A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Healing, Life and Blessing

Posted on: January 8, 2015

Not only has the wildlife in my neighbourhood struggled in the bitterly cold weather—some days, no birds or squirrels appeared at the feeders—but the animals and birds have seen their territory shrink. Many of the trees in the nearby park fell victim to the emerald ash borer and were removed this week. It’s a real loss to a neighbourhood short on mature trees, especially in the dead of winter.

My hope is that the city will plant trees in the spring, creating new homes for wildlife, and that area residents will keep their feeders stocked in the meantime.

Sometimes our own world seems to shrink as accidents or illness reduce our mobility, we lose friends or family to illness or death, our nest empties as children grow up and leave home, and so on. Spring might feel like a long way off.

But this can be a season to grow in our faith, trusting that God will guide us to new uses for our gifts and talents, draw us closer to our family and friends, lead us to new friendships, or bring new loved ones into the fold as our children marry and have families of their own.

If we find it hard to hold onto our faith, we can look to the words of Habbakuk 3:17-18*:

Though the fig tree does not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.

We can find joy in our relationship with God and trust that he has good plans for us. For as we read in Sirach 34:15-17, if we trust in the Lord, he will sustain us:

Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord!

To whom does he look? And who is his support?

The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,

a mighty protection and strong support,

a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun,

a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling.

He lifts up the soul and gives light to the eyes;

he grants healing, life, and blessing.

I pray that, whatever season of life we’re in, we would trust in the Lord and be open to his blessings.

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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