A Psalm for the Fed-Up

Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass
and fade like the green of the fields.

If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart's desire.

Commit your life to the Lord,
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait in patience;
do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plots
to bring down the needy and the poor.

Calm your anger and forget your rage;
do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish;
the patient shall inherit the land.

A little longer -- and the wicked shall have gone.
Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land
and enjoy the fullness of peace. 

Psalm 37: 1-11

Resource: Hallow

Hallow is a comprehensive app for contemplative prayer and Christian meditation. Listed as the No. 1 Catholic app, its rich resources provide good material for Christians of any denomination.

The app has close to 500 sessions. When you download it, you are asked to pick areas that you are interested in, such as daily Gospel, night prayer and meditation, or prayer lists, which are topics with multiple prayers and teachings.

The app also includes the Rosary, the examen, lector divine, spiritual journaling and chantings. Hallow allows us to build a community with friends and family. It also offers a habit tracker, journal and notifications.

The home page of the app includes a prayer plan filled with options based on your choices and a group of minute meditations.

Hallow has received a 4.9 rating from 8,700 users on Apple. It’s $8.99 a month or $60 a year with the first three months free (and the ability to cancel.)

Name Colors, a Christian Mindfulness Practice

As the world starts to reopen and the pandemic still continues, it’s easy to get distracted and to lose focus on the presence of Jesus.

This simple Christian mindfulness practice can move you back into the present moment and rekindle gratitude for God’s gifts to us.

Just close your eyes and breathe deeply three times. When you open your eyes, concentrate on what you see. Name the colors of things in the space around you. Thank God for each color that he created. God is the source of the color wheel, and even colors we can see. Thank Him for His creativity!

Peace in the COVID-19 Storm

We are not the only ones who benefit when we practice Christian mindfulness day after day. Experiencing the presence of Jesus comforts and changes us, so we become better co-workers, neighbors, family members and friends. We become lamps on the table in a very dark place.

The world is out of control. People face uncertainty and fear. In the midst of a long-term, ongoing crisis, people notice when someone else is at peace. It is a significant witness in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Our attitudes show our trust in God.

In 2 Corinthians 1:5-7, Paul writes that those of us who experience God’s comfort are not just storehouses. We don’t just enjoy the experience. We are conduits that share that comfort with others … sometimes through purposeful ministry, sometime just in daily interactions with others.

Practicing the presence of Jesus brings peace to more than just us. It can show the world a safe path in a challenging time.

Make Every Thursday Thanksgiving

Practicing gratitude every Thursday changes our attitude all week. When we start to look for just five things to be grateful for, we can enjoy the joyful feeling of Thanksgiving all year long.

It helps to keep a list … easy to access in your day … where you write down the good things that happen as they happen. Good things do happen as long as we are on Earth and under God’s care. The sky, the sun and the stars can inspire at least three of the five things. On really bad days, it’s also OK to be grateful that the day is over.

This practice transforms our attitude into something more positive. This article from positivepsychology.com talks in depth about how gratitude impacts anxiety and other difficult issues. Particularly when we are experiencing unhappy times, it’s refreshing to look for the good all around us.

Scheduling a Thanksgiving time for every Thursday creates a special focus on gratitude that lightens up the week. As part of weekly Thanksgiving, consider sharing your gratitude list with your family or a good friend. It helps us all to see the true reality rather than just the dark clouds.

For more thoughts on gratitude, click here.

Mindfulness Exercise: Find the Sounds in the Silence

Listen very careful to the sounds around you. Even silence has sounds.

Take five minutes or more to listen. What do you hear? Beloved voices? Music you’ve been stuck with via the kids? The purr of cat or the snore of a dog?

When you listen, you can hear more. It’s also reportedly good for calming your spirit. Listening to silence brings you peace. Listening lets the Lord speak quietly to your soul.

Resource: One-Minute Pause

A helpful free app for these and other difficult times is One-Minute Pause from John Eldredge, a counselor, teacher and author.

The app provides “a place to develop the practice of pausing and releasing everyone and everything to God.” This is part of what Eldredge calls “benevolent detachment.”

Users take a pause for 1, 3, 5 or 10 minutes. As the app is set up, a user must do a specific number of the shorter pauses before moving up in time. It also provides a reminder function that can alert you of a time you set to take a pause.

During the pauses, Eldredge helps users with the prayer: “Jesus, I give everyone and everything to you.”

The app stems from Eldredge’s book, “Get Your Life Back: Everything Practices in a World Gone Mad,” which was just published in February. The practices include kindness, outdoor activities and reduction in use of technology, as well as the one-minute pause and benevolent detachment. The book is highly rated on Goodreads and Barnes & Noble.

Essays on benevolent detachment, union with God and healing the soul also are available on the app.

Eldredge created the app before the coronavirus pandemic. He has placed a message of encouragement about the quarantine on the app. It contains one of the wisest messages about the pandemic that I’ve heard: “The world is frankly no more uncertain than it ever was. And God remains absolutely as certain as He ever was.”

Christian Mindfulness on Mother’s Day

The Proverbs 31 woman was not controlled by her circumstances and the demands of her family, her household or her home business. She was ruler of her attitudes, her time and her schedule. Her relationship with God was central. All that she became was the result of her yielding to His sovereign control.

Linda Dillow, “Calm My Anxious Heart”

Christian Mindfulness Practice: Intentional Use of Money

Making a decision to spend your money in ways that help your neighbors — that’s one good outcome from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a time when everything we do takes on added significance. I last felt this way when I lived in rural Mississippi in the 1970s. I wanted my actions and statements to help reverse racism. Today I want them to help people around me to keep going. All this flows from Christian mindfulness.

Today we are ordering carry-out from restaurants we like and want to stay open. We are planning to buy things from local shopkeepers so they can stay in business. We are making contributions to help our neighbors keep food on the table. We are making more intentional use of our money.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, I was somewhat involved in the voluntary simplicity and back-to-the-land movements. One of the hallmarks of both was making a decision to reduce overconsumption. We were taught: There are two ways to have money. Work more or spend less. Another great lesson was to ensure that you were spending money in a way that reflected your values.

Many of us are doing more of that today. Let’s take a look at how we have spent money in the last 30 days. As the country begins to reopen gradually, can we focus more on buying things from our neighbors instead of enriching Amazon? For example, here’s a list of ways to get local food from farmers from each state. A 30-day Amazon diet that helps local shops and workers could be a good experiment for us all.