Week 2 Day 3: Be the Soil

Week 2: My Relationship with God
Wookbook Exercise: My Garden Plot

Watch: Week 2 Day 3: Be the Soil
Do you feel connected to God’s love on a daily basis?
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Transcript of Video:

And I remember one day specifically we were reading from the Psalms and this little nugget jumps out at me and says, “Lord, I love the house in which you dwell and the place where your glory abides.” And when you think about that for a minute, if God is in us and God is a part of who we are and flourishes in us then he actually dwells inside of us. And so I am actually that dwelling place. And so sometimes, like when planting a garden, you plant the seed but there has got to be a time when things are happening beneath the soil that you don’t know what’s going on and what’s happening. But eventually there is going to be something start to sprout out of the ground and it is not by anything that you did really except to be the soil and to give it a chance. And yet something begins to flourish and something begins to bloom but we have to sometimes be patient and let that happen and remember that God in us is working what we cannot do ourselves.

– Br. Jim Woodrum


  1. Elizabeth on March 9, 2020 at 11:10

    I don’t feel connected to God anymore. That’s why I’m here – to find that connection again. I’ve been too busy to notice for the past ten years. Besides teaching school, I was the parish organist most of that time. When you play the organ for a service, your mind is wrapped around getting everything done correctly at the precise moment. While I like to think that my playing brought others closer to God, my own relationship suffered.
    I broke both my knees last year and had to quit both jobs. Now that I have time in my schedule, I hope to rekindle that relationship again. I’m embarrassed because that makes me a fair weather friend.
    God, please forgive my past behavior. I should have taken time for you and I did not. I am so ashamed because you’ve always been here for me when I needed you. I don’t deserve your goodness. Please give me wisdom to change my pace – to stop and listen again.

    • Katrinkadink on February 21, 2021 at 20:53

      There are periods of life when we get so caught up in the demands on us that our spirituality suffers — especially during our younger years. I’ve certainly been there. Now that I’m retired I am more stable and more in charge of my own life. I often pray in support of the people who are in that kind of situation. I now realize that during my wacky times I was being held up by the prayers of others until I could get a more reasonable grip on my life.

  2. Richard Fleming Stutz on January 8, 2020 at 07:36

    Most days I recognize or feel God’s love. Somedays are either so busy or a day I might be sick it does not hit my radar but I know He is there.

    • Chioma Nwaogu on January 13, 2021 at 19:14

      Yes, indeed I do. I went to bed last night, aching all over, due to a hard and long day. All so encompassed by weariness, not knowing how I would feel this morning, but I must testify that I felt better and began my day on a good note, what is the reason if not being healed by a loving God. The love of God is a constant in my life and I see it everywhere.

  3. De on September 9, 2018 at 14:40

    Yes I most definite feel close to God. I can say that I started running into God’s arms when my husband died. The devastation was so complete that I had nothing to hold me together and I was in a world of my own. Then, God picked me up and carried me until I could function. It was then that a chance remark by someone in my church made a comment about Cursillo. The burning desire to know God better was the outcome. To this day, almost 4 years later, I am pursuing more and more information about my beloved God. It is if I cannot get enough and that is how I have arrived here at SSJE.

  4. Richard A Dixon on August 22, 2017 at 13:38

    Yes, I surely do!
    I sense/know that our Lord is doing something within me. But I don’t know what it is. But I trust him completely and I pray “Lord, I don’t know what you are doing, but please continue, whatever it is. I trust you – have your way.”

  5. Stan Lewis on February 17, 2017 at 07:56

    I do feel connected to God on a daily basis, but His presence is more prominent when I SLOW DOWN. It is so very easy for me to fall into the hectic busyness of life, and when that occurs I don’t feel as connected to God as I want to be. Under these circumstances, I become very stressed, agitated, and have little patience.

    I find that prayer, particularly centering prayer, coupled with meditation and reading the Daily Office, help me to slow down, take note of God in the little miracles around me, and reconnect.

  6. Vicki on March 5, 2016 at 00:31

    I really like the idea that God in us is working the things we cannot do alone. I do not always feel in control or present in a moment often I am divided and inattentive. I feel like I am not always aware of or responsive to the connectedness…but it really resonates with me that I can just be the soil and that by just being in connection to God I can be growing and doing things impossible to me alone

  7. Alan Rollins on February 23, 2016 at 11:02

    I have a kind of haphazard way of trying to connect with God. Day to day, I fall back into bad habits, and bad thoughts, where I get distracted from a deeper connection with God. Years of an impertinent attitude is slowly, but certainly, being replaced with respect, and real joy in my acknowledgment of the presence, and love, of God. And may God continue to lead and encourage me to His grace.

