If we are believers, we can drive out demons in His name and speak new languages? (see Mark 16:17)

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Corcovado jesus

Image by @Doug88888 via Flickr

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  (Mark 16:17)

Observation:  It has been a whole day since I first read the readings this morning.  I let the world get in and distract me from what God was telling me this morning, and for that I am sorry.  However, without the distraction, I don’t believe I would have ever come to the conclusion that I have about my faith today.  There is no circumstance that can take Jesus out of my heart, and I must act in a way that is respectful of that gift and not let any sin or even any sinful attitude control my mind.

Personification:  Self-Control  Once again, I realize that self-control is not about my self, it is about Jesus.  How can Jesus be a part of me, if I am involved in sin?  I realize that I will not always be perfect, but if Jesus is in us, nothing can stop us from walking away from whatever evil stands before us.  If that evil persists in attacking me even after I have gone to Confession for that sin, I will cast it away by simply saying that I belong to Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that it is not about playing mind games with myself to stay away from sin, it is about realizing that you are with me and you are more powerful than any evil.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Chad, my son, says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

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This is Chad...

This is Chad…This is his journal, he wrote today!

Scripture: “This is the time fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Observation: I think that in my life I need to be reminded that the kingdom of God is at hand. And that I should not hold steadfast in the ways of the world but to learn the ways of God and offer my suffering up to him.

Application: I think that I also need to be reminded that the kingdom of God is at hand and that I need to repent and carry out God’s orders, by doing things like reading the Bible.

Prayer: Lord, help me become more of your servant and let me fulfill the calling that you have given to me. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen

I hope my children can hear my heart in this…

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Chad, my oldest son, snapped the picture for me...

Chad, my oldest son, snapped the picture for me…

Gift: Knowledge

Reading: And a voice came from the heavens,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)

Observation: As I read the readings aloud to both of my older sons that we eating breakfast at the table with me this morning, it was reading this verse to my oldest son that really spoke to my heart. I told him that I hope he hears my heart along with God’s Word telling His Son that he is well pleased with him. I think the first reading was for my nine-year old, but I will get back to you later about how it spoke to him. (Pray for us!)

Personification:  Love  It is out of sincere love for both of my children that I have started to read the scriptures to them before they go to school.  It is my hope that the eternal wisdom that comes from the Word of God will be passed on to them from the reading of his Word.  As for my 9-year-old, Kobe, I realized that I must be diligent in calling on the holy Spirit to rest on him and help him to see the truth that comes from God and not the lies that he hears from the world.  I think I got this from the first reading from John, and maybe the story will be completed tomorrow morning at Mass at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Eugene.

Prayer:  Lord, I am thankful for the grace that you are saving me with, and I hope that I will continue to seek out your grace and not my understanding to fulfill your will for my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Our discussion was fruitful…Glory to God…Amen…

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The Descent of the Holy Spirit in a 15th centu...

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.
 
Reading:  Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise.  (Sirach 51:17)

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So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”  (Mark 11:33)

Observation:  I chose the first verse as a way of saying thank you to Kevin, Jeff and Dev for the discussion that we had yesterday about this gospel reading for today.  Specifically, I believe it was Kevin who brought up the fact that the chief priests and the scribes questioned him about his authority.  I think it was Dev who mentioned that these priests and scribes had to know who he was in their heart, but they would just not admit it openly.  We all discussed how they must have had immense pressure on them to keep him quiet because he was threatening their livelihood.  Finally, I think I said that we do the same thing when we choose not to follow Jesus for whatever worldly reason, we choose to not follow him because we don’t want to give up what we have built up in this world.  I believe Kevin called it selfishness, or it could have been me, but I am pretty sure we all agreed.

Personification:  Love  The idea of Jesus calling us to love everyone, even those that may hate us kept coming up at lunch yesterday.  So, I will focus today on displaying the fruit of love that comes from the holy Spirit.  As we all talked about yesterday, it may be difficult at times to love someone who hates us or just may appear to be incapable of loving us back, it doesn’t change that Jesus told us to love everyone, even the ones who won’t ever love us back, because the focus cannot be on us but rather on building up his kingdom.

Prayer:  (Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi)

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.

If we are destined to be sinners until his return, how can we turn from sin?

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the fear of the lord is a fountain of life

the fear of the lord is a fountain of life

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:   3 But to the penitent he provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope!  Return to the LORD and give up sin, pray to him and make your offenses few.  (Sirach 17:19-20)

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Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”  (Mark 10:27)

Observation:  As I read through the readings this morning, I knew that I would again discuss the fact that it is not possible for us to accomplish anything good and of lasting value without it being the will of God.  However, I think I have journaled on that subject before, so I went back to re-read the first reading and realized that the two verses that I copied above were specifically talking to my personal situation now.  The truth is, as it says in the 20th verse of the 17th chapter of the book of Sirach, it is only by prayer that we can make our offenses few.

Personification:  Self-Control  I feel like I have missed the mark when I have journaled before on my attempt to display the fruit of self-control.  The truth is, as I have quoted above from the first reading, I am not going to be able to control my selfish desires until I give myself to prayer in every moment of every day for the rest of my life.  Although, to a non-believer, that may sound like I am becoming a robot, I believe I will find it to be liberating.

Prayer:  Lord, watch over me and my family today and make us into the creations that you intended us to be.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The first written account of rainbows…(not really!)

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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.

Be still and know that he is God...Psalm 46:10

Reading:  I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  (Genesis 9:13)

Observation:  I decided to not tackle any tough parts of the readings today.  Instead, I chose to focus on a way that we have to keep God at the forefront of our mind.  Of course, it is necessary that we remember this story and not the other stories that do not involve God.  This verse is a great reminder of the fact that God is in control of everything.  It is not just that he is not going to flood the earth again, but that he has put things like rainbows in the midst of a cloudy day to remind us that he is good.

Application:   Peace  As for me, I will work today to use the creation that God created all around me as a reminder to display the fruit of peace in my life.  It will be my hope, with the help of the grace of God, that I can display the real peace that means completeness.  It is also my hope that I could show this peace to everyone that I meet to be a sign to everyone that we are only complete in our communion with each other and God.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be the man who you created me to be.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

God is good…All the time…

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The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life

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:  God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars.  God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was.  (Genesis 1:16-18)

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You made springs flow into channels that wind among the mountains.  (Psalm 104:10)

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Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.  (Mark 6:56)

Observation:  From the first reading for today’s Mass, I get that light that illuminates the world is the central focus of the beginning of all creation and God, the almighty, created everything.  From the responsorial psalm, we see that God created the streams of water that are the lifeblood of his creation.  Finally, we see in the gospel reading that He sent his Son to show us how to use His power to save others.

Personification:  Faithfulness  Imagine the world if all Christ’s disciples today were faithful enough to his teaching that they walked the earth healing everyone that merely touched their cloak.  It will be my focus in life to be about faith in the almighty, so much to show Him that I am worthy to be a channel for the holy Spirit to flow through me to bring the healing power of the Lord to others.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.