“A Heart That Truly Sees”

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by Sister Brenda Rose Szegedy, OSF

truOn occasion I receive an email from Jean who enjoys sharing a few words of wisdom from Charlie Brown.   Her most recent one reads, “The smile on my face doesn’t mean my life is perfect.  It means I appreciate what I have and what I have been blessed with.  I choose to be happy.”
This wisdom is reflected in Jean’s joyful attitude even as she grapples with declining eyesight.  While on a recent retreat, she wrote a litany of gratitude for the disguised and hidden blessings in her life.  As Jean opened her heart to the grace of the moment, she began to see and experience a deeper gratitude for the gift of her precious eyes.  She recognized how this gift has served her over the years even in this time of gradual decline.    She recalled the words of one of her favorite mystics, Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer we ever said was ‘thank you,’ that would be enough.”  Jean became less concerned with what was missing but focused instead on expressing gratitude for what was left, and for what she has been blessed with.  Jean invited me to share her prayer reflection with others who at times grapple with their own forms of diminishment.  May her words below remind us that a grateful heart is a joyful heart, “a heart that truly sees.”

“Dear Precious Eyes,
How can I thank you for your long, loving service to me?  You have convinced me of the fact that only God could have created this beautiful universe with sunrise and sunset, moonrise, changing sky, profusion of plants, animals, insects, birds, and especially the faces of my family, friends, students, and Sisters in my community. Thank you for letting me see color and texture, light and darkness.  Thank you for helping me capture beauty with my camera and to paint and draw.  One day you decided to let some of my central vision rest, and I prayed for healing.  I still pray, but with the desire to accept whatever diminishes and to be grateful for what remains.  Yes, I miss former clarity but you, my precious eyes, help me to put clearer focus on my God, and I am grateful.”
Jean

Thank you, Jean, for revealing through your life a grateful heart, a heart that truly sees.

 

 

Sister Brenda Rose Szegedy

Retreat Ministry

Sr. Brenda Rose Szegedy

Throughout her years as a vowed Sylvania Franciscan, Sister Brenda Rose Szegedy has ministered as teacher, formation minister, retreat director and spiritual guide. Since the summer of 2008, she continues to serve as a member of the retreat preaching team at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, MN and offers spiritual direction. With each new day, Sister Brenda Rose is grateful for the opportunity to experience anew the transforming power of Divine Love in the lives of those seeking a deeper relationship with God amid life’s daily challenges.

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Sr. Brigid O'Shea Merriman
4 months ago

Thank you, dear Sister, for your blog on Jean. A wonderful reflection! I wish you God’s continued peace and inner joy. Sent with my love and prayers, Sr. Brigid

Mary Thill
4 months ago

Lovely attitude, dear Jean and Brenda. Your prayer about eyes is my prayer these days.
Let’s celebrate the gift of vision together…while we have it!
Blessings and thank you for your wisdom!

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