    • Marci on February 23, 2016 at 14:39


      I really liked the piece in the booklet about the green apple and the sun. One thing I have come to know is that our time and God’s time are not the same. It has taken God being patient with me and my own bullheadness to come to today. Shall we prayer for each other?


      • Alan Rollins on February 24, 2016 at 20:59

        Thank you for your response, Marci. Despite our ways, or what we’ve been used to, I think God wants us back! Yes, let’s pray for each other, and pray for the hope that God can get through to us.

        • Marci on February 24, 2016 at 23:40

          God is always on duty, always there. We are the ones who need to feel that. I will pray and be glad for your prayers, Alan.


  8. Donna on February 22, 2016 at 23:25

    That’s what I need to work on the most

  9. Jean Marie Angelo on February 22, 2016 at 10:34

    No, frankly, I left myself drift. I need to cultivate this relationship everyday. It goes best when I begin the day with prayer.

  10. Debbie on February 19, 2016 at 16:28

    Great commentary! I agree God dwells with in me. Everything that I am must radiate God’s love even on those days were I do not feel he is present. I have often seen the results of some action that I have done magnify in the greatest of ways. I know it comes from God and I have to wait for the results. It may take a while but I know that when the time comes that I have been that beacon of hope for some one else.

  11. Carol Ward on February 19, 2016 at 14:55

    Ho boy! That’s a very difficult question. The honest answer in winter would be, ‘no’ except on Sundays. In spring, summer & fall when I am gardening every day & out & about in nature, it is an emphatic, ‘yes’. So, I can see a weakness in my routine. I’ve got time on my hands in winter, I might as well fill it with something that will make a better me. No reason to wait until Sunday!

  12. CH on February 18, 2016 at 08:08

    Yea, I know God’s Love for me is deep and abiding, although I may not sense it in the immediate moment. I think of all the things that I am thankful for – family, friends,employment, health, fulfillment in my volunteer work and in my interests, church, answers to prayer. Gratitude is one of the “seeds” that I want in good soil.

    The Lord appeared to us in the past saying:
    “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
    – Jeremiah 31:3

  13. NA on February 18, 2016 at 08:07

    Right now, I have Late Stage/Disseminated Lyme Disease and am working to heal from that. And this is indeed one of those “beneath the soil” things where God is working for me what I cannot do for myself. My life needed overhauling, and my previous efforts had made some headway but not gotten me where I felt I needed to be. Well, this is certainly accomplishing that! There are so many moments of grace that show up right when I need them, and so many more things than the Lyme being healed that I cannot help but feel connected to God on a daily basis.

  14. Jane on February 17, 2016 at 17:41

    I retired a little over a year ago and relocated to the southwest to be with family. Prior to retirement, I worked at a demanding job that included 10–11 hour days. As a single woman living alone, I was responsible for all of the household upkeep as well. I always felt like I was just running from one activity to another and was always tired. I feel so blessed to be retired!! Once I settled into my new home, life slowed down dramatically for me. As a result, I’ve become so much more aware of my surroundings. I appreciate the natural beauty surrounding me. When I’m out shopping, I find that I strike up conversations with people as we wait on line at the checkout. I feel so relaxed and able to enjoy the people around me!! I feel so much more aware, I really do take time to smell the roses! And I feel connected to God, the world, to life in general. Not a day goes by that I don’t spontaneously feel a wave of gratitude wash over me, gratitude for all of the gifts God has given me each and every day!

  15. brent on February 17, 2016 at 11:20

    Sometimes, but I have to work at it–it doesn’t flow graciously for me, as perhaps it does for some other respondents with more practice. I try to wake up in a conversation with God, to use that half-asleep,, warm-in-bed moment to establish some connection, and think about how the day might go forward under God’s sign. I try to stop now and then in the day and renew that connection, but there are so many other thoughts buzzing around–and I do feel a moral obligation to be present to this human world in all its fallen and distracted condition. So I have work to do to achieve that daily relationship–thank you SSJE brothers and all the others who are sharing their particular ways of going at this.

