Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Ministering of Spiritual Letters

{Photo credit: Grace K. Dalton}

I leaned in the window of her suburban and listened as my good friend told me how she had read and read and read the Seasonal issue I had slipped into her hands even as she mourned the loss of her son.

She said she didn't know if she was reading it correctly or in any certain order and she suspected she would read it again as the season proceeded but, in the season of grieving she had unexpectedly found herself, it was enough to simply read and absorb the message that God wanted her to hear and hear what she needed to hear.

That's when I knew...that's when I knew what the purpose of the reflections and spiritual letters in The Seasonal was.

It's a ministry of outreach. A spiritual postal service, if you will. We write letters to one another. We exchange recipes. We share stories. We listen to each other. And we give advice. And through all this we pray for one another.

There are seasons when we are too weary---too weary to hear ourselves, too weary to do anything, to weary to help ourselves much less help others. During these times, we are often too weary to seek God, know God, feel God, hear God.

Those are the moments we need to just be still...and seek God.

The first thing for us to do is to trust that God reaches out to us through others who have walked the walk and talked the talk. He comes to us at all times of day...often when we least expect Him but also so near us that we often don't realize He is paying us a visit.

Spiritual letters are a way to invite Him to minister to another from the heart of our home to the tender heart of their home. Spiritual letters are a lost art form in today's technological world. Spiritual letters used to be the mainstay of Christian advice and contact. Zelie Martin wrote to her sister and sister-in-law faithfully. St. Francis de Sales maintained spiritual direction with St. Jane Frances de Chantal and these letters still benefit us today. Out there is a wealth of letters written by the hands of virtuous women such as Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day.

So why do we need to add any letters to this forest of wisdom? Because the heart of our homes is part of the fabric that defines the 21st century life and the life of the Church that finds itself in it but not of it.

These letters are an invitation for Him to visit our heart with the promise that we will be fully in-tune to His message for us during this time, this place, this season of life. In speaking to another heart, we often heal our own scars and anxieties. He does this through each one of us. We are the messengers. We are our sister's keeper and many of us are called to help work the domestic church...some to weed, some to thrash, some to cull, some to prune, some to harvest, some to plant, some to sow, some to furrow. But the ultimate goal is to produce a good harvest and produce it we must.

In opening our heart to another, we serve, we supply, we minister, we nurse, we heal.

Opening our door is the first step. Only then do we answer the call God has placed on our hearts and the circuit is no longer a dead-end communication but an open circuit through which we begin to understand the message.

* * * * *
Do you have a message you would like to share with other like-minded Christian women?
Do you have a story you would like to share?
Do you have thoughts you need to get on paper?
Do you feel called to share the Gospel message from your homefront?

We are opening up this seasonal ministry to letters as a creative outlet for Christian women to reach out to other Christian women. If you feel you have lived through a life-altering experience that could benefit other women or have a life-changing story you would like to share or have thoughts that are wanting to be written and read or if you feel called to share a Gospel message...we want to hear from you.

SPIRITUAL LETTERS: We are looking for "helpful" "uplifting" spiritual letters which will be addressed to "Dear Sister," and 400-500 words in length dealing with any topic that is of importance in the life of today's modern Christian women.

1) These letters may be emailed to:  caygibson AT gmail DOT com
2) Please put in SUBJECT LINE: SPIRITUAL LETTER: Title/Your Name
3) Attach (and include in body of email) your 400-500 word letter
4) Letters will be granted a one-time use in an issue of The Seasonal when subject matter is deemed appropriate for that issue.
5) Please include a brief bio (including any links to website/blog) with information you'd like people to know to go alongside your letter
6) include a clear head shot if you are able.

We look forward to hearing from you.
{Photo credit: Grace K. Dalton}

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