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Food for Thought (Spiritually Speaking)

Closer

Closer
Jun 19, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

All of us can say we are not close enough to Christ. We will never be close enough until we leave this life and are fully united to Him in Heaven. Our longing for Him will remain with us while we still have breath. So the idea of not being close enough to Jesus is a given. But there is more.When we are weak or succumb to temptation, we are not close enough to Christ.

No Offense

No Offense
Jun 12, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

I heard this at church the other day: Good Catholics don't offend others. It was stated as a fact – and maybe as a way to encourage others to dismiss the clear teachings of the Church. You could replace Catholic with Christian and it would have the same meaning. A good Christian doesn't offend others. I have been thinking about this and trying to find the truth in the statement because there is some truth to it.

You Do You

You Do You
Jun 05, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

I have been riding motorcycles for over 35 years and I'm very skilled. My husband and I live in the mountains and are used to riding curvy mountain roads. Sometimes we rode with people from Florida who were not used to the curves, so I would lead them through until they felt comfortable going at a faster pace. When they thought they were ready (even if they weren't), they would pass me and take off. That's okay – You do you. I'm here to help, but each rider is responsible for their own ride.

God often takes the same approach with us.

That's Encouraging!

That's Encouraging!
May 29, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

We all like to be encouraged. Maybe we need to be encouraged. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to encourage one another. Encouragement is the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

So when do we need encouragement and how do we do it?

Blessed Failure

Blessed Failure
May 22, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

Blessed Failure. Those two words don’t seem to go together. Failure is bad. Blessed is good. Failure means everything went wrong. It was a disaster. A waste of time. A huge embarrassment. Sometimes we want to run away from the situation so we don’t have to face the people who witnessed our great fall. I have rarely felt blessed when I failed.

At the same time, I know that Romans 8:28 says that God uses all things for good for those who love Him. Therefore some good must come out of my failure if I allow God’s grace to work in my life.

What's Your Motivation?

What's Your Motivation?
May 01, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

When an actor is preparing for a role, they might ask themselves or the director, “What’s my motivation?” They want to know the backstory so they can play the part well.

Sometimes it’s good for us to ask that same question, especially when it comes to our conversations with others.

Loving Yourself

Loving Yourself
Apr 24, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

Some might say, Loving Myself? What’s the big deal about that? I mean, what’s not to love?

Others might think, Loving myself? That’s pretty egotistical. That’s not a good thing!”

Both of those thoughts are off center. Neither is healthy self-love.

Fire!

Fire!
Apr 17, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

Fire has great meaning in Scripture. Moses heard God’s call from the burning bush. Flames of fire descended on the apostles at the Feast of Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit. Fire is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Are you on Fire? What does that even mean? 

Covered

Covered
Apr 10, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

I was listening to a podcast with Fr. John Riccardo who was sharing his morning prayer routine. He said that he begins by covering his day in prayer, explaining that he looks at each item on his agenda and prays specifically into the situations and meetings on his schedule. What a great idea!

Promises Promises

Promises Promises
Apr 03, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

Have you ever heard of a pinky promise? Kids sometimes do that when they have a little bit of doubt about what the other person is saying. If I pinky promise, I really mean it.

We make promises at different times in our lives, and some of those promises mean more than others. Take for instance our wedding vows. A vow is defined as a solemn promise or an oath. When a bride and groom take their vows, they respond, “I do” to a series of questions.

As a Catholic, there is another time when I will say, “I do.” Every year at Easter Mass we renew our baptismal promises. 

To Change or Not To Change

To Change or Not To Change
Mar 27, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

My sister Theresa just changed her hairstyle. A few months ago she got a new car. A couple of years ago she moved into a new house. I, on the other hand, have not changed my hairstyle in 30 years. My car is 8 years old, and I’ve been at the same address for over 20 years. I don’t like change. Theresa seems much more comfortable with it.

That got me thinking about the nature of change – and how willing or unwilling we are to make a change.

Greater Than

Greater Than
Mar 20, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

I’m teaching 5-year-old Noah how to use the “greater than” sign in math. For some reason, this was a difficult concept for me as a child. I had trouble remembering which side of the symbol went with the biggest number. I understand it now and wonder why it was so difficult before. Obviously, the biggest side goes with the biggest number.

This challenge I faced in my (very much) younger days is similar to my difficulty recognizing the “greater than” concept in my faith life. We all might acknowledge that God is greater than anything or anyone.

Power of Love

Power of Love
Mar 13, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian
St. Thomas Aquinas defines love as willing the good of the other as other. From that definition, we know that love is not an emotion. It’s not about how we feel – the warm and fuzzies. It’s about what we do—the actions we take. Love is demonstrated by our words and deeds.

Things Learned in Spiritual Direction

Things Learned in Spiritual Direction
Mar 06, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian
I am a spiritual director. Spiritual direction is a process where one person assists another in recognizing the movements of God in their life. I meet with people regularly to talk with them about their prayer life, help them listen to God’s voice, and recognize attacks of the enemy. Here are seven things I've learned from being a spiritual director.

Solidarity

Solidarity
Feb 28, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

Lech Walesa became the leader of Solidarity in Poland and led a successful pro-democratic effort that ended Communist rule in that country in 1989. He was a shipyard electrician, not a politician or a powerful man. But he showed the power of solidarity – coming together as a group. That group freed a nation.

Solidarity applies to our faith life as well. We have strength in numbers.

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done
Feb 21, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian
St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Don’t think that through your own strength and effort you can arrive. It’s beyond our power. But with simplicity and humility say, ‘Thy will be done.’”

Superheroes

Superheroes
Feb 14, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian
As Christians, we are superheroes. We have superpowers. Our superpowers are the supernatural gifts given to us by God to fulfill our purpose in life.

Fitting In

Fitting In
Feb 07, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

We all need to feel like we fit in somewhere - but where? Where should a Christian fit it? How do we find the group that accepts us and challenges us to live our faith more completely? 

More More More

More More More
Jan 31, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian
If asked, most people would say they want a better prayer life. That doesn't necessarily mean their prayer life is dry; more likely it's because they know God always has more. But what is more? 

A Good Person

A Good Person
Jan 24, 2024 by Colleen C Orchanian

We read Psalm 44 at Mass the other day and I was struck by the last line: Deliver us for the sake of your merciful love. Another translation says, Redeem us because of your love. I thought about the reason given for God to hear the prayer of the psalmist. It's because of God's merciful love, not because the psalmist deserves it. And that made me wonder how often we think God will hear our prayers because of our own actions – our own goodness.