  16. Jim Foley on February 17, 2016 at 09:35

    Today’s message was brief in time but incredibly deep in thoughtfulness and meaning. Sometimes I lose patience and expect immediate results. Lent provides me with that opportunity to reflect and embrace patience as a virtue, as well as to remember that God is working through me for some higher purpose. Many times I do not perceive that purpose, but I have to remind myself that God is working through me and I need to be patient and listen to Him and what He wants me to do.

  17. Julia on February 17, 2016 at 00:28

    Yes, but I have come to that blessing lately, and as a result (as these things go) of experiencing deep pain and loss.

  18. Sally Baynton on February 16, 2016 at 23:02

    Because I have chosen to eliminate “outside noise” a.k.a the news media out of my life during Lent, I find that the silence I experience allows me to do so much more praying. I drive a lot every day. I used to turn on the radio the minute I got in the car to hear what was going on, what the traffic was, and get the latest update on the weather. Now, I get in the car and pray. I drive and pray. I sit at stop lights and pray. It is delightful! I don’t forget those people who I said I would pray for and who I know need prayer. I love my time alone with God and I cannot ever see me giving this time up again to “earthly things” when I can just pray!

  19. Stan on February 16, 2016 at 18:09

    How do I feel Connected to God’s Love on a daily basis? That is an interesting question. I can’t think of any “ways”; I just do. God’s love for me (and everybody else) is something that I have come to understand, and I just “know it”. God dwells within and accompanies me with everything I do. God “knows when I’ve been bad or good” and gives me immediate feedback … bad or good. I pray short, small, spontaneous little prayers without hesitation, often kinda one-sided, but sometimes we’ll have short little “conversations” with each other. I trust in God’s guidance, even though my own Will will often lead me astray. But I know the Spirit Within will not stop loving me, and I repent, and ask for greater strength. And when I am quiet and still, I feel great Peace.

  20. Nancy Walter on February 16, 2016 at 17:51

    No, I don’t. Yet I know it is there. God’s love doesn’t depend on how I feel; God IS love. I depend on that

  21. Debbie McMahon on February 16, 2016 at 17:49

    I really do try. There are times when I get so overwhelmed by the day to day, when I struggle to intentionally live in the presence of God. I have gotten much better over time, making the place and setting the stage daily to commune with God, to stop, listen, and see the miracle of my life. I must continue to live consciously. Thanks be to God.

  22. Paul on February 16, 2016 at 17:15

    For me, being connected to God’s love is what meditation is all about; and I try to do that on a daily basis. I also say the Jesus Prayer during the day and evening as often as I remember to do so. And I take time specifically to praise and thank God each day. I don’t know whether all that makes me “feel” connected to God, but I do know that I am doing the best I can, and I let God do the rest. God guide me, God lead me, God show me the way. Amen

  23. Jen on February 16, 2016 at 16:28

    I am with those who struggle with this. I have often marvelled at and envied the assurance that my fellow Christians have that they are loved by God. I have asked God for it! Lately I have been feeling that I should just act as if it is true; often we become what we do.

  24. Betsy on February 16, 2016 at 16:19

    Wow! What a revelation, reassurance and relief! “God is working within us what we cannot do ourselves.” These words are all about the power of hope for those in need of it (just about everybody) and certainty that God is nurturing within us exactly what we need to heal, to grow, to thrive, to flourish. Trust the gardener!

  25. Paul on February 16, 2016 at 15:59

    Unfortunately, sometimes it’s like elevator music. You know it’s there but you don’t hear it because you’re distracted. But even elevator music has its moments. You’ll hear a fragment of a familiar tune, and subconsciously you’re already humming along. You become aware of the music you’ve been ignoring. I don’t mean to suggest God’s love is just filler, or processed music. If we were constantly just overwhelmed by love I’m not sure we could function. We’d be mystics, or flower children. Try listening to Bach for 18 hours. Even the most sublime music would drive you mad after awhile. We probably need those dark silent spaces so we actually react to love when we encounter it.

  26. Eugene Wright on February 16, 2016 at 15:10

    Yes, I do feel God’s love constantly. From the moment I wake up. I am thankful that a loving God woke me up. When I am praying and meditating I feel God’s presence there with me. I feel God when I am reading scripture and thinking and talking to God. God’s love is with me all day as I go about my daily labors. He knows that I am dependent on him fully and He is always with me.

