Imagine Paul’s teaching from Rome…It might look like this…

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Of course, this is what our imagination is fed by today…At least, I am willing to admit mine is…

Or maybe like this…This is more directly from the first reading for Today’s Mass Readings!

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see the fruit that comes from Paul’s teaching in Rome both historical and what his death is saying to us today.  Saint Paul, pray for us.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen

Today’s Good News…He will keep us from evil!

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Courage

Courage (Photo credit: drp)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.  (John 17:15)

Observation:  It is my understanding that God will keep us from evil, but we have to comply with the way that we are being kept from evil.  No matter what issues I have with the things that I have to do to comply with God’s will, I must do them, if I am going to be kept from evil.

Personification: Generosity  It is my hope that I can follow the will of God in my life, so that I can display the fruit of observing the will of God in my life and give those fruits of that observance to others that are close enough to me to see the difference.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to follow your will for me in my life, so that I can be kept from evil by your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The big news about salvation, comes tomorrow!

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English: Jesus ascending to heaven

English: Jesus ascending to heaven (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:  And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.  (John 17:11)

Observation:  Today, I hear Jesus saying that he has concern for us his disciples, even after he leaves this world to ascend to the Father.  I am hearing that it is the same concern that every disciple of Jesus should have at the end of their earthly life.  As we will see tomorrow, Jesus’ concern for us is not just about our ending up in Heaven, but protecting us while we are still here too.

Personification: Generosity  It is my hope that I live my life for Jesus, but not just partly for him.  I want to empty myself out completely for Him.  It is only because I know that Jesus did this for me, that I know that I can do this as well, and I know that God wants this from me.

Prayer:  Lord, empty me of all my own selfish concerns, so that I can be more fully yours.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen!

Justification for mediation…

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Mary (Mother of Jesus)

Mary (Mother of Jesus) (Photo credit: da_n)

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:. “I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.  (John 16:25-28)

Observation:  I read this Gospel reading this morning as a reminder of why we would invoke the name of Jesus when we pray.  We believe that Jesus is God, and He and the Father and the holy Spirit are one, so why not just pray to God.  Jesus is saying here that since the disciples have developed a relationship with Jesus by their love for Him, it gives them a special channel into bring their needs to the Father.  Sometimes, it is easier for us to see someone who walked the earth as one who understands us, rather than an almighty Father in heaven.

Personification:  Love  I hope that I can display love to my brothers and sisters on earth, but also show the love I carry for the Virgin Mary and Jesus, and all the Saints who we know are with God, by calling on their intercession for us, and knowing that they will do it if it is in God’s will for us.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, as we approach Pentecost Sunday next week, let us be ever mindful of the Saints that came before us and rely on their intercession and yours in our times of need.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

How do we know if He remains in us?

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This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Czech Wikipedia for th week, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us.  (1 John 3:24)

&

The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you.  (John 14:26)

Observation:  Today’s journal is based on the readings from yesterday and today’s Gospel.  I am hearing today that even though I do believe that there are certain things that need to be accepted by faith, for sure, God is telling me that the Holy Spirit is going to be with me, revealing the truth of the Word to me and I should be able to see God working through the revelation that comes to me from the Word.  It is not in my nature to surrender my will completely to God or lean on something other than my understanding, but I know now that if it does not come from the Holy Spirit, it is not worth knowing.  Jesus didn’t say that the Holy Spirit would teach you some things, he said “everything”.

Personification:  Self-Control  It is amazing to me that I could display any self-control at all, but I am thankful to God for giving me the grace to display it.  I know that God will continue to supply the necessary grace to continue to display this self-control, as long as I keep myself in a constant state of surrender to His will and understanding.

Prayer:  Our Father, who is 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.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Release me, a prisoner doomed to die…

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Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Je...

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the former Mosque (Cathedral) of Cordoba, Spain (Photo credit: 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:  Let this be written for the next generation,

for a people not yet born,

that they may praise the LORD:

*“The LORD looked down from the holy heights,

viewed the earth from heaven,

To attend to the groaning of the prisoners,

to release those doomed to die.”  (Psalm 102:19-21)

Observation:  I recognize that the Psalmist is talking about all of us who are doomed to die here on earth, to continue groaning to God because we know that he will hear our groaning and answer us.  It is only through the recognition that it is not after death that God will save us, but rather during our life that we can be saved, if we only remember that we are doomed to die and keep trusting in God’s grace to bring us to eternal life.

Personification:  Love  It is the fruit of love that I hope to display.  The fruit of love that brings with it truth of God’s grace to everyone that I meet today.  It is only possible for me to display this fruit because of the grace that comes from the church and my willingness to take part in the activities in the church to bring God’s grace to me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay faithful to you, no matter how unwilling my flesh may be at times.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

“I cannot do anything on my own.” Jesus

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Probably an image of Jesus from St. Johns gosp...

Probably an image of Jesus from St. Johns gospel in a miniature from Vukan's Gospel, end of the twelfth century, by some held to be an image of the Evangelist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading: I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”  (John 5:30)

Observation:  I don’t know how many times I have read this part of the Gospel and just glossed over the fact that Jesus is modeling for us how to act in the will of the Father.  We know that Jesus is God, so the fact that he could or couldn’t do anything on his own is debatable.  However, if we are truly trying to do the will of the Father because he is the one who sent us, why do we always try to do things on our own?  I guess I should just be speaking for myself, but phrases like, “God helps those, who help themselves”  and other such rubbish come to mind.  The truth is, God will only be able to help me grow spiritually closer to Him, if I stop helping myself to whatever pleasure or fleshly desire I want.

Personification:  Love  It is my focus today to stay in the grace of God to be able to put on display the fruit of love that comes from God, who is love.  I hope to be able, by the inspiration of the holy Spirit, to stop trying so hard to please God and just do what he tells me to do, with the resources that He has given me.

Prayer:  Lord, let me be an instrument of your love.  Please help me to stay out of your way and allow your love to pass through me to others today and everyday for the rest of eternity.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.