all have — and with which we have all been created. Why?

Imagine a magnet, created to be drawn to and attached to metal. We are all created to be drawn to and attached to the love for which we were created -– Love Divine.

MANY THINGS we can feel drawn and attached to other than this love. They may have hints or even facades of this Love, but never on their own can they truly satisfy us.

Do we feel a restlessness or discontent, a desire for something more? If we take time to be really honest with ourselves, we cannot answer anything other than “yes.” … Unless, that is, we have already found the “pearl of great price” and sold everything else to buy it.

“My soul is not at rest until it rests in You my God!” St. Augustine prayed. “You were within and I was all the while looking outside.”

Yes, the answer to our hunger and thirst comes from within. It comes first from a true surrendering of our hearts and lives to our Creator; and then from allowing His redeeming, healing, consoling love to enter in.

Jesus died that we “might have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). He gives us the living waters of His love to quench our thirst, as He tells us, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:13).

His life-giving Spirit is the “water” for which we thirst; His true presence in the Eucharist is the “living bread” for which we hunger.

He truly fills and satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts if we but become like the woman at the well and ask, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst!” (Jn 4:15). And this we must do daily.

And then we will be responding to Isaiah’s plea, “Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of comfort” (Is 66:10). We will be saying with the psalmist, “As a weaned child in its mother’s arms, so my soul rests in you my God” (131:2).

“When you see this your hearts will rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass” (Is 66:14).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trials and Love

Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only,what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:43-48

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Jewish people were handed some revolutionary teaching.
After being taught ‘an eye for an eye’, the Jews are now taught to turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute them!

We, too, are called to ‘be perfect just as our Heavenly Father is perfect.’
What does that mean?

In our worldly ways – perfection is mostly attributed to the physical – perfect face, perfect weight, and perfect hair. If everything is in place with our appearance, then our lives will be perfect!

It’s no wonder that those who are less than perfect physically would feel depressed and unloved when God is not the author of their identity.
When we allow God’s grace to create perfection in us, it is many times unseen by the world or met with persecution. The perfection of Christ within us radiates a peace that the world is unfamiliar with.
When we love our enemies and do good to those who curse us, God’s grace will rain down and bring about change. We may not ‘feel’ or ‘see’ the changes going on, but they are happening in God’s way and God’s time.

“God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust….”
Just because we live a virtuous life doesn’t mean we won’t suffer trials.

So many of the neighbors we meet in Veteran’s Park suffer quite obvious trials. Much of the world says these neighbors aren’t worth the extra effort to help because they won’t get anywhere anyway. Doing anything for them is such a small drop in the bucket. Why bother?
"Get behind me, Satan!" This is worldly thinking, not godly wisdom.

I must admit there are times when I take my focus off Jesus and wonder what good are we really doing serving lunch every Saturday in the park. The questions rattle around in my mind, searching for answers. I ask Jesus what He wants. Our Savior, True Love Himself says – “Love me. Love your neighbor from the depths of My love for you.”
Our human minds can cloud up this simple message from our Lord. I pray to let His love penetrate my heart beyond my doubts.

Of course, many of us also suffer trials that go unnoticed by the world because they are inner trials - addiction, anger, envy, etc... We know that these trials may be more difficult to overcome because if we look good on the outside, we can ignore the inside that only we see. The problem here is that others can still see our trials in our behavior. As Christians, we are called to reflect the light of Christ in our actions. Only our total dependence on Jesus Christ will allow us to do this.

"If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:17-18

How can we help our brothers and sisters in need today? Our answer comes in our relationship with Jesus -LOVE. Pray and discern how the Holy Spirit wants you to live out that love. "For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only,what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trust in the Lord...

Lord, give me the heart of a child and the courage to follow it.

My son and I were talking about what this means to be like a little child. I said that even as adults, we're called to be like little children. He turned to me with a puzzled look, so I asked him if he ever lies in bed at night worrying about how dad and mom are going to pay the bills or if he will have food to eat when he wakes up. He looked at me like I was crazy. "No. Why would I do that?" he bellowed.

"So that means you trust your parents to take care of you without wondering, right?"

"Yes, mom," he answered, rolling his eyes.

"Well, we're supposed to have this same child-like trust in our Heavenly Father with all our needs and desires. It's not always easy, but there's so much freedom in that trust."

Through the gift of faith, we are able to trust in Jesus and know that it is only in Him, with Him and through Him that we have anything or accomplish anything in life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

There are many who find it difficult to trust in other people, let alone trust in a God whom they cannot see.

As we go downtown each week to feed lunch to our homeless/jobless brothers and sisters, we ask our Lord to help us be a bridge to Him and from Him for those who have no one to trust in. We bring food for their physical hunger, though our hope is that they receive the love of Christ to fill their spiritual hunger.

Through the stories of some of the "regulars" I have been privileged to befriend, I have also learned how to detach myself from earthly things and trust more deeply in God.

There is a beautiful group of women who contribute periodically to this lunch mission on Saturdays. They give of their time, talents and treasures to provide nutritious lunches, prepared with great love. I leave you with some words that one of them shared this with me today.

Mother Theresa said “ It is harder to feed the hunger for love - than the hunger for bread” I’m helping by feeding with bread – but on Saturday your presence will be feeding their hunger for love. Together I pray that we bring peace to those we help and bring glory to His name. -Angela