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Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Stir into flame the gift of God..."

Today we celebrate the feast of Timothy and Titus, both disciples of Paul and bishops. It is a call to pray for all the bishops of the world.

The entrance antiphon from Ezechiel 34 is one that I love: "I will look after my sheep, says the Lord, and I will raise up one shepherd who will pasture them. I, the Lord, will be their God." The bishop is to be a shepherd for his people; Christ for us, ready to defend and even die for the flock he shepherds.
Paul reminds Timothy "to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands." Every bishop and each of us has the gift of God and we are all called to stir into flame this gift. How am I doing this? How do I enkindle the fire of God's love in myself so that I may enkindle it in others? What can I do today to stir into flame the love of God so that it spreads through me to others?

I should end there but the morning paper has a questionnaire on happiness that I think we should reflect on as we need to be happy to enkindle the fire of God's love in others - knowing that we are loved is the foundation of our happiness. Here is what the Miami Herald paper excerpted from a book by Marci Shimoff: Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out:
I often feel happy and satisfied for no particular reason.
I live in the moment.
I feel alive, vital and energetic.
I experience a deep sense of inner peace and well-being.
Life is a great adventure for me.
I don't let bad situations keep me down.
I am enthusiastic about the things I do.
Most days I have an experience of laughter and joy.
I trust that this is a friendly universe.
I look for the gift or the lesson in everything that happens.
I am able to let go and forgive.
I feel love for myself.
I look for the good in every person.
I change the things I can and accept the things I can't change.
I surround myself with people who support me.
I don't blame others or complain.
My negative thoughts don't overshadow me.
I feel a general sense of gratitude.
I feel connected to something bigger than myself.
I feel inspired by a sense of purpose in my life.

You are supposed to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5. I know that I am a very happy person, but I stopped over the one where it says I don't blame others or complain. I sometimes need to take a practice for myself of going through the entire day without a complaint or a feeling of discontent. But we are called to be happy so make your own questionnaire and kindle happiness around you!

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