Sinners everywhere…even here!

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As I showed up at the prayer site for our 40 Day for Life campaign, here in Springfield, Oregon, I noticed that an old friend from the Ukrainian Catholic Church was there praying.  OK, he was actually taking a break on the bench at the bus stop as I pulled up, but who cares…I guess I do!  Anyway, I prayed the 7 Sorrows of Mary rosary and was starting to pray the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary when a new friend, Dan showed up to pray with me.  I had only gotten to the Scourging at the Pillar when he interrupted me.  I realized quickly that he was not Catholic as he prayed a spontaneous prayer and used Lord God in his reference to the Creator as we prayed together.  I really like to pray, so his spontaneous prayer was awesome, and I guess I shouldn’t mind that he cut off my prayer that I was in the middle of…But I do!  Finally, Diane showed up to peacefully protest abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood with us, and she told me that I should not worry about offending an atheist who sometimes joins us to protest abortion and tells me he is not comfortable with my sign saying that we are praying.  Her aggressiveness is excusable because she has been upset for a while with her people that are often too liberal for her to worship with them…But it still bothers me that she tells me what I should do!

When I got back to my office, I read through the gospel reading from today’s Mass readings.  I realize that I need to forgive them all for what I perceived as a wrong that I saw in their service to the cause of ending abortion in our community.  The reason for my forgiveness for them is that I am hoping that God will have mercy on me for the judgemental way that I seem to have approached my service to the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion in our community today.

Truth is, I am extremely thankful for their service to pray with me today and it gives me hope to know that there are others in our community that are willing to stand up for the wrong that they see in our world.  Also, I need to remember to ask for forgiveness from Carol, who showed up at the end of my hour to join with us in prayer and I didn’t even introduce her to the group, because I couldn’t immediately think of her name when I first saw her.

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

For the sake of His sorrowful passion…

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Have mercy on us, and on the whole world!

So, as we start to have news coming in about the storm that is making landfall in the Philippines, I hope there are many people who read the title of my post today and finish the prayer that was first given to Saint Faustina as a part of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  The reason for the invoking of this particular prayer now, is that I have been told that the Philippines is full of 3 o’clock habit folks.  They actually have stores that shut down at 3pm, so everyone can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  If ever there was a time for a miracle of mercy, it would be right now.  I am pretty sure that most of the world is watching the storm and either praying or worrying about the outcome.  It would be awesome if there was a way that God could shine through this tragedy, that is hitting this country that is so filled with faith-filled people, with his mercy and saving power.  I prayed along with the prayer on EWTN when I went home for lunch and I hope anyone that has a few minutes will join in this prayer at 3pm this afternoon, here on the West coast of the United States.  It is about 15 minutes before 3pm, so I am going to get this posted as a reminder, and you can pray anytime you can, of course.

 

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

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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!

PRAY AND BE PATIENTLY ATTENTIVE TO HIS WORD!

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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!

 

No excuses…

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St Matthew in Ely Place

St Matthew in Ely Place (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

Gift:  Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

 

Reading:  In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.  (Matthew 18:14)

 

Observation:  Some people say that we cannot control what path our children take in life, it is usually in defense of a child that has left the church for some reason or another.  This verse from today’s Gospel reading is saying to me that this is a dangerous attitude to have, because although we cannot control the path another human being chooses of their own free will, God is saying here that His will is that none of our children are ever lost, and we should adopt this attitude towards leading our children to the faith.  Never give up and never stop going in search of them and leading them back to the fold, if they should get lost.

 

Personification:  Generosity. If I understand this verse correctly, God will never give up on his lost children, regardless of their past decisions or indecision in their faith.  Therefore, I should be willing to give everything I have, in displaying the fruit of generosity, to win these children back for God.  If God was willing to send His Son to die to redeem me, I should be willing to give anything to help bring someone back to Him.

 

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I don’t have the ability to save anyone, but show me the way to give what I can of myself and my resources to align myself with Your will for them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen

 

Why do we pray?

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Jesus in Pray

Image via Wikipedia

Gift:  Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.* Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  (Matthew 6:7-8)

Observation:  In these verses from the Gospel reading from the Mass readings today, we are told that our Father knows what we need before we ask him.  So, why do we pray?  We pray to change our attitude towards our own ability to effect change on the things that have eternal consequences.  I think prayer reorients our mind to things that really matter and do focus our attention on the things that God is already working on.  He will do the work with or without us, but He wants us to join in the effort and God knows, that this effort is the only thing that will bring us real joy through his eternal grace.

Personification:  Joy  It is my intention today to display the fruit of joy that comes from agreeing with God in his eternal plan of salvation for us all.  This joy only comes when I realize that everyone is called to this eternal plan of salvation, regardless of where they are beginning.  Like me, everyone starts from a place of imperfection, or it could be said that we all start with our need of forgiveness, but if we act with a repentant heart at all times, we are able to receive the grace we need to be saved.

Prayer:  Jesus taught me to pray like this:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

(I realize that God knows what I need, and I hope that I can see clearly to forgive those who may do me harm or has done harm to me in the past, so the Father will show me that, through His Son’s death and resurrection, and His grace, I am worthy of forgiveness too.)

I hope this is saying what I am hearing…Questions answered…Amen…

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The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

Image via Wikipedia

Reading:  * Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift* is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.  He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.*   (James 1:16-18)

Observation:  I hear these verses saying to me that God is not at the heart of my temptation to sin, because he is all good, and he is not even the cause of the smallest alteration of truth that leads to sin.  This is not to say that God doesn’t use our temptation to help us see the error of our ways, but I need to remember to call on Jesus to take up residence in my heart, so I won’t fall prey to my desire, which comes to me as a whisper in my ear.  I thought of an image last week, the day that I posted the three monkeys picture…hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…The picture had the blood of Jesus covering my eyes, the hands of God plugging my ears and the holy Spirit smoke like a fog in my mouth

…Amen!