  27. Christopher Buckley on February 16, 2016 at 14:22

    No, I don’t.
    I probably feel connected to God’s love maybe three or four times a week… and that’s a good week.

    But I *know* that I am connected to God’s love every moment of every day for all of time and beyond.

    I seldom feel the Presence.
    I hardly ever feel “strangely warmed” as Wesley put it.

    But thanks be to God that our feelings are not the driving impetus to faith. Let’s face it: emotions are fleeting. Feelings change like the tides. Don’t get me wrong – emotions are a vital part of being human; our feelings can inform and enrich us, giving depth to our experience and inspiring us to do amazing things. But the can’t be the foundation of our faith, our life, our rule.

    I know that God is here – beside me, within me – beside you, within you – but it would be an error to say, “Well, I don’t feel God today, so He must be gone.”

    So, I strive to live a life that reflects the immanent, intimate Presence of God, whether I can feel it or not… and especially when I can’t.

  28. Rhode on February 16, 2016 at 13:28

    My father worked 3 jobs, 6 days a week for many years after we immigrated to the US. He was rarely home except for Sunday mornings. One weekend, when I was 17, I woke up at 5am, unusual for a teen!. I went to use the bathroom and I heard soft words and crying in the den. I peeked and there in the dark was my dad on his knees, praying. I would learn he did this everyday. My father was one tough bird. To catch him left an enduring humble image in my heart of a man who loved us enough to sacrifice valuable time in prayer. He sought a connection with God! I see it now, as a pivotal moment when a seed was planted in my young heart. Yet, it wasn’t until I was in my 40s when I too, chose to give that first hour of the day to scripture and prayer. Now at 61, those morning connections last the entire day.

  29. susan zimmerman on February 16, 2016 at 13:10

    …’feel’ God…a consuming fire? …after getting burned Gods’ scars from being burned allow one to get closer next time one comes in contact…closer & closer

  30. Kristi on February 16, 2016 at 12:41

    I do feel that God’s love is always in me, but to feel actively connected to it is a different story. I get too busy with the business of living and working sometimes to feel that connection. But I do have a strong faith that it’s there inside me. I just need to pay closer attention and listen to it more often.

  31. Donald Sutton III on February 16, 2016 at 12:16

    Yes I feel connected to God’s love everyday.

  32. Robert Corey on February 16, 2016 at 11:50

    I seldom feel so alienated from God as when I attempt to pray. I keep reaching for some tangible something, but I’m just alone with myself. This image of God dwelling within is not one I’m prone to ponder. The house, swept clean, invites demons. I joked about that Gospel passage once — saying ‘replace the tenant or expect the squatter.’ Keeping it vacant for the absent King is a sure way to bring opportunists. Best to apply oneself to the practical. Myself, at least. And — having a tenant rather than a vacancy or vagrancy, what I engage on a daily basis — could be something that gets me on my feet and out and about. And there is love in that.

  33. Jody on February 16, 2016 at 11:46

    I am fortunate to have found a profound meditation technique 41 years ago which brings me into my core being twice a day. Through this practice and daily prayer I do know God’s love almost every moment of every day. And like so many others, I see Her in nature, in my pets, and in others. I joined a church community this summer and I see her in every one of my fellow worshipers, in our Priest and Deacon. I see and feel God’s love in my friends and my family members. We are surrounded by God’s beauty and that is Her reminder to me that She loves me. I feel deep gratitude for the presence of Her.

  34. gwedhen nicholas on February 16, 2016 at 11:23

    Yes, I would say that I feel connected to Gods’ Love on a daily basis. I am very aware of His Presence in my life. I feel Him with me all the time. I feel His help and connection with what I am doing; especially when I am communicating with Him through prayer, Bible study,and journaling. I feel Him helping me through my life, which is Love. He is my friend, always there for me and ready to lay down His life for me. Indeed, He is helping me right this moment. I need Him, His Love, in all that I do. This helps me to do things as beautifully and as well as my human condition allows me. This allows me to love Him in return, doing all I do, for Him. Thank you God.

