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!

 

Whenever I think like the world, I shouldn’t be surprised when I fall like it…

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:  Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.  (1 Corinthians 3:7)

 

Observation:  I woke up this morning on the occasion of my 41st birthday, and said that I deserve to play a little XBox, Tiger Woods 2013, and it didn’t work…Disc is scratched, of course.   Anyway, as I set up the XBox, I started up my Playbook to read through the readings as well.  All the while knowing that God deserves the praise for my 41 years of life, but wanting to give myself some share of the glory.  Truth is, just as Paul said to the Corinthians about himself and Apollos, it is not the one who waters or the planter that deserves anything, it is God who causes the growth.

 

Personification:  Faithfulness. Rather than assuming that I ever deserve anything , I hope that I can wait on God to bring real joy into my life and I am able to display the fruit of faithfulness to the God who made me and is growing me into the man he wants me to be.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay focused on you in times of celebration and struggle, so that I know that the joy that comes from it is your everlasting joy, not my temporary happiness or satisfaction.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

What would Jesus think of your life?

Standard
Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA)

Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA) (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:  Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be!  (Isaiah 7:7)

&

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon,* they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.”  (Matthew 11:21)

Observation:  In the first reading, the book of Isaiah is recounting the salvation of the places that found favor with God, because of their connection with his chosen people, and because it was His will that the towns of David’s lineage be saved.  In the Gospel, Jesus is talking about some other towns that have fallen out of favor with God because of their lack of repentance.  He says that these towns will be punished if they don’t repent, and they should if they recognized the power of God working in their midst through the person of Jesus Christ..

Personification:  Self-Control  In order to stand firm in the faith of our Fathers and find favor with God, I must remember that I am chosen, but I also must remember to repent.  Such great miracles have already been done in my life, through the power of Jesus Christ who is still working in our midst.  I should never stop repenting of my past evil ways, so that I can know that God’s grace is with me and he can continue to use me to build up His kingdom.

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!

The church is born today…What does that mean to me?

Standard
English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (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 have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.* But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15)

Observation:  I went back and read the Office of Readings for yesterday, since it was the feast day of Saint Phillip Neri, it just felt like I couldn’t miss out on them.  I will try to catch up with today’s Office of Readings before youth group later today.  I mention the reading that I did in addition to the regular reading of the readings for Mass, to explain that the  choice of this Gospel reading today was borne out of the process of a lot of reading this morning and not just my normal perusal of the daily Mass readings.  It is not that my normal perusal of the readings is not sufficient for my journaling, but since we are celebrating the birthday of the church today, I felt that extra attention was due God for sending this amazing gift to lead us to faith almost two thousand years ago.

Personification:  Joy  It is my hope that I know today that God is revealing the true joy to me today that comes from trusting God to be with me at all times through the holy Spirit and physically through the body and blood of His Son, and someday my joy will be complete when I am with the Father in Heaven, by His grace.

Prayer:  Lord, give me a joyful heart like Saint Phillip Neri and help me to repent of my will in favor of yours.  Saint Phillip Neri, pray for us.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.