With all that God has done for us, can we not offer him our children?

Standard
St Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.” Then they worshiped there before the LORD.  (1 Samuel 1:27-28)

Observation:  It seems to me that we spend a lot of time in this country worrying about our children.  Thanks be to God that means plenty of us, Christians, pray for them to be delivered from the evil forces that would gladly take possession of them, if they were left alone without God protecting them.  I read this reading this morning, again, thinking about how thankful we should be, like Hannah was, after she was given her child, she delivered him to the priest in the temple.

Personification:  Peace. It is only when I realize the way my children are being delivered from evil, that I can be at peace about the future that God has prepared for them.  To make a display of this peace I need only look to Saint Francis and his prayer of peace to be a guide for me.

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  Where there is injury, pardon.  Where there is doubt, faith.  Where there is despair, hope.  Where there is darkness, joy.  O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.  For it is giving that we receive; it is pardoning, that we are pardoned; and it in dying that we are born to eternal life.  I as this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Guard your eyes…Close them, if necessary!

Standard
Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  He who practices virtue and speaks honestly,
who spurns what is gained by oppression,
brushing his hands
free of contact with a bribe,
stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed,
closing his eyes lest he look on evil.  (Isaiah 33:15)

Observation:  As we were praying the morning prayer this morning, I was reminded of the fact that when a Victoria’s Secret commercial comes on, I avert my eyes from the screen or even close them until it’s over.  The reason isn’t that I believe the women to be evil, but the message that Victoria’s Secret is selling is evil.  Somehow, the devil has the world convinced that if a woman can allure a man with their body, it will lead to love.  Now, I know that God can work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.  (See Romans 8:28)  However, earlier in the 8th chapter of Romans, the Word says, “For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit. The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:5-9)  The second part about stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed was meant for my wife, but the last part was meant for me, for sure.

Personification:  Love.  Real love is concerned with the things that are revealed to us through the spirit.  If I am going to display the fruit of love in my life, I must be concerned only with those things that are revealed to me through the Word of God and the tradition of the church.  However, I must remember to discern by going back to the Catechism, if necessary, the real meaning of our sexuality and how I need to guard myself against the salaciousness, that is all too prevalent in this world today.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!

We should praise the feet that brought the good news to us!

Standard
Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

 

Reading:  And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written,n “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”  (Romans 10:15)

 

Observation:  I was thinking about taking a picture of my feet to show the feet that were bringing the good news through this blog.  After realizing that my feet just aren’t that beautiful, I thought that I should make reference to the beauty that others see in the blog that I created to bring the good news to the world, through how God is speaking to me through His Word.  However, as my title says, I settled on the fact that it is more important to praise the feet of those that brought the good news to me over the years.  My godfather and sponsor in the Church, Mike Dalton, his feet should be praised first for not only introducing me to the Church, but also to contemplative prayer.  All the Pastors and Deacons that I have met over the past 20 years of faith should have their feet praised for sure.  My mother and my wife should certainly have their feet praised for sticking with me during my years of backsliding.  Last, but certainly not least, my spiritual Mother, Mary the Mother of God should have her feet praised for continuing to lead me back to her Son and helping me repent of my sinful ways.

 

Personification:  Joy. I believe it is only with the Spirit of Joy that anything one or anything can be praised.  It is for this reason that I will try to display the fruit of Joy that comes from the grace of God to me and all those who are repentant today.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner and on the whole world…Amen!

 

PRAY AND BE PATIENTLY ATTENTIVE TO HIS WORD!

Standard
Allegory of chastity by Hans Memling

Allegory of chastity by Hans Memling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

 

Reading:

 

You acted bravely, and your heart has been strengthened because you loved chastity.
– Your name will be praised for ever.

 

Your prayers and generosity have been accepted in God’s sight, and because of them he has remembered you.
– Your name will be praised for ever.