  35. Winifred on February 16, 2016 at 11:12

    I too love that word “dwell” – it is so calm, relaxed, comfortable, permeating. I can feel it as God’s love resting near my heart, and radiating steadily and languidly to all corners of my arms, legs, brain. I wonder where you feel it –

  36. Mryka on February 16, 2016 at 10:57

    My experience of God;s love also means I experience God’s love to the rest of creation, of which I am a small part: important in God’s eyes but not at all cozy. I had to realize this when I saw an interview with someone who owned the only house in a development spared by a tornado. This person was praising God for having saved her house, while her neighbour with a destroyed house was standing nearby listening to this. What was the neighbour to think of experiencing God’s love shown in that manner? I get very unhappy when I fall prey to the tendency to think that God’s love means God is MY saviour from difficulty, tragedy and hardship. That means realizing that God loves the weeds too, and this life must be a balance among everything God loves, no matter how contradictory it seems to me in my garden.

  37. Robert on February 16, 2016 at 10:51

    It’s hard to feel connected to God when we’re very busy or preoccupied. I do believe as the brother (and Augustine) said that He is with us whether we realize it or not. I set aside meditation time each day. Sometimes, I just call on Him, “Help!” Some of my favorite moments with Jesus is when I’m on my bike, away from traffic on hills, in nature, and I sing his praises to myself and give thanks for my life, my family, my friends, my legs, my eyes, my breath.

  38. Tom on February 16, 2016 at 10:37

    The Jesuit poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins,SJ writes that “the world is charged with the grandeur of God, it flames out like lightening from shook foil…”
    I’ve loved this line and carried it with me in gratitude for many years now. Yes, with a world “charged with the grandeur of God,” I feel very connected with God every day.

  39. Mia C on February 16, 2016 at 10:32

    Sometimes. There are times when I sense the presence of God so keenly and deeply, but then there are times when He seems no where to be found. Its those times when I have trained myself to remember that God is present in all things, even though I do not “feel” anything.

  40. Kathy on February 16, 2016 at 10:02

    I think for me it gets down to trust. I trust that God is with me always. But in all the “doing” moments (groceries, laundry, my first world problems), I’m not always aware he is there and yet I know He is. However in the “being” moments of solitude, His presence with me is known and I am so grateful.

  41. Jan on February 16, 2016 at 09:58

    Yes, just in nature and the love I receive from friends and family everyday makes me feel connected to God’s love. One of my seeds is prayer and meditation so that I can be more open and aware of God’s presence.

  42. Wendy on February 16, 2016 at 09:33

    Yes, I know God is deeply rooted in me.

  43. Jennifer on February 16, 2016 at 09:23

    I wish I could say that I did, but I do not. I think I allow too many negative things in that block my feeling of love in general. It is why I am here to find some solace and structure that I feel I have lost. I want and need to feel that connection. I am trying.

    • gwedhen nicholas on February 16, 2016 at 11:27

      I am so glad that you are trying. Good for you! You are half-way there.

  44. Annie on February 16, 2016 at 09:06

    I wish I did feel that connection daily, but no, I don’t. Sometimes though, in my interactions with others, I’ll become aware that I’m experiencing a connection with God in them. Or when I’m in nature, really observant and present. Or when a butterfly lands on my hand as I sketch outdoors and my breath is taken away. But daily? No. Maybe if I were more intentional about looking for the connection.

  45. Tal Day on February 16, 2016 at 09:00

    I feel fortunate and thankful for good health and loving relationships and for opportunities that come my way to do things that have meaning and value for others? But I hesitate to think that is how I experience God’s love.

    How would I feel if my health were terrible and my life were falling apart? The research in positive psychology suggests that, with some period for adjustment, I would experience much the same sense of gratitude and have much the same outlook generally, but in very different circumstances. How many people suffer under such conditions?

    Is that a feature of the mystery? For me, there is mystery enough in how the world works without need for miracles. God’s love and how it finds expression exceeds my understanding,

  46. William Spies on February 16, 2016 at 08:44

    If I clear my self of daily issues and just listen i find peace that otherwise is missed in life. I believe that comes from God.

    • Stan on February 16, 2016 at 17:45

      Ah yes, Be Still and Listen. Here, you find the Peace of The Lord. God’s wonderful manifestation of Love. When you are truly at Peace, you are resting in the Arms of God.

  47. Betty on February 16, 2016 at 08:42

    Yes I do .. That said not all the time but I know he is there all the time… Each day I set aside time in the morning to become aware of God… I also reach out to god at times when I am stressed and feel vulnerable… I want to be more aware of gods presence and create a warm inviting environment for him to grow more within me so I can gain an even deeper relationship with her.

