Cleansing our minds from evil…

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ImageI was thinking during the reading of the Mass readings this morning how thankful I am for God gracing me with the different prayers and devotions, as well as websites, Twitter and Facebook friends that keep me focused on Him.  I have struggled with being distracted with the trappings of this world, whether it be by financial concerns or the evil of pornographic images that can lead to full on pornography in the past and have sometimes found it difficult to justify even being connected to the internet.

However, the present moment in my life has been graced by many “holy” distractions that lead me to deepen my relationship with the Lord.  I felt motivated to write about it today, but figured that I wouldn’t because I would probably be too busy preparing for my class tonight.  However, directly after receiving Communion today, I realized that I was bothered by a small pain in my head that I noticed that I get right after receiving Communion and I knew that this was a gift of the Lord’s coming into my body in the form of bread and wine, but in His body and blood that caused this pain.  It was a gift that was meant to cleanse my mind of all the memories of past sins and allow me to be further converted into the man who God is creating me to be.  When I shared this with my son, I realized that I should look up whether there was anyone else who has ever noticed anything like this happening after Communion.  The only article I found was someone who had headaches that probably stemmed for problems with gluten, since it happened about a half an hour after receiving.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post today to give thanks to God for this revelation of the work that is being done in my life to cleanse my mind of evil, both in the physical world of the Eucharist, physically effecting chemical changes in my brain, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that has motivated me, as He is trying to motivated us all, I believe, to fill our virtual world with many friends and followers that lead us to a closer relationship with Jesus.  It was in the hope that this post would be read by someone who has recognized the power of God working in their lives through the Eucharist and the other people and things that they have connected to through the internet and will be encouraged by reading my story.  In addition, if there is anyone who finds their life preoccupied by sin and “unholy” distractions.  Hopefully, they will know that if they are open to receiving the grace of God through the Sacrament of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, as well as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to find spiritually uplifting friends on Facebook and holy men and women to follow on Twitter, and websites that focus on deepening your relationship with God, there is light at the end of the internet.  I hope that I can somehow be a part of that light for someone too.

dc Talk / In the light from nicoletta477 on GodTube.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FBE9E1NU

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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!

 

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.

Be on your guard…(Forgive, not so freely?)

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~day 306: the nature of God~
Image by theroamincatholic via Flickr

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:  Be on your guard!* If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”  (Luke 17:3-4)

Observation:  I read through the readings and was reminded of a song that talks about justice and mercy that I will share with my sister on Facebook for her birthday.  However, I could not get away from these verses in the gospel reading for today’s Mass.  Jesus is talking about forgiveness, and it is a good reminder to me that I do not have to feel compelled to forgive someone until they have repented of the evil that they have done to me.

Personification:  Love  Since today is my little sister’s birthday, I will focus on displaying the fruit of love to her.  I will also focus on display the love of God to everyone else that I come in contact with today, because of the love that I have for my sister.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to display the fruit of love to everyone today, as a form of prayer for my sister, so that she will know more about your perfect love in her life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Today, we celebrate the truth…It happened before, and it could happen again!

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Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit!

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:  “Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:45)

Observation:  To me, these words of Elizabeth are just agreeing with what the holy Spirit had revealed to her through her infant son, John, who was just leaping in her womb.  Elizabeth knew that her cousin, Mary, not only carried the Lord in her womb, that Mary would be honored by God forever as the woman who had faith that all things could be perfected through her acceptance of this holy gift.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I knew early that I would be attempting to display the fruit of faithfulness today.  It is not only because of the video that I shared earlier on Facebook.  It is also because I am hoping that everyone will see through the Assumption of Mary into heaven, that we celebrate today, that God has great things planned for all of us.  If we are truly faithful to God’s will for our lives, it is possible that we will spend eternity in heaven with Mary and her Son Jesus and all the other Saints who came before us.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay faithful to not only your words today, but also to the holy Spirit who is revealing the truth to us through the church.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Good News…not my words today…More pictures to follow…

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Does Saint Alice Catholic Church in Springfield, OR have a baldachin?  Is it still there?  More pictures to follow…