 

Judith 15:11; Acts 10:4

 

Observation:  The reading I selected to journal on today came from the Divine Office that I have been trying to read every morning before I read the daily readings to prepare for going to hear the Word of God proclaimed at Mass.  Anyway, I posted a prayer on Facebook before I got started this morning about preserving my chastity and shortly after posting that, what I read is posted just above.

 

Personification: Self-Control  It is only by praying for what I know I need to stay focused on God’s will, and then staying in the Word of God or in church until I get an answer that I can be sure that my conversation with the Lord will be fruitful.  I don’t suppose that my answer will always come to me this clearly, but maybe it will if I stay patiently attentive to His will for me and not my will for myself.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, continue to have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!

 

God, send your cloud to cast a shadow over me…

Standard
English: West Window depicting the Transfigura...

Image via Wikipedia

Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:   Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;* then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  (Mark 9:7)

Observation:  I understand that the proper reaction to the presence of God would be one of wonder and awe, otherwise known as Fear of the Lord, but it is the voice that came from the cloud that reassured the disciples that were with God’s Son.  I am comforted by scripture daily that God is present in the church, but it would be something special to have God reveal himself in a cloud, like during the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem or here at the Transfiguration of our Lord.

Personification:    Patience  I may never see on earth the cloud of God casting a shadow over me, but I am confident that if I display the fruit of patience, along with the other fruits of the holy Spirit, that I will eventually know the peace that comes from being in the presence of the Almighty God when I am called up to heaven.

Prayer:  Lord, help me remember that you are always close to me, as long as you keep me in your grace and I remember to love my neighbor as you love me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

If God is calling, I should listen and respond quickly…Right?

Standard
The Second Coming of Christ window at St. Matt...

Second Coming of Christ

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as Sheol, or high as the sky!*  (Isaiah 7:11)

Observation:  Before I started reading this morning, my Twitter friend, Father Mabura

, tweeted that we should ask for a sign.  It was a reference to this chapter and verse that I have quoted above.  However, I ignored it because I received a Twitter post of the daily readings right after that said to “Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.”  It was in reference to the response from the responsorial psalm for the today’s readings.  The reason I should not have ignored it, because when I looked out the window, I saw a beautiful sunrise, similar to one I saw just the other day that almost made me get in an accident driving or at least a reckless driving ticket.  Fortunately, I didn’t get either, but the memory of that sunrise that morning and again this morning, I believe is a sign of something that is coming.  It could be that it is the coming celebration of Christmas that God is reminding me of, as if we need any reminders of that.  It could be that I need to remember that the second coming of Jesus is going to come like a thief in the night, and I need to make sure that I am prepared, as well as those people that I can have an effect on to call them to conversion.

Personification:  Joy  It is sometimes difficult to remember to display real joy during this time of year.  There seems to be so much counterfeit joy that is supported by consumerism in our society, that the real joy of the incarnation of God’s Son in our world is lost.  I want to remember this week, as we prepare for Christmas, that the real celebration is about God’s coming into our reality to show us the way to really love each other.

Prayer:  Lord, let me be an instrument of joy in your world today and everyday that I have left here to share your joy with everyone I come in contact with.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thanks be to God, who holds the structure together…

Standard
Fear of the Lord

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:21-22)

Observation:  If the structure of the church was held together by us, it would have fallen before it was even established in the early church.  However, because of the fact that Jesus is the cornerstone and the foundation is the apostles and prophets who were chosen by Him, we have a structure that will last.  I am thankful today, for the structure of the church not being founded on me, because the walls would have fallen down a long time ago.  I am thankful that the church I belong to is made sacred by the growing together of believers who, hopefully including me, have been made into dwelling places for God in the Spirit.

Personification:  Peace  On this day that we celebrate the lives of two Saints, who were not the most well-known members of the apostles, I hope that I can display the peace that comes from following the will of God in my life.  Even though, I have made mistakes in the past, my hope is that God will continue the work he began in me and see it through to completion by ridding my life of all my past sinfulness.

Prayer:  (Saint Francis Prayer)  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.