  48. Cathie on February 16, 2016 at 08:40

    I feel connected to God’s love, but I don’t feel this on a daily basis. I feel it when I sing hymns, etc. I feel it when I talk with God, and ask questions, and pray. I feel it when I dream, but not always on a daily basis. I guess I have forgotten that God dwells within me. “How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts to me?” never sounded so real and close before now.

  49. Darla on February 16, 2016 at 08:26

    Intellectually I can say I feel connected to God on a daily basis. Yet my Spirit reminds me of the times when I have longed to be closer to God.As I reflect on these times I realize that it is not that I am disconnected from God, rather I have not tended to my connection with God. On the days that I confess my sins, spend time in prayer seeking a dialogue rather than my monologue of my desires either for myself or others, or when I take time to notice the many ways God speaks through nature and humanity I not only feel connected but empowered. I am aware that it is not God that has weakened the connection, but my inattention.

    • Mel on February 17, 2016 at 15:11

      Yes, I resonate with this so much! When I have an eye to see God in and around me, I do see it. When I don’t, I just see a lot of myself. I am not quite regular with it, but I am starting to do a five sentence examen at night. One question helps me recall where I felt close to God, and where I felt distant or disconnected in my day. Since starting this, and I’m guessing because I have eyes to see, I am seeing and feeling God’s presence more. I just need that prompting to get outside myself!

  50. Fr. Dewayne Messenger on February 16, 2016 at 08:19

    In seminary, when I began taking homiletics, and had to begin writing sermons, I discovered that God can sometimes provide a current example or metaphor regarding the gospel lesson. It made me realize that God was in the process of discerning the gospel and God was working in my ever day life. Also, one of my spiritual directors regularly asked me, “So, where is God working in your life?” Sometimes that might be in tearing things down, sometimes God’s work might only be hinted at, or buried below the surface, but over time, one recognizes that God is leading us (as much as we’ll let him).

  51. Bobbi on February 16, 2016 at 08:12

    Lately when I take my daily walk, I notice that my primary intention is to ‘walk around with God.’ This means I try to get rid of the chatter in my mind and just BE with God. Today I can’t wait to get out there, but the challenge is the weather. It snowed last night and the forecast is for fifty degrees, windy and rainy. Where and when can I safely walk? I feel connected enough to God to know that God will lead me.

  52. Suzanne on February 16, 2016 at 08:12

    I do feel connected to God on a daily basis because I continually talk to God and listen to God through contemplative activities. I wouldn’t say that I feel connected to God’s love though. God IS love so the concept of “God’s love” seems awkward to me.

  53. Bettie on February 16, 2016 at 08:01

    I feel connected to God, surrounded by God only when I contemplate nature surrounding me. Otherwise I don’t feel God’s presence. Having ‘considered’ this morning’s snow which is now being covered by freezing rain, I will strive to ‘consider’ other things, not nature’s garden in my daily life; perhaps then I will feel more surrounded by God.

    • Tom on February 16, 2016 at 11:00

      Fascinating that we both saw the same image this morning, with such different views. I was drawn to the view of the sun melting the ice crystals as the wind blew them around the deep valley to our East, transforming each with her radiant light. “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place” sang throughout my very being.

  54. Robert on February 16, 2016 at 07:23

    I ask for God’s love each day in my prayers. I am growing in awareness of God’s love in my life.

  55. Linda on February 16, 2016 at 07:20

    I know that God loves me on a daily basis but I cannot say that I am conscious of this or recall this on a daily basis. But that said, perhaps that is a part of a rule of life I need to consider; to recall God’s love for me, God’s presence with me in all that I am and in all that I do. I agree that God live’s inside of us but God also surrounds us and connects us all. I loved the analogy offered – that we are the soil that can nurture the seed that can then grow inside of us…and that patience is key. Just yesterday, I was asked if I had considered discernment to the priesthood and yes I have, made it all the way to the Bishop. But something stopped me inside, not the external folks, and it was painful to make the decision I made to not continue. Thus, yesterday’s question once again stirred up the emotions of that journey of a few years ago. I appreciate the soil, the patience needed, and the desire to listen more to God to reflect on this once again. Patience, God’s presence, nurturing the seed, these are all so important.

    • Sally Baynton on February 16, 2016 at 22:59

      Linda, I loved the soil metaphor, too! When I think of soil, I used to think of getting dirty. Now, I am able to equate me with soil and I have a totally different vision. While I am a sinner (dirty), there is something greater in me that is at work that will bloom and flourish. I can’t wait to see what that will look like.

