God, send your cloud to cast a shadow over me…

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English: West Window depicting the Transfigura...

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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.

Reading:   Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;* then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  (Mark 9:7)

Observation:  I understand that the proper reaction to the presence of God would be one of wonder and awe, otherwise known as Fear of the Lord, but it is the voice that came from the cloud that reassured the disciples that were with God’s Son.  I am comforted by scripture daily that God is present in the church, but it would be something special to have God reveal himself in a cloud, like during the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem or here at the Transfiguration of our Lord.

Personification:    Patience  I may never see on earth the cloud of God casting a shadow over me, but I am confident that if I display the fruit of patience, along with the other fruits of the holy Spirit, that I will eventually know the peace that comes from being in the presence of the Almighty God when I am called up to heaven.

Prayer:  Lord, help me remember that you are always close to me, as long as you keep me in your grace and I remember to love my neighbor as you love me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

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

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

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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!

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

When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before you. (Psalm 9:4)

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Scroll of the Psalms

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As I  read the Responsorial Psalm this morning, for the second time, I realized that the verse that says because my enemies were turned back right after we say that we give praise and glory to God is hard to hear.  However, when I read the most current translation of that verse, it says what I have posted in my title for my journal today.  So, rather than feel like the because statement is referring to a previous verse, it is more obvious to me that it is a new statement that stands on its own.  I am thankful to God for turning back my enemies, but the praise I give him is because of God is all good and deserving of it, not for anything that was done for me.  Especially, since as the latter verse says in both the responsorial and the new translation, it was their own pit that our enemies dug, that they will fall into.  I must be careful to not fall into my own pit and not concern myself with how worthy I am to be protected.  It goes without saying, that if my worth was the cost of protection from evil, I would be constantly under attack, because I am not worthy of anything but judgment.

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.

Why does the church say young man today instead of official?

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Santa Maria della Concezione

Saint Michael, the Archangel

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:  Then the angel who spoke with me advanced as another angel came out to meet him and he said to the latter, “Run, speak to that official:* Jerusalem will be unwalled, because of the abundance of people and beasts in its midst.  (Zechariah 2:7-8)

Observation:  This is the latest translation from the New American Bible, revised edition.  It says official, and not young man, as it does in the earlier edition.  Same verses in today’s readings read;

Then the angel who spoke with me advanced,
and another angel came out to meet him and said to him,
“Run, tell this to that young man:
People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country,
because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.

So after a little research, a well-timed question from my son about why does the Bible online say “official”, and a quick look at my earlier edition Bible that I still have, I realized that the question should be why does the new edition say “official” when the previous one said “young man”.  The message that I shared with my son is that the unwalled Jerusalem that I see in the world today is the church.  The message for me is that I need to consider the return of the Lord to be imminent, to be able to continue repenting of my sinful nature.

Personification: Self-Control  Today, I am going to be able to display the fruit of self-control because I know that I must rely on the grace that comes from God through his angels who protect us, even from ourselves.  I had not prayed the prayer I am about to pray, because I felt like I was protected this morning from evil.  The truth is that I may have been protected from evil outside, but I must remember that there is an evil that can be just as harmful inside that I have to fight against as well.

Prayer:  Saint Michael, the Archangel.  Defend us in battle.  Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.  And do you, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, cast into hell satan and the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

If put to the test…Do I pass or fail?

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Saint Michael Archangel

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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:  Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  (1 Timothy 3:10)

&

I do not allow into my presence anything base.  (Psalm 101:3a)

Observation:  As I was reading this morning, I was being tempted and distracted from the message that was clearly coming from God for me.  In these two verses, God is telling me to ask myself if I am ready to begin formation as a deacon in our church.  The first verse from the first reading says clearly that anyone that is called will be tested, and the surrounding verses in that reading clearly spell out the rest of the qualifications, or should I say disqualifying factors.  However, it was the verse from the responsorial psalm for today’s readings that was speaking directly at me about the issue that could hold me back from pursuing my dream.

Personification: Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness to the calling that I believe I may have, I must be willing to put out of my life everything that does not have value in building up the kingdom.  This is my definition of base, of course it also includes staying away from all things that are placed as obstacles to my faith by the father of all lies.

Prayer:  Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the Heavenly Host by the power of God, cast into hell, satan and of the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

It is not about do what I say, but listen to what God says…And do it!

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fresco at the Karlskirche in vienna (by Johann...

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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.

Reading:  But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”  (Luke 6:49)

Observation:  It is only when we hear his voice that we need to act on what he is telling us…Right!  The challenge is to try to hear his voice at every moment.  Some people call it your inner voice, but I call it the voice of the holy Spirit.  Usually, for me it is just a whisper but I know at times it has been much louder than a whisper.  It is those times that the voice of the Lord is louder than a whisper that are life changing, and the times that he comes to you as a whisper, that you are being led to stay on track.

Personification: Self-Control  In order to be able to display the fruit of self-control, I must be willing to listen to the whisper of the holy Spirit that will prompt when to steer clear of those things that could lead me to sin.  Also, I can rely on the direction of my guardian angel, who will act in accord with the holy Spirit to direct my steps, even when I forget to ask.

Prayer:  Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here.  Ever this day, be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!