Bethany Hang Out

Catholic contemplative life and devotion



Holy Self Determination

photo by Renee Bork

Something that seems to be returning to me as I very slowly recover from the grief and trauma of the past year, or even four years, is a slight sense of self determination. I had not realized it was gone in the first place.

What I did know is that it was very hard for me to talk about the future without feeling really freaked out, or even angry. It was hard for me to let go of anything, or make any changes, even though I kept having to do just that.

I felt like my inner infrastructure had been bombed out and I was not at all sure it would ever really be rebuilt. It’s not that I thought God could not do this. I was just not sure He wanted to.

Actually, He was waiting for me to remember a few things. “You are not dead,” Jesus says, “…only sleeping.” (see Lk. 8:52) 

photo by Renee Bork

One thing to remember is that God does not create our hearts to be empty wastes, but to be lived in.  (see Isaiah 45:18)

Why in the world would God create me and send His Son into the world for me only to have me  be destroyed and stay that way? That makes no sense, and can’t be true.

“I came that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (see Jn. 10:10b)

The next thing I remembered is that we are each co-creators with God, and even though we always want to be guided and conformed to God’s will in our lives, this is actually a creative process in which we work alongside with God with a combination of His inspiration, His help, and our own volition and creativity He gave us.

welding art by Stefan Pauc

Then I remembered one of the many things my beloved second late husband, Bob, and I learned as we journeyed through our fight for his life against Brain Cancer. We discovered the beauty and strength there is in thinking of each day as an entire life time in miniature. Each day begins with the re-birth of waking up, and the gentle death of falling asleep in our Father’s arms.

We found a lot of peace, courage, empowerment, manageable self determination, and a new way to stay in the present, living fully, in this idea of life being represented in each day we lived.

I thought about how to apply this idea in the new life I realized God wants me to build.

I can make a life one day at a time; one day, my life’s microcosm.

I have to decide what is important to me, what ingredients I want in each day, what ornaments I want to decorate my life with, what design I am trying to trace.

Then I have to start somewhere.

Right now, I have decided to start with rebuilding my prayer life, which has altered along with the rest of me.

What else do I want?

I want peace. I want peace in every day.

What else? Love. I want to live love every day.

That’s a good beginning.

So I am setting off , one day at a time, with a bit of holy self determination, to adorn my days with prayer, with peace, with love; to rebuild my life.

“…rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,’ says the LORD.” Haggai 1:8b

my tree house sign made for me by “Red” Gary Moore

A little Bethany

St. Teresa of Jesus said the soul should be like a little Bethany where Jesus likes to come hang out. I want this blog to be a little Bethany, too.

I like to talk about God. I like to pray, think and write, to sit and talk, or just be. That’s what I’m going to do here.

Come hang out with Jesus with me. Dig in Mary’s garden. Sweep the floor, ponder, fold laundry, pray, look at the sky, wander around, look at stuff, and think about things.

When Jesus comes over, we’ll make Him a cup of coffee, sit at His feet and listen.

Or maybe  we will end up breaking the jar of precious oil that is our hearts poured out for Him, and the scent of it will fill the house.

Or maybe He will ask us to go out and find Him in the world and help Him out, or to look for ways to spread joy to people who cross our paths.

We might be brought to a deeper confession of faith. Perhaps He will call us from deep within to come into light and new life.

Or maybe we will just have fun blowing bubbles and doing nothing.

Anything could happen.

I really don’t know what I’m doing. But you don’t either, do you? Nobody does. I reckon that’s how it is.

But we have the coffee on now, and we’re looking out the window. We’ll see.

Have a seat at my table

Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved spouse. 


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