      • Linda on February 17, 2016 at 07:16

        Thank you Sally, well said! I hadn’t thought of it that way. And let’s remember that our soil is full of good nutrients that can help seeds grow.

  56. Neil Ellis Orts on February 16, 2016 at 07:13

    Br Jim speaks of us as the Temple of God. A recurring and foundational image for me and my writing and work is the Imago Dei, the Image of God that dwells inside of every human. It’s the part of God molded into the clay of our creation and even more, I’ve begun to think and assert that the part of you that seems foreign or different or least like me is and aspect of God that I need to see and learn to love.

    And so sometimes, the love of God is like whatever love Jacob had while wrestling all night at the Jabbok.

    The question is about the love of God. Like most love in my life, the fervency will fluctuate. Yet, I would say that I’m aware of God around me all the time. I would also say that God is love. So, it follows, I feel connected to God’s love on a daily basis.

    I would also say that the love of God sometimes feel like the blessing of a dislocated hip.

  57. Karen on February 16, 2016 at 06:50

    I do feel continuously connected to God. But I think the times that just make me smile are when I stop to recognize the little things that just seem to work out, but then realize that God just did that for me. It really brings me joy. I’m learning to lean on God for everything, one thing at a time, as God proves over and over that he is with me and loves me.

  58. Jim V on February 16, 2016 at 06:47

    I don’t think I do feel connected to God’s love on a daily basis. The business of life, self-hatred and self-disappointment, striving, my laziness and my posture and attitude towards others all cover God’s love for me and in me.

    • sallie on February 16, 2016 at 07:38

      Thank you for your honesty. There are alot of us who struggle with similar things- and the struggle is not apparent in most of the responses this Lent- and that has led me to feel angry and alone. So now, because of you, I don’t feel so alone. For me, I do have times when I am deeply sure of God’s grace in my life- and the rest of the time I try to remind myself of those times.. You have been a little piece of God’s grace for me. Thank you.

      • Michael on February 16, 2016 at 09:27

        I know what you mean. I just know I don’t have that secure knowledge that God is with me and I am with him all the time. Maybe I’m just not getting it, but it’s how I feel

        • Tom on February 16, 2016 at 10:51

          In the darkest moment of my life, when I did not think I could take another step, I remember vividly sitting and managing to pray “Loving God, help me” and as I breathed these words in and out, I eventually touched the strength to take a step.

    • Eva on February 16, 2016 at 08:57

      Thank you for your response. I hear a clear echo of what I have written on the paper beside me. On the days and at the times when I forget to talk with God, I forget His love. I am hoping that this Lenten exercise will help me to establish a “practice of the presence of God” – to quote Br. Lawrence.

    • Marci on February 22, 2016 at 09:47

      At a time when others as well as myself found little to admire about me, I remembered one thing. “I am a child of God.” That brought me to a new and wonderful place–not all at once, but over time. If God loves me and certainly that is the message of the Gospels, then there must be worth in me. At that point, I began to really believe in God’s love and my prayer became much more minute by minute rather than sporadic. A simple phrase came to me: Christ in, love out which I use as a breath prayer. I found myself and this happened over time as well talking to God as a beloved friend, sharing the little things as well as the big things–and gloriously I discovered that God is not only love, but humor as well. M.

  59. Mike Seymour on February 16, 2016 at 06:38

    Being connected to God on a daily basis…I would not think of my daily experience in those terms. what I am aware of is being in peace, equanimity and a quiet contentment most of the time, and frequently sensing feelings of caring and compassion for those about me. So, I would describe God’s presence in these ways..that the life I have now is a product of many years of patiently sitting in the Presence and letting go what was not serving me or God.

  60. Deryl on February 16, 2016 at 06:37

    I feel connected to God in so many ways. Nature, family and friendships, my church and church family. Lately I have been remiss in my prayers to God, sure I pray at night and I pray for people on our prayer list, but I haven’t been talking to God and letting God know just what is in my heart. I will work on that, starting today. Thank you for the reminder.

