Contemporary Scripture Reflections for Spiritual Seekers
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, BCC, PCC
SUNDAY BIBLETALK
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

EXCERPT from
A POCKETFUL OF SUNDAYS

We cannot belong to God when we give our souls to things, activities, causes, goals, people; we cannot belong to God and "mammon." Instead, we must travel lightly, knowing that all things are God's gift to us but that nothing is permanent.

The water running across the palms of our hands is for refreshment only; we cannot store it, conserve it, bottle it, preserve it. It has movement like a river; now it is here but within seconds it is gone. All is fluid; all is air. Nothing is meant to stay the same -- and our God calls us to grow, not be static....

To cling is to commit the sin of idolatry, that worship of all that is not God. It is to make gods of all that is mere matter, neglecting God in the process. It is to invest in all that can tarnish, all that can decay, all that has limited "shelf life."

We cannot take the journey when we cling. The baggage we hold is too cumbersome; the attachments which weigh us down prevent us from flying or else cause us to fall mid-flight. All that we crave owns us; all that we are obsessed with possesses us.

When we let go, the angels rejoice because we give God permission to act-- and the God who loves us infinitely more than we love ourselves leads us to precisely where we need to go to find life....

Elizabeth-Anne Ste wart ,
C. A Pocketful of Sundays,


MY UPCOMING CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Imagery and Spiritual Awakening
Institute for Life Coach Training
Tele-course, Tuesday nights, October 15-November 26th, 2019. 5:00-6:30 pm CST

Day of Reflection: "Balancing Archetypes in Spiritual Direction"
Chicago Area Spiritual Directors (C.A.S.D.)
Thursday, November 7th, 2019. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Carmelite Retreat Center, Darien, IL
Info: Roz Camardella, rosalindcamardella@gmail.com

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
  1. How would you define your relationship with money?
  2. How do you use your resources to help others?
  3. How might you be more socially conscious in terms of your purchases and investments?
Greetings, Readers!

In response to the Opioid Crisis, I am presently exploring the ways my process of Image Guidance might be used in pain management. If you are suffering from chronic or acute pain and would like to participate in my project, please fill out the survey which you can find at https://lnkd.in/gjTajwn (you will need to scroll down the right side of the web page!)

Any information you provide will be used in a general, anonymous way as part of my research on pain management, Should you wish to participate more directly in my imagery study over the next 6-12 months, please enter your name and contact information on the survey. Levels of participation will be entirely optional and will range from your providing more detailed feedback to possibly experiencing a free session of Image Guidance (in person) or customized mini- imagery sessions on the phone or by email; these will give you the tools to complement your present pain management strategies through creative visualization exercises.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who is suffering from chronic pain. My website provides information about my work as an alternative healer, including testimonials and links to my publications on the topic.


Many Blessings!
Elizabeth
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SCRIPTURE REFLECTION

No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon."
Luke 16:10-13

2.600 lawsuits -- and climbing. This is the number of lawsuits that allege that OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP, together with the Sackler family, helped fuel the opioid crisis that has claimed more than 400,000 lives since 1999. Aggressive marketing tactics and the down- playing of possible side effects created billions of dollars in sales for the Sacklers and their company; meanwhile, unsuspecting consumers obediently took the painkillers their doctors prescribed, little imagining that they were on their way to becoming drug addicts or even to over-dosing....

The pursuit of money at all costs is nothing new. In our first reading, the prophet Amos rails against those who trample the needy and destroy the poor of the land (Amos 8:4-7). Cheating, exploiting the lowly, price-gouging and selling refuse were as common in his day as they are in ours; the only difference is that today's corporate criminals operate on a much larger scale than the "low life" of Amos' time. Hardly a day goes by without some company recalling products as varied as contaminated beef, defective car tires, toxic laminate floors, unsafe baby furniture, and even jumbo jets with fatal flaws! In many cases, the companies are well aware that their merchandise could be hazardous to consumers and yet for the sake of profit they withhold the data that might save lives. When some investigative reporter finally exposes their crooked ways, the CEO's or their spokespersons deny the allegations, feign surprise or else try to defame the plaintiffs so as to minimize financial settlements.

The steward in today's Gospel is as crafty as any modern-day white collar crook. Having squandered his master's property, he is about to be fired yet is unwilling to "re-make" himself as a beggar or ditch-digger. Instead, he alters the promissory notes of his master's debtors so they end up owing less; his rationale is that now the debtors are indebted to him, he will be able to rely on them in the future for food, shelter and other necessities. Ironically, his master is impressed by his resourcefulness and makes a rather jarring comment: "the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light."

What is the take-away for Christians today? A starting point would be to evaluate whether we are "children of this world" or "children of light"; simply put, do we place God first or have we made money our god? Do we live by Gospel values or have we compromised our faith by investing in death dealing companies (armaments, tobacco etc.) or in companies with a bad social justice track record? Do we share our resources or do we hoard the gifts we have received? Do we trust in God alone or have we put our faith in material possessions? Do we use money to live or do we live to acquire money?

Whom do we serve?

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
This video explains my approach to this ministry, while my website provides further details as well. I work "in person" as well as remotely by phone, Zoom or Skype; I am also available to facilitate retreats for groups and individuals.



Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart | www.elizabeth-annestewart.com | e.a.stewart@sbcglobal.net

All Photos by Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, www.artfulphotographer.com