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!

 

Where are we being called to preach?

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View of Jerusalem from southeast, showing city...

View of Jerusalem from southeast, showing city walls, the Dome of the Rock, and al-Aqsa mosque. 1 photographic print : gelatin silver ; 21 x 56 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:   The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”  (Acts 23:11)

Observation:  I don’t know why, but this verse was especially meaningful to me today as I read it.  I almost journaled on a continuation of my pastor’s homily from yesterday’s Mass and the Gospel reading for today, but I remembered reading this verse and feeling drawn to write about it.  The truth is for me, I should be able to see the Lord standing by my side now, saying that I should take courage…I have borne witness to His cause in Springfield, so I must take it to the world.

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness, I must listen to the message that I am receiving from the Word of God today and begin to act on it.  My wife is telling me to do something about furthering my education, and I believe she is right to admonish me to take that first step and God knows what will come next.

Prayer:  Lord, show me the way to become everything that you have created me to be and continue to give me the grace necessary to avoid the evils of this world.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

I remember when I stopped questioning and knew that the church was from God!

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

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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: And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  (Acts 19:6)

&

Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”*  (John 16:30)

Observation:  In the first reading for today’s Mass readings, we hear how the newly introduced to the holy Spirit are able to prophecy and speak in tongues.  How much more should we who have known the holy Spirit for some time be able to do the same thing, or even more miraculous things.  All too often, we think that someone else will have the gift to do it, but not us…Why not us?  In the Gospel reading, I am reminded that I came to the same conclusion that the Apostles came to about Jesus, about the church over 20 years ago.

Personification:  Self-control  For too long, I have allowed my sinful nature and bad decisions get in the way of the future that God had planned for me.  With the help of God’s grace, I hope to start a new chapter in my faith life today, by being unashamed of the Gospel at all times, and willing to speak in whatever way God wills and be a prophet, if whatever ways God wills me to be one.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be faithful to you and follow whatever the holy Spirit is leading me to today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The same moment he went up, they were told to look for his return…

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Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

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:  They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

Observation:  On this day that we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary to remember what that first apostles were told when he left.  I am hearing this morning that they were told that he would return the same way he left.  I believe the thought that I would have being told that is that I should prepare for his return by doing what he instructed me to do before he left.  We are waiting for Pentecost Sunday next week to celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit, but we already have it and should be acting according to it, because if we are not doing God’s work, he could return at any moment to find us unprepared.

Personification:  Joy  I believe it is with the fruit of joy that comes from the Holy Spirit that we should await the return of the Lord.  We hear the promise that he will return the same way he left, but it is not supposed to be met with the same feeling of loss that I am sure the Apostles felt when they saw him taken up to Heaven.  I think when he returns, we should be dancing and singing and praising him for all that he has done in our lives, and the fact that if he is returning, it is time for the eternal party to start.  We no longer will have to hear those people tell us they know when it is going to happen, because it will be happening and I, for one, will be rejoicing.  Who’s coming with me?

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

We may be ignorant, but it is now our fault…

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United States penny, obverse, 2002

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:  God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.”  (Acts 17:30-31)

Observation:  In the first reading for today’s Mass, I am hearing Paul when he says these words to the people of Athens, he is speaking to us today in the United States.  I hear that up until this point, God has excused our ignorance, because it has seemed like we had the greater good of all people as our goal.  It seems we have completely lost that goal and are completely focused on money as our only one true God.  His words that we must repent, are even more biting to all of us that need money to support our family, but we must remember to treat the money we have with a sense of duty for the work that it can do to eradicate poverty and homelessness in the world and not for the things of this world that it can buy.

Personification:  Generosity   I hope that I can live my life today and every day with a generosity that comes from the grace of God.  I know that God is taking care of my needs and the needs of my family.  Therefore, I can live my life with the reckless abandon of all hope that I could have in the money that is in my bank account, and realize more fully the potential that it has to change the hearts of those that might need a small part of it to be able to put food on the table or keep from being put out on the street.

Prayer:  Lord, I know this is dangerous, but I want you to bring those people who could benefit from the money that I have in my account to my attention so I can see a way, by your grace, to help them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of  the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

It is my job to bring them out…

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Apostle Silas

Apostle Silas (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:  He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.”  (Acts 16:29-31)

Observation:  I read this first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, like it was the first time I read the story of Paul and Silas’s escape from prison.  I say that not because I tried to read it that way, but because I heard that they were not led out of prison by an angel, like Peter was, and it was the jailer that actually led them out of their cell.  It does not say whether they could move after their cell doors were opened, but it does say that they had not moved when the jailer found them.  It was the fact that their feet were secured to a stake that first focused me in on the fact that the jailer would have had to release them even after the earthquake had opened the doors and the chains that held them were shaken loose.

Personification:  Self-Control  I am seeing today that in whatever ways that I have jailed the Gospel message in the past, I must be willing to go into those dark places and release the message that resides there.  I cannot pay attention to the message of this world, because Jesus’ death conquered the ruler of this world.  I will journal on that tomorrow.  If you are reading this and wondering what you could do to release the imprisoned disciples of Jesus in your life, repost this blog or share it on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ and see what happens.  (See links at bottom of post)  I don’t say this to get more people to share my blog, but rather to give everyone who is reading this, a chance to share in the work of releasing the truth of the Gospel message.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be a modern-day disciple of Jesus Christ and remember that the issues of this world are not mine, but compassion for all people of this world to receive the Word of God into their hearts is my concern.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Kingdom of God is at hand for you! (Luke 10:9b)

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Fol. 104v and 105r of the Egmond Gospels. The ...

Image via Wikipedia

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:  Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  (Luke 10:3)

Observation:  Since today we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke, the evangelist, who wrote the gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles that gives us a glimpse of the lives of the first disciples of Jesus; I thought I would journal about two verses from his version of the gospel, that makes up part of our gospel reading for today’s Mass readings.  This journal entry is in response to the feeling that I had when I left the City Council meeting last night, where we made our voice heard in opposition to the abortion clinic that is being built-in our city.  I left the meeting feeling like evil had won the day.  I wish I would have remembered this verse from Luke’s gospel, maybe I wouldn’t have let it bother me so much that evil had won the day, because I already knew that we were sent in like sheep among wolves.

Personification: Peace  If I am going to display the fruit of peace in my life, I must remember to live out the gospel in the world as it is and have faith that God will change what needs to be changed.  I will pray for the things that I think are wrong and wait patiently for God’s will to be done.

Prayer:  Lord, I pray that all those misguided by Satan into believing the lies about “abortion mills” like Planned Parenthood would have their eyes opened to the truth, especially those that would call themselves “Catholic”.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.