Daily Reflection
October 31st, 2003
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain, Nursing and Allied Health
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Memorial of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Romans 9:1-5
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Luke 14:1-6


The psalmist reminds us that God loves us with his whole heart.  “God has granted peace in your borders,” reminds me of a line of a Celtic begging prayer: “God to Enclose Me.”

This is God, Father and Mother, as Julian of Norwich speaks of God.  Can’t you picture God, loving parent, enclosing you with his love?  That is a good picture of God signifying us as “children of God.”

This loving God has promised us:

        “I will not leave you …
        I will always love you …
        I love you with an everlasting love …”

We can read this in scripture and hear it preached in homilies.  Sometimes though, we can’t see or believe it.  We are blinded.

One of these blind times can occur when we pray for healing – healing for a loved one or ourself – from cancer or another illness, from alcoholism or another addiction, or from blindness to some reality we can’t accept.  We often expect God to act by our rules, just like the Pharisees.

We don’t always recognize God’s healing graces.  Jesus performed a miracle of healing just when he wasn’t supposed to, according to laws of the Sabbath.  They couldn’t believe it.  Their eyes weren’t opened to expect the unexpected.

God’s healing comes in God’s way and God’s time.  Last summer while on retreat at a lovely beach, my mother, who died in 1997, came to me in my dreams.  I didn’t think I had brought mother with me.  Little did I know that God had a surprise-healing gift for me - my relationship with mother.

God’s healing often comes as a surprise.  Perhaps it’s forgiveness of a person for an old hurt, or a grief that becomes acceptance of a loss, or a cloud of suspicion dissipates with truthfulness.  God’s healing always comes as an answer to God’s promise:  “I will always love you.”  We simply need to be open to recognize God’s grace and to receive it.

God encloses us with love.  Look for God’s Tender Loving Care!

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