  61. Suzanne on February 16, 2016 at 06:23

    There’s a renewal song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” that captures for me the essence of being connected with God. “…..look full into his marvelous face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” Connecting with God daily is a letting go of the things that hold me fast – the worry, the haste, the fear of whatever it is at the moment. Fear of loosing a client. The need to hurry and finish a project or having hastily arrived at an appointment having navigated traffic congestion minutes before walking in the door. Worry of what the doctor will say to a friend who is hoping chemo will be what beats stage 4 cancer. It is through prayer that the world slips away – to the foot of the Cross – for Jesus to deal with accordingly. It is through the reading of scripture where God’s holy word comes alive through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the intentionality of ‘being’ instead of ‘doing.’ I only need to shift my focus and he is there in all of his glory.

    • Stan on February 16, 2016 at 17:28

      It is the intentionality of ‘being’ instead of ‘doing.’ Now that statement is not only insightful, it is also beautiful. In fact, it is actually an epiphany. Indeed, just “Being” can be the revelation that we seek because at that point, you and the Holy Spirit within you are truly One. Thank you for that thought, Suzanne.

  62. Muriel Akam on February 16, 2016 at 04:59

    I feel connected to God when I look out at the blue skies, the trees, bulbs peeping through in spring, rain, wind, snow and sunshine. Hard to feel connected when listening to the news, radio and general business.
    I’ll try more to be the soil that nurtures those around me and to be patient .

    • Phyllis madison on February 16, 2016 at 09:15

      Thank you for awakening in me the revelation that we are to be the soil for others. To do that requires humility. To do that requires I die to that moment when I want to yank out the weeds I see in someone else’s’ garden, and instead, be that soil that nurtures their seed, thus nurturing the one within myself.

    • Debbie McMahon on February 16, 2016 at 17:44

      Yes! I treasure my outdoor space because I slow down to really see God.

  63. Sally Baynton on February 15, 2016 at 19:33

    YES! I do feel connected to God! I do feel like I live in His presence. Recently, I quit listening to the radio when in the car. I am usually a “talk radio junkie.” But, I thought how much I would enjoy just driving God around with me. I truly pretend He is in the front seat with me. When I get angry at someone for cutting me off, He reminds me that I am the same sinner. Talk about being convicted! I have discovered all sorts of things about myself that need to “die” so I can live in the fullness of God’s creation of me. I am learning so much about myself and my relationship with God just seems to grow and grow. And, yes, I am a much better driver now. I am no longer one of the “five mile over the speed limit” type of drivers!

    • Bobbi on February 16, 2016 at 07:52

      Sally, I resonate with your image of driving around with God. When I take my daily walk, my primary intention is to walk with God. That means I try to get rid of the chatter in my mind and just BE with God.

      • Sally Baynton on February 16, 2016 at 22:55

        Good for you!!!!!!!! It is wonderful to be open to just “being” with God. When I first started the “no media,” especially in the car, I found a lot of ugliness in myself. Mostly it was directed at other drivers. I was amazed that it was in me. As the weeks have gone by, I have been able to release those feelings knowing that my Savior is sitting by my side. I dare not feel so presumptuous when I have the King of Kings in the front seat with me! He has taken control of those things that need to die within and I am becoming a new person, indeed! Yippee! Thank you so much for your affirmation!!!!!!!!!

    • Tom on February 16, 2016 at 10:43

      I love it. Driving with God reminds me of “Driving Miss Daisy” and “A Trip to Bountiful.” Thanks for the image. I hope she sits in the front seat with youl

  64. Pam on February 15, 2016 at 15:41

    I believe that we live in an incarnate world. Every created thing in the world–animals, nature, and we humans–have what John refers to in his Gospel as “the light of life.” My dog is thrilled that God made her a dog; she loves to run ahead of me when we hike together, just delighting in being a dog, just happy to be alive. I can’t possibly live in the northeast and not see God’s light shining in the raucous color of the maples in the fall, the beautiful ocean crashing against the jagged rocks, and the wind blowing through the towering pine trees. When someone does a kindness for me or someone else, God’s love is displayed in his or her actions. God created and loves all things in the natural world, and all that he made reflects his glory at the very center of its being. So, it would be hard not to feel connected to God on a daily basis since he is everywhere and in everything.

  65. William Spies on February 15, 2016 at 13:59

    last year I was asked to coordinate a Habitat for Humanity home build. I was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough volunteers and enough donations but knew beyond sharing the need that I could only wait and pray for good results. Well God was there for us. people donated funds beyond anything I could imagine and volunteers not connected with my group arrived from far and wide . we completed the home ahead of schedule and the family we build it for showed their love of God in return as they worshiped with us during the build and the dedication.

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